Monday, August 30, 2010

Moose Sighting

Okay, well, it wasn't exactly a moose.  Iain and Gianna went to play at the local state park and encountered a gentle little dear looking for food.  Gianna had the hardest time calling it a dear.  "Moose" was the word that was stuck in her brain.  Maybe we're watching too much Nick Jr. 

Moose A. Moose

Here are a few clips of Gianna feeding the moose deer along with some pushy ducks.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

One Hour Vacation

This morning when we awoke, I had a thought of taking Gianna to the beach.  She loves the idea of beach and water, but didn't get much play time during our Galveston birthday trip.  Even though we have lakes and beaches around here, they're not exactly what you'd considered stellar. Swimming in the lake water with all the chemical plants in view always freaks me out quite a bit, so I knew swimming was not going to happen.

So we packed up her sand toys and drove twenty minutes up the road to the I-10 beach.  It was 8am - and we were the only three souls on the beach.  Gianna was beside herself.
"Ocean!" she kept saying.

And finally she stopped long enough to play in the sand...
Packing the pale...
Building the castle....
Demolishing the castle!
"Hey, this sand sticks to my hands!"
She was cracking herself up by jumping in the water.
I caught this one in mid-jump.
Check out the water pouring out of her Crocs.
Here she is calling the elusive bird she befriended.
Oh, you want to hear her calling the bird?
It was actually a pretty great morning with little time and effort in planning.
I'm glad we took an hour vacay to the local beach.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Guest Book

Two weeks ago my husband and I attended the wedding of some sweet friends who we know from Iain's company.  The groom had asked me if I would help him with a little project for the wedding. (Gotta love an involved groom!)

They didn't want to use a traditional guest book, and weren't sure if a matted picture to sign was what they wanted to do either.  He knew I am a digital photobook junky and wondered if I could come up with an alternative Guest Book.

Oh what fun!  I was so excited to play around.  They didn't have many professional pictures, but I liked the fact that the pics they did have were real life shots.

The most time I spent was editing the pictures.  The layouts were my own and fun to do.  I use Shutterfly to print most of my books and have been super-pleased with their work.  Once published, I  had Shutterfly sent the book directly to the bride in her hometown ~ so I didn't get to see it until the wedding.  It took me several hours to catch a glimpse of it because there was always someone looking at it.

When I saw it, I was SO pleased.  I wish I would have had one for my own wedding.  People really took time to write thoughtful messages instead of just signing their names.  I know Nathan and Theresia will treasure that keepsake for years to come.  It was one of the best wedding gifts we'd ever given.  Here's a peek...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beating the Heat

There was no better way to start a hot Monday than with sweet friends in a cool pool. 

In swim gear, waiting for John Paul...
Gianna and "Ben Ben" - as she calls him.
This little sweet potato, Therese, came with her big brother and parents.
Gianna's got baby fever.
...and there's no cure in sight.
Ready to swim!
Benjamin thought it was funny to watch his mommy tread water for 20 minutes before he decided to jump in.
And Benjamin is a SERIOUS water kid.  FEARLESS and skilled!
Thanks to his mom who has been secretly coaching him for the Olympic swim team. (I'm sure of it.)
And I just cannot get enough of this petite little puffalump....
Doesn't she look like she needs a drink with an umbrella in it?
Oh, and David even came to play.  How nice to have a daddy in the bunch.
And I can't forget my cutie patootie.
Even Gracie got into the action!
Can't seem to stop taken pics of this pumpkin-doodle....
Is that yummy or what?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Galveston Day Trip

A few weeks ago, one of my dear friends and former co-workers decided she wanted to celebrate her "milestone" birthday by spending the day in Galveston with the girls.  Six of us were able to go and my friends rented a 15 passenger van for the day. 

We began our day with breakfast and coffee at:
Hoisting ourselves up into this mac-daddy van, proved to be quite entertaining throughout the day.
The ferry is always a nice part of the trip - and for many of us, brings back years of memories.

I always get a kick out of the birds that fly alongside of the ferry.  They fly at the same rate of speed, so it looks like they are flying in place
The architecture in Galveston is just beautiful.
We did a lot of shopping and EATING on The Strand.
Always shopping shenanigans.
One of the girls mentioned that she heard of an artist who donated his time and talent after Hurricane Ike in 2008 to carve amazing sculptures out of dead trees that covered the island. 
I googled it from my phone and found the area where many of these works of art were displayed (mostly in the historic district.)  They were stunning.  It seems like the residents got to choose their own theme of the sculptures on their property.
The tin man from Oz.
What an amazing gift.
We got the biggest kick when we stopped to look at the Great Dane at this Great Dane Sculpture.
(See the little old lady on the porch?)
She came out to talk to us and tell us about the sculpture.
She told us the actual dog still around and, in fact, in the yard!
Pretty too.
And the food was certainly a big part of the BEST of the day.
The Jazz Martini (crab) was unquestionably the best thing I ate that day.
And then it was back onto the ferry... sunset...
the most perfect way to end the trip.
Except for the beautiful moon that reminded me of Gianna's rendition of Moon, Moon, Moon - her favorite song.
Happy Birthday, MB!!! Thanks for sharing your birthday celebration with us. :)
(Pics came from my phone....not fantastic, but they captured memories just fine.)
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