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September Fourth

It’s a special day.  It’s the hubs birthday and this year it just so happened to fall on the one day we have off together.  I decided to show him one of my favorite things about summer in Austin, Hamilton Pool.  It’s just a short drive from Pflugerville to Dripping Springs, an adorable little town with delicious food and fantastic shops, but it wasn’t my birthday, so other than a quick trip to Goodwill to find swim trunks for the forgetful birthday boy, there was no shopping.  But who wants to shop when you’re on your way to a natural spring fed grotto.  Every summer of my childhood had at least one trip to Hamilton Pool, but the beauty was lost on me as a child, returning after a thirteen year absence with my husband and son was simply magical.  It was a gorgeous day, not too hot, rain clouds were floating over with distant thunder rumbling through the air.  The birds were singing and tiny frogs, snakes and giant catfish were visiting.  Doiron of course loved swimming through the cool waters and drinking as much as he could, it really does taste amazing.  We finished up at Rosie’s Tamale House, another bit of nostalgia for me complete with light up velvet paintings and cream cheese stuffed jalapenos.  This day reminded me how wonderful it is growing up in the hill country and Bryan and I agreed that this too shall be a frequent memory in Doiron’s childhood.  Days like these remind me of every reason I fell in love with Bryan, and no lie, his biggest selling point was the father I knew he would be.  He loves our son more than I ever imagined possible and proves every day that his family is his first priority, and he never fails to tell me he loves me, too.  We’ve only been married for 3 years (next month) but life has only continued to get better, and I only see good things in our future.  I am a happy mama.  Je vous souhaite bonheur.

plant garden hike monkeytoes rules rocksPool B1 B5 nature curl

Port Aransas

We took a family trip to the Gulf Coast a few months ago.  It’s a lovely 3.5 hour drive from Austin to Port Aransas, Doiron did amazingly, in large part due to Cousin Mike riding with us and keeping him entertained.  That and the BBQ pit stop we made in Nixon, not only did they fill our bellies but it’s a family owned joint and the owners had their three year old grandson there, the boys spent an hour riding trikes and chasing each other around the restaurant, it was fantastic!  My parents spoiled all four of us sisters with a gorgeous beach house.  Bryan and I lucked out and got the master that had an adjoining bath to die for, with a giant bath tub which Doiron and I made full use of, and a walk in shower that was at least 5 feet square.  All of my nephews were with us, Michael (Mike, as his buds at school call him, and me ‘cus I’m the cool aunt) who’s ten and starting fifth grade on Tuesday, holy cow!  Nathan who’s the smartest eight year old I’ve ever met, and our newest boy Henry, six months old.  We desperately need some girls in this family, I’ve been elected to make the contribution, and I will happily oblige before too long . . . But for now Doiron is LOVING his time with his big cousins, they ended each evening with a joint shower, it was hilarious, a little gross at times, but mostly adorable.  And seeing D with baby Henry melted my heart, he’ll give kisses, he’ll smack him occasionally but quickly apologizes with a hug when reminded to be gentle, and “help” Henry with his passy.  I can’t wait to make D a big brother, but on the other hand there are just a few loose ends we’d really like to tie up before making the leap of another baby, I’m hoping we’ll be “ready” within the next year and I look forward to sharing my full experience here.  Until then, you’ll just have to enjoy my single subject pictures.   Mike didn’t make it into many shots,  he would escape with the “big boys,” my youngest cousin and his friend both 16, every chance he got.  He even got to go on a solo trip with them into town for ice cream, I’ve never seen his chest puffed so big, it was adorable and made my eyes well up a bit, he’s our first baby and about to be a teenager.  I’m also disappointed that I didn’t take many shots of my parents or my Aunt Chris and Grammie who also joined us, they shared a house a block away that had a wrap around porch where we spent the evenings catching up, I don’t get to see my family often enough, even the ones who live in the same city.  Anyway, here are the few 35 mm shots that I’m happy with, the misty beach really messed with my focusing abilities, but it also gave the ones that turned out a sort of dreamy quality,  Beaux rêves de l’océan

BBQ porch mike Henry Boys nap wagon birding BirdingNathan IceCream walk truck hair

Pleasant Surprise

When I take a picture with my iphone I’ll take 20 shots of the same scene, pick the best one, add a filter with one of my favorite apps (I’m obsessed with this and this right now) then post to instagram.  But lately, I’ve been toying around with a 35mm camera and am loving the pictures I’m capturing, I’m still learning to be patient and make sure I’m completely focused on the right object (read:baby) and not take 5 shots of the same scene, I’m still surprised when I hit that 24 mark and have to change my film.  It does drive me bonkers to not know if I got the shot, and I dream of a DSLR camera, but at the same time I’m really enjoying this format and the surprise that comes when I finally find the time and money to develop a roll of film.  Last week I dropped a roll off at the only place I can find in my town that still develops film, CVS.  I didn’t have time to pick it up until we were headed out of town to the beach, the moment I got in the car with my disc (since most of my roll still turns out terrible, I only get the picture disc and forgo the prints) I realized I had decided to leave my computer at home.  So I went an entire week with this disc in my purse, just trying to remember what photos I had taken.  It had completely escaped me.  I returned to work yesterday, when I unpacked my computer and got myself organized I remembered I still had these photos to peak at, so I slid in the disc and proceeded to get crazy busy and completely forgot until midnight.  I was so excited at what I found, I woke Bryan up to take a look.

double kiss Pri chickenbutt statureNot only was I proud of the adorable shots of my skinny dippin baby covered in watercolor warpaint . . . . but the dark Rhode Island Red you see Doiron trying to kiss and hug is our late sweet Priscilla.  She passed a little over a month ago for reasons we’re not sure of, but if you’re familiar with chickens you can tell by looking at these photos that she’s not well (note the fallen comb).  She was ill from the day we inherited her with our new home, I searched and searched for answers on the internet.  First I thought it was egg binding, but I was pretty sure she was still laying and all of the resources I found stated she would be dead within 48 hours with a binded egg and it had been weeks, months actually.  One day I found this magnificent blog (I love looking at these ladies in the middle of a work day) and my husband and I went out to get the Epsom salts and povidone and I had decided to treat Priscilla the next morning.  But when I went out to the coop she was lying in her box motionless.  We were heart broken as she came to be our favorite chick, so sociable and patient with Doiron, Bryan buried her in the backyard and there is now a beautiful patch of clover growing over her.  Our other three ladies seem perfectly healthy, and we’ve been blessed with a pretty mild summer here, so there haven’t been any signs of overheating. We’re learning as we go here but it’s been a marvelous adventure.  We have big plans for this back yard of ours and I look forward to the day we feel ready for a batch of baby chicks.  I’ll be here sharing as we go, please join us if you wish!  Cotcotcodet!

PS, I’ve watermarked my photos so feel free to share, but please leave the mark. Merci!