Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013



It's Monday night and the final night of 2012. Woke up today with an Owlfish jumping on top of me, wanting to play "cheeez" (her way of taking pictures.) So I woke up, pulled out my cellphone, and started our day with pictures together. But I also got to wake up next to Daniel today and we got enjoy breakfast in bed with a small Once Upon A Time marathon. But all day, as we drove around and cleaned a bit, I thought back on 2012. Even with the many "those days" there have been and the rough patches with single motherhood I have faced, this year was still amazing. I watched my little baby grow into such a big girl, complete with her sassy attitude. I grew as a mother, a lover, and a person in general. My relationship with Daniel is still just as strong as it began and I love him just as deep. Only word for it : blessed.

And with only 2 hours left until 2013 and New years Rockin' Eve going on it the background, I figured I would leave you with a few resolutions I made for my life.

This coming year, I plan to:

*Detox and become healthier. That means no soda or sugar, more water, lots of dancing and walking, and lots of meditation and connection

*Be the best mother I can be to Abigail. Have more play time and meals together. More walks and movie nights. More reading and more hugs. be there for her every step and love every second.

*Be a good girlfriend to the man I love most.

*Get my art business, The Burnt Nickel, off the ground. Which means, make more time for art and creativity each day, even if it is only five minutes

*Start sewing and knitting again. Create new clothing/cosplay designs

*Cook/bake more to get better at it and so food is edible!

*Spin poi or hoop more. (it'll help with the first resolution!)

*Stop being so sorry all the time.

*Let go of anger faster.

*Breathe and enjoy my life every second!


And to all my readers, friends and family, whether we see each other often or don't know each other at all, I toast to you all! I love you all and wish you nothing but the best for 2013! Let's kick it's ass and be rockstars!

Love always!
Owlfish & Family

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The last days of the year


Tomorrow will be the last day of 2012. I don't know about everyone else, but this year went by really fast for me. It wasn't the greatest year, but not the worst either. So much good has happened to me and it's taken a lot of crying, lecturing, and sometime nothing at all to realize it. I am blessed and I am doing the best I can. It's just rough sometimes. I know I'm not the only one. 

But tonight was a family night. Above are a few instas of it. We went out to Chili's with a bouncy Owlfish for dinner, where we discovered she knows how to drink with a straw now! So proud! And her Grandma and Grandpa Cullen surprised her with a new toy: a Circus Tent! Her own play tent int he shape of the big top. I'm so stoked for it, but probably not as much as she is. She's smitten by it. I'm going to post pictures tomorrow (let's hope!). 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ghostly Galleon Tossed Upon Cloudy Seas

If you didn't get my title, you need to head back to the books and read Alfred Noyes's narrative poem "The Highwayman". This particular piece has always been a favorite of mine since about fourth grade, when I was first taught it in school. I had to memorize it to present to my class and it is among the random bits of teachings I somehow still remember. So when I caught a glimpse of the moon tonight while I was putting Owlfish to bed, I caught myself starting to recite the poem to her. The words came back like it was only yesterday I was standing in front of my class, probably shuffling my big feet. But what surprised me the most was to see her just staring at me while I spoke, listening to each word. Maybe there's a future word lover in the making? I sure hope so!

Earlier tonight, during dinner, I braved the 30 degree weather and went outside to snap a few pictures with my dusty Nikon oft he full moon. It was also a chance for me to use my second Nikkor Lens (55/200 mm) that I didn't get much chance to use at the university. While I wish I had a better lens to work with full shots of the moon, I'm pretty pleased with what I got.




If you haven't been outside tonight, brave that cold and take a walk! Enjoy the moon and the night. I dare you!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Some Christmas Instas


Hello from my newly discovered (obsession) Instagram on my new iPhone. I finally replaced my dinosaur of an droid phone this holiday and while they whole hype over having an iphone died quickly, it has still been fun to take pictures with. And yes, I gave in and jumped the hipster bandwagon. So I may be using a few of those more often on this blog. Will it replace my photography ambitions? Nope. In my opinion, instagram does not make someone a photographer. But that doesn't stop it from being fun to use. 

So, here are a few pictures from our Christmas this year. Needless to say, even though Owlfish still hasn't grasped the concept of Santa Claus yet, she was very excited to see all these new toys just for her to play with. Also, that Minnie Mouse? It's as big as her! 


I hope your holidays were beautiful and you got to spend a lot of time with the ones you love! Can't wait to see what the next year will bring for us all.

xoxo

Follow me on Instagram: The Burnt Nickel



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Noel


Merry Christmas and Happy Yule. 
I hope this day was wonderful to you and yours. 
Many blessing and tidings on this great night!

Love, Owlfish & Family
xoxox


(both images found on weheartit)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Santa Claus

On Saturday, Owlfish went to see Kris Kringle. Remember the first time she met the big man? It's still such a joy to see how big she has gotten since that picture last year. 


And no fussing! No tears! She may not have smiled at him much, but I'm pretty proud of her. 


These pictures are still another show of a year. The right one was the picture I caught of Owlfish and her Grandpa Cullen watching Santa come down. She was only about two months old. The picture on the left was from Saturday, same position, same time! I may make this a yearly picture if I can. :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dinosaur Yuletide

Merry Yule and Happy Winter Solstice. 

It's been a cold, cold, blustery day here in the South. Lots of layers and blankets. And surprise! The world didn't end. If anything, December 21, 2012 was a great new beginning. I decided to give the boyfriend his Christmas gift a little early after a fellow artist friend of mine, Caroline, tipped me off to a new Friday night thing in Atlanta. 

The natural history museum here in Georgia, Fernbank, has this Martini and IMax night special they do every Friday. (Check out their website for more info!) Tonight, there was some Salsa dancing going on as well. So I figured, why not take the dinosaur loving boyfriend somewhere special? We went out tonight to the museum and got to experience not only some new favorite cocktails, but enjoy the one-night-only IMax film Cirque Du Soleil: Journey of Man. I'm a huge fanatic of any of Cirque's performances and this film was just as breathtaking. Although we didn't do much dancing tonight (ahem..none), it was still a great night out, just the two of us. 


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Buckeyes

No, I'm not an Ohio fan, by any means. Used to have an ex who was, but he's an ex for a reason. Anyway, in light of the holiday season], I figured I would share a favorite recipe that has become a staple dish around our house during the Yuletide. I warn you, if you are on a no-sweets kick or a diet, unless you are willing to make an exception, you might want to bypass this! Haha.


Buckeyes
This will make about 5 dozen candies and we use THIS recipe the most.

* 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
* 1 cup softened butter
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 6 cups confectioners sugar
* 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the peanut butter, vanilla, and confectioners' sugar. The dough will look dry. Roll into one inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

2. Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as a handle for dipping) and chill in the freezer until firm (Usually take 30 minutes)

3. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.

4. Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate using the toothpicks in each ball. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.


Hope you enjoy!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Connecticut


Even now, at 23, there is still quite a bit I don't understand about the world around me. That seems almost silly to me to post or say, because I'm sure I'll get to be about 80 and still not understand a lot. But there are days where I wish I understood why things happen, just out of the selfish want of knowing and comfort in knowing. 

I, like most of America, was devastated by the news Friday afternoon about Newtown. I watched another bleak moment in history unfold just this year. As the day went on, I watched the death toll go up. I watched families suffer. I watched people begin to argue, pointing blame every which way, saying all sorts of absurd things to defend their view. And it all happened at an elementary school I had never heard of, in a town I had never been to, miles and miles away from myself or anyone I was close to. But the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school affected me in ways some can't understand. 

Before I go on, I will say I am not making this post to assert any viewpoint or post blame. And you won't find a "R.I.P" or "Do this to remember them" post here. What I think led to this or how I mourn does not concern anyone but me. But I will post how I felt, beyond the initial reaction of wanting justice and the urge to sit down and cry. 

In my 23 years, I've seen disasters happen, everyone has. School shootings, natural disasters, wars, attacks....I could say I've seen it all, even though I haven't. And every time something  this devastating has occurred, it affects me, even if it's on a spiritual level. I share sadness with those affected, I feel the wounds they feel. All I want to do is be of some solace, far beyond postings like this over the internet the victims will likely never see. In the end, I do nothing but watch.

But the attack at Sandy Hook hit me far worse than any other event I have been a witness to. And I know it is mostly because I am a mother now and my view on everything has drastically changed. I saw what happened to the families who lost such young children, mother and fathers who lost their grownup babies. And all I could think was it could happen to me. And that day, I couldn't stop putting myself through mental terror at wondering what if my daughter had been shot. What if she was gone one day? What if I never saw her again. What if...what if...what if.... I scared myself silly that night, probably for no reason, though I didn't voice anything. Either way, I ended up hugging Owlfish a little tighter and sending thanks to my gods that I still had her with me. Even if it did fill me with a small guilt that I still had my child and 27 families out there did not...27 families who will look at the gift under trees that will never get opened, clothes that will never been worn again, silence instead of laughing.

Even after how good today was; waking up next to my love, watching Abbie's eyes light up at the talkign Star Trek ornament on the Christmas tree, finding out I got accepted Georgia State University to go back to college...I still caught myself thinking "This all could vanish". The steady stream of news still coming from Connecticut and the reactions still escalating on any social media are constant reminders of how we should feel lucky we are ok, but not forget those affected. I know I'm not alone in wanting the ability to just hug those affected, be there to support them, remind them of every empty comfort of their children being in a better place. 

But again, I won't get that chance. In the end, for those in Newtown, it'll just take time for healing. Time to mourn and wonder. Time to be angry. And then one day, eventually accept and move on. The least we unaffected could do is be part of that healing process. Be a positive force to pick up the pieces. Is this post just stream of conscious ramblings? Probably. Do you think I'm being dramatic? I wouldn't be surprised. But I won't argue with you, as long as you take a moment to feel too. Even if it sadness, even if it's hope. And to take the time to love more. The world needs more love for each other.

When I put Owlfish to bed tonight (with her little panda hat on) turned on her movie for her, I knew and accepted how lucky I am. It's the old adage of  "Count your blessings" or "Here today, gone tomorrow". It's what I'll try to remember when I light a prayer candle and say a prayer tonight.

I've run out of words. But know this, you are loved by someone. Even if it's just me.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

"I've got starlight, I've got sweet dreams...


...I've got my man, who could ask for anything more?"

One year ago today, in the cab of a truck under a starry sky, two friends became a couple. And what a year it has been for the both of us. If you had asked the me I was in 2009, after we had lost contact, that just three years later, we'd be a happy couple together...well, I would have asked what you were on. But the man I'm in love with today is the same man I harbored such a crush on four years ago and I couldn't begin to explain how happy I am to have him in my life. Not enough words or pages.

Happy Anniversary, Daniel! I love you, sweetheart!

(lyrics from Gershwin's Crazy For You)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Connection


Today is coming to an end and what a day it has been. 12/12/12. It's the last repetitive day I will get to see in my lifetime (unless you are like me and believe we get more chances than that!) But I have to say, even though I didn't have high expectations for the date, I am very satisfiedgiddyhappypleasedyayfeelinggood at how wonderful this day was. I'm sure anybody reading this is probably sick to death of all the posts on facebook and whatnot about this date, I was one of them. But today did something for me and I want to share it with you. Just keep an open mind.

Woke up to Daniel greeting me with flowers and a big hug. We'd been fighting the night before, but to see him when I first wake up was more than ok for me. For most of the morning, we kinda just putzed around, playing with Owlfish (who was in a GREAT MOOD today, thank gods!). In the middle of watching the movie Super 8, I had this overwhelming feeling that we needed to get up and just go somewhere. I looked over at Daniel and asked if he minded going to a nearby New Age shop called Simple Strands. He agreed to going, since it had been on our list of things to do for a few weeks. We headed up there, not really intending to buy anything, moreover just to look and price supplies.* After looking around the store for a good bit, chatting with the owner along with a sleepy toddler, I came across this little plate with a bunch of crystals on it. Call me a nut all you want, but I felt the need to look at a few of them. Involuntarily, my hand picked up one spire at the edge of the plate. It looked perfect, but I turned it over and saw a huge chunk missing from it. But right then and there, I felt something calm and beautiful. Somehow, this little rock wanted me to find it. It left the shop with me (paid for, yes) and the day afterward just progressed to something even more fulfilling. 

We went and had lunch at a place we frequent a lot, which resulted in Daniel and I have a beautiful moment with a giggly Abigail and the oyster crackers the ladies at the diner gave to her. She made people smile and laugh that day in that diner. we didn't know any of the people there, but they got to watch and share that giggly moment with us. For a while, we all were connected by the antics of a one year old. When we got back to the house, I must have gone into a weird silence, because Daniel asked me what was wrong. After a moment of quiet, I just started talking about my recent frustrations. But they came so easily out of me this time. And I felt so much better afterward. It struck me in that moment just how lucky I am to have Daniel. How patient and understanding he is with me, despite my faults and lapses into gloom. The fact that he wants  to be there, hear my thoughts, offer such love struck a chord in me today. Even though he had to leave early for work, I was so happy to have shared so many magical moments with him today. 

And Abbie got to nap for a bit on her favorite pillow, so no complaints all around.

Ended my evening today, after Owlfish went to sleep, with a much needed and deeply connected meditation session at 9:30, in honor of the World Unite celebration that went on today. I walked home tonight feeling cleansed and ready to face a new age.

I'm insecure and I have my cracks, but I'll be ok. Today proved that with the power of positive thinking, anything can happen. Label me cliche. I'm happy anyway.

(image found on WeHeartIt)

*I need to clarify something. As you all probably know/guessed, I am a Pagan. My ex fiance, Abigail's biological father, is also a Pagan. We made the decision before Abbie came along and our relationship failed that she would be raised as such. At least until she is old enough and understands enough to make her own religious choices. But Daniel IS NOT Pagan. The beliefs, holidays, thoughts, spells, etc. I post here do not reflect his beliefs in any way. Daniel has his own beliefs and I won't post them without his consent. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

One of "those days"

(a preview shot of a series I recently did, but it shows my mood the best lately...)
The past couple have just...sucked. Been more downs than ups and I swear, I must be having the winter blues for once in my life. Suddenly, with the cold weather came MORE lack of motivation and just an overall dreariness. Daniel's been having his stressful times as well lately. Both of us have hit rough patches in our separate lives and it's doing us no good mentally.


Even Owlfish must be feeling it. She's been much more grouchy, but I'm more likely to think it is the growth spurt that has crept up on us. She has been sleeping a lot and sickish from cutting her molars. Yep, we've reached molars! And she might be having growing pains, because she has grabbed her knees saying "ow!". 

Either way, official diagnosis now is: Seasonal Depression. We plan to try and kick it's ass soon so we'll all be a happier nest. But what are your ways of beating the blues? Please tell us!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Crickets

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Happy December 1st! Only 20 more days until the Yule begins! 

The holiday season has (officially) started in our house and so far has included Owlfish seeing this movie for the first time and putting on Christmas records most of the afternoon. So maybe I neglected laundry and cleaning, opting for lounging around doing most of nothing with my girl but it was worth it.

By the way, hello there. Sorry for how quiet it's been here for several days. Owlfish and Family been traveling across the southeast for the past week or so. Ended up being invited almost last minute by my aunt and uncle to spend Thanksgiving with their family in Biloxi, Mississippi. My mother's sister recently was stationed there, so it was not only a chance to travel somewhere I had never been, but to see them again (considering we haven't seen her or the boys since thanksgiving five years ago!). My family (sans the boyfriend) packed up an Owlfish and both cars to head down to the coast.  Once again, I was pleasantly surprised at how well Abbie held up on the drive to and from. The only times she got irritable were the last hour or so of driving. But she enjoyed Biloxi, especially the chance to run around outside almost the entire time there. A few bruises and bumps later, she's grasped the concept of running away from mamma.

The day after Thanksgiving, my dad drove both myself and Abbie home to meet up with Daniel, because we were turning right around to road trip again! Since about September, the boyfriend and I had talked about making a road trip up to my home state of Virginia. I hadn't been up there since my grandmother passed away back in 2007, so I wanted to go not only so he could see where I spent time as a child, but also so dad's sisters could finally meet their great niece. We finally decided to make it a birthday trip for us, since we had just celebrated both of ours. Owlfish and I returned home from Biloxi on Friday, repacked our stuff, and left Saturday morning (with the boyfriend :D). 

The trip to Virginia was much longer than the one to Mississippi, but Owlfish was a complete trooper. She slept most of the time to and from. And Virginia was good to us. We stayed at my aunt and uncle's place up there, which was exciting because they have a ton of animals and a lot of space to roam. While Abbie did not get to meet their horse herd face to face, she busied herself with chasing their dogs and kittens around. I got to meet the new horse in the herd up there. (ps. He's beautiful, but sometimes mean!) We got to spend time with my cousins and watch one of them march in the Augusta Co. Christmas parade out in Staunton. Also on the trip, we visited my other aunt and uncle so they could spend sometime with Abbie. Hopefully pictures to come soon. I was bummed out when I had to leave, but I'm hoping to go back soon. Especially since both Daniel and baby enjoyed their time up there as well.

And the time since...well...I've been lazy. There is no other word for it. Other than laundry (which still isn't folded) and the occasional doodling, I have not done much. And I'm disappointed in myself. I really need to get on top of cleaning and getting all this artistic inspiration out of my head for once. I miss arting so often.

Either way, I'm back on the blog and hopefully, I will be able to post pictures from both trip soon.