The Latest & Greatest | How 2019 is Going

The plan for this year was to take a break from the blog – and it’s been radio silence for almost six months now. Sometimes I miss it… other times I’m grateful to not feel guilty about ignoring it, but I have been thinking more about what I miss exactly.

I share a lot of my photography on Instagram and in the 2019P52 Flickr Group, so sharing images isn’t really it. But I think it has more to do with the fact that this is my little space of the internet, where I can post what I like, talk about things that bring me joy, and showcase my images in a way that I can control. Taking time off has given me some food for thought about where I’d like to take my blog – and I’m still not sure how but I’m getting there.

I hope to post more often the second half of the year… no pressure though. I have some photos and stories I’d like to share and my blog makes the most sense for that. Like all the amazing photos we took in Hawaii! But for now, let me tell you a bit about my year so far…

The new Project 52 is going great! We have four hosts (including myself) and it has been so great to tackle themes I never would have thought of. And the group itself is full of wonderful people who are encouraging and friendly. It’s everything it’s supposed to be!

I still have both Instagram accounts, my newest one being SkinnyJeansAndProteins. I jumped in the deep end last fall, going low-carb/almost keto and lost a ton of weight that needed to go. Some has come back on since February and I know it’s stress related (I love my job but man, am I stretched). I’ve recently reintroduced carbs into my diet the last few weeks and still plan/track what I eat as countability. Meal-prep is my friend and I do it almost every week. I’m happy to say that my jeans aren’t screaming at me and my taste buds have never been happier.

Speaking of being happy, I love where Mike and I are in our relationship. We talk constantly about what we want for ourselves, our careers, where we want to travel, about the world and politics, and have brainstormed a few times looking for what he calls “widgets.” It’s fun, he’s fun, and I love us. And our zoo – we’re going strong with Chevy, Chase, and Cornflake. Chase has started losing her hearing though and two deaf dogs is trying. That’s for damn sure.

I feel like not much has really happened though, event-wise. We went to a lot of Louisville basketball games, I had an uneventful birthday, The Getting Lit(erary) book club is killing it (and I’m personally 29 books in for the year already), we tried St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago, and Derby Week was as great a time as expected. A lot of normal though… lots of it. Which is A-OK in my book. ;)

New Year – New Recommendations | What Does 2019 Have in Store?

This year has been one that will not be forgotten.

Mike and I went to Hawaii – so amazing and my most favorite vacation we’ve ever done. I got a promotion at work – and my own team of fantastic creatives to support. I saw CHICAGO! for the first time. I played Lasertag more than once. (What?) My book club had another successful year and read 11 (maybe 12) books together. I finished a total of 40 books myself (reading and audio). I learned how to meal prep, changed my diet to low-carb and ended up losing the 15 pounds I gained in the spring. (Oops.) Oh, and I started a new Instagram feed to help keep me accountable too. I went to my third Kentucky Derby and saw Justified win, the second time I’ve seen a Triple Crown winner. I won $500 at Churchill Downs on a trifecta box bet. I finished another Project 52. I got to see the Reds win at home, the Cards fire their football coach, and the basketball team kicked things off great with Coach Mack. We’ve had impromptu fish sandwiches and nightcaps with our neighbors. Speaking of neighbors, I adopted a cat from some folks who moved away – Cornflake is the sweetest lover man. And stays outside. I went roller skating for the first time in years – and I didn’t fall! We hosted several gatherings over the year, using our friends and family as guinea pigs as we tried new recipes. We also did those paint-and-wine nights… twice… we are such good artists. Ha! I went paddle boarding for the first time. I rode roller coasters – a lot of them – at Universal Studios and know that I still love it. And Harry Potter World… totally stood in line with my magic wand to take turns with the kiddos and cast charms. I saw the Atlantis Shuttle and Saturn V while touring the Kennedy Space Center with my childhood friend Shelly. I went to my first speakeasy. And I ate brunch so many times that you’d think I wouldn’t remember each one, but boy, do I. I got to walk out on the Louisville football field, stand on the cardinal bird and meet Eric Wood. (Thank you, Molly!!!) Fair Day came and went – all the fun was had, per usual. And Mike and I celebrated 14 years of marriage too if you can believe that.

This past year was a fantastic year. I did so many new things and memorable things that all of the weird and gross stuff that was happening in the world, in our country, didn’t bring me down. I had my moments and definitely had some debates, but overall I can’t complain about my 2018. Mike and I have surrounded ourselves with the best people you could ask for, and make it a point to let them know how much they mean to us. Old friends and new, and our families that continue to love and support us. My DAd has always reminded me that “not having kids” was a mistake… but I love the life we have, the folks that are in it, and who we are. I really couldn’t ask for anything more.

So 2019… I don’t know about you yet.

But I do know that I’m going to continue singing along, dancing when the mood hits, and making fun of myself (and others, obviously) to keep laughter in the air. I want to be authentic, be my true self – but I want to be kind and keep others feelings in mind. This is something I need to work on as the cynic in me has been a pest lately. I want to be brave enough to keep trying new things. I want to learn to forgive others, as their actions are not usually ill-intentioned. And to find joy in everything. Be it hobbies, activities, reading, learning, creating, working… and even in the quiet times.

And I’m going to take a little break from blogging. I haven’t had much blog fodder, feel like I’ve lost my voice a little bit, and it’s been more “work” than anything this year. But #2019P52 is in the works already – so check us out if you’re interested in a little personal challenge for the New Year. I don’t think you’ll miss me, but you know where to find me if you do. xoxo

2018 montage

Week 52: Photographer’s Choice | 2018 Project 52

I had a lot of quality time this past week. With my parents, in-laws, friends, neighbors… and I took zero pictures. Or rather, barely any. I was in the moment, enjoying all of the smiles and laughing, all of the conversations that were unfolding, all of the hugs that came my way. We’ve surrounded ourselves with amazing people and I never want to forget that – even if I do occasionally have to apologize for being an ass. (Brooke… you’re a turd.) But I decided what my photo was going to be after all of this oozing lovey-dovey stuff that’s been floating around the last week.


Settings: f/4.0, 1/200 sec, 35mm, ISO 800
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

I know that a few weeks ago I shared a snap from my Instagram and this isn’t too far from that… but the all the feels, man. I put up my board every year to hand up the holiday cards that come through the post. And I bring out some of my favorites from years past that always make me smile. But I love this board.

To see friends with their kids and those kids getting older. And families getting bigger. And there’s always a bit of humor and creativeness. This year’s board has been pretty awesome as we’ve added at least one card every day, rearranging them so that they fit perfectly into each other. I know that I’m a wiener for saying I love to receive holiday cards but don’t send them myself… but maybe I’ll have to change that next year.

And with that, 2018 P52 is done!

If you’ve participated in or only followed along, thank you for being a part of this year’s Project 52. It’s a different challenge to everyone that shares, but always fun. Thank you for sticking with us and be sure to find us for #2019P52! We have a new 2019 Flickr group already set up and accepting members – we kick off with our first round of prompts later this week.

Next year’s going to be a little different; we have four hosts (instead of only one), we’re sharing our images on/by Fridays and I’m going to step back from sharing them on my blog. I need some breathing room and taking away the stress of having to have a post ready every week is how I’m going to do that. But definitely find us Flickr, follow us on our Instagram hashtag #2019P52, and please join us for all the fun!

Last Week’s photo: Reflection #2018P52

Week 51: Reflection | 2018 Project 52

I saw so many moments to photograph beautiful scenes… but was such a scaredy cat to pull my car over on the side of the road. I made up excuses like “I need to get to work” and “there’s nowhere safe to stop,” but they were really only excuses. So I find it ironic that I ended up taking this week’s photo in my car.


Settings: auto –  f/1.7, 1/ 60 sec, 4.25mm, ISO 250
Camera and Lens: Samsung Galaxy s8

Yes, I was driving. No, it wasn’t fast.

But as I was leaving downtown Monday night, the Louisville skyline caught my eye in my side view mirror. It was golden and crisp, with are small-but-large-to-us buildings shrinking. I snapped a few images on phone, tossed it aside and didn’t think any more of it. But I looked through them this morning and I loved the feeling it gave me.

When Mike and I were living in Indy, my favorite thing about coming home was seeing our wonderful little skyline. We may not have skyscrapers and some buildings may not be pretty, but it always warmed my heart to know that we were home again. These days, I leave it every day to drive home to Oldham County – I may have changed counties, but seeing the buildings still gets me excited knowing that it’s still there and part of my view while I commute to and from.

I’d loved to have gotten a photo that was artistic and used my Canon, but this one spoke to me this week. It’s all I needed.

Week 52: Photographer’s Choice
due 12.26.18

Our final prompt of 2018! For those that have been since the beginning, bravo! For those of you joined along the way, we’re so glad you came. And for those of you that popped in and out, we would have loved to have seen more of your work. But here we are… 52 weeks later and ready to photograph whatever our hearts’ desire!

Anything goes this week. Share a part of your traditions with us since the holidays are in full swing. Or take your camera somewhere new. If there’s a prompt you’d like to revisit, tackle it again. I request that you be yourself, you shoot with heart and love your last image of 2018. The only rule is to pick your favorite and ONLY SHARE ONE IMAGE in the #2018P52 Flickr group. Once we have our submissions in, we’ll be closing the group… and starting 2019 P52 on Flickr just a few days later!

Last Week’s photo: Cloud Nine #2018P52

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2018P52 so that we can find your work and share some hearts!

We’re in the home stretch of 2018 Project 52 with only 1 week left to go! Plans for #2019P52 are underway but we will stick only to Flickr. There will be some other changes, but I think they’re for the better. Our new group is set up already, so join us on Flicker at 2019 P52!

Wendipants - I love the contrast between the dark woods and the bright reflection…’s dreamy.

Week 50: Cloud Nine | 2018 Project 52

It’s been said that the best camera to have is the one that’s with you.

I didn’t take the kind of picture I wanted this week. But I took several with my phone. It was a week spent with friends… book club took place at a Hogwarts Feast, our Friday night date with the Wards, Ladies Day Out with my tribe, a holiday party in the neighborhood, and an impromptu fish-sandwich-slash-nightcap on Sunday evening. I love this time of year just because of the way people connect in different ways. And I really love my people – family, old friends, new friends – because they make me feel whole.

So I didn’t take the kind of picture I wanted. I did take snaps with my phone. And… I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t on cloud nine.

cloud nine

Settings: f/4.0, 1/160 sec, 35mm, ISO 1600
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

I’m an introvert – I live in my head most of the time, I think really hard before I have a difficult conversation, it takes me forever to make a financial decision… but I love my people. I do wear out and then need a recharge, but I can’t get enough of the people Mike and I have surrounded ourselves with. They bring us so much joy. There’s something to be said for watching your friends’ children grow when you’re not distracted by your own – an appreciation that the other side doesn’t see. And knowing that so many of the people we’ve chosen to stay close with have been around for years… it makes my heart beat harder. And then our new friends, our neighbors… well, we’ve embarrassed ourselves plenty of times but they still keep inviting us over.

People. Being together. Learning more about each other, supporting one other, retelling old stories for the hundredth time. That’s my cloud nine.

Week 51: Reflection
due 12.19.18

With the year winding down, let’s slow down and take some time to look around us… maybe look back… or look at ourselves. Interpret the theme however you like, but EXPLORE – before you take a selfie in an ornament, stop and consider how the image will make you feel at the end. Will it feel just like another selfie? Or can you take it up a level?

We can find inspiration inside, outside, in places we’re familiar with or new ones we’ve never visited – there are so many ways to find reflections or reflect on the year that’s passed. What will you share with us?

Last Week’s photo: Diamond #2018P52

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2018P52 so that we can find your work and share some hearts!

We’re in the home stretch of 2018 Project 52 with only 2 weeks left to go! Plans for #2019P52 are underway but we will stick only to Flickr. There will be some other changes, but I think they’re for the better. Our new group is set up already, so join us on Flicker at 2019 P52!