Thursday, July 28, 2011

Make Moves

Where to begin? Maybe with a "Hello, long time, no see."
Eleven days.

I have so many things to tell you about those eleven days and unfortunately, little to no pictures to accompany them. I've been so overwhelmed that even Instagram feels out of reach. My rebel? You're kidding.. right? I did get my camera bag out the other day, though.

Small steps.

Who am I trying to fool.. my life has been anything but small steps these days.

Last weekend, I found an apartment online.
I went to see it the next day.
The next day, I signed a lease.
This weekend, I moved in.
Now? I've been living on my own for five days.
I've been meaning to take pictures of the place but hey, small steps.
Besides, it's still missing a few things.. like a table and chairs.

If I never have to move again, it will be too soon but we all know how unrealistic that is. I did learn a few things though - one, ask for help. Two, don't live on the third floor. Three, don't move on the hottest weekend of the year. Four, buy your air conditioner first. Five, just don't move. Seriously. Moving sucks.

But now, I'm settled. Lamps have been plugged in, curtains have been hung, meals have been cooked, dishes washed, laundry is finally done. It's starting to feel a little bit less overwhelming and a lot more relaxing. Who knew that eating cereal on your couch alone at midnight could be so fun? Or that a five minute drive to work would be so liberating?

Now, I have an extra hour a day. I'm going to use it to go to the gym.. cooking for one is hard.
But, for now, that's all the extra time I have to blog.
I'm going to sign over my new car but more about that later.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

I've always had an affinity for blackbirds - namely from the Beatles song. Lately, I feel like I'm living it. In three weeks time, my life has changed completely. I feel incredibly blessed, excited and above all else? nervous. Three weeks ago, I wasn't sure how to move on. Now? I'm in the process of apartment hunting, car shopping, and class scheduling at a new school... at the same time.

If you've been wondering why this poor space has been so under appreciated lately - there is your answer. But I promise, I have a lot to share.

After all, in the midst of all of the above - my life is filled with countless hours of work, menu design, spending time with friends near and (unfortunately) far. Plus, I've been thrilled to have my own photography jobs coming in like the fun couples session I shot with Lindsey and Ben, a shoot with a fellow photographer for his website, and another upcoming senior portraits session.

Photography has provided me with much needed stress relief. And outdoor shoots of my own, and at DAT, has even provided me with a bit more of a tan... as my season pass for the pool sits unused in my wallet. Oops. Still, taking a few hours to shoot portraits of great people is always more relaxing than a day at the side of the crowded pool and when those people are friends? It's even better.

If you'd like to see all of their portraits, you can watch a slideshow here!

I did manage to take a mini-break Thursday for a good night with a good friend before my packed-to-the-brim Friday. Somehow I worked a lunch shift, did my laundry, shot Todd's photos, went on my first motorcycle ride and ate dinner with my entire family, Tony, my Uncle Larry from Texas and Todd at Texas Roadhouse, another first.

And just when I thought that was a busy enough day? I came home from dinner to put away laundry, work on a photo edit and pack to leave first thing in the morning for a much needed weekend of retail therapy and girl talk with my best friend. The only bad part.. the fact that four hours and $35 worth of turnpike tolls separate us. And we never get more than a day or two together. Truth be told, the twenty four hours together is well worth the 8 hours of driving and turnpike tolls any day. Plus, I scored quite a deal of "really skinny" dress pants at GAP.. $4.50. Seriously.

Between all these busy days, I really haven't slept much & as it's getting late - that's all for now. Don't worry though.. a full week of apartment visits, car inspections, Millersville visits and fun plans awaits. I'm sure you'll hear all about it, soon enough.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Yes, I'm alive.

Today, maybe barely.

The summer heat is wearing me down as I shuffle from job to job with a lack of sleep between shifts. Coming home from vacation has found me busier than before I left - and has found Pennsylvania much more humid. By eight a.m, I'm dreaming of snow cones.

Today, has been a full day.

For whatever reason, the Blue Heron has been the place to be over the past twenty-four hours. A fifty-plus reservation dinner last night to packed lunch this morning - with a few hours of sleep and an all-too-early wake up call between.

After managing through that and inhaling Amy's gluten-free Mac&Chs (comfort food, yes) - I did manage to give myself an hour break to sip an Iced Chai and prepare for a couples portrait session while stealing internet from my favorite place, Starbucks.

Eventually, I forced myself to get up and make the drive to Ben's hometown where I was lucky enough to photograph my good friend Lindsey, before she and Ben leave for college. Thankfully, the sun was a little lower in the sky and the breeze kept the heat at a manageable level. Here's a little sneak peak of photos to come:

Today also brought big, bittersweet news: I was accepted to Millersville for the fall.
But that is tomorrow's decision.

Look forward to a few posts this week about silly things like zucchini bread, photo shoots, fall plans, apartment hunting & whatever else July shoves my way. All before a last-minute-spur-of-the-moment-oh-so-needed mini-vacation to Pittsburgh for a weekend with my best friend.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Missouri Loves Company

And thankfully, so do my grandparents.
But today, they're probably the most thankful that the company has finally gone home.

Typically, leaving for your destination is one of the biggest parts of the adventure when going on vacation. For us, coming home was much more event-filled, despite having to run to catch our plane leaving PA. On the way back to Harrisburg, we experienced many more issues.

It stormed.
We got lost on our way to the airport.
We manage to take the bus to the wrong terminal.
Apparently, United and Continental aren't really one in the same.
We finally make it to our flight, with ten minutes to spare.
We arrive in Cleveland and are directed to the wrong gate.
We make it to our gate to the news that our flight is delayed almost two hours.
They don't have a flight attendant.
They find a flight attendant.. eventually.
An old lady tries to come through security with a dead mouse in her suitcase. Oops.
We finally board the tiny plane.. which required walking outside to do.
Our flight attendant looks like Kurt from Glee.
And I'm sitting next to the killer from the Lovely Bones.
And eventually, we make it home.

But drama or not, the trip was worth it. And for many reasons...

We visited my eighty-eight year old great grandmother - Grammy Hammy, for short. A crazy old lady who stuffs everything important to her in her bra.. except for her teeth. She keeps those in her pocket. Yes, really.

My grandma was worried about my dads hat and wether mice had made the holes. When we told her that he bought it that way, she laughed and got out a hat of her own. Not only is it pink.. it lights up. And, she got it at the Missouri State Fair. Which, apparently, is a big deal.

If you can't tell by the faces, my grandma is a pretty funny lady.
And she's full of advice.

Advice on marriage.
Advice on clothing choices.
Advice on physical "thurapy."
Advice that everyone was dying to hear.

And, she sleeps in that recliner.

I got to meet many relatives for the first time, or to see them after many years. I was so thrilled to meet my Uncle Rob & Aunt Lindsey, even if they found the entire Lake family experience to be a bit overwhelming. And I was so excited to see my Aunt Sarah and Aunt Cathy after so many years. And while I may have seen Uncle Bob, Aunt Kim, Aunt Becky, Aunt Amy and Uncle Larry just two years ago - two years is far too long.

We visited family members who couldn't be with us anymore.

We got to show Aiden where dad grew up - or what remains. Somehow, my dad has lived through three house fires. After his house burned, this barn was all that remained. Every time we visit Missouri, we drive through the little (tiny) town of De Witt to see it. 

We rode four wheelers. 
And in dusty pick up trucks.

We ate dinner as a family. Many times on the deck of grandmas house. Once at the park. And once, we braved a restaurant with 25 of us. Poor Becca. Somehow she managed to serve us all hot (and correct) food, all at once.

While we waited, Sarah read Grandma Hamblen her horoscope according to Glamour.

And Grandma informed me that Giorgio Armani is definitely not attractive.
Boy does he make great cologne, though.

We played with fireworks. Real fireworks - one's that leave the ground. Ones with a real worry of danger. But, we also played with sparklers because, everyone loves a good sparkler.

But more than anything, we enjoyed doing a whole lot of nothing. Sometimes, it's nice to be in a place without city lights, shopping malls or a whole lot of traffic. It's easier to relax in a town where everyone drives 20 mph and has to do all of their shopping at the local Walmart.

But for now it's back to East Coast worries. It's time to get back to work with a full schedule Monday - Friday. I've got a bag to unpack, laundry to do, and a room to clean. Not to mention, my car is acting up and is due for inspection next week. Plus there are CDs to burn and photos to order and more senior portrait sessions coming up. And on top of it all? I have a cold. 

At least it's the weekend.