Tuesday, December 30, 2008

SWBTS at Christmas

This year SWBTS was decorated so prettily for Christmas. And I've been wanting to take some pictures of the Centennial flower display (see the "100" in the flowers below), so I had a bit of spare time and decided to stop and snap a few shots. I was pleased with how they turned out, and very thankful I had my tripod in the car, because the ones without it were really blurry.

It was SO foggy out there, it was almost like the harr in Scotland. I was curious how the fog and my cross-star filter would interact, so I snapped this shot (and about 20 just like it). I think the result is pretty cool, don't you?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Doggone Tired

While we were at Kathy's house, Harley played his heart out with their dog, Abby, during the day. But at night, he really had trouble sleeping. This was partly due to the whining and noise of the five dogs in the garage and partly due to the fact that Abby was wandering around the house while he was kept pinned up in the laundry room (not fair!). So after three nights of little sleep, Harley was exhausted. You could sense his relief when we finally got home on Friday night. He walked in the door and promptly curled up with his stuffed frog and went to sleep. He looked so cute laying there that I had to take a picture. Unfortunately, the flash woke him up. But Harley's sleepy face is so cute. His big ears, which normally stand straight up, stick straight out to the side when he's tired, and his eyes are only half opened. He looked at me like "Would you QUIT taking my picture? I'm trying to sleep" and then yawned so big. It was too funny. Check out the progression below.

It's like you can tell exactly what he's thinking here!

Here are a couple of other cute Harley pictures from Christmas, taken after we watched the movie Marley and Me. It was so sad! I came home and had to love on Harley for a little while.

Starr's Mill, aka Sweet Home Alabama

Less than a mile from my parents' house is Starr's Mill, a picturesque old mill that was featured in the movie Sweet Home Alabama as the location of Jake's glass shop. I've been wanting to stop by and take some photos for a while now, so one day before Christmas the lighting was pretty and I convinced Dad to stop for a few minutes so I could take photos (or "play Barb", as Amie says). I snapped a couple of pictures, then mom took the camera from me and started taking pictures of me (that was not my intent!).

using the color accent feature on my camera It was so cold! Dad and I huddled together to try and stay warm.
And then... my battery died. Bummer! I wanted to go to the other side and take pictures, but it wasn't gonna happen that day. So Ben and I stopped the next day in the midst of our last-minute Christmas shopping for a few more pictures from a different angle. I let Ben try to take a couple of pictures of me in front of the mill. He did a good job of getting me in the pics, but had trouble getting the mill with me. He finally got it though, and I think the picture turned out pretty good (the last one below).
These last couple of pictures are not of Starr's Mill, but they're pretty sights from Fayetteville and Peachtree City. The first is the historic Fayetteville Courthouse. We drive by there every time I'm home, but this is the first time I actually got out of the car in that area and had the opportunity to take a picture. The last picture is Peachtree City Lake (where we watched the fireworks on the 4th of July). It was SO cold, so I just ran down to the edge of the lake and snapped a picture really quickly. I'm pleased with how well it turned out, since I didn't really take my time.

An Unusual Christmas

This year, Christmas for our family was a bit unusual. We celebrated Christmas at my Aunt Kathy's house, the first time we haven't had it at either my parents' or grandparents' house. This is the first year I can remember that my Uncle Rick hasn't shown up for at least Christmas Eve. We didn't have any children to wake us up on Christmas morning, so we didn't get up til around 8:30, and didn't open presents til after 10:00 (after Ben finally decided to get up)! The people who stayed overnight Christmas Eve were almost outnumbered by the dogs (10 people, 8 dogs!). The "adults" (mom, dad, Aunt Kathy and Uncle David) never got out of their pajamas on Christmas day. We didn't end up doing our traditional ornament exchange until the day AFTER Christmas, and not everybody got to participate. It was a good holiday overall, though. I enjoyed spending time with my family, seeing extended family members that I see only once every year or two, and meeting my cousin Brandon's wife Becky and their new baby, Addison. We were blessed with a really quiet Christmas day, very lazy and restful, which was a nice contrast to the craziness of Christmas Eve--preparing and enjoying the big Christmas meal, rushing to the Christmas Eve service, and then our traditional Christmas Eve party lasting late into the evening. Here are several photos of this year's Christmas celebrations.

baby Addison
Brandon, Becky, and AddisonAunt Patty and Uncle Barry with their new granddaughter
mom in a rare moment of relaxation on Christmas Eve
my family before the Christmas Eve service Kathy's house was decorated beautifully, both inside and out Papa tried to stay awake until Santa arrived, but just couldn't make it
my parents, still in their pajamas at 3:00 Christmas afternoon
mom and a cute ornament from the ornament exchange
Because everyone stayed in their pajamas on Christmas, we didn't take family photos until the day after Christmas, which meant nobody was dressed in festive attire. Oh well. These are our best efforts.

Christmas Lights over Georgia

A few nights before Christmas, my family drove around to check out the Christmas lights in the Peachtree City area. There are a couple of neighborhoods that really decorate well, and two houses out in the rural areas that go all out decorating huge yards/pastures. We enjoyed riding around seeing the lights and enjoying the Christmas atmosphere. Harley went with us, and made us all laugh by whining and "talking" to Santa whenever he appeared in the displays.

We found this house to be really tacky - but it practically glowed with all those blue lights!

This is my parents' house, all decorated for Christmas. I used my new "cross-star" filter for my camera, so that's why the big light shows up as a huge star.