Friday, October 24, 2014

Foto Friday: Playing DC Tourist

So some friends from Richmond came to visit last weekend, and we wanted around the memorials and museums. I decided to pretend to be artsy with my iPhone and grab some pictures. I love living just outside this photogenic city!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Foto Friday: Octoberful.

So no real theme for this week, just showing off what's been going on the past two weeks in mi vida, but first...

25,000 views y'all! (mini-milestone celebration time)
as of today, this lil blog has passed the 25,000 view mark! The views are almost all from this one concert-recap post and I can't be sure how many of these views are actual people and not just bots, but since I can't tell, I'm counting them all!

Now back to our regularly scheduled post:
The first weekend in October was filled with soccer and friends, starting with a very rainy DC United game (which they tied to clinch a spot in the playoffs)...
Yay for friends who love soccer enough to stand getting soaked in the rain with me!
...Then continued on Saturday at the RFK Auxiliary field for my coed league's All Star game #gopink! 
(we won, even if the blue team was much better at the whole organized-picture thing)
The representatives from our team also got to accept the trophy for having won our division last spring, chyeeaaah SSFC!

I also don't have any photos of it (which I guess defeats the purpose of FotoFriday) but I had my first performance on stage playing acoustic/rhythm guitar with the worship band at my church and it was great, everyone was so encouraging! And I also participated in a Chili Cook-Off with a Pumpkin Chicken Chili (recipe here)
Picture via original recipe (is this FotoFriday cheating if it's a professional picture? Imma say no, my blog, my theme,  my rules)
This past holiday weekend started out with some more soccer spectating (and another tie) with a group viewing of Landon Donovan's last game with Team USA

Saturday was spent resting up to attack the Army Ten-Miler with the family (minus 2OB, plus a Katie, who ROCKED the race with 12 hours notice) on Sunday.
The course was different this year but it was amazing as always and was the third Army Ten Miler for me and the third with AMAZING weather!

My sister and I also always run in matching shirts with HOO and AAH written on our backs. For anyone who doesn't know, in the Army, HOOAAH is kind of an all-encompassing/catch-all cheer, encouragement, response. We always get comments and cheers mid race and the best is when someone tells us it encourages them! We even had a gentlemen this year tell us around mile 8 that this was the third year he's seen us, that makes him 3 for 3!

The rest of the weekend was spent mainly recovering off my feet with #notsosecretproject14
bulky yarn = my favorite!
A (not very social) weekend's progress #bananaforscale:

My final activity this past weekend involved scoping out my soon to be new room (if all goes well)!!! 
Soon to be new room?!?!?
Lastly, yesterday I received the AMAZING news that a friend and former club and college teammate who is battling brain cancer had her first post-chemo scan return TUMOR FREE! She's not completely done with treatment but this is a HUGE positive step towards beating this disease! She is a fighter and we're all behind her, I can't wait to visit her in a little over a week! #KickAsh!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Foto Friday: For Natalie

So today's Foto Friday honors an angel's birthday. Natalie would be 25 today. Two weeks ago, following a memorial ceremony honoring Natalie Lewis and Ginny Doyle and their contributions to the University of Richmond family, I was privileged to accompany those who knew her so much better to her favorite spot in Richmond.

I had been to Maymont Park before. but I had never seen it the way she saw it.  There was a whole part of the park I had not even known existed and it was immediately clear what made it so special to her.

This gazebo is where her fiance proposed, with the help of her sister and some of her best friends. Watching the proposal videos on facebook this past February was so wonderful.  The park looks completely different from that winter wonderland now.

Dear Natalie,

You are such a gift to everyone blessed enough to know you. Your genuine enthusiastic love for your friends and teammates and even for strangers was inspiring.  You took such care to welcome everyone and make them feel special and you took time to create and share so much more kindness in almost 25 years than most people can hope conjure up in 75. You used God's gifts and lived almost every day with joy, even on the hard days. The legacy you leave is a solid mark of hope and kindness in this word (made with glittery hand-made cards and home-made cookies).
I am blessed to know your spirit. You welcomed me to the swim team family with open arms and home-made posters. I wish we got to spend more time together, there's so much I could learn about friendship from you. There's so much I could learn about how to comfort those in whose hearts your loss left the greatest holes. Know that you are missed. You are loved, you are remembered, and oh so deeply missed.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Foto Friday: Voyage to Vancouver

Days 10 & 11 & 12

Hard to believe but Ketchikan was our last stop in Alaska. We had a day at sea and then our final port in Vancouver BC. Since we weren't ready to call our vacation over, we decided to stay overnight in Vancouver before traveling home. This also allowed us a chance to rest before the long flights home and to absorb some Canadian culture evaluate what makes us different from our northern neighbors.

Last shot of Alaska:

All the traveling, change in temperature (it finally felt like summer again) and dealing with customs (two of our crew were pre-selected for a random extra customs screening, the rest of us had to go through the extra x-rays cause my dad had backed pepper spray -- in case of bears, he said -- which apparently is a controlled substance in Canada and a big no-no to bring in) meant that grandpa Tony was worn out. So the older generations stayed close to the hotel for lunch then rested while us young'ins took a self-guided tour through the city to the local pier/beach-walk.

Vancouver is a port city, which means lots of boats!!

We got to see Canadian geese, not so uncommon here in the US but it was funny to think we were seeing Canadian geese in Canada for the first time


posing with the whole city behind me!

Some secret-ish guarded house

The couple, this was our last day traveling with them, as they would stay in Canada an extra week as a delayed honey-moon
They had a part of the park which displayed examples of the various totem designs by different native tribes, so us being us we had a quick totem photo-shoot.
Thunderbird Totem impression

3 Ladies Totem

The Bridge!

Now everyone don't pose but look like you're looking at something...
We re-grouped, showered (cause again, it was summer-hot, something we weren't used to after so many days in Alaska), and changed for dinner, where we ate at a really delicious pizza place. We set our schedule for the next day, since they were renting a car to drive to Banff and Tony;s flight was later, we coordinated K & Pat driving Tony to the airport, said our goodbyes and set our alarms way early with the comforting knowledge that the next day we'd be back sleeping in our own beds...

... or so we thought!

Unexpected Day 13 

Our connecting flight went through Ottowa, Ontario. Little did we know a large storm was tracking across the mid-Atlantic and mid-west. After going through customs and waiting at the airport for more than two hours, we heard the announcement that our flight was cancelled. My dad immediately went into crisis management mode and had our hotel booked before we were (rather unceremoniously, if you ask me) led back to the ticket counter to try to get on a flight the next day, fortunately there was an early flight the next morning. Surprisingly, no vouchers for food, hotels, or anything were offered by the airline, i guess because it was a weather delay and not based off any fault of theirs.  I felt bad for the young single traveler a few spots ahead of us in line who seemed pretty distraught about having to find and pay for a hotel.  Luckily my boss was very understanding that I would be late the next day.

So in the early hours of Day 13, we lugged ourselves out of the final hotel room, back to the airport, through customs, grabbed a Tim Horton's breakfast, and boarded our final plane home.
Like Dunkin Donuts but with more maple-y goodness

Back in the U-S-of-A!