Last weekend we stayed in Providence for the night for a viewing of a live orchestra playing the soundtrack to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with the movie. It was so cool!
We have a tradition of offsetting our observation of Valentine's Day by a week or so to avoid the crowds, so this was the main event this year. It would have been nice to also go ice skating (a standard component of Shmalentine's Day) because the rink is right outside The Graduate, where we stayed, but it was way too cold!
The holiday season so far has been crazy. So many projects all of the sudden and I ended up having to left some of them go. But here are the ones I actually got to:
Relieved to finally be at my parents' house without much more to do but wrap gifts!
Twas the night before our 4th anniversary when all through the night, not a creature was stirring, not even me, since I was unconscious because I fainted on a packed train. Thank you to Chris for rushing home to feed the pigs and waiting for hours at the ER before he was allowed to see me. Didn't think year five would start with us sitting on a hospital bed, but glad he was next to me.
While I was sitting in intake I made this doodle on the last page of Twilight New Moon. It's me imagining better commutes that I've had.
Some backstory: sometimes I'm affected by vasovagal syncope due to low blood pressure and sensitivity to blood. Twilight had a particularly bloody scene and I hadn't eaten lunch, so down I went. Usually I just need fresh air and food but an ambulance happened to be called this time and I got stuck in the ER for hours, ironically without food and with blood tests. All is well though! Got discharged, Chris brought me home, we ate pizza, and lived happily ever after. Also shoutout to my very fun EMTs, Andrew and Chris. They were a riot. And the nice nurse on the train who jumped into action.
This portrait was for a friend of mine from high school. He wanted to surprise his fiancée with something personalized for Christmas and chose this family photo from right after they adopted Luna the corgi. I used my new lamp with a hollow opening to record a time lapse (almost) start to finish, which I've never done before. I may need to look into a different app however; the one I've been using only records for 20 minutes at a time.
Yesterday afternoon I unpacked and then we had a few friends over and watched a few epsidoes of The Chris Gethard Show before heading to bed. A couple friends may come over for New Year's Eve, but it will probably be a very small affair.
In the meantime, I brought out all of my comic storyboards and am trying to pick up where I left off. A roadblock that I am experiencing right now is that so far I have started with a scene that leads into a flashback, and within the flashback, a memory is shared. I want to illustrate the memory, but I'm worried that it's too multi-level to have a flashback within a flashback, à la Christopher Nolan. I suppose it's an interesting problem to solve, and it could be a good opportunity to break away from the traditional framing that I've been gravitating toward just to give myself structure. But I still feel a bit out of my depths. Hopefully something compelling comes of it.
This is the first time I've been home for Thanksgiving since 2011, when I was still in college. From 2012-2015, I was working retail and the holiday shopping season made it impossible to grab three days to make the trip home, eat, and come back (especially without a car and the limitations of a multistep bus trip). In 2016 I spent Thanksgiving week in Florida and visited with my grandfather one last time before he passed away a week later. And last year I stuck around Boston and celebrated with Chris's family.
This year, I decided to make the trip because it's my ten-year high school reunion. There was some confusion with planning so it ended up falling through almost entirely, but I still got to see some of my classmates who I haven't spoken with since graduation. So many people are married, expecting, parents, and/or live out of state; some of our classmates have even passed away. It's weird how things move forward so quickly.
I left at first light Thanksgiving morning, and because there was zero traffic, I made the five-hour trip in only 4 hours and 15 minutes, including a stop for gas. It was also a beautiful sunny day (albeit 10 degrees out) and I split my listening between Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on audiobook and assorted music from my iPod when I got antsy.
It has been such a relief to have a few days at home with my parents. My mom is an excellent cook, and nothing says home like her potato and cheese casserole (lovingly referred to as "cheesy taters"). She also prepared apple and pumpkin pie and in my biased opinion, pies made by my mom and my aunt Mary are the absolute best out there.
It's back to work tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to having an almost two-week break to return home in December. I've been working holidays so I can save up vacation days and can't wait to cash those in. Work has really been running me ragged and I can't wait to just be at home where all I need to think about is what book to read and which baked good to eat. My brain desperately needs a rest.
As some bonus material, I've also included a photo of my varsity letter. Apparently we got a pin for everything.
Deidre and Sam's wedding was on Sunday, out in Western Mass on a beautiful farm. On Sunday morning, I drove an hour north and met up with Chris, who was getting ready to take photos with the other groomsmen. We chatted and determined that the wedding party would be hungry after the reception and the party would likely continue in one of the farm houses on the grounds, so we ordered 20 pizzas from Domino's and stuck them in various fridges for later. I think the people at Domino's thought I was a bit crazy when I carried them all out to the car.
The wedding was beautiful. The centerpiece of the grounds is a giant old tree out on the far end of a field, which made the walk of the wedding party and eventually Deidre very summery. Sam's grandfather officiated the wedding, and got a lot of laughs when he combined their named by accident and made it a catchphrase.
Cocktail our took place in a covered area with lots of cheese, charcuterie plates, hors d'oevres, and drinks, then we headed into the barn for the reception. The highlight was definitely their first dance, to a touchingly peaceful acoustic version of Andrew Bird's "Night Sky" (5:15 in the video below). There were also a couple of lovely/joke-packed speeches by Deidre's sister and Sam's best friend.
It has been such a pleasure to be part of all of these weddings the last couple of weeks and to see how uniquely each couple has chosen to celebrate. Excited for the next one, in October, for Nick and Rachel!
Still fighting jet lag, and only worked four days last week before heading out to Connecticut for my friend Jess's rehearsal dinner and wedding. It was an unplugged wedding so I didn't take any photos of the ceremony, and I wanted to stay in the moment during the reception, so I only got photos of the rehearsal and wedding prep. But some highlights were Sammy's dad making a hilarious speech during the rehearsal dinner regarding a photo on Sammy's phone, Jess's dad making a speech that revolved around Harry Potter and his daughter's resemblance to Hermione, Jess and Sam's adorable, heartfelt, and tearful vows, and their first dance (which started traditional and then ended with a lot of jumping and a lost boutonnier). Congratulations, Jess and Sam!
Next up is Sam and Deidre, which came the next day, but I'll make a separate post. All wedding photos will be posted in the "events" section on the photography tab. I've never professionally photographed a wedding, but it's so fun to unofficially document the weddings of my friends.
The bachelorette party was excellent! We stayed at an AirBnB in Orleans, and the bridal party did a great job preparing different activities. Including “beer olympics” (which ended with a single game of Root that lasted at least an hour), a cooperative game called “Crossroads” which had the bride choose different actions if she did anything predictable, plus dinner and breakfast at some great local joints.
The beach was also lovely, even though it was a bit cool. The tide was out and you could walk out as far as the eye could see.
It was also wonderful to meet all of Jess's friends from medical school. It's funny; when you're close with someone and then meet the friends they've made in your absence, it's great to immediately be able to recognize why they became friends and see their individual chemistries. And I feel like it ends up being easier to get along with the friends of the friends you are closest with, because they end up having a similar set of values and senses of humor.
Anyway, that last sentence didn't make much sense. Here are some photos!
The next couple months are going to be pretty crazy. I have everything down in my Google calendar at work, but my head was still starting to spin so I made a calendar to organize everything.
The second to last weekend in July, I have a bachelorette party for one of my best friends from high school, who is getting married Labor Day weekend. We'll be in the Cape Friday to Sunday.
The first weekend in August, we have a couple of birthday parties for some local friends, and a going away party for a work friend who is moving to London for a year-long graduate degree program.
The following week, Chris and I will be babysitting Juliette in New Haven, CT, while her folks attend a wedding. Pretty stoked to see how much she's grown since she was only 2 days old!
4 days later, I head out to Europe for my cousin Katie's wedding in Austria. The wedding is that Saturday, and then my folks and I will spend a week in Vienna. I'll fly back and resume work, though they will continue on traveling Austria and Germany for another 4 weeks! Retirement looks pretty appealing...
The following weekend, I will have a rehearsal dinner and be in a wedding for the friend I mentioned earlier, which is on a Saturday in Avon, CT. Meanwhile, Chris will be prepping to be in his best friend from high school's wedding, which will be on Sunday, so he can't attend the one I'll be in. That Sunday, I'm going to wrap up in CT and then drive up to Western Mass for the wedding he is in.
As an introverted person, it can be challenging for me to maintain the level of energy needed to bounce around every weekend and not recharge with some quiet time as a homebody. I think once we hit mid-September, I'll probably barricade myself in my apartment with my guinea pigs and cherish some time at my desk. In the fall I can resume using weekend time to work on my comic. Though I'm planning to work all of the holidays coming up (including today, Indigenous People's Day, and Veteran's Day) so that I can earn back some vacation days to use in December.
The last two weeks have been a whirlwind. After stopping by Endicott for my dad’s retirement party, I went back to work for two days, then on Tuesday night drove to Long Island. Visiting hours at the hospital were only a few hours in the afternoon, so I kept busy at their house by doing some cleaning, shopping, and printing the photos that we took at the hospital.
I would have stayed through the weekend, but my friends Becca and Ruben were getting married on Saturday back in Cambridge, so I booked it back that afternoon and just barely made it! I normally love taking photos at weddings but was just too frazzled, so unfortunately I don't have much to share. It was an absolutely lovely wedding though, which included catered pizza, Harry Potter references, and friends from multiple workplaces. I met Ruben 4 years ago at the toy store, and Becca through Ruben, but now Becca and I work together at CIC. Pur friendship must be kismet!
Since I don't have any pictures of the wedding, here are some of the Juliette prints. I went a bit wild while buying frames so that I wouldn’t have to choose which photos to feature. They're all too cute.
Hannah Dunscombe is a painter and portrait artist based out of Mansfield, MA.