Here’s the video I made for my niece. It’s just a compilation of little clips I took throughout her visit.  

[I’m in a couple (actually it’s just one sliced up), though I don’t look directly at the camera because it’s practically impossible to look at it and also watch the screen to make sure the camera is aimed correctly. Why don’t they put the camera more central, I ask you?]

I could add a bunch of disclaimers, but I think you can figure them out. It’s not perfect, but oh well. (Words I live by. :P)

Music: Brighter Than the Sun by Colbie Caillat
Have a great week!

PS I forgot to say thanks to my sister R for providing a few photos and video of L’s return to ABQ! I think that last video of her homecoming might be one of my favorite clips. 🙂

Current events: Mom and fish

Happy birthday, Mom! (Can I look like you when I’m 62? Or sooner, even?)

On a sad note, my mom informed me that half their koi died over the past couple of weeks. 😦 They don’t know the exact cause, but there are some theories. Anyway, as my mom said, “I know they are only fish, but it’s still sad.” It is! One of them (pictured) has been in their pond since 2004 and he was a beauty! RIP Sunflower, Peachy, Mexico, Hanes, Billy Idol, and Dovey. ETA: And now Lemon Drop.

The niece

I feel so out of touch with this blog! Lately things have been much busier in my life, and not just due to my niece’s visit. But she is here now (soon to leave :() and I will post photos eventually.

Today, after I fixed her hair while we watched Legally Blonde, we did a photo shoot with a few different outfits. This dress was actually an eBay purchase that ended up running very small. It looks great on L, though! Isn’t she cute?

Though I’ve had a lot of fun the past few weeks, I’m looking forward to a bit more routine. I want to get back into the swing of blogging (I have several things to tell you) and catch up on email.

I hope you had a nice Father’s Day. Have a great week!

Thankful Thursday

I don’t have time for a big list, but today is my niece L’s 13th birthday! I’m so thankful for her. 🙂 🙂

L was my very first nephiece. For the first half of her life, she and I lived in the same city (sometimes in the same house!) and I got to spend lots of quality time with her and her younger sister, K. I have a lot of happy memories of watching them grow, and they (along with my other nephieces) are one of my favorite gifts I’ve received in this life! Being an aunt is a huge blessing. And if I keep talking about this, I’m just going to start bawling. 😛

Since she was born before I got a digital camera, I don’t have any baby photos handy, but above are some photos over the years. She’s the girl of many hairstyles!

I can’t do a birthday post for every nephiece on every birthday, but 13’s kind of a big deal. Maybe I can start that tradition, at least.

Happy birthday, L. 🙂 🙂 I can’t believe you’re now a teenager and taller than me. I can’t wait to see you next week (she’s coming to visit me!!).

UPDATE: R sent me some baby photos of L!

Project 52 (45)

Mom cutting herbs for me to take home. Thanks, Madre! I can’t believe that was (practically) a week ago.

I’ve been very productive today! I’ve mostly been working on laundry, and it’s so nice to have lots of fresh clothes to wear. I don’t know how I own so many clothes and accumulate so many dirty ones, but I can’t imagine keeping up with a whole family. Mom, how the heck did you do it? And I used to whine and procrastinate about putting away the clothes she so nicely folded. I was an awesome daughter.

Memorial Weekend Road Trip

Okay, I finally got together some photos from my weekend. Some of these are snapshot quality, which I try to avoid in my blog, but I’ll get over it.

Early Friday morning, my friend Katrina and I headed south. This is just a typical Oregon scene.

I think Katrina actually took this one while I drove. This is how it looked over the pass. The roads were fine, though, thankfully.

I had to show a photo of Katrina to prove she was with me. 🙂 This is when we stopped for lunch at a Subway in Weed, CA. There was some snow on the ground here, which was also surprising.

Rainbowy semis.

We arrived in Yuba City around 2:30 and went our separate ways. I was so tired that I was very lazy at my parents’ house that night.

For dinner, my dad nicely cut the corn off the cob. He does it because I’m whiny about eating corn on the cob (too messy!), but I think he and my mom probably enjoy it off the cob too. 🙂 Come on, admit it.

Sorry if raw meat bothers you. I had specifically requested these steaks that my dad used to buy at Costco–they are all twirled up with stuff inside. But I didn’t realize my dad no longer has a Costco membership, so he made them himself! I just thought the fresh/uncooked version might be interesting to see.

And here they are cooked up. Deeeeeeeelicious.

Saturday morning. After asking my dad about whether he had purchased any new koi recently, he suggested we check out a koi farm about 30 minutes away (outside of Lincoln). These are all the pools with koi of various prices.

The man who owns the farm (a very nice and friendly guy who obviously loves koi) would scoop out our selections and other suggestions so we could examine them more closely before choosing what to buy. We bought two of these fish–the solid white one at the top we named Dovey. At the bottom there we bought that small yellow-headed one next to the larger orange one. I loved him so much! I named him Billy Idol. Aren’t all the fish so pretty? It’s especially apparent when you’re just focused on them in this blue bowl. Some have glittery backs and others almost look fake they’re so perfect and healthy.

We also bought two others–Creamsicle and Mexico–from a different pool, and I have a photo of at least one of them later on.

The scene near the koi farm.

After picking out fish, we went to lunch at Cilantro’s. I had the chicken sopaipilla. SO GOOD.

I like to go around taking photos of my parents’ yard, since they often have various flowers blooming.

One of their dogs, Rocky, likes to think this grass was planted specifically for him.

There were lots of hummingbirds.

Sorry for some of these repeats from the Instagram post!

There are lots of pond pictures because I was trying different times of day and angles. It’s very hard to photograph into water when you’re outside!

No, that’s not koi! It’s salmon, squash and more of that pinwheel steak. This was Saturday’s dinner.

You can feed koi several times per day in the summer.

Sometimes the birds use the pond for a bath.

This was a pretty shade of dragonfly!

Here’s one of the new fish, Mexico.

He’s the only one in the pond with blue on him (I think).

No, that’s not koi! It’s pork, green beans and cauliflower (my dad grilled it.. it was good!).

The jasmine smelled soooooooooooooooo good.

Thanks for looking through these! 🙂 Happy June!


Happy (?) Memorial Day!

I have been in California visiting my parents. I have more photos to show you later, of course–this is just some dessert from tonight. It’s been a relaxing weekend of time outdoors, new koi for my parents’ pond, catching up on House Hunters episodes, eating delicious food, playing games and chatting it up.

Oh and tonight I said grace before dinner, and I accidentally ended my prayer with “Goodnight,” instead of “Amen.” And then I very reverently burst out laughing. I guess I was done talking to God for the day!

20 years ago…was I even born yet?

Happy TWENTIETH anniversary to my sister R and her husband C! It seems unpossible that I could have a sister married that long! I remember the very windy wedding day like it was only ten years ago. Twelve, tops.

Here’s to 50 more years. *clink* Oh and hey, maybe by the time you celebrate your 70th anniversary, I’ll be planning a wedding of my own!

PS Happy half-birthday to me. 😀 It’s my blog, so I get to bring the focus back to myself and my non-accomplishment.

NM Trip

Here’s a smattering of NM trip photos. I took several others, but not many were very blog-worthy.

Nieces! Yes, I have beautiful nieces.

N made “chocolate pie” for my pretend birthday. Here she’s blowing out a candle.

My mom patched up these pants for her and they’re adorable!

Some of us headed down to Bosque del Apache one evening to see the cranes. Unfortunately, we were a bit late and there were no cranes this trip (my sister has photographed them on previous trips–R, if you had a post about them, I’d link to it!), but I still enjoyed the scenery.

Some cormorants gathered on a branch. With the reflection, it looked like a nice sculpture.

I still had the lens I rented for the wedding–a Canon 17-55/2.8 from LensGiant (I had a good experience with them)–and was able to test it out for landscapes. I think I was more impressed in this setting than at the wedding. Check out how sharp it is on the edges where it normally blurs a bit on cheaper lenses. (Still, I wasn’t super crazy about the lens overall, but it served its purpose.)

After the refuge, we ate at Buckhorn to try out their famous Green Chile Cheeseburger. Here’s C waiting for his dinner. The burger was good, but I wouldn’t say it was incredible or worthy of winning a Throwdown, necessarily (not that I’ve ever seen that show). But I’m glad we went!

Before dropping me off at the airport the next day, I had the nephieces gather up for a photo (outside of Taco Bell–great place for portraits!). This is all but one. Aren’t they cute? Cousins! I was really sad to leave them.

From the plane window on the way home.

It was a great trip. Now it feels like forever ago, though.

Mom’s visit

My mom visited me this weekend, and I was just telling her how today has been very satisfying in a Simple Pleasures sort of way.

After church we visited the nearby wildlife refuge and saw some funny American Coots and various other birds.

Then we came home and watched the second half of my favorite movie, Pride and Prejudice, with the heater going and pillows and blankets on the couch. It was very lazy and relaxing. Oh and we ate Girl Scout cookies. 🙂

After the movie we saw wood ducks swimming around and eventually saw two young deer behind my place.

Finally, we cooked a lobster dinner! I had purchased two lobster tails on a great sale, and I had never made them before. We read some instructions and worked together to figure them out. I made some rice pilaf and zucchini to go with them, and I finally opened the bottle of grape juice my dad bought me at the Spruce Goose museum.

I need to post wedding photos (and NM trip photos!), and I will soon. I’m about halfway through them, making basic edits and narrowing them down. It’s a process. I just figured I’d stop in with a few quick photos from the day since I haven’t blogged in awhile.

This mallard was jealous of all the photos I was taking of wood ducks and deer, so I thought I’d give him a little recognition. They may be common, but they’re still pretty!

Have a wonderful week. 🙂 I think Mom and I are going to watch my butterfly documentary now. It’s been a DVD-y weekend for me!