♥♥♥♥

Just wanting to remember what it felt like to see Opal after a month. Her cankles and snorts and sweet little sighs. We’ve missed her sassy self. Some might say too much. They might base this on our date to PetSmart the night before so we could inconspicuously find random dogs to love on. We looked through bulldog magazines and found her some cute little rain booties she might get next time we feel we deserve a treat…because they sure aren’t a treat to her. I can’t wait to video those first few steps. She’s ours again. All ours. And I say  we’ve missed her just enough. 20130803-121928.jpg20130803-122006.jpg20130803-122228.jpg

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happy happy joy joy

Blog Every Day inBlog May: 10 things that make me really happy.

We are wearily driving home from Houston as I’m writing this post, so Walker offered to help me out tonight. His suggestions…Walker, Walker, Walker, Walker, Walker, Walker, Walker, Walker, Walker, Opal. Off the top of my head, here are 10 things that make me happy, but definitely not the only things that make me really happy.breakfast

Being warm Walking outside from a cold restaurant, standing in the sun after being in a chilly classroom, taking a bath on a winter day or grabbing a blanket on the couch.

Reunions  Whether it be with family or friends or with Walker when he gets home from work, I love reuniting with people. They can live close or they can live far. I might see them every day or once a year. It’s all good.

Naps  A deep sleep in the middle of the afternoon is an every-so-often freedom I am happy to take advantage of.

Traveling  Cultures and people and history and architecture. Down the road or across the sea. Put me in a new place, learning new things and experiencing a new way of life.

travels

A good deal Like this new shirt for $9.80!!

Encouragement  To and from everyone. Let’s all do this a little bit more.

Laughter  I’ve tried lately to laugh at even the stupidest of jokes as long as they aren’t cruel, but gosh, give me brilliant humor and I’m set for a while.

A dress with pockets Um, duh.

Babies  They have soft skin and fat rolls, who doesn’t love babies?

campfire

Bonus  The truth is, Walker had something going on with his input. Most of his silly jokes and commentaries make me really happy. So does his constant support and thoughtfulness. And then there’s Opal whose grumpy faces and sassy struts can instantly turn a bad day good. Not to mention those times when she falls asleep on me, and it’s exponentially more exciting than it should be. Cuddling with all three of us together, that’s what makes me really happy. But y’all probably knew this already…

photos via here, here and here

Reunions

reunionReunions. I love reunions. The only thing I might like better is living in a giant cul-de-sac with all of my friends. Zip lines would connect from house to house, of course. But until I start living that dream, I’ll relish in the joy of a good ol’ fashion reunion. I love the anticipation beforehand. The freedom to be yourself during. And the rejuvination felt on the drive home. Reunions bring the feeling of being known. And of knowing someone else.  No explanations are needed. You laugh about the past and dream about the future, but you feel so alive in the present moment you could burst. All this gibberish to say, I’m glad to have spent last weekend in Waco with my college roommates at our first sleepover since the undergrad days. Thanks for a delightful weekend, froomies!

Happy Birthday, Opal!

Opal Lou turned 1 today! She made it a year, so I guess this gives us hope for our future children. There was really no option besides throwing her a little surprise birthday party complete with pupcakes. And let’s just say, she loves pupcakes. Thanks to Jared for helping us bake these treats!

Along with a new toy, we gave her her first pair of Doggles to help her open her squinty eyes when she hangs her head out the car window. I’m not sure she’s a fan of those yet, but we sure are.

It was an entertaining little afternoon celebration, and some people might think we are crazy, but I just think we are fun. The only thing we will do differently next year is send out invitations, because we had several people wanting to join in on the fun!

Opal, we love you. And we are unhealthily obsessed with you. Happy Birthday!

candlecollagecakecollage1dogglessexytiredoutsideAnyone looking to make pupcakes should click here! We made our own icing out of peanut-butter and smashed bananas.

A Lufkin Christmas

A few weeks ago, right before life got so busy, Walker and I took ourselves on a Christmas date. I guess we didn’t notice last time around, but Lufkin does some top-notch decorating this time of year. We walked around downtown and snapped some pictures of our favorite holiday sights, remembering just how quaint this little city can be. We even made a stop by the famous Rudolph oil pump which is the biggest hit of all around here.

Walker taught me about the camera. I sang terrible Christmas carols. He walked faster than my short legs could handle. And I eavesdropped on children having conversations in Spanish. We don’t claim to be great photographers, but we sure are decent at cheap dates!downtownmuralcollagemerrydeercollage2walkersnowmanoilpumpblur

…spain…

I think I ate my last pomegranate of the season this week (considering I picked the best available and asked the cashier if I could return it if I found it to be rotten)!

i  L.O.V.E. pomegranates

I think, while I crave the taste, I mainly love poms for the way they make me feel even if just for a few bites of my day. For me, they trigger memories of runs in Retiro, racing to catch the closing metro doors, passing by pastry shops and repeating museums. They remind me of laughing with Brad, shopping with two special girls and worshipping with nations near and far. I can smell the baking bread. I can hear the lovely language. I can touch the ancient architecture.

I enjoyed my first fresh pomegranate in a country I think about every day. I plan secret adventures in my head of revealing my favorite places to Walker. Each day a new image of reunions with friends and prancing through undiscovered streets.

When I eat a pomegranate, I am back in this land for a few moments. I cross the sea and return to summers of adventure and freedom and photographs.

i miss you, S.P.A.I.N.

D.C.

On our way home from Africa we had an 8 hour layover in D.C., and we were pumped. Yes, we were exhausted and extremely grungy, but nothing a little love for adventure and Huggies wipes couldn’t cure! ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Peaches. Persimmons. Whatever.

We made a quick (read: no time to visit with peeps) pit stop in Waco today, and I found a peach tree in Jared’s backyard. Feeling oh so whimsical, I just had to twirl around it. Opal felt the same need and joined in. I loved this quaint little find.

Then I found out it was a persimmons tree. Not so magical, but pretty nonetheless. We love Waco. And fake peaches. 

a very happy birthday

Just wanting to say thank you to the wonderful people in my life who made my birthday so full of love.

To Walker who decorated our house with ‘congratulations’ signs because upon purchase he thought they said ‘happy birthday’…along with flowers and glow-sticks and two perfect gifts meant just for me.

To my family who overloaded me with cards and cookies, e-mails, lunches and phone calls.

To my friends who called, texted, sent cards, told me in person, posted on Facebook and gave hilarious shout outs on Instagram.

To the Longinos who ‘surprisingly’ drove into town to watch me stuff my face at Auntie Pastas (sadly the picture is a no go).

And to Opal who obediently wore a glow stick, but must have partied a little too hard, because she is having stomach issues this morning.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I know 26 will be a year to look forward to because I have all of you in my life, near and far. Y’all are absolutely the best I could ask for!