I have been meaning to post this for over a week, but I’ve been a little distracted! My sister, Karissa, and her boyfriend, James, were featured in the Houston farmer’s market newsletter recently! They have a thriving business growing & selling sprouts and are planning to expand the business in several exciting ways (stay tuned!). After her years in culinary school, Karissa is truly an artist at creating recipes that are true to a raw food diet, but still taste amazing and I find myself often wishing she were closer (for a million reasons, not the least of which is that she would be so good for my waistline!). I’ve asked her for a few fabulous recipes that are easy, healthy, and taste really good and I promise to share them when they arrive!

If you would like to view the entire newsletter, click here.

farmers market newsletter clip

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  • KarissaMay 26, 2009 - 10:45 am

    Oh, Cindy… Little do you know you have always been my inspiration!!! I love you!

Today began the last week of classes and the phrase of the day was, “Today is the first day of the end of the last part of our lives!” (I assure you that, by the time you reach the end of law school, what you find witty and hilarious becomes far removed from what the rest of the general population finds witty and hilarious…). As much I am SOOOOO looking forward to school being behind me, with all of the buzz about the end today, I found myself feeling very aware of the passage of time and the change that the passage brings. I’ve been struck by this quite a bit lately- maybe because I turned 31 last month (which hit much harder than 30 for some reason) or maybe because I’m looking at the end of a four year journey with a much different finale than I’d imagined when I began it…

I grew up a Navy “brat.” While we didn’t move as often as many military families, we did it often enough to become accustomed to new schools and faces and to be intimately familiar with the range of emotions that change brings along as its playmates. In my twenties, a change in geography was my solution for nearly every problem and if I couldn’t move, I tended to dye my hair a strange color (the longest lasting of which were the cobalt blue “highlights” I kept for some time). You would think that by now I would have embraced change fully and completely, or at least grown very comfortable with it. But I haven’t.

I love the life that I’m leading. I love where I’m headed. I have no regrets about the paths that I took to bring me here. But sometimes I find myself surprised when I realize that I’ve left my twenties behind me. I did ‘em up right, so I wouldn’t want to go back- I really do embrace my thirties and am so excited about what they hold in store for me- but it still doesn’t take the shock away from the realization that they are gone. I don’t feel that different! I wonder at high school being so long ago when I remember it so clearly. How friendships that I believed would last forever have faded, not out of spite, but out of time and life and distance. I catch myself looking somewhat disapprovingly at the hemline worn by an undergrad on campus or thinking that “that Hannah Montana” is a twit with an attitude problem and wonder when it happened exactly that I became a different generation.

I started law school in the fall of 2005 (yes, I took four years instead of three…it’s a long-ish story). Justin and I had just moved to Chapel Hill from Bryson City, and I was just months out of chemotherapy. Justin was in nursing school, Pickle still acted like a puppy, and we were so broke that our vacation was a trip to Ocracoke Island where we could camp for $3/day and we ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches the entire time. I never would have guessed that by the time I was finished, we would buy a house, get married, and survived a few more trials and tribulations. It’s wonderful and exciting, but it doesn’t keep it from throwing me a little off balance when I realize how quickly it’s moving. The glory in that realization, though, is the reminder that it serves to pay close attention. When change came growing up, I always pushed the discomfort away until I could look back with less pain or longing.

As an adult, I think that there might be something to feeling it while its happening, embracing the discomfort, and acknowledging the shift from one stage of life into the next. I have spent four years awaiting the end of law school. Now that it’s here, while I am insanely excited, I can’t deny the butterflies of uncertainty in my stomach that come with the unknown future looming. But today is the first day of the end of the last part of my life and I have faith that the next part will be even better.

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This happens to me for some reason. When I am most in need of rest and have a stack of “to dos” a mile high that require alertness and concentration, I find myself waking up every few hours staring at the ceiling and watching my precious minutes to sleep slip away in the eerie blue glow of my digital alarm clock. If I lay there too long unable to slide back to sleep, I just get up. Better to while away the wee hours doing something rather than just watching helplessly as they pass!

So with finals looming and an overwhelming amount of work due this week and next (let’s not even talk about my taxes!), here I am sitting at my computer when I should be fast asleep. I finally gave up and got out of bed about two hours ago, fully intending to wrap up a class assignment and finish my tax return. Instead, I found myself re-organizing the shelves in my office and finally putting the old family photos that I’ve been going through into their new archival boxes. Because that’s what one does at 3am the week before finals begin, right?!? Sometimes I exasperate even myself.

But as I carefully removed the images from 1943 of my grandmother holding her first-born from the pages of one of those horrible sticky album pages, and slid the portraits of the two-year-old version of my Mom’s oldest brother into acid free protective pockets, I had one of those quiet, profound moments where I could feel my roots deeply, that timeless and unbreakable connection to family. I never met my uncle Alan. He died at the age of 23 far from his family and friends in Vietnam, one of the 58,000 men whose name is etched on a wall in D.C.. As I put those portraits of him into the pockets, I thought about my grandparents and how proud they must have been, walking into that photographer’s studio with their son. They were young and freshly married, my grandfather finally home from the war in the Pacific. I imagine that they still had all of their dreams for their lives and for their children still intact as they held Alan’s hand and placed him in front of that camera.

It struck me that, even having never met him, I know Alan. I recognize the shape of his eyes…they are the same ones that my grandfather and my uncle Rick looked at me through. My brother, Mat, has shades of that shape as well. I’ve seen these photos a thousand times, along with the rest of the ones going into that box…the one of him with my Mom and Pam, and the one of him as an alter boy. I recognize the photos of him in his army uniform as well as those of the family accepting his posthumous bronze star. I know him, not just through stories of remembrance, but because I can picture his eyes and his smile…because of those photos I’ve seen so many times.

In my moments of doubt and self-critique, I sometimes wonder whether my decision not to practice law is one of cowardice, that maybe it’s because I’m not strong enough or brave enough to get out there and fight for those without a voice. But as I looked at the images of my family, my foundation, my roots, tonight, I was reminded of others without a voice. Ghosts whose images haunt us because a photographer, amateur or otherwise, caught them for us, so that we can’t forget, so that we have something to hang onto after the voice is silent. I’m so grateful to the photographers who kept Alan alive so that I could know him too.

I know in my depths that I’ve made the right decision. Life is so unexpected, in both blessings and hardships- to be able to capture a look, a laugh, a moment with a loved one is such a gift. I may never argue before a jury and make Atticus Finch proud, but it’s not cowardice…it’s just the call of other voices.

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  • edJune 11, 2009 - 2:37 am

    Cindy, how ironic. I couldn’t sleep so i turned on the mac. scanning websites, wondering which style i should use to replace my tired one. I start with yours, but get offtrack to the blog. I read that at 3 am (you couldn’t sleep either) you wrote about Alan. What a handsome, friendly looking fellow. I’m sorry you never met him. Wish I could have met him. He would be my age +/-. I care for and apprecitate him and others from my Scout Troop, my church and school who gave their lives in Viet Nam. That was such a nasty and twisted war. We have little to show for it, other than the love, pride and sacrifice that was given so selflessly by those like your Uncle Alan. Now–I’m not sure that choosing a new website is so important for now. Hope you’re well and thank you for scanning and sharing Alan’s portrait with us. EdReplyCancel

While today is actually Emma’s 8th birthday, yesterday she celebrated with her friends by having a “hip-hop dance” party at a local dance studio. Amidst yummy vegan cupcakes and the Cheetah Girls, we spent a fun couple of hours gettin’ down in honor of Emma’s big day!


You know how much I love snacks!

There’s just nothing like a few good friends…

Blow, Emma, blow!


Happy birthday, Emma!

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  • Kate TurlingtonApril 23, 2009 - 10:34 pm

    Cindy, I love the birthday party photos, and Emma, You Go, Girl!!!ReplyCancel

I am so excited to announce that- finally- the shiny new website is up! There is much “tweaking” still to be done and galleries to be added, but my goal had been to launch by April 1 (no fooling!) and I think that it’s fair to say that the goal was accomplished! You can check it out here.


I have so much I’d like to write about and slideshows that I’d like to finish and post, but I must beg your patience for 28 more days. April must be dedicated to the completion of my law school experience and since I’ve given academics a back seat to photography over the last few months, I certainly have my work cut out for me! I foresee many late nights and strong pots of coffee in my immediate future, but as of April 29 at 5pm, it won’t be coffee we’ll be drinking!:)So hang with me for just a little longer…I will write and update when I can and after the 29th, I promise to make it up to you!

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