Pages

Monday, February 28, 2011

haircut.

Noah has never been a kid for picture-taking. He has never been one of those that folds his hands in his lap and cheeses at the camera until momma says, "Ok! Stop already!"

Nah. He mostly just completely ignored the camera from day one. Now that he is older, he usually does whatever he can to get out of the picture we are trying to take. This generally results in him running circles around me and me spinning around trying to snap a decent shot.

You should also know that haircuts are traumatic events in our house. When Noah was 5 months old, I gave him his first haircut. He had that much hair. For that haircut, he just stoically watched in the mirror as the machine buzzed over his head. I had high hopes.

But, alas. That was just for the first haircut. Every haircut since then involves roof-raising screams, kicks, squirms--whatever can be done to escape. We generally have him on a stool with his back against my chest, and Rey kneels in front of him holding his hands and legs as still as possible. We all end up coated in hair--Noah most of all, since all of his antics make him work up a sweat.

It's no wonder I cut his hair so short. Means the time between haircuts is longer!

So, it was haircut time at the old ranch. Everything went as normal, except that Noah's haircut turned out even shorter than I'd expected.

He always looks so handsome right after his haircut, so I wanted to take some pictures (a day later, so the memory of the trauma had faded...).

Noah had so much fun trying to evade the camera, and what resulted were some snapshots that captured many of Noah's expressions and his love for keeping momma on her toes.

Enjoy!







Saturday, February 26, 2011

sell outs.

We aren't. Really. It was just a fun title.

Most of you know that we have not been able to raise anywhere near what we need to live here. It is really the grace of God that keeps us going. But, it also can create a pressing stress when it comes to any financial thing.

A couple of months ago, we were stuck. We had way more bills than we had the ability to pay. So we decided to sell some non-essentials. Things we don't really need today-- like that stove we had, when this house came with a stove. Or (*sniff*) all our baby clothes that had been outgrown. Or clothes we didn't use that often. Or that TV screen (who needs a 36" when you have an 8"?). Or that cozy robe (sweaters work just fine). Don't need this stroller when I have 2 strong arms. Thinning out some of Noah's toys worked, too. "We don't really need these frames, or those cups, or..."

Using this approach, we were able to put out a couple tables of stuff and hang some things on our fence and have a fine garage sale.

However, we soon ran out of non-essentials.

I then remembered something I had done to help us out financially when we lived in Rio Bravo: Selling for people. I asked around among our friends if anyone had stuff they'd like to sell. I'd offer to sell it for them and split it 50-50. Works out good because we always have "new" stuff to sell, and they are getting a little something for doing nothing.

We usually try to put out our little "thrift shop" at least once on the weekend, depending on Rey's schedule. We seem to sell best on Saturdays.

Days we sell are crazy days. "Hit the floor running and don't stop 'till it's over" kind of days. Days that our bed looks like this. All day.



It is always a juggling game. It takes about an hour of running to get everything out and ready to sell... stepping over and around little helpers that want to pull clothes off tables and tags off of clothes. Taking turns gobbling down breakfast, lunch, supper.





The other great thing about doing this selling is we get to meet our neighbors and somewhat form relationships with them. That is huge.

We put out our shop today. Oh, my. What were we thinking? As you see, we live on a dusty dirt road. Made even dustier by 5 months without any kind of rain. And today was sooo windy. I'm guessing it was gusting around 30 mph. Clothes were flying around. You couldn't see the end of the street. Craziness.

As we packed up stuff in the afternoon, I told Rey it looked like we'd been trying to do business on the beach. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g was coated it sandy dirt. Ni modo ("oh well"), we had to try!

Now, the dust has (literally and figuratively) settled. Everything is back to where it should be, windows and doors shut, house swept. I found myself finally making our bed about 7 pm. I know, I know. What's the point.... But, it really helps me feel like I can settle in and relax when everything is "as it should be" (for the most part!).

So, now... me and my baby are gonna settle in with a big bowl of veggie soup and a movie someone gave us. And we are going to relax!

dumbness... it can be scary.

Do you ever stop to think about how nice the world would be without money? Now don't roll your eyes or overthink it... What I mean is: How many of the horrible, life-taking things going on in the world today are because of money. Because money = power. And everyone wants that. Power.

I just get so annoyed when I think about the evil that drugs has done to the country I am living in. Stupid drugs. I mean, seriously? Killing innocent people, kidnapping innocent people, terrorizing innocent people-- for marijuana? I know-- it comes down to the money = power thing... but, grr!

I wonder how different our experience here would be without the whole "drug thing". From what we hear, this area had no drug issue until about 3 years ago when the cartels moved in. They now hold the area in a grip of utter panic. Fear for life. Fear for living. They work somewhat like the mafia: Extorting businesses under threat of death or destruction of property. They have been known to raze schools. They have kidnapped family members right from their front doorstep. They set up blockades on the roads and pull people over... stealing cars or worse. They show up at random places, always armed to the hilt, and demanding whatever they want.

What would it be like without this darkness? Obviously now people are deciding the safest thing is to stay huddled up in their houses and stick with the people they know. Mexicans have always been known for being warm, open and hospitable. We haven't found that in this area, and we think we know why.

I don't usually get scared about it unless I am out driving with the kids alone. There are certain highways in town that it seems like soldier-drug people chases take place with more frequency... and when I am on those roads, my pulse gets faster. I start over-analyzing every fancy looking SUV, every car without plates. I give them extra distance, try to check if they might be following.

Here, as soon as the sun goes down, the area becomes somewhat desolate. There aren't too many people on the streets, walking or in cars. It is generally known that the safest time to be out is in the morning and afternoon. After that, people stick close to home. I don't like to drive after dark. The feeling that everyone is hiding pushes my imagination into overdrive.

Rey just got home from the Huichol Indian village. He says that they were pulled over by one of the drug road blockades. They were forced to get out of their vehicles and questioned as to their activities. The vehicles the team uses have magnets with the ministry name on them.... and Rey feels like if it weren't for them they may have been fired upon since they failed to stop right away.

So, there. That's our situation. It's ugly. It's wrong. And it's so dumb.

Friday, February 25, 2011

sweetest hubby award

Convo between me and my true love:

He: Wow, you look great! It's gotta be those exercise classes, right?
Me: I've only gone to 2 classes...

:)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

artsy

We often comment that Rey should have studied Mechanical Engineering. He is an Industrial Engineer... but he has an uncanny sense for how things work and how to fix things. It is his absolute favorite thing to loose himself for hours with some broken thing, and emerge victorious with the answer.

I joke that I should've studied Industrial Engineering. Rey's area of study specializes in process, especially in the factory world. How things get put together, how the process could be made faster, more streamlined. Let me tell you, that is my specialty. Be it good or bad, my brain is always firing at me faster more efficient ways to get the job done. I think it drives my poor details-loving man crazy, but the space between A-B always seems small to me.

Enter my new job with my friend, Doris. Let's just start off by saying--growing up with 7 brothers and a momma with more than enough on her plate did not leave much room for "crafty-ness". No ma'am. We did not labor much with the hot glue gun or make large poofy creations from ribbon and styrofoam. It was a pretty straight-forward and durable world I grew up in (which I loved). However, my friend Doris was gifted with an amazing sense of color and texture combinations that help her to create memorable and beautiful jewelry from the beads she sells. She also has these hands that seem to be both strong and flexible, able to work deftly with the smallest of pieces and to coax them into obedience.

Having worked far more with diapers and shovels (not together...yet), this has been a completely new world for me. I love all kinds of learning and I love being creative, so it has been a world that I am enjoying. I do have to admit feeling less than adequate many times--since many of the regulars at Doris's store are more like her than like me.

Doris offers several jewelry making classes at her store. A new one taught the process of "filigrana". Basically, the process involves making jewelry from molding wire into circles, swirls, designs and interlocking them all into one piece. Usually there are beads accenting at certain parts.

Doris asked if I'd be interested in taking the class. She hoped I'd be able to learn the process and then teach some classes myself.

Did I mention I've never done any kind of jewelry making? That pliers aren't a 3rd hand for me? That I've taken exactly 3 of Doris's BEGINNER classes and this is definitely an advanced technique?

But, I'm up for anything. So I said, "Sure!" We got schedules figured out, and I went to my first class. For 3 HOURS, I made circles, and circles and circles.

Tiny circles.

Observe:



I mean... eye-crossingly tiny!



The thing is, every ring has to be completely round, the exact same size. The place where the wires of the circle meet need to overlap the tiniest little bit... enough to close it tightly, but not so much as to warp the circle.

For ever 3 rings I made, 2 were rejected. That was when I was doing well.

I envisioned the teacher banging his head to a mushy pulp every day as I left the class.

And, being the "streamlining" type person I am... all I could think about was this huge container that Doris has behind the counter of thousands of those perfect rings, made by a MACHINE! Hellllooooo?? Can't I just use those rings to make this precious necklace?

It was then that I realized it. I am not an artist. I think that artists revel in the process almost more than the finished product. They take pride in knowing just how much of their art was made by their own hand.

Nope. I'm just artsy. I like learning about stuff. I like seeing how things were made. I like being creative--to a point. It's just the way it is. There is only so much time I will invest in something before I am asking myself if there is a more efficient way around this mountain.

It's kind of a sad realization, but not a new one. I know I don't have the staying power to perfect a craft. It just makes me admire more people that do.

PS--I am not taking that class any more. It demanded more time than I could put into it. And, we decided I should probably conquer Beginner and Intermediate before I take on Advanced. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

thieving scoundrals

I am daily reminded of how glad I am that I was raised in a country where values such as honesty, hard work and integrity are so esteemed. I know that comment may raise eyebrows--like, "What rock have you been under?" But, no matter what-- the US culture has been highly influenced by Christian ethics, and on the whole this can be felt when you are out and about.

I miss that here.

Theft is really, really common here. Even "normal" people steal. Without a second thought, it seems. Just swiping things they see laying places, without even thinking to ask, "Hey--is this yours?"

A random and not valuable example: I was taping up a sign to our gate and had laid the roll of tape down on the sidewalk. I saw a piece of garbage about 3 steps away and I went to pick it up. After I picked up the trash, I turned around to see a guy had just swiped the roll of tape. Okaayyy?

Remember how Rey and I got back from our little trip on a Sunday night? Well, in the mail we had received... a cool little doggy toy had come from a special Aunty for Aleni.

Monday morning, Noah saw the awesome toy and fell in love:


It not only barked, panted and whimpered... it also had a flexible body and moved when touched. Noah had it in his hand the entire day.

That afternoon, we went to the plaza (as I wrote about). Of course, doggy had to go too:



As we got ready to leave, I grabbed the kids and asked Rey to get the "stuff". We literally walked about 15-20 steps before I looked at Rey's hands and asked him where doggy was. Rey got "that look" on his face and we turned to look where we'd been sitting. In the space of about 1 1/2 minutes, doggy had disappeared.

We looked around at the hands of the people going by. No luck. No more doggy.

We were home about an hour later and Noah tried to turn the house upside down looking for his beloved puppy. He was heart-broken.

I finally thought of checking at a toy store at the end of the road to see if they had something similar. I took Noah with me, because he was pulling me out the door: "Find doggy, find doggy!!"

At first it looked like we weren't going to find anything and then when found this for about $10:



I told Noah, "Looooook! We found doggy!" He was hysterically happy. I do have to hide pictures of the "real" doggy though. ;)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

my limits.




Some sweet friends had a get together/meal for a bunch of us tonight.

Rey ate first and then wrangled Aleni while I scooped some food onto my plate to gobble it down.

Rey asked if I had gotten anything out of that dish. That dish was a covered dish which held some unknown black, gnarly, mushy looking substance which I passed on as I went for the identifiable rice and beans.

Him (brightly): You should try some!
Me: What is it?
Him (looking around for help): I can't remember the name of it...?? (getting no help, he shrugs:) Well, anyways. It's cooked blood and onions!" (smiling encouragingly)

I told him since he'd described it so beautifully.... I'd pass.

Friday, February 18, 2011

late afternoon at the plaza

We love our plaza.

You probably know that many Mexican cities are 100's of years old, and are built out around a plaza that is usually about as old as the city. I think the downtown plaza is about my favorite spot in any Mexican city, and it's no different here in Fresnillo.

It's not like it's "that big of a deal". But, it's fun to go there late afternoon... sit on one of the benches and watch the world go by. There are usually a bunch of elderly folks sitting on other benches, chatting, feeding the pigeons, or just sitting. There are usually little stands to buy snacks from and/or ice cream stores. There is usually music.

It's just a nice place to relax while Noah goes crazy chasing pigeons and Aleni tries to keep up with him. We generally go about once a week, when the weather is nice.

We haven't gone for a long time because it has been too cold and windy... but, it was finally nice enough the other day and we went. I'd missed it.

Noah checking up on the girlfriend:




He always gets sooo excited about the prospect of "eye keem" (ice cream). But, once he gets it, he usually takes a lick or so and then lets it melt all over his hands. Unless momma helps out. Hey, I know. It's big of me. But, I'm a mother. It's what I do. ;)

He swapped me for my chips:


My gorgeous fam enjoying the afternoon:


The story of Aleni's life: "Noah won't eat it?? Gimmee!"


Chasing pigeons (one little girl about his age was screaming, "Nooo, niño, noooooo!" I hope she wasn't too scarred...)





Aleni... always wanting to get in on what brother's doing... Go, Aleni, Go!!


Rey found some nice lighting for these shots. They are so indicative of Aleni's personality: All motion and determination. This face is one she makes a lot, and it always cracks me up:


Hermosa.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

not so bad

Disinfecting fruits and veggies ain't so bad when it looks like this:


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

day spa.

Yes. Me. Here in Mexico. Just because.

You see, I read an article about doing a "spa" at your own house. And, thought I, why not?

I don't know if you are like me, but sometimes I get overwhelmed in the cosmetics department. There are sooo many products. All promising you what you want, and more: Jennifer Aniston in a bottle! (Right!)

And, I have bought enough things through the years and been disappointed enough by trying new things that I often think: "Just stick with what you've always used."

However! (Picture a bus screeching to a halt).

I have found some things that have rocked my (cosmetic) world and would feel oh-so-selfish if I didn't share them with you.

They are:

(Pretend like you don't realize these are being displayed on the back of a toilet.)

Purty, aren't they?

I use these lovely things every day:


1--Dove Go Fresh Green Tea and Cucumber Body Lotion. I've been using this for some time now, but had to include it. Talk about a "Take Me Away" scent. Mmm. Makes me happy every time! (I promise, the rest of the things are newbies for me...)

2-- Loreal Go 360 Clean Facial Cleanser. Oh.my.goodness. Can you say, "Buh-bye Noxema"? This cleanser leaves my face sooooo soft and smooth. And, thanks to the little built in circle "scrubblet", you hardly have to use any cleanser at all...

3--Garnier Moisture Rescue Lightweight UV-Lotion. Seriously. Another gasp. I have used a lot of facial lotions in my day... but, I've never put on one that felt as smooth and silky as this one. Gotta getcha one!


Now these are my little "day spa extras". I have instituted 2 day spa days a WEEK for myself-- Wednesday and Saturday. Aren't I a lucky girl? It basically changes my 8 minute shower into a 15 minute one... Talk about luxury.

(I also use a "face mask"... but it's not shaking my world right now, so it didn't make it to the back of the toilet. Shame, shame.)




1-- Aveeno Positively Nourishing Smoothing Body Wash. I have shied (is that written correctly? it looks weird...) away from body washes for some time because most make my super duper sensitive skin start itching like crazy. But, since Aveeno's known for their good-to-your-skin product, I gave it a try. No itching!

2--Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner. Yum. I don't even know if this baby works, but that smell. Oh, yes. I'll have me some more of that! I only put it on about the bottom 1/3 of my hair since too much conditioner can overwhelm my hair... But, I can only imagine that in this insanely dry climate with it's ultra direct sun-rays, my hair is saying, "Muchas gracias."

3--Johnson's Shea & Cocoa Butter Baby Oil. Now hang on. Don't hate me cuz you ain't me. I was a little dubious too. But this stuff is good. After all that buffing and whatnot, I rub this oil on and it absorbs right away. No grease or "I'm a newborn baby" smell. And it leaves my skin radiant. Oh, yeah. I said "radiant". I just use it on my arms, legs and feet... and use my regular lotion on the rest.

So... I had two reasons for writing this post...

The first, obviously, to pass on some good products.

The second: Maybe taking an extra 5 minutes in the shower with some good-smelling stuff doesn't spell bliss to you. Maybe it's setting aside an hour a week to read that one book. Or going to a museum. Taking a walk at the park. Or whatever. Make the time to do it--no one will do it for you. And it does make a big difference.

How about you? Do you have some "must-haves" to share? Or what "me thing" do you need to make time for?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the love boat: pt 7 -- outtakes... aka: the end, i promise

It's good to laugh at yourself, isn't it?

I am sure it doesn't happen to anyone else... but in our quest for the perfect picture, we often end up with some that aren't so perfect.

As I was looking through our pictures, I couldn't help laughing... and wishing my big sis was here to help me "pin a caption" on these pictures. She rocks at that.

And, so... I present:

#1:
Rey-- "Maybe the van wasn't quite fixed yet... the fumes...."
Liz-- "I hope nothing flies up my nose..."


#2:
Rey: "Heh, heh. She's mine. All mine."
Liz: "Aw, shucks now honey."




#3:
Liz: "This is all happening so faaast... the lights... arghhh!"



#4:
Rey: "No, I can't. I'm a married man."
Liz: "Get over here, you."


#5:
"Now the hoedown went a little like this..."

Monday, February 14, 2011

the love boat: pt 6--going home

Sunday morning seemed to dawn after just having closed our eyes Saturday night. That's how heavily we slept. Apparently, Rey's dad is the "up-at-dawn" type of fella because he'd been banging on something with a big stick for about an hour before we decided to get out of bed.

We had a nice time chatting with Rey's family and playing with one-year-old nephew, Agustin. Here he is eating breakfast with his 17-year-old momma, Mayra:



We left around 12, after chowing on our late breakfast of rotisserie chicken tacos and guacamole.

We looked like this on the drive home--hurting for sleep, a shower... and of course... our babies! :)





We got home around 10 and were oh-so-happy to fall into our very own bed.

the love boat: pt 5-- baby care

You know you've got yourself a good babysitter when they say things like:

"Just so you know, I've washed all the bedding twice and cleaned up all the dog poop in the yard."

Or:

"I think it's good that you're coming back and everything, but I kind of feel like, 'Oh, no! They are taking away my children!'"

Or, when you find this on your fridge....



... and your toddler has learned them.

We had just that kind of babysitter... My cousin, Alicia (with the help of sis and mom) did an awesome job of taking care of our babies the 4 days we were gone. She never complained about waking up several times in the middle of the night. She handled discipline issues like a pro.

And, she went way above what any "normal" babysitter would have done.

Thanks, Alicia! We are lucky to have you.

And, no. You can't have her. She's ours. All ours.

Friday, February 11, 2011

the love boat: pt 4: a day so long we'll split it in two

After spending an hour on the beach, we sped back across southern Texas to Amber's place to check for more mail and pick up some rice. (A great organization called "Kids Against Hunger" donates literally pallets of boxes of rice to us! It gets delivered there to Amber's and then we have to get it down, little by little, to Zacatecas. Little by little, because sometimes officials like to accuse us of "importing" the rice to sell it and give us a hassle.) There was no mail, and Rey threw 6 boxes of rice into a already-full van, and off we went.

By this time, I was having heart palpitations. Why? The wedding started at 5. And, although I know that in Mexico, that can mean the wedding really actually starts at 6... I was nervous because it was already 5 as Rey was loading up the rice. I imagined being detained on the bridge and several Mexican officials going through each item and trying to make us give them bribes to get past.

"The supposed reason for this trip was Karla and Eli's wedding and now we are going to miss it!" I moaned as I wiggled in to my clothing from the back of the van (you may thank me now for not including pictures).

Rey deftly maneuvered the van back through lower Texas and onto one of the many international bridges in the area.

Thank the Lord, we got a green light at the checkpoint and sailed right through. My little attitude starting getting better. ;)

The wedding was held at Bethel Church, where Rey attended for about 4 years, and we attended for about 1 1/2 years together after we were married. As we parked in front, we saw that the ceremony was still going.

Wedding ceremonies here are not the perfect, choreographed things that they are in the US. In fact, in this ceremony, the church was packed and there were about 20-30 people standing around at the back of the church and in the doorway. During the next hour (yes! The service went on for another hour after we arrived), babies wailed, people walked in and out--trampling pew bows in the process, and the group at the back talked and joked loudly. I really could barely hear the preacher.

The preacher didn't really stick to the bare bones speech most preachers did. He went on and on, making many cracks about the to-be husband and marriage in general.

There are several symbolic things in a Mexican wedding. One thing they do is get "padrinos" to help them pull off the wedding. These padrinos are family friends who offer to buy the symbolic items. The symbolic items used in this wedding were: The Bible, the "lasso", the pillow, wedding rings.

The Bible is for obvious reasons. The lasso is a silk cord with two loops in it. The loops are placed over the head of the bride and groom, symbolizing that they are united forever. The pillow is what the bride and groom kneel on together to pray.


The beaming couple as they are pronounced husband and wife:


After being pronounced, the husband and wife walked back out being showered (or pelted, if the rice-holder was a guy) with rice.

Rey and I hadn't ate since 11 that morning and it was pushing 8 by then. Knowing that it could be more than an hour before we ate at the reception, we decided to stop for some tacos. :)

The reception was held at a very nice reception hall. We had a good time seeing and chatting with old friends from Rey's hometown.

Karla and Eli at their table of honor:


Us with them: :)

Usually a Mexican wedding ceremony features much game-playing--especially if they want to avoid dancing.

The favorites are this:


It is called "Snake of the Sea". It is basically like Crack the Whip. The good thing is they split up the women and the men, and then they take turns running between the bride and groom and all over the room. Usually the women's turn is pretty tame, but when guys go, women always hide their children because bodies are flying into walls, tables and across the floor. Pretty wild. Especially if muscle-man Rey is the "puller". He held himself back this time.


This is another favorite:


Can't remember the name, but they basically make a tunnel with their outstretched arms; guys on one side, women on the other. Then a person runs through the middle and grabs someone of the opposite gender as they run through. These form a new couple at the end of the tunnel, and leave the other part of the stolen couple without a partner, so he/she has to run and grab someone. The tunnel is constantly moving, compacting. The game only ends when the participants are too tired to keep on going.

We stayed until around 10, and then decided to head over to Rey's family's place.

Most of them were asleep or at least in bed, trying to be warm. It was around 30 degrees and the house is basically the same temperature inside as it is outside.

Rey and I had planned on sleeping outside in our tent, before we knew it was cold. Thankfully, his family had an extra bed and we got to sleep off of the ground!


I ain't gonna lie. It was frrreeezzing. I put on a couple pairs of pants, a stocking cap, my coat and got in under the covers.


Heh heh.

But, once we got warmed up, it was toasty the rest of the night.

On the other side of the outer wall of this room is where their cows, goats and horses are corralled. So, we were lulled to sleep by the bleating, lowing and general noise-making of the critters on the other side of the paper-thin wall.

I think the mattress must have been put over a rope-spring support, because it felt like we were sleeping in a really comfy hammock.

Above our heads, we could see the sky through the nail holes in the corrugated tin roof:


It impressed me then how lucky I am to be able to have a life so diverse in experiences. In one day, I went from the lap of abundance (the stuffed-to-overflowing aisles of Walmart), to the beach, to a Mexican wedding, to a lavish reception, to a humble room that gave me that cozy feel of camping out.

Yup. Pretty lucky indeed.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

the love boat: pt 3--A day so long we'll split it in two

It is rather humorous, because whenever Rey and I talked about this trip, we'd get a dreamy tone in our voice. It was what got us through sleep-interrupted nights and earlier-than-we'd-like mornings. We'd just look at each other and smile--because we knew that in fourteen days-two hours-3 minutes we would be sleeping in until noon.

The irony is we never slept past 8.

Saturday morning, we were up at 7. Had to get that continental breakfast, dontcha know. Checkout was at 11, so we got all showered up and then lounged around watching TV until then. Now that felt luxurious.


It was still pretty chilly by the time we left and we still had a few items on our lists to get before heading back to Mexico. So, we decided to cross the kind of C-shaped bridge back to the "mainland" to get those things while we let the day warm up a bit.


The continental breakfast had basically been toast and mini-muffins, so we quieted our stomach rumbles at McDonalds. Rey is thrilled. Over the moon.


We ran around getting what we needed, and then zoomed back across the bridge and found our way to the bridge. It was a nippy 55 degrees with a strong wind, but there is nothing like the beach. The way the land falls away to the wide open mouth of the endless ocean.... I still get butterflies and start babbling like a 4-year-old when I see the horizon ending and start smelling salty air. The ocean is coming!


It was beautiful and we had to do some posin' during our hour there.


Yay!



This was fun:



And our favorite shot:


We'd noticed we had several pictures with this pose. Observe:


Engagement Pictures: 2007

Wedding Pictures: 2007



Honeymoon Pictures: 2007

And, yeah. We haven't really been on any "just us" trip since then. So, we thought it'd be a fun tradition... to take a picture like that on our different adventures throughout the years.

Ah. And these pictures tell me something. They tell me we are better together.