Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...- Day 24

Sometimes I can be as brilliant as a five year old...

me: I am SO sick of boys whose names start with E (thinking only about 2 students in my class who are consistently making me a crazy person and both of their names begin with an E)Eric: except for those named Eric...me: oops!

Speaking of Eric, we got our Christmas tree on Sunday, YEA! After weeks of Eric calling me Scrooge, I finally snapped into Christmas spirit right after Thanksgiving and had a sudden panic that if we waited any longer to get our tree, we won't have it for long enough.

We headed over to a great place near our house with Eric's parents (speaking of Happy Birthday Cheryl!)...

Eric and I operate in a very easy way when making decisions. Eric held up two trees, I picked one and then done. Very stress-free and we got a great tree :)



We also neglected to measure the tree, but luckily it just fits in our living room with about 1 inch to spare!

This sign made me laugh...


We started the decorating process that night...


Look at my cute Snuggles ornament...


Practically as good as having the real Snuggles back.

Day 24 of the blog challenge is "lessons I've learned..."

Let's see...

#1- I think all important lessons in life have been addressed in a country song. Don't believe me? Google the lyrics to the following Garth Brook's songs, "The Dance," "If Tomorrow Never Comes" and "Unanswered Prayers."

#2- On that note, Keith Urban has some true to life lyrics as well, "We think about tomorrow then it slips away. Oh yes it does. We talk about forever but we've only got today..."

#3- Always be grateful. Always tell and show people you love them.

#4- Bread is good for you. So is exercise. Don't give up either.

#5- Sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do. (working on getting the 5 year olds to understand this lesson).

That's my lessons for now. I may have more but it's bedtime and I have my first class after work tomorrow, booo hooo.

What's one life lesson you have learned?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pizza and Vacations- Day 23

I love the way kindergartners minds work. For example, today...

me: So, is your dad at work before he comes to pick you up?

child: no... he goes to work during the day and then he comes to pick me up

my thoughts: so... apparently we need to work on the meaning of the word before?

(5 seconds later)

me: So, dad works at the pizza shop, does mom work too?

child: no, she doesn't know how to cook pizza

my thoughts: so... apparently there are no other jobs in the world other than cooking pizza :)

Speaking of pizza... I was inspired to try a breakfast pizza tonight for dinner (yes, I did hear the word "breakfast" I just chose to ignore it) by Jenny.



Got a little distracted by the Christmas tree in that picture (more about the Christmas tree tomorrow!)...


In case you are wondering what goodies I've put on that delicious pizza... pumpkin puree, sliced apple (put in the oven with just those two ingredients). Then after the oven I added, peanut butter, jelly, chia seeds and some cinnamon/sugar. Next time I'd go lighter on the pumpkin and heavier on the peanut butter (I forgot to leave any space for peanut butter so I kinda added it to the crust lol). Either way, it was delicious. I will definitely be making this again. I wonder how well it would reheat...

Today in the blog challenge I need to tell you about my favorite vacation. Clearly I suck at narrowing down favorite vacation spots and cities BUT, I can tell you my favorite vacation...

Eric and Kelly, July 2006, Europe Trip!!!! (Greece, Italy, Spain, France, England, Scotland and Ireland). Pretty sure I will never be able to top that trip. But we can try :)

Today, please tell me what you would add to your breakfast pizza :) I need ideas for my next one!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Procrastination is Life- Day 22

Sunday night. Boo. How is the long weekend over already? Can we go back to Wednesday night?

I think I mentioned before that I'm starting my first grad class since I finished my master's a year and a half ago this Wednesday. I know that people leave school for 20 years and go back, but for me this is still the longest I've gone without school and truthfully I've enjoyed it a LOT. So needless to say, I'm nervous for Wednesday. Because I'm nervous I've totally procrastinated doing my two chapter reading assignment we are supposed to do before class. What did I do instead?

Well Eric and I took a day trip up to Provincetown (the tip of Cape Cod) because we really wanted to see the Plymouth monument all lit up with Christmas lights.


On the way up we stopped at Truro Winery for a little wine tasting and then we walked around P-town for awhile before it got dark. We visited a craft fair inside the beautiful town hall...


We also saw lots of other fun Christmas decorations. Check out the awesome lobster traps all decorated...



Also, for those of you not from around here- you may not know that Ptown is kind of known for being... liberal? Is that the politically correct way to say it? Basically lots and lots of gay people live there and it's not uncommon to see something like this...


And many other interesting things, but it's rude to take pictures of people wearing crazy outfits, right? I love P-town.

Right before dinner we did get to see the monument all lit up...



For dinner we went to our favorite restaurant in the area, Victors . You can see pictures of the delicious food there from my October visit.

Saturday's procrastination included BJs and the beach...


Speaking of BJs, can anyone else not be trusted there? Eric and I got the 60 day free membership and spent half our life savings there last weekend. Then my mom made the unfortunate mistake of asking us to stock up the Cape house... let's just say she won't be running out of paper towels any time soon. Seriously though, I'm not sure that place is really a money saver at all...

The beach was beautiful and free though...



A little cold...


The day was finished with Inaho, aka the best Japanese food ever. If I could figure out how to make this eggplant with miso soy yaki sauce, I might eat it every day forever...


with some shrimp shumai...


Procrastination is greatness.

I also managed to watch Eat, Pray, Love while Eric was asleep (and I didn't really like it, am I alone? I was kind of bored...) and organize a fun project for my kindergarten kiddos. I even made a dent in my good intentions by planning for my gingerbread house decorating get together and starting a family stories blog.

Obviously, I should procrastinate EVERY weekend. (If you are wondering, I managed to get through about 10 of the 60 pages I was supposed to read... I have until Wednesday though).

The other thing I've been procrastinating on is my 30 day blog challenge. I'm supposed to tell you my favorite city and I just.... can't! I've narrowed it down to:

1. Boston

2. Sydney

3. Rome

4. London

5. Chicago

6. Barcelona

7. Venice

I'm not kidding, that is narrowed down. I have problems.

What is your favorite city AND what's your favorite way to procrastinate?


Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope those who celebrate had a great Thanksgiving yesterday :)

Eric and I may finally have figured out a "system" that actually works for us when it comes to holidays, wahoo (only took 6 years haha). The problem with Eric and I is that both of us are very close to our families and very set in our traditions. Neither of us would settle for casually celebrating Christmas a few days early, or eating Thanksgiving dinner on Black Friday (unless perhaps ALL traditions and people who are usually involved would be there, which would never happen). Our attempt to visit with both families in one day was nearly always a failure because we would miss something we wanted to do or someone we wanted to see at one or both houses. Last year we decided to divide and conquer so we could both do what we wanted to do, but that wasn't really the best plan either. To make matters worse, Eric and I are both oldest children so we are the first people in the family to have other things we have to do on the holidays so it's that sense of, everyone is there celebrating except for me :(

This year we finally decided to split the holidays and spend Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with Eric's. We'll be hosting Christmas Eve so we'll see both families then. I think this is the plan will work the best for us. If we are not worrying about what time we are going to get to the other house, we'll be able to really enjoy the holiday with each other's families. So far it worked well yesterday...DSC06776-1.JPG

Some of my favorite dishes...




My first plate:


My mom even made a special pumpkin pasta.... Italian Thanksgiving?



After a delicious dinner, we headed over to my grandmother's house to see the extended family...



Overall, the day was great :)

How do you navigate the fun of holidays? What are your favorite traditions?

PS. Anyone Black Friday shopping today? I do not shop on Black Friday at all- I know you can get the deals other times (and online) and plus I can't stand crazy crowds of people :) Eric and I may run a couple of errands later today, but we will definitely avoid the mall!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Good Intentions- Day 21

I would like to declare myself, the Queen of Good Intentions...


By this I mean, I mean I have SO so so so so many good intentions. Want to hear some of them? (gonna tell you anyways)

- I want to go to yoga twice a week, but in reality I only make it once a week at the absolute most. In the same note, I want to be a zen yoga person... and I am not. Just the simple fact that I refuse to go to classes over 1 hour and wish they could be 45 minutes long means I am a terrible zen person.

- I want to visit Shannon and her (barely even new anymore!) baby. I was planning to starting about a month ago and then the weeks keeping getting busier and busier.

-I want to organize a Gingerbread house decorating afternoon for some of my old students who need a little extra holiday cheer

- I want to create a family tree as far back as I can go, scan old family photos and type up stories so no one forgets them. Maybe I should start a family blog haha...

- I want to update my classroom website more often and actually post on my teaching blog.

- I would like to be a college TA at some point... not like full time just for one class to see what it's like. I think it would be cool to work with wanna be teachers. Does anyone know what a TA in education courses actually does? On the same note I'd also like to have a student teacher at some point- but I'm scared. I think I'd be a good cooperating teacher as long as the person was relatively good, but if I got someone terrible I'd probably just let them be terrible and never confront them about it.

- I want to send more positive e-mails to parents telling me good things that their kids do, instead of only reporting the negative things.

- I want to act on my plans for Christmas event gifts but so far they are just ideas.

I know a lot of following through with good intentions is just taking the first step: e-mailing a college professor I know to inquire about being a TA, talking to family members about typing up stories/lending me pictures etc. So what I really need to do is just DO.

On a positive note, I have followed through with a lot of my good intentions. I did send 1 good parent e-mail last week (haha, I know... one five second e-mail isn't really a celebratory event!). I did design and order 4 shutterfly photo albums of our wedding for our grandmothers (well Caroline designed one, so I designed 3). I did design and order Christmas cards from me and Eric. I did start talking about volcanoes with my class. I am starting my first graduate class since I got my masters a year and a half ago next week (and kind of dreading it but hey). Hopefully soon I will just be the Queen of Good.... no more intentions :)

What is one good intention you have right now?

PS. The blog challenge today is to show a picture of yourself, so, see above!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kelly Belly Buttons- Day 20

Happy Monday! You won't find me saying that often but technically it's like a Wednesday since Wednesday is like Friday this week. Haha, did that make any sense? Who cares... the weekend is soon!

I'm losing enthusiasm a bit for my 30 day blog challenge, but then again I don't have any brilliant other writing ideas so I'll just go with it. But before I start, I just want to point the teachers among us to a few things you might find helpful. I FINALLY started (I have probably 100 so it may take awhile) loading all my reading games to my "teaching blog" (I use the term blog loosely since I basically never post on it, but who knows when I might actually post something useful right?). I use these games in my K-classroom in small groups and in my 1:1 tutoring with older kiddos. They are a fun way to practice reading the same words over and over again without the kids saying, "UGHHHHHHHHHH!" which is always key. I actually had a kid tell me he wouldn't mind if I came to tutor him at 7 am on a Saturday, so I must be doing something right.... okay fine so maybe he wanted a free pass out of hockey, but still.

Also I posted on my Gingerbread as a Theme on Suite 101, so check that out too. I swear I have some relatively interesting ideas, even I may be the most terrible teacher of "themes" in the world- I get bored faster than the kids. We are going to start learning about Volcanoes tomorrow because the kids are into them this year... I hope that since I visited a real volcano this summer I'll be a little more motivated to stick with it for more than a second... here's hoping...


Even if I lose motivation, I don't think the kids will... a few of them said they were "thankful for volcanoes" today.

So, blog challenge, I need to tell you my nicknames. Does my mom calling me "Nervous Nellie" as a child count?

Other nicknames...

KelCandy- this nickname originated as "Candygirl"- I guess because I liked candy, and then KelCandy became my AOL screename- at which point people just started referring to me as "KelCandy"

Kelly Belly Buttons (later shortened to "Buttons")- this nickname started because of my "button" nose. As my darling, sweet siblings used to say my "flat nose." I kinda hated my nose until my friends in middle school (mainly Tiff) decided to love my nose and call me "Buttons." Somewhere along the line, I also convinced myself that I had my grandfather Pops' nose...

I can't seem to find a picture where his nose looks exactly like mine but there is one in my dad's office that convinced me.

Big Button Nose meet Little Button Nose...


Kelson- Tiff calls me this and I have no idea where/when it started, other than the fact that Tiffypop and I clearly can not use normal names for each other.

Keldog- Another middle school nickname given by my friend Lisa, for no particular reason :)

Red Sox Girl- The name given to me in Australia because of my habit of getting up at 6 am to watch the games.

Hoodpass- My friend Katie's husband (mentioned yesterday as being a Rascal Flatts look alike) uses the term "hood pass" to basically mean people he thinks are tough. He once told me he would never give me the hood pass because the town I come from is kind of known as being the opposite of the "hood." But somewhere along the line, I think Adam decided to like me enough to give me a "hood pass" even if I continue to live a life of luxury... haha, well compared to the hood anyways.

Trips (Insert Old Last Name)- Eric and other friends call me this because of my obsessive love of trip planning! This is my most used current nickname.

That's about all... besides "Kel" of course :)

What is one nickname you have or have had in the past?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I Miss...- Day 19

Somehow Sunday of a 2 1/2 day week doesn't seem as bad as Sunday of a normal week. Yay :)

Last night Eric and I tried a restaurant called Imari in Winchester. Apparently it used to be called, "It Rains Fishes" which I think is a way more creative name myself but hey.

I order Fresh Summer Rolls...


Yea, see that massive amount of lettuce? I'll be honest I actually dislike lettuce. I used to pretend to like it because it's healthy, even if it does taste like thin cardboard... but now my stomach dislikes lettuce so I have a good excuse not to eat it. This is the beginning of what happened to my plate...


I'll take the Not Your Average Joe's spring rolls, thank you very much. They are similar but involve rice noodles instead of excessive lettuce.

I also ordered a lobster sushi...


It was good, much better than the summer rolls. Overall though, Eric and I have a lot of Japanese places in the area that we like more. Fun to try a new place though. It's kind of an addiction of mine actually.

Today has been a relaxing day. I walked three miles on the treadmill this morning, while watching Rascal Flatts on CMT and reading my current book- A Year of Fog (so good!). I think BFF Katie's husband might be moonlighting as Gary from Rascal Flatts...

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Do you see it? Haha. Alright perhaps more like long lost brothers?

ANYWAY (dude what is UP with my randomness this weekend?),

Today I was supposed to tell you something I miss... which is along the same lines as "regret" but I won't refuse to do it. Even though I do miss these things, I don't want them back because I know I would have to give up all the greatness that is life now...

I miss...

-A time when I could easily read a book in a day, and the days with which to do this seemed endless...

-Making up dances and teaching them to Caroline


-Playing with dolls

-Trading erasers

-The excitement of Christmas as a kid

-Decorating lockers for birthdays

-Riding my bike/rollerblading everywhere

-Roller skating birthday parties at Wallex


-Spending hours/days on AOL instant messager

-Aimless driving

-Free blocks (in high school we had empty blocks and we were allowed to leave school- I had all sorts of fun traditions with friends~ bowling, Chinese food and too many more to name). I might miss free blocks the most.

-Nightly TV watching sessions with my roommates

-College winter breaks

-Pool parties

-Buying wedding magazines (but not planning it!)

-Planning our honeymoon

- I guess it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that I miss those that I've lost

That's all I can think of. Now I feel like I need a really positive post tomorrow to make up for this. But seriously, how can I bring free blocks back to my life? Do you think kindergarten is too young for the kids to have free blocks so their teacher can also... Don't answer that.  

What do you miss?

PS. Some things I don't miss: homework, not having a license, being a teenager (which of course would be a lot better if we had perspective on how life actually was haha), living with roommates in tiny rooms, driving to Eric's house in rush hour traffic (particularly on Friday afternoons), being a first year teacher, living in a tiny apartment, and planning a wedding :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

No Regrets- Day 18

Good morning! I love Saturdays, and I especially love Saturdays when I have nothing to do and I know it's a short week coming up.

Last night Eric and I went to Il Casale, our mutual favorite Italian place. I don't know if it was because we told them we were headed to the BC hockey game last night but we were in and out of there in like 35 minutes, that has to be some kind of record.

The hockey game was great- BC vs. Maine, BC won 4-0. There is something about hockey I just love watching it. I'd say it's because I used to play, but frankly I have no desire to catch a soccer game, so I have no idea what it is. I wish I could transfer my love for watching hockey to football sometimes.

Watching BC hockey reminds me of going to the games with my roommates and then having fun get-togethers in our rooms after the games...

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We look about 10 years old. And, where are the rest of my roommates? lol. For some reason I have this weird gap in my photos during my sophomore year of college. I downloaded my roommate's pictures from our Aruba trip and somehow all my pictures after that (until Australia) became "Ash's Pic's From Aruba" and all my pictures before that ended up in the oblivion of my old computer. Or maybe I just never took pictures.

Perhaps I just can't imagine how few pictures I really took because suddenly Rod Dee Thai Food and random roommate hangs outs are appearing...

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You have to love the endless supply of bright yellow shirts. Hmm.

Woo, got a little distracted there. Back to the hockey game last night...


Me + Star Spangled Banner singer had the same scarf...


Also, can someone explain why some people can bust out a near perfect version of a tough song with no music and I can't even pull off Mr. Turkey? You should've heard my attempt on Friday in class. I feel bad for everyone who did.

Okay, I've avoided it long enough. Today for the blog challenge I am supposed to talk about my regrets. Unfortunately, I have this problem where I get physically uncomfortable when people talk about regrets. Seriously. I just find the whole thing SO uncomfortable... there is literally NOTHING you can do about regrets and I'm an action person, so it bothers me a lot that if you have a regret you can't really do anything about it (other than not do the same thing again, obviously haha). Due to my overall hatred for regrets, I don't really have any big ones. Sure I have little ones here and there, but I choose not to think about them unless they will change my future actions because otherwise they are pointless. The other thing I find uncomfortable about regrets is the fact that our choices in our lives are so interconnected... so if you regret one thing, you most likely take away something great that happened to you.

So we get my take on regrets now? Great. Instead of regrets, let's talk about decisions I made that I COULD have regretted, but instead they were fabulous decisions...

1. Putting School in Perspective

Don't get me wrong, I was always a hard worker. I did my homework, I studied for (most) tests, I worked hard on (most) papers. But throughout it all, I also learned that school is a game. I learned I did not have to read every single page assigned word for word. I learned that it was not necessary to store geometry proofs or chemistry equations in my long term memory. Even thought I did my work, I still made time to be with my friends a lot, talk online/on the phone a lot, and play sports/do other activities. I'm happy that I didn't spend a lot of time stressing about school, because in the end- I would probably be the same place I am today. Also, when I was applying to jobs and asked if they wanted my transcript, they said (and I quote), "I'm sure you did well." haha okay then. I only wish I could be so low-stress about my job, but something about actual kids lives makes it so much more stressful, boo.

2. Studying Abroad in Australia

Okay, I admit- there were a few moments getting on a 6 + 15 hour plane ride by myself that I thought, "what the hell are you THINKING Kelly?" However, I'm really glad I studied abroad in Australia and went 100% by myself. I had a great time, saw really cool things, and proved to myself that I can do things by myself- so now I don't have to :)

3. Passing Up the 5th Year Program at BC

In my junior year at BC, they encouraged most people to apply for the 5th year program, where you can get your Masters in 5 years. I got mono and couldn't take the GREs in time to apply, but I also really didn't want to. I was ready to be done with school and actually try teaching before I invested more time and money learning about it. It ended up being a great decision for several reasons. #1- I got a good job which I may not have got a year later since the economy was only getting worse. #2- I still got my masters, but I did it while teaching. You'd think this would be enough to make me regret not doing the 5th year program but no. My masters was MUCH more relevant after actually being a teacher in the classroom, there is just only so much you can talk and read about.

Let's stay positive, what are some things you DON'T regret?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Looking Forward- Day 17

Happy Friday everyone!

Today I am supposed to write what I'm looking forward to...


*eating yummy Italian food and going to a BC hockey game : )

Next Week

*Thanksgiving! I love eating delicious food and spending time with family. Eric and I have finally figured out a plan that involves us being together on the holidays and not running around like crazy people (it only took us 5 years to figure this out).

*Going to the Cape for the long weekend after Thanksgiving. Yea!

Next Month

*Christmas excitement

*hosting our first holiday- Christmas Eve

*family trip to Florida... yay warm weather :)

Next Year

*trip #2 to Sedona

*Summer! I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing but when is summer not the best?

What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dream House- Day 16

Hi kids. I skipped yesterday's post cuz I wasn't really in the mood- and although I enjoyed reading the Bible for my Catholicism class in college, I don't really have a favorite passage, so I'm going to skip right to the "dream house."

When I was little my dream house included... slides from one floor to the other, secret passageways, and an indoor pool. It was definitely cooler back then.

Now, my practical adult self knows that indoor pools require money and maintenance, secret passageways are using found in old houses (more money and maintenance) and well, does anyone really have a slide in their house?

It's a good thing my expectations are lowered a bit because I believe I do live in my current dream house. It's big enough for me and Eric to have plenty of space, but small enough that it's not overwhelming to keep clean. It's too new to have secret passageways, but we don't have to deal with getting a new roof yet, so I'll take the lack of secret passageways :)



The painting on the left was made by my multi-talented sister Caroline.


I do like the location and neighborhood we live in. But since we are discussing "dream" house, I'll say I wouldn't mind plopping my house down in a slightly different spot. My neighborhood is kind of a "short cut" for a high traffic area nearby. I've feared for my life more than once pulling out of my driveway. So, in my "dream" life, I'd move my house to a neighborhood nearby that Eric and I always run through. It's very quiet and very flat, though I'm sure we would've had an accidental swimming pool in my basement when everyone flooded last year since it's right at the bottom of my giant hill. Perfect way to get that indoor swimming pool!

What was your dream house when you were younger? What is it now?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spend Wisely- Day 14

It's only Tuesday and I already accomplished a lot of my week goals this week. Yesterday I accomplished a bunch of errands and today I got my hair cut and (while at the hairdresser) started a book. Yes! That's one of the things I love about my hairdresser- we talk for a bit and then she lets me just read my book.

I know I've mentioned I've been reading the book The Happiness Project and I've found so many interesting points in it, I'm not sure I'll ever have time to blog about them all. Last night I was reading the chapter about spending money. I think money is a fascinating topic since everyone has such differing opinions based on their own backgrounds, experiences and goals.

I've recently did a 180 in my thoughts about money. One day I woke up and decided not to stress about it anymore. At first I faked my lack of stress, but then slowly I found I really didn't stress about it (the old- fake it til you make it philosophy). I set my bank accounts to do my work for me (moving money around and what not) and now I just check in once a week or so to make sure I'm not down at $0 :) In our house we have 2 people with good, full time jobs + extra income through my tutoring and Eric's after school work. Both of us are actually pretty good with money (no compulsive shoppers among us- just a small love for purses- me and sneakers-Eric). We have no kids (aka money suckers haha). Clearly, there is no reason to stress!

In theory I always knew that I should spend money on things that will make me happy. That's kind of obvious right? But I guess the hard part is all the questions... What will make you happy? Could you have too much of something that makes you happy, and then you won't be as happy? What can you do without and still be happy? Is it better to be really happy for a short amount of time or reasonably happy in the long term? Your answers may be different than mine. My answers may change over time.

The other hard part is living your answers these questions. Yes, money does not buy happiness alone. But, can you use the money you do have to make you happy? Will it make me happy to spend $25 on a manicure? No. Will it make me happy to spend $25 at Bertuccis with Eric or friends? Yes.

In the midst of my lack of stress about money, I feel like I am finally getting better at this. I naturally ask myself if a purchase will make me happy (for more than 5 minutes) before purchasing. Eric and I decided together we want to get all family members "event gifts" for Christmas so that we can spend time with them instead buying "stuff" that may provide short term happiness. This is not to say that I don't think material presents can provide long term happiness, I just think we are better at picking out events that provide happiness :) I've continued to move money into our "honeymoon" fund even though the honeymoon is technically over because I know seeing new places and spending time together makes us happy.

Of course you can also plan events with family and friends that don't cost money at all (or save you money)- cooking a meal at home together, going for a walk/run, or baking cookies. Although- nothing is really free though: you have to buy that food and those running shoes :)

What do you buy that brings you happiness? What do you choose to save on?

For Day 14 of the blog challenge, I'm supposed to show a picture I love. While at my hair appointment today, I considered what makes a picture one that I love. I decided that I most love pictures where I remember being really, truly happy when it was taken... I'm kinda a happy girl, so you'll get a few...

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I could show more... but as it is I clearly don't understand the meaning of the word "one." :)