HOWEVER ... indulge me one moment of personal:
This was truly a great experience. His family is so much fun. Ahren has 3 younger siblings, all of whom are lovely. The whole family seemed to take to me, and I'm beginning to get past all my awkward shyness and open up to them.
Ahren's sister took this picture of us ... :D
But the best part of the trip was just being with Ahren. We took long walks together around the property, and really got the chance for true heart-to-hearts. There were times when I would have to just stop and look at him for a little bit. I can't believe my luck, but more than that, I can hardly believe how much I love him. Part of this trip was an affirmation of sorts, a glimpse, if you will, at the future - and although it was not what I had always envisioned, it is beautiful.
Everything was just so simple and comfortable and easy - I hadn't had a day like that in a long time. Being with Ahren is one simple pleasure after another. I used to think that love had to be incredibly complex and complicated - but with him, it's not. It's powerful, but easy and natural.
Okay, back to the pictures. I will admit, I did doctor them a lot - mostly to get a little of an old-timely look to them. I don't know what, but something about that faded effect simply worked for these photos.
This is one of the McGriff's neighbors, Ernie (I think). He was out fixing an old barbed wire fence with his wife, and he just looked the perfect picture of an old-school, hard working rancher.
Ahren's little brother picked this dandelion for me, and I couldn't help but put that bright yellow up against the faded wood of an old birdhouse.