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Read Good Books

My favorite book quote EVER is from Mark Twain - The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them. So so so good. I feel like Mark is giving me the "shame on you" side eye if I'm not pushing myself to carve out time to read.     When I haven't been reading I feel the lack. I feel it in my bones. It's like there's an itch in my brain that needs to be scratched. I need the new thoughts, the rich sentences, I need the fuel for my own creativity.     I need to learn and grow. When I'm not reading it's almost like my health suffers in similar ways to when I'm not taking care of myself physically... I am a very sensitive person who finds it almost impossible to maintain balance in life! But I do need to stay hydrated. I do need to get adequate sleep, even if that means maintaining my unapologetic title of "professional power napper." I need to talk to my friends. I need to eat nourishing food. I need to

Walking Towards the End of School

I'm really proud of my ladies for how hard they've worked this school year. But I'm happy for them that it's almost time for PLAY! School is almost over y'all! It's crazy.     What's even crazier is that we finally just started walking to school again. It feels like it's been six months.     I guess it has actually been that long. We had the kind of NY winter that lasts until April this year, something I haven't experienced in almost a decade since living abroad. (And yes, I sort of count Mississippi as "abroad", especially where the weather is concerned.) It's not just that it was cold and rainy and sometimes snowing on and off in March and April, it's also that I was just out of habit. I'm still a firm believer in the German phrase "no bad weather only bad clothing." But it does take a little too much effort (for me) to brave certain types of NY winter weather (with kids.) Even on a nice day, we have to get out the door at

171 Cedar Arts Center | Spring Recitals

I'm really enjoying my first steps into the adventure of teaching photography at 171 Cedar Arts Center.     I love the energy and excitement I find whenever I walk in the beautiful buildings. The Cedar Arts family has such a diverse offering of classes that every day has a completely different feel. Sometimes during photography class we have the background music of an exciting tap class, or the amazing smells of a cooking class to tease us ;-) Or there's a new exhibit being set up across the hall in the gallery. (Check out Laura's work this week... it's a fabulous exhibit and it ends the 16th!)     It's a joy to be on staff and contribute my art to the mix by teaching and empowering my students!  The longer I'm here and the more I learn, the more in love I am with the mission and passion of 171 in this community.     So I was extra excited to work photographing the Spring Recitals this year. As a

National Trails Day | Sperr Memorial Park

Happy National Trails Day!  If you're looking for a great way to celebrate #NationalTrailsDay you should check out Sperr Memorial Park in Big Flats. It's just off 86 at exit 50.      As a part of the rails to trails network, it's also a beautiful memorial park to New York State Trooper Andrew J. Sperr.     We really like Catharine Valley Trail but it's a bit more of a commitment... Sperr Park is so nice because it's very manageable on a beautiful sunny evening after dinner.     So grab your bike (and helmet!) or your sneakers, and check out the peaceful trails around the pond.       There's easy parking and a playground. And in a pinch, there are... ahem... rustic restrooms for those with strong stomachs ;-)     Enjoy your lovely weekend! And I hope you get to enjoy a trail near you soon!     Like this

My Outdoorsy-Sister, My Nature-Muse

My younger sister is a third of the way done with her thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. And I miss her face off.      It's weird... she lives in Rochester so you would think I would see her all the time. But she's a bada$$ ICU/trauma nurse who works night shifts and weekends and I'm a single Mom with school-age kiddos. So I don't hang out with her as much as I would like. But there was something about her leaving for this six month (0r so) adventure of hiking most of the East Coast that feels so much more difficult than her living an hour and a half away. I know I can still text her and I know she's called me pretty regularly for really great chats. And I know I will see her at least once mid-adventure.     I also know she's having the time of her life... I know she's learning a ton about herself through this experience... but the fact that she isn't here is so strange and so hard. And then the empathetic heart of mine is dying