30 December 2013

Facing 2014

I can't seem to get a thought down. I love my blog. I love LT&C. I look back at my old posts, and sometimes it's as if a different person wrote them. Well, in a way they did. Clare as of December 30, 2013 is not the same Clare who traveled to Tanzania and started this blog. In college, I felt so safe. It was easy to write my thoughts down on the internet and not give a care as to the repercussions. That doesn't just apply to blogging. Everything felt safer. Then I graduated college. Now, I'm about to enter to 2014. Minus a few weddings, birthdays and due dates, there isn't much written in the calendar for the year ahead. Is that ok? Sure. Is it scary as hell? You betcha.

But you know what's worst than being scared? Refusing look your fears right in the eye and give them a big mean look back. I've spent this last part of 2013 feeling scared. Feeling hidden and looked past. Watching the world go by and feeling more like an observer than an active participant. It can't keep going on like this. The girl who started LT&C back in 2010 would be disappointed. So, 2014. I'm ready for ya. Excited. Curious. Nervous. If I'm scared, I definitely won't be showing it.


16 December 2013

Camping is in-tents


That's how most people responded when I told them my family had decided to spend a night camping in late November. I understand the confusion. It's very, very cold outside. Camping isn't necessarily a luxurious way to spend a night... but it sure was fun. 

The day after Thanksgiving, my Dad + sister + brother + their SO's + my niece + I drove to Amicalola Falls State Park, about thirty minutes from Jasper and Dawsonville. We bypassed the cabins and headed deep into the woods where we found a wonderfully preserved campsite, complete with a firepit, tree hooks and even a toilet lid balanced on 2x4's. No thanks. But luckily, I have some great family friends who lent us some camping supplies to go along with our meager belongings. Did I mention it was cold? I wore three pairs of pants/leggings, three tops + a jacket, UGG's, and a fluffy hat that I became incredibly grateful for.

looking west: view from the ridge
sister smiles: before the temperature dropped
Isabella's fire sticks: pine needles & leaves wrapped in newspaper. She's brilliant! 
dinner is served: beans & burgers on the "grill"
A lot of people try to escape their family, but luckily we enjoy our time together. We put the cellphones away (even though we had service...) and spent the time focusing on things we usually take for granted: the automatic flame on the grill, the knobs on the stove top, indoor lighting, comfy couches... But it was a special night. We drank hot chocolate, listened to music, told stories, and did our best to stay warm. For my 10-year-old niece, obsessed with Minecraft and One Direction, a night in the woods offers an peacefulness that she rarely experiences. Heck, it offered all of us some peacefulness.

The whistling of the wind through the valley all night? I could do without. But the stars? I hadn't seen them shine like that in quite a while. 

09 December 2013

2013 Christmas Card

Merry Christmas from the Callahan family! 

Photos (starting top left, clockwise): 
  • Natalie & Clare in Santorini;
  • Joy, Whit, Clare, Natalie in Cabo San Lucas; 
  • Joy & Whit at the Alabama/VT game; 
  • Clare & Natalie @ UGA Graduation; 
  • Darren, Isabella, Clare, Whit & Natalie camping @ Amicalola Falls; 
  • Natalie, Clare, Joy & Mammaw @ UGA Graduation

05 December 2013

A Year in Song

The end of the year signifies a time for celebration, reflection and luckily... the arrival of some great mashup videos. The recent trend of year long musical highlight reels (mashups have existed for decades) started back in 2008 when DJ Earworm released United State of Pop: Viva La Pop. Each year since, he's released a new United State of Pop, Blame it on the Pop, Don't Stop the Pop, World Go Boom, and Shine Brighter.

Here's my favorite. 2009 United State of Pop: Blame It on the Pop

Each video has a specific feeling, but they all celebrate love and happiness. That's kind of the point of music, after all. This year, DJ Earworm doesn't disappoint with 2013 United State of Pop: Living the Fantasy. He pulls the name from Lorde's "Royals". I believe it's the first year that a country group appeared in the video with Florida Georgia Line and Nelly (Taylor Swift doesn't entirely count). It's been a pretty cool year for music. Anyway, it's pretty intriguing to think about what the video could mean as a frozen moment of culture. DJ Earworm isn't trying to change the world with mashups, but he's showing us the world in a pretty cool way.

As if THAT wasn't enough, Pop Danthology came in and stepped up the game, combining 68 songs into a six-minute mashup. Some of the songs are the same as Earworm's 2013, it's inevitable, but still highly enjoyable. Decide amongst yourselves.

Thanks for the music and the memories, 2013. Let's just hope "What Does The Fox Say" stays behind... along with those Miley Cyrus cartoon bears.