feliz navidad

It's Christmas!!! And this has been a fun one for sure!! We woke up at 5:30 to have a Christmas breakfast before everyone left for their shifts. We had stockings, presents (so nice, really. I've been here for two days and they already had a Christmas present for me), and delicious cinnamon rolls. I also had this morning off and got to take a glorious nap that was supposed to be half an hour, but turned out to be two hours. But I can justify it because it's Christmas. Heh. It's been a good day today.

It turns out that Ecuadorians actually celebrate Christmas on the 24th, so today was sort of a dead day which is good because yesterday was easily one of the most exhausting days of my life. It was the first time I was actually working and the entire schedules and routines were thrown off because there was a giant fiesta happening and tons of people from the community were bombarding the place with pocketfuls of sugar and an insane amount of toys (no complaints there, I promise, and it's a further testament of charity AROUND THE WORLD (let's hold hands!)), but this sort of led to a bunch of hyped up kids and then extremely naughty kids today who wouldn't share. That's okay. It's Christmas. But I figure this is a good & rough jump into the work because if I make myself think that I'm going to be this tired every shift and in actuality I really won't be, I'll adjust much better. We all lie to ourselves at some point, right?

Today was better. And today was exciting because a few kids remembered my name and I got a plethora of baby kisses. Twas delightful. Being at the house was fun too. We had a huge Christmas dinner, shared some scriptures, sang Christmas carols and exchanged some white elephant gifts (pirated DVD LOLZ). This will easily be one of the most memorable Christmases of my life.

Things are good. And I'm where I'm supposed to be. And I took my first shower today since Tuesday. YUMMMM. 

Sorry for no photos. Another time.

vuelo mal

I am in Cuenca! I'm a little ill with some altitude sickness which I'm hoping will pass in due time, and I'm exhausted out of my mind, and 5 flights are not good, and I forgot that I'm supposed to speak Spanish here, and I'm the best pillow, and rain is cold.

My internet here is not quite as efficient as I was hoping it would be, which means that unfortunately, my posts will be very photo lacking seeing as this is the fifth time in two days I've tried to upload one photo and it finally worked. But never fear--I am taking an enormous amount of photos and I am not going to stop anytime soon! Just wish I could share them with you while they were happening. We'll see. For now, here's a picture of Cuenca from my balcony. It's beautiful here and very much like San Francisco (mostly just weather wise) which is one of my absolute favorite cities in the states. So that's good.

Thank you to my friends and family for the well wishes before I left! The last few days before I left, I was unbelievably emotionally and was crying at any and every opportunity available especially when it came to saying goodbye. Fortunately, only one person witnessed the bawl fest in person, and if that wasn't you, never fear, I bawled right after I left (that means you, Danielle). I love you all for taking the time to wish me luck and say goodbye. It means more than you know.

I also haven't expressed it well enough, but I am incredibly grateful to all my sponsors for helping me to actually be here--without them, I'd be at home being a schmuck, that's for sure. This has already been an incredible experience thus far and I can't wait for the rest of it!

Thanks for checking in...I'll try to keep this as updated as possible, but no guarantees.



amabe engagements

This is Amy & Gabe. They're in love. Here are some shots.



They're getting married today and I'm takin' pics. Wish me luck.


Saturday was my early Christmas. Twas great, I tell you. A smorgasbord of fun things happened, one major thing being that I got a new lens. The illustrious 50mm f/1.8D...I'm still testing the waters of this lens, and hopefully after more experience with it, I'll get a review of sorts up here. For now, here are some shots. Nothing really exciting, but a few good tests that are leaving me quite optimistic about this lens's future with me.

Santa still visits me THAT'S FOR SURE.

Other good things:

Spending time with my Logan BFFS. I love and miss them so much.
Pandora's Christmas stations
Late night chats with my super BFF Charles
Getting love notes from Katffrey. 
Salt Lake City
Abroad BFFS remembering your birthday and sending you a present in a letter
Visiting my old painting teacher (She's also old in age. 29. ANCIENT.)
Blog friends (sounds dumb, but I'm serious. That means you, Megan Bell)
Homemade Oreos
Kelli's thoughts
Talking to Lindsey ON THE PHONE
3 days until Ecuador

And a blurry self portrait:

#353 Seeing Christmas Trees Through the Window

A direct copy of this post:
Christmas Through A Window
Tree Through the Window
Christmas tree through a window
One of our trees through the window
Christmas Tree at Night
all is calm, all is bright


nook shelves

This post is mostly because I think pictures of books and bookshelves are the best (like here, here,  here, here, & here,  (I told you I liked book pictures)). I rearranged a bunch of my books and other crap and I really liked how it ended up looking. This shelf has been in my childhood bedroom ever since I was a baybay, and my sister fixed this shelf up with a new fabric backing and a new paint job a while ago...and now it looks great (even if my mom hates it). Here tis! And as a preface, I know everyone and their dog has an owl collection now, but either mine are from a foreign country, or I built and glazed it with my own hands, so my collection of sorts is automatically cooler than yours. Hmm? (I'm kidding by the by).  


And my book of scraps (NOT A SCRAPBOOK) to seal the deal. Holla for litrachure!


Alexa Meade

These speak for themselves, but just in case you don't catch it, look at the eyes and hair in these incredible portraits.


See more on her flickr.


mewey widdow conssewt

Paul Jacobsen & the Madison Arm

Last Saturday, a few friends and I attended a fabulous Christmas concert put on by Libbie Linton, Paul Jacobsen & the Madison Arm, and Fictionist (#10). It was at the fantastic Post Theater. Since I've been to several Libbie/Fictionist concerts before, I took more pictures of Paul Jacobsen & the Madison Arm. But only a few because I was far too busy listening to take pictures. Check it out.

These guys are one of my favorite bands as of late seeing as the lead singer has a voice very much like Glen Hansard from The Swell Season and as we all know, he is just the best. The appearance similarities are pretty crazy too. WE LIVE IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE. Great percussion, great guitars, great vocals equals all around awesome stuff. I took a pretty great video of their version of "I Saw Three Ships" but the sound got a little bit too hot for my camera and I just can't post a crappy fan video of a good song. But take my word--these guys are great.

The living room vibe to this show gave a great casual and classy tone for the evening and the Post contributed hugely to the ambiance. Fictionist toned down their set a bit with less synths, more acoustic guitars, and more brushes on the drums...different, but such a cool twist. They also performed some classic Christmas songs and a few of their own, one of which you can download for free on their facebook page. A superb show, friends. And my favorite picture from the evening...


No, wait. Just kidding. THIS is my favorite picture from the night.

Of course Amelia, Lauren and I dressed up in our Christmas garb for a Christmas show. IT'S CHRISTMAS.