Friday, May 30, 2008

The Point-and-Shoot Camping Trip

We finally did it, we got a point and shoot camera. Of course we always used to have one... then I got my Cannon equipment and we only used that. The problem with that was that my husband no longer really took any pictures (basically leaving my life undocumented), it is too big to always haul around, and it is too expensive to take everywhere. We ended up buying a Sony cyber shot. To be honest we really selected it because we got a screaming deal on it, but it has ended up working out all right for us. Don't get me wrong, it is quite hard for me to go back to a camera like this, it takes almost all control out of your hands while taking photographs. I understand that this is what most people want out of a camera, but I have to tell you... once you start shooting off of "automatic" you will never want to go back.

Our family went on our first camping trip of the season a couple weeks ago. We have an older RV that we like to take out as much as possible. For this trip we headed out to Long Beach and Westport. It was the perfect trip to try out our new point and shoot camera. I did take my Cannon along as well, but did not take it out very often. The girls had a blast flying kites with their Daddy. They each took turns holding the line. Little Olivia could hardly hold on, and in fact, one time she was running trying to keep a hold of it, and then it happened, the line ran out and the kite was on it's path to freedom. We three girls got quite a kick out of watching their dad running down the beach to try to prevent the escape of the turtle kite.Most of our time was spent outside, looking for bugs to catch, riding bikes and exploring. Being outside is a ton of fun, but the girls took a couple breaks to go inside and play as well. They were hilarious wrestling around on the bed, pretending to drive, and setting up this elaborate table decor.What would camping be without roasting marshmallows and having s'mores? They were as good and messy as I remember. Can you guess what this is that the girls are peaking through? It is the tail of a seahorse. We spent a day in the city of Long Beach. It was really fun.... we walked around, had tons of saltwater taffy, visited Marsh's Museum, we saw "Jake" the half alligator-half man, and went on the old carousel. We were all exhausted by the end of the day, and so we headed off to Westport.

While in Westport we spent more time at the beach. We climbed up the rocks to watch the waves break, that is always so mesmerizing. The sun came out and we bribed the girls with skittles to sit still by each other for a few minutes to try to get a shot of them together. I still did not catch them sitting perfectly, but I did catch them being themselves and loving each other. To everyone out there who has a hard time taking photos of your own kids... try bribery!
For a minute, imagine you are 2 and 1/2, not a worry in the world. You are hearing the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks, the sun comes out, the rocks are warm your tummy is full.... The rock seems to have been made to fit your body while you lay down to take a rest. I wish I could be napping there right now.
Before we took off I had to go down into the Marina in Westport. The "Knotty Girl" just made me laugh and I loved seeing this old crab pot. It reminded me of my childhood and all of the time I spent with my family crabbing and fishing out of Homer Alaska.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Day at the Beach

The weather here today was phenomenal! We could not have asked for a better day. We spent the day riding bikes, playing in the sand box, running through the sprinkler, playing at the playground and drinking milkshakes. I am pretty sure that my girls thought it was, "the perfect day." It is quite satisfying as a parent to be able to do such simple things and have it mean so much to them. After getting them off to bed, I had some time to look through some of my photos... these are from a shoot last summer, one of my first shoots. It was so much fun. Looking at these today made me want to go to the beach too!These two cuties had a great time playing on the beach.
One of the things I loved about this little one is that she was always under her mamma's feet or holding onto her finger.... she loved the comfort in her mamma's touch.This was the last shot of the day, and it is one of my absolute favorites.I hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend, take time to relax, enjoy the weather, and remember those who are no longer with us.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

T-Ball, picking flowers, and ring pops

It is official, we have started our first season of T-Ball with our 4 year old. It will be interesting to see how the season works out. I am not sure how T-Ball is run where ever you live, but here, it is coed, there are three innings, and each child gets to bat one time each inning, and everyone gets to score a run. I love watching the boys aggressively slide into home plate. It is hilarious!My girly girl was too cold during game number one to play much. She went to bat one time, and spent the rest of the time with me on the bench talking about how she might want to be a cheerleader instead of a player. I am so far from the cheerleader type that it really made me laugh, but considering Ava often cries if I try to get her to wear anything other than a summer dress, I was not totally surprised.Last weekend we had game number two, Ava said she would try it one more time... that is if we could stop by the snack bar after the game and get a ring pop. We layered her clothing, cheered her on, and she really had a good time. A couple of innings, the coach had her on second base which was funny, but it did allow her to play in the dirt, which she seemed to enjoy, She was pretty oblivious to the game around her except when a couple of her boyfriends on the opposing team stopped by on 2nd base to say hello. During the final inning, she had the chance to play in the field... as you can see she had time to pick flowers for me and also closely, and I mean closely, inspect the inside of her mitt.Batting was also very entertaining to watch. She spent a lot of time drawing a line in the dirt to line her feet up to before she would swing. She is shorter than most of the team, so the T is a little too tall for her... the result of this is a lot of foul balls... but when she does get a hit, watch out, she does a complete 360 degree ballet spin before dropping the bat and slowly galloping off to first base. The whole thing was an absolute hoot to watch. The good part was that she did enjoy the game, and she loved the ring pop! We will have to see what happens during game number three.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cherish Your Children

I called my mom last night. She is up in a very small fishing town in Southern Alaska. I was expecting her normal jovial greeting when she answered the phone. I wanted to wish her a happy Mother's Day. I wanted to tell her that I loved her and was so grateful for all that she has done for me. I wanted to thank her for loving me and loving my family.

When she answered the phone she was crying. She said she was at the hospital... my heart dropped. She said that a close friend had a son, Jake, that was in a terrible accident. Through her tears she explained that this wonderful high school boy was out hunting with a friend when he slipped and fell. Somehow, tragically his gun discharged and he was shot in the head.

Through her tears she explained that the whole town was starting to congregate, pray and just be together. Jake's father is a fisherman and was out on a trip. They had to send a small plane out to sea to bring him home to be with his family. Just before we ended our call, she said that she thought she could hear the plane coming in to land.... that Jake's mother said that she felt like she was, "not even in her body", and that they were not giving up yet but were starting to think about if organ donation would be an option.

Mother's Day..... It is supposed to be a day to cherish our mothers, but this mother spent her day thinking about possibly losing the gift which made her a mother to begin with. I honestly can not even imagine their pain, heartache and fear. I have not heard what happened through the night, but please, please keep Jake, this mother and father, his siblings and friends, and this entire town in your thoughts and prayers today.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Spring time at the Zoo

Five thirty this morning I drug myself out of bed and headed off to work. For those of you who do not know, I do work as an RN in the operating room during the week. I was supposed to have a relatively stressful day, but when I started my shift at six thirty.... yes.... that is insanely early, I found that our case was cancelled and I got to have the day off. I caught Zach before he took the girls to day care, and I surprised them with a trip to the zoo.
They were so excited, and actually I was too. It has been awhile since I have been able to take them out for the day for what Ava calls a "girl's party." Of course, I think that every school in our area was having their annual field trip to the zoo, so it was a little crowded, but that did not slow us down. One of the major highlights of our day was feeding the goats. How could anyone turn down this handsome fella?I think that goat food may even be more expensive than the concession stand. A quarter got us four little pellets, which my Olivia would pass out all at once, what a generous girl! It was a hoot to watch them.... we spent a lot of quarters!After leaving the goats, playing on the slides and climbing walls, we headed out to see the other animals. We had a blast, most of the animals were showing off, I think because the weather was just right for them, not too hot or too cold. We stopped for a picnic lunch and then headed out to see the walrus. They are such amazing and huge animals. Somehow even with their size, they seem so gentle and graceful.
This was officially our first trip to the Zoo without a stroller. It is quite a walk for a 2 and 4 year old. We took a break on a curb for a few minutes to have a breather.Our last stop was of course the carousel. We prepaid for two trips. Ava was so thrilled, she was on what she called a "Mer-Horse", part mermaid and part horse. I love the way they would throw back their head to feel the wind in their hair while they were riding. I can totally remember that feeling as a child. Olivia was not quite sure of it during her first ride, but by the end of ride number two, she was not wanting to leave. When I say that, I mean laying on the ground screaming and crying about how I was "hurting her feelings." I suppose after that much fun, I would not want to leave either.
We had such a great day... and of course no naps when we got home, so... hopefully that means tonight they will head off to bed early, Maybe, just maybe we will have a quiet evening at our house............................. so probably not, but one can hope right!?