Monday, June 30, 2008

Yesterday's photos

Yesterday I was sitting on the back porch and saw this beautiful mass of clouds above me.  I was looking at them, and saw this on the edge, and it kind of reminded me of wings.  And I pictured them as Liam's angel wings.  I like that thought.

This just reminded me of that song... I'm just a little black rain cloud... from Winnie the Pooh. It was the only grey cloud in the sky yesterday.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy 8th Birthday, Liam

"Death is nothing at all.  I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you.  Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.  Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you used to.  Put no difference in your tone; wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.  Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.  Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.  Let my name be ever the household word that it always was, let it be spoken without effort, no trace of a shadow on it.  Life means all that it ever meant.  It is the same as it ever was.  There is unbroken continuity.  Why should I be out of your mind because I am out of your sight?  I am waiting for you somewhere very near.  Just around the corner.  All is well."  -Henry Scott Holland 

Happy 8th birthday, little man.  We miss you so much here on Earth.

Woman on Beach

I like this photo.. I didn't take it, but when I saw it, I just saw this woman's hat and pants pop out at me, so I decided to make them pop out even more.  

I'm getting nervous because today I woke up with a sore throat and pretty bad headache...which were my mom's first symptoms before it turned out she had CMV.  She's still struggling with it, after 3 weeks of being sick.  Basically, what it is is, there are two types of Mono.  Most people get EBV mono (Epstein-Barr Virus).  But some people are unlucky enough to get CMV mono (Cyclomegalo virus)  CMV is the worse kind, and my mom has been feeling awful for going on 4 weeks now.  Please, please please don't let me have that.  If I get sick with anything contagious, I won't be able to volunteer at A.I. duPont Children's Hospital, and that would ruin my summer.  Please let it just be allergies!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Sorry for the lack of updates. Not much has been going on around here. My mom is really sick, so Kels and I have been taking care of her and just hanging out around the apartment a lot. Yesterday we were able to get out and go into Philly to hang out with Lindsey, which was really fun and it was no nice to get out of our apartment!  We walked South St. and I found a few good things for some projects that I'm working on ;-)

Besides hanging out with Linds, I haven't really done anything but work and sit around the apartment.  Yes...I started working at with Kelsey!!  It's insane, and horrible at times but actually it's not so bad at all.  It's kind of fun to work with Kels...especially when crazies come in and treat us like servants, and Kelsey gets her attitude!  It's funny, I'm so used to working at places where the customers (scratch that...the "guests" as we had to call them) are always right, and you had to cater to their every need and want.  At, they don't take shit from anyone!  It's kind of nice..I'm getting paid around the same amount as I did at my old restaurant, but I don't have to deal with people being rude and me just having to slap a smile on my face and completely apologize for something that's not my fault or something ridiculous accusation.  UGH!  Okay, sorry for the rant.

So the next few weeks will hopefully be really chill.  I'm only on the schedule for like 10 hrs a week at so that leaves me a lot of time to just relax and hopefully visit Maria at the beach!  I made plans with some people I worked with last summer for 4th of July, which is my FAVORITE holiday.  Maria sounded like she had a full house for the 4th, so I didn't want to bother Mrs. Gandolfo with another person, so I'll just visit them when they won't have a ton of people there already.  I'm excited to see my friends from camp, I miss them so much ... but that's a whole other story that I won't get into when I've had a few beers and am feeling angry/sad/frustrated!! 

I guess that's about it.  Incase any of you were wondering, I talked to Em tonight and she sounds like she's having a great time at her new camp.  It sounds like her job is really not that stressful and that she's able to just relax and enjoy camp in the mountains.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Brett Dennen

So, lately my musical interests have been completely dominated by one amazing musician. His name is Brett Dennen, and I originally found him because I was watching House about a year and a half ago and they used one of his songs during the episode. The song was "Ain't No Reason" and I fell in love with it immediately. (Kind of like how I fell in love with Ani DiFranco's "Out of Range" when I saw a group of dancers from Greensboro interpretive dancing to it).

Brett not only has an amazing voice and mad guitar skills, he writes extremely meaningful lyrics, ones that seem to capture so much about how I (and apparently a lot of others) feel on a day to day basis. He's so worth checking out. You can get him on iTunes or at his website - I was SHOCKED to find out that he is touring with John Mayer this summer! He'll be opening for him at most of the shows, so if you're seeing J.M. then you'll probably get to see Brett (who, in my opinion, will probably blow you away compared to J.M.!!)

If you want to download a few songs to hear him, my FAVORITE song is "When I Go". Also very good are Ain't No Reason, Blessed, and She's Mine.

Here is the music video for "Ain't No Reason". The point he's trying to get across is that there is a lot of social unjust in the world, and often it's not at the front of our minds. With this video, he's saying, what if these unsolved issues began showing up in our own homes and our own lives? Would we care more about it then ? Enjoy...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Post # 201

I posted this picture awhile ago, but I worked on it in and now I think it looks even better. The bracelets are Liam and Christine bracelets. I have them, but I don't wear them..I only wear my Livestrong bracelet every single day.

Last Saturday marked 2 years since Christine was in her accident. It was a hard day for my sister, and everyone who was at Staff Training. It's so hard to believe it's been two whole years since I was at Jack's on the Corner for lunch and Kelsey called me hysterical. I think about Christine all of the time, and will never, ever forget her.

Staff Training went really well! It was so good to see my friends, especially Rachel, who spent this last semester in Samoa for study abroad. I am very happy with my classes, and I feel like I'll be able to get a lot done in preparation since I'll be home with not much to do.

Tomorrow I am calling A.I. duPont Children's Hospital to see if I can get some volunteer hours with the Child Life department. Most graduate school programs require you to already have 30-50 hours of volunteering in order to admit you to the program, so my hope is to get that done during this month.

I am extremely excited for two things.
1. My mom and Gill's mom (one of Kelsey's best friends) just rented a beach house for a week in July. I am so excited! I love Rehoboth, and that also means that I'll get to see Maria (hopefully) if she's not working too much!
2. On the day that we come back from the beach, the Indigo Girls are playing at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington!!! Lindsey invited me to go with her and Meghan, which I am so happy about! The concert should be great - I saw Ani DiFranco there a few years ago with Laura. We got tickets at the last minute, and when Laura called she was offered front row seats! That show was awesome, and the Grand is a great place for concerts..very intimate, and comfortable.

That's about it for now.

PS- I also posted this picture awhile back, but Em edited it in PS - the bigger the picture, the more amazing it looks, and this is the biggest that Blogger will let me make it, but if you click on it, it should make the picture bigger.  Check it out.  No, Kels does not wear contacts and we did not enhance any coloring!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Thanks to Lindsey for inspiring me to figure out how the new works!  I had the version that came out around 2003, but Em just got CS3, with the new, so it took me (and Em) awhile to figure out everything.  On Lindsey's blog she recently posted pictures that she worked on in P.S. and I was SOOO impressed with how cool that they looked, that I wanted to figure it out myself too.  Lindsey is a pro at photoshop and all things design-related, so my attempts are totally not as cool as hers,  but you should check them out - especially the parrot one!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Post # 199

The other night at like 1am Em was outside and I was dozing watching TV and Em stuck her head in and said, "Grab your camera!!"  So I ran out and we watched this beautiful owl on top of the light post outside of our house.  He watched us for awhile, and we watched him, and I shot a few good pictures of him.  Then he flew off, too quickly for me to get a shot of him flying.  He was beautiful, though.  Then, I felt creepy because it looked like I was taking pictures of our neighbors through the windows, so we went inside.  

Tonight Em and I ate at the Melting Pot.  Our roomie Liz just got a job there, and tonight was her first night on the floor after a week of training.  She did great, and the meal was FABULOUS.  We got the spinach /artichoke cheese, I had the Cali salad, and Em had the Caesar.  Then we had this great cooking style that was a bouillon base with lots of awesome cajun spices.  And for dessert we got milk chocolate with marshmallows swirled around and oreos crumbled on top.  Mmmmm...but my tummy is so full that I feel like I'm going to burst.

I can't believe this is the 199th post in this blog.  How crazy!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Em and I ran to Lo.we's the other day so that Em could grab a few things.  I brought along my camera so that I could take some shots of the flowers at the Outdoor Center.  I love this picture that I took of a rose.  It's actually the first shot I took that day.

Marissa, from my last post, passed away peacefully yesterday morning.  I am sad, but happy that she is no longer in any pain.  I can't believe how quickly it all happened... just a few weeks ago I was reading her mother's beautiful writing about Marissa and her sister playing together.  Please send good thoughts or prayers to the Monroe family.  

I've decided to go home for a little while to live with my mom and my sister.  We're leaving this weekend for staff training, and I'm going to stay at home until PACAA, and then I'll come back to NC after PACAA ends.  I just feel like I want to be at home.  Leaving last week felt horrible, for some reason I got really upset when we were leaving.  

Not much has been going on.  I am meeting with my study abroad advisor next week to get the classes approved that I plan on taking next spring.  After I get them approved, I am almost halfway through the process!  I can't wait to just be accepted into the program so that I know exactly what I'm doing.

That's all for tonight.

PS.  Here's a pretty picture!

Monday, June 9, 2008


When Em and I got home from being up north I caught up on all of my caringbridge "friends".  This little cutie is Marissa Monroe.  Her dad, Randy, rode on the Loneliest Road tour back in September.  Him and 6 other dads rode from California to Washington DC to raise money and awareness about Neuroblastoma.  

Marissa and her family traveled to MSKCC in New York for more treatment, and when they did scans they found that Marissa has taken a terrible turn for the worse.  Her scans show that her body is full of cancer, and the doctors don't feel that there is anything that can be done.  They took Marissa back home to Michigan to make her comfortable and are utilizing hospice care.  If you want to look at her site, the address is:   .  Feel free to leave her parents a note.

I have kept up on Marissa ever since her diagnosis, which was right around the time of Lillie Boyte's diagnosis... Lillie was from near Greensboro, somewhere around the area in North Carolina.  I actually found out about Lillie through someone involved in Relay for Life at UNCG who was one of her babysitters.  I was devastated to have just done the Relay in memory of Liam, only to find that one of the members of my committee knew a little girl who was dx with NB.  Lillie was adorable.

There is a picture somewhere of Marissa, Lillie, and Grace Oughton (who's dad also rode on the Loneliest Road).  In the picture is also Marissa's older sister Mackenzie and Lillie's older sister Hannah.  I keep thinking about that picture..and about how Lillie and Grace are probably waiting for Marissa so that they can play together forever up in the clouds.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Loose Ends

I took this picture a few days's not great quality, and it could have been set up better, but I just like it :-)

We drove back to North Carolina today.  I am lucky to be alive right now.  I hate ridiculous drivers who don't really realize that there are HUMANS driving the other cars on the highway.  I almost got into a serious accident because this guy was impatient and pulled out in front of me while I was going 70 mph (the speed limit) in Virginia.  Thankfully my (new!) car has excellent brakes and everyone around me realized what was going on, so I had room to swerve.  Ugh!!  It's so frustrating!  I sobbed for the next 20 minutes of the drive, and then got tears in my eyes for the rest of the drive whenever I remembered it.  We got home around 10, a little later than expected because we stopped at one of our favorite restaurants in Durham.  

At some point while I was home I came into contact with poison ivy.  And not in a normal place, like on your ankle or toe or elbow or something.  Instead, there's a patch of it on my PALM.  Ouch!!  It's driving me up the wall.  Especially while I was driving because it was rubbing against the steering wheel.  I tried as hard as I could to just not think about it, but it was so irritating!

So, if you didn't catch the clue earlier in this post, I got a new car!  Picture to be posted soon... It's nothing very special - but it runs, which makes it automatically trump the Neon!  Yes, sadly, Greeon the Neon died a month or two ago, that car really got around.  My mom surprised me while I was home and got me a used Ford Escort...which is red...which has a silver racing stripe... I can sense all of your jealousy!!  ;-)  It's nice though, the A/C  actually works, and it only has like 40,000 miles.  It's a car that works well, that's all I could ever ask for!!

That's about all that has been going on with me.  I'm babysitting for a new family tomorrow night.  They have a 3 year old girl and a 1 year old boy.  Em found them for me on Craigslist, and I interviewed with them.  They liked me, and hired me for tomorrow night.  So hopefully that goes well.

Hope everyone else is having a great start to their summer.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Here are some photos from our trip to Valley Gardens on Monday.  That camera takes some beautiful pictures.  Kels and I are thinking about framing a few for my mom.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 2, 2008

New Camera

On Saturday I finally was able to go to the Christiana Mall (yeah DE- no sales tax!!) to buy my Nik.on D60! It's beautiful, and perfect for me. When I first held one in North Carolina, I knew that it was perfect for me, it just fits in my hands nicely and all of the buttons feel very accessible. I played around with it on Saturday night and then haven't had a chance to again until today. We're going over to Valley Gardens later with Kelsey, so hopefully I will get some good shots in there. I won't even tell you the total price I paid for the camera, it's sickening, it's probably the most expensive thing I have ever purchased with my own money. But, I am so excited! I love buying big things for myself, it makes me feel accomplished and it's more satisfying.  This picture of Sydney that I posted is one of the first pictures that I took... she is so cute anyway, but you can definitely tell the difference between this picture and others that I have posted using my old digital camera or Em's.  I think I'll give my old digital camera to my mom (she always gets all of my old technology: iPod, etc.)  

Kels will probably kill me for posting this, but I just have to because it's a great picture.  I took 
this on Saturday night.  She wasn't very happy- she didn't want me to take her picture.  But the lighting was just so perfect, and her eyes are so blue.  Sorry Kels!  You're gorgeous though!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Happy Day

Today was such a happy day. We woke up early and drove down to Rehoboth/Dewey Beach for the day. My mom, Em, Kels, me, and then Kelsey's friend Gill and her mom Kristin. We had so much fun! I haven't been to Rehoboth in awhile..usually we go to Dewey because Maria has a beach house there and we visit her in the summer. But, Rehoboth was great and Funland was open, which just brings back memories of my childhood... :-) Playing those silly games and riding on little boats and little fire engines and the Merry-Go-Round. After we hung out in Rehoboth and walked around all of the shops we went over to Dewey to Chicken Ed's for dinner. (It's actually called "Ed's" ... but we always call it "Chicken Ed's" he he) We all got chicken, but when we got up there I saw that they had MD crabs, and then I saw the price - $30 a DOZEN! And those were the smallest size. They're not exactly in season yet, but I wanted them so badly...but I just couldn't ask my mom to get them for me. That's so much money. So I went and sat down to wait for my chicken. So my mom brings all the chicken over, and hands them out, and I didn't get one, and she hands me a beer and says, "Here, this can hold you over 'til those crabs get here.." AHHH!! I love my mom!!!!! I was in heaven!!! What a perfect way to end my perfect beach day!!