I turned 29 this year, on December 23rd, and all I wanted was pizza, family, and Pictionary. I got that, and a whole lot more thanks to these wonderful people. Mom and Pop blessed me with a much needed and generous birthday present, by which I deliver these photos to you! Wrapped in more bubblewrap than I have ever seen for such a small object, I received a wide angle lens that I've had my eye on for a long time. You bet I put that lens to use right away!
Before this post is really over, I have one last, very important addition to make. One of the black and white photos above really deserves to be in color, because in it is an oil painting, painted just for me, by a dear friend. Knowing how much I love this friend and her work, my sister commissioned the painting several months before my birthday and I can't really put in to words how happy it makes me. As soon as I realized what was in the box as I was unwrapping the gift, I burst into tears. It was embarrassing, and I was snot-laughing, but I wouldn't change my reaction even if I had a second chance!
Her name (the artist, not the woman holding the painting above) is Rachel Alvarez and you can see her work here - go visit her blog! She's the wife of a hilarious man named Frank, a mother of one, expecting her second, and she has amassed an amazing collection of landscape oil paintings from photographs she has taken and of photographs provided to her for other commissioned work. Knowing Rachel as I do, it gives me so much joy to see her producing work that she loves and to see others appreciating her talent. She's a fellow photography whiz, one of my closest friends, has great taste in music, and - oh - to prove her impeccable sense of humor, I give you the follow photo us at the Grand Canyon, circa 2007. 2006? It was a long time ago, felt like yesterday. We were so cool.
I'm still deciding where to hang this precious piece of art in my house, but I'm looking forward to cherishing it for years. Thank you to my sister for giving the best presents year after year!
It was a great birthday, ya'll.