Tuesday, December 31, 2013

things that happened this year

 It was a good year. A growing year. A busy year. A year filled with memories. And lots of pictures. Like, lots of pictures. Here are a few that are connected with some of my favorite memories. 

I started out the year by taking some early admit classes at the college where my dad teaches. This fall I began full-time. I was a health science major, but then I changed to communications. 

I fell in love even more with this beautiful creature. (And I took approx. 15,000 pictures of her.)

I graduated from high school. 

Then about a week later I went up to my cousin's place to help her and her in-laws out for five weeks.

A few days after getting home, my big sister and I went on a road trip to visit family (and new babies!) in several other states. We also were in four states at once, which was pretty cool. 

I photographed my first wedding. 

We celebrated the Fourth at the most beautiful spot ever. Aka, the gravel bar in our woods.  

 And then went and watched fireworks. 

 My parents, sister and I went to a lavender farm.

And I went crazy taking pictures. 

 Yup. She just keeps gettin prettier. 

Oh, and I got a camera right after my graduation and started taking even more pictures than normal.

I worked at the same farm that I have for the last four years. 

 And yeah, I did drive the above machinery. 

 I bought myself a car. 

 My siblings were as...strange...as always. 

We had a lot of awesome bonfires down at the gravel bar. 

My sister headed to Africa for two years. 

 I counseled at Camp Tadmor for a week. 

The mud pit was by far the best part. 

 I started going to a college group at a church about 45 minutes away.

I photographed my second wedding. 

I photographed quite a few different people, but these two were among my favorites.

It snowed, my dad took a picture of my girl and me, and it turned out to be one of my favorite pictures ever.

I decorated for Christmas and made about 1,000 cookies and it was really fun. (Okay, not quite 1,000...it just felt like it.)

That's pretty much all the highlights of my year. 

If my dog decides to have her puppies before the stroke of midnight, I can add that to the list of awesome moments of 2013, but if not I guess it will have to go on the list of awesome moments of 2014. 

Speaking of which, I am going to go check on her. So adios folks. Have a fabulous last day of 2013. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

no and yes

In case anybody missed it, my dog is gonna have puppies. Today she is 63 days pregnant, and (theoretically) ready to have her puppies at any moment. (Dogs are pregnant for anywhere from 58 days to 63 days, but some go early while others go later.) Even though she is ready to pop, she is still acting as if she isn't carrying precious cargo around with her wherever she goes. Today we went for a rambling walk down in the woods and of course I brought my camera, so of course I am sharing the pictures with you. 

(L) I feel like this is a senior portrait for her or something...
(R) These cones were just so pretty I couldn't resist taking a picture. (That seems to be my life story.)

You think you live in a pretty place? Ha! That's funny. 

Do you have bodies of water in your woods that make hearts? I thought not. 

And is this your beautiful dog that stares at you with adoring eyes? Again, I thought not. 

I rest my case for living in the most beautiful place on earth. 

Oh, and in answer to the two most common questions I am getting right now: 
No, my dog has not had her puppies yet. 
And yes, she will eventually have them. 

Have a fabulous evening, folks. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. The decorations are my favorite decorations ever. The house we live in can be difficult to make feel Christmas-y because it's so big, but this year I think I hit the nail on the head with the decorations. So I thought I would give you all a virtual tour since I am so proud of my accomplishment :)

My amazing father climbed on the roof to put the lights up on the peak, and my amazing dog "helped" me put the rest up. 

I made this wreath the day after all my finals. It was SO nice to make something with my hands instead of my brain. 

Because it is only my brother and I home for Christmas this year, I didn't get out very many of the nick-nacks, but this one I just couldn't leave in the box. (Can we please just go back to this time of my life?)

The very lonely ornament on the tiny, fake tree in my room.

This nativity scene was made by my Great-Grandma Straw. 

Aaaannnndddd...there are Christmas lights everywhere. Around the windows, strung up in the foyer and hallway, around the mirror in the bathroom, all over the basement...yeah. I may have a slight adiction to the pretty lights. 

Candles make me happy. They're just so cozy. 

The other night as I was watching a movie, I cut out a bunch of snowflakes and then hung them above the kitchen sink. It feels so festive! 

Does the fact that the candles are all different lengths bother anyone else, or is it just me?

I won't tell you what my brother claims these ornaments hanging in the window are, but I disagree with him. I think they look nice. So there, Matt. 

"Ho-ho-ho I should let the elves do this from now on."
"Who turned out the lights??"
"Ho-ho-ho good thing I only do this once a year!"
"Are these chimneys getting smaller, or am I getting fatter??"
"Ho-ho-ho I could use some help over here!"

Like I said, lights everywhere.

I have nothing better to say about this picture than this: aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.