Thursday, November 29, 2012

Senior Thesis

Senior Thesis.  The project feared and dreaded by the underclassmen, anticipated by the juniors, and worked on and completed by the seniors. My class started thinking of ideas last spring and we are now right in the thick of it.

We were told to pick something that really interested us, a research question that we truly wanted to know the answer to. I debated several topics, photography-related, Harry Potter/literature-related, faith-related. And finally I settled on one.

But before I tell you exactly what I picked I want to give you a brief background story to explain why I picked what I did.

Two years ago I was having some...well let's just call them women's health issues. My pediatrician, who I've been going to since I was a little kid, wanted to prescribe me to the birth control pill. She told me it was the best way to fix my problem and help my body get back to "normal". She also assured me that a lot of teen girls take this pill to help with the same or similar problems. My mom was skeptical and didn't want to throw me on a medicine she didn't know much about without at least a second professional medical opinion. So a few weeks later I found myself siting in a different doctor's office, this time being seen by my mom's GYN.

This doctor listened to us, examined me, and then told me, to my face, that going on oral contraceptives would literally be the worst possible thing I could do for my body. She said that all the artificial hormones would do would be to cover up the problem, but not really fix anything, and in the mean time wreak havoc in my body.

Here I was faced with two completely opposite answers, both from good doctors who care about their patients. Which one was right? Were both a little extreme, could there be a middle ground? As it is I didn't go on the oral contraceptives, and everything is fine now. In fact until this past spring I hadn't really even thought about this experience too much.

But one day, when I was thinking of a thesis topic, I remembered this experience. Two doctors, saying drastically polar opposite things, about a medicine that is very commonly prescribed to many, many teen girls and women. I wanted to find out which doctor was more right. And so, my research began. At first my topic was simply Oral Contraceptives, and my question was something about "Are Oral Contraceptives more Harmful or Beneficial to a Woman's Health?" But as I doing my research for the literature review (the first part of a thesis), and I was thinking ahead to the second part of the thesis (the original research that you have to conduct yourself), I realized I had to modify my topic and question.

My research showed me that my original question was already answered by hundreds of studies, and sources that were reliable, and true. I compared the information I found, with the information given to women in books at my local library and Planned Parenthood's website. Through my research I discovered that there is a lot of information that is not commonly known about a medicine that is commonly used. At least, through my research it seems that a lot of information isn't common knowledge. That's where my original research (my survey) comes into play. My topic now is Oral Contraceptives and the Informed Consent of Women. What do I want to know ? I want to know how many woman are truly informed about the three ways birth control pills work in their body to prevent full-term pregnancy (most people are unaware of the third mechanism of action), and how the pill will effect their body, short term and long term.

I'm conducting my research via survey and it's geared specifically toward women who used to use oral contraceptives and have since stopped for any reason. My entire thesis is strictly medical (I know there is a lot of controversy on whether or not birth control is morally right).

So why am I posting this on my blog? Well one I wanted to share with you, and two I wanted to get word out about my survey. I'm asking all of you, do you know anybody that used to use oral contraceptives and have since stopped? Could you possible send them the link to my survey? If you used to use the birth control pill, would you consider taking my survey? Please, please, please do not take my survey unless you used to use the pill. This research is vital to my thesis and I greatly appreciate your help and time. I know birth control can be a delicate topic so I want to assure you that the survey is completely anonymous and no private information is required.

The survey can be found here:

If any of you are interested in reading my thesis when it's all done (mid-Feb.) send me your e-mail address and I'll send the survey to you when it's done. You can shoot me an e-mail at:

Thank you so much for help and time.  My thesis is really important and special to me, and I've invested hours and hours in it over the past few months and will continue to do so until my final presentation in March. Since my originial reserach (the survey) is a huge part of my thesis, you have no idea how appreciative I am to everyone is able and willing to take it and pass it on.

And if you are just one of my normal readers, thank you for bearing with me on this abnormal post :)

~Mary Kate Anthony

Monday, November 26, 2012

Snowless Cold

I keep hearing about all this snow in different places and I'm not gonna lie, 
it's making me very jealous. 
You see, 
I really adore snow.
  I like to live by a philosophy that 
there is no point in it being cold outside
 if it's not going to snow.
 Sadly, our weather doesn't seem to agree with me.

 So to make myself feel slightly better, I went through my photos from last winter and found a few treasures that I had never done anything with. 
Although all it's done is make me want snow even more.

Enjoy these lovelies from last year. 

~Mary Kate

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankful // A-Z

An Anthology of Thanks | Hannah Nicole
Hannah from Hannah Nicole, had the wonderful idea of writing an anthology of thanks from A to Z and she added a link-up. It's such a good idea to sit down and think about this past year and what you're thankful for. 
 Here's mine:

amazing people in my life. adventures.
blessings big and normal
childhood: the sweet innocence, raw excitement, pure hearts, and abundant joy. 
disney planning, it's been almost five years and we're so excited to be going back.
enjoying life to the fullest.
forgiveness and redemption.
gift of giving.
ignite, the most special and perfect youth group ever.
joyful celebrations.
kisses from a certain little two year old.
laughter, loud and quiet, great big, belly-shaking laughs and small, soft, half-hidden giggles.
memories that make our history, that tell our story, that give way to smiles and tears.
november: birthdays, thanksgiving.
orange juice. oreos. one direction
photographs. pillows. piano music.
quiet times, rare, and treasured.
rosaries. roses. rose perfume. my sister Rose.
silly & sweet siblings.
traveling to many places. California: TAC and Napa Valley, NYC, Ocean City, NJ, CT, and camping in New York.
unusual surprises,
vacations with family filled with special memories and good times.
water: rain, streams, lakes, oceans, ice water, water in general.
youngsters. adorable, mischievous, completely lovable.
zoo trips. zebras. 

How was your Thanksgiving?  What are you thankful for?
~Mary Kate 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I Will Not Be Afraid

I wanna be reckless
Cause You are endless
I wanna be shameless
And shout Your greatness
I will not be afraid
To surrender my way
And follow who You are
I wanna be reckless, reckless
                               (Reckless // Jeremy Camp)

As I drove to work today I turned the radio on. I wasn't really paying attention to the music playing, my thoughts were occupied with driving, and the mountain of homework and editing I had for the weekend.  

But all of sudden I heard the words I will not be afraid, To surrender my way. 

My attention turned completely to the song as the words hit home. 

I wanna be reckless, Cause You are endless.

 And follow who You are, I wanna be reckless, reckless.

 Right now I'm trying to figure where God wants me. I'm completely torn between two amazing colleges and I want to choose the right one for me. The one God wants me at. 

As I listened to the song, I realized I needed to let go of my fears and concerns. I love both colleges but sometimes I get myself worried about different aspects of each college. Or about college in general. 

How am I going to handle all the work? Will I feel at home right away and become great friends with people right away? Will I still have time for my photography?

I will not be afraid.

Cause You are endless.

Such a simple reminder. I will flourish where ever God wants me at.

Trust Him. Follow Him.  
 And I will not be afraid. 

~Mary Kate

(song -> Reckless // Jeremy Camp)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Emily // Senior

A few weeks ago I met up with an awesome girl in Gettysburg. Emily is funny, motherly, beautiful and a great friend.

We took her pictures on a sunny, windy, and stunning October day right at the peak of the fall colors.

I'm entering the above photo in this photo challenge .

~Mary Kate

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Ever since we got Joey's costume a few weeks ago he would ask every day "When we go trick-or-treat?" in his adorable two year old voice. He was beyond excited when the 31st finally came and we told him that today we were going trick-or-treating.

Cecilia debated participating this year, but after hearing that most of classmates were planing on trick-or-treating and one of her good friends from our parish was as well, she decided to go too. Our family split into two groups this year as the older kids wanted to go with friends and the younger kids wanted to go to our Grandparent's neighborhood.

Our crew consisted of a Masquerade Ball person named Evelyn, a Mad Scientist, a 1920s Newsboy, Princess Aurora, Mickey Mouse and an M&M. At Grandma's house a little Lion joined the younger kids.

After dropping off the older kids we went to Grandma and Papa's house where I stayed back and helped hand out candy with my grandmother while Papa and my parents took the little kids out. It was a wonderful evening and everyone had a blast.

Add caption

And since Halloween, everyday Joey asks "Can I have my trick-or-treat?" He asks when he wakes up in the morning, and he asks after he eats breakfast and then he asks before lunch and then he can finally have his "trick-or-treat" (his candy) after lunch. :)

~Mary Kate

Friday, November 2, 2012


Today I turned 17. A year ago I wrote about my sweet sixteen birthday party. I can't believe this year has gone by all ready. I don't know what it is about that small change in digits, but seventeen just seems so much older than sixteen. It's like I've crossed this invisible line between the very end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. I've crossed over to the second-half of my teenage years.

Maybe it seems so different is because I know this is my last birthday I'll be celebrating at home (at least for the next four years). Or because I know my mom met my dad when she was seventeen. Maybe it's because I know that while I'm seventeen I'll graduate high school and go to college.

So much happened in one year. I learned how to drive, I saw NYC for the first time, I took my first newborn, senior, and family pictures, navigated five airports by myself when I flew to CA and back home again all alone, rode a 10 hour train by myself, took both the SAT and ACT, learned stick-shift, got my driver's license, started shooting in RAW, made some new amazing friends, bought two new lenses, began editing with LR3, saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time, and visited colleges for the first time. All the new experiences gave me new confidence and independence. I learned to break out of my shell quicker, be less shy, have more fun, worry less about what people think of me, and overall try to do my best at following God's will and trusting him with everything I am.

I'm excited for this next year and all the changes that will happen. I'm excited about the places I'll go, the people I'll meet and all the new things I'll do. I'm excited to see where my photography goes, what I'll do and how I'll grow.

And now because I can't publish a post pictureless...

~Mary Kate