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Monday, May 30, 2011

Photos of the Week: Week 21

Well this long weekend, glorious as it was, has me all discombobulated on blogging. We'll get back to our regularly scheduled programming next week. For now, here are my photos for last week!


Theme: Project 64 - Yellow Orange



As soon as I saw this week's color, I knew I wanted to shoot a sunset. I really liked this shot with the barbed wire fence in the foreground. Be sure to check out the other entries here!



Theme: Memorial Day (Quotography)



I looked through a lot of photos to decide which one to use for this quote....the Santa Fe National Cemetery, the Vietnam Wall....but I just couldn't get away from this shot I got at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC earlier this month. The wreath you see was a gift from South Korea. One country thanking another for its sacrifice. I love the soldier's face in the background. Please remember to say a prayer for our troops--those fighting now and all of those who have ever fought--and their families. To see the other Quotography entries, click here.



Theme: Temptation



I'm here to tell you that I'm nowhere near ready to have kids. But hanging out with my friend Little Cowboy makes me want to have one to take home with me!


Theme: Summer Days



I got this shot of Little Brother at the lake this weekend and just loved the look. A cowboy's a cowboy no matter what he's doing.



Theme: Metal





I really like this shot of one of our windmills with the sun shining in the background.



Theme: Isaiah 54:12



I'm a New Mexican girl, so when I saw turquoise in this week's verse, I knew I had to use some jewelry! Check out Verse of the Week here.




Theme: Happiness
Nothing like a brand new baby calf to bring a smile to my face. This tiny little guy was taking a little nap in the sunshine.




Theme: Furry

I loved this photo of one of our ewes that I snapped this weekend and thought it would work well for this week's Happy Monday theme!



Theme: Food


I had to get a little creative on this one since I didn't take any picutres of the food I ate this week. But I did snap this photo when we were feeding cows over the weekend and I thought it would work. You can check out the other entries on Friday at Live Every Moment!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Family Farm Friday #54: Take Me Home, Country Road

"It's slow and it's small and it's life at a crawl but it's everything I miss!" ~Things We Forget, Rodney Atkins


As you guys know from my Wednesday post, I'm headed here this weekend (yes this is from last year when there was green grass....let's be optimistic):
I'll be spending some time with these folks: And seeing this kid graduate from high school:
And checking on The Bettys:
And these lovely ladies. The picture below is also from back in the day when we had irrigation water.... And don't forget about Roberto.
So, to prepare for the trip, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite "headed home" songs with y'all this Friday! I'll do my best to get some good pictures and ideas for the next few Family Farm Fridays!






Sidenote: No, my Daddy is not a coal miner, but who doesn't love a little Loretta Lynn, huh?

And one song, probably my favorite of them all, wasn't available on Grooveshark...nor can I find JAB actually playing it online.....dang it! So here is some kid doing a cover of my song: End of a Dirt Road by Josh Abbott Band.


Hope Everyone has a wonderful long weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Throwback Thursday #54: The Shoney's Sign

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die." ~Eccl. 3:1

Last weekend I drove by Shoney's restaurant. I noticed that they were removing the huge sign that stood in the parking lot. Upon further inspection, I noticed that the restaurant had closed down. I couldn't help but think back to 9 years ago and how that restaurant may have saved my life.
My senior year of high school, our team made it to the State Basketball Tournament. We decorated the bus, packed up our bags, and got ready to play ball and spend a week in the big city. We won our first round game, which put us into the semi-finals. There, we ended up losing in a really close game to the team that would go on to win the State Championship.

The next morning, it was time to head home. I always rode the bus, as did most of the other girls on the team. But that morning, my mom called and asked if I wanted to ride home with her and Little Brother so that we could stop and have breakfast with Auntie. The breakfast destination? You guessed it. Shoney's. I distinctly remember thinking, "this is my last bus trip, maybe I should go home with everyone else." But then several of my friends were already headed out with their own parents instead of on the bus, and I always love getting to see Auntie, so I decided to go home with my family instead.

We had breakfast at Shoney's that morning and then headed out of town. About 30 minutes into the trip home, my phone ring. It was my friend, who we can now call Mrs. Blue Eyes (because she married the famous Blue Eyes several years after high school). The bus had been in an accident. Everyone was going to meet up at the hospital in Santa Rosa. So we drove the hour to the hospital and pulled in. We didn't know many details, but I don't remember being very worried.

And then that changed. As we were walking in I heard the ambulance people talking about deaths. And I saw someone being wheeled in who was burned from head to toe. All of a sudden, "the bus was in an accident" had a real different meaning.

There had been a fire and dust storm blowing across the road. Some car stopped on the highway just over a hill. And then one car hit the first car. Then another did the same. There ended up being like 10 cars involved, including our bus, which was one of the last vehicles to crash into this mess. And then the pile up caught on fire.
Fortunately, there were only 4 girls, one coach and a bus driver on the bus. They all got out alive. Aside from the bus driver breaking a bone and a few cuts and bruises, everyone was just fine. The emergency officers said that had there been anyone else on that bus, there would not have been time to get them out alive.

I don't know why life works the way it does. 8 people died on the highway that day. Had it not been for breakfast at Shoney's, that number could have been higher. I guess everytime I have driven by that Shoney's sign, I remembered how fortunate we all were that day. I remembered to say a prayer of thanksgiving and a prayer for those whose lives were not saved by breakfast. Now, I will have to remember this without the help from the sign. I probably shouldn't have needed a sign to remember to do that anyway.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WILW #6

“Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday." ~Proverb

Well good morning everyone! Since another Wednesday has rolled around, I decided it was time to share some things that I'm loving today....be sure to check out what everyone else is loving here!

* I'm loving that I'm ALMOST at 100 followers. Can you believe that 93 people read my random ranting every day? I think it's awesome and want to say thank you to all of you who read my blog! So.....I've decided that once I reach the big 1-0-0, I will be doing a big giveaway. I'm thinking "Tiffany's Favorite Things" ala Oprah. Soooo, this means that if you're out there loitering but not yet an official follower, you need to follow to help get this giveaway going! Here are simple instructions for doing so.

* I'm loving Friday Night Lights, with one exception......WHERE is Tim Riggins? I mean, I know he's in prison and all right now, but come on, NBC.....you are wasting any time on that show where his adorable face (and his adorable everything else) is not on the screen. My father who has already watched this season via Direct TV assures me that my boy Tim will be back soon. This better be accurate! Free Tim Riggins!
* I'm loving the Miranda Lambert song "Makin' Plans" that was played during the wedding ceremony. Apparently it's old, but she wrote it for Blake and I just think it's freaking adorable. Favorite line: "I know you like the back of my hand, got a heart of gold and a piece of land..." Also LOVED her wedding pictures----Blake in jeans (swoon!) and her in her mama's dress. I would so be her friend in real life. (Alexand KP...can we work on this??)
* I'm loving that plans are in the work for me to go on a blind date. It's out of my hands, but the person in charge is pretty darn on top of things, so this could actually happen. Which would get me another bucket list checkmark. I could get two checkmarks if this date involved a drive in movie. So...if anyone out there has a potential drive in movie date for me, you let me know!

* I'm loving the project that the church I attend is starting for the summer. It's called "God Speaks, We Listen" and the idea is that you listen (not read, but listen) to the entire New Testament in 90 days. They gave out cds for everyone and apparently it will last from June 1 until August 31 and if you devote just about 12 minutes a day, you can hear the whole new testament being read. Love this idea! If you are interested in doing this as well, you can listen online here!
* I'm loving the upcoming LONG weekend! Woo hoo!! I'm headed back home to the farm. You know I'll come back with lots of new pictures and ideas for Family Farm Friday! I always look forward to a little time in the fresh air and wide open spaces. And, as an added bonus... remember the superstar wrestler who I used to babysit? Well, he's graduating from high school (and I feel like I might as well break out the walker!) on Friday night. You know I'll be there!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Halfsies?

"I pay to get my eyebrows waxed twice a month. I pay for makeup. I pay to shave more of my body. I pay for open-toed shoes, closed-toed shoes, boots, sneakers and sandals, in varying shades. I pay for purses. I pay for bras. I pay for pepper spray. I pay for diet advice. I pay for self-help books. I pay for gifts to bring to baby showers and bridal showers and bachelorette parties. MEN PAY FOR DATES." ~ Everyday Goodness

So a couple of weeks ago my friend went on a date with a doctor. He asked her out to a nice restaurant here in town. Things were going really well. And then it happened. The check came. The doctor looked at the ticket, looked at my friend, and then said, "Halfsies?"

Good thing this dude didn't ask me out, or he would have gotten "the look." Here is a sample being used on Cousin Swiss Mister after he said I was dressed trashy.



Now, mind you, I can't seem to find anyone to even take me to dinner, much less do appropriate things while there, so I really probably shouldn't be complaining, but....well.....why else do I have a blog? Maybe I should write a book on advice for boys....I've done this topic once before on the blog. I would also include chapters on not mentioning your baby mamas (yes plural) and actually calling them that in the same conversation where you ask a girl out. And never ordering lettuce wraps when the girl ordered a steak. But I digress...

Anyway, after hearing my friend's story, I stumbled upon a survey on the internet. Apparely 49% of men think that the man should pay for the first date. WHAT!?! This menas that 51%, or the majority, or MOST men do not.

Understand that I'm an independent girl. I'm all for women's rights and equal treatment and what not. I grew up in a family that didn't care if I was a girl---I was expected to help brand cattle and haul hay and feed ewes just like my brother. I have a good job (one that until a few decades ago women weren't allowed to have), I have my own house, and I can may for my own freakin' dinner.

HOWEVER.....the point here is that I want a guy who WANTS to pay for my dinner on the first date. It's a sign of respect. And chivalry. And being a gentleman. And I don't see any reason why those things and women being equal can't coexist.

And don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying a guy should always pay. If there are more than one date (which, by the way there will NOT be if anyone pulls "halfsies" on me), I think that the girl should pay for her share of the dates. I am not saying that the poor guy's wallet should be like an ATM machine.

But what I am saying is this. Bottom line: Boys, listen up....on a first date.....you pay for dinner. And open my car door for good measure. Sheesh.
(photo via)




Am I crazy here? (This is really a rhetorical question, because I already checked with Cousin Kevin and he agrees, and the two of us are never wrong.) Thoughts on this halfsies phenomenon?

Oh, and just so you know how the story ends.....my friend paid her half. Then the doctor had a chance to redeem himself when they went for ice cream. Did he buy hers? Nope. Did she see him again? Nope. Coincidence? Nope.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Meet the Cast Monday #20: Texas Lawyer

Today I'm introducing you to Texas Lawyer. She and I went to high school together in small town America. After she graduated she moved here and there, but ended up going to law school and now practices law in Texas. We kept in touch through facebook, and last year finally got to hang out again at a friend's wedding. During that time, my dad called and said, "What are you doing?" I said, "Hanging out with Texas Lawyer." He said, "Well there's a flashback to 10 years ago!" Good friendships never die!





Here she is.....Meet Texas Lawyer!


We grew up in the same small town. What was your favorite part of growing up there?


We grew up in a place where handshakes mean something. Big business deals were conducted at halftime of the varsity basketball game. When someone said they would come help you, they came with extra people. In out hometown, we honor the flag by standing, and we get chills when we hear the Star-Spangled Banner. When we lose someone we love, the whole town rallies behind us (and brings a casserole), because that’s what being a good neighbor involves. I’ve lived in a lot of places over the years, and while out hometown definitely has its faults, I love that the people are as salt-of-the-earth as they come. {Love this. So well put! Here is a picture from high school with The Bride.}
You have moved around quite a bit--favorite place that you've lived?
I LOVED living in Oregon. Salem was about an hour from the ocean and an hour from the mountains and skiing. It was so green all the time, and there were beautiful flowers. After growing up in the 505, Oregon was a novelty to me. When I first moved up there, I couldn’t believe that no one cared much about fixing their hair or make-up (Awesome! You could look like garbage, and still be more dressed up than half the people around you!), the Mexican food was terrible, and I must admit that I still cringe when I see “Oregon-ish” shoes (Birkenstocks on crack). But, I loved, and will always miss, the beauty of the place, the quiet kindness of the people, my great group of friends, and the best cake place on the face of the earth. That cake was what dreams were made of . . . .

You recently started practicing.....what is your favorite/least favorite part of being an attorney?
My favorite part - Paychecks? I’m always significantly more motivated to put in the hours on payday. I swear I’d be more productive if a little copy of my paycheck would magically pop up on my computer screen every few hours. {Oh my gosh, I have said this more times than I can count myself! They put payday every two weeks so you don't quit in between!}

In less superficial, money-grubbing things . . . I really like the partner I’m primarily assigned to, and I get to do a lot of work for this habeas application we’re doing pro bono on a death penalty case. Since we mainly do litigation for big businesses, the death penalty case makes me feel like I’m improving the world and fighting for justice, not just making rich people richer. I think pro-bono work is good for the soul, and I’m really thankful to be at a firm that values that and gives us credit for those hours.

My least favorite part – I think the unpredictability of my schedule is the thing that really drives me crazy. One week, I’m sure I’m going to lose my job because I have basically no projects and thus, no billable hours, and the next week, I just want the chance to be at my house for more than a 10 hour stretch. I think the fact that at any given point something unexpected can come up, and you have to put the rest of your life on hold is a little challenging.

Tell us how you got together with your boyfriend {Editor's note....he's now her fiance!} (say whatever you want, but I'm getting at the fact that you found love while going through the hell that is the bar exam....because I think it's awesome!)
Well, what can I say? I’ve never done things the easy way! That was both the most awful and best time of my life! We were just talking about how we would stay up until 3 or 4 a.m. walking around our favorite park talking about everything imaginable, and then go to BarBri the next day. My coffee consumption definitely drastically increased. It’s truly a testament to all the prayers of my family and friends that we passed the Bar!

Sean was my first friend in law school. In fact, he’s one of the first two or three people I even met at school. We hung out in the same big circle of people, but we both were in pretty serious relationships for part of our school careers, so we just were casual friends. When he came up in conversation, I always said, “He’s just the BEST guy I know.” Our 3L year, we both kind of started liking each other, but neither of us really thought the other one would ever go for that, so nothing happened. At one point, I told my friend, “I think I could have a flirtation with him.” Turns out I could have more than that! Right around graduation, we started spending some time together and during the Bar exam we studied at the same coffee shop. Little did I know that he was studying there because he knew that’s where I would be lugging those atrocious green books to. In the midst of the stress and chaos, we started dating, and it has been incredible. He is more than I ever knew to ask God for. {I know it's corny....but I love that last line!} I can’t wait to live in the same city again, but I wouldn’t trade what we have for anything in the world!
People think it’s crazy that we found love during the Bar exam, but honestly, it’s probably what kept my sanity in place. It forced us to take breaks and do fun things. For these reasons, I think I got my money out of BarBri! (But, thinking about the Bar still makes me a little ill.)

I know we've both been to a lot of weddings...what is one thing that you know you want at yours?
Sean Taylor! :) {Turns out she's getting her wish!} Weddings have been on the mind lately, and there are so many good ideas that it’s actually a little overwhelming. I think I had more ideas about it ten years ago than I do now. I’ve seen way too many stressed out brides and grooms, so what I really want is just a relaxed, fun time with lots of delicious cake!

What is your favorite book?
My absolute favorite book is called an Embarrassment of Mangoes, and anyone who likes travel, sailing, or cooking should read this book. Disclaimer: Only read this book if you don’t mind spending all your spare time thinking about how you could totally quit your job, learn to sail, and spend a couple years cruising through the Caribbean. It’s a true story about a couple from Toronto that did just that, and it’s fantastic. Plus, there are great recipes at the end of each chapter, so for my fellow foodies, get to it.

You tried teaching as a career before going to law school. What made you decide to change?
I think teaching is such an important job, and I truly believe that every child should have a teacher that is passionate about what they do and that feels called to teach. Even though I generally liked my job and believe I did a good job, I didn’t feel that way. I’d always been interested in going to law school, and after several years, of considering it, I decided to apply and see where God took me.
What is one (or more) item(s) on your bucket list?
Man, I have so many it’s hard to choose. One that I’ve been thinking about doing this year is starting a blog, but you and The Bride set the bar so high, I’m not sure I’m ready to attempt that. One of my big ones is to go to Ethiopia. I’m really passionate about adoption and orphans, especially those orphaned by or living with HIV. There is a really amazing orphanage in Addis (the capitol) that is just for children with HIV. Reading about this orphanage and some of the children that have come from there made me fall in love with Ethiopia. I even started learning a little Amharic when I was in law school. Visiting Ethiopia is definitely a big player on my bucket list. {Maybe instead of Texas Lawyer I should have named her Mother Teresa! Great bucket list item!}

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Photos of the Week: Week 20

Can you guys believe that we're already 20 weeks into the year? Time flies when you're having fun, right? Here are my shots for this week!


Theme: Blood
When I saw this theme, I texted Blonde Oklahoma Girl and asked her what in the WORLD I was going to get a picture of! Then while I was looking for my asparagus colored photo, it dawned on me. The Vietnam Wall is a heartbreaking tribute to the tens of thousands of servicemen who lost their lives during that war. It is easy to forget what was sacrificed....their lives, and their blood. Here were a few of my favorite shots. (Sorry they are so small....it won't make this bigger for some reason!)


Theme: Vibrant Color
This week's theme for the Live Every Moment challenge is "vibrant color." I stumbled upon this church in Georgetown and just loved its bright red door!



Theme: Three For Luck


I'll be honest, I have no idea what this theme means. I finally gave up trying to find something that fit and went with this photo of three horses that I snapped two weekends ago at the steeplechase. It fit for this weekend, especially after I spent Saturday afternoon watching coverage of the Preakness Stakes on tv.


Theme: Summer Days


Summer is here, and that means it's time for the farmer's market! This was one of the things I missed most about San Francisco, and although our market is nothing like that one, it's still pretty good and a lot of fun. I went for the first time this weekend and it finally felt like summer to me! I really liked this shot of the woman in her hat with the flowers in the foreground.




Theme: Habakkuk 3:4


Okay, I confess....this is a sunset, not a sunrise. But I just didn't get any good sunrise pictures this week and I loved this one that I snapped while traveling to my brother's graduation last weekend, so I had to use it!


Theme: Anger

This picture is a funny story. I didn't know what to shoot (sensing a theme here this week?) and decided on traffic, because I do get sick of sitting in traffic. Mind you, I know I have it light compared to some people in cities like LA and Houston, but for this girl who is from a town with no stoplight, it seems annoying! Anyway, I snapped this shot today on my way home from Target and ended up really liking it because of the clouds!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Project 64: Week 20 - Asparagus

This week the color assignment was asparagus.








Fortunately, I got tons of pictures full of green while I was in DC and Virginia earlier this month for the steeplechase. You've already seen all of my pictures from the steeplechase itself, but I also took several shots around DC that you will be seeing pop up for different themes.


Today, I wanted to use one of my favorite shots as my version of asparagus.




I loved this angle....the soldier, the Washington Monument in his eyeline, the clouds and the trees. Even though the asparagus colored trees are not the focus of the picture, it was one of my favorite shots and they are the right colors, so I'm going with it.


The Korean Memorial is probably my favorite in DC. The memorial depicts American soldiers walking through a rice paddy. Looking at the statutes of people--seeing the faces and eyes and knowing that people in our country, even in my own family--just makes you remember that the reason for these memorials is the real people who served.


Don't forget to check out the other Asparagus entries at Project 64!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Family Farm Friday #53: Mother Nature


"That's the thing about Mother Nature, she really doesn't care what economic bracket you're in." ~Whoopi Goldberg

As I was driving to the rural eastern side of the state (read: HOME aka God's Country!) for Little Brother's graduation last week, I couldn't help but notice how many acres I passed by that had been burned up due to recent grass fires. Having lived through that myself recently, I couldn't help but think about all of the ranch families who have had to endure these fires.
Agriculture--ranching and farming--is obviously hard work. The physical toil alone tells you that. But add in the fact that you are completely dependant on Mother Nature to provide sufficient weather conditions, well that brings a whole new set of challenges.

Farmers and ranchers all over the country are facing these challenges right now. In the southeast, there is severe flooding. In Louisiana, it has been approved that the government may open spillways, flooding hundreds of thousands of acres and over 2,500 farms, in order to save the cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Out west, the opposite problem exists. We are in a severe, scary drought. Ranchers I know have sold all of their cattle because they simply do not have the grass to feed them. My own family is stocking up on hay like nobody's business trying to get enough to make it through the year.

In Colorado, late snows have frozen some crops. In Alabama, tornadoes have ripped through communities and have impacted farmers and ranchers along the way.

So today, please say a prayer for American farmers and ranchers. These are people who put the food on your table and the clothes on your back. People who love their land and their livelihoods. People who need a little help from Mother Nature at the moment.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Throwback Thursday # 53: The Beginning and the End

"Your families are extremely proud of you. You can't imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a most opportune time to ask for money." ~Gary Bolding



It all started in 1990. And it all ended last weekend, in 2011. Graduations, that is. Little Brother's graduation from college marked the end of our family's formal education and the end of graduations. To celebrate the occasion, I thought it might be fun to look back on graduations of old.

1990 - Kindergarten
Don't even get me started on the dress. There are no words. What I remember most about kindergarten graduation is how I was totally traumatized. Picture it--seven year old Tiffany is preparing for graduation. This included preparing with my dad for my speaking part in the class play, "Are You My Mother." Then one day at school it came time to make our graduation hats. You know, the ones that are basically made out of cardstock that sort of look like real hats? So.....here comes the trauma.....they meausre my head only to realize that it's somehow enormous and that my hat would need to be specially made from extra card stock. I like to think it was just all the brains crammed in there that took up a lot of space. What was with me and childhood hat trauma?


1993 - Little Brother Kindergarten

This will be the only graduation without photos for the blog. I know they exist, but my mom wasn't able to find them in her boxes upon boxes of photos. Trust me when I say he graduated. And wore a little paper hat. That wasn't specially made. Yea yea.


1998 - 8th Grade
The school where we went for about 5 years did 8th grade graduation. Here is a picture of my 8th grade class. You know a couple of these folks.....I've labeled First Valentine, Teacher Friend and The Cheerleader for your nosey pleasure. Crazy to think that was so many years ago now! (FYI....by the time Little Brother was in 8th grade, we had changed schools and they didn't do an 8th grade graduation. Just didn't want you all to think he flunked or something!)


2002 - High School


As we've discussed before, I come from a small town and a small school. Here was my high school graduating class. All 20 of us. (I've pointed out High School Buddy, Blue Eyes and Mrs. Blue Eyes).


And here is me and the parents, and one of my friends and judging teammates. We were all like family, so it was normal for him to hop right in the picture.



2006 - Little Brother High School and me Oklahoma State

2006 was a big year for our family, with two graduations in two weeks.


First, I graduated from college at Oklahoma State. As you recently read in this blog post, that was a pretty bitter sweet experience!


Two weeks later, the family all gathered back home for Little Brother's high school graduation. (Note: The other kiddo in this picture is brothers with the kid in my high school grad picture. Told you we were like family!)


2009 - Law School

Three LONG years later, it was time for the family to gather up again to celebrate our first lawyer. I hope that everyone has a group of people like this to support them when they achieve goals, because it sure makes life better!


2011 - Little Brother College


And, like I said, it came to an end last weekend.

The family and friends descended on Little Brother's college town to celebrate his day. For a kid who has never liked school, called his 5th year of collegea "victory lap" and whose theme was "Too smart for a 2.0, too much fun for a 4.0" this was a pretty darn big day!


We've come a pretty long way in the last 21 years.....