Category Archives: Photographs

Friday Links 2012: Week 5

This week was so crazy. I hardly had time to check email and read my morning websites. In fact, I don’t think I read my normal allotment of sites a single day this week, so I apologize for the lame links.

As I said in my other blog, I’m not quite ready to share everything with Cyber Land yet, but I promise it will happen within the next few days.

Anyway, here you go:

And a picture from today just because I thought this tea was pretty.

(**Squeals!!**)

I hope your week was productive and that your February started out wonderfully!

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Twas the Season

I am a firm believer that one of the best weeks of the year is the one between Christmas and New Year’s.

It is that week when there are no more presents to be purchased, no more stress about how Christmas day will go, no more worrying about whether or not someone will like your gifts. There is just family. Oh, and maybe one or two returns.

holiday decorated bird house in my mom's neighborhood

Yesterday morning, as I walked into the bagel store, I was struck by how much I love this week. I love that children are out of school and that parents take the time out of their day to sit and have a jelly smeared bagel and hot chocolate/coffee with their kids. I love that it is still cold enough to cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie. I love that it is still appropriate for said movie to be a holiday movie. I love that I’m still able to order Pete’s peppermint soy hot chocolates and not feel dumb. I love that the house still smells like pine needles. I love that there is no more pressure to ge a bunch of things done, but that my family is still home and I still get to spend time with them (minus Caitlin who just had to go back home. Whatever Caitlin.)

MJ and her daddy

Of course, this holiday season had its downs too. I was stressed about work. I couldn’t quite figure out what that perfect present would be for my step dad so I was disappointed with my gift to him. I wasn’t feeling well. I was exhausted. My mom and step dad had to put down our dog, Toby.

Toby, we will miss you

This holiday season I learned a lot about myself though. I guess it means you’re growing up when you realize that you are more interested in seeing other people’s reactions when they open your present to them, rather than unwrapping your own presents. I had four Christmases (having divorced parents is sometimes really exhausting), but it was wonderful to see (almost) all of my family. I really treasure our holiday traditions and was so happy when each of them came along (including eating minestrone soup with my mom’s family, eating Mexican food with my dad’s family, cuddling up with my family on the couch to watch It’s A Wonderful Life and watching my dad cry without failure, etc.)

Anyway, just in case you were wondering, here are a few more holiday photos from this season. Enjoy.

Merry Christmas Eve – family tradition: home made enchiladas
brown paper packages tied up with strings (how I wrapped my Christmas presents this year)
Doogie, my handsome nephew
Christmas dinner table
me and my older cousin
cousins 🙂
I love her hair like that
MJ and Grand-Piffy
Oh, Christmas Tree
MJ and Toby
Auntie Rachel and MJ – denim shirts, leggings, and over the knee socks
me and MJ in our matching outfits 🙂
MJ in her “ugly” dress (I thought it was cute… she didn’t)

Prey, MJ, Pookie, and Toby

me, MJ, and Toby

Wondering how four christmases works? I’ll tell you:

  1. Wake up at one parent’s house – this year it was my dad’s (luckily, Gramma and Grampa spent the night on Christmas Eve so we got to see them)
  2. Open presents, eat a delicious breakfast, then get on the road to go to the next Christmas
  3. Show up at Christmas #2 – mom’s house
  4. Drink delicious cappuccinos, rush through presents, head to the next Christmas
  5. Show up at Christmas #3 – aunt’s house
  6. Help make Christmas dinner, hang out with cousins, open presents, rush out to get to the next christmas
  7. Show up for Christmas #4 – mom’s house again, with step brothers and niece
  8. Open presents (letting your niece open all of hers before anybody else opens anything)
  9. Get worn out and head back to dad’s to sleep.

Whew. And that doesn’t include the  fifth Christmas that we normally have. The one where we go back to our dad’s house and say hi to our family who always comes over for Christmas dinner there. There just wasn’t enough time this year. I think it might have worn me out beyond return if I’d had any more “Christmas cheer.” It was pretty exhausting, but I’m so glad that I saw the family that I did. Maybe next year I will have Christmas over two days instead of wearing myself out all in one day. We shall see.

I hope your holiday season, no matter what holiday you celebrate, was full of love, family, and compassion.

What are our favorite holiday traditions?

Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings – Zuzu, It’s a Wonderful Life


Powerful Images Of 2011

As part of my morning news ritual, I always go on my phone first and look at the articles that are listed as the morning’s top stories. I then bookmark them, move to my computer, and read the news stories that get sent to my e-mail account. One of the stories I saw this morning caught my eye, but then I got distracted and didn’t have a chance to read it.

When I got home from dinner with my step mom, a friend had posted the link to that exact story on my Facebook wall. I’m so glad that she did. Not only did I get the chance to read the article: The 45 Most Powerful Images of 2011 published by BuzzFeed, but I was blown away by the impact each of the images made on me.

Now, you probably don’t know this about me because, well, this is only the fourth (?) post on my blog, but I really like to take pictures. I believe that pictures can convey emotion and say so much that an article or even a video can’t. It’s so powerful to look at a photograph and feel the strength of whatever emotion floods you when your eyes first scan the image.

As I was scrolling through this photo article, I was flooded with so much raw emotion as I reflected on the biggest news stories and events that occurred during the past year. Not only is it dumbfounding how cruel human beings can be to each other (terrorist attacks, pepper spraying protesters, etc.), it is also amazing how much love pours out for that same exact race (gay marriage laws being overturned, the dedication of a dog to his fallen owner, etc.) I also find it fascinating, that amidst all that hate, love, and destruction, something always comes along to make us feel small again, unify us in the human race, and put everything into perspective… and no, I’m not talking about Harold Camping’s predictions about the Rapture. I’m talking about the earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, and malnourishment that touches the lives of so many around the world.

My heart sincerely goes out to all the people pictured in the photographs (with the exception, maybe, of Harold Camping… I kid, I kid).

I strongly encourage you to take a bit of time out of your day to look at these pictures. You will not be disappointed. Here is the link again, just in case you missed it before: The 45 Most Powerful Images of 2011


Denmark

My family has a wonderful “little” tradition that started in 2008 when my big sister, Caitlin, studied abroad in a little town in Hungry called Kecskemet. Our parents flew us all out to Hungary for the week of Thanksgiving so that we could visit her. Since then, every time one of the sisters studies abroad, we take the week of Thanksgiving to go visit them. In 2008 it was Hungary for Caitlin, 2009 was Spain for me, and this year was Denmark for KB*.

One of my hobbies is photography. Actually, I think photography is my only hobby. Oh, photography and crafts. But anyway, instead of writing a big long post about our trip, I figured I would show you in pictures. That’s the best way for you to see Denmark through my eyes anyway. I hope you enjoy them 🙂

Hamlet's Castle

Haribo gummies at the Christmas Market

Very interesting photo/butterfly exhibit at the Arkin - a modern art museum.

Super cute houses, boats, and Christmas Market 🙂

Our good friend, Hans Christian Anderson.

Tivoli, the inspiration for Disneyland!

I didn't go on any rides, but I loved this picture. I was messing with shutter speed.

Hand made Christmas ornaments at Tivoli (don't worry, we bought a few).

The Brady Bunch at Tivoli

The sisters ... aren't you jealous of my super cool hat?

Pookie and I at one of KB's favorite cafés

The cheese in Denmark was aaaaaamazing!

Pretty display of flowers - there are displays like this all over Copenhagen

Those are some of my favorites. I know there aren’t very many of people, but I generally like taking pictures of scenery and objects and flowers than of people (I always get the lighting all wrong on people).

*Note: KB is the name that Caitlin puts on her blog for one of our younger sisters. She and I discussed using the same pseudonyms for our blogs, with the exception of a few family members, so that we can maintain consistency. I will eventually do a post to introduce you to my family. It can get a little confusing. 
 
All the photos in this post are my own. Please let me know if you would like to use them. I love hearing comments (positive, or constructively critical) about my artwork.

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