Cottage on the 4th of July

My grandma owns a cottage on Cayuga Lake, which is one of the Finger Lakes in New York.  My childhood summers are filled with fond memories of swimming in the lake, canoeing, fishing, and bonfires.

We got together with my grandma, my parents, my sister, my brother & sister-in-law and niece, my two cousins, their wives and children at the cottage to celebrate the Fourth.  Here are some photos:

installing a brand new boat lift


slowing making their way to the end of the dock


boat lift + boat!


first time in a kayak


a little confused about the concept of a water bottle


bright bathing suit & bright ball


grilling up lunch


lunch got rained out, so we picnicked inside


indoor playtime


outdoor playtime




there were 14 grown-ups, 4 kids, and 3 dogs




Happy Fourth!



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Thanksgiving 2012


On Wednesday Alan and I went to our friend Kate’s (same Kate who hosted my birthday party) for an early Thanksgiving.  It was lots of fun.  We finished the pie, and finally looked at the clock, shocked that four hours had passed.  I figure that’s a sign of a good party.

Thursday we went to my Aunt Debbie’s for Thanksgiving proper.

Continue reading

Christmas: Excessive Consumption or a Chance to Do Good?

I linked to this last year, but I wanted to highlight it again.


[AC] 2012 Promo – Basic from Advent Conspiracy on Vimeo.

Every time I watch this it brings tears to my eyes.  It’s a relatively small sacrifice–foregoing a just few gifts, not all of them–and it can literally be life changing for a village without water or a victim of human rights violation.

Here are some organizations that will take your small donation and do real good:

Agricultural Development and Support

Heifer International

Samaritan’s Purse*

World Vision*

Child Sponsorship

Compassion International*

World Vision*

Human Rights

Amnesty International

International Justice Mission*


Charity Water

Living Water*

*Indicates faith-based organization

Do you include charity in your gift giving traditions?  Do you go through other organizations?  Share them in the comments–I’m always looking for good charity organizations!

When Alan and I married, we set up a charity registry, as we both had plenty of dishes.  We tell our friends and family that we prefer charity gifts for Christmas and birthdays–last year our favorite Christmas gift was two chickens!



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the week of good things

This is me, trying to take a picture* of myself looking really, really happy.  None of the pics were great, so here’s all of them.  Nice awkward smile in the lower right, eh?

Anyway, I’m happy because we had a good week around here:
1. I had an awesome surprise birthday party on Sunday
2. Alan got a [conditional] offer from Naval Research Labs to work for them as soon as he defends his dissertation**
3. I found out that I passed the New York Bar Exam, AND that my multi-state portion (MBE) score was high enough that I won’t have to take another exam to be admitted to the D.C. Bar Association

Such a good week!
In the short term, our lives aren’t changing that much.  Alan’s working round the clock (literally—last week he got home on Monday night (Tuesday morning) at 5:30am, and Tuesday night (Wednesday morning) at 7:45am, sleeping each day until about 10:00am, and then going back to the lab) to finish lab work and write his dissertation.  I have a full load of classes to finish my Master’s Degree in Urban Planning, including a capstone project which is the equivalent of a thesis.
My semester is over in early December (so much work to do in the interim—eesh!).  Alan is trying to submit his dissertation by Christmas, so that he can defend it in the end of January.  This is the soonest he could defend according to the academic calendar.
If that happens, we’d move to Washington, D.C. in early February.  If not, we’ll move whenever Alan defends.  I don’t love the uncertainty of it all, but that’s the way it is.
In addition to the school work, we need to get the house ready to sell.  There are plenty of projects that need to be finished (or started—oy!), along with general cleaning and thinning of possessions.


And I’m looking for a job.  If anyone has any contacts in the D.C. area, please let me know—I’d be happy to send along my resume!  I’m looking for an entry level legal job in international development or human rights law.  I’m good with travel, though I’d like to be based in D.C.  I’ve done some quick job searching, and there are certainly cool opportunities in the area!

Oh, and I just sold one of my old bikes (remaining bikes for sale here and here,*** if you’re in the Rochester area and are looking for a cool bike)!****  Good things :)

What good things happened in your week?  Leave a comment!


*What do you think of the glasses?  They look so small on the table, but so big on my face.

**the condition is that he first defends his dissertation, so it works out well

***update: sold another bike on Saturday!  The good week continues!

****Lots of exclamation points in this post!!!



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Surprise Birthday

Crappy iPod pictures of the best birthday party I ever had.
Thanks to my awesome friends for braving the weather, to Kate R. for hosting in her exceedingly charming home and cooking delicious food, and to Alan for coordinating it all even as he prepared for a big job interview!



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