31 January 2011

this is where we live: oklahoma

I know we're not in Oklahoma anymore, but I'm playing catch up so you'll just have to live with a few Oklahoma posts before I get into life here.

When you ask the average person who lived in Lawton (the town that is adjacent to Ft. Sill), they will tell you they hated it. But I'm unusual because I loved it there. Now, Lawton is pretty dumpy and I got really tired of Wal-Mart, but drive just a few miles out of it into the wildlife refuge and you get this:

IMG_4719

IMG_4733

IMG_4744

IMG_4802

IMG_4810

IMG_4825

IMG_4849

IMG_4859

IMG_4869

IMG_5001

IMG_4924

IMG_5973
(my only picture of a buffalo. Every time we'd see tons I didn't have my camera)

I think a big reason I loved Oklahoma was because Rob drove me out to the refuge my first weekend there so I had an immediate connection with the land (it sounds cheesy, I know). Everyone I've talked to that didn't like (or hate) Oklahoma either never made it out there, or didn't until right before they left. I think if I stayed in Lawton the whole time I would've had a terrible experience too. But instead, we'd head out to the refuge for a drive every couple of weeks and would fall in love with that place all over again every time.

But there was beauty even in Lawton, simply because of the never-ending sky. These were taken with my phone and you can still get just how gorgeous those clouds are.
IMG_1494

IMG_1501

IMG_1507

Again, crappy pictures, but gorgeous scenery. These were taken on Ft. Sill, out in the boonies (Ft. Sill consists of main post where all the buildings are, then acres upon acres of land. They need all that land so they can practice shooting their cannons)

IMG_1658

IMG_1676

IMG_1681

And here is the view from my bedroom window:
IMG_6289

And, the sunsets. When we loved in NC, I remember someone from out west saying that sunsets in the east didn't compare to sunsets out west. They were right. Every night the sky was. just. gorgeous.
IMG_1883

IMG_1650

IMG_1656

IMG_7208

IMG_7213

IMG_8558

But we did get to experience a real Oklahoma storm. I was really freaked out, not gonna lie. Like, had our 72 hour kits and important paperwork, etc. by the door ready to go to a shelter if we needed to. Thankfully we didn't get any tornadoes in Lawton while we were there. The storm blew in the day before we were going camping, and we didn't know it was coming. So we left to go to Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of things for the campout, and I snapped this picture with my phone:
IMG_1889

Then as we're driving down the highway we see this:
IMG_1893
Now, I know it looks like the sun setting amidst the storm clouds, but this is looking north, not west.
IMG_1894
I was pretty much staring at that spot the whole drive, and I would see lightning strike the earth.

I took this right next to Wal-Mart: it's the clouds rolling extremely quickly southwest. And those clouds were so dark as soon as they covered us it was dark as night. We actually just kept on driving instead of shopping and went straight home.
IMG_1898

These pictures were actually taken after the storm had passed us; I'm looking south where all the action was. Some of these I put on here before, but you get to see them again. (and sorry for the blurry ones, it was my first time taking pictures of lightning and I had no idea what I was doing)
This first one is just for comparison, this is how dark it was that night.
IMG_6678
Then the lightning strikes! None of it hit land, it would just go horizontally across the sky.
IMG_6597

IMG_6605

IMG_6654

IMG_6656

IMG_6677
It was incredible.

And, I still miss Oklahoma. A lot. I haven't connected with El Paso yet, and I know it's because we haven't gone up the mountains or into the desert. I'm hoping once I connect with the land it'll feel like home.

27 January 2011

the big brother.

I'm not going to lie, when I was pregnant with Nicola I was very nervous how Max was going to take to his new brother. Let's face it, he was pretty much a monster the few months before Nick was born and I was scared that would continue on past Nick's birth (Looking back I was just a nervous individual awaiting Nick's birth. Is it normal to be nervous about adding a new person to the mix or am I just an anxious person?). But I had nothing to worry about. Despite Max's initial ambivalence to Nick's appearance he soon warmed up to his little brother. And now they are good friends and so cute to watch together.

Oh, and after all that worry about Max's delayed speech, he pretty much exploded with words as soon as Nick was born. Figures.

IMG_3167

IMG_1239
Max remarked "Baby Heaby!" as I took this picture.

IMG_1282
Giving Nick kisses. (thankfully babies are flexible and pretty durable)

IMG_1383

IMG_3384

IMG_1556
These next few photos show the progression of things whenever I try to get a good picture of the two of them...
IMG_1565

IMG_1566
Again, thankfully babies are durable.

IMG_4590
Nick isn't in this picture, but I just love it.

IMG_4887
And I think this is my favorite picture of Max.

IMG_6339

IMG_6992

IMG_7348

IMG_7835
Classic. Crying baby and a finger in the nose.

IMG_7842

IMG_7923
I just LOVE the complete adoration on Max's face. He really loves his brother.

IMG_7925
And LOVES to gives hugs and kisses to the baby.

IMG_7977
As Nick has gotten bigger, Max has also enjoyed playing with him.

IMG_8171

IMG_8237

IMG_8261
This picture cracks me up. Our apartment complex had a Halloween party for the kids, but Rob was still at work when it started so I had to do it alone. This was my attempt at getting a picture of them in their costumes together. Didn't work out so well. (and in case you are wondering, Max was a cowboy and Nick was Pubbert Addams)

IMG_0016

IMG_8658
I love the head stroke.

IMG_9546

IMG_9549

IMG_9552

IMG_9576
Nick is our little glutton. He tries to eat EVERYTHING, including people.

DSCF5891

DSCF5903
Right before we moved I found Max entertaining Nick in their room while I was busy doing something. Precious.
IMG_9806

IMG_9819

IMG_9826

I love my boys!