The official introduction to the hedgies.

My new lens has been perfect for catching the little guys being cute.  They are a little camera shy, and duck their heads any time they hear the shutter.  But now, I can set the shutter speed much faster.  No more blurry pictures of them hiding their cute faces from me!

This is Dexter, he is 7 months old, and quite the chunk.   He loves food.  No matter how sleepy, grumpy, or full, he will always pop his head out for noms.  And he’ll try everything.  Scrambled eggs, kale, mealworms… pretty much anything.  He is also exceedingly lazy.   He runs on his wheel sometimes, but mostly he likes to lay on it.


And this is Chance.  He is 4, and is the “track star”.  As soon as the sun goes down, he runs.  And runs and runs and runs and runs.  He isn’t as much of a snuggler, but when he gets the chance, he loves exploring everywhere in my apartment.

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The new lens.

I splurged a little.  After some hefty consideration and internet research, I decided to buy myself a new camera lens.  I headed over to Best Buy, with a few years worth of gift cards in hand, and bought this guy.  I feel like it needs a name.  Any suggestions?

With my new lens and a quick burst of warm spring-like weather, I headed out to the only outdoorsy place I know in Erie.  (I need to explore more.)

I am so happy I bought it.  It has great detail and amazing depth. Below are 3 unedited images taken with different  settings.  I didn’t realize how much of a difference the aperture can make.   I love the way the f/1.8 looks.  It brings all of the attention to the subject, giving it so much more detail.




f/2.5 – The difference between 1.8 and 2.5 is small, but you can definitely tell



Here are some other shots from around Presque Isle.  I had not been out there at all this winter, and didn’t realize how much the lake froze.  The ice came onto the coast in waves, creating a 2nd coastline of ice.  I didn’t realize that I was standing on the “ice coast” until a nice gentleman warned me to move unless I planned on swimming that day.  It felt sturdy, but he was probably right.  It was so warm out,  any crack could have easily opened up, and I would have been out to sea.  With all the big ice chunks floating, I secretly was hoping a narwhal would pop out saying “Bye Buddy, hope you find your dad!”  No such luck.  But I wonder if I could have hitched an ice raft to Canada…

Ice cliff

This guy must have not been warned  about the ice yet…



Further down the drive on the island is a little bay filled with tiny floating houses – probably 2 dozen of them.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  Just little trailer-like houses on dock rafts, sitting in the middle of the bay, dormant for the winter.

floating houses edit


When you drive in (or out, in this case) of Presque Isle, there is a theme/water park.  I’ve only seen it shut down in the winter, and it looks pretty cool all abandoned.  I’d love to get in there during the off season, and take pictures of everything, but I would probably be arrested for trespassing.  So instead, I just grabbed a picture on the drive out.  (For my mom who is probably reading this:  Don’t worry, I wasn’t driving 🙂 )


Merry Christmas from “the boys”!

For the family Christmas card this year, we decided to put holiday pictures of our new friends!  I will have to put up another post with more pictures of these guys – they are so stinkin’ adorable.

But for now, Merry Christmas from our furry (and prickly) family!!


– Chance and Dexter


– Marco

Decking the halls.

Decking the halls.

Not a whole lot makes me happier than Christmas decorations (especially lights). Something about them just makes me all cozy. I think thats one of the reasons I love the holiday season. As soon as I got back to Erie after Thanksgiving, I started decking out the apartment. The thing I love most about my decorations is that most of them are from my family. Whether it was a hand-me-down from my mom (who probably ran out of room in the house because she has quite a few decorations…), or a nativity set that was my grandma’s, each bit of it has a story. It is comforting, especially these last few weeks of the semester when it seems like going home is forever away.

A little fresh air

Quick, guess where I am:

Did you guess Erie?  Probably not.  Pretty beaches and sun aren’t the first things you think of with Erie, but they are here!  After being a diligent student and not getting outside much, I decided it was time for some fresh air.  Took a little drive around Presque Isle and got my fix of the lake and sun.  It is awesome to have this escape so close.

Note:  Because it was such a spontaneous trip, I did not have my good camera on me, so these are all from my phone.  Not bad, and I got to try out the new panorama setting!  Fun 🙂

A long overdue update.

It has been a really long time since I’ve posted on here.  I got out of the habit. I felt like I was behind and had to catch up on every detail that had happened.  But today I decided I’m not going to do that.  I’m keeping with why I started this blog in the first place – to take a step back and appreciate life as everything changes around me.  And right now seems like a good time to do that – so much has happened in the past few weeks.   The big change has been getting accepted into school and starting that new adventure!  Now if all goes well, I will be a physician in 5 years 🙂  I have wanted this so badly, and can’t believe it is actually happening.  It has been a long haul, and will continue to be one, but I’m loving it.  I love what I am learning.   It is so exciting to piece together what I have learned in undergrad with my research experience and clinical knowledge I’m gaining.  I was watching a medical show the other day, and got so excited because I knew the technical terms they were talking about.  I felt like a nerd, but then I realized that I really am in the right place if this makes me so happy.

The building that my classes are in is really pretty and is set in a woodsy area a stones throw from the lake.

The classroom is a conference room style, and sometimes out of the windows we see turkeys.

And then theres the studying, which involves a lot of dry erase markers and arrows, and weird drawings…

There is also a Wegman’s nearby which makes everything better.

And this town really knows how to decorate for Halloween.

There have been so many good and exciting changes – starting school, making new friends, and feeling like I’m where I am supposed to be.  But there have been some rough spots too.  The big ones were putting down my dog, Angel, and my hedgehog, Shelby.  Angel was 16, so I can’t complain, but it was still really tough.  She was a wonderful dog and spoiled rotten :p  Shelby had a large tumor in her jaw that was affecting her ability to eat and drink, and the vet and I decided that it wasn’t fair to her anymore.  Anyone who has had pets knows how hard it is to put an animal down.  They become such an important part of your life and family, and leave such a gaping hole when they are gone.

So here’s to Angel.  My buddy since I’ve been 9 who never failed to make me laugh and loved me and my family unconditionally.

And Shelby.  I only had her for a year, but she brought me so much happiness in that short time.