new! and also exciting...

So, I've started a new blog.

And I am really excited about it.

It's a photo blog. A new project. A new love. Something to keep/remember/share the opportunities I have had (and hopefully will continue to have!) with photography.

I'd love it if you'd pop over and check it out. (After all, the chances of seeing more frequent updates from me will greatly increase over on the new photo blog!)


long... long ago...

I blogged.

It was so long ago, that it is tough to say who will even read this- or you may ask, why am I even blogging at this point!? It's been so long that I have literally received emails from friends remarking on my lack of blogging. One dear friend sent a message in true concern- wondering if things were okay- since it has been so long since my last post. I even had to think for a while before entering my password to sign in to blogger. It's been a long time.

I am okay. I don't blog too much anymore- and to be honest, I can't say that this is my big return blog. I am not promising a post a week or even a post a month. I am pathetic. Maybe you don't care... but maybe you do.

Reasons? You may wonder...

Reason #1: I am busy. Who isn't? But here's the thing. First and foremost, last time I blogged I was the summer director at the camp. I am still the summer director at the camp. However, now, as the summer director, my job has gotten 8000x busier. The closer to summer... the busier the summer director is. It's a direct correlation that I should have seen coming. And yet, I didn't expect it quite like it would come on (like a freight train rushing toward me at 100 miles a minute. Summer, that is).

Reason #2: Writer's block. This really only comes from my poor time management to my summer director-ness. If I had a better handle on my job, I might think of anything other than my job. However, I have not had a good handle on it. Which equals 100% of my thoughts sent toward summer camp. Not too interesting... nothing to blog about.

Reason #3: Is blogging silly? Don't stone me. This has crossed my mind- it's silly that I have a blog. I have thought "why in the world do I blog? I am not creative, I am not funny, I am not pregnant, I do not have grandkids to flaunt to the distant grandparents, I'm not a missionary, I don't knit or cook... who cares about what I blog about?" I swear, this is not a plea for you to tell me why it matters that I blog... truly. But I have wondered- what am I even blogging about?? So, that's that.

Reason # 4: I have lost my night-owl-like capacities. This is truly the hardest one to reconcile with. I used to pine for sleep. I just could not find the time to sleep. I would be up until the wee hours some nights. Just blogging about the latest things... loving that blogging would get a few things off my chest and then, and only then, would I be more able to sleep peacefully. Now, it's 9:00 and I am just willing myself to stay awake. Is that lame or what?!? And again, not pregnant or with children- just simply a tired old hag that works a little harder than I did before. Not even hard work- I love my work- just a little harder than my 20- 30 hours a week before. Pathetic. So, no time to blog... only time for sleep.

Reason #5: I got a gym membership. It's true. The gym replaced blogging in my life. Literally right after my last post (and maybe a direct result of the fact that my husband had just run a marathon) I decided to get a gym membership. I go, often, with my good friend J-lo here at camp. I so enjoy her company and feeling better (I think?). The funny thing? I have not changed a bit. It's true. I actually go to the gym 4-6 times a week- depending on the week- and I have not lost one single solitary pound. I did not start exercising to lose weight. Truly. I wanted to get my heart in shape. But can I just say- not one pound lost in 4 months?!?! It's fine. It's bizarre and slightly irritating- but again, not why I started working out... so it's fine. But let's be real... I am a woman- and to see that scale move down to a slightly smaller weight wouldn't kill me either!! Okay, I'm done.

So why tonight? No idea. Really. There is nothing of consequence, I have no more time than usual and I am no less tired than usual. I just felt a spark of inspiration and I thought I would go with it.

This may be it for a while. Maybe forever? Tough to say. I cannot honestly say that I feel inspired to end this blog nor do I feel inspired to keep up with it more often. And again, I don't know that you care. I don't know that I care. But, for what it's worth, I still check your blog. It's true-- don't you stop blogging! I love it. I maybe read a few posts in a row on the weekend- unlike when I would check almost daily... you know, back in the day... but regardless, I cannot deny that I like to read a good blog every once in a while. So keep it up.

So what's been going on these last four months? So much. And yet, nothing really at all. But, to sate the palates of anyone who would like to know, even a little, what I've been up to (other than working, sleeping and going to the gym) here you have it!

I have been hiking, or should I say- conquered a mountain-

I went to San Diego to visit Kaley- to eat food and enjoy her company... since her eggo is preggo, you know-

Dear friends got married in the city-

Busy with camp- and the Giant Swing is literally in full swing-

I went on the annual family vacay. Which, was wonderful, but now feels like it didn't even happen. I think I would benefit from a bi-monthy vacation.-

And then, the rapture didn't happen.

And then... My dear friend Sarah is getting married so we had a Bridal Shower (yea, those are personalized couple-cookies- boo-yah! ...sorry, I was quite excited)-
So, that's it. Or all I documented anyway. I hope your last four months have been wonderful... see you in a few, or more than a few... we shall see...


i'm a believer

So, as it turns out, I love Disney World. I have been before... once at age 5 with scarlet fever (true story) and then once when I was in maybe the 6th or 7th grade. It's been a while.

About three months ago our dear Disney-loving friends somehow convinced Ben to run the Mickey Marathon in Disney World. So this past weekend we got on a plane to Orlando to head to Walt Disney World for Ben's (and our friend Dave's) very first marathon. We figured while we were there, why not take advantage of the parks? I was totally excited to be with friends and family for four days... and excited to go to Disney, but not like dying with excitement. I just didn't really remember it from my previous visits. Don't get me wrong, I was sure it would be fun- but I was more excited about the overall experience and time in sunny Florida, not just because it was Disney.

And then. We arrived. And I walked through the magical Disney gates and thought "wow, Disney is awesome".
It was clean, organized, elaborate, over-the-top, happy and magical all wrapped up in one. I don't know, it was just fun being there.
And the rides are good too. Even the lines you wait in to get on to rides are good. Disney just does a good job. See how much fun we're having?

And that Castle... there is just something about Cinderella's castle.

And all of Cinderella's princess friends...

They had fireworks in the Magic Kingdom that far surpassed any 4th of July show I have witnessed. No lie. Also, I am quitting my job and going to Disney to be Tinkerbell- she flies out of the castle during the fireworks show. I hear you have to be small... smaller than my 5'10" stature... but I am ready to reinvent the Tinkerbell wheel. Bigger is better, Tink.

As for the marathon... Let me say, there is really something about the running community. Everyone I talked to who either ran the half or full marathon was just so kind and inspiring. I met a 50 something woman who was completing her 24th marathon. ?!? I don't think the human body is supposed to do that- but I am so utterly impressed. My friend Meghan and I, while waiting for our husbands to cross, we watched as a steady stream of people crossed the finish line. Amazingly enough they were not all young, muscular Kenyans... there were all kinds of people crossing that finish line. Friends holding hands, husbands and wives collapsing into each others arms, almost everyone threw their hands up in a moment of relief and joy to complete it... some limped, some raced across and many sobbed as soon as they crossed that line.

As for Meghan and me? We are standing in the bleachers just crying over these people we don't even know. It was amazing to see them accomplish such an amazing thing- they would cry and we would cry with them. I know, I tend to be a bit of a weepy person anyway, but it truly was amazing. Not to mention, we were proud of our husbands, to say the least.

It was hard to say goodbye to the mouse and his friends. A weekend of good company, a little Disney magic and 70 degree weather in the beginning of January? I would do it again... Next year?...


to the land of enchantment, with a monkey on your back.

You know what is challenging? Creating a playlist of 4 hours of music that is good to run to. I just did that. And it was no easy task...

...because I'm running a marathon! YEAH, right. Okay, no I'm not, but seriously, my husband is running his first marathon, on Sunday! He runs around a field or a gym like a school boy hyped up on sugar and his speed has been likened to that of a gazelle... he's athletic, to say the least. But this is opening a new chapter for him. 26.2 miles of sheer boredom, er I mean, success! Honestly, I am really proud of him. Any time anyone runs any distance I am proud and amazed. Because in the few short runs I have done I know that it is challenging. But a Marathon? Wayyy out of my league (or desire). I know a girl who is half my size and has completed not just one Marathon but multiple. This is somewhat disheartening (to me)... yet amazing! BUT, alas, I will stand by, proud of those I know who run the 4+ hours straight. Crazy. I have an irrational fear that a Marathon is this thing that will kill or greatly cripple those I love- this is rooted in the story I once heard that the "Marathon" was named after a Greek guy who ran 26.2 miles to Marathon, Greece and then dropped dead. Great. So let's all commemorate such a tradgedy by recreating the situation. However, my somewhat more history-saavy husband tells me there is much more to the story than that. Regardless... I pray for safe Marathon running for all.

As for Marathon running this weekend, the runners are my "Stevenspiring" friend (his name is Steven and he inspires me, ergo, Stevenspiration) and my handsome and inspiring husband, Ben ("Benspiration" just doesn't have the same ring to it). And if you're gonna run for that ridiculous amount of time- why not do it in Disney World! If you have to "hit the wall" or you get a "monkey on your back", why not do it while Donald and Goofy cheer you on! That's right, we are flying to visit the mouse and his friends (whom I have not seen since I was about 12 yrs old) where I will enjoy all the parks have to offer and Ben and Steven, (affectionately known as Dave, but now I am just confusing you) will run the Disney Marathon.

Wish us, (them) luck and safe running! I'll just be eating bunches of Mickey Waffles. See you in a few days...



I find myself a little forlorn when Christmas comes to an end. Christmas day finally comes, the celebration is wonderful... and then, like a band-aid, it is ripped away. The radio stations stop playing Christmas music, the gifts have been revealed to one another, and suddenly, my Christmas tree just feels like this dead shrub taking up way too much space in my living room. Depressing, right? I just have a hard time letting go- I love Christmas so much.

Alas! There is one very good remedy for the sad closing of the Christmas season. One week later we get to ring in the new year! Everything begins anew- a fresh year, a fresh start... I love it. It almost entirely melts away the difficult task of packing up Christmas until next year. What makes it even better is the tradition of staying up late to welcome the new year. This tradition, for a night owl like me, is a dream! My friends (and even husband, who feels 9:00pm is an ideal bedtime) stay up late to celebrate! This year, as always- (because people scatter far and wide)- we missed celebrating with some wonderful family and friends-- but we had a wonderful New Year's Eve party with some of the most wonderful people.

It was a fancy attire kind of night...

A friendly game of cards (I did not partake... if it's not "go fish", it's beyond me).

If you look closely... you can see someone caught me taking this picture.

A New Year's smooch...

We enjoyed some delicious food... and some maybe not so delicious food... (I'm sorry G, but it's just too good not to share.)

and friends.

This is "2011" in sparklers! Kind of...

Happy New Year!

A really fantastic night, I'd say! So, goodbye Christmas. I shall miss you. But, I am excited for all that 2011 will bring- both challenging and exciting... from now until the next Christmas season!


advent:: week 4 (merry christmas!)

The other day it snowed here at camp. (I mean, I am sure that it snowed in a few other places too, but nevertheless...) I love snow. I do not love being cold, at all, so I am sure this seems conflicting. But, I figure if it has to be cold sometimes, it had better snow, at least. I just think it makes the cold feel worth it. My favorite is when the flakes are big and fluffy and they seem to lay on the ground slowly. I love how the trees catch the snow in their bare limbs. I love how though the sky is gray and cloudy everything looks brighter with a blanket of white. I get that when you have to drive in it, or shovel it out of your driveway, it is not quite as lovely. But still, I love, love to look at it.

Anyway, the other day at camp when it was snowing I was standing outside in it for a moment with my friend. I told her I loved how peaceful the snowfall was. We both stood for a minute not talking and just looked around. It was silent. Almost eerie. We looked out over the Bay which looked like frosted glass. We saw the snow falling all around us but heard nothing.

It's like the snow absorbs all sounds around you and the snow lays quietly onto itself- not making a sound, unlike rain. I think snow (maybe for some, not all) is so peaceful in that way. For the fourth week of Advent we look at
peace. This is the last week of Advent- leading right up to Christmas this weekend! I think peace is an appropriate thought for this week. I know peace can mean different things to different people. For example, I am talking about the peaceful beauty of snow and maybe you cringe at the thought. That's fair. But for Christmas I think that this week in Advent, it is good to reflect on peace.

We know that Advent means the coming of something- the anticipated arrival of Christ. And finally, this week, the waiting is over. The anxiousness, anticipation even nervous excitement that builds as we
wait, finally comes to a close. Mary and Joseph, the people who heard of the birth and were anxiously awaiting it- they all finally get to experience it. Finally, the baby comes and great, great things, lie ahead.

John 14:27, "
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Colossians 3:15 "And let the
peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful."

Philippians 4:7 "
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Isaiah 9:6 "
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Colossians 1:20 "and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by
making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."

So, in this week of Advent, and as we celebrate Christmas this weekend I hope that we find peace in those words. I hope we find the peace that Christ brings. That he promises. I pray that peace, beyond whatever else, rules in our hearts this Christmas. As Christ came, he brought
hope, love, joy and peace for us all. And I am thankful.

Through the hustle and bustle, the pain heartache and loss, he offers peace to us today, on Christmas, and always.


advent:: week 3

I think we experience a lot of Joy in the Christmas season. I think sometimes life's circumstances may impede our feelings of Joy- trials don't cease just because it is Christmas. But, I do think that there tends to be a good bit of Joy floating around. It is a joyful thing (albeit stressful sometimes) to buy gifts for those you love- to find the absolute perfect thing. It is a joy to receive gifts- the most perfect gift someone put the thought and time into finding for you. There is something that is joyful about having a tree in your house- covered in lights and ornaments you've collected over many years. There is joy in the three radio stations that play all Christmas music, all the time. There is Joy in gathering with friends and family who travel "home" to visit. And there is so much joy in the coming of Christ. Because (I know, if I've said it once I've said it a thousand times) the Prince of Peace has come to save the world.

We sing
Joy to the World over and over this time of year (much to my delight), and I think it does a pretty good job of reminding what really makes this season so joyful:
"Joy to the World, the Lord has come!... Joy to the World, the Savior Reigns...repeat the sounding Joy... He comes to make His blessings flow... He rules the worldwith truth and grace... makes the nations prove, the glories of His righteousness... andwonders of His love."

It is indeed a joyful season today because Christ was born. So, I can just imagine the joy felt when He was born in Bethlehem. The Magi, (or the three kings, or the three wise men) followed a star to find baby Jesus. They followed, and followed, and followed until the star finally stopped over where they could would find Jesus. Matthew 2:10 tells us,
"When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy." Maybe they were filled with such joy because they had finally reached their destination... finally they could stop walking. Maybe. But I also think they were able to rejoice exceedingly because they would finally be able to worship, adore, thank, praise & glorify this baby- this Savior of the World. The next verse in Matthew 2 gives me a pretty good idea of this: "After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him..."

They fell to the ground. I think the joy of their season was found in this child. Their joy was found in being honored and blessed to be able to bow down and worship this tiny little boy- who they knew was the Son of God. How humbling. How joyful. I am in awe sometimes at Christmas when I remember my King, the author and perfecter of life, was born in a manger- and he did it all for you and me. What great love. As I remember that, in this third week of Advent, it brings me joy.