Monday, January 31, 2011

"C" is for Celebration

Last week John and I spent four days at my favorite place on earth, Texas.  I love Texas.  Anywhere in Texas.  Especially Dallas, Houston, or Austin where we have lots of family and friends.  John and I took off work Thursday and Friday for an extra long weekend, since it takes about 8 hours to drive to his parents' house.  We drove into Austin on Thursday to buy a mattress at Babies "R" Us.  One of their mattresses was on sale for $100 off, so it was actually cheaper than a less expensive one we bought a couple weeks ago.  I had checked the Tulsa store on Wednesday before we left town, but they were completely out of the mattress that was on sale, so I had them check inventory in Texas.  The lady looked at me like I was crazy, since she thought I was going to drive to Texas just to buy a mattress.  Thursday afternoon we also grabbed lunch with one of John's buddies in Austin and then headed out to Marble Falls where my in-laws live.
Hiking along the stream
Friday morning we went hiking on some land about an hour away from the house with John's parents, sister, and the two dogs, Bailey and Zach .  We tried to follow a creek to hike, but we kept coming across areas that had too much water, so we'd have to navigate through the woods with lots of brush.  The dogs had no problem, but it didn't take us long to figure out we weren't going very far through the woods.

When we were done hiking the dogs were wet and covered in dirt, so we wanted to towel dry them before putting loading in the car to make the hour-long drive home.  There was a house on the land about a half mile from where we parked the car to hike, so we had the dogs run behind the car back to the ranch house.  I think they really liked it--zig-zagging behind the car, running full speed.  It was quite a sight to see.  We didn't hear a peep from either dog for the rest of the day, as they spent hours napping after our little adventure.

There were also a couple donkeys at the ranch house that we fed carrots.

Feeding the donkeys, Jack and Jill.  Zach was very curious.
When we got home John's sister made some Hello Dolly bars for my 29th birthday.  About half the pan was gone the first night, and I think I was responsible for eating 90% of what was missing.  Calories don't count on your birthday, right?

Although I really enjoyed hiking and eating large amounts of graham crackers, coconut, and chocolate, the best part of my birthday happened late on Friday evening.  John received an email from the daughter of the lady who adopted our sweet pup, Logan.  Last year we decided it would be best to find him a new home (See "C" is for Canine).  We checked in with Logan's new mom a couple times after his adoption, but we had been meaning to call her again after Christmas.  There's no way her daughter could have known it was my birthday on Friday, but her email update with photos of Logie Bear was the best birthday present I could have asked for!!  She assured us that both her mom and Logan are happy, and based on the pictures I can tell they are spoiling him sweet.   He looks perfectly content snuggled up with his new family.  It warmed my heart to know that he is well cared for and loved.

Logan and his new little brother, Rue
Saturday we did another little hike with the fam through the trails around the lake house.  The weather was too gorgeous to stay inside.  John and I also tested out our skills with the camera in the manual settings.  There wasn't much along the lines of color to photograph, but we found some little tid bits here and there.

Random Tree
Working on my depth of field

Cactus Heart
Please ignore the t.u. shirt.  We didn't realize it was going to be almost 80 degrees, so John had to borrow it from his dad.

My response to John's t.u. shirt.  Burn it.  Saw 'em off.  Something.

I also got to see my friend, Laura, to celebrate her upcoming wedding.  Her bachelorette party was in Austin on Saturday night, so I joined the group for dinner before they hit the town.  Congrats, Laura!

Dinner At Trudy's


  1. Looks like a fun weekend! The weather couldn't have been more beautiful for hiking! I love that your Logan has a great new home, must make you feel so relieved! Sounds like you had a fun birthday!

  2. Loved your practice pics and sounds like you had a great weekend... I can just see those dogs running along that trail behind your car! Everyone got their exercise for the day... :-D I too, am thrilled that Logan is being so spoiled, makes my heart smile!

  3. YAY! I made the blog!
    So happy that I got to see you even if it was crazy and short!
    Looks like you and John had a great weekend!

  4. Hey Ash,
    For the depth of field pics, what lens and manual setting did you use? I only have the 15-55 lens on my canon. I just can't seem to get that good bokeh in the back. Any suggestions?
    Emie :)

  5. If I remember correctly from class, aperture priority in the manual settings and a low f-stop will get you the blur. As an example, here are the stats for the cactus flower photo above--
    Canon T2i, 18-55mm/f3.5-5.6 lens
    Exposure: aperture priority
    Shutter: 1/1250
    Focal Length: 49mm
    Aperture: f5.6
    ISO: 400
    No flash


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