LET'S START AT THE VERY BEGINNING: 365 Days Project Begins Here

Sunday, January 31, 2010

126. January 26

Sunday drives are wonderful. 

"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing."
~ Agatha Christie

124. January 30

I can't wait to have a job that doesn't involve the use of a cash register.
Currently seeking new employment.

"Work must reflect the randomness of life, with its incessant, merciless, almost humorous bombardment of highly contrasting emotions and experiences."
~ Greg Allen, as quoted in Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

123. January 29

Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below. 
~ Katharina von Schlegel, "Be Still My Soul," trans. Jane Borthwick

Thursday, January 28, 2010

122. January 28

"You're alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you change the world, the world will change. Potential."
~ Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

121. January 27

"...life yields not the felicity which can satisfy an immortal soul."
~ Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women

Monday, January 25, 2010

119. January 25


"Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth." 
~ Mark Twain


"You are not special. You're not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We're all part of the same compost heap. We're all singing, all dancing crap of the world." 
~ Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

118. January 24

Sunday afternoon tea party... well more like a Sunday afternoon hot cocoa party.
Lovely, nonetheless.

"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles." 
~ Audrey Hepburn

Saturday, January 23, 2010

117. January 23

This is Mandy. She's in love with a boy named Tyler. In 116 days they are going be married and live happily after. Tonight, Mandy decorated Tyler's room with one balloon for every day until their wedding. In each balloon was a reason for her love for him. Can we get an aww?

As if this wasn't enough romance for the evening, it was followed by a viewing of Cary Grant wooing Deborah Kerr in the gorgeous film, An Affair to Remember. It was simply beautiful.

Thank you, Amy and Mandy, for a most enjoyable evening.

"After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her."
~ Adam, in Adam's Diary, by Mark Twain

116. January 22

Campus. I openly admit the aesthetic appeal of this campus was one of my chief reasons for attending school here. I think it was a pretty dang good choice.  
Every summer a Shakespearean festival is held in the theater you see in the background of this shot. Although I have seen many a play there, I have yet to experience Shakespeare. I suppose I'll have to give it a shot this summer.

"In narration he affects a disproportionate pomp of diction and a wearisome train of circumlocution, and tells the incident imperfectly in many words which might have been more plainly delivered in a few."
~ Samuel Johnson, in speaking of Shakespeare

Finally, a man of brilliance who isn't in love with Shakespeare.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

115. January 21

Snow, snow, snow and a weekend more of it to come.
Time to hole up with a good book.

"I think that at every moment in time you change your life--maybe not deliberately--but that something you do will forever alter the course you are on."
~ Marti Leimbach, Dying Young

114. January 20

Almost as delightful as receiving a letter is writing one back.

Dear Friend,
You write a beautiful letter. My response will (most likely) be on it's way to you tomorrow. Be excited.


"Life is slippery; here take my hand."
~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

113. January 19

It has been argued, in a grossly unjust fashion, that quotations are a crutch for the feeble-minded with which to express themselves. I dare say that is a blatant falsehood. It takes a mind of sharp wit to evaluate the worth and appropriate placing of quotations. It is vain to think that perhaps one always possess the ability to say it best on their own. It takes a humble mind to submit to the words of others when one's own words fail. Dismissing the use of wit by others is as ridiculous as dismissing the use of words by others. Quotes, my dear friend, when not used vulgarly or cheaply, are not for the faint of thought.

This lovely book here was given to me some years ago by a good friend of mine, Danae. I doubt she remember the gift as it's been years since it was given. A few years back I took to filling the pages with quotes from books, poems, lyrics, and articles that struck me as particularly brilliant or relatable.This little book is quite the treasure to me.

A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a man of wit, and a pebble in the hand of a fool. 
~ Joseph Roux

Monday, January 18, 2010

112. January 18

I am in love with life. Some days, it seems as though the stresses of life will swallow me whole. But, these moments of stress always pass and then, if lucky, I am granted days like today that remind me how truly fortunate I am to live in the here and now.

"Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could."
~ Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

Sunday, January 17, 2010

111. January 17

Good day. Really good day.

Let me introduce you to my roommate, Hillary, as she gets dolled up in practice for interviews for physical therapy school.

Yes, Hillary, definitely the pearls.

"Women wish to be loved without a why or a wherefore; not because they are pretty, or good, or well-bred, or graceful, or intelligent, but because they are themselves."
~ Henri Frederic Amiel

110. January 16

Definition of a good night: French toast sandwiches with Nutella and bananas while watching Paper Heart with roommates.

Here is Amber, our amazing chef, flipping French toast.

 So, I asked my roommate Lori what quote has had the biggest impact on her life. She raised her eyebrows and kind of laughed. Then she gave me this one:

"If you want to be different, then be different."
~ The janitor in an episode of Scrubs

Cool quote. Thanks, Lori.

109. January 15

You know, this project is kind of a funny thing. I'm enjoying it, I'm loving it, and yet sometimes I don't want to bother capturing the moment, I just want to live it. Sometimes, I don't want to always have a camera with me. But, I'm stubborn and even if I have to take lame pictures with my camera phone of the clock in my car, I will complete this project, dang it all.

11:11. Make a wish.

"Still, I have my own unnameable logic, something inside me that demands custody of my decision."
~ Marti Leimbach, Dying Young

Friday, January 15, 2010

108. January 14

Snowy morning walk to class

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said." 
~ A.A. Milne

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

107. January 13

Let life surprise you.
I know that may sound simple, but it's something I'm constantly relearning.
Be willing to laugh at the past.
Say yes to blind dates.
Celebrate when it rains instead of snows.
Volunteer at the local library.
Try yoga.

"I wanted something to happen, but I wanted it to be...oh, I don't know...I wanted it to be something that was beyond me. Something that just happened, not something that I made happen."
~ E.L. Konigsburg, Silent to the Bone

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

106. January 12

Grocery shopping...

"Oh she may be wearied / And young girls they do get wearied..."
~ Otis Redding, "Try a Little Tenderness"

Monday, January 11, 2010

105. January 11

I've recently discovered the joys of studying in the city library.
It's sunny. It's quiet. And, I'm surrounded by beautiful books.
Granted, it's not as social as the college library, but I kind of like that as well.

"I attempted briefly to consecrate myself in the public library, believing every crack in my soul could be chinked with a book."
~ Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

104. January 10

"Have you ever had the feeling you're meant to do something extraordinary?"
~ Peter Petrelli

Sunday, January 10, 2010

103. January 9

This is the view from my parent's driveway, shortly before I drove back to my apartment.
It isn't too exciting, but it's a view I love.

"Weekdays revolved on a sameness wheel. They turned into themselves so steadily and inevitably that each seemed to be the original of yesterday's rough draft. Saturdays, however, always broke the mold and dared to be different."
~ Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

102. January 8

Friday night at home, doing laundry and homework.
Pretty tame weekend.
But, it was good to be home.
The fireplace made everything deliciously cozy.
Family, it was good to see you.

"I knew that I had a safety net firmly in place. The net really had nothing to do with what I did, but it had everything to do with who I was, and that made a world of difference in how confident I felt about everything I did."
~ Sharlene Hawkes, Kissing A Frog

Thursday, January 7, 2010

101. January 7

Day 101.

Well. For a little while now I've been wanting to do a "Reasons Life is Beautiful" list, with the number of items coinciding with the number of the day. Then I sort of forgot all about that and now that I'm at day 101, I guess I'd better go ahead and do it, before I'm stuck with 266 reasons. Besides, I've been way too cranky lately and need to do something to shake this mood.

Sorry if you're not a fan of this sort of stuff, friend. Skim on.

101 Reasons Why Life is Beautiful
or Things Val Finds Beautiful
or Life is Good So Shut Up and Stop Complaining
or 101 Reasons to Just Be Happy

* Paper cranes * Snow in the sunshine * Family * The scent of new books * Pea coats * Laughter * Toast with creamy white honey * Weddings * Meet Joe Black * Quotes * Scriptures * Little Women, Louisa May Alcott * Scarves * Romance * Red rocks * Desert  * Temples * Asheville, North Carolina * Trees * Long stretches of open road * Poetry * The human body * Smiles * Hugs * The car wash * The allure of late night * Chocolate * Home * Mascara * Shaved legs *

* Sunrises * Sunsets * Sunshine in general * Grocery shopping * Used book stores * Libraries * Elephant earrings * Romantic comedies * Bundt cakes * Sensual Amber perfume * Fountains with coins at the bottom, each representing a wish once made * Tiger lilies * Roses * Dreams * Wishes * Warmth * Optimism * Surprises * Covers of songs that are better than the original * Audrey Hepburn * Cary Grant * Kissing * Mom-and-pop burger joints * Consignment shops * PostSecret *

 * Friends * My list of Life Goals and Ambitions * Journals * Collarbones * Letters in the mail * Postcards * Packages * Gifts * Making others happy * Compliments * My dad's singing * My mother's piano music * Spontaneity * Sunday dinners * Kyle playing the guitar and singing me Dashboard Confessional * Fishing with Dad * Late night talks with my sister * Empty notebooks * Cursive * The quilt my mother made me that now decorates my bed * Big skies * Cobblestone streets * Christmas * "Iris," Goo Goo Dolls *
"Come Away With Me," Norah Jones *

* Pastry shops * Prague * Old cathedrals * Utah * Elderly couples holding hands * Cuddling * Breakfast nooks * Wrap-around porches * Tree houses * Tire swings * Piles of dried leaves * The beginning of each new season * Lists * Small towns * Stars * Really good pens * Kenny Loggins' Return to Pooh Corner album * Change * Peanut Butter M and Ms * The ocean *

The English major within me is looking at that list and saying, "What kind of organization is that? How can you even tell there is 101?" The rebel within me is saying, "HA! Take that English major! 101! Count 'em, I dare you!" My inner perfectionist sides with the English major. The nonconformist and the stubborn child within back up the rebel and chaos wins.

I love the corner of my apartment decorated with paper cranes, hanging from the ceiling.
Beautiful isn't it?

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square hole. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
~ Apple Computer Inc.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

100. January 6

Whoo! Day 100! 265 to go.

Afternoon drive, because sometimes you just need to run away.
(Don't worry, the car was parked for this shot.)

"I desired more...than was within my reach. Who blames me? Many call me discontented. I couldn't help it: the restlessness was in my nature; it agitated me to pain sometimes."
~ Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

99. January 5

Thank goodness for sunshine!

"Of course I cannot break through the wall by battering my head against it if I really have not the strength to knock it down, but I am not going to be reconciled to it simply because it is a stone wall and I have not the strength."
~ Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground, Part 1, trans. Constance Garnett

Sorry for the rather bland pictures as of late... Better days, better pictures, coming soon. Promise.

Monday, January 4, 2010

98. January 4

Not all days can be good days.
And hey, tomorrow can only get better, right?

I had my camera with me all day and it was a gorgeous day, but of course, I left the memory card at home and this is the only shot I ended up taking today. Kind of a so-so shot. It will have to do.

"Hang on, he told himself, just hang on and it'll get easier."
~Cynthia Voigt, A Solitary Blue

Isaiah 49: 15-16

Sunday, January 3, 2010

97. January 3

So, yesterday I moved into an apartment near my university. I wasn't looking forward to the move. Class schedules, work, finances, and life in general kind of had me stressed out. I had myself convinced this move was going to be difficult and unpleasant. And then, the move happened and I realized life is okay. It's good. In the midst of all the preparing I hadn't taken the time to realize God wants me here for a reason and He's taking care of things. Life will be okay.

"Remember, we are only temporary travelers in this world. Let us not devote our God-given talents and energies solely to setting earthly anchors, but rather let us spend our days growing spiritual wings."
~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Two Principles for any Economy"

Saturday, January 2, 2010

96. January 2

I love this crazy family.

"It is always sad when someone leaves home, unless they are simply going around the corner and will return in a few minutes with ice-cream sandwiches." 
~ Lemony Snicket 
Matt and Cierra, I hope your new adventure is a beautiful one. Good luck.

Happy twentieth birthday, Sam.

Friday, January 1, 2010

95. January 1

2010. A new year. A new decade.

At the end of every year, I like to write in my journal events and people to remember of the past year, a review of the past year's goals, and the goals for the coming year. I was reading back on things to remember for 2008 and going through my journal of last winter. It seems so far away. It makes a little melancholy thinking about moments and faces that will never pass through my life again.

And where to even begin with the year 2009? In the last year I have lived in three different cities in two different states. I have attended two universities. I've had four different jobs (okay, telemarketing did only last a week). I have met countless scores of people, many of whom will likely never cross paths with me again. I've gone through half a dozen haircuts, read dozens of books, discovered all sorts of music, filled two or three journals, and have taken more pictures than I dare think about... It reminds me of the lyrics of "Seasons of Love" out of the musical, Rent.
525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?
I don't know how to measure a year. I don't know even how to tally this one up. I don't even want to consider how far flung from this moment next year may find me. 

I'm moving again tomorrow. My brother and his wife are also moving, though a much, much bigger move than my little one. And my sister will be returning to her apartment. Everyone will be scattered. This idyllic break I've spent with my family these past few weeks will be the last of such for quite some time.
Life is chaotically exhausting. And tonight, that makes me just a little sad.

Thanks Sam and familia for the pizelles. It cheered my day immensely.

"We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential." 
~Ellen Goodman

And now I leave you to enjoy guitar music of my little brother...

94. December 31

Last day of 2009...

"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us." 

~Hal Borland