A Year of Change

"A happy new year, a happy new year, a happy new year..." was the final line to one of the songs we performed at the end of the semester. So to all of you - a wonderful and happy new year! May 2017 bring an abundance of blessings to you and your loved ones!

Finding some time for myself lately has been pretty tough so anything to do with blogging has simply been on the back burner for months. I am not sure why I thought my last post was more recent then it turned out to be but I am really hoping things will free up a bit for me to be here more often in the coming months.

So really, where have I been lately because it certainly was nowhere near here..?

Missouri? Texas? Minnesota?

Yes, yes and yes.

Right now to be exact, in Kansas, sitting in my favorite bagel place - Panera Bread (we can discuss favorite bagels another day).

So let's start with MO, I still live here and probably will for at least for the next few years while in school. Speaking of school, no sooner did my final jury end in early December, we headed to TX and spent our entire winter break there for my husband's latest consulting project. Unfortunately, we were on a tight schedule and did not have much opportunity for exploring the area though I am posting a few pictures from our previous trips. To my utter happiness, we were able to leave TX earlier then planned and made a short but sweet trip up to MN. During our weekend up north, between visiting family and celebrating my sister's newly renovated home which she had purchased with her husband last summer, my husband and I went ice fishing for the first time and boy was it a good time! Not only that but they caught a bunch of fish which we took home with us and have 

been enjoying fresh fish for dinner the last couple of nights. Now that we are back in MO, I have to admit that after such a wonderful time away, it feels good to be back at home and in school again.

But wait, there is more! We are expecting a bundle of joy come summer 2017! Congratulations (!!) did you say? Yes, thank you! We are excited and are eagerly looking forward to the new addition!

I am titling this post "A Year Of Change" though it's been a couple years of change since I met and married Fio. Life has taken on a whole new level since that wonderful day in May and change has been the most consistent thing in our household lately (besides homework). As I look back, the things I dreamed of as a single girl are far from what I have and where I am now. God has exceeded my dreams and given me a

whole new perspective on life. I wouldn't trade what I have now for the wildest dreams I had back then.

I was sifting through my collection of photos and came across these shots of my husband, mom and youngest sister. They are probably from last summer but I couldn't resist playing with them in Lightroom and absolutely love the results! I, in no way, consider myself a "people" or portrait photographer, these were taken while testing out my new camera and lens. This certainly goes to show that not every photoshoot has to be planned (that's usually how I work) so I might have to try this again someday soon.

DSC00055.jpg
DSC00056.jpg

I will leave you now to enjoy the pictures and in the meantime hope to have a recipe to share very soon now that I am home and cooking again!

Now it's time to be here again...

I have a sideways smile and my eyes feel like they're twinkling - what am I to name this returning post?

"A New Chapter..." cliche.

"I Am Still Here!" - nope, makes me sound like I was forgotten.

Or maybe I should have no title and keep a low profile until the embarrassment fades...? Nah, I can face this.

Whatever it turns out to be, I will simply add it once I've written enough to make myself at home around here again. Let me just say this: I have missed this "place"! The intention is that I am back for good, so what happened?

LIFE.

Long story short, Fio and I met mid-October 2015 at a conference in Minneapolis, right after I returned from Greece. Less than two months into our acquaintance he proposed with a beautiful diamond ring and we were married five short months later. We've traveled around for a couple months and finally settled down for the time being in northern Missouri. Quite a bit has happened in between and I'll happily share it with you when I can. As of today, I am a happy full-time student at Central Methodist University majoring in music and wife to my wonderful husband. Life is blissful!

Thanks to our wonderful photographer Alesya Zubik.

Thanks to our wonderful photographer Alesya Zubik.

My husband is also my blog's biggest fan and presented me with a brand new Sony A7R II as a birthday gift! I have been trying out different lens' during our travels and am posting a few picture because I don't have any recipes to share.

Old downtown Sedalia, MO.

Old downtown Sedalia, MO.

Lunch at the old Bothwell Hotel.

Lunch at the old Bothwell Hotel.

Fio and I spent our first couple months after the honeymoon in Texas. On the weekends we would ditch the hotel and explore a new area every chance we had. It was my first trip to Padre Island and Port Isabelle, I fell in love with the gulf. The waves are mesmerizing, beating relentlessly, and without mercy. We spent all the time we had that weekend enjoying the water and the beach.

Port Isabel, TX.

Port Isabel, TX.

A view of South Padre Island from Port Isabel.

A view of South Padre Island from Port Isabel.

It was hard to agree that I needed the time away in the midst of all I had going on, I was so dedicated to being here consistently. Regardless, life took over and  time away happened. Now it's time to be here again...

Dreaming of Greece

It's been over a month since our return home from Greece and things have not slowed down since. We enjoyed our time in Greece immensely and think someday just might have to do it again. Jenn, my sister, and I booked this trip on an impulse. We had been talking about getting away for some time but I just couldn't agree to anything until she came up with the idea to go to Greece.

Quite honestly I am not sure how to describe our travels. This is not our first time in Europe so there were a few things that were already familiar. Thinking back, though we tried to explore as much as possible, trying to pack it into three days at each location just didn't do our time there justice. We managed to hit most of the popular places but doing so took away from being able to simply absorb our surroundings and truly enjoy the experience. We avoided booking any tours, except for the boat tour on our last evening in Santorini and went sight seeing with just our camera and map in hand. We also managed to get our fill of greek food and tried a few new dishes as well. Because the islands seem to be built on catering to the hoards of tourists, it was surprising and disappointing to find non-greek cuisine (crepes, waffles, hamburgers and even chicken nuggets!) on most restaurant menus. We did manage to chat with some locals and found a couple of places that simply served authentic greek food that we enjoyed to our stomach's content.

In general we didn't feel the effects of the economic crisis directly but the locals will talk about it if you ask. We noticed graffiti everywhere in the city and have since learned that it is not illegal there. People use this as a method of expressing themselves during this time of crisis and to send a message to the authorities. We arrived at the islands late into the season so we missed the crush of tourists and found that we liked it that way very much. The only drawback was that it was just too cool to swim in the sea though there were plenty of people braving the chilly waters.

I didn't plan to do any major photography while there just because vacation should be just that. So Jenn and I just picked up a Sony mirrorless camera (something between a DSLR and a point & shoot) and took all the pictures below between the two of us. I am sure there are details that I have missed mentioning and if so, please don't hesitate to ask questions in the comments below.

A view of Athens from the foothill of the Acropolis.

A view of Athens from the foothill of the Acropolis.

Streets of Plaka, Athens

Streets of Plaka, Athens

Streets of Plaka, Athens

Streets of Plaka, Athens

At the foothill of the Acropolis.

At the foothill of the Acropolis.

National Library of Greece, Athens

National Library of Greece, Athens

Temple of Olympian Zeus

Temple of Olympian Zeus

Acropolis Museum neighborhood, Athens

Acropolis Museum neighborhood, Athens

National Gardens, Athens

National Gardens, Athens

Olive trees groves that surround the Acropolis.

Olive trees groves that surround the Acropolis.

The Greek Parliament building, Athens

The Greek Parliament building, Athens

Streets and shops of Plaka, an old historical neighborhood in Athens.

Streets and shops of Plaka, an old historical neighborhood in Athens.

Streets and shops of Plaka, an old historical neighborhood in Athens.

Streets and shops of Plaka, an old historical neighborhood in Athens.

On the road from Naoussa to Santa Maria Beach, Paros

On the road from Naoussa to Santa Maria Beach, Paros

Streets of Naoussa, Paros

Streets of Naoussa, Paros

Streets of Parikia, Paros

Streets of Parikia, Paros

On the streets of Parikia, Paros

On the streets of Parikia, Paros

On the road from Naoussa to Kolibithres, Paros

On the road from Naoussa to Kolibithres, Paros

Streets of Parikia, Paros

Streets of Parikia, Paros

Waterfront of Parikia, Paros

Waterfront of Parikia, Paros

Streets of Parikia, Paros

Streets of Parikia, Paros

Streets of Parikia, Paros

Streets of Parikia, Paros

On the road from Naoussa to Kolibithres, Paros

On the road from Naoussa to Kolibithres, Paros

Naoussa waterfront, Paros

Naoussa waterfront, Paros

View of Parikia and the port, Paros

View of Parikia and the port, Paros

Lefkes Village, Paros

Lefkes Village, Paros

Lefkes Village, Paros

Lefkes Village, Paros

Naoussa waterfront, Paros

Naoussa waterfront, Paros

Typical restaurants in Parikia, Paros

Typical restaurants in Parikia, Paros

Thira, Santorini

Thira, Santorini

Thira, Santorini

Thira, Santorini

Kamari Beach, Santorini

Kamari Beach, Santorini

Imerovigli, Santorini

Imerovigli, Santorini

Imerovigli, Santorini

Imerovigli, Santorini

Imerovigli, Santorini

Imerovigli, Santorini

Imerovigli, Santorini

Imerovigli, Santorini

Old Port of Thira, Santorini

Old Port of Thira, Santorini

Oia, Santorini

Oia, Santorini

Oia, Santorini

Oia, Santorini

View from the caldera looking up at Oia, Santorini

View from the caldera looking up at Oia, Santorini

View from the boat looking up at Thira, Santorini

View from the boat looking up at Thira, Santorini

Oia, Santorini

Oia, Santorini

Sunset view from the caldera, Santorini

Sunset view from the caldera, Santorini

View of Oia from the caldera, Santorini

View of Oia from the caldera, Santorini