Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Photo Challenge: Day 14

“Letting go has never been easy, but holding on can be as difficult. Yet strength is measured not by holding on, but by letting go.”
-Len Santos

Day 14 (05/31/11): A photo of whatever you please.
At 2:45 this afternoon I walked away from the school I've taught at for two years. I waved good-bye to good friends who I will truly miss. I packed my car with the last few mementos from my teaching experience. 

I'm not really sure where I go from here. I hear that we may be moving out of state (note the sarcasm!), but we're still waiting on a date, so it doesn't feel quite real yet. I have applied for a couple of design jobs in South Carolina, but have heard nothing back. I have itty-bitty dreams of freelancing full-time, but I have no idea where to start. 

I’m putting on a strong fa├žade, answering inquiries with “We’re excited to take this next step in our lives,” and “I’m confident that this is moving me where I need to be.” I'm trying to take it easy and enjoy these first few days of summer vacation. But I'm much better at being nervous and scared than I am at being patient and go-with-the-flow.

Photo Challenge: Day 13

"There are 3 key things for good photography: the camera, lighting and... photoshop."
-Tyra Banks

Day 13 (05/31/11): A photo edit that you like.
Would you believe that this image started life as two separate photos? I started photo-shopping photos back in high school. (Callie, remember those photo collages where you got buddy-buddy with Joseph L.?) In places where a tripod and timer just won't do the trick, it's a skill that has come in handy. The image above is concocted from two photos at the beginning of our first hike at Mount Rainier.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Photo Challenge: Day 12

"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself."
-Joseph Campbell

Day 12 (05/30/11): A photo experimenting with bokeh.
Happy Memorial Day! I'm so proud to live in the home of the free and the brave. Sending out heartfelt thanks to the many men and women who put their lives on the line daily to protect and serve our country. Thank you!

[By the way.... if you're unsure of the term "bokeh" (as I was when I started this challenge), then take a look at these awesome examples. The term simply describes that awesome photography style of blurring the background. Rob is really good at this, in fact, he took the photo above at the Seattle Zoo last summer. He'll have to teach me!]

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Photo Challenge: Day 11

"[We] live with our heels as well as head and most of our pleasure comes in that way."
-John Muir

Day 11 (05/29/11): A black and white photo.
I'm running a day behind, but only because I've been busy around here, enjoying these days of "almost summer." Today Rob and I went hiking at one of our favorite local parks (another thing I will miss when we move!). The temperature was warm, but we were dressed appropriately and brought plenty of water. Luckily the path was pretty shaded, too. 

Strange thing though... we were almost the only ones out there enjoying this beautiful day. We hiked almost five and a half miles without seeing a single soul. That is, except for a giant snake sunning himself on the side of the trail about a quarter of a mile in. After that, we upped our tempo and kept our eyes peeled for any of his "friends."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Photo Challenge: Day 10

“Celebrate endings – for they precede new beginnings.” 
-Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Day 10 (05/27/11): A photo of whatever you please.
The day has finally arrived. The day that I've been waiting for since school started. The last day of school for the students. This has been a tough year for more reasons than one, and I have to admit... I was not the least bit sad to wave goodbye to the buses.

And, after the final bus call, I drove my car up to the bus lanes and started packing my boxes in. The first of many moves I will make this summer!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Photo Challenge: Day 9

"The breakfast of champions is not cereal, it's the opposition."
-Nick Seitz

Day 9 (05/26/11): A photo of something from a distance.
To celebrate awesome standardized test scores and the end of the school year, the seventh grade classes walked over to the park for a giant kickball tournament. Homeroom vs. homeroom. When I wasn't running around trying to corral the girls who were too cool to play, I played catcher for our team, helping them win two out of three match-ups. We got hot, sweaty, and covered in dirt, but it was fun to see these boys in their element... on the field. And, it totally wore them out; they came back into the air conditioning and just laid there for about half an hour. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Photo Challenge: Day 8

"Life beats down and crushes the soul, and art reminds you that you have one."
-Stella Adler

Day 8 (05/25/11): A photo of something close up.
After my students finished their final exam on Monday, I promised them videos for the rest of the week. (Don't even ask me why their finals were scheduled a week before school gets out!) I worked really hard to find videos that were math-related, but still interesting. Yesterday my history of numbers documentary didn't go over very well. Perhaps they're still a little young to get the narrator's dry humor.

I was cautiously excited about today's offering. I rearranged our Netflix queue to immediately ship Between the Folds, a recent documentary that showcases the artistic, cultural, historical, mathematical, and technological aspects of origami. I also offered a stack of colored paper, available for the students to experiment as they watched. Although third period was "too cool" to fold paper and kept telling me how those people "don't have lives," the two other classes were really intrigued. And, creative! The picture above is a close-up of my favorite creation from today: a peacock with a cute little beak.

Btw... I totally recommend both of these documentaries, if you enjoy that kind of thing. I found both of them fascinating!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Photo Challenge: Day 7

"I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert."
-Jason Love

Day 7 (05/24/11): A silhouette photo.
It's a good thing school is almost over because the stress is still making me crazy. And, unfortunately I've come home every evening this week and pigged out. Not good... not good at all. 

However, with just three days left and after corralling wound-up kids all day long, I thought I deserved a M&M Sonic Blast. In the two years that I have driven past Sonic on the way home, this is the first time I've stopped for ice cream. My "bathing suit diet" starts next week!

Photo Challenge: Day 6

"Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world."
-George Bernard Shaw

Day 6 (05/23/11): A photo from a low angle.
As we start thinking about packing up our life and moving to South Carolina, I've been making a mental list of the things I don't want to forget about this (our first!) house. These three very high windows in our bedroom are some of my favorite features. Through these windows, I have watched the seasons change. From the golden hues of autumn and the bare branches of winter to the luscious green leaves of spring and summer. 

More than once I've been awakened by strong storms and watched as the treetops perilously rocked back and forth. And, on Sunday mornings, as Rob takes advantage of sleeping late, I often look out these windows, thanking God for all of the blessings in our lives. Of course, this photo hardly does justice to the magic of these windows. Windows... I will miss you dearly.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Photo Challenge: Day 5

"The best place to seek God is in a garden.  You can dig for him there."
-George Bernard Shaw

Day 5 (05/22/2011): A photo of whatever you please.
"Why didn't we do this two years ago, so that we could actually enjoy the results of our hard work?" This question echoed in our heads as Rob and I spent yesterday and today taming the jungles that we call our flowerbeds. Now this landscape maintenance is simply an item on our "to-move" list. 

However, after hours in the sun, straining our muscles and becoming covered in dirt, we are quite pleased with the progress of our work. The bushes are trimmed, the flowerbeds are weeded, black plastic edging has been laid, and a thick layer of mulch has been spread. We've made two trips to Home Depot, changed our clothes about four times, killed two nests of yellow jackets, and just about completed all four sides of the house. We're about two bags of mulch short, but that will have to wait until next weekend.

Photo Challenge: Day 4

"Despite the gardener's best intentions, Nature will improvise."
-Michael P. Garafalo

Day 4 (05/21/2011): A photo from a high angle.
One of the things that we loved about this house when we bought it two and a half years ago was the landscaped backyard. The steep incline had been professionally designed and topped off with a fountain and these wonderful steps that take you to the top of the hill. I love climbing up those stairs just to look down on our neighborhood.

However, after moving in, we conveniently overlooked the fact that a landscaped lawn needs to be maintained. We're making up for that this weekend.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Photo Challenge: Day 3

"Not all those who wander are lost."
-JRR Tolkien

Day 3 (Photo from 07/01/10): A photo of your favorite place to be.
I thought long and hard about this challenge, and came to the conclusion that places aren't as important to me as the people I'm with. So I decided to tweak the definition of "place." 

If I wasn't here finishing up the last few days of the school year and eagerly awaiting a interstate move, a new home, and a fresh job situation...where would I want to be? Oh, that's easy... I'd want to be on vacation with Rob, wandering up and down the streets of an unknown city. What city? It doesn't really matter. Just as long as it's the two of us. We're quite a match when we're on vacation, each stepping in when the other falls short.

Summer vacation... here we come!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Photo Challenge: Day 2

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."
-Mark Twain

Day 2 (05/19/11): A photo of what you wore today.

Every day this week has felt like a Friday. And, so today, in honor of awful feeling of again realizing that, crap, it is only Thursday, I decided that it would be a jeans day. I mean, what exactly can they do to me? Fire me?!?! At least I paired it with a pretty cardigan and nice shoes. 

You better believe that tomorrow will be a jeans, t-shirt, and tennis shoes day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Photo Challenge: Day 1

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
-James Dean

In anticipation of my 27th birthday (yikes! that sounds old!), I'm going to try to commit myself to this 30-day photography challenge. Seems like a perfect way to capture my world right now. And, if I start today... I'll finish on my birthday.

Day 1 (5/18/11): A photo of yourself.
Each day I treasure the few moments sitting in my car in the school parking lot as I gather my courage to enter the building. The book on cd is still playing as I pin my nametag on, throw my lanyard of keys around my neck, and swipe on a pass of lipstick. I'm still at my best. My hair is still in place. My confidence is high. Today is the day I'm going to take on the world.

With only seven days left of school, there are many things that I'll be glad to forget about this year, but these moments... I will certainly miss these moments.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

So... have you heard?

"Every exit is an entry somewhere else."
-Tom Stoppard

We're moving!!! Last week Rob was offered (and accepted!) a job in upstate South Carolina!! We've been waiting for good news on the career front for awhile. And, finally last week, we heard the news we were anxiously awaiting.

Things will probably move quickly. With the end of the school year quickly approaching (2.5 weeks...you better believe I'm counting!!), we're looking forward to a summer of selling a house, settling in a new home, job searching, and just getting to know a new area of the country.

To-do lists are growing. Worries are stacking up. But, mostly this just seems like an answer to prayers.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Race weekend...

"When we have run, with patience, the race. We shall know the joy of Jesus."
-"I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light," by Kathleen Thomerson (one of my favorite hymns!)

Just four more weeks of school. Just trying to keep my head above water. Just trying to finish the year. But yesterday evening I got a bit of a break. Rob and I have been looking forward to our third annual visit to Athens for the Twilight Crit bike race.

We met up with B, K, T, and O as usual, staked out our spots between Corners #3 and 4, and watched as hundreds of cyclists flew past.

This year was even more exciting for two reasons: 1) I had a cowbell to ring. (I even got a blister on finger from my cowbell! Now, that's dedicated bell ringing!) and 2) one of the guys with whom Rob regularly rides was riding in the big race. Each of the 100 laps, our eyes were peeled for #45 and we were shouting, "GOOOO MIKE!!"

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