Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Today is the day I start writing again, officially (whoever is taking note). You know why? There's only 3 weeks until I leave for Thailand!! I'd love to stay current on the blog and have it be something that my loved ones find interesting and helpful.

Today started out like many Christmases. I woke up to the brothers jumping around and whispering that Santa had come and left x amount of presents under the stockings. It's probably Eli's last year to believe in Santa so this year was a big one! We all worked pretty hard to keep up the secret. This year marked my last stocking year, I presume. [Also the last year of dental and vision care/insurance on mom and dad's dime, etc.] This year was different because we celebrated in the comfort of our own home. Usually we celebrate at Grandma Curry's house in Oklahoma (miss you, Grandma). To celebrate the new tradition and new gifts, however, I made a Google+ "Event" for the Hill Family Christmas. My dad and sister and I all uploaded photos to the event as it was happening with our new smart devices which was incredibly spiffy and fun. I can imagine the events feature to be quite useful in the future! Who actually gets pictures they take posted or sent to you in a decent amount of time the "old" way? And let's face it... our favorite pics are often the ones that include us and those pictures are trapped in everyone else's cameras. We'll see how this Google+ thing continues to pan out. I have definitely seen a recent augmentation as people leave facebook.

Speaking of cameras and technology in general, this was one of the best Christmases I can remember for many reasons. Not only did my mom make the most fantastic dinner and did we get to play Spades (I lost) and sit in our PJs for the whole day, but mom did an amazing job--as usual-- in picking the perfect gifts. Here's my list, in case anyone is interested:

  • Nexus 7 case and screen protector
  • 500G External HD (super portable-- for Thailand)
  • Charging block for my electronics (super portable-- perfect for plane rides and Bangkok excursions)
  • Headlamp flashlight (I borrowed mom's all summer-- they're the best)
  • ....and best of all.... my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7! She's quite a beauty: 
I asked mom for a nicer camera for Thailand so I would have an easier time taking pictures that weren't as blurry when I twitched, that were better in low light, that had fun filters, and that boasted a faster shutter speed. This camera does all of that and more. I don't want to sound like a commercial, but I highly suggest this camera for anyone that wants to learn more about the fancy camera stuff, take amazing pics for a point-and-shoot, and yet be able to use many of the simpler settings and features for good pictures straight out of the box (see Christmas tree picture above). A very important feature to me is that I can strap the camera around my neck/shoulder. I have already used it so much more because of it! The only problem is not wanting to take it off for things I shouldn't wear it near (washing dishes, i.e.). I already know that this will be the perfect travel companion in Thailand and when I return. Thanks mom :)

I would love to come up with a system for posts like +Aaron Gillespie 's Column, but I'm just not there yet. What do you do when you love travel, technology, music education, music therapy, crafts, etc? There's not a great set-up that comes to mind. For now, I'll probably post like a diary. Having said that, I can end when I feel like it, even if things aren't entirely wrapped up. 

'Twas a great Christmas and I am so excited/anxious for the future. 

--M