Thursday, February 25, 2010


School is back into full swing. Or rather, I should say I'm getting back into the swing of school. and work. and everything else.

Too much to do, not enough time, juggling all arenas of life, and adding a touch of senioritis. I'm split between too many different things. But I'm learning to switch from one to another.

The end is in sight. And its keeping me going.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


For some reason, I feel like my blogs have to be long posts and that they should all include pictures. But sometimes I don't have much to say.

I ran 12.2 miles this Saturday. During my run I found an awesome photoshoot location. Hoping to revisit it this next week or two. Excited! Might need some models. :)

p.s. Happy crappy snowy weather :(

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Olympics, Spring Break, Half-Marathon, and Other Miscellaneous Things

So first of all, I wanted to share how awesome the 6 degrees of separation thingy is. I'll only be 2 degrees away from the presidential office in the next week! How? My boss was selected as one of only a few US delegates to the closing ceremony of the Olympics, and will likely meet Vice President Biden along with other senators and committee people and such. Its a huge honor for him, and the office has been a flurry of work trying to fit it in to our already chaotic schedule.
You can read more about it here:

Second, I am so incredibly excited for Spring Break. Originally, Jeff and I had no plans. We don't have money to just spend on a trip and its only one week and I'm busy with school and thesis work and Jeff has jury duty during that week. However, I received an Honors Undergraduate Research Grant, which funds my thesis project. Part of my proposed budget was a trip to San Diego to explore where my parents grew up, and where I fondly remember spending vacations as a child. I was almost at the point of forgetting this trip because I didn't have time to take it. I thought, "Yeah it'd be fun, but I'd need to be doing school work, and really, when would I have time to take off school and just head to San Diego for a few days?" I forgot completely about spring break! And then I realized, if I don't use this money, which they've already put into an account for me, I lose it! So why in the world would I not go to San Diego when most of my expenses are paid, I need a vacation, and spring break gives us time?!?!?!?

So for the last two days I've been running around to fill out the travel request, gather that supporting material for distance, hotels, etc. And this morning I got the signature from my mentor/account signer, sent it off for review, and booked our hotel! The hotel was a steal on price and is right in the heart of where I remember spending vacations. Mission beach, Belmont Park, SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, museums.... I can almost smell the salt water! Needless to say, I've been bursting with anticipation and excitement. I can't wait. My only prayer is that Jeff's jury duty does in fact turn out to only be for one day like it says it should be, and we aren't canceling our trip last minute.

Fun and games aside, San Diego will be a great trip for my thesis work. I can't remember how much I've mentioned about my thesis to you, Internet, but basically its dealing with studying self-portraiture, studying my identity as a result of my past & current influences/family/friends/challenges/events/etc, producing a written report on self-portraiture and my reflection and my work, and producing a 12 self-portrait series for exhibit. San Diego, the more I think about it, was a key part of my childhood. My parents used to grew up there and talked about it to me as a child, my grandparents lived there - so we spent a number of vacations there, which in turn became a place I idolized. It was always warm, smelled fantastic, the atmosphere of the environment and people was just friendly and happy. As a child, I convinced myself that that was where I wanted to live when I grew up. I haven't visited San Diego in a couple years (except for my weekend trip for my grandmother's memorial this past fall) and been able to really see how my views of the area have changed, or if they have.

I should be done writing my draft thesis and have a good number of self-portraits completed by this point, and I'll likely be revising and shooting while I'm there. I'm excited to have a completely different/new environment to shoot in and have already started a mental list of ideas.

I'm trying to live in the future, in this shot, but I soon (like in the next few hours) I have to come back to today. I have so much to do before spring break arrives! My thesis work is behind, which is frustrating. My thesis is something that is important, but since there aren't strict deadlines, it is usually superseded by things that are urgent. I put off working on it until I absolutely ahve to, and then surprisingly I enjoy it and a number of hours will fly by. I should really be scheduling time each week or even each day to work on some piece of it! But my reading and papers (eek!) for art history have been consuming my time. That mixed with french studying, chores, photo editing (senior portraits/family/etc), training for the half marathon, and my office job - I'm swamped! And I need to working on my book arts broadside/flyer for my thesis exhibit in April. Life would be so much easier if we all had personal assistants we could delegate things to. Anyone interested? I'll pay you in pictures, cupcakes, and hugs.

My half-marathon training is going well overall. Last Saturday I ran 10.6 miles! Unfortunately I've also been battling a sore or strained left knee. I skipped one run last week and then one this week to give it time to heal. I think part of the cause is running in old shoes. Can you believe I haven't bought new running shoes in over 4 years?!? Granted I haven't been running in these shoes that entire time, but still - I needed new ones. So Monday (Yay for President's Day!) jeff and I went to Reno with Adam & Sarah and met up with Elizabeth & Justin and I got some fitted at Scheels. The fitting lady didn't do a good job fitting at first, but I was able to find a shoe that appeared to be what I needed and if they end up not working, I can take them back and exchange them. Anyway, I got new shoes, and bought some glucosamine (sp?). Hopefully between the two and taking my runs somewhat easy I'll be able to keep training and run my half-marathon in March! I also got some new running shorts. I used to own like 5 or 6 pairs of running shorts... but I can't find them so all I can figure is when I stopped running I gave them away. New workout clothes make your workout better. Its silly, but true. I feel like I look like an athlete and so I guess it causes me to act like one.

In other updating news, Jeff and I decided to keep the cat. We named him Charlie. He's adorable, right?
We went back and forth because I'm allergic, we already have a puppy (well Gracie's 2, but acts like she's 6 months) and she has her own issues (anxiety, chewing the house up, etc); and adding a cat to the mix, especially one that we rescued from outside, would likely be a handful to train to not scratch or pee in/on/around the house, and so on. But we also couldn't get rid of him. He was so cute, got along with Gracie from the start, and was the sweetest little cuddle bug. We got some claw caps (alternative to getting them declawed - you just glue them on and they don't bother the cat) and if the cat claws your couch, it won't tear it up. And they worked. We've had them on for a a couple weeks and he's stopped scratching the couch and scratches his scratching box thingy instead. We also left him and the dog out in the house for short periods of time... and were pleasantly surprised to come home to no accidents or shredded books or furniture. So we started leaving them out all day (8-12 hours) while Jeff and I were at work/school and the house has been fine when we return. Essentially, the cat cured our dog's anxiety. We couldnt' leave Gracie out in the house during the day because she'd freak out that we left her alone, and she'd tear things up (like Jeff's bible, my wedding album, the wall, the floor, everything). But she hasn't done any of this. I think the cat gives her something to focus her attention on, and so instead of sitting home all day thinking we've left her, she looks at the cat and plays with him, and then we get home and its like hi okay you're home too. Today Jeff "officially" adopted Charlie through the pound - he got some shots, and now we can get him spayed/neutered.

And with that, I ought to go. I came to the library to edit pictures and then started thinking about stuff and decided to blog. But now its time to go to the gym, and go home! (oops!)

Happy warm weather, Internet!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mini Cupcakes

Cupcake baking, originally uploaded by HarmonyHilderbrand.

Saturday I went for an 8 mile run. It was hard. It was long.
And when I got home, all I wanted to do was make cupcakes. So I did.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, originally uploaded by HarmonyHilderbrand.

I found a recipe for red velvet cupcakes, fudged a few ingredients and made them all mini cupcakes and ended up with 5-6 dozen! Then I made some delicious cream cheese frosting (my favorite) and some cute little fondant owls, hearts, and flowers in pinks and reds for Valentine's Day. (although I doubt any of the cupcakes will last that long)

I put together a cute half dozen for my friend Joleen - Happy Birthday!

Brought 2 dozen to church for Sunday fellowship.

And have been slowly eating and sharing the rest. ;]

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


And the countdown begins. 14 weeks to graduation.

Exhibit is April 12-23. Thesis defense April 20. Birthday May 8. Graduation May 15!


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