Monday, September 30, 2013

a girls weekend. (plus nick)

 "wouldn't life be perfect if... goodbyes only meant until tomorrow."

this weekend, on her way home from a week-long beach vacation, my mom planned a weekend-long layover at my house. my sisters both drove in to visit, and it just so happened to be the same weekend that the hubs had planned a boys-weekend in Buffalo, so we had ourselves a girls-weekend. with nick.

we visited the topiary gardens, and we picnicked, and we went apple picking, and we made and ate an apple pie, and we made applesauce, and we played sequence, and we went out for brunch, and we shopped for my sister's new house, and we almost finished a little project, and we just hung out and had an absolutely wonderful time, and i only took 22 pictures the whole weekend.

i've heard people say that it is important to not view your life through a camera lens. that it is important to put your camera down and just be in a moment instead of documenting it. i guess i kind of did that this weekend - but only because my camera battery died early in the day and i don't have a phone that can double as an acceptable backup plan.

i managed to take 11 pictures, somewhat carefully spaced to maximize my battery life, before my camera was completely drained. so once it was dead, i stowed it in my purse and made up my mind to just rely on my mom and sister for pictures. but i wasn't entirely happy about it.

i wanted to take my own pictures. to capture the days from my own perspective. i felt a little bit sad and cheated that my own oversight and my dead camera battery took much of that opportunity away from me.

without my camera, i spent time marvelling over fish in ponds, searching for blue flowers, picking apples (lift, twist, pull!) and laughing so so much with some of my favorite people, and i vowed that as soon as i got home i would charge my battery and do better at picture-taking the rest of the weekend so that i could easily remember these moments with my sisters together and my neice and nephew at 6 and 4 and my mom at [REDACTED] and all of us all together in one place.

but then once i got home and charged my battery, i only took 11 more pictures the whole weekend. none of them had my mom in them. i only have a picture of one of my sisters. its a great picture of a sweet moment, but you can't even see her face in it. i took zero pictures of the faces of my mom and my sisters during an entire weekend that we spent together.

but i do have 2 pictures of the homemade apple pie a la mode.

so what does that say about my priorities?

i'm almost certain that i am overthinking this, because everyone just left this morning and i miss them all terribly and my house is so quiet and empty. but quite honestly, i don't think i have the right balance quite yet between experiencing moments and documenting them. because i had a wonderful time this weekend and i enjoyed every single minute and we laughed a lot and we made some fantastic memories... but i'm kind of disappointed that i don't have many pictures of those memories... no memory joggers to look back on later.

so i guess we'll all just have to get together again soon and do it all over again. and let's remember to get at least one group picture next time, mmkay?

Monday, September 23, 2013

apparently september is almost over.

i dont know what it is about this september, but i have not been interested in blogging about it at all. i dont think its for lack of things to blog about, because i have plenty of that: we've kept busy with a birthday party, a new workout regimen (ok its just p90x again), a new meal planning system, fun projects, a trip to longwood gardens, a crab feast with friends, another birthday party, tattoo touchups, and even a surprise garden update. september has been very good so far.  
enjoying the last days of summer at longwood gardens last sunday.

and yet. there are no words about it. no neat little record of the details stored here for me to look back on later. barely any reassurance to my mom that we are alive and well. just a couple posts lamenting my lack of time/energy/desire to blog anything. so i guess that's just how this month will go down in internet history and be remembered by me for years to come - September 2013: the month i didnt feel like documenting.

Friday, September 13, 2013

glory rays.

"...and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord..."
Exodus 16:7a

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

astronauts, birdseed, and moose.

as the title might suggest, there is no real rhyme, reason, or cohesive thought that holds this post together. it is what it is. because remember that one time i mentioned that July was kind of crazy-awesome-busy? take that, extend it by a few weeks, pack just a little bit more into each weekend, and that's kind of what my August felt like too. and honestly-it kind of wrecked me.

action camp ran straight into a beach vacation dumped us back into craziness at work interrupted by weekends of bonfires and a wedding and then sisters weekend with a quick turnaround into more big work meetings all capped off with a western week of camping and family fun.

ugh. i'm exhausted just reading all that.

each and every day had its own something special, and i kind of just want to wrap myself up in the memories and never, here's some pictures of august? with maybe a little bit of commentary but maybe not a whole lot? here goes.

action camp was space-themed this year, because when we LOOK UP to the heavens, we should be AMAZED BY GOD. i tried my best to convey God's grace, glory, and might to my young charges as much as i could, but i think i spent most of my time saying "please sit down, i'm so glad you have a dog, put your shirt back on, don't climb on that, come back here, who needs a bathroom break, simon says put your hands in the air! now is not the time for turbo speed, where are your shoes?"

i was the group leader for the green team, which was obviously the best team. here are some of us pretending to be big gorillas while we waited between stations. the rest of the team is either a) confused, b) oblivious, or c) totally pretending not to know these weirdos.


mmm... beach.  
we were only at the beach with Mark's family for a long weekend, but we did dinner out one night at a restaurant called Sedona. it was a bit more fancy than we were anticipating, but oh my word that food was one of the most delicious, delightful, dareisay thrilling things i've ever eaten.
(ps have i mentioned how delightful this fish tasted? let me just tell you one more time. DELIGHTFUL)

mark and i have not always agreed on what constitutes proper dress code for certain events: church, cookouts, funerals, weddings, etc. so i was mentally preparing myself for the inevitable "will you please just wear a tie this time?" fight, when Mark surprised me by saying "i think i'll wear a suit."
most tame, un-messy cake cutting ever. these guys are adorable. also: fantastic dancers.
 the newlyweds stopped by our house to change before they left for their honeymoon, since we live approximately 0.2 miles from the reception venue. mark took it upon himself to clean the extraneous birdseed off their car so that "massive bird attack" was not any part of their wedding story.

out of the three days we spent at my sister's house, i only have pictures of one part of one day. i documented the part where we hiked 3 miles to see the fire tower in Cook Forest. i did not document the float down the Clarion River, or the bonfire dinner, or the midnight toilet paper Walmart run, or church in the morning, or the tour of what may or may not be stasi's new house. so many exciting things!


i took this picture one day at work. on this particular day, i started my day in the Maryland office, attended a meeting in Delaware, hiked several miles of overgrown trail, and then drove to the York office for my fantasy football draft. 1 company, 3 offices, 3 states, 1 day. that was a good day.

two days later, i was on a plane. i took 23 pictures out of the plane window as we made our descent into Salt Lake City. the landscape just kept changing so drastically, and i was amazed by it.

we saw a moose while we were out west. this was the first picture i took of it, when i thought that this was the best shot i was going to be able to get.

i thought it was just going to quickly retreat back into the woodline, but instead she wandered down closer to the lake.

MUCH closer, in fact. and then, she just wandered her way along the path around the lake. after mom and dad brought the tandem kayak back in, mark and i took a spin and caught up with the moose at the far end of the lake, where we sat and watched that awesomely giant animal just chill by the lake until she wandered back up into the woods. so cool.

i'm thinking about just running away to the mountains. living off the grid. cooking all my food over a fire and sleeping in a tent. as long as said mountains are within walking distance of a bathroom and i have occasional access to a grocery store, i could totally do it. want to come with me?

my mom would come with me. she loves me, and she loves the mountain, and she feels the same way about the necessity of bathrooms and a grocery store. we would be unstoppable.

i'm not allowed to say much about this photo, or post any of the other ones i took of my mom's super secret project. but keep an eye on her blog for the next few days/weeks/months for the reveal, because you're not going to want to miss this one.

this was the worst part. getting back on the plane to head home. i briefly contemplated initiating a one-woman sit-in in the backseat of my mom's car so i wouldnt have to leave. although getting to board the plane from the tarmac did have kind of a rockstar-esque feeling to it, which was pretty fun i guess.

like i said, i am really wishing i could keep August around a little longer, but its probably better that i actually try to move on a little bit because september? (no WAY can it already be september!!) is starting to look like its just going to be more of the same: crazy. awesome. i can't wait!