Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Heart Faces: Texture

If you haven't taken notice yet, I've added links to my favorite cooking and photography blogs on my sidebar. Ones of those photog blogs is:

I love the community of photographers who participate in this blog. I find their work (amateur or professional) incredibly inspiring as I attempt to work on my own skills as a pseudo-photographer.

Every week, I Heart Faces has a photo challenge that any and all can enter. I have yet to participate, because, well, I don't often take pictures of people. Something else I'm trying to work on...

Here's my entry for this week's challenge: texture.

I took family photos just before Christmas for our good friends Ruth & Grant. Hazel found a bush to hide in, creating a perfect photographic moment. I'm glad I followed my instincts to catch it. I'm in love with the texture of these bushes in black and white. And Hazel's beautiful and mischievous face engulfed in foliage.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Battle of Marathon

Matt accomplished quite the feat on Sunday:

He finished the Houston Marathon!

Matt's parents and I cheered him on at mile 10:

(That's him in the green.) He wasn't looking too awful, but I guess he was having a difficult time. Despite the pain and hitting the wall, we saw him at the finish line right on schedule:

He came in at 4 hours and 15 minutes, his desired goal! Amazing!

Being a spectator at the marathon was quite the experience. Everyone was enthralled and excited for all the runners, and because their names were on their bibs, we could yell out their names and encourage them, which a lot of them terribly needed this close to the end. It's simply amazing what you can do with sheer will power and great encouragement.

And Matt certainly could not have done with without the peer pressure from all of these guys. There are good and healthy varieties of peer pressure, and I think this qualifies.

Congratulations to all those who finished the marathon! Seriously, I'm quite proud and inspired.

So much so that I'm beginning to give in to Matt's peer pressure to run the half marathon with him next year, and despite my sad attempt to start running last year, watching the marathon this year has definitely inspired me to try harder and set goals so that I can accomplish something amazing. To be continued...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Maybe 27 isn't so bad?

I had a fabulous birthday and no pictures to show for it.

I know, right? It's really too bad. My nice camera is in the shop getting fixed and will be all week. Boo.

Instead of a photo journey of my birthday celebrations, which lasted 2 whole days, you will instead be treated to a narrative. Excited?

Birthday day 1 (Sunday) started with Matt making me this cake. Baking is a very delicate art, but he did a fabulous job. He tried being sneaky about it the day before when I was making a grocery list, but that didn't last long. He did, however, invite some of our friends over for some cake-eating and mingling Sunday night without my knowledge. I started to suspect earlier in the day when he insisted that we have an early dinner, clean up the house, and that I change out of my pajamas. Nice. I caught on fairly quickly that something was up, so I played along until he finally said, "If you haven't caught on to what's going on yet..." It was a very nice surprise, even though I figured it out! And the cake was absolutely delicious and a hit! He exclaimed later that night that he's a true Renaissance man: marathon training, cake baking, doing science...you be the judge.

Birthday day 2 (my actual birthday) wasn't as exciting since (a) it was Monday and (b) I had to work all day. Boo. But it was still enjoyable, and I received many birthday wishes. Matt left campus early and secretly picked up some a dozen roses for me. I walked into the house to see our awesome, tall, black vase filled with red roses. How wonderful! We then left for dinner, having decided to try this cute French restaurant that's in a converted house in Rice Village. Sadly, it was closed. So we went here instead. Matt found this place a couple of months ago, and we first tried it out right before Christmas, and this place is fantastic. Not only is it extremely cute and quaint (it's also in a converted house), but the food is marvelous! It's quite authentic Italian food, which we all know I adore. We enjoyed our dinner, came home, and went to bed before 10:00. Now that's what I call a fabulous birthday!

Do you still want a picture of some kind? Well, fine. Here's a picture of a dancing elephant I took at the zoo back in September. I still haven't gotten to all of our Scotland photos...

Monday, January 04, 2010

Oh jet lag, how I hate thee

We're back!

Scotland was magical and covered in snow (and ice), which is quite unusual. I think Matt's prayers to the weather gods payed off. Merry Christmas to us!

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and soaked up all that Scotland had to offer, including 7 castles, an array of delicious pub food, and wonderfully ancient ruins of monastic abbeys. And so much more. Including:

  • a minor car accident on a very steep and icy road
  • a broken camera (yes, my new Nikon) also due to icy conditions
  • a lost wedding ring (Matt's, not mine. Thank goodness.)
And yet, despite the above and, in all honesty, minor and non-catastrophic events, we seriously had a magnificent time. All of our incredible experiences far outweigh the noted inconsequential episodes.

It doesn't get much better than spending Christmas Eve in a centuries old cathedral in the dark waiting for the midnight bell to chime in the arrival of Christmas.

Simply magical. Pictures are forthcoming.