April 30, 2012

ridiculous standard to uphold

(Ikea on Saturday.)

I'm really good at putting a crazy amount of pressure on myself for various reasons.
A perfectionist is another word for it.
I don't like to try something, if I can't do it well.
I hate failing.

So when I click over to my blog and realize that I haven't posted in days and days,
I just get disappointed in myself.
I'm disappointed that I've failed to maintain some ridiculous standard that doesn't even really exist,
except in my own head.

(the airport parking garage that mesmerizes me every time I sit across it in the cell phone lot)

But you know what?
If this blog is truly a representation of who I am...
if it is what I will read years from now to remember what my life was like...
well, then, let the record show that I'm just not blogging that much.
And that's okay.

Right now:
I'm obsessed with Instagram and telling my stories and days in one photo and a sentence or two.
I'm taking all my photos with my iphone.
I'm wanting to not be on my computer so much and make things instead.
I'm listening to music and praying for warm days to soak in the sunshine.
I'm working long days at camp and not feeling so creative in the writing sense.
And that is all okay.

*come find me on Instagram (cottage_girl) if you need a daily dose.  I'm there ALL THE TIME.

April 26, 2012

photographer by trade

From my grandfather's camera collection. 
Some of these beauties were lovingly passed down to me.  
He was a  photographer by trade.

So for all those people who ask, "have you always loved taking pictures?"
My answer has to be, "it's in my blood." 
And yes.
Yes, I have.
Even when it was with my Cabbage Patch kid 110.  

*the vscocam app released today.   Been waiting and drooling for so long.  
It is the first and only app I've bought.  $1 well spent.  

April 25, 2012

a word-filled one to make up for the lack

Here's all my randomness and thoughts just for you.

1.  I can't stop listening to Bon Iver and Coldplay lately.  Me = love Coldplay for years and years now, and it's not going away any time soon. Sometimes the old albums seem new, all over again.  I would LOVE to see them live this summer when their tour swings through, but tickets are over $100 for nosebleeds.  Yowza.
Bon Iver has become beloved just within the last few months. Welcome, new band.  Welcome.

2.  I get incredibly inspired when I'm driving.  True story.  Fact:  I rarely listen to music in the car.  I don't have any radio stations programmed.  I have 6 CD's that rarely get changed (Battlestar Season 4 and Viva laVida have been in there for years, I think.)  Maybe it's the quiet, or maybe the rush of images that pass by.  Whatever the case, I'm forever coming up with story ideas.
This brings me to yet another reason I love my iphone.  Siri.  Siri is my best note taker.  She will type out what I can't bear to forget while I'm keeping my eyes on the road and my hands on the steering wheel. If one of these little nuggets of an idea ever truly becomes a book, I think I will have to thank her in my acknowledgements. It would only seem right.  

3.  I've been sewing up a storm lately.  A present for a friend and more note cards.

4.  Guys, I have to be at work at 5:45am tomorrow morning.  Can we all please have a moment of silence for my loss of sleep?  These last 2 weeks have been out of control busy.  And by that I mean it has not been abnormal for me to work 10 hour days.  It's been slightly overwhelming.
On the positive side, I have been thanking the good Lord over and over and over for my sabbatical.  If I hadn't had those 3 months, I would be a mess right now.  I can see so clearly how much that break was water to my soul.  My Father knew exactly when I needed that rest.  And He filled me up for days like this when I was going to be poured out.

5.  Three cheers for going running today after beginning my work day at 6:30am and working until 4pm.  That, my friends, is a huge accomplishment.  We won't discuss how long I ran.  It's just important that I didn't let my laziness win.  And it wanted to, dear goodness.  It wanted to.

6.  Do you read Ali Edwards' blog?  If not, you should.  She is a scapbooker, but don't let that turn you away if you aren't into all that paper and glue.  I have so enjoyed her fantastic advice on creativity and living a creative life.  Her words have been running through my head lately as I get frustrated with myself that I have only pulled out my DSLR ONE time since January.  "It's ok."  So I'm taking more iphone photos right now?  That's okay.  So I don't have a pile of photos to edit? That's okay.  Follow your creativeness and it may lead to a place you haven't been before.  An even more inspiring one.
I will say that I have kept up my 1 photo a day on Instagram for almost 4 months now, and I definitely don't want to stop.  It's been inspiring and freeing.  And it's been ok.  The documentation is just as important as the file size.

7.  I think Claudia Jean Cregg may be one of my favorite television characters of all time.  I've been quite taken with her lately.  I keep trying to think of stories I could write just to have AJ become one of the characters.  Her performances always make me sit up and pay attention.  She totally deserves that shelf full of Emmy's for CJ.

Night, all.
It's time for bed.
Even if it is only 8:45pm.
Please read #4.


Cottage Girl

April 23, 2012

Goodbye stormy weather

At least for a few days....

April 22, 2012


Because it's been raining all day...
and the busy weekend is finally over...
and the preschoolers wore me out at church tonight...
and I haven't been able to get this (above) image out of my head since I saw it a few weeks ago...
and I watched My Week with Marilyn last week...
and the Netflix envelope has been sitting on my desk taunting me all week...

I plopped down on the couch and watched some Marilyn tonight.
Some Like It Hot
For the first time.
It's just adorable.
I heart old movies.

April 21, 2012

don't lose sight

(couldn't find the original source, but found on Pinterest.) 

I'm having a particularly busy weekend.
Make that week.
Yes, the week was ultra busy too.
Next week appears to have the same agenda.  

But our weather is perfection.
And there is a thunderstorm in the forecast for tonight.
We haven't had a good one in a while.
There's nothing like a good thunderstorm.
Especially here on the water.

April 19, 2012

new favorite sweet

I heard about this from Pioneer Woman, of course.
It was on her show a while ago.
Super simple and super delicious.

Slice down the center through one side of the peel and half of the actual banana.
Pull it apart just enough to stuff in lots of delicious treats.
I've used, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, coconut and heath bar.
Basically anything that would taste good with a banana.

Then wrap it up in foil.
Place it in the oven at 350 degrees until every things is melted.
About 20 minutes or so.
Then pull out a spoon, eat and enjoy.

It's one of my favorite new sweets.

April 17, 2012


So, yesterday was kind of a big deal at camp.  I can't really go into why and honestly, it doesn't even matter.  The thing that really struck me was something that I often forget.  It's so easy to get sucked into the every-dayness of life.  It's easy to forget why I'm here.  It's simple to just put my head down and do the job and get things done.

Then things will happen that will remind me of the importance of what we do here.  We aren't just a place for kids to have fun.  I mean, we are that, but we aren't only that.  If this was just a place for kids to ride the giant swing, then you can count me out.  If this place was only focused on the activities, the cool things we have, the best equipment, you can bet your buck that I would be slowly leaving out the back door.

That's not why I'm here.  Granted, all those things are fantastic and kids really love them, but they aren't the reason.  It's Jesus.  We are here to tell them about Jesus.  And every single thing we do, whether it's swimming or tubing or standing in line for the zip line, it's about Jesus.  Every moment is a chance to show these precious children His love.

I was reminded yesterday that we, the full time staff, are the guardians of that.  It is our responsibility to hold that as the upmost priority.  And to do that, we must be guardians in our own lives.

I must be in the Word.  I must be bathing this place and the people here in prayer.  I must be holding Jesus as my highest priority and protecting that with all my might because I know the evil one is trying his darndest to destroy it.

Accountability is a wonderful thing.  I'm blessed to be held to a higher standard.  I don't do my best all the time. I mess up constantly and fall flat on my face.  And I'm so thankful to be loved my God who forgives and brushes me off and sends me back on my way.  And I'm blessed to be surrounded by these friends/co-workers of mine that do the same.

We are guardians.
I must remember this.
I must be accountable.
I must take it very seriously.

April 15, 2012

spot on

My Stickygrams just happened to arrive in the mail on my birthday.

I just keep staring at them.

It's been so long since I've printed out my photos that having new ones in my hand seems like a whole new experience.

I highly recommend these little magnets.

The colors are spot on.

Ordering is super easy.

Right from your iphone.

Only problem now is deciding where to put them....

April 14, 2012

brick streets and tall ships

My parents were kind enough to come up to my corner of the world today.  Aren't they the sweetest?

Anyway, they kept asking what I wanted to do and I because I'm eternally indecisive, I decided to go to one of my favorite spots on the planet.  Truly.  As much as I've traveled, this spot on the map is still my very favorite.  Okay, Hawaii may beat it, but just barely.

I hadn't been there in a while and today we had beautiful weather, so away we went.  Unfortunately, everyone else in the area had the same exact idea because parking was the worst I've seen it in a long, long time.  But we found a spot and headed into the old city full of brick sidewalks and homes.

And then, we saw this...

Well, low and behold, look at this beauty.  And look at those tiny sailors way up there gathering up the sails.  It was amazing.

This was just the beginning.  We spent over an hour at a museum full of tall ship models.  Nerd alert:  it was incredible.  We loved it.

If you ever make it to the great state of Maryland and you wonder what in the world you should do with your time....well, I suggest the adorable city of Annapolis.  And be sure to check out the totally cool museum at the Naval Academy.  If I say "totally cool" before "tall ship model museum", that makes it legit, right?  Right?

We ended the visit with me introducing them to the wonder of Lebanese Taverna.  I was full to the brim.  With love from my parents who love to spend time with me.  With delight over seeing a tall ship in real life.  With hummus and tabbouleh and baba ganoush .

Happy, happy day.  

April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

Or as I like to refer to it...
The day of my birth.

Have I ever told you that the year I turned 13 it was also a Friday the 13th?
Totally true.

April 12, 2012


A dear friend of mine, who also loves to do crafty things, had a birthday last week.
I knew immediately what I wanted to give her.
It actually didn't take very long at all to finish and I love every minute of the making of it.
(a few episodes of Dr. Who and The West Wing)
Sorry for the yucky photo.
I realized I wanted to take a photo and it was already dark outside.
But you get the idea, right?

And before you begin to think that I am some amazing artist,
you can buy the embroidery pattern here.
I've been in awe of Lucky Jackson's 365 project for a while now.
If you have some time, go back through and see some of her gems.

I never have gift boxes on hand, so I decided to use brown paper.
It's my go-to wrapping material.
So versatile.
This time, I just layed her present down, folded the paper over top of it and sewed around the whole thing with the sewing machine.
Then I punched holes along the edge and cut around the holes to make it look like lace.
My love of present wrapping is a bit ridiculous.
It's my favorite.

April 11, 2012

high time

(the girls taking their harnessing skills very seriously)

We had our annual high ropes re-certification class today.
All day.  Outside.
Last year it was 145 degrees outside.
This year it was 47 degrees.
I prefer 145.

Anyway, what does high ropes certification involve?
Well, it involves harnesses, the wearing of them specifically.
It involves climbing to high, high heights and jumping from them or swinging or zipping from them.
It involves icy wind on the top of towers.
It involves tying of knots.
And belaying of persons.
And facing your fear of heights.

(Facing his fears 50ft in the air.)

It also meant that I got to ride the Giant Swing today.
And the zip line.
Oh and try and climb the wall, but I didn't do so great with that one today.
I blame it on the 47 degrees and cold fingers.
Mostly I just didn't want to climb to the top because I was lazy.
I'm 34.
I feel that it is okay to not go to the top if I don't feel like it now.
I'm comfortable in my skin enough to be okay with that scenario.
Besides, the giant swing is about 276% more fun anyway.

Oh, and I passed, thank you very much.

April 10, 2012

i heart photos (and instagram)

Lest you think I don't take photos anymore.  
I can assure you most vehemently that that would be untrue.
I am on Instagram about 45 times a day.  

I love the ease of it.
How one sentence and a photo can say just enough.
I love that I'm constantly on the hunt for photos for the day.

So if you don't see me here on my ol' blog, pop in over there
I'm probably rambling on about my day and showing you photos of who knows what.

April 09, 2012

After deleting this entire post about 5 times, I've decided to post this photo instead.

Trust me, it's the better option.

April 05, 2012


The rocks in Canyonlands sparkle.
They sparkle.
It's no where near as beautiful as the sparkle on the water outside my cottage, but still.
It's like someone sprinkled magic fairy dust all over the ground.

(ps...speaking of sparkling, I think one of the stupidest parts of Twilight was that the vampire's skin sparkled in the sun.  You know, instead of them bursting into flame.  After being fully indoctrinated on vampire lore in the days of Buffy, I just laughed at how ridiculous this was.  I mean, imagine Spike sparkling? Or Angel? Oh, boy. At least the Salvatore brothers follow the rules properly.  They just need that special ring to go out into the sunlight.)

April 04, 2012

Sometimes it gets frustrating having to plan my life almost a year out.
You would think that I would be used to it by now.
But still.
It's tough to swallow at times.
It leaves little room for spontaneity.

One a totally different (and happier) note, it's 70 degrees here today.
70 degrees with bright sunshine.

And it's Easter on Sunday.
I can't help but love Easter.
I love it because it's so much to do with church and less to do with presents and craziness like Christmas is.
I love remembering how wretched I am and how totally undeserving of Christ's love I am
I love thinking about the empty tomb and the angels waiting at the doorway.
I love it because it happens during the time of the year when things are blooming and life is returning.
I love it.
And I'm thankful to be loved by the God whom we celebrate the day for.

(Let's just forget those first few grumbling lines, shall we?)

April 02, 2012

Remember when you were a kid and you wrote out a birthday list.

Silly things I want for my birthday:

1.  The Young Victoria on DVD.
Because it has turned into one of my favorites of all time and I want to re-watch it constantly.  

2.  This record player in that amazing, amazing color.  It's been on my wish list for a few years now.  
When I was a elementary school kid, that's what we listened to, records.  We had a record player in our basement with a collection of kids records.  We played those things until they were scratched and warped.  I've also been collecting a few records here and there at thrift stores.  I need to have something to play them on.  Not to mention the stack of vintage classics my parents have in their basement.  I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I borrowed them, right Mom and Dad?

3.  This print, which I am smitten with.  
Found in the shop lovelysweetwilliam on Etsy.  

4.  A few of these beauties.
That oxidized grey is stunning, don't you think?  I have doll sized hands though.  Do you think they come in a size 4 1/2?  

5.  Don't laugh now....The Human Target Soundtrack.  
I never saw a second of the show, but just look at the composer.   My favorite.  I've heard that he thinks this is one of his best.  I don't know how it could possibly be better than the Battlestar soundtracks.  They are still on consistent repeat for me, even years later.  

Birthday lists are fun because they aren't anything you "need".  They are just for the heck of it.  What silly things would be on your list right now?