When did that happen?

I'm not sure when it happened.  But, it did.  I have become a tad nerdy.  Maybe I've always been nerdy and just haven't realized it until now; if you've known me a long time and that's the case, please don't tell me.  On Friday, however, I was a proud member of the nerd herd.  I wore a shirt with an owl on it, a tacky pumpkin necklace, orange and black socks with my jeans rolled up, and a pumpkin headband.  Seriously, when did that get up become an appropriate fashion?  

And, the really nerdy part... I was super excited that morning to wear it.  Yes, I have become one of those teachers.  Watch out pencil earrings and ruler sweaters, here I come! 

I also might have walked into a car dealership after school on Friday to look at vehicles wearing that.  Just might have.  And, then after the salesman looked at my feet, I said, "Please, try and take me serious right now.  I know it might be hard."  He did.  I think it was tough for him, but he did. 

And, let's just have a moment for how much I love this orange bench of mine.  It clashes with the Halloween, but oh how I love it. 

I'm pretty sure that outfit will be brought out again this afternoon in preparation for the trick o treaters.  I don't think I can wait a whole year to wear it again...so tonight it is.  The only thing different will be I won't be wearing the black, witch wedges on my feet.  No shoes allowed on this floor.  Ever. 

Here's hoping you and yours have a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  And, I also hope that maybe you can wear a nerdy outfit.  It really is fun.  You should try it. 



Firecracker is 5 today.  I love that girl more than my left foot.  She's a free spirit and an independent, stubborn, fearless little thing.  And, she's tough.  Really tough.  Like she walked when she was seven months old.  I saw it with my own eyes.  Did I mention she's also extremely smart?  I'm not just being a bragging aunt either.  She really is.  I'm a teacher...I know these things.  :)  

She's a big reason why I moved back to this area five years ago in December.  I wanted to be here to see her grow up.  It's totally worth it when she comes running and yelling, "Amy!!"  I often question why I moved when I did, but then I'm reminded everytime I'm around those three kids.   

So, she's five today and she got to bring brownie treats to preschool and I hope she will always be as happy as she is right now.

And, I hope she always knows that her crazy aunt loves her. 



Vacation.  That's what I've been on for the past four days.  Although, I'm not sure the majority of it would constitute for most peoples' idea of vacation.  On Thursday, I helped Brother and Sil and crew round up and haul cattle back to their place for the winter.  They had already been at it for a day and a half by the time I got there.  I like to be fashionably late...what can I say?  Plus, I had to have some coffee time while snuggling Little Man and visiting with Momma Debi.  It was my first day of vacation after all.  And, I might have had a little wine the night before.  Just might have.  Once I decided it was time for me to actually start helping, I really did feel like I was on vacation. 

Here's why. 
  • Anytime you can be outside with the sun shining is a gift.
  • Anytime you can be with your family is a gift.
  • Anytime you can have the opportunity to be thankful for the beauty of nature is a gift.
  • Anytime you can laugh is a gift.
  • Anytime you can be driving down the road {even if you are in a pickup pulling a trailer full of cows} with the radio blaring, singing your heart out is a gift. 
  • Anytime you can be physically working is a gift.  
So, my first day of vacation was spent hauling cattle.  Pretty glamorous I tell you.  Especially when you are Sister Pister and you wear your aviator shades.  Never mind her crazy hat hair.  She had already had quite the morning with her horse Fox.  I guess it involved some bucking or something like that...I don't know for sure because, remember, I was drinking coffee and snuggling a baby at that point in the morning. 

I'm thinking it had something to do with Fox's red hair.  I hear those redheads can get a little fired up, right Sil?  I kid.  I kid.  Her hair really does match Fox's perfectly though.  I don't think Sil did any fit throwing that morning...not to my knowledge anyway.   

As we were leaving Brother and Sil's place, I was driving a trailer, Sil was driving a trailer, Pic was driving a trailer, and Sister Pister was driving a trailer.  It made me realize that even though it might be a stereotype for some that farm/ranch work is work for a man...that rule does not apply at either the farm or Brother and Sil's ranch.  The rule we all go by is: Does it need to be done?  Oh ok.  Then we'll do it.  And, actually, I think when a bunch of ladies get together to get a job done on the farm/ranch some pretty funny stuff ends up happening because as Pic always says, "We can do this.  We'll just figure it out...we don't need to ask for help."  She's also a redhead by the way.   

When we arrived to the next middle of nowhere pasture, Pic, Sister Pister, and I were instructed to wait in the pickup while the rest of them rounded up the cattle. Of course I had a hard time just sitting there.

I'm seriously distractible. 

That red thing is the best invention ever.  Sure, maybe the light bulb is right up there, but after years spent hauling panels and setting up panels and everyone being exhausted before the work even began...the portable corral is a pretty sweet deal.  It wheels open.  Genius. 

At this point, I had to put the camera away because we heard mooing.  Pic and were reminiscing about all of our crazy, cow hauling stories and we both started laughing when we heard the mooing because we remembered the same moment.  A few years ago, the two of us were hiding in a ravine waiting for everyone to round up the cattle.  It was in an especially tricky pasture to round up because there is a river that cuts it in half.  And, cows are sometimes smart.  Anyways, Pic and I were lying in that ravine for a long time and we kept wondering to each other, "Do you think they are across the river yet?  Do you think we should look?  How about now?  Do you think now we should look?"  Well, we both knew that if we popped up at the wrong time, we could send the whole operation into a tizzy so we just kept waiting until finally, Pic declared she couldn't take it any longer and that she was just going to peek.  I was lying there watching her sneak her head up with extreme care very slowly and then I saw her eyes go huge as she basically kissed a cow.  I guess they had made it across the river.  I, of course, was a giggling mess at that point because the look on her face was priceless.  

We waited the right amount of time again because we {I say we loosely here} successfully captured the pasture.  The trailers were loaded and then Brother, Buckshot, and Sister Pister took off for the next pasture to start rounding up because it was getting close to evening.  Sil, Pic, and I drove the full trailers back and it's a good thing they had me along to do the backing up.  It's the one thing I get to brag about.  I can back up a trailer like a champ...all because of an old man at the scrap iron place when I was a teenager.  He would not just do the backing up like I suggested.  Instead he walked along with me and taught me step by step what to look for in the mirror and then which way to turn to correct it.  Thank you old man. 

By the time us ladies arrived to the next pasture...Brother, Buckshot, and Sister Pister had the cattle all rounded up and waiting in the corral. 

It was sunset.  The best light.  Which means I quit working once again because that light can not be wasted.  I'm sure Brother understands. 

Turns out this cow is a little camera shy.

Everyone else kept working while I was not.  They are so much more focused.  But, I just knew they had it all under control...they're good like that. 

Even Easy Rider was back behind that trailer gate working.  He's a pretty cute little rancher and he takes working as serious as pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.  I think he doesn't realize he's only three because he gets right in there.  

He will, however, still take a little break to be goofy with his crazy aunt.

Easy Rider went back to working while I.........................I did not. 

Even cattle look good in the sunset light.  It really does wonders. 

As were pulling out of that pasture to head back and be done for the day, Pic and I were both eating a little treat when I threw the pickup into park and jumped out to capture one last moment.  I'm glad that Pic understands me.  Others might have been a tad thrown off.  She just kept right on eating her chocolate. 

So my first day of vacation was a little off the beaten path.  Literally.  But, it also was a best day ever and those are my favorite kind. 


Fall Family

It was a perfect fall evening the night I captured memories for this family...if you remember, I couldn't resist sharing earlier.  This family was a joy to work with and I'm pretty sure the Mom would be a wonderful photo assistant!  The perfect sidekick {she's a little crazy like me}.  :)  We were both stressing a little about the location for their shoot until she mentioned where she lived and then it was...well, let's just do it there.  Fall perfection. 

These two are seriously great parents...all three kids are impeccably behaved!  I always make the parents take a just the two of them picture no matter how much they don't think they need or want one.  I always say they'll thank me later. 

It's much easier to get parents to take pictures with their kids though...they usually don't fight me as much.  Maybe it's because they realize they won't win against my stubborn-ness or maybe it's just because they love their kids. 

This little girl and her mom share a special bond.  It's very obvious.

Like I said before, all three kids are awesome.  Really awesome. 

I put the Dad on car patrol and the kids laid down in the street.  And, this is when I knew the Mom would make the perfect assistant because I was laying down too and she was standing right above me doing what she needed to do to make the kids look.  We looked ridiculous but I love these pictures so it was totally worth it. 

Then, a tutu made an appearance and there will have to be a whole separate post about little Ella and her tutu.  Total cuteness! 

See?  A perfect fall evening.  And, be on the lookout for Ella's tutu picture post...