May 1, 2011

Well, 30 Things To Do At 30 is over.  So is being 30.  Sigh.  I’m actually taking it a little harder this year, and I’m a little bit less excited about my birthday.  Perhaps it’s because it came and went without much excitement.  Perhaps it’s because I’m too busy these days to have much fun.  Perhaps it’s due to the lack of available friends.  Perhaps it’s a loneliness combined with stress and too-much-to-do.  Regardless, 31 is less fun than 30.

One of my friends asked me if I had a new list yet.  I’m not gonna lie.  The idea of building a list of 30 more things, or 31 things since now I’m 31, or really just 10 things, it’s just overwhelming.  (see the first paragraph for an explanation on that.)

However. I have a few things that were kinda hanging out at the end of the #30 year that I didn’t finish, and I hope to use those to get going this year.  And hopefully, as I get going, things will start to take shape and this year will be awesome. 🙂  So.  Let’s get started!

1. Watch a movie alone.  I don’t know why this became a big deal, but I have never done this and I really want to!  I kept trying to do it, and just never got it done.  So, it’s still “To-Do”.

2. Roller Derby.  I’m so intrigued by the world of roller derby, and I’m really looking forward to going to see some in real life instead of in a movie. ha!  My cousin informed me that she played some roller derby till she got preggo, so I’m kinda hanging out and hoping that she will be available to go with me.  That way she can tell me how it works!

3. Start up my business. Again.  I own an Amway business, and I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the products.  And I love the people.  I’ve been so blown away by amazing leadership, Godly men and women who want to give people better lives, and a sponsor that has blessed my life a thousand times over.  And I also realize that I need to commit a bit of time to it. Well, I had grand intentions while I was in Colorado, and then I just knew that God was bringing change into my life in a huge way, so I pretty much put this on the back burner.  I haven’t had a chance to do anything but try to learn my new job lately.  But it’s a goal to get myself up and running this year!  (so… let me know if you need any cool stuff, or want to make some extra dough, k?)

4. Cycling.  My sister left her bike in my grandma’s garage.  So I pulled it out and pumped up the tires, and I’ve started riding it.  I’m totally out of shape, so this is good for me but also a challenge.  I have no intentions to start racing or anything, but I want to get comfortable on it, and be able to avoid the outrageous gas prices with all my little local needs.  Ok, so I live in the middle of nowhere, so local is relative.  But my sister is only a few miles away, so I can ride the bike to her house all the time, right?  Anyway, it should be a fun summer.

5. Start a new blog.  Well, for starters, since I’m not 30 anymore, the title of this doesn’t work.  And also, I’ve not given it the attention it needs in the last 5 or 6 months, with all the moving and job starting.  And finally, with all my ranting and raving on here, I think I said much of what I needed to say.  I am grateful to all of you for reading and listening and supporting and caring!

I mentioned a couple posts ago that I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately.  And I’ve been inspired.  I’ve been thinking about how the things that have inspired me might turn into a new blog sometime a bit later this year.  I want to call it “Inspired Amusements”, and I want to use it as a platform to talk about the things that I’m learning or trying, some product reviews, some tutorials, some DIY projects, and more. I haven’t quite developed much about it yet, clearly, but hopefully I’ll make my decisions in a few weeks.  I just need to get past the big Spring event at my job.

So, there it is.  Thank you all, friends, thanks for being so awesome.  Here’s to a new year! See ya.


30 Things To Do At 30 *DONE (#S 26-30)

May 1, 2011

Please see previous posts for #s 1-25.

26. Learn how to crochet hats. (check)  I’ve been crocheting off and on since college, but I’ve been pretty unable to read patterns, so I have been limited to something square.  I’ve made blankets and scarves galore, but nothing with any interesting shape to it.  I once tried to make a hat for myself, but it turned out large enough for a gorilla to wear, so I didn’t try again.  Till this year!  There are some awesome hat patterns out there, and I wanted to make hats for my nieces for Christmas.  My brother’s wife was uninterested, but my sister who has only one daughter took me up on it.  So I made a cute one for niece A.  Then I got creative and made a few for myself!

my niece with the hat and scarf I gave her for Christmas. some of the yarn is sparkly - best ever for a little girl.

this one was my fave.

i love these colors.

27. DIY flower accessory. (check)  I’m trying to get in touch with my creative side.  These awesome flowers have been popping out everywhere.  They’re on bobby pins and headbands, shoe clips, brooches, and jewelry.  They’re easy to make and can be in all different colors.  I have been really into Etsy, lately, and have watched the prices.  I couldn’t bring myself to buy them, especially at their individual price.  But a couple Etsy shops hooked me up with patterns for me to make my own!  I’ve been a little busy lately, so I made one and haven’t gone back to it yet.  BUT, I’m very proud of my one little flower, and I have materials and grand ideas for more!  Sadly, I have no picture for you.  I guess you’ll have to just see it in person sometime! 😉  So, instead of my own pic, I’ll share a sample with you:

this is an Etsy shop photo. i LOVE their stuff.

28. Spend time with relatives that I haven’t seen in ages. (check in progress)  I already mentioned the family in OK a few posts ago.  What I didn’t mention is that I’ve tried to spend time with some of my other cousins!  Unfortunately I haven’t had enough time with enough of them, but it’s a work in progress.  New Year’s Eve with Amber, bowling with Cassie, and we keep talking about a girl’s night out…  Not quite good enough, but it’s in progress.

29. Read a book to a child (check in progress).  I tried to get you a picture of this, but my niece was being quite ornery.  So, alas, no photo.  But I’ve been reading a Nancy Drew book with my niece – just a chapter every week or so.  I think the book might be a tad advanced for her, but she’s getting the majority of the story.  And I’m thoroughly enjoying it – I always loved Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and other mysteries.  But beyond the specifics of the story, I am really just loving the opportunity.  Not having kids myself means I don’t have bedtime stories or anything like that, but I always enjoyed kids books and the few memories of my mom reading to me.  So it’s a real privilege to read to my nieces and nephews on occasion, and even more so to be committed to finishing a whole book with one of them!  Not to mention, snuggles with my niece are just awesome.

30. Start a new job. (check) The grand finale.  Why did I save this till last?  Because this was huge.  I didn’t see it coming, I wasn’t looking for it, and then, all of a sudden, it was happening.  In a matter of mere weeks I was applying, interviewing, traveling, receiving an offer, giving notice, moving, and starting a job.  Crazy!  It was clear that God was directing my steps, but I sure was blown away.  I love what I’m doing, and sometimes I find myself pausing so that I can just soak it in.  I do really miss Compassion, but who wouldn’t – it’s such an amazing organization.  And I love the school where I’m working, and I’m thoroughly blessed and honored that He has asked me to do what I’m doing.

So that’s it.  30 things I did last year!  Next I’ll tell you what I’m thinking about for this year!

30 Things To Do At 30 ~ DONE (#s 21- 25)

April 26, 2011

Please see previous posts for #s 1-20.

21. Work on a sleep schedule. (check. sort of.)  Yeah, I’m not a morning person, but I have to get up in the morning.  It’s a hard life.  So, I wanted to work on building a better sleep schedule.  I fought this all year long, and I’m still not really doing that great, but I am improving.  I’m going to bed around midnight, instead of 2 am, and on weekdays I’m getting up around 630, instead of… um… we won’t discuss that part.  Sometimes I sleep through my alarm, which is sad, and sometimes I can’t go to sleep on time at night which makes 630 am even that much more brutal (how is that even possible?)… But all in all, progress has been made.

What was my trick?  I committed to taking my sister’s kids to school with me in the morning, and they HAVE to be there by 7:55.  Like I said, sometimes I sleep in, so sometimes I call her and feel like a complete and total loser because then she has to wake up the little boys and drive the two older kids to school… But I’m getting better. 🙂

22. Start working on a mac. (check)  This had started out as “buy a mac”, but that hasn’t happened yet.  With all the expense of moving and crowns and root canals…  I decided to put this off for a while.  However, I’m using one at work, and it’s required some adjustment.  I love it, but there is definitely a bit of a transition involved when moving from pc to mac.  But I’m learning, and like I said, I’m liking it!  I’m excited to have my own, hopefully later this year, so that I can do more with my pictures and maybe some video!

23. Do something special for mom. (check)  My family all pitched in on this, although they didn’t know they were participating in my 30 Things checklist!  We threw a surprise retirement party for my mom!  She had no idea and was completely surprised, which is a feat in and of itself for our family – especially with so many kids around.  It was really, really low key, and it was really just for her family.  She didn’t want to do anything real big, so we were careful to keep it small and relaxed.

"congrats, ma!" ~mom in all her glory.

24. Be a bridesmaid in a double wedding. (check)  Yeah, I’ve been a bridesmaid a few times, and lots of women get that opportunity once (or more times) in their lives.  But not many of us get to be in a double wedding!  A very dear friend, Sarah, and her sister, Lizzie, got married in the same ceremony.  It was beautiful, fun, lovely, and celebrated both brides and grooms really well.  I was so, very, truly honored to be part of the day.  And I miss Sarah SO MUCH.  I know she’s busy learning to be a wife, and she absolutely loves being married, but I selfishly wish we could go to Panera and eat broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl at least once a week.

part of both bridal parties

the lovely and beautiful bride, Sarah

25. Go to the opera. (check)  I’ve been Opera-Curious for a long time, but afraid I wouldn’t like it.  A dear friend, Kathryn, is a talented professional singer, and has studied, lived, and performed in London.  She recently moved back to the States and got a spot in Turandot, performed by the Pittsburgh Opera.  And then, as if it were a sign from Heaven, Groupon offered a deal to see Turandot!  Of course, I snatched up a couple tickets, and my mom and I went on a little date!  And we loved loved loved it.  I’m told this was a great first opera to see, because the set and costumes are so bright and colorful, but also because it’s one that has very strong chorus presence.  Apparently most operas have only smaller features of their chorus…  I dunno.  All I know is it was amazing and really rocked my world.  Here’s a tiny little YouTube clip from her performance:

Awesome sound, huh?

More coming soon….

30 Things To Do At 30; DONE (#s 16-20)

April 26, 2011

Please see previous posts for #s 1-15

16. Spoil someone. (check)  This was rather vague, and had no plan attached.  What I ended up doing was going out of my way to make a friend’s day when I was in CO.  She was so happy when I did a few little things for her, that I realized that often it’s not about the extravagant things, but just the little things.  So I have tried this year to take on more of a generous attitude.  So when I meet a friend for coffee, I treat.  When we go out to dinner, I treat.  If I see something that reminds me of someone, I take a picture, or, better yet, pick it up for them.  If I have a few minutes, I go play with a couple wild little boys so my sister can breathe for a second.  The end result?  Lots of smiling and gratitude that I thought of them.  I’m not bragging – I’m actually realizing that I could do SO MUCH MORE than I do now.  So this, for me, although it was vague and simple in nature, has really begun to shape my attitude about blessing and serving other people, rather than being so selfish with my time, energy, and finances.  The trick is to balance: take care of everyone else, and take care of me.  As much as I want to buy everyone I know and love a really yummy dinner, I might have to declare bankruptcy afterwards. As much as I want to always play with my nieces and nephews for my sisters and brother, they wear me out too!  I’m sure this is the kind of thing that we struggle with for all of our lives, but as I keep working at it, I keep finding that those little things can really make someone’s day.  And from a purely self-serving perspective, it’s really awesome when someone returns that surprise-favor.  But from a slightly more self-less perspective?  It’s even more awesome when my tired sister, for example, says, “thank you so much for playing, reading, and entertaining the kids for five minutes.  And thank you for folding those three pieces of laundry.”  And I, puzzled, say, “really? I was only here for six minutes, and look at all the rest of the laundry…” But she is truly thankful, and that touches my heart.

17. eHarmony. (check) Biggest waste of time and money.  Ever.  Ugh.  Ok, hear me out.  eHarmony in and of itself isn’t bad.  I know of people who are very happy with their spouse that they met on eHarmony.  But I also know it isn’t for everyone.  And it was a TOTAL waste of my time.  I did it for a full three months, because I wanted to give it a fair chance and not make a decision after a week.  Honestly, though, my opinion never changed.  I’m not going to waste space on my 30 at 30 recap list explaining that, but feel free to ask – I’m not embarrassed or anything to tell why it wasn’t right for me.  This just isn’t the time or place – too much positive going on to ruin that vibe! 😉

18. Buy a dress. (check)  I actually ended up with 5, and since moving home I’ve dug out another one.  I also built up my skirt collection.  And, get this: I’m actually wearing them!  Especially the LBD.  I love having a comfy go-to dress that I can dress up or dress down.  I have posted pictures in the past, when I wore a dress every day for a week, so I don’t need to post them again here…  I will, however, share with you my latest styling effort with the LBD.  It was just fun!

black dress, worn as a skirt, and lots of fun accessories.

19. refresh my wardobe. (check)  (Although, this may be an unending process which is going to take lots of patience.)  First, I gave a TON of stuff to the Goodwill in CO before I moved home.  Then, when I got home, I went through a lot of stuff again, and I have a few boxes to take and drop off at the local Salvation Army.  Then, I started pushing myself to shop differently.  I have tended to buy the same exact things, just in different colors, for years now.  So I look almost the same.  Every. Single. Day.  I decided that, rather than take this down the path labeled “Buy A New Wardrobe”, I’d take it down the path labeled “Shop Smart”.

What does this really mean?  Several things.  First, I spend more time browsing thrift stores, to look for great bargains.  Second, I’ve learned to put things back that I’m not really totally sure of.  That is good, for the most part, and only occasionally do I regret that decision.  I used to buy with the opposite attitude, and then had a lot of brand new items that I got at a discount price but never wore.  The result?  Too much money spent on unworn things.  Third, I really spend time thinking through how many options I have for wearing something.  For example: How many colors can I partner with this item? Can I layer it?  Can I not layer it?  Can I dress it up?  Can I dress it down?  Does it look like everything else I own? Do I have accessories that will match it?  Fourth, I am learning to accessorize.  I’ve always worn jewelry, but I’m learning how to go bolder with the jewelry, wear more scarves, wear belts for decoration not just to hold my pants up, and wear shoes that are not just the basic black flats.  I am finding different heights of heels, and different styles altogether.  I thrifted some bright yellow (name brand!) heels, and I found a great bargain on some red pointy low-heel shoes and a pair of navy floral heels.  One word: Love.

The other thing I’ve done a lot with in this area is reading blogs.  I mentioned earlier in my 30 Things recap that I follow a lot of blogs these days.  What I didn’t mention is that the majority of them are fashion related.  I don’t honestly care if I totally match the latest runway looks, or if I’m up to speed with what’s going on in NYC (or, better yet, London).  What I do try to glean is the inspiration and the confidence to do new things with what I already have.  I’m learning to be a better Mixer & Matcher, and I’m learning how to pull different accessories out to change a look.  This leads me to my next item to check off the list…

20. 30 for 30. (check – in progress) Not my list of 30 things, but rather a clothing challenge.  There is a fabulous fashion blogger who started a challenge several years ago when she realized that in order to maintain her love for fashion blogging she was just buying a lot of clothes, and that wasn’t helpful.  In short, you pick 30 items out of your closet (not including gym wear, pjs, accessories, and coats, but including shoes!) and those are the only clothes you can wear for 30 days.  (Not the I-just-got-home-and-I-want-to-veg-out clothes, but really just the I-am-headed-out-the-door-for-the-day clothes.)  You mix and match and don’t wear the same outfit twice.  And finally, you don’t buy new clothes at all. I paid $4 to invest in her 10 page pdf, which sounds ridiculous, but it was a life saver.  It explained the rules, provided structure, worksheets, and lots of tips.  And this has been a really interesting month!  It has really pushed me!  I’m not done yet, but I am putting my pictures up on flickr as I go along.  If you’re interested in seeing how I’ve mixed and matched, and my comments for each outfit, let me know and I’ll send you a link.  Ok, so this sounds super corny if you don’t read fashion blogs and realize that this has taking the fashion & style blog by storm.  Why would I bother with this?  Well, I can’t find the exact quote, but I thought it was Kendi (the originator of 30 for 30) who said something like, “I guarantee you could wear the same outfit all week, but no one will notice if you change out how you wear it and how you accessorize.”  I was in the opposite position.  I could wear different clothes every day, and I looked the same, because my wardrobe was full of staple items that all fit the same silhouette.

Ok, why clothes?  Well, first, I’m a girl, I’m allowed to like clothes.  Second, not everything on my list had to be life-changing, right?  And third, I work in a professional position, but I LOOOOOVE jeans.  So I have to figure out a way to bring the world of comfort and the world of business attire into the same world.  Without spending tons of money.  Hence, 30 for 30.  Let me know if you want the flickr link.

30 Things To Do At 30… DONE (#s 11-15)

April 25, 2011

Please see previous posts for #s 1-10.

11. A root canal and two crowns. (check)  Yuck.  I have one more crown to go, and then hopefully my mouth will be under control.  Lesson learned: In spite of an irrational, horrific, overwhelming fear of the dentist, go at least once a year.  Then your teeth won’t need as much help as mine did after what I think might have been a 9 year hiatus.

12. Surgery. (check)  Nothing major, but new – I’ve never had surgery before!  I had this bump on my forehead.  It wasn’t anything harmful, it just looked funny, created lots of questions, and gave me the chance to trick my nieces and nephews.  (ie., I’m so smart my head can’t hold my brains, and they’re spilling into my forehead…)  I was getting kinda sick of the questions, and the “you should really remove that because no one sees anything but that when they look at you and it looks horrible”s, and the fact that even a sweepy-bang look didn’t cover it because it just pushed right through.  What you may not have known, even if you knew about the forehead bump, was that I had two more on my head, under my hair.  Well, one day, one of them started to hurt.  That can be a sign of something dangerous, so I called the doctor, he took a look at them, then scheduled the surgery for all three!  So, when the poultice didn’t work, and I resigned myself to having the forehead-bump forever, I was not expecting this to happen.  And the following week, I was being wheeled into the OR to have my head fixed.  Well, at least the outside of it.  It was relatively simple, I was awake through the whole thing, and the worst part was the noise…  yuck, it still gives me the willies.  Anyway, one surgery down, and three bumps gone, I feel like I’m older and wiser.  Or something…  (Oh, and don’t worry, they were all three benign, so I’m still alive and kickin’.)

pre-surgery. see the little bump peeking out?

this one shows it a little better, with the slight angle.

post-surgery war wound

if you look REAL close, you can just see a tiny little mark. just two weeks later it's almost gone!

13. Stitches. (check) Ok, so this isn’t totally separate from the previous one, but since I’ve never had stitches before, I thought it was worth its own mention.

14. Get my hair colored professionally.  (check)  I should have mentioned this earlier with the “new hair style” one, but I forgot.  So much for the categorizing.  Anyway, I’ve been coloring my own hair for ages – a similar color to my natural shade, just more red.  It started out as “fun”, and became “HELP I have a TON of gray hair!”  So now I do it regularly.  Well, I thought I’d give it a shot, and have someone do it.  The jury is in, and the ruling is that it wasn’t worth it.  If I was doing highlights or something, then it might make more sense, but I was just doing one shade, all over, and I was happier with my color than with what I got from the stylist.  So, Loreal Professional can hang out in my bathroom closet any day, and I’m ok with that.

15. Sleepover. (check)  You know, in high school, a sleepover is just awesome.  In college, it’s just normal life.  Then, post-college, it’s called “house sitting”.  Problem with that is you’re sleeping in another place, but it’s not a sleepover.  Well, one of my college friends, Kelly, was home alone for a few days while her hubby was away with work.  So, she had me over!  We did the whole deal: Pizza, ice cream, chick-flick, and staying up half the night talking.  And it was awesome.  I cannot say it enough, it was awesome.  I LOVED getting to spend some quality time with Kelly, and I loved just talking and laughing and sharing and bonding… and hey, pizza+icecream+TheProposal+girlfriend=phenominalwaytospendmytime.  hands down.  Thanks for the fantabulous time, Kelly!  Let’s do it again sometime, eh?

kelly and me, sleepovering it up

some of the movie options


yes, those are cow spoons and ice cream scoop. kelly's awesome like that!

yup, this was definitely devoured.

stay tuned for more…

30 Things To Do At 30: DONE (#s 6-10: Travel Related))

April 25, 2011

Please see the previous post for #s 1-5.

Yes, these are Travel Related.  I like to travel, but this past year has not been what you might call “traditional” as far as the traveling is concerned!

6. Move home. (check)  After two awesome, life-changing, special years in Colorado, God brought me back to PA.  I miss my friends, I miss Compassion International, and I miss lots of things about CO in general.  But I’m so happy to be home, and I wouldn’t trade this for anything. 🙂

my whole car looked like this

7. Visit a new state. (check) Yes, I can now say that I’ve visited over 35 states!  The most recent addition was Oklahoma.  Although I can’t speak much about the state, because really I was mostly driving in the dark, I went to visit family.  Therefore, I spent a lot of time indoors with them.  And we had an amazing, wonderful, blessed time.  (THANKS to my awesome cousin for hosting me, and then again, my mom and me, and thanks to her precious daughters for giving up their room for us!)  So I don’t have a ton of awesome things to say about the state of OK, except that my family lives there, so that makes it a great place in my book.

some of my Oklahoma family (love)

8. Road trip with my mom! (check)  Who’d’ve thought that I’d go on a really long and somewhat crazy road trip, in the middle of a snowy winter, through a snow storm, in a pickup truck, with my mom?  Maybe a better question is, who’d’ve thought she’d go with me??  Well, we did it.  It was exhausting, and we grumbled at each other occasionally, and we named my dad’s truck and my GPS, and we laughed, and we slept in awkward positions, and we looked at scenery…  Quick story:  We start into Kansas, and my mom is all “I’m so excited to drive through Kansas, I’ve never done this before!  Wow, it’s not that bad, why do people say it’s so bad?”  Then over and over and over she tells me about the pioneers and the covered wagons driving through Kansas and how she can’t imagine what that was like…  She’s just loving Kansas the whole time.  And I keep thinking, “Just wait.”  And yes, as I expected, a little ways across the state, she starts realizing why people complain about driving across Kansas.  And then, finally, she does it.  “Good grief, when will this ever end??”  I love my mom 🙂  One of the highlights for her was also going to OK, and we visited those cousins again.

my mom's niece, Lucy, and my mom. a special reunion.

9. Drive 4,000 miles in a month. (check)  Yup, I’m a little crazy.  I drove from CO to PA, then from PA to CO to PA.  It was a LAAWWWTTTT of driving.

10. Travel for fun. (check)  After all that driving for moving and stuff, I can’t believe I wanted to do it again, but I did it.  I got in my car and made a MUCH shorter trip to MD.  I had a couple friends to catch up with, and a few days off work, and I just needed a change of scenery.  I needed to relax and enjoy myself and not just work all through my break.  So I went on an itty bitty road trip to see some friends, and it was fantastic!

my awesome friend, Karen

my dear, sweet friend Olivia

more coming soon….

30 Things To Do At 30 – DONE.

April 25, 2011

I did it!  I made it to the end of my “30 year” with a checklist of 30 things to do that were either brand new to me, I’ve never done them, or were at least unique.  Some were silly, some were life-changing.  I’ve mentioned a few to you in the past.  Well, it’s time to unveil.

You’re getting this in multiple posts, to break it into shorter reading spans.  I don’t want to lose you at #11 or anything! 🙂

The list looks completely different than it did at first.  I started this year in my life with huge plans, and then God led me down a very different path.  And His plans were huge too!  So it turned out that my year just got all twisted around and redirected, so the list went with it!

I’ve tried to categorize a little bit, but just sit back and enjoy the ride, k?

1. Blog.  (check)  I have some follow-up notes at the end that will bring me back to this, but I definitely explored the blogging world a bit!  I’m currently following something like 120 blogs (yes, that’s a lot of blog-reading), and learning a lot more about how people express themselves online.  I’ve poured my heart out a few times, I’ve ranted and raved, I’ve whined, I’ve cried, I’ve prayed, I’ve sang played music, I’ve posted pictures, I’ve just plain showed you my heart.  Thanks for not disowning me!

2. Photojournal. (check in progress)  This is a great example of something taking a turn mid-year.  I started with the Photo A Day project. (Take one picture, every day, for 365 days)  But then I realized that there are some days that are just plain boring.  Sometimes I don’t even get out of my pjs and leave the house.  I just chill around home, do some cleaning, laundry, etc.  I couldn’t count it as fair to have 50 pictures of pajama-days.  So this project flopped. Until I saw a few friends, at the end of 2010, post their year in review in pictures!  So I decided that I’d tweak my 365 photo plan.  At the end of 2011 I will do my year in review with a total of 365 pictures.  So this crosses over into my #31 year, but still, it’s more about the doing than the deadline!  So I am proud to say that I’m in the process of collecting my 365 pictures.  And I’m loving this version of the project.

3. New Hairstyle. (check)  For several years I’ve tried to carry the same hairstyle – short bob with angle down toward my chin, sweeping bangs.  I found someone to cut my hair in Colorado (I miss her!) and she introduced me to a longer, more layered look, and I love it.

shorter hair

longer hair

4. Spend holidays with family. (check)  This is pretty straightforward.  I have been in Colorado for the last couple of Thanksgivings and Christmases and Easters and Birthdays.  So it’s nice to be with family. 🙂

5. Portraits. (check)  Most people are done with their portraits after high school, still more after college.  Then people get married, have babies, add on to their families.  And with each of these stages, most people add pictures.  Family portraits.  Wedding pictures. Baby portraits.  But for those of us who don’t get married right away , there’s a several-year gap.  I haven’t had “portraits” taken in years!  I’ve had the casual pictures that might turn out nice enough to be a portrait to send to Grandma, or the pictures that, if you crop them just right, make great Facebook profile pictures.  But real, genuine, authentic pictures? Nah.  Why would I?  Well, it occurred to me, why not?  So I did it.  I’ll be honest, I felt a little bit like a senior in high school again, but I’m glad I did it.

Pose By The Tree portrait

Look Over Your Shoulder Pose

Standard Pose

That’s it for now…  Look for more on its way soon!