Monday, March 28, 2011


Leslie and her family were in Dallas this weekend and stayed a few nights at the Haynes abode! We had such a great time catching up and I wish so badly we lived closer to one another. Michael was in Vegas for a bachelor party so they made the weekend far less lonely. I took pictures of their adorable family in November and sheepishly asked if they'd let me take more since Riggins is turning one next month (holy cow)! A friend of Leslie's suggested the Grapevine Botanical Gardens, which is close to our home and was perfect for a cold, overcast day. Riggs was far more mobile than our last shoot so it made for an entertaining afternoon. I spent most of the time crawling after him and Leslie was busy dancing behind me. Quite the sight.

Happy (early) Birthday, Riggs! We love you (and your parents) so much!
Yep. He's adorable.

This face kills me...
I think this is my favorite, both scenery and baby.

Wrist wrinkles make me happy.
His eyelashes are so blonde that the tips disappear!

He's on the move!

Absolute joy.

On his tip toes...

I think this was dad's favorite.


On an unrelated note, THANK YOU for the sweet messages re. Michael's new job. You guys are the best. :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kicking Stress To The Curb

We received some wonderful news this week – Michael accepted a position at a new company!

Some of you are probably thinking, “I didn’t know he was looking for a new job," which is exactly what we wanted.

Those of you who’ve been reading the blog for a few years know the pretty cool story of how we ended up in Dallas. Michael was laid off from his job in Tulsa and searched for 5 weeks with no luck so we decided to open the search to Dallas. He met with a recruiter, had an interview that day, and accepted the job in the same week. The person who interviewed him happened to be his childhood friend’s dad (and CEO of the company). In a place like Fort Smith, that’s not unusual. In a place like Dallas, that’s a miracle. It became very clear we were meant to be in Dallas.

2 years later, we can't imagine being anywhere else.

From the beginning, his job was a bit risky. It’s a small start-up company and we knew there was a good chance it might not be successful. For the first year, things were looking pretty good. For the past year, things have been pretty shaky. I remember him calling in October and telling me he thought he'd be without a job by the end of the week.

Last week, he had two interviews and was offered the job. He told his boss today and starts his new job April 11.

I honestly thought I was dealing well with the stress of possible unemployment (again) but after hearing the news, the relief and joy were so overwhelming that it became apparent I’d been an absolute wreck for six months. I can’t even imagine how he felt. When you go to work on Monday not knowing if you’ll have a job (or get paid) on Friday, it’s pretty intense. In typical Michael fashion, however, he was calm and cool as a cucumber. He’s awesome like that.

After Michael applied for the job, someone from HR contacted him and said the salary would be quite a bit less than what he’d requested. We talked about it a lot, did some budget consulting, and decided peace of mind was more important than having extra spending money. We would be able to pay all of our bills and continue our savings, which were our only requirements. However, they changed their minds and the salary offered was exactly what he requested, which was a wonderful surprise. I like to think we were rewarded for making a sensible decision—a decision I’m not sure we would have made a year ago.

Did I mention we’ll be working 4 miles from one another and can meet for lunch whenever we want?

Did I mention we’re so glad this job is in Dallas and will not require another move?

Did I mention 100 pounds released from your shoulders feels absolutely amazing?

Did I mention I’m so ridiculously proud of my husband?

Oh 2011, you’re off to a great start.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Slow And Steady.... Means You're Dead.

A group of us were eating dinner last night (on the patio... in 80 degree weather.... with a perfect breeze), and I mentioned to Wes that I wouldn't mind shooting with the boys one day. Not photography shooting, but shooting shooting.

I didn't realize my comment would spark such a reaction from both Wes and Michael. After dessert we headed to Wal-Mart, picked up some ammunition and planned our adventure.

Have I mentioned I've never really shot a gun before?

"One day" turned into this morning--we woke up and headed to the gun range, accompanied by three friends: a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum revolver (previously owned by my grandad), a Springfield XD-9, and a Taurus PT1911. The previous sentence means absolutely nothing to me and I had to ask Michael to repeat the names four times.

Moving on.

As soon as we arrived I put on the ear muffs and prayed this would not be the day some random dude decided to take out his angst on the human to his right (more specifically: human to his right named Wes, Michael, or Merd). We were in luck and are all alive and well. Thank you, Lord.

You guys, it was awesome. I'm typically not a gun person. I would never keep one in my side drawer, never hunt an innocent animal, and I think war is highly overrated for crying out loud, but shooting metal targets was a blast.

And dare I say I was decent? There were six targets and we loaded the guns with six bullets each time so no second chances. A handful of times I shot all six but most of the time I missed one or two. Michael and Wes were both very good and very quick. In the time it took me to shoot two targets they'd shot all of them. They were so helpful and patient, not to mention they gave great tips (e.g., "push forward with your right arm, pull back with your left"). I know I added an interesting dynamic to their typical boys-only outing.

Such a fun experience and I even have a small battle wound on my left shoulder (damn flying shells) to prove I was there. My cool points are at an all-time high. And what a neat feeling to shoot my grandad's gun--I only wish he could have seen me. :)

Michael actually got a quick video. It begins in the middle but gives you an idea of my turtle-like pace. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Zooby do bee Zooooo...

I don't know about you, but I go through major withdrawal when I haven't seen my parents in a long time. I must admit, "long time" is two months. We hit that mark several weeks ago so I called and begged them to come down for a visit. Fortunately, they happily obliged.

Saturday was absolutely gorgeous so Michael and I suggested going to the Fort Worth zoo. We'd been before and knew they'd love it as much as we did. Not only does the zoo have spectacular animals, but everything is so clean and pretty. My dad and I brought our cameras and (between the two of us) took over 500 pictures. Yowza. I did not bring the telephoto lens so while dad got some great close-ups of the animals, I tried to photograph the beautiful scenery. I'd say together we captured every square foot of that place. :)

I think I'm due for a long, endearing post after so many picture posts. Until then...

My cute parents. Wouldn't you miss them too? :)

Gorgeous day...

(Dad's shot of the tiger...)

My shot of the tiger (and scenery)

Look at the baby chimp! All arms and legs...

Dad's kangaroo

Merd's kangaroo

Go TU.

The family favorite...

Did I mention the zoo had funnel cakes??

Wonderful weekend with my parents. And the two month countdown begins... now.


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