11.30.2016

Mark's 31st Birthday

IMG_4805Zachary's college roommate turned 31 just a week or so after Zachary. His beautiful wife threw him a fun surprise party and we were invited! We were thrilled to be able to help celebrate him and be apart of the surprise! Halley, Mark's wife, had him blindfolded and clueless as to what his evening would entail. She had already given him a fun-filled week of surprises so "surely he wouldn't be on his way to a surprise party," he must have been thinking!
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Haley and the host, Leslie, (who in a small world coincedence just happened to be the same Leslie I went to school with since Elementary school!) decorated the house with a fun foot ball theme, had pictures of Mark up and made adorable DIY lawn games for everyone to play. 
Haley drove up with Mark in the car and we all waited outside for them. As he opened the door, we all stood super quiet until he reached up to take off his blindfold. We then, of course, let out a loud "Surprise!" He was very surprised and full of smiles.
Thirty-One! Whoop, Whoop!
The girls had also set up a Photo booth which we made great use out of!
We took our pics with our phones, which made for some blurry photos, but you get the gist.
Mark was one of Zachary's best men at our wedding and is one of those "life" friends for Zachary. In college, people always said that they looked like brothers. Do you see it?
In the back yard, in addition to some fun yard games, they also set up and little S'mores bar with unique chocolate substitutes like Reeses Cups or Mint Patties. IMG_4807After snacking on some delicious sliders, S'mores and utilizing the photo booth, everyone funneled there way to the backyard and we played several rounds of "Psychologist." It was awesome and we couldn't stop laughing. It made me feel like I was in college again, in a good way. 
Happy Birthday, Mark! post signature

11.21.2016

Sebastian's 2nd Birthday



This cuteness is my nephew, Sebastian! Isn't he adorable? His cute-ness level just went up a billion when he got glasses a few months ago. Is there anything cuter than a toddler in glasses?! He's already broken several pair but is getting used to them and doing great. Sebastian turned two in September and we were so excited to help celebrate his birthday! He's obsessed with Mickey Mouse so my sister's grandparents made him an adorable Mickey Mouse cake. We got some fun bunting, plates and napkins and called it a party!
Chara was a diligent cupcake watcher, making sure no one dropped one. She's very helpful.
We had friends and family over to my parent's house to celebrate. For lunch, everyone brought a dish and we noshed on BBQ and the some Texas sides like potato salad and Mac and Cheese. 
After lunch, we lit Sebastian's birthday candle to sing Happy Birthday. He was so cute, dancing to the song and clapping! It was a great day to celebrate this sweet boy. 
We love you Sebastian! post signature

10.25.2016

Red Rocks Park // Colorado

378I'll go ahead and apologize in advance for the overload of pictures (per usual). I just can't help it. There's a reason The Red Rocks are so highly spoken of. It's because they're beautiful. Gorgeous, guys. And so ridiculously peaceful. Usually, gorgeous tourist sights are filled with crowds longing to get a glimpse but some how, we lucked out to have a tourist-free day, allowing us full reign of the park & the view. 375377
Red Rocks Park, or just The Red Rocks if you want to not sound like a tourist, are located just outside Denver and are apart of the Denver Mountain Parks. The park hosts gorgeous red sandstone in all shapes and sizes but are mostly huge! These huge rock formations make for a captivating, awe inspiring picture. The park was previously named "Garden of the Angels" which is completely understandable. 368365359353349DSC04444DSC04449DSC04451DSC04452While parking, we happened to see a fox! He was so beautiful. I was so impressed! We couldn't snag a super great picture, as a fox isn't really in the business of stopping to pose or freezing to allow a photographer to focus. But, I got pretty close to him, and there were moments, undocumented, that he looked straight at me with crazy, deep, piercing eyes. I can see how so many stories revolve around a fox! There was something very mysterious about him!DSC04460DSC04462
Off he goes!DSC04464DSC04466DSC04472DSC04478DSC04481DSC04495DSC04500DSC04503
As you can see above, these formations are huge! DSC04508DSC04513DSC04515DSC04520DSC04521DSC04524DSC04530DSC04529DSC04532DSC04534DSC04542
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I loved taking pics of Zachary against the rocks. He's just so darn handsome and seems to always look good in pictures. His blue eyes really popped against the red stand stone, too. But as you can see below, he quickly grows inpatient with playing model. heheDSC04544DSC04549Still cute.DSC04550DSC04553DSC04556
I know some of the photos are a bit dark but I couldn't bring myself to edit them all. Not just because they're tons and I could never decided which to edit & then include, but also, because I am just brough back to that day when looking at these pictures. The slightly overcast day was perfect. It was cool and breezy in the way that it is on the best of Texas' fall days, though it was May in Colorado. The overcast sky, the brief periods of the sun shining through and the cooler weather brought all the nostalgia and feels of the holidays.  DSC04554Zachary had some fun climbing up the huge rocks. This park would be perfect for bouldering enthusiasts. <Anyone heard of this? There was a whole article on the sport in the Qingdao Expat magazine, The Red Star, a few years ago.DSC04562DSC04563DSC04564DSC04568DSC04567DSC04569DSC04571DSC04575DSC04576DSC04583DSC04587
I loved capturing all the little details we found along the trail. Carvings, flowers, sacs and sacs of caterpillars; all of the little details that make you feel a little closer to nature. DSC04589DSC04591DSC04592DSC04595DSC04596DSC04598DSC04602DSC04604DSC04603DSC04605DSC04608DSC04615DSC04616DSC04621DSC04626While I posted tons of pictures, as you know, pictures can never do it justice. If you haven't visited, the Red Rocks, you must. Even better, attend a concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, an outdoor amphitheater in the middle of the park!post signature
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