Picture 58: the lake

Before we left San Diego this morning, we drove down to the lake to take some shots.


Picture 57: San Diego

Jennifer, Erika and I spent the day in San Diego walking around, taking pictures and exploring. I ended up taking right around 500 photos, so my deal faithful readers....you can understand how difficult it is for me to narrow it down to just one (luckily, I am still just learning how to use my camera so there were probably about 400 terrible pictures I could just trash right away!)

So I give you....the beach at sunset. (although, I don't think you can really tell the sun is setting....that's just a little FYI for you)


Picture 56: weekend away

So, TECHNICALLY i didn't take a photo on Friday. But it was because Erika and I went to San Diego for the weekend to visit JENNIFER!! Part of the plan in visiting was to spend some time walking around the city so JK could teach  me how to use my camera. We didn't do that until Saturday - and so....I'm cheating.

For today's picture - I give you the wonderful girls that I got to spend a whole weekend laughing and talking and sharing life with. I heart them.


Picture 55: Wood

Cutting down a tree in ones yard apparently produces much wood.

bonfire anyone?


Picture 54: nyquil

Still sick. Just hanging out with my new best friend-the nectar of the gods. I love you nyquil, no one understand me like you do.


Picture 53: Goodbye Tree

My landladies decided to have a tree in our driveway taken down. Since I am home sick for a second day this has proven to be my entertainment. I sit in my kitchen, drinking tea, watching the nice men chop it down limb for limb.
Sometimes, when I am not watching and I just hear a crackle and then a thump, I can almost convince myself the tree is about to fall through our window into our kitchen. Of course it won't, they are very careful, but there are a whole lot of sounds going on out there between the chainsaws, tree limbs falling, and the wood chopper.

Here is a picture of the brave man that gets to climb all the way up the tree to use his chainsaw on it bit by bit.

And here are the nice men that get to wait for it to fall (hopefully not on their head) so they can throw it in the wood chopper.


Picture 52: nothing

I took no picture today, becuase I am sick, and I feel like death and I didn't stop to capture anything around me.
Other than my nyquil.
I could have taken a picture of my nyquil bottle.
....next time.


Picture 51: Contradiction

I thought this picture was funny becuase I didn't know whether to eat or exercise.

...probably eat.


Picture 50: kindle

Sometimes you forget to take a picture of the day...so you take a picture of your Amazon Kindle as you read yourself to sleep listening to the quiet rainfall in the background. Sometimes it's the simple things in life that we forget to capture...and they are the moments that bring us great joy and sanity. They are the mundane activities worth remembering.


Picture 49: chinese checkers

sometimes...when weeks get really long and Friday's get really boring, all you can do is break out the chinese checkers, laugh a little, and count down the seconds to the weekend. 

PS....I won!


Picture 46: Self

I am a professional photographer!! Okay, I am kidding, but I might be able to fool people for a little bit now since I got a brand new Canon Rebel T2i!!! I might pee my pants every time I use it I am so excited it is mine, my own, all for me! I own it. I have a nice camera! I will now have to sign up for a photography class so I can actually use this camera up to its finest potential.

 This is to show you how excited I am! (also, I heard a lot of you were wondering what my bathroom looked like...)

It is amazing how a nice camera allows you to see the world in new ways. There is beauty everywhere, but when you walk around with a camera you see things that you never would have noticed before - hopefully I'll be able to share some of those with you.

And just as a bonus for you: my valentines. Since my camera was new I took some photos of them :)


Picture 44: Cupid Vomited

My boss is awesome. And he has an awesome wife. A few of the last Valentine Day's she's asked us at the office to help her decorate his office in celebration of this cupid holiday.

This was the result this year. No words. It was awesome.


Picture 43: the girls

I know i have already written about the girls, but i love them just so darn much. and we have coffee every saturday morning - so you very well might get more pictures of them. imagine the people in your life that you honestly don't think you could survive without? that's these girls for me. they are breath and life and laughter and sanity and everything good i need to keep going. i thank god every day for bringing them into my life.

also, we really love jones. and, ironically, we were able to be there twice today since we met for coffee and then were there later for an awesome birthday/valentines/birthday/engagement party!! it was awesome. good friends, food, beer, laughter and dancing. what more could you want? i always sleep better after an awesome day filled with good friends.


Picture 42: 7 eleven

This is the 7 eleven that our team stops at every Friday night before heading out to the track. It is a great place to grab some coffee and then all group together and pray before heading out and talking to people. I know it is not a great picture, but I figured I'd give you a different perspective of Friday nights and the track throughout the year...

Tonight was strange. There was a real police presence out there on the streets which always creates the mixture for a crazy evening. The girls are less present and then less interested in talking with you.

But there is a first for everything: tonight we ran into some undercover cops. Two women dressed as prostitutes trying to catch some pimps. To be honest, I have no idea what their long term plan was because it would be really hard to catch a pimp - but they looked descent. They were a little too "done up" and clean....and they were white which made them stand out a little more :) I am appreciative that they are trying to do things that are more proactive. But sometimes it is hard not to see their methods as a means to an end. Even if the end is good.....or good-er. They asked us to move further down the street because even though they could appreciate what we were out there doing we were getting in their way and a danger to blowing their cover.

Never a dull moment on the streets of LA late on Friday nights.


Picture 40: tree

this is my favorite tree in my yard.
i love it when it starts to bloom
the flowers are gorgeous.
they remind me of newness.
new opportunities
exciting prospects
the ability to leave other things behind
spring is the best time of year, in my opinion.
and luckily for california - it comes early February ;-)


Picture 39: A Guide to Eating at Northwoods Inn

There is this fabulous restaurant called Northwoods Inn that my family and I LOVE. We have to go there every time we are all in California. It is delicious.

Here is the tip if you are ever going to eat there. The portions are GINORMOUS! All of the steaks and crab legs and deliciousness come with bread and two salads. The salads are LITERALLY worth dying for (am I dramatic? maybe.) So what I have found works terrific is if you order one of these ridiculously large meals, but don't even stress yourself out with touching the steak. Focus on eating the bread and salads - once your steak comes with your vegtables (or baked potato) and rice just go ahead and ask for a box right away. Then you have two or THREE meals....all for the expensive price of one.


This is my leftover steak. And it was just as delicious today as it would have been on Saturday.

You're welcome.


Picture 38: Letters

I think letters are the greatest thing in the world. Email and facebook and smartphones and twitter and blogs and every other social media thing-er-mado available has made us almost forget the hand written word. I absolutely cherish any time I get an actual piece of mail (that is not a bill, or student loan statement or.....actually, I kind of enjoy the coupons, I digress).

I can't completely complain, because I am part of the problem. But every time I stop to think about it, I try to pause and reflect on those truly cherished people in my life. Tonight I sat down to write one such person a letter. Because she is someone that I think about daily, miss terribly and holds a special place in my heart. It is people like that who deserve a little letter in their mailbox every now and then rather than just a wall post on facebook.


Picture 37: In Rememberance

Today, since all my siblings were in town, we decided to go and visit my grandparents grave sites. I was able to be at the burial of both my grandparents, but since all my siblings live so far away none of them had see where they were buried. It was a special time to be able to gather, talk, reminisce and see where our grandparents are laid to rest.

Just a few plots away though, we noticed this grave

I don't know if you can tell what surrounds the tombstone, but they are bud light cans. I thought this was slightly hilarious, but also endearing. I hope that one day when I pass - this is how I too will be remembered. That friends and family will gather with their cheapest six pack to laugh, tell stories and then leave the cans for me to clean up - because sometimes, when it's those I love most, I enjoy being the hostess.


Picture 36: Uncle Joey & Auntie B

My uncle got married today, to a wonderful woman. Joe and Betty have known each other for over 14 years. It had been a privilege to watch them grow and change and see their relationship evolve.
My uncle is an amazing man, tough on the outside but a teddy bear on the inside. He is extremely loyal and you have no doubt that if you ever really needed anything he would drop whatever to help you. He has been a great support and given me great advice as I've learned what it means to grow up and live on my own.
I remember first meeting Betty when I came out too California to visit colleges. I was intrigued by this woman that had captured my uncle's affections. This is no easy thing to do. I took a liking to her instantly-her contagious personality and her lovable Boston accent.
She was a very warm and encouraging presence in my life when I first moved to California for graduate school, was looking for a job and happened too be living with my Uncle before I could find housing of my own. I could not think of a better match for my uncle and I am so happy for them both! What a privilege to be apart of this special day.


Picture 35: Baby's Badass Burgers

Lizzo, Roberto and I are on a mission in 2011 to try the best burgers in Southern California. You might remember that I posted a link to the Huffington Post a few weeks back when they listed the top 24 (according to...........them?). We decided we would try them and give our own review. We had all three been to 2 of them already (In-n-Out and The Counter) so we crossed them off the list already.

So tonight started the adventure: Baby's Badass Burgers. A food truck.


Okay, to be fair. The burgers themselves were not all that bad, but they were nothing I would chase the truck down for again. I got one of their baby burgers with mushrooms, swiss cheese, grilled onions and their special sauce. It tasted just fine (although I do think that the hawaiian bread it was on was the best part of the burger!). But I think what was "lacking" was the whole experience.

The truck was a half hour late and then we ended up waiting another half hour after we ordered to get our food (and we were third in line!) I think the whole reason these burgers ended up on the top 24 list anyway was only because there are girls that run the whole thing in tight fitting clothes - pretending they don't know how to count change - and talking in exaggerated tones. I am sorry to say, but I think I maybe got dumber by going there. It was actually painful waiting in line listening to people order their "She's Smokin' Maneater".

At least the company was good :)


Picture 34: ghosts

today's post is stupid, but some days you just have to go with the car in front of you. because if you can't be a reckless driver taking a picture while your driving - risking your life and others, then what is the point? KIDDING!! we were obviously stopped at a stop light.

so, since it is so hard to read and a terrible picture i will translate.

"do you believe in ghosts?"

"Visit ICGHOSTS.com"
And normally I would blot out license plates....but it just fit so perfectly - ICGHSTS - too perfect!

It is my hope that the person that drives this car works for "Ghost Hunters" cause that show is great and I love watching it with my dad.

Okay, I am done now. Go find some ghosts everyone - but hopefully not in your bedroom.


Picture 33: Haven

 Do you want me to show you my feet? I am happy to do this instead of finishing my dinner!

I love this little girl more than....breath. I will fail in trying to describe to you what a joy Haven is and what joy she has brought to my life. There are few little girls with such LIFE, excitement, verbal skill and zest, facial expressions and sound effects. I could sit for hours and hear her tell stories about the zoo or the great adventures she had in the yard that day. Or watch her as she shows me her new dance moves and sings for me the new songs that she's learning. There are few things in this world that will make me melt more than the sound of Haven's little voice saying "Juju! Juju!"and then proceeding to boss me around. I will do anything that girl tells me to do! She has me wrapped around her little finger.

I love being apart of the Schuh family. It has made California feel even more like home. I don't know what I would do without Karla in my life (I am sure you'll get a picture of her at some point, but for tonight, just her daughter!). And the fact that she would allow me to come over all the time, eat all their food and play such a role in their kids lives is astounding to me. Family is the most important thing in the world - and I am lucky to have a second one, right close by in California.


Picture 32: Foy Vance

I went to a concert last night that was....incredible. I haven't quite unpacked it yet and find myself somewhat at a loss for words. One of the best concerts I have been to in a long time. Foy Vance is a truly gifted musician. It is impossible to listen to his music without being moved. You don't know whether to sit and listen in reverent awe or hoot and hollar and each intriguing note and lyric. Seriously, check out Foy. You won't regret it. Here are some soundbites to tease you a bit.

I can't believe I had never heard of him before this week! It was totally worth staying up long hours past my bedtime (which is why this also counts as my picture of the day for Tuesday, because I took it at around 12:30a!!!) I am turning into such a party animal.

As a side note: he also really reminded me of my roommate. If my roommate decided to become a musician, this is exactly what he would look like - the way he would tell jokes, the way he would look when he sings....maybe even the way he would dress! I am not quite sure he would sound this good when music came out of his mouth (sorry, Hosicle), but they might be clones of each other.