Sunday, December 26, 2010

In 20 years of life, this is my first...

White Christmas!!!!!!!!

I was SO excited!!

It was a little sad because it started snowing after dark and I was exhausted from all the Christmas festivities  (which included, but were not limited to; opening presents like a madman at two different houses, an impromptu photoshoot with mom, loading software, reading books, making my famous mocha icing, and eating part of our annual "Happy Birthday Baby Jesus" cake.). Sooo I reluctantly went to bed and my mom woke me up with "ASHY THERE'S SO MUCH SNOW!!!" Needless to say I sprung from my bed, threw on clothes and went outside to take pictures. 20 minutes later we were on our way to the grocery store. An hour and a half, 4 miles, and about 6" of snow later we were back with the all important 3 cans of cat food, two containers of coffee creamer, a pack of bic pens, and my favorite in the world Bigelow "Eggnoggin" tea. The last two were add-ons to our list once we were in the store. 

I mean come on, how can you pass up new pens and your favorite tea? It simply cannot be done. 

For all who are curious, no Eggnoggin tea does NOT taste like eggnog, but if you add milk and a pinch of splenda it tastes like cinnamon buns. Nom nom!! I need to go buy a couple more packs of this for the rest of the year. Time to stockpile!

In our journeys we encountered about.... 13 cars and 3 other people walking. It was pretty quiet out there because we don't really have snowplows in the area so when it snows even a couple of inches the area shuts down completely. So now that we have a foot and a few inches I'd say we'll be shut down for a couple of days. That means another walk to the store is in order tomorrow! 

Now on to the photos!! (hopefully it'll let me post them because I couldn't post photos last time i tried!)

 Mom's pretty roses

 I had to! 


Poor tiny little mommy in the snow... hah

I had such fun today! How about you guys?? Is it snowy where you are?


Friday, December 24, 2010

11 things I need and don't.

So, as 2011 is approaching, I decided to make a list of 11 things I do and 11 things I don't need in my life for 2011. 

Things I DON'T need in my life for 2011:

1. Self-animosity: I mean seriously, there's one thing I think we can all use less of. I feel like I think I have good qualities and such, but I really struggle with this one. I never feel like I'm enough, I'm not sure what I'm judging myself against, but... I do. Mostly I struggle with issues about my weight. I'm not fat, I have friends who wear the same size as I do and I definitely don't think they are, and I have a waist as small as most of the girls I know who wear 2-4 pant sizes smaller than I do, but I'm not comfortable with myself. I don't even wear tank tops or shorts in the summer for goodness' sake. This is something I really need to change, because I'm sick of thinking about it. 

2. Failures: I feel like I fail a lot. Mostly in the sense that I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to do something as well as other people, so I give up. This kinda goes back to the weight loss thing too. Whatever the issue, I'm not a fan, I need to stop. 

3. Fear: I let fear get the best of me a lot. I had a conversation with my mom about this the other day and she said she "never would have known" that I struggle with it as much as I do. Its easy for me to put on a happy face and keep going, but on the inside, fear gets the best of me, and I don't want to do it anymore. 

4. Childishness: No, not the whole me liking sparkly things and ice cream, I like that about me. I mean the not checking my bank account for days on end, not picking up my room, waiting a week and a half to do laundry, etc. I'm getting married in 10 months, I need to get a hold of this. 

5. Technology: Yeah, I need some (like... my camera), but I spend so much time on the internet just because I'm bored. Its a bad habit and I need to work through it. 

6. Carbs: Yes. I need less carbs hah. After the holiday parties are over I'm going to try to cut out most carbs. 

7. Stress: Everyone needs less stress, but I need less self-inflicted stress. No more!!!

8. Disorganization: This one kinda goes back to the childishness one, but I sometimes feel like my disorganization (of my room, my purses, and my life in general) is waaay out of hand and its swallowing me. Don't get me wrong, I don't need to be on that hoarding show, I just get busy and the I get messy and then I get flustered and its a bad cycle. 

9. Underestimating myself: I do this a LOT. This goes back to some of the other ones, but really I'm capable of so much more than I think, and I really don't take advantage of that. 

10. Interruptions: I need less interruptions in my personal life, and creative life, plain and simple. 

11. Approval-seeking: There are few people who's approval matter to me enough to strive for it, and I need to remember that. 

Things I DO need in my life in 2011:

1. Time for myself: I'm so bad about this. I need to spend more me time, and not like me being lazy, but me thinking and taking care of myself. 

2. Good health: I need to start working out everyday again and eating right, its important and sometimes I forget, but... I have a wedding dress to fit into in 10 months, I better get cracking early! 

3. A happy marriage: Yay! I can't believe I get to say that! That's so exciting!! 

4. Creativity: 2010 kinda sucked for that. Art is such an important part of my life, and I need it to be again. NEED. 

5. Love!!: No one can ever have too much, right?? And to the right recipients, no one can ever give too much either!! 

6. Magic: I was pretty good about this in 2010, but in 2011 I want to look for the magic in the everyday even more! 

7. Courage: SO important. I feel like by having the courage and faith to live how I want to, so many of my things I don't need in my life will be gone. 

8. New hobbies: I don't really have much time for hobbies, I used to be an avid reader but I don't ever have the time anymore, and I probably still won't have the time until the summer, but gosh how fun would it be to have a hobby like... bird-watching or... poi or something?? 

9. Hula hoops: Well I don't literally need more hoops in my life as I have 3 big ones and a pair of mini-twins, but I need to make it an important part in my life again. I need to pick that hoop back up!! It makes me so happy and its such a fun talent to have! 

10. General awesomeness: One of my best friends has possibly the best outlook on life. She's awesome and she knows it. And not in like a pompous way, but she knows she's good at things and she knows she's pretty and she's not one to brag about it, but if you pry and ask her, she'll admit it. I think its such a great way to live, to realize just how awesome you are! I want to be like that :) (and no she's not even kind of a jerk and I have no intentions of being on either!!) 

11. Memories: I don't remember what it was I was watching, but a while ago I was watching something where there was a little boy who kept asking someone to go make memories with them, and by that he meant taking pictures while they were together. I love that image. I think I did well for 2010, I have so many memories that will never go away, and I made sure I documented them (engagement, Japan, etc) but I want to do that even more this year and although this year will be special no matter what because we're getting married, I want to make sure every year after this one is memorable enough that I can go back in 30 years and say "2010, that was the year that...""In 2011 we...." "Oh! And 2012 was special because..." and have the photos to prove it!! 

What sort of things do you need more or less of in your life??

Love you kitties! Have a wonderful Christmas!! I hope yours is full of love and family and God!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Best birds!

So Aric is making me do this. 
Like he's holding me at gun-point. 
For reals. 

Okay... not really. 
But he is making me do this. 
Today its time for a special blog post called "Ash's best bird of the day" where we discuss the lives of our favorite bird in a photo we've taken. So here we go. 


(help me!!!! he's making me!)

Meet Violet the cardinal. 

Violet spends her days bussing her baby birds to and from soccer practices, ballet rehearsals, and the occasional birthday party at the skating rink. 

Today she had the day off because Mr. Bird was home sick from work, so he offered to watch the chicks. 
She went and got her talons painted with her bffs, she got some last minute shopping done for the holiday season of festivities and lights. (Aric added that last part...) And she worked out at the local bird-gym. Finally afternoon was upon her and she took in the last few rays of the sun before heading back to the daily grind. 

The End!!

I will finish this post with informing you that we are not on any form of substance other than sugar cookies and lack of rest. 

Merry Christmas everyone from Aric, Ash, and the best bird of the day, Violet! 


p.s. these cookies kinda rock. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

I slacked again.

Once again I haven't posted in a while. Go me... 
I am SUCH a slacker sometimes. 
In my defence though, I just finished my finals sooo.... maybe I'm in a the clear? No? Nobody? 
Yeah... I didn't think so either. 

So, its the holiday season, and I want you to know I'm very much so avoiding the urge to quote one of the many christmas songs stuck in my head. Be glad!

Soooo, as I said I just finished up with my exams and did well. 3 semesters left until I graduate from college!! One semester and a summer until I get married! And one semester left for my guy. I know he's going to be glad to be done with school, this last year has been a rough one for him. That means he's going to be quitting starbucks, which I know is a sad thing, but at least we're one step closer to getting married and having our own place!

I'm glad to get to rest over break and focus more on photography than I have been. Lately its been like "oh i need a picture for class." snap. "there's we go." kiiinda lame. So I'm super excited about that. And I only have to work two days this week because technically I'm not supposed to be working this week anyway. Yay for working at school!!

Also I'm going to "Christmas town" this week, which I'm super excited about. I wanted to go last year and I didn't so.... yeah way excited. Carolers, christmas lights, penguines, santa?? How much better can it get?? Not much, that's for sure. 

So I guess on with the photo! 
It snowed the other day (it hardly ever snows here) so Jess and I took a break from work and went out to play in it!!

Does it snow where you live? Do you like snow?


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Well goodness me...

"Well goodness me, they seem to be letting all kinds of trash into decent people's houses these days..."

So.... sorry about that. That particular quote is completely stuck in my head right now since its from the play we've been working on for the past couple of weeks and... since tonight is the last night I thought it would be appropriate to get it all out of my system. 

So, moving on! 

Today for class our prompt was "the view from here", so...I posted two pictures. One of some pretty berries I saw, and another of Daniel looking at the first snow of the year!

Next on the list, I'm taking part in the reverb10 "movement" and today's prompt was "letting go". It asked what things we let go of this year. 

That was kind of a tough one for me. 

I let go of a lot of things this year. Emotionally I let go of a couple of things. I let go of a lot of "I can't"s and a lot of "I'm not _______ enough"s. 

I'm definitely still struggling with that last one. On a daily basis I run though plenty of "not ____ enoughs." Not skinny enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not whatever enough. I'm starting to get over some of them and realize that with others that maybe I need to change the way I'm doing things if its that big of an issue to me. 

Another thing I let go of this year wasn't something I wanted to let go of... my grandpa. He was an amazing man and he really was so inspirational to everyone he met. I can't even being to describe how great he was. I miss him terribly, but I see things every day that remind me of him, so it makes things better. 

What have you let go of this year?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Oh what a tangled web we weave...

So, day 4 of "Picture the Holidays" is upon us. I'm going to be sad when this class is over. (Which is why I'll be taking Picture Winter right after.) 

Today's prompt was "key". It asked when our "soul-cure" was for when we are getting down in the dumps to too busy to notice anything. The thing I chose as my soul cure was trying to find the beauty in the most unexpected places. 

This is one of my favorite pictures I've taken all year. It was actually a photo from Japan which kinda makes me feel like I cheated, but at the same time I did in fact take photos today, and Japan definitely has the key to my heart, so maybe its okay. 

Speaking of Japan, I can't even begin to tell you just how much I miss it. I most definitely left my heart there. And no, its not just the shopping or the food, its just such a beautiful country full of beautiful people. Japan, I love you and miss you. 


What has the key to your heart?

Friday, December 3, 2010

All you need is love.

So, I'm taking part in the "Picture the Holidays" class over at Big Picture Classes (see the pretty new icon in my side-bar?), and today's prompt was love. 
So, in the spirit of love I donned my favorite (and recently neglected) pair of heart-shaped glasses and went to town. 

I've been really liking out of focus desaturated photos lately. Nooot really sure why. Oh well. 

I'm going to try to keep up with the prompts for December over at , we'll see how that goes... so... today's prompt was to pick the moment I felt most alive this year and fully describe it. So, here goes...

My moment was definitely when Aric and I went to Williamsburg a few weeks ago. We love Williamsburg, but we never get to go so its always such a treat. We spent the whole day there (after furniture browsing at World Market that morning.) and had a nice dinner, but that night was just glorious. It was a dark, dark night. I wish I could say it was dark and stormy just because its more dramatic that way, but it was just a nice clear dark night. Regardless, we went to the candy store and bought candy apples (my first one ever) and we walked around the colonial area in the pitch black, listening to ghost tours and the rustling leaves. We sat outside the huge church and listened to a concert that was going on inside, eating our candy apples until we were sick of them. The air was crisp and cool and it smelled like autumn, it was by far the perfect moment. Then again, I feel like most moments with him are the "perfect moment" when I look back on them. 

Do you guys have any favorite moments from this past year?

xoxoxoxo Ash 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Responsibility as an artist?

Okay, so just kidding I guess I'm not done posting for the day like I thought I was. 

So I wanted to get this all out and down before I forgot it again...
Today in my improv class my teacher was quoting our papers on how our faith and improv interscect and one of the papers said (and I'm paraphrasing this because I forgot the exact wording):

"As an artist you have the responsibility to bless others with your creativity." 

Now there's a thought, huh? 
Personally I had never even once thought of it that way, but it was absolute brilliance. I'm like... tempted to get this tattooed on my body so I never forget that sentence.
It hit me like a ton of bricks. 
(And here's where I get kinda preachy...)
Some Christians are charged to go out and preach the Gospel, some want to help their churches by being super involved, some want to go to foreign countries and help build cities, and while all of these are important to me, none of them seemed like my passion and I've struggled with that for a while wondering if there was something wrong with me, but today I realized there isn't. God gave me creativity because I am to bless others with it, not simply for my own amusement. 
And honestly even if you're reading this and not a Christian this totally applies to you too. You were given creativity for a reason, so share it!!

Another thing interesting in that lecture was that he said that being creative, regardless of your field, is the human parallel to my all time favorite words in the Bible:

"In the beginning, God created..."

My professor went on to say that creating is the closest we'll ever get to see to that "light, be." moment. 

How do you guys feel about that, have you ever thought about it that way?

"light, be."


Reframing the holidays.

Okay, so today was day 2 of my photo class and the prompt was "reframing the holidays". It was to make us look at things differently than normal so... being that I'm back on the horse working the show at school, two of three of my unusually framed images are from the stage. 

Christmas tree from backstage behind the window.

On stage.

Christmas tree. 

How are your holidays going so far?


p.s. Sorry I'm boring tonight! I'm super tired. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas bells are ringing...

Hey guys! 

Happy December 1! You know what that means, Christmas is only a few weeks away. I've definitely tried to stay ahead of the present-buying game this year, I think I have about 2/3 of what I'm buying bought. Yay! How are you guys doing on that front?

I started a holiday-themed photography class today run by Tracey Clark of the Shutter Sisters blog she's definitely in the hero category for me, so I'm excited. 

Today was day 1 of the class and the theme was "Gratitude" so I decided I was grateful for sleepy kitties in winter!

I love my kitties :)

Also, I've become obsessed with bokeh lately. Like. OB-SESSED.

In other news, the weather is super weird here right now. Its cold one day and then rainy and humid and warm the next and then freezing the next day. Oh gosh. So today is the rainy humid day. I'm not a fan personally... how is the weather where you live?