Monday, March 31, 2014

Hawaii through my iPhone

Hi friends! I hope you have been well these past 10+ days. Dave and I had a great time in Hawaii and I'm going to be honest and say a social media break felt so good. However, I am glad to be back and to get into the swing of things again. 

I thought I'd do a quick recap of our trip through iPhone photos: 

                   
1. Plane trip there
2. Oahu from the air
3. Kailua beach where we spent our first 5 days
4. Sunrise in Kailua Beach - Thanks to jet lag I was up super early the first 4 to 5 days. 
5. Flag above the USS Arizona that was sunk during Pearl Harbor. Very sombering to be there and made me appreciate my freedom 
6. I ran! 
7. Koko Crater trail - I sweated a disgusting amount climbing up that mountain but the view at the top was worth it. 
8. Sometimes it's too sunny for selfies ;)
9. A luau - I liked the lei more than the luau. 

                        
10. Waterfall in Oahu - can't remember the name 
11. We are 1!!! I told this to Dave at least 50 times :)
12. Volcano glow in the Big Island 
13. I loved all the flowers 
14. Akaka Falls on te Big Island 
15. Mauna Kea - tallest mountain from the sea bed. One of my favorite things and also one of the scariest as we drove up there. I was so scared I almost puked. 
16. Geckos - yes, I fed them some papaya. 
17. Swimming with the dolphins. Can't even describe how fun it was to swim in the wild with them. 
18. Waikiki beach - our last stop on the trip. I thought it was waaaaay overcrowded but we wanted to at least see what it looked like. There were two massive turtles hanging out there which was fun to see. 

That's a quick recap of Hawaii. I can't wait to catch up with everyone and I hope you all are doing well!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Favorite Word from The Lady Okie


Do you have a favorite word?

My favorite word is fiend [noun: a person causing mischief or annoyance] and has been since my sophomore year of high school. I know that's weird, but what's even weirder is that I remember the exact moment that word became my favorite.

In my sophomore year of high school, I was in a speech class. Our final exam was to take a short play, memorize it, and perform it solo in front of the class. Being the obnoxious, straight-A student I was, I practiced and practiced, and on the day of the speech, I was ready. I performed my role flawlessly except for one thing: I mispronounced the word fiend.

Instead of pronouncing it correctly--"fee-nd"--I said, "fee-end."

My teacher gave me a 99/100 on that speech, and I was so mad that he marked me down for one tiny mispronunciation!

You'd think I would hate the word that kept me from a perfect 100, but I've actually loved the word fiend ever since that day in speech class. I even think it's funny what it means, because I am someone who causes mischief and also annoyance sometimes (or so my husband would say), so in that way my favorite word fits me too.

What is your favorite word? Does your favorite word have a story?



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Life's A Journee

Hi friends! While I'm on vacation I asked some ladies whose blogs I enjoy to write some guest posts for me. Today I want to introduce to you, Elicia, from Life's a Journee. She has a wonderful blog and I've so enjoyed getting to know her. Be sure to stop by and check her out. 


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Hello Sunshine to the Square Inch Readers!!

I have loved reading Beka's posts the past few months after stumbling upon her little piece of cyberspace. We've exchanged quite a few emails now, and I just love her heart. We share lots in common with the biggest being our faith. Lots of her posts I find myself nodding my head in agreement. We have never met in real life (since I am living in Korea) but I am positive when we do meet that it will be just like hangin' with an old friend. So, when she reached out to me and asked me to write for her blog while she's on her anniversary vacation (lucky duck) that was an easy one for me. OF COURSE I would.



So I'm Elicia! I blog over at lifesajournee.com where I chat about our life in Korea, adventures in Southeast Asia, faith, teaching ,and any other thing that comes to my mind. I married my husband Tom a year and a half ago in the Dominican Republic. It was a crazy adventure & we haven't stopped adventuring since. I had this dream to live abroad and Tom (stressed from the corporate America world) jumped right on board. We packed up our bags 11 months ago, took the plunge to move abroad, and I'm not sure when we'll be back. Or if we'll be back.

If there's one thing you should know about me I love-LOVE. I believe God gave me this crazy desire to love others. While others excel at school, athletics, their jobs, crafting, or building (the list goes on) I truly believe my sole purpose on this earth is to LOVE. I love loving others. I think you should never ever be too busy to get coffee with a friend if they call and need to talk...you should never be too busy to give a hug, smile, call, send a text. To have a conversation with someone to tell them you love them. I love weddings, babies, people watching, holding hands, and just about anything else to do with love. So when Beka asked me to write I began to think- love is always on my mind and my heart is full of wanderlust. What better thing to write about than Traveling & Love??! Here's what traveling (and living abroad) did to my marriage:


1. It pushed us out of  our comfort zones - When you're traveling abroad you have to make connecting flights, find places to sleep, eat, and hang out. You're out of comfort zone of the daily grind that life brings. It's exciting and exhilarating, but it can be hard work. You're eating new foods, trying new things, meeting new people, and trying to successfully navigate a foreign country without looking like complete crazies. Or the time when your spouse gets crazy sick from the new food that tasted so good the night before. You're completely and totally out of your comfort zone. sometimes in ways you've never imagined. Which brings me to my next point.

2. Our communication increased immensely - We are out of our comfort. Usually (especially in Southeast Asia) their native language isn't English. We have to communicate needs, wants, questions. Tom and I are able to work as a team to ask questions or gather information. We work together. We also must communicate well together in order to accomplish any goals we may have. The need for communication increases when you're trying to stay a float  in a sea of another language.

3. We made a lot of memories - Sure we made memories in Wisconsin, USA. Traveling abroad brought out the best in our memory making though. We see everything with fresh eyes. Everything is immensely different than America. We have fun together. Sharing new cultures and new experiences. We get to try new foods, take adventures into the jungle, and sometimes even see wild animals we can't see back home.  Traveling brings out the best in us. It also brings out the worst in us.

4. We grew closer - Sometimes traveling is really hard. When we haven't slept in 24 hours, we're hungry, dirty, and exhausted- we get crabby. You're challenged in ways you didn't think was possible. Those hard times have led to great improvement. We learn each other's limits and we know how to help each other. When it's all said and done we can look back, learn & then grow to improve in the future. That's how you grow strong together as a couple. Working together & improving. Always a work in progress!

What about you? Have you taken any adventures with someone you love and learned new things? 


Monday, March 24, 2014

1 Year



Has it really been one year since that snowy spring day when Dave and I said 'I do'? 

I don't know how to measure a year of marriage but I can tell you it has been good - God has been good to us. He had a plan for Dave and I to be married long before we ever wanted anything to do with each other. 

This past year Dave and I have traveled over 25,000 miles in our cars. We have spent weekends at home in Wichita, weekends exploring Oklahoma and weekends traveling to New Mexico, Colorado or Oklahoma City.  

This past year I've seen God's love exemplified through Dave. We started out marriage as a team but faced some hard things. Dave's Mom passed away a few weeks before our wedding, I went through 4-5 major life changes at once and a big spout of depression came my way on our honeymoon. Through that, I've been blessed to love Dave and have him love me. Times were tough but God was bigger than any of that and brought us through. 

This past year we have spent lots of calm and quiet evenings in Woodward. Honestly, evenings at home have been some of the best times spent together. We don't have a lot of distractions, we can eat dinner together, play games, read, pray and watch documentaries or movies. Sometimes we do have disagreements but it usually doesn't last too long. Overall I think small town life has allowed us to slow down and it's been peaceful, good and has given us both time to be still. 

I can't say our marriage is a doing of our own. It's possible because God brought us together and He is ever faithful. I'm thankful for the salvation He has given us, for the ability to love and for the ability to walk side by side in this big adventure called life. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Runners Tell All // Favorite Running Gear Products


Runners Tell All is a monthly linkup hosted by Sunshine to the Square Inch and The Lady Okie that occurs on the 21st of every month. Our goal is to build a community where we can encourage and inspire each other on our running journeys. Each month we offer two co-host options. This allows for us to connect with you, advertise your blog and it also helps fund the monthly giveaways. March's prompt is your favorite running gear and or product. Next month's theme is a bad race or training and what you learned from it. For more details or if you want to be a sponsor please click here

                                       Favorite Running Gear / Products                                         

Garmin Forerunner - Everyone told me that this would change my running life. "blah, blah, blah", I thought... until I started marathon training. I also gasped when I saw the price! $200? for a watch? Here is what I did. I found it on a different website other than Garmin (seriously, don't buy from Garmin - they are so expensive) and then I asked my family for an early birthday gift so I could have it in time to run my marathon in June.  

Why is it great? It tracks my miles, my pace, calories burned and it even has a heart monitor I can wear. It also links up to my computer and tracks all my runs. It shows me each mile - where I was fast and where I thought I was going to croak over dead. I highly recommend the Garmin Forerunner. 


I Fitness Belt - If I thought a watch was lame you better believe I thought a 'running fanny pack' was lamer. I had no idea those things existed until my running buddy introduced me to it and talked me into buying one at an expo. There is a slot for an ID and room for your phone / iPod. It goes under my clothes and you can't even tell I'm wearing it. It stays in place, which is a must. I will warn you - one time I put my ID, camera, GU and phone in it. It fit but it bounced ... for 13.1 miles. I had a massive bruise in an area that no one wants a bruise in. It was bad. So, learn from me and don't overpack it. 

Sparkle Athletic - I was first introduced to this skirt from Melody and I love it! I have worn it on many races and have talked my friends into buying it too. My running friends in Korea each purchased a skirt and we did a race together. The skirts are light weight and don't stick to you. Plus, it really is fun to run and sparkle. If you don't want to buy a skirt they have a 'traveling skirt program'. It's fun! 


What are your favorite running gear / products? 

Also - I'm currently on vacation and won't be back until April 1st. My computer won't be coming with me however I'm looking forward to reading your posts when I get back! Thanks in advance for linking up and for making Runners Tell All so awesome! 

                                                            Giveaway                                                          

Today we are giving away a $30 giftcard to Lululemon. The giveaway is open internationally so enter away!





                                                            Sponsors                                                          


Blog  |  Bloglovin  |  Instagram

Blog  |  Bloglovin  |  Instagram



                                                            Link-up  Rules                                                   

  1. You must leave a comment on the person’s blog who linked up directly before you. This is not a linkup for the sake of linking up. This is a linkup to build community and spread the love and encouragement to your fellow runners!
  2. Only link up posts related to our running prompt. Do not share links to unrelated running posts or to your blog’s homepage, or we will have to delete your link.
  3. Please link back to either Beka or Amanda in your post so others can come here and join in! Or grab the button below and add it to your post.
Sunshine to the Square Inch



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Photography Friday Week 11 - Where You live


Welcome to week 11 of Photography Friday. Photography Friday is a 20 week challenge to help improve our photography skills. There is a weekly prompt / theme for each week that you can be as creative with it as you'd like. This week's theme is a where you live and next week's theme is anything goes. For further information please click here
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Where I Live

As many of you know I live in a small town called Woodward. The other morning I hopped in my car drove around and snapped some pictures.

This is about 1/2 mile from our apartments. OSU owns these fields and I don't know what all they do but it sure is pretty.


Our quaint little downtown.
The skyscrapers of the Midwest
 If anyone is looking to move to Woodward this big old mansion is for sale.

What does it look like where you live? Big town? Small town? Do you have mountains or the ocean where you are? 
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Sunshine to the Square Inch


Blogger confessions #2 - social media

Today I'm linking up with Kelsea for Total Truth Thursdays. Here is a pre-confession before the confession: I can be super opinionated about things but I can also be super scared to hurt / offend people. On my blog I try to filter my opinion so letting it all out is new for me. 

Total Truth Thursday


Today we are sharing the truth about various aspects of social media. So without further ado... 

Grammar - I'm not claiming to be a pro but I have noticed a new blogging trend where the letter "i" is never capitalized. Some of these bloggers have written posts on the importance of grammar. I guess spelling and grammar are different? 

"From the Archives" - I think reposting old posts is a good thing - it's a way to allow your new readers to get to know you. However, if you slap a bunch of posts up with (from the archives) after it I'm most likely not going to read it. It's not really a way to connect with people and kind of seems like a number game to me. If I'm going to repost something I want to make it meaningful. 

Facebook - oh, this is the social media platform that I desperately need a break from and am taking one while I'm on vacation. From Facebook I have learned that caffeine is making my belly fat, canned tomatoes are killing me and that if I have a different social or Biblical belief than the vast majority I get fire breathed at me. I get that we can share what we want on there but why can't we be creative with our status updates? Why just read an article, click and share?

Instagram --> twitter / facebook - a lot of people share every Instagram picture on twitter and then Facebook. Sometimes I share an Instagram pic on FB because not all my FB friends have Instagram. However, I don't see the need to share every post from Instagram onto every other social media platform. 

So, those are my pet peeves on social media. Overall, they really aren't a big deal. I will say FB can agitate me but that's my own fault for letting it.  

What are your social media confessions? Do you capitalize the letter 'i'? If not, why? I'd love to know! 


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How We Survived Long Distance Dating

While Dave and I are together in Hawaii I wanted to share how we survived when we weren’t together. I know I have some new readers and you should know that I moved to Korea in 2012 to live for a year. Dave and I dated long distance that entire time. We decided to get married while dating long distance, I planned most of my wedding long distance … distance, distance, distance.


I don’t know who out there is dating long distance but I wanted to write from my heart how Dave and I made it. I was going to do a ‘5 ways to survive long distance dating’ but that would be writing ‘blog style’ and I want to write from heart as a reminder for me and hopefully as a help for you. I hope someone benefits from it but if no one does that is quiet alright too. This little space is for me to document my journey.

So …. Here is how we made it….


Commitment – Sometimes my memory struggles and I can’t recall every detail but I do know that Dave before I left for Korea Dave told me he was committed to me through distance. There is a note or a letter where he said he would love me and be committed to me with everything he had - as much as God allowed. We needed that. I needed that. Having that foundation was important

God – I’m not going to lie. Dave and I had to work through stuff even dating long distance. I remember a few times after a difficult phone conversation, taking a walk and praying “God, there really is not one thing I can do. Only you can work this out. It’s all in your control”. Is it shameful to say I was kind of surprised that God worked it out? I knew He could but to see him work things out was just really amazing.

Friends – I seriously am so so so thankful for my roommate Alisha! Thanks, Alisha! Alisha would listen to me, give me advice, and pray with me over my relationship with Dave. Having a sister in Christ to walk through that year was so helpful. Once I knew I was getting married I met with godly women who were married and got lots of advice from them. I took a bunch of notes and call it my 'life as a wife' advice. It's been very helpful. 

Family – Even though my family was miles away don’t think I didn’t involve them. I did! When my Mom came to visit me she asked me if I would say yes to Dave if he proposed. I told her I would. I distinctly remember her telling me she was all for it 100%. My family was 100% wanting me to marry Dave years before I was ready to. I do think that seeking wisdom from family is important when you get married.

Journaling – This one is probably one of my most favorite things in the whole entire world! Before I left for Korea I told Dave we should write and send journals back and forth. He didn’t seem to keen on the idea so I wasn’t expecting much. However, I got a package in the mail from him with this ….


Um – A spider man notebook? Really? I thought that was lame to the lame so I immediately covered the back with floral paper.


However, look at the inside! Dave wrote his heart out in that journal. I was amazed! He wrote about daily life, about his love for me and about what God was teaching him. I think journaling allowed us to see each other’s heart. There is something special about a pen and paper. We sent eight journals back and forth that year. Sometimes I read those journals now and think “oh my gosh we were sick saps!” but it’s still fun and I still love reading it. Also, Dave will still journal for me on occasion. He knows I love it and is kind enough to write to me.


Skype & Phone – This is just a must. When I first when to Korea I had serious computer issues. I did however, have a magic jack / phone and Dave could call me daily. He was my wakeup call in the mornings. After I got a new computer it was daily Skype. Oh and Saturday night skype dates until 3am / 4am made for one tired church girl the next day. But hey, distance is distance and you gotta do what you gotta do.

That my friends is a short summary of how we made it! I guess we really hated distance because I came home on February 7th and we got married March 24th. It was a whirlwind of life changes but turned out being really great.

Anyone else out there dating long distance? Does anyone else love journals like I do?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I'm leaving on a jet plane

This is Dave and I on a normal day

This is Dave and I before we leave for a vacation

Ok - it's really only me that feels like my eyes are going to pop out as I go crazy packing, cleaning, checking to make sure I got everything, loading up the car, packing snacks, cleaning out my fridge and just going plain bazerko before I leave for a trip. Can anyone else out there relate?

My husband? He is cool, calm, collected and had his bags packed SUNDAY for our trip which made me even all the more frazzled knowing he was all packed super duper early. Anyways, all that to say that Dave and I are going on vacation and yes, I'm even all packed and have a few minutes to sit down and write this post.

Where are we going? Good question! We are going to Hawaii for about 10+ days to celebrate our 1 year anniversary! I can't believe I've been married for one whole year! It's been a really good year and God has been good to us.

I won't be taking my computer with me which means I'm taking a vacation from blogging, facebook, twitter and e-mail. I'm even deleting fb from my phone because to be honest, that social media platform has overwhelmed me lately and I think a big break from it will be good. I'm hoping to spend some extra quality time with Dave as well as in the Word. Will you pray for me that I'll have meaningful time with Dave as well as quality time in the Word while I'm in HI? I'm also going to keep 1/2 marathon training while in HI. Wish me luck!

I will be sharing lots of pictures on Instagram! I love love love instagram and am planning on printing off lots of my instagram pictures. If you want to follow along I'd love to have you. You can find me on instagram here.

I hope you each have a wonderful couple of weeks! I have a few posts written as well as some of my sweet blog friends who will be appearing on here. I'm excited to share that with you.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Blogger Confessions

My first confession is that even though I don't' answer questionnaires I secretly think they are really fun. I recently read Blogger Confessions from Robyn and Jenny and knew I wanted to join in. I also thought it would be a good way to reintroduce myself a bit since I have some new readers around here. Hi, new readers!


1. When did you first start blogging and why?
I first created this blog as a way to document my year traveling abroad in South Korea. Sadly, teaching 8-9 hours a day wore me out and I didn't blog as much as I hope to while I was abroad. 

2. Have you had any past online presence?
Other than Facebook & Pinterest - nope.

3. When did you become serious about your blog? 
I became serious about my blog this past spring. I knew I wanted to grow my blog and I e-mailed two friends in Korea who had successful blogs. They pointed me in the right direction and gave me a lot of helpful insight.  

I think I successfully became serious about my blog when I started researching ways to grow your blog, ways to write and present better posts, blog design, etc. I found this post especially helpful with blog growth. A blog makeover by Amanda over at The Suitcase Designs helped my blog a lot too. 

4. What was your first blog post?
First blog post was Korea Part 1. Does anyone else look at a first blog post and just cringe? I won't fix it to 'blog perfection' because I think it's good to see how far I have come with my blog. I also laugh at that blog post because my initial expectations and thoughts towards Korea changed so much throughout the year. Not in a bad way but just different then when I first landed. 

5. What have been your biggest challenges blogging?
I'd say initially my biggest challenge was just learning blog land. I mean, if you start a job, you have training. If you start school you usually have orientation. When you start a blog it's just you and yourself diving head first figuring it all out. You have writing posts, editing, SEO, pictures, social networking, etc. It's a lot to learn at first and takes some time. 

Another challenge was 'finding my voice'. I don't know who invented that in blog land or if I even completely agree with it. Why can't people have 10 voices? Meaning, why can't they have a vast array of topics they write about? I will say, that my favorite all time posts to put together have been the missionary profiles. I love sharing about missions and what God is doing. 

After that I think my biggest challenge was being too focused on numbers. I mean seriously, why do we bloggers count our numbers a lot? A turning point for me was after a few e-mails exchanged with Katie where she mentioned to focus on community rather than numbers. That was a light switch moment for me and made all the difference. Do I watch my numbers? Yes. However, I consistently ask myself if I am building community? Relationships are more important than numbers. 

6. What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
New blog friends! I never thought I'd make new friends from blogging. However, living in a small town this past year and being away from my closer friends, my blog friends have been a huge blessing. I've been able to exchange e-mails about: marriage, running, prayer requests, funny stories and much more. I'm pretty certain that some of my blog friends I'll meet up with in the near future. I already met up with Amanda and I'm blessed to have a new friend as well as someone to talk everything blog with. 

I've also been blessed to read so many posts that have helped me in my walk with Christ. It's encouraging to know that other women out there are striving to honor Christ and spread the gospel through their blogs. 

7. What is the most discouraging thing about blogging?
I'm going to sound so contradictory after I just wrote number 5 out but I don't understand how I can pour time and effort into my blog sometimes and see minimal growth and then a new blogger pops up and BAM 500+ followers. Seriously, please tell me your secret? 

8. What is your blogger dirty secret?
I guess my little secret is that I'm not as organized as I'd like to be. I also don't understand SEO or Googlel Analytics. Add Google+ to that list too....

9. What is your current goal as a blogger? 
I have a few...
-continue to connect with other bloggers 
-be encouraging through my blog
-be more creative with sponsorships. I have a couple of things in mind so we will see where it goes. 


10. Have you learned to become passionate about anything through blogging that caught you by surprise?
I think maybe photography (I think a lot of bloggers can say that). I wanted to get a DSLR while I lived in Korea but didn't do so until this past summer. 

What about you - what do you most love about blogging and why did you start? Also, if you are a pro at organization and SEO please enlighten me. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Spring Giveaway

Hi Sweet Friends! I gotta tell you I absolutely love this time of year. The air is fresh, flowers are starting to bloom, the trees are budding and we now have more hours in the day to soak up that sun! Yay! 

In honor of Spring being right around the corner and as a way to say thanks for reading my blog I'm hosting a quick weekend giveaway. I'll be giving away a little burlap canvas I made as well as a $10 gift certificate to wherever you like (Starbucks, Paypal, Etsy, etc.) The $10 gift card needs to be to a place where I can purchase it on-line. The giveaway starts now and ends on Monday at midnight so enter quickly. I'll be contacting the winner and sending out the package by Tuesday or Wednesday.

I hope you are enjoying the Spring weather and I also want so say a big huge thanks from the bottom of my heart for reading my blog, for commenting and for the encouragement. This blog has been a huge blessing to me and it wouldn't be possible without all the support I receive from family, friends and dear readers.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 14, 2014

Photography Friday Week 10 - From a High Angle


Welcome to week 10 of Photography Friday. Photography Friday is a 20 week challenge to help improve our photography skills. There is a weekly prompt / theme for each week that you can be as creative with it as you'd like. This week's theme is a from a high angle and next week's theme is where you live. For further information please click here
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From a High Angle

This week wasn't so bad capturing images from a high angle. I already posted about Dave and I's weekend trip to New Mexico and I purposefully took some pictures from a high angle so I could use them for my photography challenge. Here is what I came up with: 

A dessert plant (don't know the name) but it's pretty and prickly! I can attest to that because I brushed up on one.
ISO 400   f/9   SS 1/400

I've heard photographers complain about the 'sun spots' but I personally think it makes pictures look more magical. What are your thoughts on those? I don't feel like this picture is crisp and clear but I was warned in a pamphlet at the dunes that the sand is hard to capture. 
 ISO 100   f/9    SS1/800

The sand ripples - I think they are rather beautiful
 ISO 100   f/9  SS1/640

On another photography note I finally bought an on-line class so I can learn Light Room. I don't even know how to upload and save my pictures in there. ha ha! 
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I hope you'll join in this week. I've enjoyed reading from those who have linked up. 

Sunshine to the Square Inch


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Small Town Musings


Woodward is the first small town I have lived in and has a population of around 15,000. I'm not sure if all small towns have the same culture but I can attest that Woodward has a completely, new to me, culture. Some of it is funny, some is great, some is odd and today I want to share it with you.

Small Town Musings

queso - If you go to a Mexican restaurant in Woodward you will not only get salsa but queso, which is gloooorious. I guess small town restaurants are all in competition with each other. There are about 5 - 6 mexican restaurants in town and apparently one restaurant started serving queso so they all had to follow. Bless that restaurant who started with the queso.

coffee service - Woodward has a couple of places that serve good coffee. Recently, I went to a local cafe that also has a coffee bar. First off, upon entering I just got stared at for a while, which was awkward. Finally the owner realized I was just there for coffee and had the barista / server prepare it. I told them I wanted a to-go coffee. Well, they made my coffee and handed it over .... with no lid. They then proceeded to tell me that they had no lids because the company sent them the wrong one and asked me if that was ok? I don't know how a 'to-go' coffee with no-lid is ok. I mean sure, let me just get in my car and burn myself. It's little things like this that although they seem annoying you just get used to it and smile.

peeping neighbors - This one is my favorite! There is a lady in our apartment complex in her 70's. She also goes to the senior center where I volunteer once a week. Well, this past winter I told Dave that we need to shut our blinds early because people would see us and that would just be bad, real bad. My day to go to the senior center came and that 70 year old lady hurried me over to her table. She said the following: "The other day, I walked my dog later than normal and I looked up into your apartment and I saw your husband standing there with no shirt on and wooo-weeeee. There was a white window, a white man and I thought 'what the he**, why not?'. I just wished the window would have gone lower than it did, but don't worry honey, I wouldn't of gotten too excited it's been 20 years". HOLY GUACAMOLE! I died laughing. I just couldn't believe some 70 year old lady was gawking and lusting after my husband.

beefetarians - I came up with that name on my own, ha! Did you know that Oklahoma is the state that eats the least amount of vegetables? I also know of someone who doesn't eat meals unless it has beef in it. We are in the heart of cattle country, people! moooooo

kindness - You know what? Even though Woodward has some things I'm not used to I have to say that the people here are beyond friendly, kind and welcoming. I went to a local boutique when I first moved here and the lady gave me a candle just because I was new. I also bought a punch card at a coffee shop and the nice barista gave me a coffee on the house because I was new. People are kind here, they are friendly, they are simple.

I know I have readers who live in different countries, different states and completely different types of cities. I want to know - what is something unique about the culture where you live?
Just in case you wondering why I have windmill pictures ... there is a windmill museum about 20 minutes from us. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Carlsbad caverns and whitesands - New Mexico + Lunch in OKC

Happy Monday! Anyone else excited about that extra hour of daylight we get? I don't' even care about losing that hour of sleep; I'm just glad it is lighter for longer in the evenings. 

I hope you all had a good weekend! Dave and I decided to head to NM this past weekend. We were on a mission to escape winter and small town life. We ended up going to Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands. Dave suggested the caverns and I was in a panic because I thought it entailed miles of hiking. However, it did not. Carlsbad Caverns are caves - huge huge caves! I had no idea they existed. I took a lantern tour of the caves, which was rather interesting and fun. After the caves we drove over to White Sands National Monument. I have a love for sand dunes - this is my 5th sand dune park I have visited.  

Today I'm in OKC and I had lunch with Amanda aka The Lady Okie. I never in my wildest dreams thought blog land would bring me new friends but I'm so glad it did. We have got together twice and have yet to take a picture together. We decided that was called #bloggerfail =)
                       
How was your weekend? Are you loving more daylight or do you hate to lose an hour of sleep? 

                                                                                                     

Today I'm also teaming up with Melyssa over at The Nectar Collective for a lovely little giveaway. There are two prizes - $125 Amazon gift card and a $50 Etsy gift card. Hope on over here to enter. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Photography Friday 9 - From a Low Angle


Welcome to week 9 of Photography Friday. Photography Friday is a 20 week challenge to help improve our photography skills. There is a weekly prompt / theme for each week that you can be as creative with as you'd like. This week's theme is a from a low angle and next week's theme is from a high angle. For further information please click here
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From a Low Angle


Can I just be honest and say that I don't really like this week and next week's theme. I know! I'm the one who picked the themes but I purposefully picked a couple I didn't like to force myself out of my normal routine. =) 

Even though shooting from a low angle isn't something I'm familiar with I ended up having a good time taking some pictures. I don't mention it much on my blog but I do crossfit. This past week was the opening season of the open workouts. The open workouts are open to anyone, anywhere. Those who do really well advance to the next level until they reach the crossfit games. 

I didn't sign up for the open workouts but the owner and trainer of our crossfit gym did. Her name is Callie and she was nice enough to let me take pictures while she worked out. The crossfit gym doesn't have great lighting and I wasn't about to use my flash especially while someone was competing. I still got some great shots and Callie was in beast mode! She did a great job and I'm glad I got to capture some of it. 

 ISO 3200  f/1.4  SS1/250

ISO 3200  f/1.4   SS 1/250

 ISO 3200  f/1.4  SS1/320

 ISO 3200  f/1.4  SS1/320

Here are my photography questions - how do you get a clear picture in low lighting? I know my images are pixelated but getting an action shot in low lighting is hard. 
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Please feel free to link-up your Photography Friday Post. I'd love to see what you capture and I'd also love some feedback on my pictures.

Sunshine to the Square Inch



Today I'm over on Oak & Oats helping host a fun giveaway. Hope on over and check it out here

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