Wednesday, March 26, 2008

as promised...

More pictures! These are some of my favorites, taken by my favorite new photographer...Mom and me at the Painted Desert:
I love this view of the cliff. This was from the trail we were hiking, and if you look closely you can see a man in a blue shirt standing at the base. Gives a little perspective to this giant rock!
This is one of Cory's favorites:
I took this can see Bailey, Mom, and David at the top (living on the edge).

This one speaks for it!
Taking a rest...
I'm sure everyone will be subjected to the full gamut of all the pictures, but I wanted to brag on my photo-tastic husband.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

happy easter

Easter has always been an interesting holiday to me. Celebrating Christmas, the birth of Jesus, seems completely natural; it's about new beginnings, parties, and rejoicing. Easter though, in honor of the death and resurrection of Jesus, has always seemed more serious. It just seems to me that it requires more reverence and reflection, still commemorating a joyful time, but somehow a more contemplative joy.
All of that is kind of a preface to say that Easter reminds me of another death that impacted me profoundly. This time of year always reminds me of my grandmother, who died in April of 2005. While we visited Cory's parents last weekend, she was heavy on my mind as we walked Clive through the streets of Ft. Stockton. I often think of her in association with Easter: dyed eggs and springtime, crosses with ribbons, and Jesus rising from the dead all remind me of her.
Because of her death, she barely missed my wedding- didn't quite make it to the pedicure party she was planning for me. We tied her rings to my boquet, and I slipped them on and off my finger as I walked down the aisle on the most important (and happiest) day of my life.
I missed her then, and I miss her now, but little things remind me of her: small towns, sprinklers, Caress soap, Doublemint gum, Velveeta cheese, tall sprawling trees, and mops. Now even playgrounds remind me of her because they are dedicating one to her in her hometown. I think that's appropriate because she gave her life to children- to the children in the elementary school and the church nursery where she worked, and to her children and grandchildren that she called the "light of her life."
Today I miss her, but I'm so thankful for the springtime, for Easter, and the warm memories of my grandmother.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

spring break: a photo story

I am so tired that it took me several minutes to figure out how exactly the shower door opened, and then, once inside, I proceded to frighten myself with my own reflection. That being said, I wanted to blog a bit about our trip so far. Cory has taken some really awesome pictures, so I'll probably let those do most of the talking.
We left in the wee hours of the morning on Monday, allowing us to get several hours of drive time behind us before we even woke up. (Mom was awake, of course, and doing a very nice job of driving although she was wrongly accused several times of slamming on the brakes and waking cranky sleepy-heads.) We are listening to the first Harry Potter as we drive, which is particularly pleasant to me because I get to introduce my family members to this wonderful series. Ok, enough about driving.
We stopped at the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest National Park to break up the trip a bit. Cory got to take a picture with his idol...
and he also took some really fantastic photos.

The next two days we spent wandering the edges and entrails of the Grand Canyon. What really caught us off guard was that a lot of the trail was frozen, and we had to be super careful going down. We even had to slide on our bottoms for part of the way. Cory took so many awesome pictures of the Grand Canyon, that I'll have to post them later when I find my favorites. For now, I'll scroll through and pick a few at random.

Andrea and I narrowly escaped being attacked by a rather aggressive squirrel. Really, I'm not exaggerating. I'm pretty sure he would have jumped into Andrea's hands if she would have let him. Plus, he chased us a good way up the trail. There are more pictures of this that I'll have to post later, but here's a little teaser pic to tide you over till then...

Finally, after much hiking, surviving the wildlife and the complex bus system, we feel we have conquered the Grand Canyon...

(Notice that I had the pack as were were hiking. Cory kept calling me "donkey" and assuring me that it was a term of endearment in Arizona. Riiight.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

attention literature geeks:

I've found a new website that I absolultely love! It's called It's all these books online, and they'll send them to you in daily installments to your email. You can choose how often you want to receive the installments, and if it's at a page-turning part of the book, you can have the next installment sent to you immediately by clicking a link at the end of the email.
The best part is that the classics are free! Several of the newer books are available for sale, (usually for cheaper than you could buy them) but who even needs newer books when you can have all the classics you want? I'm currently having The Adventures of Tom Sawyer sent to my inbox daily because it's a fun one to read when I need a break from work.
Ok, I'm done. Hopefully there's someone else out there who's heart leaps at the thought of brilliant (and free!) literature.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


We spent about 3 hours in a tattoo parlour last night as my brother's entourage followed him around and watched him get inked. I'm not exaggerating with the word "entourage;" at one point there were eight of us crowded around him vying for the opportunity to hold his hand should he start to cry.

This is the "before" shot. He was pretty excited. It took a good hour and a half to get the band the right size to put around his calf, and the artist kept saying things like, "Damn! Your calves are huge. I think I'm going to have to charge you more based on the enormity of your leg."

Ouch! This is the work in progress.

I didn't get a shot of the finished product. They wrapped it up and Bryan ran out before I got a chance. Who can blame him, though? He was on the table for over an hour. He was happy with the finished product... and I think he's convinced me to get one as well. We'll see how that turns out...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

political poser

We had standardized testing today which basically means that the kids can do nothing but take the test, and we can do nothing but watch them take the test. I'm a bit of a compulsive email checker anyway, so it was slightly bothersome to have the computers turned off. The scale of discomfort, however, escalated from bothersome to irksome, because not only did I want to be checking my email, but I wanted to be checking the news websites to find out which candidate the Texas caucuses were leaning toward.
I'm feeling unusually caught up in the political extravaganza at the moment (as is the rest of the country, presumably) and Cory and I actually went to our precinct's caucus last night. We were feeling pretty proud of ourselves for being so involved. Then, after an hour of waiting around wondering if they'd acutally let us vote or take one look at us and expose us for the posers that we are, we decided we'd spent enough time in a school library looking sheepish and confused. We went to hang out with the Lathams instead.
Despite my failure as a caucus attendent, I've put a lot of hours into this so far. I watched the entire Texas debate, I've been on websites, taken "Who's your candidate" quizzes, and refreshed the CNN webpage about 50 times last night as they were counting votes. I feel like the more time I put into it, the more likely my candidate is to win. So...going with that logic...I think I've got more Slate to read and more CNN to watch! (Now if I could only put this kind of dedication to cleaning my house or working out...)

Sunday, March 02, 2008


I have been inspired by the people around me to focus on the beautiful things in my life. I am blessed to be surrounded by very artistic people... my husband takes photographs, Sarah makes jewelry, Cyrus makes music, Evan paints, Lori's passion for travelling and teaching is contagious, my brother has an artist hidden inside of him, my sister has a knack for Latin roots, even my puppy has a very unique ability of combining towels and coaxial cable into the perfect chew toy.

Me, I love to write. I love books, children's stories, song lyrics, advertisements. I even love teaching my students vocabulary. (But even a 4th grader looks at you cock-eyed when you say things like, "Now, this word is super fun! You're going to love this one.") I've revamped my blog in hopes of being more inspired more often. My world feels a little more organized, a little more enriched, and better focused when I can put it down on paper. I'm going to try to write more often, but even more important than that, I'm going to commit myself to noticing the beauty around me.
Here are some pics of things that I love that have happened since the last time I wrote..