Monday, June 30, 2014

The Beach: Part 1

I am now remembering why I never got around to blogging our beach trip pictures last year.

By the time I download off my camera, then cull the images, then edit the images, then resize the images, then upload the images to FB, I'm kind of done with the images.

And I get this thought in my head that maybe all my readers are done with them, too. After all, most of my blog readers follow me on FB and/or Instagram and have already been overloaded with a ton of pictures.

Yet, again, I have to remind myself that this blog is not for them. (Sorry!) Its our family's digital scrapbook. I use it all the time to help jog my memory about important times and events. I search for pictures to show Jocelyn what we did and what we have to look forward to this year. That's exactly what I was doing when I realized I had zero blog posts about Pawleys Island in 2013.

As not to make the same mistake again, here are some pictures from our first few days at Pawleys....

We arrived on a Sunday afternoon and were stuck inside the condo (which no one but Brian and Jayce, occasionally, admitted to liking) for close to 3 hours due to storms. The kids were super bummed not to hit the beach before dinner like we usually do. Oh, and dinner was a disappointment, too. Our favorite restaurant closed down this past year. We'll miss you Carolina Wing and Rib House!

The kids were up at 7 AM the next morning and we were on the beach by 8:30 AM. That's the earliest I've ever seen Brian get up on vacation :) We stayed down on the sand until 1:30 PM.

After a quick lunch (and no nap for Jocelyn), we headed to the pool.

Jocelyn cracked me up with her version of talking. She needed her "swimsoup" on and wanted "sunscream" to go with her "goggle glasses".

That night we went to the Island Bar and Grill. We eat here every year due to my craving for shrimp quesadillas (this time with added portabello mushrooms!)  but eating there is always more special when my aunt's family is also there AND is the band playing that night.

 Okay, see if you can follow along....

My dad is Lee. He has 3 brothers and a sister. His brother Dave is married to Diane. Aunt Diane just happens to be my favorite aunt of all time. (No offense to any of my other aunts... I just happen to grow up in South Florida with Aunt Diane nearby).

Dave and Diane have three boys: Matthew, Dustin, and Brett. I won't say that they are my favorite cousins since I have about 20 more and really don't want to hurt feelings. Let's just say that I lived near them for the first 11 years of my life and I have a lot of memories playing with them.

Now all of the boys are grown up. Which I guess makes sense since I'm 35 and they aren't that much younger than me. Matt is married to Nicole and they have an adorable toddler named Reed. (Which happens to be our grandmother's maiden name.)

Dustin and Brett aren't quite ready to get married and settle down with kids yet. And that's totally okay. Jocelyn found many activities to play with them as pictures will show later :)

So, moving on...

Aunt Diane has a two sisters and a brother, too. And they were all there. And so were their spouses. And their children. And those children are all grown up and are getting married and having children. So, what used to be a small and quiet family reunion (Who am I kidding? This bunch was never small and quiet!), its now a HUGE family reunion.

I've been honored to be a part of this reunion 4 or 5 times now. So, even if my cousins' cousins aren't technically related to me (or, are they???), we pretend they are anyway.

 Its kind of amazing to me that young and slightly bratty siblings, who may fight all the time, grow up to be great adults with a huge sense of loyalty to their family.

There's hope for my kids yet!

More to come from day two....

Friday, June 27, 2014

At Home

Its been quiet here on the ol' blog, but for good reason, friends.

We've been away from home soaking up the sand, sea, and sun.

Our home away from home was quite comfortable, although we all agree that we like previous years' condo selections better.

I'm busy uploading three cards full of pictures. It was a great vacation but we are so glad to be home :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I go Bruster's, Mommy?

Yes, Jocelyn. We can go to Bruster's.

Ever since Jaina got her iPhone, this is what she looks like:

Jayce got a dinosaur kid's sundae. He said it was awesome.

Glad I still have a "baby" that can still get a free baby cone! Although she ate her entire cone and then finished mine. She LOVES ice cream!

Anyone else having trouble with their blogger dashboard feed?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Skinny Dipping

When Jaina was a baby, I was already a pretty laid back parent. I knew from years of babysitting tons of kids that tantrums weren't that embarrassing. Saying "no" to your kid sometimes had to happen. And I learned how to pick your battles.

There are just some things I don't care about. Clothes are optional around the house. I had actually forgotten that Jaina spent the first 6 years of her life in her underwear until we were watching old home movies the other day.

Jayce and Jocelyn don't quite care for walking around naked. For Jayce, it was a sensory thing. Jocelyn, however, is very opinionated about clothes. Why be naked when you could wear one of 50 Minnie Mouse shirts that are in her closet?

Her favorite thing to wear, hands down, is Jayce's baseball jersey from last year. She's number 3, by the way.

If she's watching Frozen, she has to wear her Elsa or Anna dress. The other night found us outside after dinner and I didn't bother to change her out of her dress up clothes.

But when she started to climb in the pool, I put my foot down. I could just imagine all the sparkles and glitter coming off of that dress in my washing machine.

So naked it was.

And wouldn't you know... we had neighbors stop by AND some friends that live in the neighborhood across the street. And here was Jocelyn just toddling around naked outside. It didn't help anything when she announced that she was a girl and she had a " 'gina". That usually leads to more conversation about how Jayce and Daddy are boys and they have a "Enis". Gotta love two year olds and teaching them all about body parts.

Jayce played basketball the whole time we were outside. I guess it was a good thing that we didn't end up getting rid of the basketball goal.

The next baby pool pictures I post will feature yet another pool. The next day it was discovered that the pink pool had a rip in the seam. Glad it was only $10!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer Time

Normally when Summer time hits, the temperature quickly turns to scorching outside. And there my photography business lies dormant for the next few months until the weather decides to be nicer. I might photograph a random birthday party here and there or do a few newborn sessions, but for the most part, Summer break is both for me and the kids.

I'm not quite sure what's happening. The temperatures are still scorching outside. Yet, I haven't slowed down one bit. I've had at least 1 or 2 sessions every week, with some weeks even counting an extra one. One client joked that the word had gotten out that I knew how to photoshop sweat out of pictures :)

Totally not complaining here... I am loving the business and all the new clients that are contacting me. :) But it hasn't left much time for us to do much more than play outside in our driveway during my breaks in editing.

Also, there's this pesky transmission issue that my van has been having. So pesky, in fact, that the entire transmission had to be rebuilt and new casing put on.

Transportation problems certainly put a damper on things. The kids have been trying to make the best of the situation anyway :)

So, this is what our Summer has looked like so far:

I promise our lives will get a bit more exciting and expand beyond our driveway soon :) And maybe, just maybe, I won't be too busy to capture it on camera.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Playcation Drive Game

Every year for the past couple of years, the minor league baseball team in town pairs up with some local attractions and offers a "Playcation" deal: 4 tickets for the Waterpark, Children's Museum, Zoo, and Baseball game for $40. Its an incredible deal and sells out super fast. I was able to snag the passes when I was shooting a wedding in downtown Greenville a few weeks ago.

We went to the Greenville Drive game on Wednesday night. It was oversold by 2,000 seats. A lot of corporations buy up the seats behind home plate but don't actually use them. We we forced to sit on concrete for almost an hour since the lawn was completely filled up before they released us to take the empty seats. Jaina was super upset that we were near a trashcan :P

When we did finally snag seats, they were right behind home plate and we had an awesome view of the game!

It was Jocelyn's first time at the game. She loved it! And for the most part, she behaved very well for a rambunctious 2 year old ;)

At one point she got up and said, "Brother! Where's my brother! I want my Jayce!" and went to go sit in his lap.

Jocelyn was stylin' in two baseball shirts... one of Jayce's old jerseys and another shirt that was mine when I was little ;)

Jaina and I took selfies on her new iPhone as only a 12 year old will do.

The tickets may have been cheap but the food certainly was not! We spent a fortune on Subway and Chick-fil-a for dinner. But it was worth it!

I took some video of Brian singing his favorite Neil Diamond song, "Sweet Caroline" but unfortunately, it was way too loud to hear anything.

We didn't make it home until about 10:30 PM but that was okay, because its SUMMER!