Week in Review!

 

I am proud to be posting this first thing on a Friday morning…that never happens! I was on top of my stuff this week! I have to say, this has been a really great week. I believe things are about to get CRAY-CRAY, as semester projects are getting underway. I think, however, its going to be a different kind of crazy than its been. I’ve been striving to focus on one thing at a time, so if its work, then I want to be all there. And if its school, then I want to be all there. It does my heart and soul and anxiety no good to be thinking what I need to be doing when I’m somewhere else. I continue to love this city and all it has to offer. This week was good for lots of reasons. First, I got to have lunch/late night dinner with two new friends…folks, we really were made for community. Maybe some people, more than others, but that is an important part of our time here on earth. It was just refreshing. Ya know, I’ve been blessed in my life with something I’m coming to realize is as rare as finding a diamond glittering on the side walk. And what I’m about to explain has happened not only once in my life, but several times. There are a few women in my life, who upon meeting, we became what I call insta-friends. There was no period of getting to know each other. No discomfort with hanging out. No slow period of finding common ground and shared interests. When I say instant, I mean exactly that. I have had to stop and think back extra hard to make sure I am not glorifying those times to make them more than they were. But nope, that is exactly what they were. You can imagine the standard at which I hold new friendships, hoping they’re all like that. But actually, I think that its best they are not. How fortunate am I to have already experienced this several times in my short life? As I put myself out there, trying to develop relationships beyond acquaintanceships, I have to remind myself there are different types of friendships. There are different roles they all play. Acquaintanceship has its place, even though its my least favorite of all the friendships.

Moving right along, class was also good this week. On different occasions, I felt ridiculously unprepared and rushed prior too which I hate with a passion burning in my soul so I’m trying some new techniques to get over that happening again. This has kind of been the week of idea pitching and development for both my writing and photography class. Must people know my photo class has been a bit of a struggle, embarrassing as that is. But last night, I felt my teacher was actually excited about my idea. That was encouraging. Looking forward to digging in and really learning the depth of telling someone’s story. Ya know, it was really funny as we were going around last night, one by one sharing with the class the direction we were hoping to take our projects and bouncing ideas off each other. Toren, our teacher, was talking about how we gain access and communicate with individuals as we try to do so. Someone brought up email and he immediately encouraged a phone call. He also went on to talk about the importance of knowing peoples names and greeting them with such. This whole part of class made me giggle inside and I had to bite my tongue because I almost said, “Aw, honey, in the south we just call that common hospitality.”

With that, I give you my week:

1. I’ve always been told that horizontal stripes are least flattering but I have to say, I love a good horizontal stripe. I’ve become a bit over zealous in my sweater wearing; if I wake up and its just a bit chilly, I go straight to the sweater part of my closet, completely ignoring that part of my brain saying “Slow down child, its going to warm up,” which of course , without fail, it does, leaving me with scrunched up sleeves by the end of the day. But I rarely care because I’m wearing such a cute sweater.

2. This is in the back of our store. We have this groovy little court yard, and while waiting on a customer, I couldn’t resist this scrumptious light.

3. From the website I shared in my last post, I printed out this beautiful word set. That website title is no joke; that is a STRIKING truth! It just echos what I’ve been told my whole life. (Thanks dad!)

4. My seminar class attended the Newseum this past week. Holy smokes, if any of you ever travel to DC, its a must see. It’s one of the more expensive of the museums, with a $22 price tag but I can personally attest to it being worth every penny. Even though it was covered by my teacher, I would absolutely pay to go back. I was not anticipating how moving this museum would be. First off, its just cool. The design of the place is amazing. On the outside near the entrance, every morning they put a front page out from one major city in every state. You can imagine how excited I got to see the Times Picayune’s September 25 front page. They also have new front pages from major countries all over the world. There is a Pulitzer Gallery which was why my class was there for an upcoming assignment. Talk about emotional. You can watch all of the interviews and see these incredible photos that have truly shaped the way people see the world. You can’t tell me you’ve never seen the black and white photo of the little naked Vietnamese girl running down the dirt rode crying with smoke in the background. Or the Saigon execution as the officer shoots a local in the head. Those are powerful images. This quote is at the entrance of the Pulitzer gallery. Eddie Adams, the one who said this, is the photographer who shot the Saigon Execution. It’s amazing to hear his interview about that moment he captured. Powerful stuff. There is also an incredible exhibition on 9/11. They have the antenna that once was set atop one of the twin towers in NYC. I just sat there and cried as I watched the stories told by journalists. It’s an incredible place. I recommend it.

5. I’ve mentioned before how I kill innocent plants. Bless my little basil plant’s heart…it just didn’t stand a chance. My roommate thought it was necessary to be the voice of the plant, because I obviously couldn’t see how much help it needed. It’s official: my thumb is not green.

6. After lunch with my new friend Katie, (which was DELICIOUS…remember the coconut macaroon I posted a few weeks back? We went there for real food…I seriously wanted the whole menu) I ventured over to Eastern Market just to see what goodies were out that might need a home. I found this basket of baby sweet potatoes that were not only adorable, but looked delicious…I’ve contemplating what I should make with them this weekend. P.S. Here is a picture of what I ate for lunch: Smoked Salmon Tartine, with a cup of fresh lemonade and a side of baguette. Delicious!

7. I overestimated the time it would take for me to get to the Newseum before class. From the time I caught the bus at my apt, took the yellow line on the metro downtown, and walked a block, I was there within 30 minutes. So with 30 minutes to spare, I just walked around. Upon doing so, I came across this cool fountain.

8. Whenever I get a package, my notification comes by email. Let me tell you…it is always such a good day when I see the subject line: “We have a delivery waiting for you!” I couldn’t wait to get home and see what it was. Going back to my opening paragraph, I just have the most wonderful friends. My lovely friend Amanda sent me this little care package all the way from Montana. Amanda and I were roommates in Florence and have one of those soul connections. We’ve seen each other only twice since 2006 but have a wonderful “across the miles” friendship. This little care package had me in tears. She made me a bag for the farmers market and a little lunch bag so I don’t have to always use brown paper bags! She also sent me/made me some fabulous little goodies…I was so blessed.

9. Despite the fact that I can’t keep basil or cacti alive, I still am a strong believer that flowers help make a home lovely. While at the farmers market, I couldn’t pass up this little autumn bouquet and gladly surrendered $5 so that our kitchen table would have some life.

Sweet family and friends, I hope your weekend is truly blessed and wonderful, with just the right dose of adventure and relaxation!

 

 

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Manifesto

For over a year now, I have had a reminder in my phone to create my personal manifesto.

I wanted to be able to articulate the things that I wanted to live by. I came across the Holstee Manifesto over a year ago and just connected with its words. Do what I love? YES! Travel often? YES! Life is short so live my passion? YES! All of those things resonated with my soul but I wanted to put my own words to paper. Then earlier this year, I ran across this article on Pinterest that talks about writing a manifesto for yourself. Once again, someone else articulate beautiful goals for their life and year.

I have yet to sit down and really put pen to paper. I’ve always been a goal oriented person who loves crossing things off my to do list, so I don’t know why this is has been such a challenge. And then the other day, I came across this website: strikingtruths.com

What an inspiring place!!! I encourage you all to go check it out and read the inspiring words these individuals create into art. And you can even sign up to have a new one delivered to your inbox each day. Talk about motivation and inspiration.

The one I shared above just spoke to something deep in my heart. And once again, leaves me saying “YES! Exactly!”

Have you ever made a manifesto for your life? Is there something that you repeat to yourself to get you through rough times? Is there a mantra you model your life after?

It’s never to late to start….

A Beautiful Love Story

Shaggy and Emily: Foreva

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/49989766″>medium</a&gt; from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user7252516″>Jordan kennedy</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

When I was in college (the first time), I was a part of a family. A bunch of us banded together on our small liberal arts campus and became a home for each other during that time in our lives, all so far from our families.

That group of individuals truly helped shape my time at Hendrix College and taught me so much. We had more dance parties than I can count. Celebrated birthdays bigger than I could’ve imagined. Had movies night in the middle of the week. And had cuddle puddles just because we wanted to.

One of my favorite memories was when we were all sitting in the Pecan Court after lunch and it was so beautiful outside…so we all skipped class and just stayed there.

And in this family were Emily and Shaggy. Let me preface with the fact that I came into this family long after its origins. I was so gracefully welcomed into this group with loving arms. That being said, I never knew Emily and Shaggy as anything but a couple. I never knew them or the exes that came with their past. I just knew this entity.

They were the disgustingly in love couple whose PDA was really the only I could tolerate. It really was nauseating that two people could love each other so much. They were just perfect for each other.

I was 100% overjoyed when I found out they had decided on forever (or is it really forever deciding on them??) and was so blessed by the invitation to stand beside Emily on their wedding day. My words will never adequately describe the love this couple shares but hopefully you will get an idea listening to how many people love them and how confident they are that this love thing is real between the two.

As a wedding present, I put this together for the bride and groom. Their love is truly a blessing to watch.

Week in Review

Well friends, it has been a better week here in DC. I actually experienced a few moments where I was overcome with such a love for this city. In fact, my adjustments have had nothing to do with not enjoying where I am but more so adjusting to balancing several things that I haven’t had to do before. But there’s a cool thing I once learned from doing yoga in college…the more I practiced standing on one foot, staring straight ahead, the better I got at not wobbling and the longer I could stand up and then one day it felt like the most natural thing, me standing on one leg, with my left foot touching my knee. I think it was called a tree pose. And the cool thing about trees is that they are rooted.

I like to think that the longer I keep at least trying to balance and keeping my eye on God and what He has directly laid before me, then it will become more natural. Perhaps no less easy, but at least more the norm. I even had slightly less anxiety going into my photo critique on Thursday. It was slightly less brutal even though it becomes more apparent each week how far I am from my other classmates. Most people get at least one “Now thats a good picture.” I haven’t gotten that yet which is both discouraging and embarrassing but I just have to push onward and keep trying.

So here we go:

1. As I posted earlier this week, after two visits, I was able to find the letterpress guy at Eastern Market. Oh my gosh, his type collection was so beautiful. I just want to go every Sunday and buy 1 letter and see what I end up with by the end of the year. I mean, he had every shape and size and font. There were such beauties!!

2. I also found these flowers at Eastern Market. I immediately fell in love with them but not there $15 price tag. Maybe one day when I just need unique flowers to fill my space. But lets be honest. I’m not the most skilled at keeping things alive. If you saw the current state of my basil plant and my cacti, you’d breathe a breath of relief that I don’t have a dog…theres no telling what kind of state it would be in. Upon looking at the photo more, I realize these flowers look like little brains which is kind of weird. But in person they were beautiful and velvety and just different. **more on Eastern Market another time..its fabulous

3. I mentioned before in other posts how it has been important that I continue to engage in things that make me happy in order to maintain sanity. As silly as it may sound, one thing that brings me more joy than anything in this world is packaging. I actually had a pretty fantastic conversation with a customer at work about the possibility of having a pop up shop where I offered packaging options around the holidays. I don’t know if that will be feasible with my schedule but there are some definite things I’d like to work towards. Anywho, some lovely friends of mine got married in May and as a wedding present, I went around and filmed family and mostly our college friends giving them a message. I was finally able to complete it here recently and got it in the mail….stay tuned for the link to the video later this week.

4. Anyone who knows me should be confident in my lack of morning appeal. I am through and through a  product of the Crains with my night owl-ness. But wouldn’t you know that I have to get up at least 5/7 mornings, usually around 7:30ish? Less than desirable but just like that balance I spoke of it is becoming more of my norm. I thought the morning light on my fruit was just scrumptious.

5. This is what way early in the morning looks like when the night before I discovered I had 5 chapters due for class the next morning. I stayed up as late as I could, breaking the very strict bed time I had set for myself and got up way too early to go to the Safeway across from school to fuel up with a muffin and dig into as much reading as I could. The older I get and the more focused I get with school, the more I hate being late and unprepared. (shocking, I’m sure, to most who know how I’m used to operating) I won’t really talk about how we never actually even talked about the reading.

6. It came a monsoon of a rainstorm the other day. And I will jump on ANY chance to wear my rain boots.

7. I was blessed with 2 opportunities to do some packaging this week and this time it was for my dear friend’s younger sister. I shot her senior pictures right before I came to DC was able to finish them up and get them to her this week. I just enjoy it so much!

8. Unless you don’t read the news, you will know that yesterday was a huge day at my place of employment. I LOVE working for a company that is constantly on the edge of exciting things. I woke up at 5:30 and headed that way. By the time I got to work, the line was all the way down Wisconsin Ave, and a good block or so down M Street. In fact, when I got out of class Thursday night, there was a block’s worth of people camping out. Before we open the doors, we get really pumped up. This is that moment. We made two long lines to cheer customers in and it really was a good day. Very fast paced!

9. Yum.

Well speaking of work, I have to scoot to there. I’m a bit disappointed because today is the National Book Fair at the Library of Congress. I know, right? It’s like the mother of all book fair. Authors like R.L. Stine and Walter Isaacson will be there doing talks and book signings…I’m super bummed to miss such a cool event. Maybe next year.

Have a blessed week ahead!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

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Fall is my favorite season. It represents change. And that is so reflective of where I am in life. As I hear the wind rustle through the trees, it is a tangible sound that tells me change is in the air. Both literally and figuratively. And just like those leaves have to change colors and fly off from their trees, so I have to let go of those branches that I choose to hold on to. Here, today, I choose to let the wind carry me where it will. And by that I mean I choose to let God carry me where He wills.

Speak to me Michelangelo…

 

When I lived in Italy, I saw a lot of amazing art. I lived next to really amazing art. Heck, the whole city of Florence IS art. Just walking down the street was an inspiring experience.

During my second semester, I remember hearing these words for the first time: “Ancora Imparo”

Translated from Italian, they mean “I am still learning.”

At the age of 87, Michelangelo muttered these words. Just shortly before his death, he had not lost sight of the fact that there were still things he could be taught. That saying became a motto for me at the time and as I was trying to pick the perfect phrase to have immortalized in metal type on my bookcase, those 2 words rang in my mind.

Perhaps it was the sounds and smell of the market I was in that reminded me of the Central Mercato in Florence. Or maybe it was street musician I passed on my way in search of these letters. Whatever it was that caused the wind to whisper that phrase into my ear, I am grateful.

Because that is exactly what I am doing. I am still learning. I am still learning photography. I am still learning how to approach strangers. I am still learning how to let me fear go and just be me. I am still learning how to balance. I am still learning how to be a grown up. I am still learning how to let go.

I am still learning. And I hope that will be a consistent truth throughout my life. None of this “You cant teach an old dog new tricks.” Pish posh I say, for I am neither old nor are these lessons new…they are just making their rounds in my life.

H Street Festival 2012

I truly love this city. There is just always something to do! On the rare occasion that I am off when that stuff is going on, I take advantage of the opportunity to explore. I’ve yet to spend a day off just in my apartment…like I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to do one new thing per week. This week I explored the H Street Festival, a one day festival is this revived part of town. There seems to be lots of neighborhoods in DC that are going through a revival period. I love being in a city committed to restoring parts of itself. My classmate, Kaitlynn and I walked around, took photos and enjoyed delicious funnel cake. On our first walk down the crowded streets, we saw people gathered around what seemed to be a make shift dance party. Sometimes it’s good just to be behind the camera:

 

But after a while, you just have to put the camera down and become a part of the party:

Sometimes you just have to dance

 

I Made it Back as Promised!

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Another crazy week. Some ups. Some downs. But here I am, on the other side of it and I am thankful. Thankful to be here. Thankful I made it through. Thankful for opportunity. Thankful to be standing. And kneeling all at the same time. Here are some clips from this past week:

1. All of my classes are at the Georgetown campus and though it is a small campus, I just love this entrance sign.

2. I found my way to an incredible market last Sunday which was just full of photo ops. The day before they reopened Union Market after 20 or 30 years (I have photos and a post to come soon with more details) and are trying to revive what used to be a thriving market in the city. Inside, I found an incredible organic produce stand and walked away with these goodies for just $2.

3. I originally ventured over to this market for DC Scoops, an annual ice cream contest. After taste testing 3 of the plethora of choices, I took a little detour until the ice cream eating contest later in the afternoon. Not a shabby detour if you ask me.

4. A classmate invited us all over for a night of wine tasting and to learn how to pair certain wines with the proper foods. His wife cooked some of the most delicious side dishes ever that complimented the drinks so well. In between conversations and new tastings, my classmate Oliver crafted this little fella.

5. I’m trying to get into the habit of making my bed before I leave every morning. (aren’t you proud mom?) I’d say this happens at least 5/7 days a week. So I usually throw my teddy on top of my pillows as I’m straightening the covers (Don’t judge. 25 year olds need their security sometimes). As I did so this morning, it just plopped over. I couldn’t help but take a picture and say “Yep, isn’t that the truth.”…because let’s be honest…that’s what I want to do every morning..just plop right over.

6. I knew it was too good to be true to be able to get to work in 15 minutes. I had either been hitting it just before or after the crazy during the past few weeks but during this week, I ran into this several times. Yep, those 6 miles took me a solid hour. Welcome to the traffic in our nation’s capital.

7. Cooler weather=jeans and cute flats. I also got those flats around this time last year when I was in New Mexico to celebrate the birth of my breath, Lacey Beth Gebhart. So it all ties in really.

8. I also did this this week. It was an awful start to my morning. Poor Jamima..now she has racing stripes. It’s just going to have to add character for now.

9. I wanted to end with this. I found this online and was instantly drawn to it. Quite honestly, it just makes me want to cry. There is just something about this little owl that makes my heart scream “Yes!! That’s a perfect illustration of how I feel all the time!!” It’s like I’m that owl. And I just have to clutch my fist tight around my weapons and repeat over and over “Be brave. Be brave. Be brave.” as I walk through my day to day. Through my fears and insecurities and short comings. Through my humility and learnings and inspirations. Be brave, Jordan. Be brave. I thought I would share a close up and the link where this precious print can be purchased:

You can purchase this print here in case you need a reminder too.

I was fortunate enough to be able to switch my Saturday shift for a Sunday shift so that I can attend this festival to take some pictures. I also plan to visit Eastern Market because from what I hear, there is a Letterpress man with a fantastic collection of type. Sounds like the perfect way to spend my Saturday morning if you ask me.

Blessings on your weekend folks.

P.S.

Fall is on its way : )

Delayed Reaction to the Crazy

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Hello folks! This is a post 4 days late. So quickly life is becoming this narrow walkway of class, work, repeat…finding time to actually take pictures and do homework on lunch breaks and getting up at times that I’m sure most of you assumed I wasn’t capable of waking up at. What’s crazy is this is only the beginning of my new life here….the assignments I have for class are still just preliminary; I’ve yet to really get into the meat where I will be gaining access to people’s lives and recording my I experience in images. Ah, yes, that’s right…I must first find the time to do so. None the less, it has literally taken me 5 days to come back to post that was literally missing 2 photos to actually insert said photos. On Saturday, I went to bed at 9:45…am I the most exciting 25 year old you have ever met or what?!

Amidst the crazy, I still try to capture the little moments. After all, that’s what life is made up of anyway. So I welcome you to glimpse at the little pieces that make up each step of this new journey:

(again, starting in the top left corner, moving to the right, each row at a time)

1. This is my lunch baggie every day. Yes, it is an actual brown bag. To my precious environmentalist friends: I try to reuse and recycle. I could have a cute insulated bag but I’ve yet to find one worth investing $10-20 into. But I get ridiculous aesthetic pleasure in using cute tape to package up my 50 for $1 brown paper sacks. And let’s be honest: on some days I have to pack both lunch and dinner so its double incentive for my food to look adorable.

2. In my first weekend attempt to spend a few hours each weekend trying a new event or restaurant and finding at least one adventure each week, my roommates and I ventured out to a 90s dance party we found on an events blog. Wouldn’t you know as we parked our car at the Pentagon to walk to the metro, it came a torrential down pour. We quickly ran from car to tunnel where I thought surely to God it would be reduced to a light drizzle by the time I came out on the other end. Wrong. I don’t know that I’ve ever been this wrong. I’ve never regretted leaving an umbrella at home as bad….darn attempts at packing light. You see, at the end of said tunnel is a huge parking lot to get to the Pentagon where the metro resides. My roomies, being of curly hair and umbrella possession said, “Let’s run for it!” So run we did. And drenched I got. I would love to share the physics of straight hair. Or at least mine….when it gets wet, there is no recovering. There is no “fresh off the beach” look. There is no flipping my head over, scrunching and then emerging model-esque. It is not pretty. I also can’t recall a time every inch of my being has been that soaked. But alas, I danced myself dry and didn’t look back.

3. DC is a city possessed with parking restrictions and the passes to get around them. So there you have my work permit that otherwise would cost me $300 A MONTH if I didn’t have my job…God bless them. My school permit and my apt. permit. And believe it or not there are still places around this city I will get towed from if I park there.

4. I had quite the solo adventure making my way to this DC landmark to try the infamous chili dog of Mr. Ben. It was tasty. A little too spicy for my taste…and heck, when I have Zestos to compare it to, it had no chance. Cool experience though. And in the 2 hour round trip adventure I went on, I got 40 pages of delightful reading done for class…I even mastered the “Standing while riding” technique I have long admired in metro regulars.

5. I go to school here. And I just think this entry way is gorgeous and in its simplicity speaks so much of the heart of the school.

6. Once upon a time I read this book called “My Year with Eleanor.” It’s a delightful memoir of a late twenties magazine writer whose dept got laid off, leaving her job-less and fearful. One day while she was at a coffee shop pining over what to do with her life, she saw written on a chalkboard this Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” She spent the next year documenting just that. (I highly recommend the book…you can find it here) Anywho, in my first successful day of just getting out there and taking pics, I went into a store and saw this sign. And had my own little reminder that its ok to do things that I don’t know the outcome of.

7. Just a little morning light during my very first critique of grad school. BRU-TAL! But so interesting and helping and only the beginning of helping me be the best photographer I can be. Let me be honest…I didn’t even have time to go. But I sure felt for those who did. Talk to me after Thursday and I’ll let you know how it goes.

8. Rain was a popular thing last week.

9. Despite my crazy life these days, I finally got back on the birthday wagon and got a little something something in the mail…and it felt so good. I think amidst all the chaos I need to still find small slivers of time to do things that make me happy and are not required of me. I need those little moments. Those little things.

Well here is to another delightful week. I have posts ready to go but its just a little difficult at the moment finding the opportunity to post them. At the latest, I will see you Friday!! And I can’t thank you all enough for the prayers of support and encouragement. I truly feel it!!

I took a little detour today..

I took the metro downtown this afternoon determined to take some photos. (that didn’t work out the way I planned but I’m too bitter to talk about it) I had no plan for where I should shoot so I just started walking. I had heard about this memorial and that it was hidden away from most other prominent memorials so I set out to find it and what a gem it was once I got there.

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I love that in half an hour I can be downtown via the bus and metro and that literally opens a treasure chest of enrichment. I simply walked a mile to the memorial and let myself plop.

On my walk back, after a quick stop at the Washington Monument and a chitty chat with my mom, I stopped in this little bakery. I only intended for some water but then I saw this and couldn’t resist

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Most delicious coconut macaroon I’ve ever had. Best $1.10 spent today. Puts that darn $6.00 pastry to shame from last week….which taught me to never ask for something without asking the price.

So I’ll leave with this quote from Albert Einstein…

The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.

**Thank you Al for reminding me why I’m here