April 25, 2014

One German Photo

I have 3,500 photos to edit, but I had to edit one picture that I was really excited for just to make sure I got at least one good one. What do you think?

I'm getting some new software to edit/store/upload photos tomorrow, so hopefully the editing process will be faster.

March 16, 2014

Filling Our Weekends

Here is what we've been up to!

First of all, I got the new camera body Andrew gave me for my birthday and I am loving practicing with it. Of course, so far I still only have one model, so here are some more Moose pictures. I pull my camera out and I sweat she just poses. She is a wonderful model... the treats she gets probably help too!

These are taken with my phone, but all special memories.
 In the top left corner is Moose and I snuggling. We've had more time to snuggle every night because Andrew has started using his exercise bike at night now. I go down, sit on the couch, and we watch some TV show [currently watching CSI: New York]. Moose isn't allowed on the couch upstairs, but she can come and play on the one downstairs. 
In the top right corner is Moose and I snuggling again, but this time I was working from home and she just was so comfy and content just laying there in my arms. Makes my heart melt thinking about how much her life has changed since we got her. 
In the bottom left corner, I took her on a ride to Starbucks with me and she LOVED the warm weather. She stuck her nose out as far as she could! I didn't want to roll the window down too much though because I've heard horror stories of dogs jumping out and that is something my mischievous dog would do. 
In the bottom right corner is Moose sleeping and avoiding the sun at all costs. What dog hates the sun?! Ours. She's silly and weird, but that just goes to show how well she fits into our little family. 

Okay, last picture of Moose (I swear!) 

On to cooking! 
I know! Cooking! You may be saying "But Emily... you don't cook" and to that I say "True!", but this week, I (well, really we) have cooked new recipes! 

A while ago I had asked my mom for her beef stroganoff recipe because I had a craving for it and thought it wouldn't be too hard to make. I bought egg noodles and then... looked at the egg noodles every few weeks thinking to myself... hmm, I should really make that. Finally, after not having enough room in our cabinets, I decided to make some stroganoff. 
It turned out pretty good! Since Andrew is lactose intolerant, I switched out the sour cream for yogurt. I think this change made it a little sweeter than I was used to and it was a little harder to smooth all together, but still good. I also didn't add onions (or mushrooms, but that was intentional) and next time I make this, it will definitely have onions. We love onions. 
Then, the other night I was flipping through a cookook since we were tired of having the same meals over and over each week and Andrew saw the scalloped potatoes recipe. Yum.
 Well, again, I switched out the milk for lactose-free milk and let me tell you... these were delicious. It had been a while since having scalloped potatoes, but I think these will definitely make a come back to our dinner plate. We had it with a lump of ham and well, I now have lunch for the next week. I love meals that keep on giving!

Next thing, the major thing that has been taking up a lot of time, is our house! 
Let's see... what has been updated? We added this baker's rack to our dining room/kitchen area. It is great to have more storage, especially for my cook books. It mainly holds Moose's things and napkins. We randomly have a lot of napkins. 

It's been a long time since I updated on house stuff! We finished the office area! I made the curtains and they add a much needed lively vibe. They are also perfect for hiding the outside world, but still letting in the sunlight. I still want to put up a bulletin board and maybe a white board, but it is so nice to have an office to put our documents and have Andrew be downstairs when working late.  

Today, we got started hanging things on our walls! Here is s sneak preview of above our couch. There will be more pictures added, but I will have to get a shot of the whole room after we put all the pictures up. This room is much brighter than when we first got the house.  

I love getting to test my skills at decorating. I am particularly proud of the office, but I think the living room may be becoming my new favorite decorated room with the photos up. My next skill to test out: gardening! I'll try to remember to keep you updated. I have to start planning very shortly. 

February 22, 2014

Playing With My Camera

I love having a model to help me improve my camera techniques. A model that doesn't flail their arms or make weird faces! I'm pretty proud of these photos and can't wait for my new camera (my birthday present!). I shot in RAW mode for the first time and really loved how I could edit the photos, just like all those tutorials were saying. Fancy that! 

 My new computer background. Contemplating changing my blog banner to this! 

Here is the before and after for some fun comparisons:
Hope you're enjoying the wonderful, spring-like weather! I certainly am. 

February 16, 2014

Model Moose

This has been my view as of late... snow and Moose. So much snow!! Too much snow if you ask me, but Moose seems to really enjoy it

One snowstorm, Andrew was driving home from his parent's house and the flakes were so big that Moose had a mini modeling session. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out! 

Doesn't she just look so relaxed and happy? I need to take a cue from her book and just let the snow bring smiles and joy to my face, instead of anger. Though, she doesn't have to shovel...

January 3, 2014


As as I was out there shoveling my butt off (and hopefully some of my thigh region too), I was thinking about all the blog posts I had been reading about both the past and the future year and what this means to us, this little family. When thinking about 2013, I think it is only right to say this year was the year for dreams.

2013 held so much promise at the end of 2012 and has definitely lived up to its hype based on this post. Although I certainly did not blog more, we did buy a house AND a puppy. I did take pictures (although you would never have known since I didn't post them) and the kids in my life certainly did grow.

Looking back on this past year, the dreams that have come true, makes me proud and incredibly happy. We traveled overseas (Andrew's first time) to Ireland, a place that I had only dreamed I could visit. I became a Godmomma. We own the roof over our heads, the rooms we sleep in, the areas we relax in. We hosted my family over all at once, with dinner included - something I had dreamed of for a long time. We have Moose, who has motivated me and helped me in so many ways. I still think it is crazy how much she motivates me - to go for a walk, to clean the house, to put down my electronics and play with her. I was given the chance to decorate (still working on that dream!) all by myself and hang things on walls again (although, we haven't yet...)!

This one year was filled with so many self-fufilling dreams and I'm not sure any other year can or has topped it. One may ask about 2010, which was also full of big dreams, but the word that comes to mind for that year would be emotions. But that's a blog story for another day.

As for 2014, I am about 99% sure it won't top 2013. We are still relishing in our previous dreams and creating new goals for the upcoming years. I'm sure it will be full of blunders, just like every year, and happy moments just like this one. It will be filled with house projects and Moose pictures. Most importantly, I think it will be filled with laughter and love because those are the things this household is best at.

January 1, 2014

A response to an innocent Facebook post

Someone I know posted this on Facebook, but when I read this article, I got irked in a whole new way that I HAD to respond. As most of you know, it takes a lot for a stranger to upset me or at least enough to make me respond. I usually just shrug it off, however when I woke up this morning and I was still seething about it, that's when I knew I had to take action. 

First of all, let me say that yes, I agree. Not everyone should get married before they're 23. Some people do get married just because it is the thing to do and don't worry about the consequences or the work a marriage takes. However, just as the married life isn't for everyone, neither is the single life. 

In the article, she says "...At the age of 22, I have no idea who I am, what I’m doing, and who I’ll be doing it with for the next year… let alone for the rest of my life.  And that’s awesome.". Great. I'm glad you are happy about that, but at the age of 22, I had some idea of who I was going to be (still ever changing, of course). I had just graduated college and was finding (and found) a reliable job that has been my employment for the last 3 years and still continues to reward me every day. At the time we got engaged I was 21 years old, hoping to get into grad school in Chicago and I knew my husband would be there every step of the way of my journey. The author acts as though every 22 year old is the same way. Inexperienced, high-school graduate, with nothing on the brain but partying and drinking. Speak for yourself. 

I love that the author wants to follow her dreams and develop herself, but why not do that with someone if you have that chance? I got married when  was 22. If I had not married my husband, we would be in no way where we are now. Because we were married, we paid off my husband's student loans, we have lived independently since that day, and we saved and bought a house. We have traveled and taken at least one vacation a year because we could pool our money and save for the adventures we wanted to take. I know none of this would have happened if we hadn't joined together and tackled each other's interests and saved our money together to tackle the student loan. Paying off the student loan together, enabled us to save our money which we were dumping into the loans into vacations and savings. The author acts as though marriage is a condemning, boring matter. It is an ever-lasting bond, which shouldn't be taken lightly, but I have just as much, if not more fun being married. My husband brings out the best in me. I enjoy a party or two, especially if there are board games involved, but if there isn't anyone I know, I enjoy knowing there is always my husband at my side. He is my permanent travel buddy. The guy who will always have my back. We will start a family, with babies and all that, eventually, but being married does not mean we have to start a family right away, or that I can't go out for a night with my friends. We still do the same things we did when we were dating, just now we have one bank account and share the same last name. 

The author's own anxiety over marriage is truly showcased in this article and I think she needs to work on her own issues instead of beating down young marriage. The statistics she chose may be true. I'm sure young marriage divorce is increasing, but all divorce rates are increasing. It would only makes sense to point out this statistic if all other ages were static or even decreasing. Divorce is increasing throughout America, that includes all ages, races, and class. 

In regards to her "list", I could do pretty much all those things on her list (and have done many of them) with or without marriage. "Date two people at once" and "Make out with a stranger" are two things I never want to do and are things I never would have done single or not. I know many single people and some of them won't do either anyway. What is the point of the list? You've already said what you wanted to say, but knew the list fad would get you readers? The 23 things to do instead of getting engaged is completely arbitrary and useless. It indicates to me how fast and unthinking your article was written. Next time you want to display your opinions, I would recommend letting your attitude and words cultivate instead of sounding like a 23-year-old who is afraid of commitment and wants a boyfriend. 

I know how much it hurts to hear things like I just ruined my life, or it will never work out. At my Bachelorette party in a dive bar in a sketchy part of Worcester, I was having an absolute blast, then I went to the bathroom. I was wearing a pretend veil and a "Bride" sash, as you do and when I came out of the stall, two middle-aged woman were at the mirror primping themselves. I went up to wash my hands and as I was doing so, they asked how old I was. I told them I was 22 and they cackled "it won't last. At least your young and will have the rest of your life to live". To this day, I wish I had said something. I wish I had shoved in their faces how their life seemed to be going well (oh, how sarcastic and witty). This is just one instance of people scoffing at us because we were "too young" to marry. We know what we got ourselves into. I'm not going to lie and say it has been easy; there are good days, months, years and there are troubled days, months, years, but the point is we said forever and we will be together in sickness and in health. Till death do us part. I'm sure there are many people who do not realize that everything will be rainbows and butterflies (was it all rainbows and butterflies when you dated too?!), but I bet some of the people whom this article is referring to, have some idea as to what commitment they are making. 

People, age is just a number. I may be silly and my husband may act immature at times, but trust me, we are mature and always have been. You never know what someone has been through and no one should judge another based on their age or their choices without understanding their situation or lifestyle. I'm not going to beat marriage down your throat, why would you say I should have wanted 3 years to get married? This is my life, the woman who wrote this article has her life and the people she writes about have their own lives. Maybe they will divorce and increase the national rate, but maybe you shouldn't bash them. You don't know what they have been through and honestly, it's their decision and their life. Let them live in peace while you live in yours.