Antiquing in Abilene

It’s official! Steven and I have caught the antiquing bug. Steven is always on the hunt for a good coin and I’m looking for cameras and photos. There’s a lot of fun and nostalgic things to be found in the in between of antique stores. We went to five different antique stores, and I must say, they were all a bit overpriced. We did find a few goodies to take home with us, and I thought I would share some items that I couldn’t help but snap a few photos of!

Steven said, “People who own antique stores are really just hoarders that are okay with selling some of their stuff,” as we tried to make our way through a tight fit in parts of a one store.

I love that there’s a window over the kitchen sink. If you look close enough you can see that it shows a man walking through a gate and a child running to greet him.

I would have loved to have made this beautiful camera mine! It’s a Kodak Retinette 1A Schneider Kreuznach that was made in Germany. They wanted $90 for it! Although it’s pretty, it’s not worth that much!

I like the antiques that surprise you with a laughing fit.

I’ve seen this Smokey the Bear doll in several antique stores. It’s always on the pricier side and never with a hat! He is really cute though, and a good reminder that “only you can prevent forest fires!”

I feel like I should know who this invisible man with a removable face is, but I don’t! Do you know who this guy is?

Three states in between us and home, but it is always finding us here.

The drive to and from Abilene was much quicker than we originally thought! We’re going to have to venture West more often!

I actually ended up with a total of four cameras, but the one not pictured is for a friend!

& of course a few more photos to add to my collection!

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Photos featuring Fluffy White Clouds

With everything that has happened this past year, I feel as though I built a lot of barriers around myself and my feelings. It is bizarre to me that some people who have been through the same thing can be so unsympathetic. It is hurtful how ignorant people who have not been through it can be. I have been lucky enough to come in contact with MANY wonderful people who do understand, though, do not get me wrong. What I’m trying to say is, I feel like in many ways, I have lost my way with words.

I’m trying to get myself back together, back into the world, back into the old, but good habits. I’ll write more about my journey back to happiness next week.

These past few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time behind the camera lens. These are the snaps from the past week!:

Last weekend was Steven’s birthday weekend. I thought for sure we would spend every day fishing at this particular spot. We only went last Saturday, but it was probably the most beautiful day to be there.

While Steven fished, I sat back at a picnic table brainstorming blog ideas. Not a bad view.

I use to ALWAYS take jump photos. The area was so green, I had to take the opportunity to shoot one for old time’s sake. I’m a little rusty.

I’m making a video for Steven’s family because they have yet to be out to visit us. Since we moved into a new house, I’ve video taped a tour, as well as the surrounding areas. We went to a few of our favorite places on post.

I like to caption this one with “Eat your heart out Led Zeppelin!”…. (Stairway to Heaven)

While we were at the top, the clouds got quite the sense of humor. I turned around to see what almost appeared to be a working chimney!

Thanks to my handy dandy tripod, I took a few photos of Steven and I! It was really hot and I wore out quickly running between Steven and my tripod! We got a few good ones, but the majority of them we looked too tired.

We’re still in counseling for our miscarriages, and when I told our counselor that I had taken maternity photos for a friend she grimaced and gave an empathetic nod. I told her I actually did really well with it. My friend pictured found out she was pregnant the same day as I did, the first pregnancy that I lost. Her due date is ten days after mine would have been. Not until I was home sifting through the photos did I realize that if I was still pregnant, I would have looked the same. Even then, I was able to quickly shake it off. Granted, I have high hopes that we will have our rainbow baby next year. I have been having more good than bad days lately.

One day at a time.

The Year of Life Lessons

A year ago today Steven, my husband, left for deployment. We expected him to be gone for 9 months. He’d only joined the Army not even a year before, and we had just moved to Kansas four months prior. It was nerve wracking on so many different levels.

The night before had been restless. The morning of I remember feeling numb; trying to be strong but being so broken. There is so much that I wanted to say, to express in some way, but could not find the words, enough words, or any one word that would mean as much as I wanted it to. My husband, the love of my life, my best friend wasn’t going to be in the bed next to me when I went to bed that night. He was not even going to be in the same time zone for much longer.

And so they went. He traveled for a week before he got where he needed to be. Every morning I woke up around the time he was getting off work, evening there. When I went to bed, he was waking up. It’s so bizarre being on opposite sides of the globe.

Shortly after he left I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor (the main cause of my infertility struggles). I’m still, and for as long as we want to have children, I will have to take medication (that is more often used for women recovering from breast cancer) to keep it under control. It cannot be removed, it will just grow back.

He got to come home SIX months earlier than expected. He was safe, he was an arm’s length away, he was in the same time zone! There’s so much that forces you to be strong in the Army life, so much that will break you down to where all you can do is cry, and then there are moments of absolute magic. Military spouses are lucky in the sense that we have many first kisses.

I could not help but feel that we cheated deployment somehow. Many times I have thought that because of that, we lost the two pregnancies we had during the time he could have still been deployed. Maybe it was life’s way of working out the kinks, or balancing the scales, whatever it may be.

Being happy without guilt has been a complete struggle this year. There’s been a lot of self loathing, anger and depression this last year. We’ve been handed a lot of unlucky hands time and time again. Before this year I had a completely different mentality with many things. Before this year I did believe that everything happens for a reason. I love the romantacism behind the idea, but at the same time, why did our babies have to die? What reason was that? With that, the “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” part of me struggled. Sometimes choosing happiness is not as easy as it sounds. I understand depression in a whole new light. I understand heartache. I’ve been there, I’ve picked myself up, but every once in a while I trip and fall… hard.

We’ve hit the one year mark of a difficult year. We are together. We are safe. Not everything happened the way it was planned. Not everything happened the way we wanted it to. BUT We made it!


(taken last night: August 4th 2014 by yours truly, with help of my tripod)

I hope with every single ounce of my being that the next 365 days are much more kind to us. I hope that we can find happiness and not have to fight for it. This year I hope happiness finds us. Please.

100 Happy Days ♥ Day 71 through 80

I got distracted by life again. I thought of posting something along the lines of where I have been and photos of all the in between, but I think I will save that for another day. Anyways, this is my happiness project and it pretty much summarizes where I have been! I have now completed the challenge (that’s how far behind my posts are!) and I am now working on FatMumSlim‘s July photo challenge.

100 Happy Days, Days 1 – 10 & 11 – 20 & 21 – 30 & 31 – 40 & 41 – 50 & 51 – 60 & 61 – 70

In case you are new to my blog, I have been taking part in the 100 Happy Days Challenge and I have been posting my daily happy onto my Instagram account @CameraKristen. This year started off emotionally draining and on April 1st I decided it was time to fight back! This project has helped me see the wonderful in every day – even if it is just something small. Halfway through, I was painfully reminded why I started this project but I didn’t give up. There is ALWAYS something to be happy about and thankful for, even when you are going through a tough time!

Tuesday, June 10th 2014

Sometimes I paint. Sometimes I add color to something new, sometimes I change the color of something old! This particular day I was painting plant pots!

Wednesday, June 11th 2014

We started to move things around the house to the way we really liked them (only took us two months!). We moved around our bedroom furniture and put our bed against a window – which seemed a little awkward. Thanks to Pinterest, I made it a bit more decorative AND in turn got a great reading light too!

Thursday, June 12th 2014

I finished up a few odds and ends around the house. This pot has a rainbow on it to reminds me to have hope that we will have our rainbow baby one day. I also (tried) to paint the footprints of our two angels that we lost.

Friday, June 13th 2014

We wandered around Manhattan and somehow I convinced my husband to stop by the JoAnn’s. Too many pretty things to choose from!

Saturday, June 14th 2014

We had got this pet bed on clearence at Marshall’s the day prior. Before the bed, Tayte (our cat) would lay on top of a blanket placed awkwardly over the couch. I think she almost thought we were trying to block her from getting into the window at all when we first put her bed in the window. She took awhile to warm up to it, but now it’s hard to get her out of it!

Sunday, June 15th 2014

It was father’s day and my womb was empty. We were lazy, we had heavy hearts, we took it easy. I did get to plant some of the flowers I had purchased a week before though!

Monday, June 16th 2014

It was the last day of a four day weekend for my husband and we kept ourselves occupied! The power went out for several hours around dinnertime. We had to order out and sat in the driveway waiting for our Chinese food to be delivered.

Tuesday, June 17th 2014

My wonderful husband hung this painting (from Hobby Lobby) and the mirrors (from Target) we had gotten the day before. Our living room walls started to look a lot less bare! In the caption on Instagram I mentioned that within a week’s time, I expected myself to crack and spray paint the frames to the mirrors…

Wednesday, June 18th 2014

… In actuality, it only took 24 hours!

Thursday, June 19th 2014

I joined a book club! We ventured into the post library for the first time since living here. Yes, it was love! Being surrounded by books is one of my absolute favorite feelings!

100 Happy Days ♥ Day 61 through 70

Yikes! I wanted to have this up yesterday BUT my body had other plans in mind! I’ve been fighting something not even the doctor is sure of, but hopefully I’ll be feeling back to normal soon!

100 Happy Days, Days 1 – 10 & 11 – 20 & 21 – 30 & 31 – 40 & 41 – 50 & 51 – 60

In case you are new to my blog, I have been taking part in the 100 Happy Days Challenge and I have been posting my daily happy onto my Instagram account @CameraKristen. This year started off emotionally draining and on April 1st I decided it was time to fight back! This project has helped me see the wonderful in every day – even if it is just something small. Halfway through, I was painfully reminded why I started this project but I didn’t give up. There is ALWAYS something to be happy about and thankful for, even when you are going through a tough time!

Saturday, May 31st 2014

My husband’s friends from his unit were almost all home from deployment! We invited one of his buddies over for some delicious barbeque and the fun and amazing stories ensued!

Sunday, June 1st 2014

The locals say “If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes and it will change.” This was one of those days! It started off as a lovely day! I met my friend Brittney in town for margaritas and a pedicure all while it was nice outside! As soon as I got home the weather turned! Kansas definitely has some pretty light shows though!

Monday, June 2nd 2014

It was a pretty quiet day. I did receive this lovely bracelet from my mother-in-law! Thank you!

Tuesday, June 3rd 2014

This was an uplifting day! My husband and I made our way to Kansas City to meet our new fertility doctor and discuss what may have gone wrong the second pregnancy and make realistic plans for the future. She was very positive thinking – and that was definitely something we needed! The weather behaved itself and it was a great touristy day! (See the angel wings in the clouds?)

Wednesday, June 4th 2014

Next to the check out line in the commissary they strategically place all the junk food I love. These were that day’s choice: Jordan Almonds!

Thursday, June 5th 2014

There was a HORRIBLE storm that morning. We had wind gusts of up to 80mph in some places and pieces of homes were strewn about my entire neighborhood. Once it passed though, you would have never known how ugly it had once been!

Friday, June 6th 2014

When we lived in town we used to live a few minutes from an Asian market. Not until that day did we adventure into it. I do not know if it was a good thing (we would’ve spent all our money there!) or a bad thing (it’s now over a half hour away!) that we just now discovered its’ greatness! We found so many delicious goodies that remind us of home and that are so hard to find here!

Saturday, June 7th 2014

We put a California state flag in our patio. We thought it was slightly comical that Monarch looks confused on why he’s in Kansas!

Sunday, June 8th 2014

We said, “let’s make homemade pho!” and it was delicious!

Monday, June 9th 2014

It had been exceptionally humid over the weekend and the the rain was a great break from it! I LOVE that it rains here during the summer!

100 Happy Days ♥ Days 31 through 40

Goodness gracious! In between allergies, a semi-busy schedule, slowly trying to put together the puzzle of our new home (I promise we’ve been done with unpacking – it’s just trying to really make sure everything is where we want it), and having been thrown out of the habit when we did not have internet for that short while – I fell off the blogging wagon! Through all that, I’ve been trying my best to stay on top of the #100HappyDays challenge!

100 Happy Days, Days 1 – 10 & 11 – 20 & 21 – 30

In case you are new to my blog, I have been taking part in the 100 Happy Days Challenge and I have been posting my daily happy onto my Instagram account @CameraKristen. This year started with a big slap in the face and I had a hard time coping. This challenge is definitely helping me to remember to look for all the HAPPY in each and every day.

Thursday, May 1st 2014

My absolute favorite thing about Kansas is the SKY here! Summer skies here are full of fluffy clouds and amazingly colorful sunrises and sunsets!

Friday, May 2nd 2014

Nothing feeds baby fever quite like spending a few hours with a cute lil guy who is not even old enough to crawl! Baby giggles and wonder and everything in between – oh my!

Saturday, May 3rd 2014

Some may see a field full of weeds – but I see a whole lot of wishes to be made!

Sunday, May 4th 2014

Wandering around Fort Riley, we’re starting to get our barrings. It’s not so bad once you have been back and forth from certain areas, but tell me a new place to go, and I will still definitely need my GPS!

Monday, May 5th 2014

I took this photo because the “Cinco de Yolo” I found pathetic (WHY must we keep saying this?! “Seize the day” “C’est La Vie” actually have class and make sense. You only live once sounds like it came from the Journal of Common Sense) BUT it was also taken during a good part of the day. We thought we had so much to do that day, but it turned out that we planned to do so much on the wrong day! So, we ate lunch at Carlos O’Kelly’s (these are not in California – and when we moved here I thought it was going to be a weird Irish and Mexican fusion restaurant- it’s not) and we people watched.

Tuesday, May 6th 2014

Since moving on post, we have made a good habit of visiting the gym inside our community office. We have also made a point to stop by the arcade on the way out!

Wednesday, May 7th 2014

The 7th was my birthday! 28 years old and not a day younger!

Thursday, May 8th 2014

My husband got me the Chocolate Bar eyeshadow palette by Too Faced for my birthday (it smells like chocolate!) and I could not wait to use it! I may even do a review? I’m in love!

Friday, May 9th 2014

The day prior I had changed our bedding, we put on our memory foam back onto the mattress, and Tayte slept the whole night through! It was the first night she had not woken us up at 3:30AM since the move! … We’re still working on getting her into a normal sleep schedule!

Saturday, May 10th 2014

This photo is a complete misrepresentation of that day – BUT it was a little piece of happy from that day. I tried to get my office put together and straighten up the house a bit before Steven’s friends came over for a BBQ! It was a beautiful day outside, the food was great, and we had excellent company!

Please excuse the once and again posting! I promise to get back in the habit from here on out! ♥

100 Happy Days ♥ Days 21 through 30

Well, well, well! I have some catching up to do! With our lack of internet since we moved (see my update here), I’m a little behind on posting my 100 Happy Days here on my blog! If you follow me on Instagram, though, you’ll see I stayed up to date and sacrificed the data usage on my cell phone.

In case you are new to my blog, I have been taking part in the 100 Happy Days Challenge and I have been posting my daily happy onto my Instagram account @CameraKristen. I chose to do this challenge because January was a tough time for me, my husband and I lost our first pregnancy after having tried for almost two years. I was devastated and found it hard to be happy. They say that with time the wounds will heal, but it doesn’t hurt to try a little extra to find HAPPY in each and everyday.

100 Happy Days, Days 1 – 10 & 11 – 20

Monday, April 21st 2014

The packing went into SERIOUS mode that day. When my makeup goes into bags instead of strewn about a counter space, it means it’s almost time to either move or go on vacation!

Tuesday, April 22nd 2014

That day was a little bit harder to find my happy. Everything of ours that could be taken apart or down from the walls had been (except for the clock, of course) and everything that was not going to be eaten was packed! Our neighbors started to party around 2 in the afternoon: beers, yelling, and their new favorite game of stump (also known as nails or hammerslaugen). In that situation, I tried to zone them out however I could. My favorite photo editing app Afterlight added this new frame, and I used it to express me imagining I was in my happy place: California!

Wednesday, April 23rd 2014

That day we did a bit of wondering around downtown and at the end of it, my husband got me this cute little bouquet of flowers!

Thursday, April 24th 2014

After a day of final checks of everything being packed, everything ready to be moved, and everything in between – happiness was putting my feet up and watching Bob’s Burgers with the husband.

Friday, April 25th 2014

We got the keys to our new house! It’s kind of weird when you move into military housing – they show you the place after it’s been reserved for you – and you can either say you want it and take it that day, or say you do not AND back on the waitlist you go! Luckily – WE love it!

Saturday, April 26th 2014

MOVING DAY was absolutely hectic. My happiness was this photo that was sent to me by my mom, showing that no matter what home we have, our real home is always beautiful California.

Sunday, April 27th 2014

We unboxed everything, tried to put away what we could, tried to organize the furniture to the best of our abilities, AND we tried to recover from the previous day. Bottle of beer: well deserved!

Monday, April 28th 2014

I had put away the major things on Saturday, and Sunday was the day to put together the rest of the puzzle pieces. CHAOTIC indeed!

Tuesday, April 29th 2014

It was a rainy and gloomy day and was actually cooler – very much appreciated on my part! We started to venture around post (which even though we’ve lived in Kansas for a year, we hardly know our way around the actual post area) and it was really nice to just be driving around without a load of items in the car with us!

Wednesday, April 30th 2014

We said goodbye to our first Kansas home! It was cute, but very outdated. A lot of hard times were had in that house, but some very good visits with people we love happened there too!

If you would like to see my daily posts as it goes along, follow me @CameraKristen on Instagram! If you are taking part in the challenge or are thinking about it, let me know! Let’s be happy together! ♥