Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My First Tornado Storm

Who says summer school isn't exciting?  In the middle of class... we get interrupted to head down to the library for the impending storm.  If that wasn't already scary, my husband sends me this text picture (which is near our house):

Gee, that makes me feel so much better, honey.  We are exchanging texts... and it looks like all will be good. The two tornados forming near Blue Mound/Saginaw/Ft. Worth have gone and never touched.

I decide it would be okay to head home.  Well, probably not the smartest of ideas.  I grew up in Cali! Earthquakes are so much easier to deal with (much more south than Northridge).  Anyway, hail starts... and I'm getting phone calls from classmates that another tornado is expected to head downtown (Ft. Worth, where the school is located) and that I need to head back to the library.  I made the decision to continue to drive and pray like crazy that it will be okay.  So I'm a little more dramatic- I call my husband freaking out. He's such a good man.

I get home safely and am just in awe of the lightening.  Everything else was calm.  No rain, no hail... no noise. Just bursts of lightning like it was a movie screen.  What a magnificent thing, nature.  Makes you realize how small you are, and how much He is in control.  It was an inspiring moment for me.

Well, after I kiss my hubby hello... I grab my camera and head to the backyard.  I am SO thrilled I did.

That was right above our house.  Isn't it beautiful? Maybe it means more to me because I know how difficult it is to capture lightning (I know because I've been trying... without results).

Settings for you camera geeks:  tripod necessary- although I hand-held the exposure (no remote)
125 ISO
Canon 7d, 24-70 2.8L Lens (set to infinity)
aperture 4.0
shutter: 3''
set dial to "B"


Help Joplin

How to Help Tornado Victims in Joplin

  • The Joplin United Way is a great place to start. 100% of donations will go directly to Joplin United Way, with ZERO overhead. Follow this link to donate via PayPal, call 573-443-4523 or text “Joplin” to 864833.
  • The Joplin, MO Tornado Recovery Facebook page is dedicated to aid efforts and contains the latest, up-to-date information on news and how to help.
We will continue to pray.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Going Bonkers!

Are you a family with small children?

Or grownups that sometimes act like small children?  Then Going Bonkers, in Lewisville, might be the place for you.  The cost is extremely reasonable...

but could you really put a price on sleeping children?

Thank you, Going Bonkers!  =)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cha-cha-cha... Changes.

Clint and I took a little risk moving to Texas.  We both had fantastic (and I do mean FANTASTIC) jobs in Washington, DC.   I know I had the dream- working in a lobbying firm, learning a lot, meeting amazing people, helping people (lobbying is not the dirty word most people think it is and I'd be happy to fill you in if you'd like at a later time), and working with some of the best people I have ever met in my life.  It was a family and it was becoming more like a "home."  Except, for both of us... something wasn't quite right.  We were called to make a change.  As Clint got out of the Marines, we packed up what we accumulated in five years of city living (which surprisingly was a lot, especially since I started that journey with only two suitcases and a lil determination) and moved to Texas.

Now, none of it could have been possible without Clint's family (and my family too).  In particular, Clint's grandparents.  They opened their home to us- even our pesky yorkie.   While we were trying to plan a wedding, find a home, start school, find jobs... they were there for us.  Mimi and Papa opened more than their home- they opened their hearts, and we will forever be grateful.  I don't think we could have done any of it without them.

Well, I do believe they have been called to make a change.  This past week we watched them pack up what was left in a uhaul and drive south.  We couldn't be more excited for them, and we know this is the best decision.  They will have so much fun in Georgetown.  I can't help be a little selfish, and a little teary-eyed, feeling that we won't have our Mexican dinner nights {as much}.  Walking through that empty home was like they had been my grandparents my whole life and it tugged at my heart just a tinge. yup, I'm a total sap, remember?!  They are incredible people and we are SO blessed.  We do know there will be much fun in the future... who knows, maybe we'll even move closer to Austin one of these days ;)  I just hope Mimi and Papa know how loved and appreciated they are... and how much we will miss seeing them as often.

all the fun excursions. always a treat.

 Coco and Tank will miss their sisters: Molly and Penny.  But we can't wait for the reunions!
Enjoy your time, Mimi and Papa! We know you'll love the new place, meet new friends and go exploring again!!  We'll still be here... if you ever want to buy your house back... for the 3rd time :)  We love you and we'll see you soon!!!!! xoxo

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Beach Dreaming!

Missing California...

Here are a few of my favorite things lately to help me cope.

TJMaxx is one of my all time favorite stores.  I just recently found this beauty: Lilly Pulitzer lotion in Beachy. UH-MA-ZING! If you find more in TX, please let me know.  From $21 to $8. Yes please! It smells like I'm at the beach: suntan lotion in one hand and a drink in the other.

I love hair flair. period.  I have quite the collection of headbands, flowers etc... and will make them to match my wardrobe.  I dont care what your age is, it always looks good.

My mom and dad send goodies from CA... from beef jerky, candy, lemons, to recently phenomenal tangerines.  I bought this pitcher from Anthropologie and always get compliments.  It's useful to boot.

And lastly, this actually isn't my favorite candle, but it's definitely top 3.  I have a thing for candles (and Bath and Body works plug ins... okay, anything that smells good). Clearly.  But when it's summer time, this candle is a must!  

Happy Beach Dreaming!

I heart Photoshop

I heart photoshop.  Sometimes a little too much, and I'm trying to correct that.  Not that I make a habit of editing things out of pictures that I could have easily fixed when taking the picture... seriously, I could have tucked that string in and saved a lot of time, but I guess I was a little distracted.  It was probably the chiggar bites from the farm.

Well, I didn't... and my best friends: the clone stamp, patch tool and some lighting tweaks (with a little cropping) can change that image to one that is actually frame-worthy. :)  But my niece is ADORABLE, I would have framed it anyway- she's always worthy.

When I grow up, I wont be a motivational speaker

So this week marks the first time I gave a presentation to the execs at work.  I'm sure they learned a lot about legislation, regulation, and court proceedings.  It's all very fascinating, I know.  Although I've been a 'speaker' for athletic/running events (I used to work at two very incredible specialty running stores... oooh for about a decade.  west coast:  east coast: I probably know more about pronation, hydration, and running shoes than anyone should know in a lifetime! and proud of it!) and other things for school, nothing makes me more self-conscious than work and law school.  It's as if I have something to prove, that I'm personally being judged.

Well, I can't say that talking in front of people is comfortable.  I am always reminded of the movie 'old school' where will ferrel has a debate... not that I magically sound intelligent, but I feel like it's an out-of-body-experience and don't quite know or remember the words that leave my mouth.  Hopefully it was somewhat coherent.

I definitely need more practice, but what meant the most to me was the added responsibility.  There's nothing like the feeling of appreciation and respect- way more important than that nervous feeling.  To have bosses recognize my work and knowledge and to trust me in delivering our message to stakeholders, is amazing.  And I did thank them for the opportunity.  So next time you are in a busy mtg, there's a speaker... remember that he/she prepped, worked for that moment and there is so much more to that person than the time he/she is in front of you.

*on another random side note: I say I'm a ninja and it's a joke between my husband and me... but I actually do have a black belt in taekwondo.  Crazy, right?  And my dad used to tell people that we studied under the grandmaster when we lived in Japan- shorin ryu style.  If I showed you the pics, I'd have to kill you- it was the 80s and 90s, I had a horrible perm.  Just trust me.  But see, I'm definitely multi-dimensional. Again, thanks to my parents.  My brother and I used to also do shows/competitions with the do jang/do jo (sp?).  I was never nervous for those- wearing a white uniform that looked like pajamas and screaming... yet this stuff makes me self-conscious?!

*another side note: My brother just texted me that if I don't capitalize, I lose all credibility and interest... So my APOLOGIES.  I am the Editor/Grammar Queen at work and school... and don't generally dot my i's or cross my t's in my personal, casual life.  I'll start CAPITALIZING, just for you, Toady.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

California Dreaming

meet the gorgeous parents that made me! (i will not include where they live... so don't go trying to egg the house or tp-ing it on my account).  i've grown up, somewhat. don't hold that against them.

anyhew... my parents. Aren't they adorable?  That's my incredible (2nd?) cousin, Jane, visiting in the center. She rocks (even though she's a pelosi fan- I can look past that for family functions)!  If you don't know me, my mother is full vietnamese and my dad is half german and half irish. i don't count france.

My parents did not meet overseas, and yes my dad was in the military. yes, my mom does nails. are you done with your stereotypical jokes yet?  Aside from my brother and my hubby, they are my life (in addition to my aunt, grammy, and in-laws).  I'll have to create a separate post, I can't put into words how amazing they are.  and i'll get all teary-eyed, it's pathetic. They have taught me: how to [try to] be a better christian, how to work hard, be thoughtful and considerate, how to make a grasshopper bow, how to change a tire and shoot a gun (not at the same time, but that would be interesting), how to be financially savvy (i'm still learning that one), how to cook, how to love to learn, to have goals and reach them, and they've just taught me my very values that i'll hopefully pass along to [not near] future wee ones. except the grasshopper thing. that's just weird. i hate bugs.

Anyway, I've been missing them, my brother, california, the beach, breakfast burritos and teri cafe- in that order- a lot lately.  thankfully, there will be a mini-reunion in chicago next month. I can't wait! And folks, if you're reading this... please bring a burritto and terriyaki beef combo with fried shrimp!  =) I'm wasting away with all of this chicken fried steak, brisket, fried pie and fries around here! As far as the beach and california, i have another post coming soon about some of the things i've found that has helped me cope, somewhat.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Summer... school.

Just another beautiful day in the neighborhood. I actually can't remember the last time I made it home before the sunset. Another semester under my belt and I'm half way there... two more years. Goodness.

Well, I can't quite describe the anxious feeling you get during school... I always feel like I have something to do, catch up on, read... something I'm missing and you can never relax. Just as soon as I enjoy a "break," I am faced with the harsh reality that summer school starts next week! Joy. At least the classes are over at 8pm instead of 10pm, so it won't be that bad. I'll get to see my husband, Clint, for a little... and probably cook dinner occasionally.

At least I'll have weddings to look forward to! June is going to be a busy month, on top of school and I'm so excited to delve into wedding photography. Stay tuned! For now, I'm off to enjoy some home-cooked porkchops with Clint! ... and a little Real Housewives of New Jersey. don't judge!
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