In Bloom

Lately I’ve been thinking about two things 24/7: tennis and gardening. This is very bizarre to me, and I’m not sure how I’ve become this person. It all started last fall when Joseph encouraged me to take tennis lessons, and I fell in love instantly, even though I was/am truly tragically bad. Gardening came a few months later, when my parents visited and helped me bring a dream to life–creating an English Garden in my backyard.

I had never planted a single thing in the ground. Our front flower bed has a few boxwoods and a knockout rose the builders put in, and I couldn’t have cared less about either. But I mentioned to my parents how I’d been thinking up designs for the backyard, and they immediately drove me to a nursery to get started. And I’m so glad I did! Although my English garden still looks pathetic (so many baby plants! Confederate Jasmine and Japanese Boxwoods take SO LONG to grow!), they gave me a start that I know will pay off big time in the long run.

My mom has a green thumb, and I was hoping she would pass it on to me. So far I’ve been pretty successful, though I’m still on the phone with her twice a week to ask about gardening ;)

I initially wanted to plant only native plants, but I ventured into the world of rose gardening forums and blogs. I was immediately hooked! There’s just so much variety and history in the world of roses. And all the work to grow roses totally pays.

I could say a lot more about gardening than I already have. About how gardening is an investment into the future, yada yada yada. But instead I want to show off photos of my very first blooms.

Lastly, my babies I’m caring for more than any others (and the first roses I ever planted): the everblooming climbing Cecile Brunner roses I’m training to grow along my fence. The tiny blooms are so pretty, but I want the plants to concentrate on growing tall instead of flowering.

Wedding Weekends with Polaroids

It only make sense to group the Polaroids from these two trips together: both were trips to “San” cities (San Antonio, San Francisco) for weddings of my two beautiful, tall, blonde friends, both marrying men named Michael.

One thing I’ve learned about his camera: Joseph is much better at using it than I am! Who would have thought? His pictures turn out great, while mine are either under- or over-exposed!

I love playing around with toy cameras, even if it means each photo costs a couple dollars ;) And you can’t beat the size and weight, especially compared to my normal SLR and DSLR.

San Antonio:

San Francisco area:

We had the most amazing macarons in Northern California! The pistachio macaron pictured above was from Bouchon Bakery.

Tori & Avery Take Over

I’m currently getting ready for a trip to San Francisco (!!) for my dear friend Genevieve’s wedding (!!!), and I found my backup memory card with tons of pictures yet to be uploaded!

My parents, sister, and niece came to visit over spring break, and it seems Tori and Avery had fun with my camera while my parents and I were out one day. They took some really wonderful photos! I remember my sister mentioning they played with my camera, and I remember promising I would upload the photos for her, but it completely slipped my mind. It was a nice surprise to find (and a nice distraction from packing and getting the house ready to leave).

Leonardo might not look enthused, but this is actually a major improvement over the last time Avery held Leonardo.

I love these photos. They both look so happy! I’m sure Cory was trying to jump into Avery’s tiny lap even though he’s much too big–he always tries to be a lap dog!

Left: Any time we go outside Leonardo watches through the tiny window by the door.
Right: Avery playing with the bird feeder stand we had just unloaded from my dad’s truck.

I had to leave you with these photos of Avery wearing my favorite mask. Hope these don’t haunt your dreams tonight (just kidding–I totally hope they do. Because I’m mean.)

A Small Town in Italy in 2008

I’m organizing the photos on my computer, which mostly means feeling frustrated at myself for not deleting extra pictures as I went along (Seriously, Alyssa? 75 pictures of a piece of cake?). But it also means I’m taking a trip down memory lane to when we lived in Italy from 2007-2010.

I found these photos of a geocaching trip we took one day in June of 2008. By that time I was already so used to where we lived I’d stopped taking as many photos. Stumbling upon these after living in Texas for the past few years I am in awe–I’d forgotten just how beautiful Northern Italy was.

This was a 15 minute drive from our apartment. I can’t believe I ever grew accustomed to this!

We stumbled upon this tiny church in the middle of nowhere. It was built in the 8th Century. I still remember the smell when I pressed my face up to the little window to see inside.

Two Weeks of Winter

These photos are the result of the project I gave myself to use my camera every day for two weeks. I feel like a lot of my blogger and photographer friends are encountering the same problem–our cell phones are so handy and take pretty good pictures, so why carry around a heavy DSLR (not to mention the work it takes to get the perfect shot)?

I miss the years I used my camera every day, sharing the photos even if they weren’t very interesting or important. So for two weeks I made myself pick up my camera. I loved doing this, but I have to admit it was a couple months ago, and I’ve still barely used my camera since.

Here’s a glimpse into my daily life for two weeks in November.

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