December 8, 2011

An Elf's Escapades:
Try as we might......

We just cannot seem to keep our Elf off the pole....

This morning the girls found Gelk wrapped around a candlestick with a note:
You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town...

and clean up your toys!

Below the table that Gelk was dancing on was a neat pile of all the toys and shoes and coloring books that the girls had left all over the living room the night before. We shall see if this has any impact.... Grace also has an email waiting for her from the Portable North Pole telling her that Santa expects her to do a better job of cleaning up her toys and play things when she is finished... I know I am a wicked mother!

Off to figure out Gelk's next move.  The good news is...... HUBBY IS COMING HOME TOMORROW!!  It's been a LOOOOOOOOOONG two weeks, but it's over and we should have him home now until after the new year!


December 7, 2011

An Elf's Escapades:
Gone Fishin'...

I must admit that even though I have been so sick this week, this little project has helped. It's been a distraction to the fact that Hubby has been on the road for two weeks and that I am feeling so crappy. I was very much looking forward to this little "Escapade" but I simply could not set up the shot to my satisfaction.  The tank is in a awkward place and the lighting really poor.... But the girls got a huge kick out of finding Gelk on top of the fish tank with pole in hand!  Gigi was a little worried that Gelk might actually catch and harm one of her fish, but Lula {bless her heart} assured her Big Sister that "He's not mean. He just being silly."


December 6, 2011

An Elf's Escapades:

Okay.... I'm not sure who's shenanigans though... Gelk's or mine? I know upon first glance this post will make it seem like I have too much time on my hands. I assure you - I DON'T!  I am just really really really good at procrastination and well.... this seemed more fun than cleaning up the kitchen or finishing the laundry.

The last thing you expect is to walk into the kitchen and find your Elf on the Shelf hosting a wild party. Pizza, Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort and Tequila, but that I just what I found last night. 
{Okay - I did warn you when we started this I was a little twisted *smirk*}

I think Gelk must be preparing me for the teenage years.... First a party and then I find him shopping online with MY credit cards!!!  He does have good taste though.
Finger's crossed I find those Paris Pink Lululemon Wunder Unders are under the tree for me Christmas Morning!!
The truth is I am not such an evil mother. I would never let the girls wake up to find Gelk wrapped around a bottle of Vermouth or passed out drunk, smelling of Jack Daniels and snuggling with Bob the Builder after a night of boozing. Instead when the girls woke up they found Gelk playing with their beloved Toy Story toys. 
The girls found the fact that he was riding Bullseye was hysterical.  Lula was however a little bit bummed that it meant she was unable to play with Bullseye today but wholly amused at how silly her Elf on the Shelf is! 
Mission Accomplished. Afterall - Isn't that what this is supposed to be? FUN!


December 5, 2011

An Elf's Escapades

Banister Sliding

Have you ever been tempted to slide down the banister before?  Maybe you even have. I have. I had a friend growing up that had a great banister for sliding.... and parents that didn't throw a full on conniption or maybe there weren't there.... either way poor Gelk tried to slide down a banister wrapped with garland and lights..... Not the most successful of slides as you can see!


December 4, 2011

An Elf's Escapades

Cock Fighting?? Really GELK?!?

{ Oh - and the Girls' Pony too }

Okay... So I want to be witty, but I am exhausted. The girls were up at the crack of dawn raring to go!Sunday means Sunday dinner with my Aunt and Uncle and the girls get to ride their pony, Wendel, my Aunt's horse Oberon and also play with my Aunt and Uncle's four dogs and one cat.  It's my girls version of a farm. And well... Farm makes me think chickens and chickens reminded me of my kitchen rooster and the rooster plus my mischievous GELK made me think Cock-fighting {Something I am wholly against!} But.... and now that we're here I cannot think of anything witty to write about GELK and the rooster.  My brain is fried from an afternoon of riding with the girls and an evening visiting with my Aunt and well....there were a few mimosas. I'm sleepy........

I shall try to do better tomorrow. GELK is already nestled into his new hiding place.  Hopefully a little more difficult for the girls to find, but.... I doubt it. Gigi found him in no time at all this morning and the rooster on top of the kitchen cabinets is not exactly in her eye line.... She does love a good game of hide-n-go-seek though!

Here are a few shots of the girls riding today! {and p.s. I know this should be it own post.... But have I mentioned that I'm exhausted??}

Sweet Dreams......

{ Wendel }

I don't know why... there are a few really sweet photos of the girls grooming Wendel, but this one.... The posture the turned head and the hand slay me.  I wish I knew what she was thinking at this moment! :)

Grinning from ear to ear yelling "Yee-Haw!" as usual!

Thumbs up.
Really Daredevil?!?
Why don't you keep your hands on the reigns. 
Then again she started out riding a year ago bareback and doesn't even ride with stirrups -
so.... why not? We'll make a trick rider of Lula yet!

Just a girl and her pony - Lost in thought

Okay so Lula is my equestrian. There is no doubt about it.
I was sure with how much I love horses and how much I lived to ride and simply be in the barn when I was a girl my girls would feel the same. Gigi, well Gigi takes a little time to warm up to riding.
She is never really sure at first if this is fun or terrifying.

Okay... No.... this is fun!! 

Gigi thinks Lula is standing too close to the pony.... I know a few people who are going to see this might think the same thing, but Lu.... Not Lu. She has NO FEAR.

Lula is pretty impressed with herself!  I'm impressed with her too! She's quite a natural.


December 3, 2011

An Elf's Escapades

Deck the Halls with....

I was pretty sure placing GELK within reach was going to pose a problem. You know the temptation to touch to great to resist and all..... BUT this being the year that at least Gigi *gets it*...She was quick to remind us that we cannot touch GELK. That if we did he would lose his magic and no longer be able to report back to Santa weather we have been good or bad! So placing GELK on the cutout in the boughs of holly proved far less disastrous than I had anticipated. 


Since we are talking about Elves and their escapades, the girls and I spent a glorious and yet freezing 3 hours at the park today.  Thanks to the city opening a brand new park and playground right around the corner from us the girls were able to ride their bikes to and from. Added bonus, because us Desert Rats think that 52* is FREEZING , we were the only ones there!


December 2, 2011

An Elf's Escapades

Would you like to Swing on a star
Carry moon beams home in a jar
and be better off than you are
or would you rather....

It just so happened that a friend of mine sent me a link to a hysterical Elf on the Shelf post a few nights ago. It was because of that post that I had the Nutcracker love triangle and the Vermouth in the Christmas Village photos. So thank you Baby Rabies it's because of you that I had photo to post for December 1st!

  I am sick as a dog today and unfortunately also without a husband this week, weekend and next week as well, so "yay me!!" she says has half heartedly and sarcastically.  If I weren't feeling like death warmed over I might have spent some time trying to make this photograph pop somehow but today.... this is what you get.

I don't know if GELK is swinging from the chandelier because of his Vermouth bender or if he's trying to avoid some nasty confrontation with the Red Nutcacker over his escapades with the Blue Nutcracker..... But swinging on a star is where the girls found GELK this morning.
And all the monkeys aren't in the zoo
Every day you meet quite a few
So you see it's all up to you
You can be better than you are
You could be swingin' on a star


Alright... I'll Play.
"An Elf's Escapades"

Meet our Elf, GELK....

Okay, So GELK is not really a home-wrecker, but I couldn't help myself....
I definitely got a juvenile chuckle out of this one.
Some of my posts might be a little twisted this year...
It's all in the name of fun people.... 

GELK is our Elf on the Shelf. He's been our Elf since Christmas 2008.  He joined our family right after Lula did and has been getting into all sorts of trouble .... and reporting on all sorts of trouble ever since. GELK got his name from The Girls' initials and he shows up each year right after Thanksgiving to keep an eye on Gigi and Lula for Santa.  

If you don't yet know about the Elf on the Shelf it's a wonderful game / tradition / tool to frighten your children into submission .... Ah... I mean remind your children to make good choices during the holidays.  If you ever wondered how Santa knows who has been naughty and nice, it's his Elves.This is actually the first year that the girls "get it".  Each evening GELK flies back to the North Pole and reports to Santa. He lets Santa know all the good or bad things the girls have done that day. Then he flies back here to our home and finds a new perch somewhere in the house for the girls to discover the next morning..... This always poses a problem for me. You see..... that requires REMEMBERING to move  before I go to bed, or like this morning.... finding some excuse to keep the kids gated upstairs while I fly downstairs to move him before they notice he is sitting exactly where he was all day yesterday.  My evenings generally end with me about to drift off to dreamland and then sitting bolt upright, slapping my forehead and exclaiming--- to no one --- "Oh CRAP!  I forgot to move the damn Elf!" But please do not misunderstand.... I love this tradition, I think it's fun. I know the girls love GELK {I do too} and to some's a great behavior modifier!!

So my dear friend Mel is going to chronicle the adventures of their Elf this month and well....If you would like, you can follow the "Adventures of "Calvin"  and see what her Elf does this season.  I'm "in"  on this because first of all,  it's FUN and also because; It's a chance to help me to remember to move GELK each night, a chance to force me to be creative with GELK's placement, a chance to help me try to get back to my blog and most important, it's a chance to play around with my camera!  Since Santa will be bringing me some new camera equipment if I am a good girl, I had better show GELK just how much I love my camera and deserve the new toys!!

I did say that some of these might be a little twisted...
NO, I did not let the girls find their Elf this way... But I wanted to start off with a bang!
The girls found GELK in a sconce.


November 24, 2011

I am thankful...

I still have a post half written, I started it 3 weeks ago after my Half Marathon about the half and my experience and triumph but.....

And I haven't said a word about the fact that Lula turned THREE on the 11th! THREE!!! Where did 3 years go?!?

But as hubby is driving us to California to spend Thanksgiving with some of our very best friends - and I stare out the window at the pre-dawn stars twinkling - and the girls are silently involved in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving playing in the back seat it feels wrong not to take a quiet moment to give thanks...

My thankful posts this past month on Facebook have been fun, funny, sometimes sarcastic and entirely me... Fun and rarely serious.... But I know what I have and I do know what is truly important. I am thankful and in so many ways blessed beyond measure.


I am thankful for the mountain of laundry - because it means my family has warm clothes


I am thankful for the sink filled with dirty dishes waiting to be washed - because it means my family has food to eat and does not wonder where their next meal is coming from


I am thankful for the mortgage bill every month, even though my house is worth half what we owe - because it means my family has a roof over our heads


I am thankful for painful and sore muscles - because it means I am capable, healthy and strong enough for physical activity


I am thankful that my husband is on the road more than he is home - because even though I miss him like crazy and it is unbelievably hard to be mom all alone most of the time, it means he has a job and we can have clothes, food and a roof over our heads


I am thankful for temper tantrums, sassy attitudes, giant messes and arguments over picking up the toy room - because it means I have my children here with me and I know that there are mothers who would give anything to have their children making a mess of their house or arguing with them again


I am thankful.
I have a good life.
I have friends and family that love me....
In the grand scene of life, my problems are so small.....
I have my family...
We all have our health ....
In the end - that is all that matters.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 6, 2011

You bet your sweet ass I did!

What's that....?

Do I want a medal....?

Well actually.....

I got one!

Boo ya!!

First ever Half marathon!
{ 13.1 miles in 2 hours, 11 minutes and 28 seconds. } 

October 30, 2011

It's about the journey. . . Not the destination

I started this journey almost exactly one year ago. Honestly though, it feels like just yesterday. {How quickly a year can pass} For me, this was one of those journeys that began with so much trepidation, I wasn't even sure I was moving forward until I was already well on my way.

Last October, shortly after my 34th birthday I lost a good friend over the whole "Princes debacle" and then I  ran my first 5k.  Fueled by a determination to set the anti-princess example for my girls without preaching it, the pain over the loss of someone I once considered a dear friend and a sense of empowerment and accomplishment I put one foot in front of the other and moved toward 35 with a dream, that quickly became a plan and before I knew it, a mission. I wanted to OWN 35 and be fearless!
{okay and maybe a little bit fierce!}

~ Girl Power  ~
Somewhere along the way the P.E. Teacher in me got swallowed up by the flight attendant, and then eventually by the mom. Thankfully though, mom's are smart and this one straightened up and started to fly right. If it was important for my kids to get at least 60 minutes of good physical activity a day, why wasn't it important for me to do the same?  The answer is: IT IS!  At this point, I'd already been working out a few times a week with Stroller Strides. Undoubtably this was an excellent example to set for my girls, but it was time to step it up, so I did.  I attended more classes each week and made a stronger commitment to make it to class.  Hey Gigi and Lula.... Strong is the new beautiful!

~ Girl Power{ful} ~

By April I'd been working hard  and I started to realize that the excuse 'I didn't want anyone getting in my face yelling at me' was really just fear{Lame excuse, huh?}  Once I admitted to myself that fear was natural and facing your fears powerful I was able to take the leap; I joined my already fearless friends and committed to 8 weeks of  Body Back boot camp. That 8 weeks was physically and emotionally HARD. Like, hard-core HARD. There were tears and wicked sore muscles and doubt and at more than one point I was pretty sure I was going to die --  But I survived. Not only did I survive, I improved. I was stronger, faster and determined. I was leaner and I was hungry for more. I found a new drug and it was pushing my limits. I WAS HOOKED!! 

Our mantra was:
If I am still standing at the end of Body Back, hit me with a board and knock me down, because it means I haven't given everything I have.  No regrets!
So..... of course I signed up for 8 more weeks!! Surrounded by amazing women, getting a few hours a week to myself to workout, work on me and get composed so that I could go back and be the best mother and wife I could be was priceless.  I was now aware that if I wanted to do something I needed to Just Do It! {Yeah, Nike really did get that one right, didn't they?}  What was holding me back?  Would I want the girls to hold themselves back??  No! I would tell them: You never know until you try; and if you give it your all you cannot fail.
Failure is an attitude of mind.

Set the example Shelbi!  Don't only do the things you know you will be good at. Try things that are hard, so something you are not sure you can.
So by June I had stopped "talking" about running a half marathon. I had decided that I WAS going to run a half marathon.  I stopped saying 'I can't...'  -  'I won't'....  and  'I'd never be able to...' and I started saying  'I WILL !'

~ My Journey ~

I've had sore muscles, pulled hamstrings, aching joints and pain. I was pushing 35, clearly I am not a kid anymore. But I would turn 35 and celebrate by completing my first half marathon!  Eyes on the prize.........
There were days I didn't want to.
There were days I didn't think I could.
There were days I just didn't have anything left.
More pain
Even a stress fractured tibia that sidelined me for 8 weeks.
Anything that costs this much and causes you to work this hard for it, must be worth it! 

Hey Gigi and Lula....... life doesn't end when you become a mom.
35 is not over the hill or washed up.
THIS is the prime of my life because I decided it should be.
I am determined.
I. am. a. girl. and I CAN DO ANYTHING!
{I can do anything a boy can do and some things I can even do better!}

On my journey to this half marathon...
I have kicked myself when I was down.
I have been hard on myself. 
I have been disappointed in myself.
And at times.... not at all kind to myself. 

But I now know how stupid that is!  Not every run is a good one. But the hardest step for a runner is the first one out the door. So even when the run was hard, or painful or disappointing I was out there and I was doing it.  That in itself is a WIN! So what if I wasn't the fastest runner out there? I was lapping everyone on the couch! 

All of those bad days, hard runs, tears and pain got me here today. I have loved and at times hated my 4am alarm. I have wondered "What the Hell I am doing/thinking??" as I wandered bleery eyed through my days after waking at the crack-of-dawn to run with my girlfriends. Last Sunday I ran 11 miles. The farthest I have ever run in my life!!! This morning, after running a very painful 5am 5 miles yesterday with Body Back I lept from my bed at 4am to run my last training run with some of the best training partners in the world! Held together by duct tape... Okay, really by the miracle that is KT Tape and in my trusty old Nikes I hit the road before dawn for this last 8 'training' miles.

This morning, in the dark, under the stars and with the "cold" air making my nose and cheeks feel chilled I reflected on all that has brought me to this point. . . . . . . .  12 months ago I had to will myself to keep running for 3.1 miles. I had to talk to myself the entire way. "Breathe. Keep going, You can do it. Relax. Breathe"  Today 3 miles feels like a cake walk and leaves me wanting more. . . . . . .   Last year I knew and liked my training partners, today I *know* and love them. I've sweat with them, cried with them, been victorious with them and been at my most raw and vulnerable with them. Today the women who were my friends a year ago are now my sisters. And after I reflected for a few miles about how grateful I am to be on this amazing journey - I let go. 

It's possible that I let go for the first time ever while running.
I wasn't in my head.
I wasn't worried about my pace,
keeping up,
catching up,
finishing first,
not finishing last,
finishing at all....
Instead of hiding behind my visor with my head down trying not to look ahead at how much farther I need to go . . . how big the hill in front of me is . . . how far away the finish line is. . .  I held my head up. I ran with my chest proud, my shoulders back and down and my eyes front.  I listened to the music in my ears and I just ran.... and it was amazing!

All of this... these months of running. All of the crack-of-dawn miles now under my belt.... they are a marathon in themselves.  If  I was too foolish to enjoy them, take pride in them, stop and drink in the moment.... I will not make that mistake again.  This entire journey has been a victory for me.  I have learned a lot about myself this past 12 months.  I now know what I am made of. 

My amazing Stroller Stirides and Body Back instructor Kelly tells us at the most difficult moments during Body Back "Show yourself!"   Next Sunday, that is exactly what I am going to do. And while I will be pushing myself and digging deep - Next Sunday... no matter what, I plan to savor every mile.

Next up...... The Tough Mudder! 11 miles of INSANITY!


September 19, 2011

Social Media

Has social Media killed society? Well.... I don't think I can say it's gone that far, but I do think it's killing me damaging my "literary brain" a little bit.  It has, at the very least made me LAZY!

I received an email last week from a friend, one that goes all the way back with me to kindergarten.  He titled his email "On being a good pen pal". Before even opening this correspondence I was rife with guilt. You see... *I* have not been a very good "Pen Pal" to this long time friend of mine; Someone who not only initiates our email correspondence each and every time, but  who always has something to say, offer and who provides sage words for me a frequent basis.  You see, social media has allowed me to assuage my guilt by tossing out these little blurbs via "comments" from time to time. It makes me feel on a daily basis that I've acknowledged and validated people existence on a daily basis without having to do or say much of anything at all! And in that respect.. "Ah, Social Media, I love you!" But in reality.... Someone deserves so much more that a few passing words from me, don't they?

Social Media is good for keeping me connected in some small way to the people that I grew up with and now live so very far away from, IF in fact I want to maintain some sort of connection. It allows me to see what their day to day lives look like and comment from time to time to know that I care what they do or say, but it's all very surface. I must give props to Social Media for reconnecting me to some people that I truly do need to be in better touch with and for strengthening and in some cases creating friendships that may not have existed. But oh.... it's so easy to tweet the mundane details of my life and update my status regarding my life, family, kids, running, etc.... in that I feel as though I've got it covered and why then sit down and try to make witty remarks about my day?

Social Media has made me not want to expand upon my musings, mishaps or milestones. My dear friend Dark Touch said this in his email to me and it was like a shovel to the side of my head... "
Facebook and Twitter kicked in and my updates became two sentence posts and my email became filled with advertisements and coupons". WOW! That's pretty much what's happened to me. I dread even opening my email anymore. It's all Twitter and Facebook email's - shit I've already read on Twitter and Facebook and then a whole bunch of Junk and well.... I have no need to write or respond or even think really.

So my status last night on Facebook that said:
I'm starting to feel like all these endorphins are killing brain cells. I simply cannot put a coherent thought down since stepping up my game physically. I ran 8 miles today and I'd love to blog about it and how marathon training is going {6 weeks to go} but alas my brain is mush...........

Maybe it's social media that's killing my brain cells and not the endorphins..... Food for though. I'm going to try to be better about this......

By the way... I'm a runner now. I'm running a half marathon in 6 weeks and I ran 8 miles yesterday. My longest run to date. I have no clue what I am doing and I'm loving every minute of it! {God these status update length blurbs do rock though!}


September 14, 2011

Summer of Shelbi

I'd like to say that I feel guilty about my Summer of Shelbi, but I don't think I do.  It's not like I ran away and neglected my children. In fact Gigi & Lula were/are probably better off for it. I took some time for me. Read a book and am half way through a second. I love books, I love reading, I can and often have read a book in one sitting, but four years ago I became a mother and my "down time" was filled with any and every thing other than reading. Falling too exhausted into bed at the end of the day I turn the television on and a veg out rather than read.  I think I've read 3 maybe 4 books {if you don't count the umpteen thousand children's books or parenting books} in the last 4 years, shameful, I know.

Fit Mama

I spent 16 weeks this summer working my butt off {literally}at Body Back  I lost weight, lost tons of inches, and gained some serious strength and endurance. I was just about ready to run a half marathon next month {my first} in celebration of my 35th birthday. But my competitive side got the best of me and I fractured my tibia. Being benched to recover was not in the cards for me if I wanted to run an early October half Marathon not to mention highly frustrating. I couldn't think of anything worse but....6 weeks of recovery later and I discover that 16 weeks of busting my butt are gone down the drain. Turns out feeling like you're back at square one is a lot more annoying than having to sit on the sideline and watch everyone else play for two months. Well strength and endurance wise at least... I will hold onto the slim silver lining that I haven't gained any weight back.  Now I have to figure out how to get myself ready to cross the finish line of a November Half Marathon instead. 

Are you wondering how 16 weeks of Body Back boot camp for Mommy has made life for Gigi & Lula better?? Well.... endorphins are a wonderful thing!  Not only that, but a stronger, leaner, more empowered mommy is a happier mommy. Feeling fit and sexy = feeling good about yourself. Feeling good about yourself makes you someone people want to be around.  My kids found me wanting to be in my swim suit all summer at the pool and we logged some serious pool time!  Gigi & Lula are both independent swimmers now! Check that out. More independent, empowered kiddos = happier kiddos. Happier Kiddos are kiddos people want to be around. So Mommy taking time to get fit made mommy want to spend the summer in a swim suit at the pool which in turn gave the girls the time and courage they needed to take of swimming all on their own! {more about this awesome news in a minute}  Taking the few hours a week to myself to workout, surround myself with amazing, supportive, motivating, women and catch a breath from being Mommy 24/7 made me a much better mother. There is no doubt in my mind that I got what I needed to I could give the kids what they needed.

{Not so} Selfish Vacation

After spending the summer getting ready to run 13.1 miles I was broken hearted when I came up lame two months ago. To be honest I came up lame 3 months ago but ignored my body refusing to believe, give in or admit that I was injured.  Upon being ordered to complete rest for 6-8 weeks by my doctor I felt seriously depressed.  More so because all of my BFFs were out there starting their training for the November Half Marathon. I was hearing about these great runs and they were running together. i was supposed to do a third session of Body Back {mostly because I could not stand to leave this extraordinary group of women} but I was hurt so now they are having all these amazing experiences without me.... I was dying. It seriously felt like my heart was breaking.  Wicked-Step-Mother to the rescue! My anything but wicked Step-Mother saw a way to cheer everyone up but finding a smoking deal on flights back east.  She flew the girls and I to Florida for three weeks. Yup three weeks with my father, WSM, brothers, grandparents, and future sister-in-law. Three weeks of sub 100 temperatures. Three weeks of fresh air, outdoor adventures, heaven.

So I jumped at the chance. I took Gigi out of school for three weeks. I did feel a little guilty. she had three days of school and then was gone for three weeks, but.... it's preschool. She's extremely bright at the same school as last year with the same teacher {who I cannot say enough how much I love!} she would be fine!  She and Lula were more than fine! This was possibly the best vacation I have taken in a very long time!  The girls are old enough to take on adventures and do stuff with and actually know that they are enjoying and learning and...we. did. everything! This "selfish vacation" to get me out of dodge, away from the fact that I'm sitting on my but healing while all my friends are out there running, away from the heat and the cabin fever that comes along with it ended up being a vacation where everyone got what they needed.

We explored Wakulla Springs both in a boat and in the water.  The girls got to see more gators than I cared to see in water I was about to swim in.  Okay, honestly one gator is more than I want to see in water I am swimming in, but the springs are home to hundreds and we saw at least twenty. We saw turtles and manatee and every manor of bird and then we swam in the cleanest, clearest water I have ever seen in my life.  Taking in dip in the cool almost cold spring water was like taking a dip in the fountain of youth. It just felt special. In fact the water was so spectacularly refreshing and beautiful that it didn't take long to forget that we'd just been exploring the spring a few hundred yards away where we saw alligators sunning themselves.

We spent an afternoon in a cave. Yup, a cave.  We saw stalactites and stalagmites and tiny bats and honestly all had a great time exploring the cave. Not something I thought I'd ever do, but then again I was pretty sure I'd never get into a body of water in Florida that wasn't the ocean for fear of gators, but I did that  without too much hesitation at the springs.

We caught toads, and tree frogs and butterflies and lizards and saw a handful of deer. We climbed trees and fed ducks played in the rain and practically swam in large rain puddles. Just about everyday held some sort of nature adventure. The girls played and explored and learned and touched and had an all around amazing experience.  They even got to celebrate FSU's first football game of the season by tailgating at FSU decked out in their Seminole finest!

It's been a full summer. I've been busying living life and not so much archiving it.  I have tried to become a more adept photographer and chronicle this summer in that manner, but I am back now in front of my computer and I expect with 3 and 4 year old daughters I shall have my fill of mishaps to share. Here's hoping that there are a few milestones as well!

Introducing Auntie Erin, marrying my baby brother, Sean in March 2012!! :)

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