Tuesday, June 30, 2009

let's hit the beach

I would have been sad if I didn't go to the beach while visiting this lovely state of North Carolina.

So tomorrow, i'm doing just that! And what's even better, is that I don't have to do it alone, like i was originally thinking... that would have been kind of a drag... well, not really, since anything where i'm involved most certainly does not drag ;)

Anyways, I've been here in NC staying with Rachel and her family for the last 4 days, and having a great time i might add. I feel very at home here. On Sunday I went to Greenville where I visited a church that I ended up liking a lot. and if I decide that Greenville is the place for me, then I will be going there... however, I am not quite feelin' it. The city that is. There was nothing wrong with it per se, but I just don't quite feel settled about it the way I would like to before moving myself close to 700 miles from home.

So tomorrow we are going to Wilmington and staying overnight. I'm really hoping that I find a good fit there... there are so many pros on my list for it so far, but since I haven't actually been there, I'm going to wait to verbalize them. I will say though, that the only con on my list for Wilmington has been the extra distance. But if everything else lines up, what's an extra 100 miles?

In other news, Rachel is as many of you know, an amazing photographer with her own business Savor Photography. I was not about to waste a trip to Rocky Mount and not get my pictures done by her! So yesterday, we set out to do mine. I seriously couldn't be happier! Here's one, probably my fave, but I haven't decided for sure yet ;)

me laughing

After seeing how awesome my pics turned out, I'm not gonna lie, I was a little nervous about taking hers today. I don't think she's posted any yet over at her blog, but you should check it out anyways, cuz it's awesome :)

Anyhoo, I'm very excited about the beach tomorrow! I'll definitely be coming back with pictures :)


food dare - day 8

Hummus + apple juice.

a match made in hell.

only reserved for the fiercest of stomachs...

before I ate this, i was jonesin for a snack.

not even a twinge of hunger left now...


Monday, June 29, 2009

food dare - day 7

I liked the contrast in today's challenge...

The actual challenge was for "any type of berry" and I originally thought I would do a strawberry... but wouldn't ya know, they didn't have any strawberries at the walmart here in rocky mount...

So blueberries it was :)

Only three more days to go!


Sunday, June 28, 2009

food dare - day 6

Not gonna lie, I'm more than a little bored with this...

Today was hot sauce, and in lieu of any real hot sauce, I just used salsa juice... that sounds nasty... in fact, any word with "juice" tacked on the end sounds pretty gross...

This face is more out of disdain than disgust.

in fact, this hot sauce wasn't so bad. not the heat factor, but the taste factor. went together pretty well... but i'm afraid this challenge is definitely giving me a slight aversion to hummus... :(


Saturday, June 27, 2009

food dare - day 5

today we entered for the second time the world of solids... the first being the vegetable, the second:


I tried to melt it, but it didn't melt all the way and there was a big chunk in there...

it was nasty


me (and raelynn) in DC

I'm so behind in posting these... I've had the pictures in a draft post here for quite some time, but I've lacked the creative energy to write what is to go along with them.

Last Friday I went to DC with my niece Raelynn...

Get ready to see a lot of these two faces...

cracker dispenser

As i was loading up the bikes, I said, "raelynn, go get some snacks." So she came back with a sleeve of ritz crackers and a container of peanut butter. The peanut butter melted almost immediately upon feeling the heat of the car, but the ritz were still good.

As we were stuck on NY ave waiting to get downtown, we took the opportunity to take some crazy pictures, and while many of them were of us unintentionally cleaning our teeth from the crackers, this one was entirely posed. Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.


The roof-top view of the bikes

trying to swallow

Raelynn has braces and we often joke about how she could store an entire meal in there... and instead of packing a lunch, she could just eat a little extra and pack it in there for snacks throughout the day. She pretends to be embarassed by this, but we are a sick family I tell ya and she really thinks it's hilarious :D

jefferson monument

We parked at the Jefferson tidal basin and got our bikes down to cruise around all the hot spots with what little time we had. We stopped first at the Jefferson Monument... which out of all the monuments is one of my favorites... i think it's cuz of the nice breeze that you always feel when you're standing in the center :)

jefferson pond

and then I also love doing this shot. I did it last time I was here a little over a year ago. Go see last year's and see how different I looked. crazy! I like my blonde hair better, even though you can't really see it here.

raelynn monument

love this kid...


After the Jefferson Monument, we rode over to Arlington. But when we got there, we were informed that we could not ride our bikes in the cemetery. Common sense shoulda told us that, but we also forgot the bike chain in my trunk UGH!

So we rode just in the entrance to take a water break... and this behind me is as close to the grounds as we got :(


It was mad hot that day... but it really didn't matter. I personally love being outside and sweating like crazy as long as I'm doing something I like and with people I love.

Gotta love the free advertising for State Farm here lol, that was totally unintentional ;)


Because we didn't have a bike chain, Raelynn was the only one to go into the Lincoln...

As she walked away with my almost $4000 worth of camera I started to panic slightly. She was so far away and it doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that when someone whips out that thing, it's worth a lot... But she made it back, consequently, so did the camera ;) And she took some great shots while up there.

reflection pool

I think this one is awesome. I've never had a shot of the reflection pool that i've liked as much.

Also, I'm in this picture somewhere... can you find me? (to see where I am, scroll down to the next pic)

wheres waldo

Yah, there's no way you can see me haha, but when i zoomed WAY in, it was pretty clear. you can't zoom in on this much though as it's pretty lo-res.

lincoln memorial

more bikes

We tried to use the lock to at least fasten the two wheels together and leave them for just a few minutes while we went in the memorial... but it didn't work, and they just ended up in a pile anyways. Meh, whatevs.


Here we were at the WWII memorial. I don't think that I'd been to this one before. There was a column for every state and US territory surrounding a pool where people would put their feet in.

awesome flare

I was loving the way the sun was here, so I tried to get some cool flare :)

toes in the WWII memorial water

sweet bokeh

This bokeh was amazing...

A few days later I went back into the city, but this time with a GPS... let me tell you. SO much easier haha. I've always just weaved my way in and out not really knowing where i was going, but figuring if i just kept heading "south" or "east" i would get there eventually :) It's always worked, but i saved some time with the GPS... that is when I actually did what it said...


Friday, June 26, 2009

food dare - day 4

Today, I made the what i thought would be an easy 4ish hour trip to Rocky Mount, NC. However, what my gps said, and what my car actualld did was another story.

Just south of washington was some of the worst mid-day traffic I've ever encountered. It took me about an hour to go about 2 miles. things picked up a bit after that, but set me back to what I thought would turn this 4ish hour trip to a 7-8ish hour trip. UGH. seems to be a common word... especially when I'm thinking about the hummus dare...

Thankfully though, I made it to Rachel and her family's house in just under 6 hours. I wasn't mentally prepared for more than that ;)

Neither was i mentally prepared for soy sauce mixed with hummus.

And wouldn't ya know it, whilst posing for this picture, I accidentally poured a bit more than i originally intended.

It was sick.


Maybe tomorrow i'll post something other than the food dare... :)


Thursday, June 25, 2009

food dare - day 3

Today I thought... No problem. I'll down this hummus and ranch dressing with ease. The problem is that I left the hummus at the house I'm sleeping at, but was at another house all day long.

By the time I got back at almost 9:30pm, the last thing on my mind was eating more... esp after going to Chilis and having a black bean burger, with a side of mashed potatoes... mmmmm

As I readied myself for bed, like most people, i partook in the age-old ritual of brushing my teeth.

BIG mistake.

you see, i still had not completed my food challenge for the day. please imagine with me if you will what a strong garlic creamy substance mixed with a horrifying buttermilk ranch flavored dressing would taste like. Then add toothpaste.

(as a sidenote, I used to think that buttermilk, was butteryER than normal milk, it wasn't until recently that I learned it's true nature and i've been unable to eat it without being painfully aware of what it is since then)

I was so disturbed at the thought of downing such a substance this evening that I began preparing an email to Jim letting him know that it was just not possible today. But then I thought, gee, the point of a dare is to make people do things they don't want to or wouldn't normally do. UGH.

Down the stairs I went. Prepared myself this close to mid-night snack and downed it as quickly as possible.

with that combo settling into my stomach i'm off to bed now... ugh...


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

food dare - day 2

For today, jelly+hummus.

I chose strawberry jelly. Mainly because that was the only jelly in the house. I am not a huge fan of jelly, but I've been known to enjoy the occasional pb+j sandwich.

As I mixed the combo, I also reached for a tall glass of water... knowing that after I had consumed so much food beforehand (not remembering that I still had to do this!) I wasn't sure it would all make it down.

But down it went...

gagmatostic. That's about all I have to say...

ps mad props to my cellphone for being available to take fairly decent pictures when I just couldn't muster the energy to get my big one ;)


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

food dare - day 1

There are 3 foods that I categorize as so utterly disgusting, I absolutely will not eat them.

They are:
Oatmeal (the cooked breakfast mushy kind, not like when it's in cookies and stuff)
Cottage cheese

I hate these foods.


With that said, the story continues. A couple months ago, i was at my friend Jim and Melissa's apartment when jim pulls out his trusty rusty container of cottage cheese and starts mauing away. nomnomnomnom. I am tolerant of other's decisions to eat these foods, although for the life of me I cannot figure out WHY anyone would eat them... but I had to let Jim know just how much i despise the curdy substance.

He insisted that cottage cheese was an amazing food, such a treat! And I said sarcastically, bet you couldn't eat it every day for (insert ANY number in here) days. And he said he could.

So i was all like, oh yah? well i bet you couldn't eat it MIXED with something for (so many) days.

And he said he could.

The challenge was on:

To eat cottage cheese for 10 consecutive days mixing it with any substance of my choosing. Bwahaha!

Oh the things I made him eat... my favorite mix-in was the mayonaisse. He tried so hard to get out of that one... and I eventually gave in, allowing him to only eat a portion of the egg-based goo + curdly cheesy milk substance and substituting the rest of his portion to be mixed with Gushers.

If you'd like to see all the other things Jim ate for those 10 days, go to his blog here to read all about it.

Anyways, since this challenge took place, there has been talk of a food dare tailored to my liking. And it has begun.

The base food:


Oh how I love hummus...

I just hope I still like it after this...

Day 1 of the food dare:

mix hummus with any veggie (not-so-disgusting right? don't worry, i'm sure it will get worse...)

I found this hummus at Whole Foods in Annapolis, and while it was exorbitantly expensive as far as hummus goes, it was quite tasty. Better than most i've had.

So far, day 1, not so bad. But i'm under no delusions that the rest of this dare will not be so easy peasy... in fact i'm kinda worried.

Come back tomorrow for day 2:



Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dear Dad,

Copy of Siena-0735

I was laying in bed tonight sorting out the thoughts of the day. I realized in that process that tomorrow today is Father's Day. and then I realized, "this is the first Father's Day that I've spent without my dad."

Oh but wait, Father's Day isn't about me. Silly me :) But it is about you, and I started thinking how heart-breaking it must be for you to not have me there on your day :D After all, what are you doing without the pirate who doesn't do anything?

So here I sit, at 1am because I knew that I wouldn't sleep right without getting the following thoughts out of my head and onto somewhere. In some ways, I'm glad I'm not home now... because I honestly don't know that I could say all this in person. I am able to say what I think and feel better in writing and I hope that you are encouraged to hear these words.

I can't even begin to tell you how much you've come to mean to me over the last few years. it was hard when I was growing up, I know that, and I think you do too. We had our rough times but throughout it all, I've come to see what an amazing dad you've been. To me, to rob, jay and dan and to the rest of your family...

You're "kid central" with all the grand-kids and I hope and pray that I am able to see you play with my kids the same way.

I'm thankful to God for restoring our family and giving us renewed opportunity to love each other and become the foursome that we are now. I love our place at 71 and I love that I've spent all of my adult years at home with you and Mom and Dan. It's such a comfort to me knowing that I have a place to lay my head where I am safe, protected and loved beyond my comprehension.

You're a blessing in my life, Dad. I value your input and I will seek your counsel as long as you're around. I want your approval more than anyone, and I really feel that from you right now. Thank you.

You're a good man! I love you so much and cannot thank God enough for picking you to be my Dad. I wouldn't trade you for anyone... seriously.

All my love,
Your baby girl,


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

i'm not old...

but lately for some reason I've been reflecting in ways that make me feel old.

For example, I look at my hands and realize that they've finally thinned out... not sure why, but my hands have always been on the "chunkier" side, and now they're not. Apparently my older brother had the same thing... my mom always told me that his hands looked like little kid/baby hands til he was in his mid-twenties. I look down sometimes and see my mom's hands. And I love that, because I've always wished for hands like my mom's. It also makes me stop and think about where I am right now. Who I am and what I've done so far.

Reality becomes something different for everyone. Whether good or bad.

I would like to know more about my future, but I think I would get bored if i knew what was going to happen by next year. That or I would become complacent, feeling that my life has already been set.

Right now in my life, I feel challenged daily. I'm facing some huge life changes right now, and scary as it may be, the scariness factor in no way outweighs my craving for adventure and the lure of the unknown.

That's all. Kinda random, I know :)


Monday, June 15, 2009

it was a good roadtrip

as far as road trips go. The only complaint i had was the hour long standstill traffic jam I got caught in in Baltimore. Have to say though, that at least it was at the end of the trip versus the beginning where I would have had another 5 hours ahead of me to go...

But here I am, just out of my driveway. I was all kinds of excited :D I love road trips

Then while I was going through the pics, I noticed that there was an awful lot o' detail in my sunglasses, so I zoomed in and cropped, and here is what I found

I brought my brother's bike along with me (since I don't actually own my own, but he has 2, so he lets me use the one regularly) And because I get significantly better mileage (40+mpg) without the bike rack, I decided to take it apart and put it in the trunk. Leaving the backseat and passenger seat for all my stuff. And let me tell you, I have some stuff!

I brought a total of 6 bags/suitcases, a cooler, and my desktop computer and monitor. I'm sure you're rolling your eyes at the amount of junk I brought with me, but honestly, it doesn't seem like too much when I broke it all down.

1) suitcase - all my clothes
2) a separate bag for shoes (3 pairs of flip flops, 2 pairs of dress shoes and a pair of sneakers)
3) my camera bag
4) a reuseable wegmans bag with some food in it
5) my laptop bag (with books too)
6) my bathroom bag (with anything and everything I would use to get ready for the day)

Does that seem unreasonable to you?

Too bad if it does. Ha! My dad kept talking about how I needed to pack lighter, and I was all like, hey, if I'm not flying, i'm not working to consolidate. I could care less about consolidation when I'm the only passenger and there are no limitations. I'll enjoy it while I can :D

The sky seemed unusually beautiful as I began the drive...

It was at this point that I realized snapping pics along the way would be really cool. So I left the lens cap off and the camera sitting in the passenger seat for easy access. This one was snapped through the moon roof. (and no, i did not buckle the camera in... but I did buckle the computer in the backseat ;)

Whilst driving behind this car i was soooo longing to be able to just freeze time, go get some people to take pictures of and use the car for a mad cool prop.

And then, with only an hour left... standstill traffic. They took a 4 lane highway and funnelled it into 1 lane. wth? I honestly thought there was an accident or something... but no. In fact, by the time I got through and was back on the open road, I hadn't seen one thing that appeared to warrant such a delay.

So while I was sitting in traffic, I took this, and then noticed that the people in the car next to me were staring. I was a little embarassed... heehee :)

Today has been really nice so far, Aside from being awakened at 7am by a cockatiel... I went for a run this morning, but it was already 8 when I started... and I quickly realized that running after 8 is NOT an option. I'll have to try again at night.

I went to get a wireless card for the computer and some food. But I've been alone all day so far. It's been really nice :) The kids are still in school til wednesday, which I didn't know til last night. I'm happy to have a couple days alone. I really do enjoy being alone, I think that's the introvert in me coming out :) But I love being around people too. I don't know what I am. Maybe I'm balanced?

Tomorrow I'm hoping to get some pictures done... like actual shoots. I've got 2 in the queue right now, I can't wait to get them done!


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