This last week Joel and I visited my sister, brother in law and two nephews in Dallas to celebrate Max’s 2nd and Gabe’s 1st birthdays. They are growing up SO fast! They in the “babbling” phase and will repeat a little of what you say. Max can sometimes put a few words together and Gabe mostly makes funny baby noises. We could only stay one day but they are so cute that I had to take some pictures before we left. It was really great seeing everyone and I can’t wait to see them again soon! Here’s Max! And Gabe! Bed head. Sitting in the toy box like he owns the place. They are TOO cute! I just can’t get enough! “Scrunchy face!” Lady killer face! I couldn’t resist the eyelashes shot. GOOOOOOOAAALLLLL!!!! Take one bite, put it on the table, take one bite, put it on the table… Joel’s brother Ira was in town for Guard drill and dropped by to say “Hi”. Piano lessons. Bed time, good night.
Joel and I took a trip with Heather and EJ to Huntsville State Park a few weeks ago. We wanted to go camping with them since we photographed their engagement session and wedding. I love going to Huntsville because one of my favorite things to do is canoe and they rent them there during the summer months. Heather and EJ rented a canoe for the day and Joel and I rented one over night. Canoeing is always so peaceful and my favorite part about it at this park is being able to canoe through the Lilly Pads. They were huge, some being the size of car tires. I really want to take a photo of a frog sitting on a Lilly pad, like in a cartoon. That would be so cute! While making our way through the Lilly pads there were these tiny bugs that would glide along the surface of the water like they were on glass. Also, plenty of colorful butterflies and lots of bright iridescent blue and green dragonflies which were so magical. The dragonflies would land right next to you and just look at you before darting away. The weather was nice but after canoeing for a few hours we were pretty hot and to cool off we took a dip in the lake. They have a designated area you can swim in and there are to many people there to get eaten by alligators (hopefully). While swimming we saw rain clouds in the distance so we left the swimming area and we got back to camp just in time to cover our tents and fire wood before the rain. I didn’t mind the rain for 2 reasons: it didn’t last long and it kept us nice and cool. Since Joel and I got our canoe over night we just had to take it out on the water after dark. The moon was out so we could see just enough to get around. It was such a beautiful cool night (because of the rain earlier that day) with the moon and all the stars out on the peaceful lake. Until… we noticed the pair of bright orange eyes protruding just above the water in the path to get back to our campsite! As we got closer the orange eyes quietly swam away. We got out of the canoe as fast as possible and got a safe [...]
1. I’m a little afraid of the dark, especially when I’m alone. 2. I get cold easily. 68°F is sweater weather. 3. I love to listen to loud music and sing in my car. 4. I drive fast. Especially when listening to loud music. 5. I like maraschino cherries WAY more than I should. Way, way more than I should. 6. I like to go camping but I don’t like bugs. That is when Off is my best friend. 7. I have a strange fascination with twins. I don’t know if I would want to have twins though. My sister has two (non twin) boys and that is hard enough. 8. I think it would be awesome to meet conjoined twins someday. 9. I talk to the TV sometimes and yell at the TV sometimes. “NO DON’T GO DOWN THAT HALLWAY, THE ZOMBIES ARE THERE!” 10. I eat weird gluten free snacks with Joel, like toasted corn tortillas and peanut butter. It might not sound good but it is. 11. I didn’t get a Pinterest account until a few weeks ago and now I’m addicted. It’s the best site EVER!
The jet engines were roaring and the body scanners were humming at Houston’s busy Bush Intercontinental airport as we embarked on our trip to Philadelphia, PA. This was the first time Joel and I had flown together (only road trips before) and we could hardly wait to see what the city of brotherly love had in store for us. As for why we were going to Philly, see the post about my brother Chris and Michelle’s engagement session. (Congratulations again Chris and Michelle!) The flight up there was smooth and uneventful, unlike the ride back but I will get to that later. When we arrived it was warm and sunny which over the next few days turned to rainy and gloomy and then finally cool and refreshing. June in Houston is often the first two but never the last one, so it was a nice change of pace. We arrived a day before the rest of my family so that first day there we got to go exploring! It was my first time on a train and a subway. Suburban Station under downtown Philly was huge, it was four or five stories of underground train platforms, gift shops and restaurants. We got the chance to take a tour of Independence Hall and when we walked in I felt like I was taking a trip back in time. It was really cool to be in the room that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were signed. We were there with a bunch of 4th graders but they seemed to enjoy it and we all learned a lot. They were pretty smart kids. We wanted to see the Liberty Bell until we saw the long line of people. We didn’t feel like standing in line for an hour so we just looked at the bell through the window. Next time we go we will get there nice and early so we can see it and skip the lines. This is one of the first Supreme Court buildings that is located next to Independence Hall. While in Philly I HAD to have a authentic Philly cheese steak sandwich. Michelle was nice enough to drive through downtown Philadelphia on the way to the airport. She showed us around a bit more and we stopped at a street cart to get a Cheese Steak. The best ones come from the street carts because they [...]
I saw this on Youtube and it’s awesome and thought I would share.
I saw this video because one of my friends shared it on Facebook. It reminded me to live my life to the fullest, to take risks and to enjoy every day I have. When I’m at the end of my life I want to know I did everything I could to make it count. What are you going to do to make it count? I LOVE the video even though it doesn’t have a very good preview photo.
Joel and I went to the music festival portion of South by Southwest aka SXSW or simply “South by” (sxsw.com) in Austin, TX and we had an awesome time! We visited my cousins who showed me around town and got us into VIP areas. Shout out to Keegan and Quinn! During SX the whole city is a big party and downtown is especially crazy. I don’t remember everywhere we went but a few of the venues were: Mohawk (912 Red River Street, Austin, TX, mohawkaustin.com) Chuggin’ Monkey (219 East 6th Street, Austin, TX, thechugginmonkey.com) where we saw Culture Cry Wolf and friends (www.culturecrywolf.com) from Minneapolis who sounded great and really knew how to work the crowd. Also a few other random bars and clubs in downtown that I can’t remember the names of. It was crazy but a lot of fun and I can’t wait until next year! The Aftermath!
Why have we not visited the zoo in so long? I think the last time was in elementary school and I forgot how awesome it is! This week we visited the Houston Zoo and were able to see so many exotic or endangered animals. It is so sad that many of these animals are threatened in the wild and soon might not be found in the wild at all. It made me a little better that they educate people about all the different animals. Who else wants to rent some 800mm lenses, get some plane tickets and see them in their natural habitats while we still can? Anyway, on to the pictures! Let me know your favorite one.
On the travel channel we saw a restaurant from Connecticut that steams their cheeseburgers. It looked really good so we decided take a stab at it. We thought it turned out pretty well so we’d like to share it with you. Ingredients: Ground beef or turkey – We used 93/7 ground turkey. Cheese – We used sharp cheddar. Buns – Ashley used plain buns and Joel used gluten free bread. Greens – We used Romaine lettuce and Roma tomatoes. (Romaine and Roma, it’s cute I just noticed that.) Olive oil – This assures nothing sticks to the pan. Condiments – Ours is spicy mustard and ketchup. (Insert nice buns joke here.) Gluten free bread. That’s one big olive! Now lets get started! Slice everything up. This is only about a tablespoon of oil to make sure nothing sticks or burns. We might try steaming them in trays next time. Looks kind of gross. This is when you can add your secret seasonings but we wanted to keep it simple on our first try. Make patties slightly larger than the bun because they shrink when they cook. We used about 5oz. (uncooked) each patty so a 20oz. package made 4 burgers. Put on medium heat and cover so the steam cooks them. We like glass tops so we can see what’s happening. After a few minutes it is looking pretty steamed. Do not squish them down because it will squeeze out all the delicious juices and taste dry. We flipped them to brown slightly on both sides, probably not required. They were thoroughly cooked after only a few minutes. We toasted the bread and buns. Mmmm, cheesy. All done! Now for the best part… eating. They were super juicy and delicious! We just put a little mustard and ketchup on the side but great side dishes would be potatoes or steamed veggies. If you try this recipe let us know how you liked it!!