Like Ordinary Life

Scroll to Info & Navigation

Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

photo photo79_zps264dc30f.jpg

snapped the hell out of this tree in my neighbor’s backyard after Tuesday’s run and decided that I might actually have the whole photography thing figured out…. this is one of my favorite shots

Recently, I’ve been stuck in this wildly glorious limbo of happiness. It came alongside the strangest compilation of folk rock that keeps the beat in the back of my head. One moment Eddie Vedder and I are picking up around the house and then the next moment I’m showering with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. And when it comes down to it, I’m waiting for everything to capsize with a pinch back into reality. 

But you know what? It’s been a mighty long time since I’ve been able to honestly, truthfully say “it’s alright”. As a matter of fact, things are downright insane right now. But I think Bob Dylan’s onto something.

Perspective. I’ve been so busy wanting to be someplace else that I forgot about the present. And it ain’t too bad, you know?

I’ve been running again. It probably has everything to do with my new perspective. It’s been known to do that to me in the past. But, anyways, we don’t have many spring days in Maryland and it really is my favorite time of the year to run. Our neighborhood’s lined with cherry blossoms and magnolias in full bloom. A 6pm run’s accompanied by a light breeze and cooling temps just as I start to warm up. I really do my best thinking.

And here’s what I was thinking…. it’s gonna be alright.

P.S. There’s still time left to win a print of your choice from Print Me Prettiful!

A Merry Little Christmas

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Sister Hazel on Grooveshark

Our tiny little holiday with just the two of us. In pictures….

*Please pardon my learning curve as I get acquainted with my brand new, very amazing, very much loved and adored, very own 50mm 1.4 lens!*


…. so much light…..



















We sure missed our family and definitely had a few moments where we wished we were in Michigan with everyone else. But we had, without a doubt, a merry little Christmas.

Christmastime in Annapolis {2}


If there is one thing I can say about my hometown, it’s that Christmas looks good on Annapolis. Oh, she looks mighty fine on our streets and docks. So I last left you up at the top of Main Street, right? Quite a tease, really.

Here you have it. The rest of our chase-the-sunset-and-follow-the-storefront-decorators jaunt through town a few weekends ago. Best to be had with a piping mug of cocoa (extra marshmallows) and your favorite seasonal tune of choice cranked up to the loudest volume. 

From my home to yours, Happy Holidays!










(Hehe. We are just getting started, my friends. We just had our Parade of Lights, where the boats circle around the harbor for two hours decked out in their Christmas decorations. You just wait. This is the stuff that Christmas spirit is made of….)

Did you miss Christmastime in Annapolis {1}?

What I Learned in Photography School


* buy that 50mm lens yesterday. not Christmas morning.

* buy that telephoto lens today. not Christmas morning.

* buy every prime lens under the sun. today.

* a lens won’t go on sale. ever. buy now. like, today.

* better yet, buy only L-series glass. just because everyone has thousands to burn holes in their pockets. buy it today.


* buy more external hard drives. backup your backup’s backup. and then back that up too.

* buy more memory cards. Never erase. Ever. Place in a safe deposit box.

* shoot in RAW.

* buy even more memory cards because this takes up more space.

* buy Adobe Lightroom so that you can edit your giant RAW files.


* be afraid of aperture priority. be very afraid. but use it if you have plenty of light.

* but always use manual. even if you have plenty of light.

* buy more flashes. but don’t use them. because they are the devil. but you must buy them.

* buy a tripod. don’t even try shooting at night without a tripod.


* Torrey Smith wears number 82 for the Ravens.


* become a millionaire. or you will not be a great photographer.

* In all seriousness, this workshop was really informative and I am officially 100% in manual mode and understanding it! If you are interested in the workshop, it’s through DSLR Workshops. Via Living Social. Because I don’t have any extra money for classes when I’ve got all of this stuff to buy. Today.

The Sunday Currently {9}

(in which I go to photography school)


reading The Happiness Project. It’s going slow because there’s just so much amazingness happening in December…. makes it hard to read a book.

writing a calendar of posts for this month. I’ve got all of this stuff up in my head and I’m going to forget it if I don’t write it down. Don’t you have those “that would make a great blog post” moments over the most random thoughts? I need to get them all down!

listening happy music. Ray LaMontagne. You Are the Best Thing. Gotta love it. Never gets old. 

thinking that my date last night was the best thing. ;) Married couples have to date. It’s the best. Hands down.

smelling nothing. These antibiotics aren’t working very well…

wishing I wasn’t back on antibiotics. Same as last weeks wish.

hoping that this photography class I’m heading to in 30 minutes is everything I hope it to be and more!

wearing blackwatch plaid, leggings and my Fryes. Super comfy. Super Sunday.

loving Christmastime. Loving it so very much. I could write for hours on how much I love Christmastime.

wanting to wrap my presents but I need tape! This happens every year. Gotta get tape.

needing a trip to the grocery store. Stat. I went on a bagel kick this week and it’s the only thing we have in the house. That, along with bagel toppings. It’s getting old.

feeling tired. Needing coffee.

clicking my camera! Does that count? Now that I have semi-hang of this baby, I’m taking it to the next level! Off I go to photography school! Catch you on the flip side!

Did you miss the other Sunday editions of Currently? No worries. You can find them all here.

And now you should go link up with Lauren!

The First Annual Blog-iversary Giveaway

So celebrate we will. My great friend and neighbor, Caryn (of Caryn Taylor Photography), and I have teamed up to give you quite an awesome gift. It should look rather familiar to most of you…..


Yes. That awesome picture. Of my shoes just chillin on the dock in downtown Annapolis. That she took many, many moons ago. You’ll get your very own 11x14 print of my shoes!!!!

Oh, but that is not all. No, there is so much more for the winning!

You see, I’ve met some amazing friends through blogging this past year and they are also here to help me celebrate my 1st year of blogging. So, without further adieu, I introduce to you some more of my friends:


(in order from l-r, top-bottom): 1 month of ad space from Sando at The Daily Deelight; 1 month of ad space from Rachel at The Random Writings of Rachel; a Starbucks gift card and a lovely bracelet from Ashley at Piloting Life; and 31 organizing tote and 1 month of ad space from Pam at Our Love Nest; monogrammed mug filled with hot cocoa for those cold winter nights from Kelly at Today Was A Fairytale; set of postcards from Kristin at Vignettes; BB Guns Black Ale ad space from Beth at Until Only Love Remains; custom post signature from Chelsea at Yours Truly;  and another gorgeous 8x10 print from Sheila at The Failte House

Best of luck!


Photog Tips: Guest Post by Sheila of The Failte House

Today I have a treat for you! I’m introducing you to one of my greatest blogger friends, Sheila from The Failte House. Pure joy and positive energy- that’s all you are ever going to find from her. She’s part of The Sisterhood and she’s taking over today to talk about my new, big girl hobby: photography. You see, Sheila’s an amazing and awe inspiring photographer. And she has some pointers and tips for anyone ready to delve into the DSLR world.

Take it away, Sheila!


My Camera Bag :)

I am so thankful to be over here on Tina’s blog as her wit and writing keep me coming back to read more :)
So she asked for some photography tips, and of course I was eager to pass on some of the knowledge I learned from a few years of classes and stalking studying other photographers. Then I got this idea, why don’t  I make her a surprise - why don’t I gift her with my first vlog, ever. Awesome and yet horrible idea.  
If you want to see awkward. Think, stuttering, strange faces, weird eye looking up glances, please watch.  Oh, and if you would like to learn what I think about buying expensive equipment - you can watch too.

Thanks for having me Tina and I truly apologize if I scared all of your readers away today.  It was not intentional :)  And if you are still reading, I would love to hear from you and help answer any questions you might have.  So please come say hi over at The Failte House.
Thanks again for having me Tina!

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Program….

I’ll have you know I am only on day 3 of 6 of our Whirlwind Cowboy Adventure to Texas. And we haven’t even gotten to my birthday and Phuongnhu’s wedding yet! It’s coming, I promise. But the house is getting dirty, and behind, and so today we’re playing ketchup. And mustard. Or simply “housekeeping”. Here we go….

1. Have you noticed my friends over there——————>? That’s my sisterhood. Except we don’t share traveling pants. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Kristin, from Kristin’s Veranda, is most likely the sweetest girl in blogland. I absolutely love her slice of internet paradise and I spend maybe a bit too much time on her blog. And did you see these? If you follow me on Facebook, you already know how much I’m in love with them!

Sheila, from The Failte House, is my other sister. It’s Gaelic, by the way. For “welcome”. Don’t you love it? The Failte House! My Irish heritage just squeals with excitement! She’s my go-to for positive energy and inspiration. Did I mention she’s a photographer? Yeah. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ve been harassing her a bit too much about my new toy….

So, anyway, these ladies and I have a busy month planned for you readers. So expect to be seeing some guest posts over here, as well as a giveaway. Giveaway?!?! I know everyone’s ears just perked up!

2. My 1 year anniversary is in a week and a half. So in T-minus 4 days, this blog is putting on it’s Halloween costume and becoming all wedding-y, gushy, mushy, and pretty. So if you like wedding posts, which hopefully you do, stay tuned. Not to mention… I’ve got a video or two as well as some never-seen-or-spoken-about before info from our big day to share! I hope you won’t mind. Oh, and you’ll be hearing multiple plugs for these people. Because they captured moments like this:

3. KELLY! This girl is amazing. I hope to be her when I grow up. So she was my Fall Friendship Swap partner and talk about luck of the draw! Hand sketched artwork that matches my house EXACTLY? Misha likes the squirrel the best. And that stack of recipes! My husband could take a hint from her on the way to my heart. :) My treasure box of fall goodies just came on Monday so I haven’t had a chance to be too domestic and utilize the recipes, but I’ll be letting you know how it goes. I’m especially looking forward to the butterscotch pudding and the pumpkin cheesecake. I have such a sweet tooth! Thank you, Kelly! The gift is perfect!

4.Lanaya! More thanks for my Liebster Award! The Liebster Blog Award is given to bloggers by bloggers. It is a way to acknowledge each other and say “you’re doing a great job”. She also gave me a few questions to answer, which I will get to later once my ducks are all in a row. She has another blog that I just love to explore and I can get lost wandering through everything it has to offer! Go say hello!

5. Stop over to Lauren’s blog and wish her the best on her nuptials this weekend. October weddings rule!

6. My big girl camera! So I’ve had it for a few weeks now. I promised myself the moment I bought it that I would not snap a single shot in auto mode. I’m doing alright and I feel like I made progress on our Texas vacation, naturally, but I know I’ve got a ways to go. Plus, I doubt I’ll see my wish-listed lens before I open my stocking Christmas morning. So, please, bear with me as I keep at it. I’m trying to keep it real, here. I mean, for every picture you see that looks like this (Haha, Baci is ridiculous! I had to show it to you!):

there are two pictures that look like this:

7. Link it up! Chelsea from Yours Truly has kindly asked me to co-host this week’s link up. So add your Twitter account and meet some new friends!

(Are you still with me? I told you I had a lot of housekeeping…)
Follow your host & co-hosts
Share the hop with others, whether it be via Twitter, Facebook, your blog, etc!
Come link up with @chelseaoliviaxo for the Twitter hop to find new friends!
Feel free to copy the code for the button from above and put it up on your blog.
Take a couple minutes to visit some other people who have linked up and let them know you stopped by from the Return The Favor hop - and hopefully they will return the favor!

Chelsea from Yours Truly

Happy Hump Day. :)

Celebrate What’s Right

This is the first picture I took with my new birthday camera. I was so giddy to use it that I ripped through the box, practically shoved the lens on, and ran out the back door to photograph the first piece of beauty I could find.

So of course it’s not the best picture. But that isn’t the point. The point is that this is a moment of absolute pure joy and excitement, framed through the lens of my heart. Even if it isn’t National Geographic- worthy photography. Because right before and right after I took this shot, my world was wild and crazy. Still is. I mean, here I am taking a break from cleaning house, packing for Texas and trying to get my ducks in order to share this little bit with you. Because, seriously, this is important stuff.

Speaking of National Geographic…. I am completely convinced that National Geographic photog’s have the best job on the planet. No exaggeration. In true apple pie, Friday night lights, route 66 American fashion, I grew up flipping through the pages behind that yellow framed magazine cover month after month. It was my first world history education. And to this day, I consider Nat Geo to be my favorite lens to the rest of the world. And this is why I write tonight.

In undergrad I took this class called Visual Rhetoric. The premise was basically to prove that images can make arguments without the support of any text to back them up. I loved that class. Oh, and, by the way, one of my images from class was then used 4 years later in a college text book! That’s right. I’m a published photographer. Anyways, I love a good picture. And Nat Geo photog’s know how to turn a good picture into a story so that every grade school child across the country can learn a thing or two about the world well past their reading level. There it is: visual rhetoric.

Okay, so we had our first Leadership Development Institute (LDI) meeting this weekend. It was so much more than I expected. Moreso a retreat and less of a lecture or school district meeting, we spent our time reflecting on who we are as people (not what we do) and how we work in a team. So, of course, we did some awesome initiative and confidence games (you know, those ropes courses and wall climbing things you do with a team). I even scaled a wall like spiderman. But we also watched this awesome video by Dewitt Jones, a former Nat Geo photog.

Ohhh myyyyyyy goodnessssssss!!!

I just about fell out of my chair. I swear, those Nat Geo photog’s. Best job in the world. So the title of this video we watched is “Celebrate What’s Right With The World”. What a beautiful statement. Choose to see the possibilities in front of you. They won’t be there until you believe in them. But with a little patience, a tweak of your frame and wee bit of creativity, the world will turn itself right. 

Told ya. Those Nat Geo photog’s. I love ‘em. And I’ll leave you with a clip from the video. Just click here.

P.S. I know my birthday isn’t until Saturday. But my new camera came early so that I could get used to it before taking it to Texas tomorrow! (Still getting used to it… it’ll be awhile before I’m shooting like Annie Leibovitz.)

This is the Sunset Post

I’m a sucker for a sunset. And a sunset in northern Michigan? I never tire.

They have the uncanny ability to turn me into a giggly, sprightly ball of fire. In my perfect world, my home would face west out over the water. No one should ever waste their time buying property facing east out over the water. Unless, that is, you are a 5am morning person. Which I am not.

When I was a little girl, my dad would sit on the bench at the top of our ridge overlooking Lake Michigan every evening. Film in one hand, nightcap in the other, he’d set up camp. It must have left quite the impression on me because I believe northern Michigan sunsets are magical. 

And everyone deserves at least one northern Michigan sunset in their lifetime. Here, I’ve provided you with two weeks worth of sherbet deliciousness in the form of evening skies. You’re welcome.