October 19, 2020

Me at 27

 I think Me at 25 is one of my most viewed posts, and I realized I skipped last year for some reason.

I also recognize I have been absent from here for a while, there will be a #CoffeeChat coming on that next week. :)


It's a strange age where I feel young and old. My youth comes into play during work meetings where forty-somethings talk about their kids and reference 80s pop culture and I just smile and nod because I'm unsure of what they're talking about. I feel old when I get a flat tire driving home from Wisconsin Dells with 3 out of 4 of my younger cousins in the car and I am in charge. I feel young because I still live at home and old because people look at me strange when I tell them that.

I have tried to look back at childhood-Layne and see what she would think of where we are now. Not even childhood, but 17-year old Layne, and I can't get a feel for her. I can't grasp her emotions though they once were my nest. I don't know what she would think or how she would feel. I wish I could turn back into her, or speak with her for a few minutes.

You've been doing a lot of pushing yourself to stop looking back and instead to look forward. It's not easy, but you're doing alright. The silver linings of the past are shining brighter each time you look, but don't let them blind you from your future.

You've done some pretty fucking cool things this year.

You started a BookTube channel where you talk about the things you're reading.

You went to the top of the Gateway Arch (and only cried a little bit.)

You went back to Kalahari for the first time in ten years.

You developed a love for Post Malone and saw him in concert.

You graduated with your Masters in Writing and Publishing.

You got out of the bookstore and into a desk job in the publishing industry.

Your mom got engaged!
(Even though you don't even look like you do in this photo anymore LOL)


you got this little fella:

and he gets in trouble for playing jungle gym in the kitchen. He loves playing with his cheeseballs, biting feet, and looking out the window.

Your favorite spin instructor tells your class this often:

You've been to the doctor to talk about your weight and overall health. After discussing the likely possibility of PCOS causing rapid weight gain, you started taking cycling classes at Revival Cycle and it's done good for you inside and out. There will be a whole post talking all about that in the #20Things series after your follow-up appt. :)

You had maybe five months of being 26 before the world shut down due to a global pandemic. When you go out, you need to wear a tase mask everywhere, wash/sanitize your hands, and stay six feet from each other. At the beginning of the pandemic, Tiger King was released and everybody on TikTok was making whipped coffee. Now, the economy is on the decline and the election happening in a few weeks is the vital. There's a bizarre balance between don't go out, we're in a pandemic and if I don't go to open places, they'll shut down. The world is in limbo. You've been working from home since March and struggling with your job a bit, but you're grateful to be working and not having to commute to the city for a bit.

Here is a playlist you'll be constantly adding to of songs that have shaped you and songs you don't want to forget.

I think that's everything. Equally as eventful as it was uneventful. Here's to 27!

July 16, 2020

Fourth of July on 35mm

In 2018, I used one disposable camera every month to document my year and it helped me realize I am horrible at shooting photos on film. That being said, after a full year and some change of practice, I pulled out a disposable camera for the Fourth of July this year. I've got another one coming for our trip to Wisconsin, so if these interest you click the Bloglovin' icon to the left of the post or subscribe via email tobe notified when a new post is published.

Gabby just chillin'. :)

My uncle always yells, "Serving!" when he hits it like this and I can hear his voice in this photo.

This is the happiest I have ever been with a roll of film. Due to some water damage, there are some streaks on the photos, but I think that just makes them look cooler. The weather was perfect this day and everyone's faces are so genuine.

The next two are two of my favorites:

The Fourth of July is always very overrated for me because we never do anything at night. There's no draw for me to go see fireworks surround by kids while being eaten alive by mosquitos. This year, due to fests and fireworks being cancelled, my family and I were able to spend the evening together and night swim which is something we haven't done in years.

May 6, 2020

Washington D.C. · Day Three

Day Three! The final day of the trip and although there were things I loved from every day, this was my favorite day of activities. During our second day, we went to a lot more museums than anticipated. So many that we looked for other activities to take part in, like a movie, because we were way ahead of our loose schedule. 
We kicked off day three at the Capitol. When going in, visitors are invited to prepare to join tour groups. All tours take place with headsets on and group by group we walk through the Capitol with a guide to talk us through what we're seeing.

Through this post, I'm going to try to post the facts I learned on the tour. If anything is incorrect, please feel free to correct it in the comments. Everything is strategic and everything symbolizes something in the building, and I'm going to try to get everything right.

In the lobby, there are statues surrounding where the line is leading to the old Statue of Freedom which was starting to crumble when it stood on top of the Capitol, so it is now inside. I found this interesting PDF that explains the rest of the people in the Capitol Visitor Center.

One of our first stops was the Crypt. I believe this is the center of the building and was supposed to be Washington's resting place. However, Washington died before it was finished and he is buried at Mount Vernon.

We visited some original chambers that aren't currently used for sessions, but would have been around Jefferson's time.

These two are at the National Statuary Hall, which used to be the old Hall for the House of Representatives. One of them is writing everything in stone to keep the room to emphasize the weight of laws and I believe the other is representative of Justice, but don't quote me on that.

Finally, we reached the Rotunda and no photos can do it justice. The Rotunda is the dome of the building and below is the artwork on the ceiling. I've linked some information about the Rotunda because I cannot begin to cover it. 

If there is ever a funeral for a President, they hold the casket in the center of the Rotunda, which is roped off in respect. 
The Frieze is located at the bottom of the dome and depicts the history of America beginning in 1492 and ending in 1903 with the Wright Brothers.
All of the paintings in the Rotunda are hung to be facing specific directions. If you have the time to research or the opportunity to visit, it's amazing how purposeful everything is. 

I ate this really cool dessert that I have been dreaming about since I have been home.

Not initially on our agenda, but used as a time-filler, we headed to the Museum of Natural History. Comparable to the Field Museum in Chicago, it focuses on history and science. I definitely thrive harder in the American History museum surrounded by pop culture, but it was cool to visit a place so renowned with so many cool things I've heard about, but didn't think I'd ever see.

Lucy was one of the exhibits I was most interested in. She's the first human skeleton that was found and, although she is mildly scary, she is also very cool.

I LOVE MUMMIES. Ever since I read The Egypt Game in elementary school, I've been fascinated with it. It was interesting to read up on some of the history that Egypt has to offer.

Personally, I think the coolest part as the Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals. This is the only clear photo I have of it, the Hope Diamond. The hall is broken up into all different stones and because my birthstone is Opal it was fascinating to see it in different light and all of the different types of Opal that exist.

I have been trying to keep track of the restaurants we ate at, but I honestly don't remember what we ate on the third day, but other than eating lunch at the cafeteria in the Capitol, I don't remember what else we had. I want to say after Bloc Party was a pizza delivery debacle, but if I can confirm that I will talk about it in the upcoming post about seeing Bloc Party live.

Going through these photos has been a relief in the time of quarantine and has me yearning to get out and see new things. I've been doing a lot of self evaluating and reflection while being stuck inside, which has been extremely beneficial for my mental health and well-being. It was really nice to reflect on the trip, everything we did, and all the fun that was had. 

I hope you're all doing well and I will talk to you soon. <3