Tag Archives: friends

new york for new year’s

ny1 ny3ny13 ny4 ny7 ny9 ny12 ny19Our recent visit to New York in one word? Relaxing. Surprising, because when I think of NYC I think of sensory overload. The 6 hour drive coupled with parking issues and various train and subway connections was exhausting, but it was lovely to settle into our friend’s cramped apartment, cuddle with his fluffy cats, and have the confidence of city dwellers to back us up as we adventured around the grid of gray streets teeming with hustlers, tourists, and commuters.

Our itineray was relaxed this time around, but we still got to take in attractions unique to NYC. On Sunday, we attended Lower Manhattan Community church, then headed over to China Town for 4-for-a-dollar dumplings with church friends. On Monday, we took the long commute over to The Cloisters, a museum devoted to the art and architecture of medieval monasteries and chapels. We ate Venezulean street food for lunch, then took the evening off.

We watched lots of Friends, ate lots of bagels, and drank coffee from the corner coffee shop.

On Tuesday, we stopped into a few vintage shops, shopped at the American Apparel Outlet, and ate delicious Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches in the East Village for lunch. We lounged until evening, then headed out to Brooklyn to attend a New Year’s Eve party. A fun anecdote: the hosts had received mail addressed to Sufjan Stevens, who apparently recently moved into their old apartment in the same building!

We spent the final hours of 2013 with new and old friends, discussing our favorite moments and greatest achievements of the year. Midnight came quietly. We idled away the night with a few more episodes of Friends and the sort of odd conversations that tend to arise in the wee hours of the morning.

ny2

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surprises

blowing out candles blur excitementalmond pave paradox pastry birthdayWe threw a surprise birthday party for my boss on Wednesday. My coworkers and I gathered at a pizza place on the Downtown Mall while we waited for her daughter to find a reason to get her out of the coffee shop. Once they passed, we scampered to the shop to set up. We ate delicious pizza from Vita Nova and had Almond Pave from Paradox Pastry (delicious and gluten free!) for dessert.

She didn’t suspect a thing. She insisted I take my picture with some birthday balloons since my birthday was yesterday. I love the coffee shop staff, so it’s always great to hang out after hours.

*Photos were kept to a minimum in this post to respect the privacy of friends and family. But there are lots of great ones!

closure

The new year always throws me for a loop. I spent yesterday at home, off work, in a miserable mood, lashing out anytime Daniel so much as spoke to me. I guess a new year makes me feel obligated: to change bad habits, develop good ones, get motivated, achieve everything at once. In the final weeks of a year, I’m in full relaxation mode; not enough time to worry about accomplishing major goals or making significant decisions. It’s the only time, possibly all year, that I feel at ease and live day by day. All that being said, I don’t think I gave myself enough time for closure, and I’m hoping this list will help me sort 2012 out, close the book, and move forward.

blue ridge mountains

Five events that have been the best this year?

  • getting my name in the company newsletter at work
  • my last summer adventures with Florida friends
  • St. Augustine for our anniversary (even though it was brief)
  • seeing Obama in downtown Charlottesville
  • exploring Virginia

fossildandelion

Five events that have been the worst this year?

  • dealing with corporate crap at my former jobs
  • getting poison ivy
  • moving away from close friends and family
  • my bad attitude during Thanksgiving
  • doubting myself so often

kayaking st. augustine

What have you learned this year?

  • I am surprised by my own selflessness and selfishness. The pressure to figure out life really got to me this year, but I think I’ve settled into a more moderate temperament, trying to take opportunity as it comes and not be too hard on myself lest I completely destroy myself with internal verbal harassment.

lichgate

Was it the year that you had in mind?

  • I was so wrapped up in self doubt and work drama at the beginning of 2012 that I don’t really think I envisioned what the year would be like. I knew we might move, but I didn’t think too hard about it. If I had anything in mind, it was that I would become a successful fashion blogger and adored internet presence by the end of the year. It was my temporary solution to being miserable with my non-virtual life. Things were better than that, though, and I’m glad I moved.

wakulla springs flagler

What clothes did you wear the most?

  • My oatmeal colored Mossimo cardigan, like, every day.

dining room

What music did you listen to the most?

  • the Sherwood CD Jenny left in my car
  • Mates of State
  • Sufjan Stevens’ Illinoise album (I listen to it a lot every year)
  • various Bluegrass music
  • the Simon & Garfunkel Pandora channel

What have you watched?

  • TV: Friday Night Lights, The Office, The Middle, My So-Called Life, The Cosby Show
  • Movies: Bernie, Take This Waltz, Perks of Being a Wallflower…

carter mountain

Which people did you hang out with most?

  • Andrea and Mike in Tallahassee, a little group of church goers/PhD students here.

What new people did you come to know?

  • Many, many new people. We’ve met a lot of great people here: Daniel’s colleagues, church friends, small group friends, and my coworkers.

obama in charlottesville

What is the best thing you’ve read?

  • Fiction: Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games triology. 
  • Nonfiction: Still by Lauren Winner

Did you do anything this year that you’ve never done before?

  • I traveled to Virginia for the first time, moved far away from family for the first time, and became a barista.

Did some of your friends become parents this year?

  • Yes, but not close friends.

What was your biggest achievement in 2012?

  • Managing to make money selling vintage online.

snow

Best bargain?

  • A limited edition print of Jacob’s Ladder from Israel that I got for .50.

What did you spend the most money on?

  • the U-Haul truck.

What do you wish you’d done more?

  • woken up earlier.
  • practiced the banjo.

Favorite video of the year?

yellow leavescouple photo

What did you do on your birthday in 2012?

  • ate Chinese food at home and felt sad.

How would you describe your style in 2012?

  • uncertain. I spent a lot of time over-thinking my personal style. I think it’s settled down into a sort of casual-girly-grunge thing.

shenandoah valley

 

(list from happy, honey, & lark; from Rodeo)

end of season

We’ve heard a lot about Carter Mountain during the last few months. The orchard opens to tourists when apples are ripe for harvesting in the early fall. Most apples have been picked by this time of year, but we thought we’d take the trip anyway (it’s only 10 minutes away from our house) since Andrea was in town.

The view was more extraordinary than I expected so close to home and we all had a lovely time walking through the orchard (but the hike back up to the parking lot was torturous). We collectively picked one apple as a souvenir. I still haven’t eaten it. It’s probably going bad!

november moodboard

nov moodboard

nov moodboard

This month, I intend to enjoy:

  • taking Skyline Drive over to Luray Caverns for a day of exploring
  • loved ones coming to visit
  • Green Bean Casserole on Thanksgiving
  • all the books Daniel recommended to me: The Autobiography of Malcolm X, House of the Spirits, and The Madonna of 115th Street
  • wearing boots all the time
  • getting started on Christmas shopping
  • layered outfits
  • my peacoat
  • fun, cold weather accessories (I wish I had that fox scarf)

all good things

(source)

Meteor shower viewing party:

  • a farm in the mountainous countryside
  • a vast field
  • watching dusk turn into night
  • a black German Shepherd
  • a good, old-fashioned campfire
  • salads made from home-grown vegetables
  • guitars, a mandolin, and a banjo
  • a full view of summer constellations (it’s been too long since I’ve gazed upward)
  • ghost stories and history lessons
  • lightning bugs
  • friendly people

Last night contained all the best parts of living. I couldn’t help but feel at peace listening to the varied strum of five stringed instruments, the sound of humming, of quiet conversation, the panting of a dog. I couldn’t help but feel fine looking up at the vastness of a twinkling night sky.

knots

My stomach has been tangled in all sorts of hard-to-untangle knots all day. I believed it was due to my interview/training today, but the aches were too angry to be caused by just that.

Andrea pointed out that it’s probably just build up from a whole week of striving and confusion and panic and uncertainty. Like when you leave a pile of necklaces in your jewelry box for months and then open it one day to find 12 unfathomable knots through the chains.

But I don’t really know how to undo mine in one careful session. I just hope the kinks will work themselves out.

In other news, my “lite duty” staple gun arrived in the mail today! I felt victorious when I saw it on the doorstep. Even though I could have been sewing pillow cases or mod podging photos onto canvas this whole week, I decided that the fabric stretching would be my first project. Now that I’m all set, however, I’m second guessing myself. Even simple crafts make me nervous, it seems.

Daniel and I met up with one of our acquaintances (who we know through several people but haven’t ever hung out with) for dinner. He’s a really nice guy! It’s good to know we’re not completely isolated from friendly faces.