Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Round Up at the Ranch

So Ryan and I had planned to go on a spring break trip last weekend but changed our itinerary as soon as we heard it was round up at my dad's ranch. In the Thames family, this is big. The entire family gets together (with authentic cowboys of course) to round up cattle, pick guitars, drink beer, and most importantly eat lots of good home cooking. This year's round up would obviously be no different.... We headed to the ranch on Friday afternoon to meet up with everyone. My sister, Ginger, and brother, Sage, got there late, so Friday night was really just the calm before the storm.

Saturday arrived with a bitter wind-chill and icy frost, so luckily my dad moved round up to Sunday morning for us wimps. The Thames family, always ready to make lemonade out of lemons, decided to spend Saturday doing leisurely activities.

These activities include, but are not limited to:

waking up and eating a huge brunch, drinking a beer after breakfast, driving around to look for hogs, going back to the ranch house to play an early game of power hour (parents and grandmother included)

sibling push up challenge

more "games" by fire pit

picking guitars

Sage & Chris sharing a moment on the swing set

dancing & tequila for the men

eating, watching movies, and FINALLY sleeping :)

Our day of leisure was great, but the 6:00 am Sunday morning 'cattle call' sure was sobering. After a stout coffee and two Advil, I was able to appreciate the beautiful morning that it was. I've always loved the ranch but more than anything I respect the incredible determination my dad has to keep the place going.

He is such a Marlboro man!!

This year was particularly fun because we had so many people to help out! Everyone had their station and some of us would hop in to brand, vaccinate, or castrate as needed (and no, I did NOT castrate for those who were wondering. Branding and vaccinating are as far as I go!)


sorry boys, castrating

everyone who helped with the cows

the kitchen crew

Ginger and my Emma bear

My boss gave me a great camera for my birthday (A Canon Rebel that is so nice I don't even know what all the buttons do yet!!) I barely know how to use it but am planning on taking a class to figure it out!! I have a new found interest in photography and would love to maybe one day get into it. Here are some fun shots I snapped during the weekend that I had a chance to doctor in Photoshop.

my brother, Sage, getting ready for round up

Cowboy Colton (aka the cutest ring barer ever!)


cow feeder

THE cowboy himself.

good 'ole west texas sunset

The T Lazy T Ranch

There's just nothing like food fun & family!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

our wedding story

Ryan and I have been married for almost 9 months now, and although it may be far beyond our wedding day, we're still newlyweds for at least 3 more!! So... before ANY more time flies by, I'm dedicating this particular blog post to our wedding.

Let me start with our engagement, and oh man, do I have a story for you. It all started when I received an offer to work for Mark Hampton, a very prominent design firm in Manhattan, the summer before my last year in college. Being a self proclaimed home body, I was very indecisive on accepting this amazing offer. Even though it would only be a one month-long internship, I found myself worried that I would get home sick and be way out of my league in such a city! Ryan, being an opportunist, was so supportive and encouraging of this incredible offer and said that if I ever wanted to be a serious designer that I couldn't pass up working for Alexa Hampton herself! (Little did I know the plans he had in store!)

{side note: I will definitely be blogging about my internship experience. Alexa was so amazing to intern for, and I learned a wealth of knowledge during my short time there}

After much encouragement from my mom & Ryan, I accepted the offer and headed to New York City with visions of Reese Witherspoon from Sweet Home Alamaba in my head :)

So I take the plunge and head to New York. Unfortunately my interior design friends received internships else where so my amazing mom went with me to "supervise". We sublet an apartment from MR. BIG himself. I swear. This guy was foreign and straight out of a movie....navy sports coat, jeans, & prada shoes....not my type, but certainly easy on the eyes! The internship was going 100% as planned and my mom and I were fitting right in. The city was amazing and the possibilities were endless. My mom stayed for 2 weeks and decided it was time to head out. Luckily Ryan was coming to visit the next day.

my mom and I in front of the

office building where I interned

Ryan arrived on a Friday evening just as I got off work. I met him at my apartment and we headed out to a really quaint dinner on the Upper East. Saturday we woke up and went for a nice jog in central park. The day was going to great... we went for frozen hot chocolate at the acclaimed Serendipity and continued to peruse around New York. I took Ryan to store after store and never heard ANY complaints (looking back that should have been my first clue that something was up.) Finally at about 4:00 Ryan mentioned that we may want to go home and get ready for dinner. He mentioned this place that he had heard of called "the 21 club" that he thought would be nice for dinner. He said that it was mainly a bar but that they had a small dining area that would seat 21 people (should have been my 2nd clue.) I had been there before and knew that it was no casual dining...I put on a black dress, he a suit, and we headed on our way. As we passed Central Park he had the taxi driver drop us off. We were early for our reservations so he though it would be a great chance to take a carriage ride. (my 3rd clue.) Unfortunately, the city was experiencing an unusual heat wave and the horses were not permitted to be out in the sun. Ryan became unusually flustered and I could tell he was in panic mode... No more clues! Now I knew, something was up.

Living in the moment, Ryan asked if I wanted to go for a walk. My heart sank and I knew what was coming!!!! I played along and hiked through Central Park in my black dress and 4" pumps. We dodged marathoners as we headed to a quaint little grove with a creek inside the park. Luckily the crowd was starting to thin a little and I could feel him slowing down... looking for the perfect spot. Just when the sweat started rolling down the back of my legs and my feet couldn't take it any longer, he stopped- got on one knee-

and asked me to marry him!!

We were so in the moment that we didn't even acknowledge the small crowd that had gathered and started applauding when he dropped his knee!! I mean I felt like I had fallen straight into a jewelry commercial!

I couldn't have dreamt it any better!

So we head to dinner and of course I try to call my mom straight from the taxi (the most important call of a girl's life, and my own mother didn't answer!!) I called my dad...no answer...
surely they were expecting this!! Where were they? Ryan told me not to worry about it that we would touch base later. He said that he had champagne waiting for us at dinner.

We get to the restaurant and follow the hostess up a small elevator to the private dining room. He opens the door, and BOTH OF OUR FAMILIES WERE THERE TO SURPRISE ME!! I thought I might faint.

so shocked

amazed by his planning

the ring

our wonderful family

It was the most exciting moment of my life and to think that someone I love had planned the whole thing out, just for me, was indescribable! We had an amazing meal, then went to The Marquee to celebrate!! Our families stayed in New York and celebrated together for a few more days. New York was the perfect backdrop, to what I felt like, the perfect engagement! My mom and I decided to take advantage of our last week in New York to do some serious wedding planning!

I tried on dress after dress, even going into the very high dollar places that I knew I couldn't afford, but just to say I did! Being two peas in a pod, my mom and I had the most fun time brainstorming about all the meticulous wedding details we had to look forward to.

my beautiful mom- isn't she cute?

The life leading up to one's wedding is actually quite morphed. You put unyielding emphasis on "life changing" decisions such as satin or lace, Vera or Pricilla, formal or semi-formal... When inside the wedding bubble that society has so conveniently created, one feels these topics are perfectly normal. Flowers, food and wedding fundamentals become daily jargon inside your already hectic head, to the point where you actually start believing that your napkin design could quite possibly determine the future of your marriage.

Luckily I had my wonderful mom to conquer all the meticulous wedding decisions....Being the polished city girl from Houston that she is, she faced each step of the wedding process with creativity and class. We had so much fun together as we made our day trips to Dallas- squeezing any time we had to shop details between work and school! It was such a busy and stressful time (working, graduating, & wedding planning) but my mom always found a way to put things in perspective and lend a helping hand. She has always been my go-to-girl and planning the wedding was no different. Haha- I wish I had recorded the countless late night phone calls we had when designing the graphics for the save the dates- no one would have believed us.

bridal portraits.

So the planning continued and our mother-daughter team seemed unstoppable...Nothing could get past us...."flowers: check. band: check. specialty lighting: check check."- we had this thing beat....Two computer crashes and one forgotten garter later, we can now look back and laugh, cry, and celebrate the amazing wedding that it was.

Picture credits go to Kristin Bednarz. She is the most amazing wedding photographer and she captured every moment perfectly! Check our her blog and book her for your next big event!

the ceremony

the reception

our toast

yummy cake

amazing party

our first dance

our best friends

the most incredible parents

that made it all possible

the wedding.

The wedding was simply amazing. It was everything I had ever hoped for and more. We were so grateful to have had all of our friends and family with us to share in such a memorable time.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cowtown Half Marathon

When Ryan and I first got married we sat down and established what we like to call our "Bucket List". Being in a fresh new chapter of our lives, we decided this was the perfect time to create such a wide array of endless possibilities. Of course we have our list of things we would like to do together, which mostly involves things like travel and adventure, but then we got to thinking about our own personal goals. Number 17 on my bucket list...

"to run a half marathon"


One of my best friends/bridesmaids Elizabeth was the first to inspire me on this crazy idea. She ended up running her first half in Dallas and kept me posted throughout her training. Of course when I get an insane idea in my head it usually ends up staying there until I do something about it. I was telling my best friend Megan about my temporary lack of good judgement and explained to her how I was toying with the idea of running a half marathon. Fearing her response, I waited as she laughed out loud on the other end of the phone. "Great!" I thought, even my best friend thinks this is out of my league. Well Megan stopped to explain that her and Shelly, (one of my other best friends/bridesmaids) had been wanting to do one as well!! So it was decided and I was going to be held accountable (unfortunately) by my friends.

The training process was grueling and pretty much what I expected. Megan and Shelly were able to train together in Ft. Worth (and prepared for the hills that were to be in the race) while I trained in beeeaaautiful Lubbock, Texas where the closest hill is a nice 35 minute drive!

Not being a distance runner (in any sense of the term) I had no idea about shoes, socks, strategy, ANYTHING! I unfortunately learned the hard way that not only are the shoes crucial, but so are the socks....

So here we are, the night before the race feeling good. Carb filled dinner- check, bib number- check, gu-check, beans-check (don't ask), protein-check, what could we say...we were ready.

The race was intense and much more than I expected! 20,000 people filled downtown Ft. Worth to compete in various divisions of the Cowtown Marathon. Megan, Shelly and I started out great...waving at pictures, cracking jokes, feeling good.

Mile 10 hit and man those hills I neglected to prepare for were sure taking a toll! The low point for me was when a man dressed as the Chick-Fil-A cow ran right past me. I mean, he was in a
COSTUME for crying out loud!! All jokes aside, the run was extremely rewarding. I finished the race in 2 hours and 21 minutes and 20 seconds which was 9 minutes better than my goal! I was extremely relieved not only to have the race behind me, but also the endless training that came with it.

It was so nice to have such

amazing friends to go through the pressure with!!

Best of all we got to have a
fun weekend after the race full of food, pedicures, dinner & drinks! Elizabeth even drove in from Dallas to join! It was such a milestone and now I can always look back and say I've done it....and will most likely NEVER do it again!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blogging Butterfly

I know I haven't really gotten our blog going just yet, but I have an excuse!! Thanks to a few very helpful blogs I have custom designed our entire layout! It's totally addicting once you get going and I found myself deep in a foreign language known as html code... I just couldn't help myself! I was first checking out my friend Allison's blog for a sighting of her new precious baby (Grayson) and came across this blog. I was totally inspired by this girl's layout and just started investigating how she got there. There are various tutorials, tips & tricks, but I found these blogs most helpful:

This is the blog that inspired me to get my own custom look. Her blog is a fun read and very helpful on blog tips! She recently added a link on her page specifically for blog help! Wynne is into photography and has a great eye for this kind of thing...I'm so glad I've made a new blog friend and am VERY appreciative of her help. Check out her blog!

This website is absolutely wonderful for free fonts. She actually generates fonts by turning peoples' handwriting and chicken scratch into a computer formatted font! The fonts are adorable and very fun to use in all applications. Best of all- they're FREE and quick to get. She has all kinds of tutorials and even has one on how to upload custom fonts to your blog posts! It makes all the difference in the world.

I'll try and post some tips that I learned along the way as well- but that's all for now! Have fun customizing your new blog!