Random street art picture from Brooklyn last weekend!
Oh my goodness, I just happened upon a vintage map of France in my desktop folder. I have travel on the brain all the time lately. Luckily, I do have a small-but-exciting trip on the horizon, to a country I haven’t been to yet (I’ll keep you guys guessing a little bit longer!), and I’m dreaming about that everyday.
But I’ll put the wanderlust on hold for a minute and get down to today’s #AskAwayFriday!
#AskAwayFriday is a great blog swap and link-up. The concept is simple: you swap ten questions with your buddy for the week and then you answer those questions on your blog. Interviewing and being interviewed is fun, and results in out-of-the-ordinary posts on topics we might not have thought of on our own. Thank you to the lovely ladies listed above for hosting!
This week, I swapped with April of 100lb Countdown. On her blog, she features family life, maintaining an active lifestyle, giveaways, and more. Be sure to check out April’s answers to my questions here!
1. You take beautiful pictures. Do you consider yourself a photographer or have you taken any classes?
Thank you! I suppose I am a photographer in that picture taking is a big hobby of mine. I was an official paid photographer three years ago at the Omega Institute, which was such a great opportunity. But when I look at my husband, he is the more serious, dedicated photographer out of the two of us; if I put too much emphasis on my picture-taking, it usually results in me having less fun.
This is one of my favorite pictures of all time. I took it in 2006 and unfortunately lost the original file, so it will always be small:
2. What’s the one thing that differentiated your Andy from others? Why did you choose him?
Gender difference aside (Happy Pride weekend, NYC!)
, there are a few things that made Andy stand out from anyone else I had been attracted to or dated. He had (and has) this visible passion and charisma that I noticed right away. I was drawn to his adventurous spirit, and when I got to know him better, the fact that we shared a lot of social, moral, and environmental values. Most importantly, I felt at ease with him right away– wherever he was, that’s what home felt like. Thankfully, seven years later, that feeling has persisted!
Andy and I in a leaf pile in 2007, the year we started dating
And just for fun, here’s Andy at the UK’s Glastonbury Festival in 1996:
3. On the flip side, what’s your least favorite thing about your husband?
Oh, I don’t know- maybe when he snores 😉 (Thankfully not often!)
Thank you! I think that the blog has been a wonderful way for me to write regularly again, to open up that expressive part of me that has really been devoted solely to photography for several years. I wrote that post pretty early on and felt slightly crazy publishing it, but I know vulnerability and authenticity are what I like to see from other bloggers, so that’s why I did it.
5. This summer, my husband would love to go to the Bahamas, but I’m just not interested in going this year. Is there any place that Andy wants to go, but you just don’t? Why?
Honestly, I’m pretty sure we’d both like to go everywhere! We share a love of discovery and photographing, both of which tie into traveling quite well. I know he wants to go to Detroit, since it’s such a great place for photography and abandonment, but we just haven’t made that happen yet. We both absolutely want to travel to the UK next year, since he hasn’t been home since 2004 and it would be so wonderful to see his parents, extended family, and friends from both England and Wales.
We have seen Andy’s parents and sisters since then, on separate occasions, but that was the last time they were all together (Andy’s on the bottom right):
Guess what Andy brought everyone for Christmas presents?
6. When I’m depressed, I find it hard to blog. How do you muster up the ability to express your feelings online during those times?
It isn’t easy. On days when I have been at my lowest (usually in the winter, but not always), I typically haven’t written anything. But I do like to share depression-related posts
when I can, because I just can’t imagine that there will ever be too many depression stories on the Internet or in the news. People need to read and hear about these struggles; they need to be brought out of the darkness.
Of course, when I do write something when I’m depressed it isn’t often the most articulate or what I like to think of as my best writing, but it’s raw and honest, and that’s the goal.
7. I love red meat so much, I couldn’t ever think of going vegetarian. What meal can you cook for me that might change my mind?
Well…I don’t think you can force a different lifestyle on someone. I don’t like most meat, and certainly don’t miss it. I do like seafood, but gave it up two years ago for environmental reasons, and honestly have never really found it difficult to eat healthy, filling vegetarian meals. If you’re looking to substitute that meaty texture or flavor, some foods that work well are eggplant, mushrooms, or tempeh, or seitan.
One of my favorites: breaded and fried (or baked) eggplant works well with pasta, rice or quinoa.
Tempeh is fantastic in homemade sushi rolls with rice, pea shoots or other greens, shredded carrot, and avocado.
8. As much as I’d love to work out in the mornings, I struggle to roll out of bed. What gets you up every morning to work out?
The alarm! No, really, what gets me out of bed to work out is the promise I’ve made to myself to treat my body better. And as for mornings specifically, I love getting out before the world really wakes up. It’s nice to have empty streets (or track) and a pretty sky before the sun is all the way up.
I’ve been running regularly since April, and don’t want it to be just a phase this time!
9. What do you think was the most important lesson you learned as a child? How did you learn it?
Tough one! This isn’t technically a lesson, but I think I learned to have a good work ethic and to stay focused on your dreams from my parents. My dad worked crazy hours for the phone company, and got a temporary job delivering fried chicken when he was on strike, trying to support our family of six.
My mom worked as a substitute teacher before deciding to go back to school for her master’s degree while my siblings and I were still in grade school. I watched as she stayed committed to her goal of becoming a children’s librarian, commuting from our home on Long Island to Queens College, writing a super long thesis paper and finally graduating. She is one of the only people I’ve ever met that truly loved what she did. Thanks for setting such a good example, Mom!
10. Describe your perfect home, including location!
Oh wow, I really haven’t put much thought into this in detail– probably because most of my focus is on travel 😉 Okay, let’s start on the outside: I would love a screened-in porch, maybe on the side or back of the house. A mud room at another entrance (the front?) would be lovely. I often think how nice it would be to have a library, but another part of me just likes having shelves and piles of books in every room of the house.
The perfect home would have to contain a studio for Andy, either in the basement, or a large room dedicated to his various art-related supplies where he could also work. I would also love my own room- not sure I like the sound of “office”, maybe I’ll call it a parlor. This will have a daybed with lots of comfy pillows, a desk with my computer and a calendar, plenty of maps and photos adorning the walls, and of course, more books. Perhaps one wall will be painted a bold orange, with the rest white.
The bathroom would have a large tub and a separate shower with dual shower heads, tiled up to the ceiling. Our kitchen would have plenty of counter space, a separate pantry area, lots of plants, and our vintage table that Andy salvaged:
I would love some red and silver diner-style chairs to go with the table!
The master bedroom doesn’t need to be too large since we’d already have our own space elsewhere, but large enough for a king-sized bed. Perhaps we’d have more bedrooms for a kid or two? And a dog? Who knows?As for location, since we’re talking about dreams, I’ll say this house would be somewhere in the UK 🙂
Thanks for the thought-provoking questions, April! If any of you would like to participate in #AAF, either let me know or you can pop over to our Facebook group and make a buddy request.
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. I’m off to my nephew’s high school graduation ceremony! His party is tomorrow afternoon, and then hopefully Sunday we’re hanging out with friends. Wheee, summer!
Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude. –Ralph Waldo Emerson