Monday, June 17, 2013

St Louis Botanical Gardens

Before we left St Louis we took a trip over to the Botanical Gardens.  The gardens are right next door to my nephew Kyle and his wife Rachel.  Rachel was making an awesome lunch for us before we headed home so we ventured into the botanical gardens before we ate.  The weather was amazing, hot bright sunshine..... like 92 degrees with 90% humidity.  I was loving it but the kids..... not so much.  

They wanted to see the fish with the big mouths and of course they were all the way on the other side of the gardens.  We got a stroller for Max and Mally had to ride on top of the basket.  Elly had to walk and she was not a happy girl, she was hot, she was tired, she didn't like looking at the flowers, her legs hurt, her feet hurt, she was hot....   Anything you could find for her to do that would distract her from her discomfort..... there was a path around the stream that we didn't know where it went, she got to go back there without anyone else.  See her back there?

She came back out and back to being hot and tired.  So we keep heading for the fish with the big mouths.  We made it.... they are huge and they really do have big mouths.

The fish were on a sunny bridge with no shade and Elly was melting.  I seen a zig zag bridge across the pond so I told her that her and I could walk it.  She loved it and walked back and forth about 4 times.  I thought it was a bit creepy walking out in the yucky big mouth fishy waters but anything to make her smile.

We rested in the shade for quite some time to give the kids a break from the sun.  Coming from Wisconsin weather into 90+ degrees isn't easy on them.  After we ventured off again Elly asked if she could take a picture with my camera, I really didn't want her to because I don't use a strap on my camera so therefore I don't even attach it so she would be holding it free hand in a place with lots of water and concrete.  She got a sad face so of course Grandma says.... you can take a picture with my phone.  Well that was the end of her complaining she skipped through the rest of the gardens filling my phone with hundreds of photos.  I thing it actually made her pay attention to what was there vs not seeing anything and concentrating on just the heat.  

Here was a water break for the kids.  Mallory and Maxwell gave the animals a bath and scrubbed them with leaves they found... such imaginations they have.

Next we went into this building.....  but that's another post.... stay tuned it's worth the wait.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Another family wedding

My very first nephew got married this last Friday night.  He and his new wife picked a special day for their wedding.  It is Ellen's grandparents anniversary and Jarrod's grandparents anniversary so why not make it their anniversary.  Something kinda special is the grandparents were married on the same day the same year.  A special bond that started 61 years ago - June 14th

The wedding was in St Louis so once again I traveled down south to the hot, hot weather (oh poor me it was a tough job soaking in all that sunshine and heat).  This time I traveled with Lynn, Ellyn, Mallory, Maxwell, Gayle, Dad and Joanne.  The trip started out with storm chasing, we were driving right into them.  Rain, winds, lightning, darkness.... We kept texting people we knew in the path and they kept telling us how bad it was.  So we pulled into a wayside and sat it out for 20 minutes, we got back on the road again and watched the radar as we traveled as far as we could.  We stopped in the heart of the storm for the night and finished the night out in the pool with pizza delivery.  

The next day was sunshiny and much better travel weather.  We got to St Louis and out prayers were answered...... outdoor pool and 90+ degrees.  We finally got summer, too bad we had to travel for it.  

The wedding was Friday night so we spent Friday morning and afternoon with family and shopping the streets of St Louis in the "junkin" area.  So much fun.  

The wedding was at a beautiful church.  Here Elly, Max and Mally stopped for picture.  They all looked so cute and were so excited for the wedding.  They really have been good travelers.

The inside of the church was just as beautiful as the outside.  Here is Jarrod and his new wife with their attendants.  Jarrod had all his brothers as groomsmen, it was pretty special to see them all standing up there.  Sharon had to be pretty proud of her boys.  

Mr and Mrs Jarrod Wells

A special moment between them.  Love their look

I didn't take many pictures at the wedding, it felt wonderful to be camera free.

The reception started with men in tuxes serving Italian bites of wonderfullness, and champaign glasses on black trays.  They paraded around to serve you.  Then as we were seated they paraded by with each course of the meal and came out in rows like you see on TV.  Lynn and I were in heaven with all the Italian food, it was just what we needed.  Our camera phones were going crazy letting the guys know what they missed.  

During the Father/Daughter dance they invited all fathers and daughter to join them.  I snatched up my dad.  During the Son/Mother dance they invited sons and mothers to join them.... This little man snatched up his mommy for a dance.

What a special wedding and a great time spent with family.  St Louis is beautiful and my southern family is amazing.  Miss you all already.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Up North with a crew

Last weekend we spent time at the cottage with Adam and his friends.  A bit scary thinking about all these young boys (and girls) and the trouble they could get into..... will the neighbors kick us out when the music is too loud, the fire too big and the nights last till wee hours of the morning???

Friday night started with unpacking, setting up camp and fishing.  Brad did catch some pretty nice fish out of the river but he was on the catch and release plan.... I was upset I didn't get his picture of him and his fish and Adam says "mom he's not 10 anymore"  Dang boys just don't understand

One of the fish was pretty good size, it bent his pole for quite a while as he tried to bring it in and then his line snapped.  

Baby A and Easton had trusty skeeter nets that were a life saver, they were quite protected under them as the rest of us were eaten alive.  The skeeter would disappear after like 9:00 so that was nice.

As I said boys will be boys.  They got bored and started chopping down huge trees with an axe for firewood.

Of course you have to have sparklers

Even for the big boys..... well Skyler isn't really that big

Spent lots of hours right here.

John has this huge yard light that lights up the entire backyard.  Now worries of sitting in the dark here.

Tried a fun sparkler shot but I guess I had the wrong settings..... we really didn't start them on fire.

More sparkler fun with Adam and Monica.  Here they are lighting their sparklers

Then making a heart

And me combining the two photos together

Gotta love campfires..... this is what summer nights are for.  Spending time with family and friends, making memories and sharing stories.  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Kala and Gerry's + E-pic sneak peek

Our weekend up north finally worked to get in Kala and Gerry's engagement pictures.  The day was perfect except for the skeeters.  Thousands and thousands of them so a change in plans once again.  Our location was going to be in the woods since this is where Kala and Gerry like to spend most of their time 4-wheeling.  So we met in town and the locations couldn't have been more fun.  So refreshing having new locations.

Kala has lots of fun ideas planned for her wedding and is doing everything herself with great help from family and friends.  Since Kala loves fun I couldn't resist the bubbles I happen to have with me.  Gerry loves this girl and everything she does and you can so tell in this photo.

Lots of horns beeping while we were in town.  Kala had a hard time getting used to this but by the time  we were done she was thinking it was kinda cool as the 20+ motorcycles went by beeping and it's not even the wedding day yet.  

Kala and Gerry love their fishing as well so this painting was a must.

We did do a few shots in the woods with the 4 wheelers and after 500,000 bites for each of us in the first 2 minutes we made it very quick.

So not fair they got to speed away from those bugs as I stood there and got eaten.  

Thank you Kala and Gerry, it was a great time and don't worry about the skeeter bites they don't bother me.  I'm pretty lucky that mine disappear by the next day and never do itch.   

Monday, June 3, 2013

Baby A getting too big

Baby A is getting so big, he's into smiling and talking back to you.  He is the happiest baby ever, he can just lay all by himself and be so content unless he's hungry.  

I wonder how long I can call him Baby A?

Last time I got to see this little guy his Auntie Shannon was snuggling him.  She is the baby whisperer of the family and loves to get her snuggles in when she can, and that includes not sharing.  So tonight no Shannon to share with :)

Love this little face

Adam and Monica bring the dog over too.  He has to stay outside but he lays right in the patio door so he can see both Adams.

Adam thought he needed to take Chunk's picture which he got through the glass and screen, I'm not sure how..... pure luck    (see story below)  

And this is why I don't have any pictures of myself.  Adam tries to take a picture of me and Baby A.  

Doesn't know how to focus the camera.... blurryness

I talk him through that and then he doesn't know how to shoot in Manual.... too dark

I talk him through putting it in Auto and we finally get a picture of me and Baby A....