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not just another easter sunday

We sang all my favorite Easter hymns at church today. We celebrated, we listened to stories of changed lives, and we ate and drank in remembrance of Him. It was a special day for this, and, I admit, I cried through most of it. What can I say—I am my mother's daughter.

The rest of the day was spent experiencing a small piece of what heaven may be like: in community, gathered around a table with families and friends. It was brunch in Brooklyn with some of the sweetest people I know in this city. And after a short rest in the afternoon, that led straight into a potluck dinner at a wonderful neighbor friend's house, also with some of the sweetest people I know. It was a good, full day and for no reason that I actually deserve.

Those are the kind that make you most thankful.

the perfect valentines

But not for the romantic reasons.

I always love a good handwritten & homemade note, especially on Valentine's Day. (I'd be lying if I said I don't love celebrating the pink and redlove-inspired holiday.) This year, I celebrated with two pretty special cards from two of my sweetest friends, and an even more special gift from my dear friend, Jenny: an advance copy of her book, Dancing Through Itthat is set to be released this coming Thursday. I couldn't even wait until I got home last night to start reading; I opened it the moment I reached the subway platform to wait for the next train.

And now I'm not feeling so bad about the piled-up 10+ inches of snow outside after all. You'll know where to find me on this long holiday weekend—curled up & reading!

better late than never!

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I only managed to get a few Christmas cards in the mail this year, and just barely pulled that off. But I'm choosing to believe that the old adage still rings true,

better late than never!

Merry Christmas, blog friends!

eggs & matching

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For easter, Brendan and I made our way out to Brooklyn to have brunch with some friends. One of our little friends who attended the brunch is an adorable two-year-old girl with a bright personality. She gleefully passed out these dyed easter eggs (that she dyed) for each of us - which happened to match everyone's clothes! I see lots of art, color wheels, and design in her future...

my experience with Good Friday

With most of the churches I attended growing up, I never remember much emphasis on Good Friday. I hadn't been to Good Friday church services, but maybe it was talked about during the Easter season. Then, I moved to New York and my church had an entire Holy Week series of events. It was all new to me, but I jumped right in on the festivities. I remember the first year attending a Good Friday service on Friday night after work and thinking about what an incredible day it was. Dark and sad, yet light and joyous.

During my second Easter in New York I was talking with a coworker who admittedly put little to no value on christianity. He was a fashion designer who somehow ended up as an interiors intern at an architecture firm. But despite having a very low interest in christianity, he was always open to talking about it.

We would sometimes go to lunch together for udon and as we were talking about christianity, I pondered out loud, "I wonder why it's called good Friday if Jesus died on that day?" He looked straight at me and said, "because Jesus died to save the world from their sins on Good Friday."

Through the words of an unlikely source, I have never again wondered or forgotten what makes Good Friday so good.

my valentine photo outing

I don't know what it is about Valentine's Day, but I love the colors, the sentiment, the candy...the everything. And, I may have gotten a little out of hand this year with my Valentine's cards. (Although, I've been known to get out of hand before with Valentine's Day...like the time I made a life-size cutout of myself with a sign reading "Hug Me.")

But boy did I have fun with this project. I spent the whole snowed-in weekend planning this out. I had Brendan agree (before telling him what my plan was) to be my photographer; I went nuts on the glitter paper at Michael's for these cutouts; and then I spent the better part of an hour trying to decide exactly where I should take these pictures, while even trying out a few different backgrounds and landscapes. In 20 degree weather.

It was pretty much a blast and I couldn't wait to share these cards with my family and friends. Since it's 2013, I decided to settle for an e-version instead of snail mail and send the cards via email. I also decided to share some of my outtakes here...gulp.

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First trial with background. No good.

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Second background trial. Much better!

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More difficult than it looks to hold all of these in place.

City-scene. This was my photographer's recommendation!

Last shot of the day.

christmas recital

This is a bit overdue, but I was so thankful to be able to be home for the holidays this year for more than 2 days. It was wonderful. And because of that, I was able to attend my nieces' Christmas dance recital. They did a pretty terrific job if I do say so myself (being that I am their incredibly biased aunt and all). I got a seat right beside Tate, a good view, and an hour and a half of Christmas music, Christmas costumes, dancing and festivity. What could be better?

Please try to enjoy these pictures as much as I have. They're helping to keep me in a bit of the Christmas spirit on these cold, gloomy, dreary, freezing, miserable January days we've been having in New York City.