Dallas, Texas

A weekend well spent in Dallas, TX. Family fun time at the Perot museum and Deep Ellum on Saturday, then a solemn Sunday morning spent at the Dealey Plaza. The Perot museum was a multi-floor STEM focused museum. Hunger drove a quicker pace through the final mechanical engineering floor, so if we revisit, we will start from the bottom up on a full stomach.

I recommend visiting Deep Ellum in the daylight hours, it turns into a party area at night, with bar culture that spills into the streets. We ate Tacos, and attempted to ride the bus back to our hotel – but after waiting at the stop, and watching our bus speed past us without a glance in our direction, we chose to walk. Parking in downtown Dallas is reminiscent to any major city, where paying to park at every location can eat into your travel budget in the most frustrating way. I once paid $30 to park for two hours in a parking garage in Los Angeles, never again. When we travel, we walk, or we try to use public transportation to avoid tons of parking fees and sketchy parking situations. Downtown Dallas is more walkable in some areas than others, so just plan accordingly.

The JFK Assassination site and Sixth Floor museum visit was an austere examination of a painful moment in American history. Though a dark and tragic entry point to the life and legacy of JFK, the assassination site experience solidified for us the lasting impact of his work, and provided a meaningful place for reflection on the highs and lows of American potential. Our propensity for both good and evil is expressed to both extremes, often. Explaining this to children in a way that emphasizes the good can be a challenge, but we work hard to highlight the instances of love we see in every bad situation. When witnessing tragedy, it’s prudent to “find the helpers,” as Mr. Rogers says.

We look forward to visiting Dallas again soon, but perhaps Houston should be our next travel destination — I’ll take any travel tips you have for the biggest city in TX!


White Sands National Park

When we moved from Arizona to Texas at the end of 2020, we made a stop at White Sands National Park. We had a great time sledding down the hills, ascending and descending various peaks, and collecting gypsum in nearly every seam of our clothes. White sands is a misnomer, the powdery substance covering the 115 square miles of the park is gypsum, a fine mineral that resembles sand. Believe me when I say I was vacuuming gypsum out of my car for over a year after this, and it’s still embedded in those shoes.

We were grateful to have an outdoor travel opportunity during our mandatory move amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It was incredibly stressful traveling during a time when vaccines were still in development, and nobody was really sure how susceptible children were, and how risky the symptoms would become. Every trip into the public was rolling the dice. Who else is relieved the darkest days of the pandemic are behind us? We still have not had Covid, and with 3-4 vaccines each, we’re hopeful we will never get it.

I highly recommend a visit if you find yourself in southern New Mexico or West Texas, and strongly suggest you also see Carlsbad Caverns!

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Hello, Again, World!

Oh, dear. I seem to have neglected my blog, and my photography profession! I’ll wipe off some of this dust, pull down some of the WordPress cobwebs, and I will fill you all in, for blogging continuity purposes. In 2018 I officially closed the door on Yea Yea Photography. It was a great experience, but I wasn’t feeling purposeful or creative in the field anymore. I wanted to serve my community in a different way, so when we moved from Alaska to Arizona, I stopped marketing, stopped pursuing leads, stopped putting my name in the running for bids. Then I made a decided to return to an arena I once dabbled in during undergrad as a shelver. The library.

After much careful consideration, I filled out my graduate school applications, rounded up some reference letters and sent them in, hoping for the best. After receiving my acceptance letters (yay!) I decided to enroll at the University of Arizona because it was local. I started graduate school in January of 2019, and I graduated in May of 2021. I finished with a 4.0 which was a huge achievement because my undergrad gpa was marred by home-life problems, health issues, and a lot of partying. It felt really good to redeem myself academically! During graduate school I worked in a public library and interned for a semester in the academic library setting. Unsure of which path would open itself up to me post-grad, I tried to keep my options open.

In December 2020, Army orders sent us from Fort Huachuca, Arizona to Fort Hood, TX where we have been living for the past two years. Last year I taught Kindergarten, hoping to pursue the school librarian track. But when the year ended, and I tallied all the years it would take for me to actually certify and qualify to become a school librarian in the state of Texas, then researched the process of transferring school licensing to other states, well our meager time in TX wouldn’t cut it and my heart wasn’t in it.

After the school year ended, a cataloging position opened up at the local city library, and I was lucky enough to apply, interview and receive a job offer. I’ve been cataloging in technical services for a very short amount of time, but I’ve learned so much! Cataloging and Metadata management was easily the most difficult course I took in graduate school, so I was nervous about the prospect of specializing in it, but it’s been going very well. The demands of work in technical services are very different than a public-facing librarian position. Working in TS is a standard M-F, 9-5 type of gig, while your dutiful frontline librarians at your local library pull all kinds of hours to accommodate the public – evenings, weekends, school breaks. I got really lucky to find a position that allows me to still attend soccer practice, and games.

Isaac returned from a 6 month deployment very recently, and we are so glad to have him home. He’s in a command position that I probably can’t talk about because of operational security rules, but I can say that it kept him very busy when he was away, and continues to keep his phone ringing and buzzing throughout the day (and sometimes night) while home. He will continue his work in the military for the long run, and we will just keep adapting to whatever is thrown our way in the process.

Oh, we also got a pug named Bonnie almost two years ago, she’s hilarious.

Looking back at the previous post, it’s surreal to see how quickly time flew, and reading this current blog post, I’m amazed that so much has been accomplished (I also ran two marathons!). On this website, it’s one page to the next, but in that space an entire chapter of our lives transpired. I hope to not let so much life pass by without checking in on this little site of mine (it’s 13 years-old now!).

So, anyway, Hello, again World! My photos will once again start populating this page, and I’ll hopefully bring content to the site 1-3 times per month.

XOXO Crystle