Wednesday, December 30, 2015

joyful shreveport.

Well, our Christmas vacation in Shreveport was over in a flash. 

We ate lots of delicious food, spent lots of time with family, went shopping, and saw a couple of our friends. As always happens on these visits, we didn't get to see everyone that we would have hoped to have seen, but that always seems to be the way of it when we're in for less than a week.

This trip was a joyful one, however, filled with memories I know we will never want to forget. And while I'm glad to be settling back into my home routine, I am already missing Shreveport and all that place means to me.

You may have noticed, too, that I didn't blog one bit while there either - I know, slacker. Sometimes you just have to "unplug," right? I am happy to be blogging again, happy to be home, happy to be settling in to see what twenty-sixteen will bring.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

on calling somewhere home.

happy first-day-of-winter

I've thought a lot about starting a new blog in the last year. Many times, I feel somewhat self-conscious over the blog name "siddathornton," because I feel like it is a made-up word that isn't exactly natural. In addition, over the last couple of years, I have fallen completely in love with camellias, and I have come up with a few blog names that follow that theme, that I actually really like. 

Every time I try to "make the switch," though, I hesitate. 

This blog has been my home for four-and-a-half years so far. There are some very fond memories that are attached to this blog. And I don't want to let go of them. In fact, some of my most favorite blogs over the years have "re-branded" themselves - some more than once - and I always feel a little bit sad when they make that choice. 

Call me a sentimentalist, but I find something very comforting about consistency, even loyalty, when it comes to our blogger-homes. I've come to identify with the name "siddathornton," and I like to think that it has become a part of me. 

For that reason, I feel - at this moment - that I will never (hopefully) change the name under which I blog. Sure, this space has been quite the fluid representation of myself, but it has always retained the same essence. For now, that is what I cling to, what I call home here on the vast internet. 

As far as hosting, however, I am singing a different tune. I am seeking something other than Blogger, and I would love any suggestions you have for me. WordPress? Weebly? Squarespace? What should I do?

Monday, December 21, 2015

home for the holidays.

before the trimmings

There's nothing quite like the time leading up to when we get to travel home to be with family for the holidays. There's a spark in the air, an energy. Everything looks brighter and more festive. 

In the time we've lived over here in North Carolina, I've grown very fond of travel. There's something magical about starting out in one place and ending up in another. Add to that the little details - the wool carry-on bag that I've grown to love even more than when we picked it up in a shop on a sleepy Saturday; the buzz of the airport, with hundreds - or is it thousands? I've never been good with numbers - of people, all going to different, interesting places; watching the planes take off and land in a peaceful, amazing little dance... There is so much about travel to love. 

There's also something so renewing about this time of year. Of course, there is the New Year right around the corner, getting ready to usher in twenty sixteen. But there's just something special about feeling like everything is a little celebration. Nothing is too small to indulge in, nothing is too mundane to be exciting. What a truly wonderful time of year. 

And when we arrive in our beloved hometown, I'm hoping for lots of things, but especially long talks sitting on the cold, comforting wood floors of the Ontario House; the click-click-click of my DSLR and phone cameras, paving the way for memories made and kept; endless cups of coffee enjoyed; long, long talks about the future and where that may take us; but most of all, just love. Love of family - is there anything more fulfilling in this world?

Here's to the holiday season.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

the sunday currently, volume 119.

o christmas tree

reading - Sarah Morgan: The Civil War Diary of a Southern Woman. I haven't been reading it lately, with the hectic end to the semester, but I am starting it back up today. I'm so excited to be reading for pleasure again.
writing - a lot of pre-travel to-do lists in my planner. Excited to visit my hometown next week. Also writing? In my ink & paper journal  almost daily this past week. Couldn't be happier about that, and couldn't be more excited for the traveler's notebook that I'm getting for Christmas, which I will share more about next week.
listening - to another episode of The Sopranos, my new television obsession.
thinking - that coffee that I brew at home is the best coffee.
smelling - our Christmas tree every time I come down the stairs. It is the most perfect, most festive thing ever.
wishing - for safe travels & a wonderful visit home next week.
hoping - for the same. 
wearing - my ECU OT sweatshirt almost constantly. It's so cozy, but it already has a stain on it. I'm going to have to wash it!
loving - days off spent at home. 
wanting - a big mug of hot coffee.
needing - the same. 
feeling - content and happy.
clicking - nothing at the moment. Any suggestions?

What are you doing? Link up & share below.

Friday, December 4, 2015

let's carve a pumpkin.

On a chilly weekend in late October, Carina had a pumpkin carving party. We all gathered in her back yard on a blanket, pumpkins in hand, carving tools at the ready, & created some of the most festive jack-o'-lanterns you ever did see. We ate soup, decorated cookies, chatted around a bonfire, & just generally enjoyed each other's company. And I know that this is one of the memories from being in grad school that I will hold close to me for years to come. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

music & mornings.

[Editor's Note: the following post was scribbled in a statistics notebook in between learning about p values & matched pairs.]

This morning, I would have classified myself as particularly slow-moving. Then, I slowly sipped coffees (eventually totaling to four cups) & slowly came to life.

I took Tahoe outside, & on the way down the sidewalk, I listened to Ours, by Taylor Swift. 

Halfway down the sidewalk, I changed the song over to Peaches, by In The Valley Below, & I remembered a couple of semesters ago & realized how far I have come, but I also felt a weird sort of kinship with myself that comforted me greatly. 

Almost back to the house & time for a new song. I chose Get It by Matt & Kim, because it always pumps me up. And after walking in the misty, soul-sucking rain, I just needed to be pumped up. 

Into the kitchen, making the second pot of coffee, & I chose San Francisco, by the Mowgli's. A song that never fails to make me feel warm & remind me that the world is inherently good, all in one swoop. 

i've been in love with love
and the idea of something
binding us together
you know that love is strong enough

And then, I was dancing in the kitchen while putting away the water pitcher. Thinking of the day ahead, filled with a friend's birthday, & lunch together, & presents, & the holiday season.

The world is inherently good.