Mom and Baby

Finally, some OKC pictures! I ventured out to the Martin Park Nature Center in OKC this afternoon for some fresh air and sight seeing. I was focused on some turtles when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. When I glanced above my camera I saw this beautiful sight of a mother deer and her fawn. My breath caught in my chest and I could hardly believe what I saw. There’s just something about the bond between a mom and her baby that throws my heart all aflutter. I have about 97 photos of this little family on my memory card because I couldn’t look away and loved letting go of all of life’s going ons for 20 minutes to enjoy these two.

Deer and Fawn

Location: Martin Park Nature Center, Oklahoma City, OKC
Camera: Nikon Coolpix
Editing: Photoshop CC


Grandmother Willow

Remember Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas? She seemed to have such good advice and quite the moral compass when I was 5. I was so on board with her wisdom, “Sometimes the right path is not the easiest”. You can say that again sister…I mean grandmother.
Mother WillowLocation: Lubbock, TX
Camera: Nikon Coolpix
Editing: Photoshop CC

The Buddy System

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting several faculty who will be training Hugsband during his residency program. I was even more pleased to meet his new colleagues and their families. During dinner last night each of the 12 residency program graduates were announced and gave a speech to the crowd congregated to celebrate their achievement. Some were silly, many were tear jerkers, and a common thread wove the speeches into an image foreshadowing the experience Hugs is about to embark: the importance of the buddy system – relying on each other to get through the next 4 years of grueling and only sometimes gratifying work. The graduating residents said it much more eloquently than I could put into words, but the evening reminded me of a few photographs captured before leaving Lubbock. So here’s the essence of my takeaway from the evening in photos with a few short captions below each of the three images. Basically, there’s no getting through this experience without use of the buddy system.

1. All of the new interns begin clustered together in the same corner of the room, not entirely certain what to make of this next chapter in life…or of the room full of unfamiliar faces. A little reserved and maybe shy at first, the glass of wine served with dinner gets the conversation flowing.Bud
2. Before they know it, the new interns and their families find common ground, share a few great laughs and bond over their shared uncertainty of whether new interns are included in the departmental photo or not. Everyone emerges from their shell, some more easily than others, and some with more adoration for cats than others. Eventually, the new interns are invited for their own group photo and their families stand off to the side together. Looking in on their loved ones from the outside while also striving to make sense of it all together. I can’t help but feel some tingly foreshadowing here.Blossom3. By the end of the night, the group of uncertain buddies are a tad more comfortable with each other and can see the seeds have been planted for some wonderful friendships  and experiences with the opportunity for memories (good and sad) to last their lifetimes.

And if  you might be wondering: Yes, I’m pretty pleased with myself on the pun of The Buddy System and the flower buds blossoming.

Location: Tech Terrace Park, Lubbock, TX
Camera: Nikon Coolpix
Editing: Photoshop CC


I signed up for an online beginner Photoshop class a couple weeks ago and our second lesson was this week. When the instructional video said we were going to learn how to use paintbrushes my initial thought was, “I didn’t pay $80 to learn how to paint”. I was so frustrated, I paused the instructional video, closed my internet browser, and distracted myself from learning something new by washing laundry, dishes, and unpacking boxes. All of the above needed to get done anyway, right? I procrastinated for a good 2 days on this lesson. The frustration has subsided now and I’m happy I got over my torturous ‘fear’ of painting. Realistically, there was no fear of painting. More like a fear of being really crummy at something I’ve never done before outside of Kindergarten. But who isn’t crummy when they do something for the first time (excluding prodigies)? Even if the product of first efforts is decent, it’s still a far cry from the product of hours upon hours of practice and experience. Life lessons I’ve forgotten since my first piano lesson I guess.

Now that I sit down and think about it – that’s definitely a distortion of the depression combined with edginess I often feel with the anxiety. Feeling as if I know from the beginning that my first attempt at painting will be absolute rubbish and the online class will think I’m an idiot. No one can predict the future with certainty (well except God I suppose…and it’s not so much a prediction as it is a knowing…but God is special that way and I’m not God so…yeah). The more realistic thought, as mentioned earlier, is that I’m learning something new and just because a first try is crummy doesn’t mean the product or the artist is worthless. Plus, what’s the worst possible outcome of trying this painting thing? It’s not the end of the world if I stink at this (no matter how much I thought so in the moment). It’s only a hobby – something intended for fun and relaxation. Let. It. Go. Lauren.

And just to show that anxiety/depression who’s boss, I’m posting the end result for the entire internet to see, not just the discussion board in the online class. So there.

The assignment was to use the gazebo photo provided by the instructor and paint it. Here’s my finished product! In the next lesson we dive deeper into brushes and though there is still some inner tension surrounding this whole painting stuff, I’m more optimistic about the learning experience.

Gazebo-LaurenLocation: Unknown, photo provided by instructor of Photoshop course
Camera: Unknown
Editing: Photoshop CC

Staring Contest

Here’s another image from our day trip to San Fransisco earlier this year from Carmel. We were wandering through the park near the Golden Gate Bridge and I spotted this guy checking me out as I was checking him out. Or maybe he’s a she. Either way, we had a pretty good staring contest while I snapped a few photos. My bird buddy here definitely won the staring contest.DSCN0158Location: Golden Gate Bridge
Camera: Nikon Coolpix
Editing: Photoshop CC


Gorgeous storm clouds rolled by Lubbock last week as the sun was setting. I loved the reflection of the storm clouds against this hospital building combined with the sunset.ReflectionLocation: Lubbock, TX
Camera: Nikon Coolpix
Editing: Photoshop CC – My next step is to learn how to hide the office lights on in the building. It would be nice to avoid breaking up the cloud’s reflection.


I was right. We are exhausted. But that’s okay because we are all moved in thanks to our parents who helped us get everything inside our new home.

Earlier this year Hugs and I visited Carmel, Monterey, and San Fransisco. We honeymooned in Monterey and liked the idea of a return visit. It was a nice vacation after residency applications and interview travel. San Fransisco was a great day trip and we enjoyed walking around near the Golden Gate Bridge (photos to follow later!).

This photo was taken near the bridge with the water in the background. The water was super washed out and looked white when I viewed the image on my computer. I Googled how to select the background and change the light and color so that I could leave the chain alone. The texture of the metal is captivating. It reminds me of the texture on a tree trunk. There are a few tree photos I want to share eventually as well. I got a little tree hugging happy at the park one evening because the tree bark just looked so neat.

Off to finally change out of my PJ’s and get some groceries so Hugs and I can eat this week!Chain

Location: SanFransisco, CA Golden Gate Bridge
Camera: Nikon Coolpix
Editing: Photoshop CC