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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oh Fall...Where Art Thou?

This past weekend, I traveled up to Virginia where my parents live and spent some time with family.  All family members except Scott, my sister in Korea, her husband & daughters were there--we missed them.  We also had a few in-laws (another sister's and my brother's) come to visit. My parents had a full house and I loved every minute of the time I spent there!   Aside from all of the time I spent with family, one of the highlights of the trip was experiencing beautiful fall days and evenings. 


Here's a photo of a beautiful fall evening on my parents' street:


I didn't feel like making the drive, so I decided to take the train instead.  I always find that train rides allow me to see the beautiful scenery I'm passing (and, of course, take naps along the way).  While I'm driving, I'm focused on the road ahead (as I should be, right?) and exercising my vocal chords by singing along with the tunes on the radio.  

I'm not exactly sure where the transition occurred, mostly because it was dark some of the trip but also because I was asleep, but fall has definitely arrived in Northern Virginia!  The leaves are still pretty green here.  I can't wait until we start to see more oranges and yellows.  I guess it doesn't help that it's 81 degrees today, huh?


Someday, fall will arrive in North Carolina.  Has it arrived where you are yet?


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Life in a Whirlwind

Hey there friends!  I hope you're all doing well.  I must say that the last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind for me--in the best way possible!  I feel like I keep coming back from short breaks away from you all with big news.  I've decided to share all the news at once and start back on a regular schedule of posting. 

There are some pretty exciting things going on here and I'm eager to share them with you all.  Where to begin...
 
Well, I broke the news to you all a few weeks ago that Scott and I are expecting our first baby on 8 April 2012.  I seriously can't believe how quickly time is passing by, I'm in the middle of my 15th week of pregnancy right now.  I'll take a new photograph next week so you can see how my body has transformed over the past 4 weeks...stay tuned!

We have a couple of versions of this photo--this version should be called: "Super-excited Scott"

Since I started my blog, I've had a few family members, friends, and readers ask me what I enjoy the most about the topics I share on my blog.  Writing, cooking, home projects, traveling, or taking photos?  I really don't know how to answer that question, because I love them all.  Obviously, there are some days when I'd choose snap a few photos over spending time in the kitchen cleaning up the mess I made while cooking a meal...I mean, am I the only one here?  But, I've had such amazing opportunities to try new things in all of these areas over this past year. Here's a quick update from each area: 

Writing:
I started writing this blog over 18 months ago, and my hobby has opened doors to other writing opportunities including contributing to online news reports, writing magazine articles, blogging for a photo studio, and now ghost writing.  I'm really amazed and feel very blessed by all of the doors God is opening this year. 


Cooking:  
Slow-Cooked Curried Chick Peas.  Click here for the recipe.
 I felt so accomplished when I started and definitely when I finished the "From Your Kitchen to Mine: 100 Recipes from 100 Blogs" series this year.  At times, I think about all of the cooking and experimenting that took place and I wonder if that was really me who had all of the energy to complete that.  Whew...When the series ended, I took a break from sharing recipes with you all, but I've been experimenting with recipes of my own, and I plan to post some of those as soon as next week!




Home Projects: 
I love home projects and it feels like forever since I last shared a project with you all, but I've actually finished a few and have a few more on my list that I want to work on.  I'll share the ones I've completed before the New Year, but Scott and I will be moving soon (lots of new space to play with!), so I'll have to daydream about the other ones until we get settled into our next home.
The piano bench.  One of my first (and one of my favorite) furniture makeover(s). 

Traveling:  
I don't think my love for traveling will ever diminish.  I know it will slow down once the baby arrives, but I think the desire will always be there. 

The last overseas trip I took was to Uganda on a 10-day mission trip.  That experience was truly life-changing.  On a side note, one ministry I'm currently supporting from Uganda is called WomenFirst.  WomenFirst is a ministry based in both Uganda and Kenya that helps women find financial stability by promoting their businesses and teaching them to become entrepreneurs.  I have so much more to share about this ministry and an exciting project I'm working on with them.  In a couple of weeks, I will be sharing ways you can support them if you're interested. 

Scott and I will also be taking a few more trips before baby arrives--can't wait!

 
Taking Photos:
Whether it was with a Polaroid (remember those?), a disposable, or a point-and-shoot, I've always been a huge fan of taking photos of friends and family members.  Since Scott purchased my new camera for my birthday last year, my passion for photography has grown significantly (I didn't even realize that was possible).  There is rarely an occasion when I am without my camera.  I almost always have it with me to capture different shots wherever we are.  I've also enjoyed getting connected with and learning from other photographers on blogs I frequent. 

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take wedding photos for my friends and had a great time!  This was my second wedding, but I felt more comfortable this time. 
A photo from my friends' wedding.

Prior to this experience, I dabbled with the idea of starting a photography business.  Actually, my mom encouraged me to consider it over a year ago.  As most stories go, I didn't really listen to my mom (silly Kirsten) and I let the thought linger in the back of my mind...I mean way back this past year.  While the thought lingered, I declined a blog friend who asked me if I'd consider taking her wedding photos--I just had so much more to learn, and I still do! 

Well, I'm finally doing it!  As of last week, I've officially started my own photography business:  Kirsten A. Harr Photography.  It's an exciting time and I'm amazed at the response I've received from folks interested in having photos taken.  By the way, if you're interested, email me here:  kirsten.harr@yahoo.com, and we'll get something scheduled!




  
Well, that's the beautiful whirlwind of my life right now.  What's going on in your life?  I have so much catching up to do....fill me in! :)



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