31 May 2011

time sucessfully wasted.

Theoretically, this post is to warn you that I'll be gone the rest of the week finishing up school. I've put off writing this because once I click publish, I will really have to get down to business -"let's get down to business, to defeat the Huns"- (now it's in your head too) begin working. So far this morning I've browsed Urban Outfitters, enjoyed a cup of coffee, examined my sunburn, and cleared out my Google Reader.

Procrastination kills.

I then spent fifteen minutes trying to embed the above video, and then realized that the reason it wasn't working was not, in fact, that I dodn't know how to embed a video, but that Firefox was acting weird.


Last week of school, here I come!

28 May 2011

when it rains.

"My brother and I used to play a game. I'd point to a chair. "THIS IS NOT A CHAIR," I'd say. 
Bird would point to the table. "THIS IS NOT A TABLE." "THIS IS NOT A WALL," I'd say. "THAT IS NOT A CEILING." We'd go on like that. "IT IS NOT RAINING OUT." "MY SHOE IS NOT UNTIED!" Bird would yell. I'd point to my elbow. "THIS IS NOT A SCRAPE." Bird would lift his knee. "THIS IS ALSO NOT A SCRAPE!" "THAT IS NOT A KETTLE!" "NOT A CUP!" "NOT A SPOON!" "NOT DIRTY DISHES!"  
We denied whole rooms, years, weathers. Once, at the peak of our shouting, Bird took a deep breath. 
At the top of his lungs, he shrieked: "I! HAVE NOT! BEEN! UNHAPPY! MY WHOLE! LIFE!" 
"But you're only seven," I said." Nichole Kraus, from the History of Love. 

The storms we've been having have, yet again, created a gorgeous contrast between the sky and the trees. Spring is such a vibrant season.

Do you have anything special planned for the weekend? I've been drinking loads of tea and 
reading too many books. It's been lovely.

24 May 2011

eyes wide open.

Quote love: "If May had a soundtrack, it would be rain falling and pages turning and keys clicking as I type my way through the night. May sounds like a storm pressing down on the roof and a prayer on my lips and a summer love song still vibrating inside my heart." Natalie Lloyd. 
I like: the way the sunset turns the trees into green-grey smudges.

I'm not sure where this post is going, but that's ok. My mind's a little all over the place, and, as a result, this most likely will be. And all the photos? Well, there's an explanation for them too.

It looks like it's going to rain tonight. There's a particularly ominous cloud creeping closer to us, just barely covering up the sun. The storms are my favorite part of spring. There's just the right balance of warmth during the day, a light storm just before the sun sets, and clear skies by the time the stars come out.

This weather begs for a book and a cup of tea, a camera capturing it all. Instead of sitting sprawled out on the wicker porch swing, creaking a rhythm of back and forth and back and forth and back, I'm sitting in the living room. The light is gorgeous tonight, smooth and creamy, and, if you hit it at the right angle, just dreamy enough to put a soft haze around whatever you're photographing. 

Libby, blogger and photographer extraordinaire, wrote a post yesterday that hit straight home. Speaking of forgoing editing in the photo process and just focusing on the photo, she says,
"Of course, editing has a place. But I really want to get the skills of light and composition and depth before I learn the skills of saturation bars and resizing and tinting. To me, it's important that I nurture those raw, instinctive skills of just a camera." 
And so, today I took time to simply "do photography," as Libby puts it.

I took my camera and my 50mm outside, and I looked. I watched. And I saw.

Things look different through a camera lens. 

You notice things you wouldn't have noticed without the viewfinder. Small, insignificant things stand out.

One of my favorite movies is Sabrina. In this story, Sabrina travels to Paris to work for a fashion agency. A friend teaches her how to use a camera, and she documents Paris with her camera. Fast forward, and she's back in America photographing a house for her father's employer. Sabrina explains to him why she loves photography, saying that every time she looks through a camera, it's like finding herself in the middle of a story.

I love that. For me, taking photos (yes, it's cliche) (don't judge) is about capturing the memories. It's about seeing the small beauty with eyes wide open. In Natalie's stellar book Paperdoll, there's a particular paragraph that speaks volumes to me. She writes,

"Anybody can find beauty when it's obvious. Finding subtle beauty and looking for a holy moment in an ordinary day is more of a challenge. And it is usually far more amazing."

And that, friends, is so very true.

Today was heart shaped bokeh, eye doctor appointments (new glasses? oh yes!), re-reading inspiring blog posts (dear Natalie, you never fail to amaze me),  and, of course, picturepicturespictures.

What's happy in your lives right now?

23 May 2011

slightly bitter; mostly sweet.

Happy Monday, dears! As I said, today is the 23rd, and, for me, it's the official ending of the last year.

Let's recap, for those of you who haven't been around very long. This time last year I was leaving to spend nearly three months in Jordan, becoming a part of a friend's family. Leaving is a relatively normal thing for my family; I've moved an estimated eleven times in my life, and the four years we've lived here has been the longest I've lived in any one place for one stretch of time.

Last year I was sitting in an airport in Atlanta, waiting for a late flight to Paris. Very long story short, our flight to Paris was delayed, and the two hour layover we should have had turned into an overnight stay at an airport hotel. We toured Paris for a few lovely hours, and, the next day, boarded a plane for Jordan.

I won't forget my first sight of Jordan. I was in the window seat, so I had an unobstructed view of the country as our plane dipped closer to it. It was sunset, so the desert was covered in gold and pink and orange. (” . . . but I don’t know what your favorite color is?”, he says. A smile creeps onto my lips. ‘Green. What’s yours?’ ‘Orange,” he says. ‘Orange? Like Effie’s hair?” I say. ‘A bit more muted,’ he says. ‘More like . . . sunset.’")  

The desert. Right about then my stomach twisted into a million little knots. See, I hate the desert. For a girl born in Arizona, it's a bit surprising. I suppose I've lived in lush, rain-drenched Holland and Indiana long enough that the desert is foreign to me.

There's a story my family tells from when I was younger. We were flying into Arizona from Holland, maybe? and as we got closer to the ground, I gasped. "It's so beauti- it's not very beautiful, is it?"

thank you, Philip, for insisting that there be at least one photo 
of me at the archeological dig. :)

That's a bit of what I was feeling as we landed in Queen Alia Airport. I just couldn't imagine spending my entire summer in the desert.

me + five of my favorite boys.
So last year I left. For the longest time I was counting days; the first week I was in Jordan, two weeks, the first month, one week until I went home. I counted the days after I was home too...home 24 hours...home a week...home a month. I don't remember when I stopped counting, when I stopped announcing to my mother on the 12th of every month how many months it had been since I'd been home.

I miss it so much. I have family in Jordan. There are six little boys there who I miss like crazy; my summer parents, who treated me like their daughter. Mimi, who I've written about before, one of my bestest friends in the world. Philip and Paul, who I haven't written about before, but were the source of many laughs during the month or so that I knew them.

Most of me can't believe that it's been an entire year since I left.

Because really, I didn't think this far ahead when I left. I didn't think about sitting here an entire year later and musing about the long days with no air conditioning, playing Pinochle in Philip and Paul's dining room (for whatever reason, Mimi and Paul, both of whom had played before, decided it was a good idea to put me and Philip, neither of whom had played before, on a team. Needless to say, we lost), attempting to make pizza crust with Mimi, women jokes at the archeological dig (we did not approve), and my favorite memory of all: coming home from the two-day archeological dig. I walked into through the door, Philip right behind me with my suitcase. Gabriel careened around the corner of the kitchen and attacked me. He hugged me tight and told me, "Katie, I missed you."

my parents told me about the Dead Sea when I was younger, about how you can float on the water without trying, how all the salt will hold you up...I never in a million years thought I would ever be able to go, and there I am.

I miss my family there so much. Every so often I'll get hit with this wave of homesickness, and I'll wonder if it was worth it. The answer is, of course, always yes, but it's hard to leave everything behind.

SO. That's the gist of it. This past year was the best so far, and it's a little bitter that it's over, but overwhelmingly sweet that this last year has been so fantastic.

miss lauren over here is giving away a darling little camera, and miss lauren over here is giving away a personalized copy of her lovely book AND an arc of the sequel. check them out, why don't you?

21 May 2011


I've had one line from an old Hawk Nelson song on repeat in my mind. The song is about a breakup, I think, maybe two best friends who fell in love and found out that friendship was better after all. That's not really the point though. There's one line in the song that Jason Dunn repeats multiple times, because it's the title of the song, and also because it describes the relationship he's singing about.

"It's over, it's over, twelve days later and I can't console her..."

I took my last final yesterday. It was somewhat of a disappointment as far as finals go, considering we had to drive an hour there and an hour back so I could turn in my last drawing and collect my sketchbook. But that final, the...finality of it, doesn't escape me. It. Is. Over. All of it.

Sometimes I look over this past semester and wonder how it happened. There's a certain feel of irony about the whole situation, at least for me. I was always one of those children who wanted, and expected, to graduate at 16. That's what I was planning on for most of my life. (My brother, at this point, would probably want you to know that he thought I was going to be "Little House on the Prairie" for most of my life, but, thank goodness, I've moved on from that.) I'm obviously not graduated, but taking college classes, which, to younger me, would still equal the same thing.

There's more to this feeling of overwhelming overness, but I'll tell you more about that on the 23rd, because that's when it all officially ends in my mind.

So that's life lately.

I have a crazy-busy weekend tomorrow, provided there is a tomorrow. If not, I love you all very much, you're beautiful, and you mean the world to me. 

I'm off to drink tea and read Peter Pan until I fall asleep on the couch. Sleep well, dears.

17 May 2011

describing unity.

Quote love: "And all the books you've read have been read by other people. And all the songs you've loved have been heard by other people. And that girl that's pretty to you is pretty to other people. And you know that if you looked at these facts when you were happy, you would feel great because you are describing 'unity'". Stephen Chbosky.

Hello! How have you been?

Silly Blogger. Not only did it quit on Thursday right as I had 18 different things to blog about, but Thursday was my 2 year blog anniversary. So, in lieu of a proper happy birthday for the blog (complete with singing in Dutch ((it's a family tradition)) and birthday cake), I'd just like to thank all of you for sticking around. You all mean the world to me, and I can't tell you how special it is when you take time to comment and tell me about yourselves, about your life...you are lovely.

I've been reading up a storm (mostly mediocre books, but there have been a few stellar ones in there too), working through my journal (first on the list today is leaving it in a public place. I cannot wait), and studyingstudyingstudying.

 My first final is today, and I've only just started to get nervous. The fact that I'm only now getting worried worries me. If you pray, prayers would be much appreciated. :)

Incidentally, I finished my drawing last night. I'll touch it up, finish darkening some of the edges, and then you can see it. I'm actually really, really proud of how it turned out. It looks so much better than I ever would have thought, and, to my surprise, it actually was an enjoyable experience.

Have a happy day!

10 May 2011

darker and brighter.

"I don't know. Poets are always taking the weather so personally. They're always sticking their emotions in things that have no emotions." from the Catcher in the Rye.

I like the way the rain and gloominess intensifies every other color. The trees outside are so vibrantly juxtaposed next to the sky and the rain. Today is beautiful.

09 May 2011


-Wreck This Journal- new backpack- permanently set at 11:11- "key to my heart"...although not specifically Les Mis; it's probably the only book I've never finished- cinnamon latte- lilac weather.

Just a few photos. There's not been anything exciting or out of the ordinary in the past few days, except that I'm almost finished with my first semester of college. It's a little freaky and weird to realize that I've made it through this, and it's almost over.

I'm so ready for this semester to wind down so I can head off to Europe. Mom and I occasionally have little fits of giddiness because we're actually going to France again! I'm compiling a list of things that I want to do, touristy things, of course. I want to stand at Kilometer Zero, Paris, and make a wish; buy a book from the Kilometer Zero bookstore; have a conversation in French; explore Lille; drink a coffee on a corner cafe; and ect. 

I'm hoping to learn how to use my film camera before we leave. Not sure if it would be worth it to carry two large cameras across Europe, but I'd love to learn how to use it. I want to see if Europe looks different on film. 

I'll be studying for finals, so it may be a while until I'm back again. I hope you have a happy week! 

05 May 2011

dancing until midnight, self portraits, and the little things.

Hello there! I feel like I've been a bit of an absentee blogger, even though I keep telling myself that I did blog on Friday, and that's less than a week ago. It feels longer than that. Am I the only one who gets annoyed by bloggers who post something along the lines of, "oh my word, I can't believe it's been two whole days since I've posted!"

Really? I'm lucky to post twice a week.

I've been a bit busy lately; mostly with school and prom. Friday night was prom and it was ammmmazing. Dancing plus best friends plus continuing a little tradition we call "breaking bathroom sinks in every place we go" plus losing the limo equals a lovely night.

We started working on our final project in drawing this week. Three days into it, and, as my dad phrased it, it's making me want to never take another art class again. Remember those drawings we used to do when we were kids? The ones with the grid that you copied onto another paper...you know, grid drawings? We have to do a massive, grown-up version of that. The subject? Us.

So that's me, if you were wondering. We're assigned twenty squares a day, every day except for Sunday. It is monotonous, time consuming, and sucking the creativity out of me. I did manage to knock out forty-ish squares during our two hour class yesterday, so there's a definite plus.

In different ways, I'm both ready and not ready for this semester to be over. There's been a lot of change and new things in the past few months, mostly Taylor, and I'm not ready for that to be over. It's going to be weird not waking up at 6 every Monday and Wednesday morning to go draw for two hours.

I am, however, so completely ready to not get up at 6 o'clock twice a week.

It's funny how the small things that make a day better. Yesterday didn't start out very stellar. I woke up an hour late with twenty minutes to get ready, so no shower. My contacts wouldn't stay in, as a result, I wore glasses all day. They're too big for my face, so I always have to do that awkward nerd thing where you shove your glasses up your nose. When Joseph and I got in the car, already running a few minutes late, it was dead.  

Butttt I managed to draw forty squares at class, so today I can either not draw anything, or get a little ahead. After chapel they gave us free donut holes. Taylor-from-lit-class said she loves my scarf, and she says something along those lines almost every class. She's amazing. I bought a new pack of my favorite pencils because my friend Alex stole one and the other has no eraser left. Youth group was bittersweet in the best kind of way; we said goodbye to two fantastic leaders who we won't see until the end of the summer, but it's been such a blessing to get to know them this year. I love how such small, unimportant things can change a day.

I have two left...of everything. Two weeks of 180. Two weeks of Taylor. Less than two months until I leave for Europe.

It seems like every time I update you on travel plans, my mother reads it and tells me something along the lines of, "oh, actually we're only going to be in England for four days, and we're going to be in Holland for four days, and it looks like we've added Belgium to the list."

I know. It just keeps getting more and more exciting.

And guys, have you noticed? It is 100%, completely, sunshiney spring outside.

I've figured out how to use my 50mm, manual focus and everything (pictures two, three, and four). It's gotten to the point where it's weird to use either of my auto focus lenses. Just another little accomplishment that's made me smile.

Bleah and I have a phone date planned for tonight, and I'm finally growing my nails out. Life is happy.

**quick technical blog question: does anyone know how I can change the photos so they don't have that stupid shadow? any help would be much appreciated.