My photos in October continue to showcase the moments of my week when I can focus on reducing my stress and thinking about ways to relax and find joy. I tried to capture the beauties outside of my apartment- in Riverside park. I like that in these photos we can start to see flowers growing and the fall foliage changing. These walks are going to symbolize the seasons changing. One photo shows my sneaker next to the flower on my walk. I am finding it harder and harder to take walks, especially alone, as my days are so busy at school. I wanted to remind myself and the audience that there are moments where I am still walking and enjoying my time outside, even when it is hard to prioritize. The picture of the pizza is what we can call "his and hers". My boyfriend often makes me dinner during the week and he knows that I love black olives, while he hates them. He only put them on half the pie so that we would both enjoy it. This one small act represents thoughtfulness and care. Our dinners together, along with our walks, bring me calm and joy throughout the weeks.
As the months go on, I am realizing more and more that my two themes - cooking and walking are merging into one theme. Time spent with Scott is generally the most relaxing part of my week. Whether we are out walking or cooking dinner together, it is the part that brings me calm and joy. I tried to incorporate our faces more and the faces of the dogs so that we can build more of the character behind the story. We have spent time exploring local parks. I especially like the fall foliage and the way the sunlight is incorporated into the pictures of the trees and leaves. Leann had suggested to me that photographers incorporate the sun into their photographs as a way of showcasing joy. The sun in my November pictures can be seen coming through the trees and setting over the river near my apartment. I sometimes don't have the opportunity to go outside for fresh air until the sun is setting so it is important for me to capture those times of day when I do push myself to get outside. The pictures during daylight are on weekends when Scott and I have the chance to enjoy the fresh air earlier in the day. I still am enjoying seeing how the nature and outside environment is changing with the seasons and as a result, my pictures are changing with them!
Added Text from December 6
Due to COVID, I made my first ever Thanksgiving this year. Usually I spend the holiday with my family either in Maryland or in New York. Since I did not have sufficient time to quarantine and get tested between the holiday and teaching my students in person, I was stuck in NY. I decided to make the holiday feel as "home-y" as possible so I cooked for over 5 hours and made a feast for two! Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato pie, green bean casserole, roasted veggies, cranberry sauce and apple pie. Scott and the dogs joined me in my apartment and we enjoyed the afternoon together. It wasn't the same but such is 2020!
Looking back at December, it was a chance to celebrate Hanukkah during a pandemic and to celebrate my 1 year of meeting Scott. Life continues more on the same path- going back and forth between teaching in person and teaching from home. One of my students tested positive which sent me into quarantine. Although I had to pivot overnight and work from home, I was able to self-isolate for a longer period of time leading up to winter break, which allowed me to visit my grandparents safely in person. I had not seen my grandparents since December 2019 so this in person visit was very important.
As the months go on, I am becoming more comfortable with dogs- I am even able to walk them on my own now!
December was filled with lots of cooking- latkes, donuts, dinners for 2... candle lighting and lots of time on Zoom- both with my students and my family.
I am lucky to have had a break from school for a few weeks for winter break and to have been able to see my family in a safe and socially distant way.
During the month of February, things started to become a bit more hopeful. I received the second dose of my vaccine and celebrated a special weekend away with Scott. We drove to the Poconos to an AirbnB where we had the chance to bond. We had time to read, relax in the hot tub, make s'mores together and hike in the snow. February also had its stressful moments with parent teacher conferences. The photo of all the food packages on the table is of Shabbat dinner that my mom sent me from a local supermarket. In a week of having too many meetings, my mom stepped in and took cooking Shabbat food off my plate. Very appreciated!
March has been an exciting month. We celebrated Purim together- this is significant because it is actually our second time celebrating Purim together during our relationship. We are starting to create traditions and memories associated with these holidays. We joined megillah reading on Zoom and made hamantaschen together. Since March has started, we have also started apartment hunting. The photo of Scott and our real estate agent in one of our potential apartments, signifies the beginning of our new home together. The apartment hunt is on! Scott got me these flowers and a card to thank me for doing so much research on the apartment search which is very sweet. On top of apartment hunting I am also job hunting so things are gearing up and becoming very busy! I'm looking forward to my spring break at the end of March.