Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Pictures for Photography Class

It's official. I am now a digital photography 101 certificate holder. I adored the class, and I hope that one day I can take 201. This is definitely something I could get in to.

For our final project, we went to the Ft. Worth Botanic Gardens on a blustery day to get some still life shots, although December is a less-than-ideal time to take pictures in a garden.

Here are some photos from my final portfolio. I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Photography Class

This is my second week of photography class at UT Arlington, because my husband is awesome. He bought me the course as a birthday gift last year; work has been so crazy that I haven't been in town for any seven-week period up until this point. I really like the course, and I have a TON to learn.

Our professor gives us really fun and interesting homework each week. Here are a few shots from my first two weeks. I can't wait to look back on these at the end of the course and critique how terrible they are!

Thank you for a fabulous gift, Matty!

Depth of Field

Selective Focus

(Oops, too sunny)

Showing Movement

(Note to self: Clean your lens, dork!)

At the Buffalo Sabres/Dallas Stars game. Those guys skate fast!

Freezing Movement

Friday, August 13, 2010

25: Now I can rent a car

I am absolutely crazy about my husband. I think regular readers of this blog probably get that by now. He is awesome in so many ways, and one of the most amazing is his birthday surprises. Matt definitely gave me the absolute best birthday I could ever imagine, filled with all of my favorite things. Sometimes, I think he knows me better than I know myself!

The entire weekend was spectacular. The Friday before my birthday, I was able to go to lunch with some of my favorite people in the the entire world: Kelly, Emily and Meredith. I am so blessed to have such incredible friends since middle school. We had a great sushi lunch and make-up shopping before I headed back to the airport for my birthday surprise.

Matt was so distraught that he had to work the late shift before my birthday, but little did I know, it was all part of his sneaky, sneaky plan! The only thing I knew about my birthday trip was that I was supposed to have a suitcase packed and be at his office right when he got off. As soon as he walked out the door, we zoomed over to Love Field where we tried to get on flights to our secret destination. Matt wouldn't let me see our boarding passes, and next thing I knew we were on a flight to Birmingham.

When we arrived in Alabama, Matt seemed very upset that we were not able to catch any connecting flights out that evening--everything had already left. He called his "hotel guy" from SWA to set up accommodations for the night, and I really felt bad for him. We caught the crew shuttle to the airport and checked in.

When we finally got up to our room, I could see the dark, shadowy outline of something floating in the room. I realized it was a ton of balloons as Matt flipped the light on, and I heard "SURPRISE, SISSY!" Matt flew in my family from Florida to come celebrate my birthday! Amazing!

I still had absolutely no idea what we were doing, until my dad handed me a card and photo book. Inside were Braves tickets and photos of my 13th birthday, when my dad and step-mom took me to Atlanta for my first Braves game. What an amazing surprise! They even had a Mellow Mushroom pizza waiting for me, and you know how much I love a pie from the MM!

The next morning, we got up early and drove into Atlanta for the game. The ballpark is absolutely beautiful, and I was so thankful to be there with my family. Can you think of any better way to spend a birthday?

To make things even better, we realized that we had super spiffy passes to the swanky, private 755 Club, which was so wonderful on a typical Atlanta summer day. We headed up there for the first few innings and some grub. I was definitely beside myself with joy.

We went down to our seats and to my surprise, they were right on the third base line with a spectacular view of Chipper Jones! I have adored Chipper Jones since I was little. You know how every couple has that one "out" person who, if they come knocking on the door, you would consider running away with them for a life of glamor and intrigue--before you thanked them, got their autograph, and shut the door? Chipper is my "out." Kate Winslet is Matt's. Anyhow, I digress... Here's the view, which is what you really want to see anyway.

Just when I thought I there were no more surprises, the fam got me again. All of the sudden the Braves mascot, Homer, showed up and sat next to me. He was there for almost a full half inning! It was crazy fun! Rachel loved it too, and she was obsessed with his batting glove hands (so you know she is Matt's little sister now!). The Braves girls also game and gave me a goody bag full of team gear. I almost had a heart attack.

This birthday could not get any better, right? Just kidding! Here's another surprise, Shannon!

What?!?!?! Personalized LED signage for my birthday?!?! With Southwest Airlines advertising messaging?!?!?!?!?! Is it all of my favorite things coming together at once?!?!! I was on cloud nine...

And then... Then... THEN came the most amazing birthday surprise ever. Chipper Jones stepped up to bat. My dad casually remarked, "Wow, Chipper only has four home runs this year." I turned to him and said, "Time to make it five." Two seconds later, my boy came through. Chipper smashed a three-run homer and the entire stadium erupted.

Here he is, rounding third. As soon as the next inning began, Chipper hustled onto the field but all of the other Braves players stayed in the dugout. They would not come on to the field until Chipper saluted the thousands of cheering fans that were giving him a standing ovation. It was the best moment in sports history I have ever seen. I just got chill bumps writing about it!

The rest of the game was a nail-biter, and unfortunately Rachel was so hot that she had to retire back to the 755 Club for a nap. She was awake for Chipper's home run, though, and told all of the ladies in the bathroom that they were in, "My sissy is going to be so happy. She loves him." The Braves pulled it out and Chipper was named Player of the Game--cementing the best birthday in the history of creation. And it was his 200th HR at Turner Field. Could this day get any better?!?!

The next morning (my birthday proper), we got up early and went to the most heavenly breakfast Southern diner I've ever been to in my life, the Silver Skillet. It has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and now I want to eat there every day of my life.

Note: Katie had her own seat and plates.

God bless America, look at that food! I had fried ham, grits and biscuits and gravy. Ooh laa laa! After stuffing ourselves silly, we unbuttoned our pants and went to the new Coca-Cola museum. For my birthday, I definitely wanted to celebrate by learning more about the world's largest brand.

The museum was great. There were lots of different exhibits and shows--we all had a blast. It was super interesting. Rachel's favorite part was the American Idol couch. Here she is with her brother, who is irritating her in this picture.

My favorite part was at the very end, where they let you taste sodas from all over the world. What a crazy experience! There is one Italian soda called Beverley that is especially uh... unique. You've got to try it if you go there.

After the museum, we did the long drive back to Birmingham and ate at Mellow Mushroom (yes, again). To pass the time, Rachel led us in a game of hangman. We could not figure out the word she was having us guess for the life of us. Turns out it was "Sinatra." What five-year-old knows about Frank Sinatra and thinks of him for a game of hangman? She continues to amaze me every day.

The next morning, we woke up super early and flew right in to work. I guess working for an airline does have its perks. :)

Thank you, Matt, Dad, Vanessa and Rachel, for the most amazing birthday ever! I will never forget our amazing weekend! (And I can't wait to see what happens next year...)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Boys of Summer are Back

Yeah, it's finally baseball season. It only took forever to get here! Mr. Grandin and I are HUGE baseball fans, so we have been anxiously awaiting this week since the World Series. (Actually, since before the World Series because our teams all had an off year!)

Although I love baseball quite a bit, I don't think I am anywhere near the level of fan that my husband has achieved. Why, you ask? I was getting ready for bed the other night and went into the bathroom to find this:

Why yes, he is brushing his teeth wearing batting gloves.

The main point of contention in our marriage is that I am a huge Braves and Rangers fan. A girl has to have her NL and AL teams, after all! Matt is such a big Indians fan that it borders on obsession. No, really. He not only turned our front closet into his "Locker Room" for his Tribe gear, but he is also saving an Indians Logo History blanket that we got on free blanket night in Cleveland to bring our firstborn home in.

Be afraid, be very afraid...

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Perfect Weekend

What's the recipe for a perfect weekend? I think we found it. Just mix together:
  • 1 hilarious trip to the grocery store
  • 1 amazing meal: Kalamata Lemon Chicken with Orzo and broiled portobello mushrooms
  • 1 close call with a pan not meant to go in the broiler
  • 10 minutes of trying to get the funky smell out of the apartment
  • 6 additional hours of sleep than the typical evening
  • 3 hours of reading cookbooks and watching SportsCenter in our PJs
  • 2 W-2s along with 1 Greek Salad and 1 large pizza to motivate us to do our taxes
  • 15 miles of driving around Grapevine looking for house-friendly neighborhoods
  • 1 hour at Academy looking at baseball gear
  • 4 episodes of American Idol from our DVR
  • 1 funky Night Hawk frozen dinner--a product of the afore-mentioned hilarious trip to the grocery store. Matt just couldn't remember why they weren't as good as he remembered from childhood.
  • 60 amazing minutes of church (the late service) combined into one challenging, thought-provoking sermon
  • 2 amazing sandwiches at Which Wich
  • 18 file folders to set up our organization system for 2010
  • 1 awesome text message from our awesome friend Russ that he was home
  • 3 out-of-shape former athletes pretending like they could still play baseball in the park by our place
  • 4 dinners cooked for the rest of the week
  • 23,012 compliments from Matt and Russ on my new chicken dish and homemade mac 'n cheese
  • 1 fascinating TV show about the AirFlorida crash in the 1980s with 2 quirky pilots
  • an undisclosed amount of reduced-fat Oreos

Combine and commit to memory as amazing!

Our Battle Cry

Wow. I can't believe our new commercials are finally out. I hope you all enjoy the new spots you'll see on March Madness these next few weeks. I'll post some pictures of the behind the scenes of these particular commercial shoots. But for now, please just click on the link below and enjoy!

Ramp Agents Reveal Our Bag Policy

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Monday, March 1, 2010

My Team

All of you probably hear a lot about my crazy job, so I thought you might like to see the Team that I work with every day. Although we are crazy, we work together really well. You may notice one glaring trend in the photo below... No men. We tend to run them off as soon as they step foot on our floor. I guess it's just too much estrogen to take!

Top row, from L to R: Beth Anne, Rhonda, Barri, Sandra, Katie, Vanessa, Jena (pronounced Gina)
Bottom row, from L to R: Kathryn, Sally, Alice, Ashley and yours truly

Can you believe that this is where all of Southwest Airlines' advertising comes from? We're small but mighty!