My Photography

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Saturday Morning Downtown

This weekend was South Dakota's "Festival of Books," and there were plenty of attractions in little Brookings! Bright and early Saturday morning, Maria, my dad and I went to a poetry reading by Ted Kooser, who is a Nebraskan former Poet Laureate. I saw a reading he did at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln when I was in high school, and I've loved him and his poetry ever since. I was so excited to find out he was coming to Brookings!

The three of us woke up early on Saturday morning, made and ate some pancakes, and walked over to the Brookings Arts Council building, which was a lovely, cozy venue for such an event.

The reading was wonderful, and he mostly read unaired, recent poetry of his from the past few months. He even read us a poem he had written since being in Brookings. Although none had yet been published, they were all so polished which is a testament to his experience and talent. The whole session was very intimate, and he shared a lot of personal details (including his habitual wake-up time 4:30am, a relic of his years as an insurance salesman to squeeze writing into his day), and detailed backstory on a few different poems.

At the end I was even brave enough to go up and speak to him! We chatted for a few minutes and I told him about how this wasn't the first time I had seen him read. He was very gracious and even let me get a picture with him.

After the reading we headed to the farmers' market, which had a really great vibe that morning with story time, a small jazz band, the usual fare of fruits, veggies, flowers, bread and honey, and also some more unusual sights.

Fresh-squeezed apple cider, made by a colleague of mine!
Bia and I shared a cup of apple cider while admiring a pair of visiting...


There were people spinning yarn from the alpaca wool next to them, and they had hand-knitted hats, scarves, pot-holders and more for sale.

So of course, I got the cutest turtle ever!!

After that, Bia and I perused the book fair and I made a wonderful purchase:

All in all we had a really lovely morning in downtown Brookings! Big city-style events, small town charm:

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Some wonderful news...

Othman and I are through the first stage in the Green Card process!! 

It has been a long wait, and there are many hurdles yet to jump through, and two more stages in this long, tedious, and difficult process, but I'm celebrating this milestone!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Farewell for now

Yesterday Othman had to leave. We had such a wonderful time during his visit and it was hard to see him off, but I'm so thankful he was able to come!

Whenever someone who is visiting leaves, my family always takes farewell group pictures in the yard. Of course we couldn't break with tradition and took some cute ones before Maria and I took Othman to the airport.

I love these ones in particular!

During his visit Othman and I spent a lot of quality time together, bought a car, he met some of my colleagues and saw my workplace... all in all it was lovely, and a nice preview of what it'll be like when he comes for real! Fingers crossed that his green card processing goes quickly and well!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

More fun in MN

In the afternoon Labor Day we headed to the Science Museum of Minnesota per the recommendation of Isabel and Matt who had been on a date there before. It was cute and educational too. We learned about weather, physics, dinos, and even past pseudo-science fads!

Othman even got to imagine himself as an astronaut.

It was a fun afternoon!

After that we were feeling peckish and went to a diner for some authentic American fare.

Awww, so cute.

While in the Cities we also had a lovely Sushi dinner with Isabel and Matt! It was a really lovely night and it was great to have a double date with them.

We loved our trip! We got back to South Dakota happy and rested from our little vacation.

A Morning at the Zoo

On Labor Day we decided to visit the Como Zoo in the morning, since it wasn't far and was a nice, small, and walkable. Plus neither of us had been to a zoo in years and years, so we thought it'd be fun!  

We laughed at the cute monkeys first.

There was a big family of Gorillas who were just beautiful.

There was also a super cute baby orangutan who was entertaining a big crowd.

We also saw some cool aquatic animals,

 and photogenic giraffes

and zebras.

We stopped by the gift shop on the way out and spent way too much money on gifts there, and then I had fun photographing some of the gorgeous water plants on the way out.

Next up: Labor Day afternoon!

Friday, September 9, 2016


Labor Day weekend meant a day off, and meant O and I wanted a road trip/mini vacation! We headed 4 hours East to the Twin Cities and had a really lovely time staying in an Airbnb and visiting new places and old friends! 

I worked with Catherine and Brian last year at Casablanca American School, and they just moved into a charming old house in St. Paul, and we spent a lovely Sunday with them! First we got a tour of their house and had fun reconnecting and playing with Julian, their 2 and a 1/2 year old.

We had lunch at the amazing Midtown Global Market, where we were too busy eating to take pictures. Then they took us to the Guthrie Theater, which had a really beautiful overlook of the river, as seen above, and a fun golden box overlook too.

We all were feeling a bit pooped at that point and lay down on the benches and chilled for a while, and I took a few pictures because I liked the fun tint to the nicely diffused light.

Even Julian took a little nap during our tour of the theater.

We then walked down next to the old mill, while Brian told us all about the history of the flour milling industry in Minneapolis, and this building which had been the site of both a giant explosion and a fire later on, and is now a beautiful venue for weddings and events. We even saw a wedding getting set up on our way back. 

We took a few pictures on the long bridge over the water.

Julian had just woken up and wasn't really into the idea of getting his picture taken, but he was definitely having a fun time looking at the waterfalls created by the dam and spotting dogs accompanying the other Sunday strollers.

What a cute family! 

Thanks for a lovely day Brian and Catherine! I can't wait to visit again once Julian becomes a big brother in November!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

New car!

It's so wonderful having my husband visit! Othman and I are having a really great time with my family, being silly and just hanging out.

Part of why I was so happy we was coming was because he wanted to help me buy a car! I've needed one since I arrived in July, but I haven't found one in Brookings and haven't had time to go to Sioux Falls to look for one. So it ended up that the day after he got here, this happened!

At the end of the day the car we bought is one that he has dreamed about since he was a kid, so it's really a car for him, not me. But it's a Subaru which means it's reliable and has 4WD, so I'm happy to drive it around until he arrives this winter! At that point we'll see if we need to buy a little commuter car as well, but this baby will be our main transport. It's such a cute car and we love it!

For the long Labor Day weekend we wanted to get away from SD and get to know our new car, so we took a trip to the Cities! More on that in the next post.

Friday, September 2, 2016

In which hubby comes to visit!

As we wait for Othman's green card, he has stayed in Morocco working while I'm living and working here. Being apart has been anything but fun, but luckily he was able to come to visit! The last leg of his flight was the same as Patrick's flight home for Labor Day, and they even got seats next to each other. 

Flying into Sioux Falls they spotted our old acreage, where the family lived for 8 years.

I picked them up at the airport and we had a fun drive home!

Mom made us a lovely family dinner to celebrate togetherness.