Sunday, March 30, 2014

two week hitch.

As a bunch of you probably already knew, I returned recently from being out in the field for two weeks to watch a well get drilled from start to finish.  During my time in residential architecture at DKA, walking my projects and getting see the actual construction work was one of my favorite things.  It is no different for me in the oilfield.  There is just something about doing everything behind the scene, and then being able to witness the progress in person.  This is just so rewarding to me.
In advance, I was aware of how hard it would be to leave my wife and home for two weeks....especially during Valentine's Day.  This was my choice though, it was something that I really needed to do for education.  With the separation, the 15+ hour work days, and the complete lack of personal time, I still enjoyed it.  I'm not saying that I will be signing up for field work now, but this was an experience I will remember for some time.  My time in Knox City, TX was filled with kind, patient, and good people that were more than willing to answer any question I could think of.  When everyone else is away from the home life, you become your own family.  There is such a strong comradery in the field.  Coming from a metro area of 5.6 million people to a one stop sign town of  1,151 was a refreshing change of pace.  There is no Starbucks to go to, there is no worrying about which restaurant to eat at, there isn't even any traffic, I didn't even have to stress out about making it to the non existent gym!.  Meredith laughed at me, because I was freaking out on our drive back from the airport when I returned.  It wasn't until then that I realized I had experienced absolutely no traffic for two weeks.
I am lucky to work for a company that gives me the opportunity to further my education, whether it be in the classroom, or out in the field.  I am even more lucky to have a wife and kitty-kids that I missed dearly while being away.  At the end of two weeks, it was sure nice to get home.  Until the next trip, here are some pictures from the field.

 The derrick of a top drive triple rig in Snyder, TX
 My home for two weeks.
At night, lucky the weather was perfect.

Drill pipe racked in the derrick
Casing on the rack, this well is about 5,400' deep.
Drill pipe joints racked in the derrick
Right after the conductor pipe was cut off.   

 Parts of a electronic submersible pump (ESP) being fished on another well.
Can't get rusty, so I always try to don a SCBA while visiting rigs.
 Pump jack boneyard in Knox City.

 Made a side trip to deliver some 1000 days safe jackets to another rig crew.

 Flowlines in Goldsmith, TX

Happy Valentine's Day from the field.

Cats can instantly recognize a sucker.  Met this dude.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

tara's maternity shoot.

Our dear friends, Tara and Richard, welcomed the most adorable little girl, Lyla, into the world on September 9th, 2013.  They had incredible new born pictures taken by a professional photographer but gave us the opportunity to play with some amateur maternity pictures. It was so much fun!!  Clearly, this is another belated post while I play the catch up game--ya know, just half a year late!! Tara, Richard, Lyla, and their kitties are currently in Dubai for work.  Here is a link to the post we did right before they left for the first assignment in Saudi Arabia.  We miss them terribly! 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

a very belated vacation post.

Before I can say anything I must apologize for my lack of posts!  To be completely honest, there is no rhyme or reason other than I got out of my blog "groove." But, I'm back baby and ready to get posting! 

 Blake and I were thinking back as to when we started slacking and it seems it started right before this trip.  Therefore, it only seems appropriate that we start here.  While we are on slacking, I should also mention we slacked in the camera department as well (I know! What is wrong with us!?!)  In other words, these pictures might be a tad more fuzzy than our usual as they came from our phones.  It was comical because we kept wanting to take all these pictures of things we had exact pictures of from the former year.  I realize to some it seems pointless to go on a vacation so similar to one in the past. We simply loved it that much.

We went on another Celebrity cruise this past November which was essentially a replica of our previous vacation in April of 2012 (just on the Celebrity Reflection instead of the Eclipse--same destinations.)  Although cruises have gotten somewhat of a bad reputation over the past year or so, we still love them!  I'll admit that some are absolutely better than others and it depends a great deal on the cruise line. But, nonetheless, we are still fans of the love boat!  

Blake and I visited San Juan, Puerto Rico, Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, and Philipsburg, St Maarten. As I often mention with travel posts, warning: this will be picture heavy! 

The Jetson's elevators! Love these so much!

A big thank you to Blake's parents, Jennie and Sonny, for the incredibly sweet arrival gesture!

All dolled up for din din.  

The Hideaway was an improvement that we did not have on the Eclipse.  Although we did most of our reading by the pool and inside the spa, this little nook was pretty adorable and just our style.  

St Maarten!

A little friend we met along the way.  Gosh he was so sweet.

This was one of the most ridiculously amazing places to fall asleep while cuddled up with each other and our books.

Such a unique and fun dining experience at Qsine! 

Typical. He just couldn't help it.

St Thomas!

San Juan! This time we got to Castillo San Felipe del Morro just in time to take a tour.  Blake was smitten. 

I'm fairly certain this little hole in the wall bar was Blake's highlight from our trip in 2012 so we absolutely had to go back.  It was just as we remembered it and oh so fun!  Cheers to La Taberna Lupulo! Something tells me that will not be our last time inside this hidden gem :)

Now THIS was our #1 favorite place on this ship this time around.  The combination of the aroma therapy in the air, the heated chairs, and the view of the ocean was incredible.  Every time we went to the gym we would go here right after to relax, read, and even nap.  It was like pulling teeth to get us to leave and go on with our day.  Heaven. 

We miss you Celebrity!  Until next time!

On another note, Blake, I cannot thank you enough for the Valentine's post.  That was unexpected and wonderful on so many levels.  The word love simply doesn't seem strong enough to sum up what I feel for you.