park time with daddy

In the fall I was swamped with client photos- I had the almost every weekend and sometimes both days of the weekend booked.  It was fun, don’t get me wrong, but I did hate that it took away from some of our weekend family time.  Either way it happened and I was busy which made it nice that the boys could join me on a location scouting trip.  We made a night out of it- had a picnic in the park, ran around and ended up playing at the playground until the sun went down.  Both Jay and Charlie have really started to love going to the park and up until this point Charlie had really only been on the swings; however, since Daddy was there he helped with the slide a few times and Charlie LOVED it.

picnic-ing in the park

picnic

riding the slide

more slide fun

such a big boy

slide races

slide races

slide races

race you to the top!

slide races

sliding with Jay

crazy normal part 2

a few more from the phone

a GREAT mail day- now to get started on some projects ;)

he’s giving kisses now

prepping to wash the alphabet mat

what, you don’t wash foam letters in your dishwasher?

he is not a huge fan of the gate

he couldn’t quite get his hat off when he was riding in the car and this is how he looked when I opened the door

how many pears can I fit in my mouth all at once

paper, scissors, glue

impressive coloring skills for a 2.5 year old if you ask me

seaworld

A few weekends ago Jamie and I took Jay to Seaworld for the day.  We had been putting off a trip to one of the theme parks for quite some time since Jay is really still on the young side (people who go with itty itty babies to parks are crazy with a capital C!!) but decided to take the plunge and get Sea World passes.  We packed a bag with a lunch the night before so we would be ready to go first thing in the morning and honestly, I am not sure who was more excited about our trip- me or Jamie, Jay had no idea what was in store for him.  We left Charlie with Mimi- it was way too hot for him to be out all day- and had Jay all to ourselves for the day!  It was very hot out and we all were melted and tired when we got home but we had so much fun.   Jay loved getting to see the dolphins in the underwater viewing area (I had to pull Jamie away so we could go see other animals), he liked the beluga whales and splashing in the sting ray tank among other things and Jamie and I enjoyed watching Jay take it all in (we liked the animals too).

I didn’t take a ton of photos since I was so busy soaking it all up but I do really like the few that I got…

enjoying the underwater dolphin viewing area-

watching the Shamu Show-

Jay kept doing hand motions along with the jumping Shamu

splashing in the stingray lagoon-

I know that this is out of focus but it is the only one that I have where you can see him actually touching the rays- he loved it!

oh and I promise that I was actually there- I just didn’t ever get in any of the photos!

berry delicious

Over the weekend we packed up the boys and headed to Pappy’s Patch, the place where we have picked strawberries this year and last, to take advantage of their last picking weekend.  The strawberries were few and far between (the season is way past); however, our mission was blueberries.  Sadly, not long after we arrived we realized that the blueberries were also pretty picked over.  We did our best to get what we could, and we did get some delicious blueberries, but we were a little disappointed with our pickings.  That was until a group of ladies suggested we check out the pick your own blackberry farm just down the road.  I was sold at the word black… so we packed up the boys and headed off.

Man am I SO glad that we did!!  The berries were/are delicious, they were super easy to pick (the bushes were thornless- AMAZING) and I found it much easier to do with Jay than strawberry or blueberry picking.  The way the blackberry bushes grow make it easy for little ones to pick and the farm was set apart from the parking lot so I felt better about Jay just running around on his own.

We have been eating the berries by the handfuls every day since picking them but still have a whole bunch left so I am looking at either of these two recipes… probably both and if we still have some leftover then maybe some jam- we’ll see!

Blackberry Fool or Honey Yogurt Pops

Rows and rows of bushes with my sweet trio of guys down at the end

shrimp boil 2012

I am not sure how many years now the annual Shrimp Boil has been going on… I would venture a guess that Jamie has been hosting it with his Dad for a good 10 years and then George probably hosted it on his own prior to that for another 10. This is my fourth year of joining the festivities and I must say I look forward to it EVERY year! I mean what is not to like- good food, good drink and good people. What more could you ask for on a sunny Saturday afternoon?

Since having the kiddos I find myself not as “free” to shoot as much of these events as I would like (putting sleeping babies down, getting not sleeping big brothers up, etc can really eat up some time). However, I did manage to grab a few photos of the day… although none of the pouring and unfortunately very few of anyone other than family… Either way, documented or not, there were family, many great friends and a wonderful assortment of colleagues that joined us in bellying up to the table. Thanks to all that came, it was great seeing you, and for those of you who couldn’t make it- you were missed but there is always next year ;)

pretty flowers compliments of Publix… I really do love me a mason jar ;)

banana pudding bites, check out a recipe here

Pepere and Charlie- prepping the water ;)

I was trying to get a photo of me and Jay but he was way too distracted with all of the people in the backyard to smile… not even tickling really worked

Charlie hanging on the blanket

enjoying some delicious corn- purchasing it fresh was definitely the way to go!

Aunt Jamie- silly girl

Uncle Mark

Josh- by the way Jay adores him and rightfully so… he is wonderful to him, they are ‘briends’

three cheers for the chef

more cheers for more chefs…

grub

YUM

enjoying the shade

couldn’t resist posting this one of little miss Avery- check out those baby blues!!

more from Canada- the zoo

I know that it’s probably a little late to still be posting photographs from our Cananda trip. Especially since we have been home now for over two months; but I still have a few that I really want to share so hang in there- ok?

One of my favorite things that we did while in Calgary was go to the zoo. It’s a wonderful zoo with all kinds of animals and Jay LOVED it! It has fun kid parks, really amazing animals and Jay got to take his first ever carousel ride (which he loved). Jamie and I really enjoyed it as well, it honestly makes me jealous of Jacksonville and their zoo… By the way my personal favorite animal was the giraffe. I seriously could have stood there all day long and been pleased as punch, it might have been the playful baby that was bouncing around their area chasing birds or just that they are so majestic looking- I am not really sure but I was like a kid in a candy store and even requested we stop one more time before leaving the zoo just to see them again.

Jay using the information station as a phone- I love his expression in this photo, it is just so him right now
the baby :)
isn't it cool how close we were able to get to them?!?
we were so close- I didn't have a huge zoom lens on to take this photo
Jay loved them too
the zoo crew aside from Jamie and Auntie Marilyn who were taking the photos
Jay and Bradey, fast friends- love this one :)

Jay playing with my Auntie Deb at the park
he loved these bouncy things at the park
big kitties
a rare photo of just the two of us

Jay playing on the hill outside the place where we had lunch. He loved playing on the hills and running down them, something that we don't get to do in Florida too often.
running down the hill

fun at the park
group shot by the giraffes

more Canada- picnic in the mountains

The day after my Mom, brother and sister-in-law flew in everyone headed to the mountains (well not really the mountains but the foothills rather) for a picnic and wiener roast.  It was a beautiful day outside- perfect for jeans and t-shirts :-)  We were able to grab a great spot next to the river with a beautiful view.  Jay loved tossing rocks into the river, something he doesn’t have much of a chance to do in Florida, so we spent lots of time down by the river.  We were also able to take a short hike, roast marshmallows and we stopped for ice cream on the way home.   This has always been one of my favorite things to do whenever we visit, I just wish that we were closer and could do it more often…

Bradey taking a turn tossing rocks
even Grandma tossed a few rocks in too

my cousin Riley enjoying the river water, he basically swam a little later in the afternoon while we were hiking
family photo- that is one happy boy!
Jake- one happy puppy... wish Piper could have joined us, she would have had a ball
wiener and marshmallow roasting
marshmallows!!
Amy, Auntie Deb and Auntie Trish at the beginning of our short hike

Auntie Trish and Jay
Frannie :)
sweet boy
some scenery
more rock tossing (can you see the splash?)

love these next two
LOVE this one!
the whole group
Jay and Bradey riding on a horse at our post picnic ice cream stop. The ride wasn't actually working but Jay loved it just the same.
racing some of the ice cream energy off
a dancing Bradey

bragging…

Okay, I don’t know if this is exceptional or not BUT he’s my kid so it’s my job to brag.  Jay can identify/name (not sure what it’s called at this age) any turtle (totule) and star (stah) that he sees without being prompted.  He also knows the sounds that kitties and puppies make and makes them when he sees photos of them without being prompted. We are working on other shapes and animals sounds but it still amazes me at how much he already knows!  Love this kiddo!

I mean these aren’t all his tricks, that’s for sure, but identifying shapes and he’s not even a year and a half old!  I think that’s pretty impressive!

Here’s a few photos of our genius-in-the-making from our park trip this morning.  I let him climb the steps and slide down the medium slide on his own today- he couldn’t have been more thrilled with himself!

outside

Spring is probably one of the best times of the year in Florida- it’s sunny, warm (not unbearably HOT), everything is blooming and so, so pretty!!  And since it is so nice out; we have been trying to take advantage of the beautiful weather (aside from the rain today, yesterday and Monday) and have found ourselves outside as much as possible.

Our afternoons have looked a whole lot like this lately…

this is the way that he likes to ride this bike, not exactly sure why...
walking, walking everywhere
stopping only to smell the flowers
err, I mean eat the flowers...