Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bon Voyage

So my mommy vacation is finally here! 
I am headed to Columbus today to meet my mom and then at noon tomorrow we 
will be on a plane headed to Europe, where we will meet up with my sister who is already there.
I have been preparing my kids and myself for this 10 day trip for 
over a month.  I am going on a cruise and visiting 
Venice, Italy
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Corfu, Greece
Santorini, Greece
Kusadasi, Turkey
Piraeus, Greece
Katakolon, Greece
While I have been packing, writing letters to my kids, 
and trying to stay caught up with the laundry, I have also been enjoying my summer 
with the kids.
Bubba had his last games last week.  He had a blast this year and the 
icing on the cake was having Dad as a coach.  
{Rally Caps On}
The last game for our Dairy Queen team was Saturday night.  
After the game we stopped by Dairy Queen, and they treated the 
team and coaches to FREE ice cream.  The smiles on the boys faces were 
  We put checked something off our summer bucket list this week. 
Having a lemonade stand.  
The girls have been begging me since school's been out to have a lemonade stand. 
I gave in, and the kid's did really good.  They learned how to approach people (and how not to shout at people in cars to buy lemonade), how to make change, and how to work as a team.    

{Lil Miss was their best customer} 
We have also gotten a lot of our Back to School stuff.  
I don't want to think about it... but August 13th will be here before I know it.  
I am going to miss my lovebugs everyday that I am gone, but I 
know I am leaving them in very good hands.  
Daddy will spoil them and they will be begging me to stay longer.  LOL 
So I have my bags packed....
and Daddy ready to take care of 3 girls. 
Now if only they could fit in my luggage.  
Europe here I come.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Little Boys

Every year I find a little time to shoot a few pictures of Beth's boys and their family. 
Her boys are super cute and I love how I can always manage to 
get them to smile for me.  Even if it does take me acting pretty silly and short of me standing on my head.
They have grown so much.  
Lincoln has grown leaps and bounds just from his birthday at the beginning of June. 
Here are their pics from last year. 
The littlest Reed, well he is just the best baby in the world.  
No Lie. 
 Beth and Scott sure have a lot of memories here in Tennessee. 
It is where they were engaged and where they were married. 
 {The family}

 I love taking these shots.  
It challenges me each year to think outside the box and find a 
new place to capture these boys smiles. 
 Little Boys are the Cutest! 

Red, White and Boom

July Fourth means Grandma Judy's in Tennessee.  
This year was no exception. 
We love going to Norris Lake.  
The views, the family time, the food, and of course 
 We came down to Tennessee to find a huge pine tree (I mean Mammoth) had fallen over in a storm. 
Luckily the tree missed both docks as it fell into the water.  
The root system alone is astonishing. 
Everyday we spent our time in either the boat or the pool.  
It's the way vacations are supposed to be spent. 

 The mornings were so peaceful.  
With the sun shining in the windows, I was able to be up before the crew and get 
a little reading done.  I had brought a book from the library and 
actually had time to read it.  I even finished the book in 2 days!! 
Oh, how I love books.  The smell, the wonderful words describing every detail of the scene, the emotional roller coaster they take you on (yes I cried), I am just a lover of all books.  
When I wasn't reading or swimming or busy getting an awesome tan, I was running. 
I am so proud of Rosie and Bubba.  
They completed their first adult 5K on Saturday and man did they have to work for it.  
The course is basically set on the side of a mountain and at times it felt like you were going straight up or straight down.  Rosetta rocked it out in 37 minutes.  
Bubba and I finished holding hands at 42 minutes.  
We cooled off in the pool after that. 

   On Saturday night, we watched the fireworks from the Lake.  
Everyone was decked out in their red, white, and blue to celebrate. 

 {Uncle Nate and Lincoln}
 There was lots of fascination with the sparklers. 
Lil Miss was the only one too scared to touch them.    

Strike a Pose
 Up way past our bedtimes, we all got a spot on our dock to watch the light show.  
Last year, the fireworks were cancelled due to rain but this year the weather couldn't have been more perfect. 

 Ooohs  and Aaaaahs. 
Fireworks are always so beautiful.  
The next morning we packed up our van and headed back to Iowa.  
We had a 10 hour drive but we broke it up with a few pit stops. 
The first pit stop was lunch in Corbin, Kentucky at the original KFC. 
For the past 15 years Nate has passed the brown sign on the side of I-75 and 
mentioned we should stop there.  
This time he was driving and it was 11:30 and there wasn't a reason to not stop. 
The had a life size Colonel Sanders, KFC original artifacts, the original kitchen 
that was used to cook the original recipe chicken legs, and food.  
We love KFC! 
Another great Fourth of July!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

10 Years...

How can time go so fast and yet feel like "just yesterday" at the same time?
As I look at photos of us from 19 years ago, I see how really young we were. 
At the same time, I can still remember the summer we met at band camp (oh yes we did)
and the nicknames we gave to each other as we became the best of friends. 
The long phone calls to each other as our friendship grew and the 
moment you asked me "so, do you want to be my girlfriend?"
Then I think of all of the memories we have made and 
it would be impossible to list all the adventures we have had. 

This day 10 years ago, was picture perfect. 
I remember white puffy clouds in the sky, perfect June temperatures and 
the anticipation of marrying my best friend. 

 We had the best wedding party.  
Goofy, fun and ready to party! 

 We have had our share of ups and downs the last 10 years as well, 
but I had you there to hold my hand and talk me through everything.  
You always made me feel better and knew just what to say. 
You loved me at my darkest time and when I wanted to push 
everyone away you held me close and didn't let me go.  
10 years later, our house is filled with laughter, Legos, princess shoes, 
barbies, more toys than we can count. 
It really is more than we could have ever dreamed. 
10 Years
522 Weeks
3652 Days
3 Miscarriages
4 Children
3 Cities
2 Houses
1000s of welcome home kisses
Only one first kiss

You were my first kiss 19 years ago.  
Who would have ever imagined those two young kids would 
grow up and become us?
I am more in love with you every day.  
Seeing you with our kids makes me so happy. 
I am the luckiest girl in the world to have found my 
"happily ever after."

To many more years.