My 2013 Living Will (or Ode to Leo)

Every year when the snow starts to fall, I jokingly compile a will, should this be the year I can no longer handle the cold (as if I ever could).

This year, the first snow in Baltimore was followed shortly by the passing of my dear cousin Leo. I have felt incredibly sad and incredibly grateful for the time I spent in Utah, which allowed me to get to know Leo and his family, along with several other cousins much better than I had before. Thoughts of the strong example Leo was during his battle with cancer run through my mind. And thoughts of who I am trying to become shortly follow.

So instead of drafting a listing of my physical possessions, I thought to keep in line with both my tradition and my current thoughts, to write a different kind of will--a will of what I strive everyday to leave behind.

Dad-- I leave you my endless gratitude for the perspective, love, and support you have provided in my life. You have been a quiet, gentle example and it is never forgotten.

Mom--I  leave you my admiration. While we don't always see eye-to-eye, I want you to know I think of you as a strong, capable woman who shows me daily that if there's a will there's a way.

Megan, Matt, and Mihkel-- I leave you everything a sister should have to give by way of support. I hope to be there for each of you in whatever way I can and for whatever reason.

Chris and Elliot-- Aside from any spoiling in the process, I also leave you encouragement to never stop being as curious as you are now. To help you explore the world and its many wonders in every way possible.

Ava-- I leave you something I am desperately trying to work on: to love how I am, how I look, and who I am. I hope in working on my own insecurities I can teach you how beautiful and wonderful you truly are and to treasure that.

To all my friends and family-- I leave you my time and service. This past year has brought cynical thoughts of regrets for not selfishly guarding my time for my own work and progression. But the truth is that my most treasured moments are often in giving to others, so I hope to leave as much service behind someday as possible.

To Leo-- I keep you in my heart and memory, as all of us will.

Leo finishing the 5K held in his honor November 2010: when the doctors thought he only had 6 months.


Patriot Island

There is nothing like finding a visual treasure on the side of the road... Particularly when you're slightly lost and need something to have made your detour worthwhile. This was a lovely little spot to stop and breathe in while photographing. It also exhibits the spectacular colors of an Eastern fall, which is something I have enjoyed very much the last few weeks.


Floating Along

On the boardwalk

Several weeks ago I got to spend an evening with my Dad in Atlantic City. By night it was a mixture of Vegas and Santa Monica, but in the golden burn of sunrise peeking over the horizon of the Atlantic, there was a quiet beauty that I loved.



Sometimes I forget to advance my film.

So I end up with leaves all over my house. I have mixed feelings about it. But once in a while I really love the effect it can bring:


Dignity in Play

Looking at more film images that have been on the back burner. This one is from my birthday party.


Mitch and Bjorn

In April my Uncle Mitch came to visit Vegas with his boyfriend Bjorn. It was great to meet Bjorn and, as usual, fantastic to see my Uncle. One of my greatest excitements about living on the east coast now is that I'm much closer to Mitch in Maine... new vacation spot!


Pretty Pretty Princess

In honor of the royal infant, Princess Mara-Jade wishes them joy with their new family.


Family Grave

I may or may not have accidentally double exposed this one. The good news is that blonde moments serve a purpose sometimes. This was one of my favorite spots to visit last year in Estonia. The first time took me an hour or so to find this exact grave, but I went about once a week after I did.


Sassy Eyes

It's no wonder this girl has guys falling for her left and right. Look at that smirk!


Hero Lives!

Anyone else see the new Much Ado About Nothing?
"And when I lived, I was your other wife:
And when you loved, you were my other husband."


Ivy Steps

Trying to get on top of this once-a-day posting thing! Don't mind me if I stumble a bit...


Hanging Out

I have shared this one before, but figured it just belongs on my blog. My nephew is one of the funniest little kids you will ever meet. Unlike other funny kids, though, I don't think he even realizes he's funny. Other kids like that start to become comedians at a very early age (ahem... Kev). Instead, he goes around, trying to figure out the world, and doing the most head-tilting things you have probably ever seen. Here, for example, since Jake didn't have a toddler swing in his yard, and he felt too uncomfortable holding himself up on the big kid swing, he just hung there, like this, swinging back and forth. I sure love this little guy!