Thursday, June 14, 2012

60 Years of Love

On June 14, 1952, my grandparents Mary and Pat pledged to love and honor one another in good times and bad, in sickness and health, all the days of their lives. Today, 60 years later, our family will gather in California for a low-key celebration of their doing just that.

Whereas on that long ago wedding day they stood surrounded by parents, siblings and friends, today, they are instead surrounded by the family their own love has created, including my mom, her brother, me, my sister and our cousins.

Theirs is a love that over the years has celebrated the birth of two children and faced the tragedy of losing another. It is a love that has survived saying goodbye to many while also joyfully welcoming grandchildren into their lives. It is a love that financial hardship and illness could never destroy, and a love that does and will continue to go on, even in the face of my grandmother’s advanced cancer.

Celebrating 56 years of marriage four years ago. 
I love weddings and all that they stand for, but even more, I love seeing couples who can in their golden years say that they have truly lived their vows and, in their own special way, changed the world with their love.

Happy 60th anniversary to two of the most selfless and inspiring people in my life! Nana and Papa, you have given me more than I can ever hope to express, and I will forever love and be grateful for you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Writer’s Life: Escape

Part of the reason I've been posting a bit less frequently throughout the past several weeks, in addition to being busy with things like cross-country trips and graduation activities, is because I've been devoting as much free time as possible to working on my novel. Even though I have always dreamed of becoming a published author someday, ultimately, I’m writing my first book for a couple simple reasons – because I love doing it and because more than anything else, writing frees me.

While I may not be able to control everything that happens in my own life, both good and bad, when I write fiction, I am taken away. There, instead of dwelling on the realities of my personal story, I'm focused on the challenges and successes of characters that have transitioned from my head to the page, where they continuously teach me new things and help me along every step of the way. And when a scene inevitably doesn't turn out the way I want it to, I know I always have the power to simply rewrite, rework and revise until it does, continuously altering fates and outcomes until their purpose becomes clear. 

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That's why, whether or not this book is ever intriguing enough to catch the eye of an agent or publisher, the simple act of challenging myself to write it has without question revitalized my spirit and given my imagination a welcome place to escape. My characters have become friends and confidants who, in trying to find their own way, are in turn helping me find mine. 

What's your escape? 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

So What! Wednesday: June 6, 2012

Happy mid-week, everyone! Life around here has been pretty low-key lately, so today, I’m linking up with So What! Wednesday, which I recently stumbled upon over at From Match to Marriage. Here, a few things that have definitely got me saying “so what” this week.  

So what if…

1) Stephen and I celebrated our second anniversary this Monday by going out for BBQ chicken pizza and margaritas at Fireflies, one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants. It may not have been anything fancy, but sitting on the warm patio at sunset with a drink in my hand is always a win! The pretty purple flowers he brought home were a nice touch, too. 

2) There are days I second guess myself and think the first draft of my novel totally sucks. But no matter what happens, it’s really all about the journey, the effort and the fact that I’m having fun bringing my characters and story to life.

3) I’m not losing weight or getting back in shape as quickly as I’d hoped before our trip out to California next week. But every day is a new opportunity to be healthier and work harder, right?

4) It took a few months longer than expected for my article highlighting this year's hottest wedding photography and videography trends to come out in Inspire Smart Success magazine. But who cares about the delay when honestly, I’m just thrilled and incredibly grateful to see my work published?

5) I’ve been slow to jump on the Instagram bandwagon. I’m finally starting to play around with the features and post pictures more often, so feel free to stop by @heather_28.

6) I squinted and ruined every one of the "anniversary pictures" we tried to take while visiting museums in Downtown DC over the weekend. At least I got some fun shots of National Geographic's Titanic exhibit and of the Capitol from the Newseum rooftop! 

Well, that's my list for the moment. So far, what’s your biggest “so what” of the day?  

Friday, June 1, 2012

‘Les Mis’ the Movie: The Countdown Begins!

As a huge musical theater and opera lover, you’d better believe I’m counting down the months until Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Miserables film adaptation hits the big screen this December! After following updates about the film’s cast and production process since last year, I was incredibly excited to see the first trailer released this week. Just as I'd hoped, the movie promises to showcase a sweeping combination of action, romance and history -- all of my favorite things.

Are you as excited about Les Mis as I am? What do you think of the trailer? I know some die-hard fans aren’t exactly impressed with the way Anne Hathaway (one of my faves) changes up "I Dreamed a Dream," but since this version is designed for film and not the stage, I actually think it works quite well. Plus, I think it’s fabulous that the film's actors are “singing live” rather than lip-syncing and that the movie will also feature a new original song for Jean Valjean.

While I hardly ever rush out to see a movie on opening night, I've got a feeling this is one time I'll be making an exception!