Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

The past couple of months have been g0 - Go - GO! for us. It seems like we haven't had a chance to just sit and breathe and remember that - oh, yeah! - it's Christmas! Since Thursday and Friday are holidays this week for me, and Dan is still working, I took some time yesterday (amid the cleaning and baking and shopping) to do some scrapbooking. I haven't scrapbooked in a very, very long time. Here's what I came up with:

In 2011, I'm getting back on the photo-a-day bandwagon, and starting with Project Life for the first time. Project Life is a Becky Higgins creation, geared toward preserving everyday memories. You can check it out here:

With that, I'm off to start a 2nd page (gasp!)

Merry Christmas to all!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


This week in bullet points:

1. Have not had water pressure for going on 3 days now. City is "working on it." Cannot do any regular Saturday activities: laundry, dishwasher, etc. Showering is even tricky. What do you think the chances are they fix this over the weekend?

2. Had a delicious dinner last night at Ouisie's Table. It was my company Christmas party - and it was a lot of fun.

3. Today we will decorate for Christmas! And then dinner & games with the neighbors. Should be a fun day!

4. Still working on this cute family's photos. (click to enlarge)

Monday, November 29, 2010

I couldn't resist...

just this one more tonight. Aren't they adorable?

(click to enlarge)

For Robin

I'm processing some photos from a recent family photo shoot. Here are a few of my favorites so far. I especially love the last one. (click to enlarge)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Family History Project

I have spent a lot of time this weekend working on family history project. I am taking a class by Jessica Sprague and despite some frustrations, I am beginning to enjoy it!

The project focuses on 4 generations - me, my parents, my grandparents, and my great-grandparents. At first I thought it would be easy to track down this information, but it took a bit more work than I expected. Photos were the most difficult part, especially on my father's side of the family.

So far, the family tree looks like this (I'm sorry it's fuzzy; I can't figure out how to get photos to post clearly lately):

Any of you McCoppins or Skokans out there - if you have stories or anecdotes to share, please let me know! The next few pages will be dedicated to the "details" of each couple. Needless to say, I am short of information for that side of the family and would appreciate any help you can render!

Despite the frustrations, it has been fun to put faces with names, and sift through some old photo albums my mom sent me years ago that I just never had the time to look through. :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

baby photos!

I got the privilege of my first-ever newborn photo shoot this afternoon. I've got a lot to learn, but for the new parents, here is a little preview. :) Thanks for letting me come over and play with little Logan!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Weekend fun

In an attempt to become a better blogger, here I am two days in a row. :)

Aside from General Conference this weekend, I have been trying to catch up on some scrapbooking. This page comes from our anniversary 2 years ago... yes, I am that far behind!

This weekend has brought cooler temperatures and relaxation. We have very much enjoyed watching Conference at home. We also spent some time outside. It's nice to be able to take a walk without sweating bullets! This morning Dan and I washed the NSX and it was even a little bit chilly! :)

Now, off to watch the last session.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The {B} Family

Wow! It has been WAY too long since I have written on the old blog. Maybe now that the summer is gone... oh, who am I kidding? things never slow down around here. :)

Autumn is upon us and here in Texas, that means relatively cooler temperatures. It's 85 degrees right now as I write this - at 5:30 pm. We're just glad the three-digit temps are behind us for a while!

This morning I met with this sweet little family from our ward to practice my photography skills. I'm so grateful to them for putting up with me so early on a Saturday morning! They were awesome to work with. Here is a little sneak peek. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Do you remember?

Do you remember this post?

Yeah....well, ditto.

Minus the sand castles part.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Word to the (un)Wise

I interrupt this regularly-scheduled summer vacation themed blog series with one piece of advice:

Wear Sunscreen.

Lots of sunscreen.

This past weekend I forgot the most important rule of wearing sunscreen: reapply. Reapply often. Especially when your natural skin tone is pasty white (like mine) and you are in, on, or around a body of water (like we were).

Another word: blisters.

One more: ouch!

{no, I did not take photos of the blisters. But I did take photos of the event, which will come in due time. }

Friday, July 30, 2010

SV Part 2: Omaha & Winter Quarters

We pressed on that afternoon and soon made it to Omaha, Nebraska. I thought this "map pin" was pretty clever!

We spent the night in Omaha. The next morning, we went to visit the Winter Quarters Temple.

Aren't the windows beautiful?

Would you like a history lesson?

Winter Quarters was a stopping place for the Mormon Pioneers headed West in 1846. Persecuted for their beliefs, they had left Nauvoo, IL, and crossed Iowa, camping on both sides of the Missouri river. In Winter Quarters they built hundreds of cabins. Living conditions were poor, and it was a very difficult experience.
In all, more than 3, 400 people lived here, establishing a temporary community until they were able to continue their journey West. More than 600 died; many were children. Winter Quarters was essentially abandoned in 1848.

"...hundreds of courageous pioneers resting in this cemetery exemplify the perseverance and dedication of those Latter-Day Saints who moved west."

It seems very appropriate that the Pioneer Cemetery is immediately adjacent to the temple.

I wasn't expecting to feel so emotional at this historic site, but the sacrifices of these early pioneers are heart-wrenching. If you ever have the chance to visit Winter Quarters, I highly recommend it!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Vacation - part 1

We are back from Summer Road Trip Number One. While we had a fantastic time, right now all I really feel is tired. :) We both went back to work on Wednesday, and let me tell you it felt like a long week! I'm so glad it's Friday and we can relax and be lazy.

Dan's parents arrived Wednesday evening. They graciously offered to house- and dog-sit while we were off on vacation. And we are go grateful for them!

We left bright and early on Friday morning (pulled out of the driveway at 4:59 am), and headed North. It felt like we drove and drove and drove... and we hadn't escaped Texas yet! We had decided ahead of time that we would make some stops along the way.

The first stop was in Oklahoma City, 8 hours into our trip.

The Oklahoma City temple. Definitely a small temple. It was right across the parking lot from a stake center, and it wasn't much bigger! It's parked right in the middle of a modest sub division. I didn't take too many photos of this one.

After a short walk, we got back in the car and continued North. Our first venture into Kansas! Hmm... not much to say about Kansas, other than they charge you $8 to drive their parkway from one end of Kansas to the other. I didn't find this very inviting.

From Kansas we made our way to Nebraska, where we spent the night in Omaha.

{stay tuned}

Friday, July 2, 2010

{Re}discovery: the library

When I was growing up, the library was always a huge part of summer vacation. I would walk or ride my bike to the library at least once a week. I loved everything about the place: the quiet! the neatly stacked shelves! the old ladies behind the counter! the smell of books! Yes, especially the smell. I love the smell of books.

Somewhere between graduating from college and starting life in the "real world", I lost the magic of the library.

Then something beautiful happened.

I was reading an article about e-books, and someone mentioned the public library. The library? Do they still exist? I haven't set foot in one in years. I had sort of forgotten about them. With the digital-everything world we have grown accustomed to, I guess I assumed The Library had been filed away in the archives of Americana.

But not so!

Turns out, libraries are alive and well! I quickly looked up my local library, which is the Spring Branch Memorial Library, part of the Harris County Public Library system. I printed off a library card application form and headed to the library after work a couple of days ago. The process was pretty simple: fill out the application and show proof of address. Then: voila! They give you library card right on the spot. And it's free. And it looks like this:

One other thing: the library was packed! For some reason I was picturing an old dilapidated building empty except for books and a librarian. I was happy to find that the library was bustling with activity (especially for a Tuesday night)! It kind of warmed my heart.

Libraries these days offer lots more than just access to paper books. Here are some great things I learned:

1. There are 26 branches of the Harris County Public Library. Once you have a library card (check!), you can borrow material from any location, and return to any location!

2. Besides traditional books, the library has access to: free internet, genealogical information, DVDs, audiobooks on CD or for download to your iPod, e-books to read on your computer or with an e-reader, magazines, newspapers, books for sale, reading programs for children & adults, and probably lots more.

3. You can check the library catalog online to see if an item is checked out or in stock. You can also reserve items or get on the wait list for an item online. When the item is ready for pick up, the librarian will email you. It is that easy.

4. It is all free. That's right. Free.

5. I love America.

6. Go pay a visit to your local library. You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

For Heather

This is probably the best baby photo I took of little Troy. I wish I would have spent a little more time with him while we were in Idaho.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

mother + child

I didn't get as many good shots of Troy as I thought I had. Bummer. Here's the lesson: take more (many more!) frames than you think you need!

I love, love the light in this one.

and the black and white is gorgeous!

I hope you like them, Heather!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


What a cute little family! We spent the week with Marsh, Emily and Tucker in their home. We had a great time! It was so nice to be able to spend time with our adorable nephew Tucker. Thanks for having us!

I'm starting to like sepia toned photos and this one is no exception.

And of course we cannot forget my favorite parents-in-law!

Stay tuned!

Family Week

Well, our Stake leadership declared this week "Family Week"... and the theme is certainly carrying over to our blog. I'm slowly getting through the many, many photos from last week's trip to Idaho. I am editing them in no particular order... just whichever ones strike me. :)

How fun is this one?!

And I did step out from behind the camera for a few minutes. Chris was gracious enough to snap a couple of Dan and me. Here we are!

I actually prefer this edit, slightly colorized.

Let's see what other fun I can dig up!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm on a roll...

Chugging along with the photos tonight. Here are some more. As you can tell, I am having fun with actions. :) Thank you, Pioneer Woman!

Heather and Monroe, these are for you. Let me know what you think. First one is "normal"...

(click any image to enlarge.)

Second one is what I like to call "70's Vibe". This is one of my very favorites of the day. Very retro and cool. Sorry little Troy wasn't cooperating. I have some better ones where he isn't making a squishy face. :)

Part 2: Jessica & David. I love this one of you two. Gorgeous!

Not sure how I like the B&W version...

Don't worry, there are lots more where these came from! But I am signing off for the evening. Sneaking off for some QT with the husband.

the gang's all here

First I would like to say that rearranging photos on blogger is more difficult then it should be.

Here are a few of the family photos we took in Idaho. I'm pretty happy with them for the most part, but of course there are always things I wish I would have thought of... but I guess that comes with practice.

Let me know which one is your favorite! (You should be able to click to make larger.)

I think the sepia tone looks kinda rustic. :)

[sneak preview]

Lots of editing to work through, but here are a couple quick previews from our family picnic last week in Idaho.

I just couldn't resist this one of my ultra-cute nephew Tucker.

And I rather like this action called soft & faded. It's from the Pioneer Woman.

More to come, I promise!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

at it again...

With our 7th (!) anniversary just around the corner, I thought I'd better get last year's page done for our anniversary scrapbook. I haven't made the time to scrapbook for a long time, and it feels good to be back in the creative saddle!

creepy crawlies for 200, Alex.

I wonder sometimes if blogging is becoming extinct. Most of the blogs I frequent have had less and less postings lately. I wonder if Facebook and Twitter have started to eat away at the blog scene. I hope not.


It turns out that we have quite a few reptilian friends living among us. I usually see them sunning themselves in the back yard or on the front porch. But lately they have ventured...closer.

A couple of weeks ago, we were sitting down to eat a quiet dinner when something ran across my foot and scurried across the kitchen floor. The dogs pounced after it and I only caught a small glimpse of something that looked like this:

I, of course, did not get nearly close enough to take this photo. In fact, I screamed and jumped out of my chair and ran into the family room. The little guy scampered under the stove, away from the curious puppies. After some coaxing, Dan convinced me to sit back at the table so we could eat.

I am not a fan of lizards or geckos or whatever you might want to call them. Even sitting here now looking at his little face makes me want to check under my chair.

After dinner, Dan managed to chase him from under the stove to under the refrigerator. And then - finally! - through the laundry room, into the dog room, and out the back door.

Now, I know that these animals eat bugs and spiders and whatever, but I wish they would stay outside.

Fast forward to yesterday. We were coming home mid-afternoon and Dan was backing the NSX into the garage. I was outside helping to guide him. Anyway, out of the corner of my eye I saw movement on the garage wall. You guessed it - another one! Only this guy looked more like this:

Dan tried to coax him out of the garage, but he ended up under the car. I quickly went inside, but I'm sure he is going to make his way in the house. I hope he just stays in the garage and eats the bugs out there... or leaves altogether.

Yes, I think that would be best. For everyone involved.