Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's my birthday!

I love my birthday....8/23....best date ever! :)

Here's some pics of me at varying ages celebrating my birthday! I wish I had more more my scanned pics on this computer, but I'll just be quick and funny with this post. I think, above all, you've gotta have a sense of humor. You'll probably see that humor/corniness all over the place here!

Me, age 28 (I think)...

Me, age 13ish???, when we took a summertime cruise with the whole family.
(I'm the one in the giant Hard Rock shirt with the too-big hat on my head.)

Me, age 31, just taken a few weeks ago, as I attempted to have a faux-modeling
session in my living room.

Me, age 8ish??, helping my cousins and siblings tie Grandpa to a tree.
(I'm the one trying to give bunny ears.)

Yay for 32 years! Can't wait for more!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Outlaws and Copelands in Gatlinburg

For one beautiful summer weekend, the Copeland clan descended on Gatlinburg for some hiking, eating, game-playing, hot-tubbing, and lots of chit-chatting. Any pretty pictures you see were made by Laura, my fantastic sister-in-law, with her "smaller" camera. (A plug: Go see her professional work! Hire her for your next big occasion!)

Isn't this gorgeous! (Picture taken by Laura Copeland.)

Now, my title may need a bit of clarifying. You see, my dear husband (Adam) and his siblings (Luke, Anna, and Bethany) are super-close...and they are all super-good-looking. (True story: When I first showed a picture of the Copeland siblings to a friend of mine [near the beginning of my relationship with Adam], my friend said, "It's almost creepy how good looking they are.") Okay, it's not much of a story, but the siblings like to have their picture together whenever they meet up. And they like to start reminiscing and chatting about stories of growing up. It's all good fun, but, well, sometimes it does make an outsider feel a bit like a....well....outsider!

In 2006, Craig married into this remarkable family. Laura joined in 2009, and I came aboard in 2010. Since we've joined the family, I think we've started to join forces. During Thanksgiving of 2010, we established that the three of us can have our own picture! And that our picture rocks! Early in this trip, the name of "The Outlaws" was created because we're just that cool. So, yep, the Outlaws and the Copelands all enjoyed a fun trip. And I'm grateful that I get to bond with the Copelands and with my fellow Outlaws. :)

So here's a little run-down and a lot of pictures of our great family vacation.

We did a LOT of game-playing. Ticket to Ride, cards, pool, air hockey, bowling, Catchphrase, and a few more. Various people won (although I never quite seemed to...hmmm...), but the best game was probably the Copeland family game that Anna created. We all had filled out elaborate questionnaires about our likes, dislikes, etc. prior to the trip. Anna compiled ALL that info (amazing job there!) and we had a test to see who knew everyone the best. Adam won, with Bethany a close second. Oddly, all the Outlaws finished in last place, but that's okay. Maybe next year, the Outlaws will rig it so we win! Until then, it was so much fun and Anna's hard work entirely paid off. Great job!

Bowling! (Picture taken by Laura Copeland.)

Downstairs of the cabin. (Picture taken by Laura Copeland.)

We went putt-putting and it was a blast! We didn't know anything about the place (Hillbilly Golf), other than that the name sounded funny. It turned out you took a little ride up a steep hillside and then the course (which was lovely) took the players slowly back down the hillside as they played. It was a lot of fun!

Yep, now you've seen it. Go there--it's pretty awesome.
(Picture taken by Laura Copeland.)

The ride up to putt-putt, aka Hillybilly Golf. (Picture taken by Laura Copeland.)

Post-putt-putt. Also, we missed the ride down the mountain because of this picture. :)
(Picture taken by Laura Copeland.)

We went to The Apple Barn, a great restaurant in Gatlinburg that Adam's family has visited many times. Actually, Adam and I went there together right before we got engaged! Good memories! It was lovely to go there with the whole family and to chow down on their delicious food...and their addicting apple butter. YUM YUM! After breakfast, we took time to have a good photo shoot session.
(Picture taken by Laura Copeland.)

Post-Apple Barn breakfast. (Picture taken by Laura Copeland.)

Christmas in July picture! (Picture taken by Laura Copeland.)

Apple Barn pose!

Yummy apples

Those smiling, dark-haired Copeland siblings...

Angry/contemplative outlaws...you don't want to mess with us!

Smiling Outlaws...I've got to work on the hand-on-hip pose;
I'm seriously slacking in that department.

Swingin' by the Barn

On Friday night, Adam and I volunteered to cook for everyone. We made Thai food (one peanut, one teriyaki--all with shrimp). It turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. :) On Saturday night, everyone cooked: Adam's mom made pizza and spaghetti; Adam and I made crab-stuffed mushrooms; Anna made a salad; Bethany brought some garlic bread; Laura made cookies. YUM! I was absolutely stuffed. So good!

Adam and I are cooking up some Thai food. (Picture taken by Laura Copeland.)

Bethany, Luke, Laura, Adam, and I went hiking for a bit on Saturday. We took a few wrong turns and did two shorter hikes rather than one long one, but we had fun!

The hiking crew! (Picture taken by Laura Copeland.)

The Copeland brothers trying to find a hiking trail.

Gatlinburg smiles!

Fun dip! Yum!!

Bethany, Laura, and Luke on a fallen tree/bridge to nowhere.

My man, contemplating nature


Luke, Laura, Cathy, and Adam by the waterfall. (Picture taken by Bethany Copeland.)

The two of us at the waterfall

Resting against the rock

Some smoky mountains, eh?

My attempt to photograph the beauty of nature.

And, just like that, time flew by and it was the end of our trip. Our cabin was wonderful, the company was extraordinary, and it was a great summer trip!

Group picture at the end of the trip. (Picture taken by Laura Copeland.)

As Adam and I were driving back to Harrisonburg, I snapped a few (bad) shots of the weird buildings in Gatlinburg. Oh, so weird...

Driving past the upside-down building

Driving past the Titantic replica. Adam thought it would be the actual size of the ship...heehee!

Outlaw Out!