Dec 5, 2010

Prompt 4: Why I moved

#reverb10 Challenge
Prompt: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

As I was nearing graduation and marriage earlier this year, I begin to truly realize that I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing after May 3. The whole world was completely open to me. For the first time, there wasn't a pre-planned "next step." I knew that it was up to me (or me and my husband) to decide what would come next for us.

We begin to peek down every avenue. Every new opportunity we considered. And that's how I ended up here. In Virginia. Away from everyone my family and everything familiar. I considered a job I never dreamed I would want to do, and it's really opened my thinking further. I still feel that everything is possible. Nothing is off limits.

Dec 3, 2010

Moment of the Year

{#reverb10 post}
December 3: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

One moment. I have several from this year that were very defining for me--marriage, graduation. They were both a big deal. But the one particular second I often think back to is the day after our wedding (two days after my graduation).

My husband and I were driving from our hotel in Chattanooga to the airport in Atlanta. We were listening to a CD my old roommate had made for us as a wedding gift--she had asked a bunch of our friends and family for song dedications and messages, then acted as DJ. As we were driving down the road, the stress that had built up from school, the wedding and even my dad's medical condition melted away. In that moment I was free. I was hours away from flying off to Cancun, and I was listening to the voices of the people in the world that I care most about.

Dec 2, 2010

Reverb10: Day 1 and 2

So I found out about Reverb10 from some friends on Twitter. Basically you get one prompt a day for the entire month of December and then you write (or photograph) a response.I have a one day delayed start, so I have Dec. 1-2 here.

December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

My one word for 2010 is transition. It was a crazy stressful year. I had some of the worst and best times of my life. There's a list out there somewhere about the most stressful things you deal with in life--I went through a good portion of them this past year. Here are some of the highlights (or lowlights, in some cases):
  • Dad was diagnosed with cancer in Oct. 2009--we were dealing with a lot of treatments and decisions in 2010, including his surgery in May to remove the massive tumor from his colon. As far as we know he's cancer free. However, the whole experience really pushed me to grow up a little more, to deal with an issue that had never hit quite so close to home.
  • Became roommates with someone I had only met twice
  • Graduated from college in May
  • Got married the day after graduation (and Dad had his surgery while husband and I were on our honeymoon in Mexico)
  • Moved to Virginia in May (farthest I've lived from family and friends)
  • Started my first full-time job in June
  • Lived alone (for the first  time) for two months while Desmond was student teaching in Tennessee.
  • My husband's graduating in December and is up for a job--who knows where we'll end up
 My word for 2011 is Innovation. I have tons of ideas and goals and dreams that have just sat on hold while I was busy doing homework. Now that I have my evenings basically free I have a little extra time to plan and experiment with all the things floating in my head. I actually might pursue more schooling, but this time I don't think I'll feel quite the pressure I did before. 2010 definitely made me a different person, and I hope to continue to grow in 2011.


December 2 Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

 I procrastinate in fear. A good idea will pop into my head, then I sit and think about why it's not a good idea, which talks me out of writing anything at all. Then I get up and do one of the other million things I need to do. It's a sad cycle. Best way to eliminate that? Don't think. Just write.

Sep 16, 2010

I'm loving Sweet Clementine Chamomile

This tea is seriously awesome. We've had it for several months; I'd thought it was okay, but it just didn't really stick. So this past week, I tried it again and I'm a little addicted. Problem is, I don't remember where I bought it. And supply is starting to run low. I suppose I could buy it online, but not quite as instantly gratifying as in-store and there are shipping costs.

Have you tried any amazing tea lately?

Sep 10, 2010

105 before 25

I'm completely a list person. They make me happy. I love that feeling checking something off gives me. My dear friend, Tanya, has a bucket list full of things she wants to accomplish, some huge feats, others involve something as small as watching a movie. I love the idea. And since graduating from college, I keep thinking of things I want to accomplish, but I soon forget since I don't write them down. So in this post, I'm writing them. I know that I have to give myself a time limit to get anything done. Otherwise I'd be 85 with half the things left on the list, thinking I still have time. So with my 23rd birthday coming up in October, I've decided to give myself about 2 years to accomplish 105 things, thus the name of this post.

1. Design a wedding album for our wedding (seriously...I design everyone else's albums, so if I don't put this here it won't get done)
2. Publish an article in Relevant
3. Pay off student loans
4. Make butternut squash soup
5. Design my own cookbook of family recipes
6. Take a drawing class
7. See a Shakespeare play in Blackfriar's Playhouse in Staunton, Va.
8. Design & implement a personal portfolio/resume Web site
9. Actively build and keep up with my social networks (blog, fb, twitter and linkedin) every week day for one month
10. Buy a pretty couch
11. Clean out and organize my bookmarks
12. Join a professional organization
13. Learn how to file my taxes
14. Take a painting class
15. Learn how to use my sewing machine
16. Do something active every day for 1 month
17. Create a photo wall with framed individual photos of each of our family members
18. Organize files on computer and external hard drives
19. Go on a cruise
20. Write in my personal journal daily for a month
21. Read a novel, just for fun
22. Stay at a bed & breakfast in a small town
23. Adopt a Great Dane and name him something British-esque
24. Sell stock photos
25. Do a walk/run to benefit a cancer society
26. Grow my own vegetables
27. Routinely freelance in graphic design, writing and photography
28. Decorate (and furnish) at least one room in the house
29. Do volunteer work with kids
30. Buy a f 1.8 lens
41. Make pretty labels for my glass kitchen jars
42. See the sun rise or set over the ocean
43. Visit my family at least once a month (as long as we're in driving distance)
44. Win a contest
45. Write down all the childhood memories I can think of
46. Go to all of the Smithsonian museums in D.C. (since I live so close)
47. Bake and decorate really cute cupcakes
48. Go horseback riding on the beach
49. Swim with a dolphin
50. Buy a kitchen item from Anthropologie
51. Send flowers to a friend on a random day
52. Get a massage (I have insurance that covers it, right, so why not?)
53. Write a letter to my husband once a week (because can't you see our children sifting through our love emails one day?)
54. Write a letter to a company, complimenting an employee or product
55. Read a business book
56. Try a new recipe for one meal a day for one week
54. Design Christmas cards for us
55. Go to the little photography museum in Staunton
56. Take a drive on Skyline
57. Visit a Virginia battlefield
58. Buy a very warm winter coat (since I'm living in Virginia and all)
59. Go camping with Desmond
60. Save money in an emergency fund
61. Paint pottery at a shop
62. Design yearly albums for personal year-in-review photos
63. Go on a vacation with Desmond
64. Go to a local art gallery
65. Finish a book that I've started within the past year
66. Second shoot a wedding
67. Clean clothes out of my closet that I never wear and refresh the supply with more work clothes
68. Get my wedding and engagement rings professionally cleaned so they stay shiny
69. Carry an idea book with me in my purse so I never forget my random ponderings
70. Keep my email box cleaned out for a month
71. Make a candlelit dinner
72. Go to a church event (because we're new and that's how you meet people)
73. Refinish my desk, complete with cute knobs
74. Publish all six articles I wrote for magazine and feature article writing class (I'm already half way there!)
75. Get an apron (because we all know I need one)
76. Frame and hang my college diploma
77. Organize all of my non-computer files
78. Take photos for a cause
79. Go to IKEA (I've never been, but I hear it's awesome)
80. Upgrade to a new computer
81. Organize photos in archival boxes
82. Go to a downtown Staunton restaurant
83. Go through my magazines and save only the good articles
84. Paint something fun on a canvas
85. Drink 8 cups of water a day for a week
86. Plant flowers
87. Find a good concealer (because I often don't sleep enough)
88. Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night for a week
89. Take portraits for someone who doesn't know me
90. Do a DIY project from a blog or magazine
91. Go to a drive-in movie
92. Decorate my house for Christmas
93. Start our own holiday tradition
94. Map out a summer small-town tour
95. Use the china just because
96. Read the six C.S. Lewis books I own
97. Try expensive tea
98. Pitch stationery I've created to a store
99. Write a review of a book I've read
100. Organize addresses in an address book
101. Paint a room in the house
102. Learn 10 phrases in Tagalog
103. Reupholster a chair
104. Organize pots and pans
105. Learn to cook a Filipino dish

Jun 20, 2010

Desmond and I just spent a crazy week out of town for work. More on that later. I know that people have been asking to see more photos of our house, so I've got a couple of pictures from the outside. Our room doesn't have anymore random boxes, and we're working on the living room and kitchen now. So more photos of the house to come, hopefully later this week.


Outside our house

Desmond on front porch

Desmond on the front porch

Jun 4, 2010

I'm back!

I have finally returned to the blogging world! I have so missed it here. During the past months, I graduated from college with a B.S. in Public Relations, got married to Mr. Desmond Suarez II, moved to the little town of Staunton, VA and got a job at the Potomac Conference, which is also in Staunton (not to be confused, it is pronounced "stan-ton").

We have an apartment here already. It's actually the first floor of an old house. We don't know much about the house, but we're going to find out everything we can about it. I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the inside before we moved all of our stuff in it, so I'll post photos as we set things up. Here are a couple of preview shots.

 Desmond and I in a little garden area beside our place.

Our mess of boxes in the guest room.

Our first supper here we ate Ramen. We've been eating a lot of it. It's quick and cheap.

 So a couple of nights ago, we went to the laundry mat because we had about 9+ loads of clothes. We could've done them at our apartment, but we share a washer and dryer with three girls who live in the apartment upstairs. We didn't want them to hate us for taking up the washer for a year, so we decided to go out and get all of our laundry done at one time. Not that best experience, but we didn't get robbed and no one stole our clothes.

A shameless self-portrait. Can you see us?