Monday, August 18, 2014


We spent the past weekend completely unplugged; cell signals were few and far between. It was a little concerning at times, like when we wanted to check the weather or check in on Lilly, but mostly, it was a nice change of pace.

Trying to wait out an early morning rain…someone really wanted to get in the car with me.
The world is her stage.
The world is his playground.

We did a lot of hiking and exploring. Sydney couldn't get enough of it. I love seeing the little adventurer in her blossom. 

If it's true that all dogs go to heaven, then there are definitely lots of rivers and lakes in heaven.

On our second day of hiking we went on a lush ravine trail that started near our campground at Shades State Park in Indiana. I don't feel like the photos do the trail justice, it was stuningly beautiful. I felt like we were in the PNW not rural Indiana.

Skipping rocks. A mandatory summer activity. 
As usual, the camping trip also involved lots of rain, "Mr. Longlegs" (spiders), pit toilets, and a few tears, but we had a great time and are looking forward to doing it again, hopefully with both girls next time!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Our Family Vacation

Vacations. They never go 100% as planned, they are never long enough, but they are always worth it.

We are back home, back to the grind, but we are back with another pot of memories that we can draw from at any time. Photos sweeten the pot.

A few (ok - many) bits of sugar from our pot to share with you:

We rented an awesome little house by the sea.

The kids did great on the flight out (long story about the trip home) and they all seemed to love the beach (except for the waves at times).

Siesta Key Village is a charming little strip that was a few blocks from our house. We didn't eat many official meals out  with such a big group, but since everything was so close we managed to indulge plenty with some of the best mini doughnuts, coconut mocha, gelato, crab cakes, chocolate croissants, pizza, micro-brew, and more! 

Some of us took a little kayak excursion through the mangrove tunnels off of Lido Key. The mangroves are now (thankfully) protected from any further cutting and are slowly growing in over the years so I am glad we were able to experience this while the tunnels still exist. We also saw dolphins and manatees while we were out in the bay.

They guys went on a deep sea fishing trip (which didn't go so well for Jon thanks to a blown ear drum) so in turn, the girls got to go out for a sunset cruise. We were on a small sailing catamaran with just us and another nice local couple. It was fabulous.

There was a lot of time spent with surf, sand, and family.

crazy awesome waterspout viewed from our patio

A hot sauce bar?! That is true awesomesauce Tijuana Flats.
Lunch stop at one of our favorite spots at Bradenton beach. If only Lillian would have behaved! 
We spent an afternoon at the Mote Marine Lab and Aquarium.  
Note the "Not A Step" sign. Fail.

I'll end with an impromptu beach family photo shoot. I only wish we would have gotten a big group shot.

The return of the "pouty face"