Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Beach

Since Becca’s wedding was in Florida we decided to make it in to a mini beach trip. We left on Saturday which also happened to be Reese’s birthday. I felt bad that we were going to be in the car for a while on her birthday so we gave her her presents first thing in the morning.

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After presents were opened we hit the road. When Taylor climbed in our car, Hayes started crying. He looked out his window, away from Taylor, for the first 30 minutes of the ride. It was too funny! He was not happy that she was with us at all.

Our friends Justin and Erica live in Alabama on the way to the beach so we stopped by their house for lunch. We picked up Chick-fil-a and took it to their house so we could stretch our legs while we visited. Our kids were so excited to see the babies and we just had to get a picture of Taylor and Taylor!

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We got to the beach around 5:00ish. We decided to just eat dinner in the restaurant at our condo and then head out to check out the beach. We ended up getting a really great deal on the condo we stayed in because it was owned by Becca’s freshman roommate in college. Unfortunately it wasn’t directly on the beach but it had this really pretty boardwalk that led over a pond to the beach.

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This was Hayes’ first ever trip to the beach. He really enjoyed it the first time he walked out there. He loved running in the sand and jumping the waves.

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I think this picture below perfectly describes the week with Taylor. She was so much fun with the kids and jumped right in right away.

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Earlier in the night Reese had called my parents and asked them to come over to our condo for birthday cake. On our way in to town we stopped by a Custard shop we knew of and picked up a cake. My parents, Becca and Tommy, and my grandparents all came over for cake and to celebrate Reese turning seven.

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Sunday morning we were up bright and early. The plan was for all of our family to come to the beach near us for a family beach day. Unfortunately the weather was not cooperating. It looked like it was going to rain all day and the water was rough so it ended up being just the six of us. There was a red and purple flag. This didn’t stop Lance, Taylor and Reese from going out in the water. They probably stayed in the water for an hour. Sam and I were not interested in that at first but decided to give it a try. As we were venturing out a huge wave knocked us down and threw us like rag dolls under the water. I am panicked as I jump up out of the water to find Sam. Once I see that he is above water and still has his float I reach out for him because he was scared. Then I realized my sunglasses had been lost in the water. I was so bummed but a minute later Taylor came out of the water holding them in her hand. She found my sunglasses at the bottom of the ocean!! Needless to say, Sam and I did not get back in the water that day.

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Instead he was happy to play in the sand until we went to the pool.

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Sunday afternoon Taylor took Reese to get a mani/pedi. Reese was in heaven!

Monday we woke up to bad weather. While we were lazy that morning, Taylor straightened Reese’s hair. It took her an hour and a half! They were so cute though. They listened to music, Reese looked at pictures on her phone, and just had some girly time.

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After her hair was straight, we ran a quick errand, and then went to visit Leah and Susan’s new house. They just moved down there a month ago. We hadn’t been able to tell them goodbye so it was good to see them at their home. It was super cute house in a great area. After that we met up with my parents, Becca and Tommy, and grandparents for lunch at my parents condo. Taylor was so sweet to just be a part of the family. My mom took me, the kids and Taylor out for a ride on the golf cart. We drove through all of their complex and over to Baytowne Wharf. The kids had a blast and the weather was finally nice enough to enjoy being outside.

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Monday night was the rehearsal dinner and then Tuesday morning was the wedding. Tuesday night we headed to Baytown Wharf for dinner and fireworks. We went to dinner at a restaurant we hadn’t been to before and it was good. Taylor and I ended up sharing a meal because we were both not super hungry. It turned out to be a great idea because the meal was huge.

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Before dinner Reese had been debating about whether she would do the Eurojumpy, the zipline, or the obstacle course. The zipline got quickly cut from the list once she saw people doing it. Taylor told her she would do what ever Reese wanted to do so they did the obstacle course. They had so much fun and Reese loved having Taylor climb around with her. After the obstacle course, the boys rode the merry-go-round and then we waited on the fireworks. It was a fun night!

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Wednesday was going to be our final day at the beach and the weather was perfect!!! The sun was shining and it was warm.

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The flag was finally yellow so the water was pretty calm but there was so much seaweed. We spent a lot of time out in the water though and everyone pretty much enjoyed it. Sam was still a little timid and Hayes hated the seaweed touching him but overall it was a fun morning.

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We were actually surprised at how long it took before the kids were asking to go to the pool. It was so funny to me that all of the kids enjoyed getting buried in the sand.

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The whole week we just referred to ourselves as one big happy family. Taylor really was like a big sister to these guys the whole week. She was fun but didn’t let them get away with more than we would.

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After lunch we put Hayes down for a nap. The three adults hung out on the balcony while Reese and Sam watched TV. Sam ended up falling asleep so us girls headed to the pool. We told Reese we were not getting in the pool and were going to lay out and read. She swam around for about an hour before the boys made their way out to the pool. Reese and Sam played for a little while and then were ready to go back up. Lance took all the kids back up so that Taylor and I could soak in the last rays of sunshine before our vacation was over. We had such a wonderful week and I am not sure that we can ever go on vacation without Taylor again.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Aunt Becky Got Married!

We are home from Becca’s wedding. It was in Sandestin and we had a lot of fun. We took over 400 pictures so here are some of the highlights. I’ll do a separate post of our beach days…this is just wedding stuff.

Rehearsal Dinner

The rehearsal dinner was at a restaurant on the beach that had a private area outside to host a party. It worked out so perfect because the kids could run around in the sand while the adults chatted and we could still keep an eye on them.

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Sam was so entertained here.

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Aunt Becky and Reese always take silly photos. Probably 50% of the pictures we have of Reese from this week have a goofy face.

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We brought our favorite babysitter with us for the week. It was amazing. She was so great with the kids the whole week and up for anything. She stayed back at the hotel with Hayes during the rehearsal dinner. I enjoyed myself so much because I wasn’t chasing him around. I visited and relaxed the whole night. Unfortunately that meant a lot of photos without Hayes.

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Tommy and Becky with Sam and Reese. See…silly face. They gave them these cute little Build-A-Bears dressed as a bride and groom.

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Wedding Day

First thing in the morning Reese and I headed to my parents condo to get ready with Becca.

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It was a fun and relaxing morning.

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Getting all pretty! She found some really great people to help out in different areas for the day.

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Reese’s view…

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Once we were ready it was off to the marina.

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And then we waited…but not for too long.

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The wedding coordinator was starting to get nervous about starting the wedding because it looked like it might rain. The weather was slightly cloudy and a little windy. It was actually perfect!

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Right as the Captain said to kiss the bride it started sprinkling. But it didn’t rain again after those few seconds.

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Taylor kept Hayes below deck. We wanted him there to take pictures though. As soon as pictures were done, Taylor took Hayes and Tommy’s niece back to the condo while we went out on the boat for the reception. Again…best decision ever to bring a babysitter.

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We all had fun at the reception. The food was great and the company was intimate. We got to visit with some of our closest family and enjoyed it so much.

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I can’t wait to see the photographers pictures.

We are so happy for Aunt Becky and Uncle Tommy!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Happy Birthday Reese

Reese is 7!

At 7 Reese is...
*very dramatic
*wears her emotions on her sleeve
*a great helper
*can always be counted on to help with her brothers
*has been great friends with Sam this summer and so helpful with Hayes
*so brave. She is a little nervous about certain situations but over comes that quickly.

She has been rocking our world for seven years now and we couldn't love her more.

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, July 4, 2014


Last week Lance had a work trip to Seattle scheduled. We decided that would be a fun place for me to come to as well so we made it a little date getaway. I met him out there on Thursday evening so I had two full days of site seeing to do. Before I got to Seattle Lance was able to go to a Mariners game but other than that he waited to do the tourist stuff with me. I have a sweet friend, Amy, who lived in Seattle for a little while so she was so helpful with advice on what to do and see.

Friday morning we woke up early and headed out to breakfast. As a last minute thought we asked the valet where we should eat on our way out the door. He suggested a place named Bocca just up the street. We were there just early enough not to have to wait. The line was out the door by the time we got our food. We met a couple sitting next to us that was celebrating their 50th birthdays by going on an Alaskan cruise. They received some food vouchers that they were not going to need and gave us a $30 voucher towards our meal. They were also not able to use their City Pass fully and gave that to us as well. Over our time in Seattle they saved us over $100! It was so kind of them.

After breakfast we headed to the City Center to see the Space Needle. We heard mixed reviews on whether or not to go to the top but we decided it would be silly not to. We were glad we did it. The views were so pretty and you could see so many different areas. We could not see Mt. Rainier due to the clouds but apparently that is pretty common.

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On the beach side of the Needle it was super windy.

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After checking out a few other things we headed back towards the water for lunch. As we were walking it started pouring down rain. We were so happy to have packed our rain coats. I had my rain boots on that morning too because I knew it was going to rain. Apparently that is super uncool in Seattle. People don’t wear rain boots there! Crazy! But you know what? I did not care AT ALL! I was happy to have them and I am pretty sure there were some jealous people with wet feet. As soon as the rain was done it was gorgeous outside. We ran back to the hotel so I could change in to my flip flops for the rest of the day. Amy had suggested we eat at Ivar’s fish bar so we did. 

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We had the best seat in the house too. Just below the gate, in the picture below, were tons of seagulls (very reminiscent of Nemo…”mine! mine! mine!”). The sky was beautiful and the temperature was great. If the wind wasn’t blowing, we could even take our jackets off for a bit.

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At 3:30, we did a two and a half hour Locks boat tour.  We had to take a bus to where the cruise would launch from but unfortunately we got stuck in a lot of traffic. Lance was ok with it though because he took a 30 minute nap. The cruise started in fresh water (Lake Union) and made its way through the Locks to the salt water and back around to the Waterfront area (Puget Sound).

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Sleepless in Seattle house…

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Entering the Locks was pretty neat.

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Once you enter between the two walls, they gradually drop the water down so that you can enter in to the salt water.

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These guys were waiting on the other side to go through the other way.

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A view of Seattle from the cruise.

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After our cruise we went back to the room for a bit and then went out to find some dinner. We found this local, family-owned pizzeria. The people were loud, the waiter was boisterous, and the pizza was good. Exactly what a pizzeria should be. After dinner it was bed time. We were tired from our busy day. And even though it was only 9:30 local time, it was 12:30 our time, and we were fast asleep.

Saturday morning we had a few more things we wanted to see and do. We were up bright and early again and took the first water taxi of the day over to West Seattle at 8:30.

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Before leaving we stopped at Caffe Ladro because Amy had suggested coffee there. I can’t speak for the coffee because I don’t drink it but I can speak for something we saw. A homeless man walked in as we were paying. He asked the barista if he could have a spare cup of coffee and she gave him a free cup. Seeing that just made my heart happy.

I am sure Lance would like for me to point out that he does not normally wear his hat this way…it just happened to be super windy and he didn’t want to lose it.

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Our plan for the day was to ride bikes out to Alki Beach. The boat captain was so friendly and asked us if we knew where we were headed. When we confessed we didn’t, he told us exactly what to do. I have to say every one was so friendly! Below is where we were headed. We rode our bikes all around the water front and around the bend.

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Because we were over so early, we had a wait a bit for the bike rental shop to open. It was fine because there was a bench by the water with a great view of Seattle. There were also a group of people learning to scuba dive so we sat and enjoyed the view.

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Finally we were off. It was a great ride around.

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While we were getting ready that morning we had the news on and they said that Seattle’s Seafair was kicking off that day with pirates landing on Alki Beach. We weren’t sure what to think. It ended up just being a little festival along the beach. We wanted so bad to see the pirates land but we missed them by about an hour. On our water taxi ride back to Seattle we saw their boat headed over and it was shooting off cannons.

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We went back to the hotel for some reason I can’t remember once we were back on our side of the Sound. We had decided to leave our coats in our room because the weather seemed nice enough. Well as we walked out of the hotel the wind picked up and Lance decided to run back up and get them. I waited outside and it started raining. We decided to wait it out in the hotel bar for a little while and eat a small lunch. One of the workers in the hotel joked that if you just waited a few minutes the weather would change. And change it did!

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We headed out to Pike’s Place. Us and a million other people. It was really crowded there but it was neat to see.

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We got to see the fish market guys throw fish twice. The first time we were on the far side of the counter and all the guys shout something and then the guy on the outside tosses the fish to the guy on the inside and he wraps it up for the buyer. After seeing that we explored the rest of the market and then came back around to the fish market again. As we walked back up they were about to throw another fish so we stopped right near the guy tossing them and I recorded it in action. This is what happened…

HAHA!! It was so funny!

After Pike’s Place we went back to our hotel and sat out by the pool. It was super windy but so gorgeous. We just enjoyed the quiet and read for a little while. This was our view…

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Finally it was time to get ready for dinner. We ate at a restaurant called Etta’s. Lance had been told by several people to get some Copper River salmon because it was only in season for a little while. Etta’s had it on their menu so that is where we went. Dinner was really good and we really enjoyed our time there. After dinner we ran by the original Starbucks so Lance could buy a travel coffee mug.

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The first night I arrived I saw this ferris wheel sitting over the water and knew I wanted to ride in it. After dinner, the sun was setting and it was the perfect time to take a spin.

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It was such a pretty night.

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This picture makes it look like it is earlier in the day but it was around 8:30ish.

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The views were amazing.

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After the ferris wheel, we got some ice cream, walked up a ton of stairs to get back to our hotel, and sat out by the water fountain while we ate. The ferris wheel looked so pretty all lit up.

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Our flight was bright and early Sunday morning at 7:45. It worked out well though because there was a parade scheduled at 11:00 and all of the roads would have been closed. As we took off and banked towards the east I looked out my window and saw this picture. It took my breath away it was so pretty. We finally got to see Mt. Rainier.

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I am pretty sure our pilot took the scenic route home because there were so many things to see out the window. It made it hard to read my book. Here is the Great Salt Lake. Flying over this made me so excited to take our kids out to see the world. I can’t wait to let them see so many pretty places.

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This trip was such a blessing. I am so glad I had this time to spend with Lance. I thought I was going to be anxious about being that far away from the kids for the first time. However, once I dropped them off at my parents house, I felt totally calm. The long weekend was totally stress free and relaxing. Now to plan our next trip together…haha!