fall, i heart you

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 one big love note to fall!


ballerina beauty

ok, after you get past the fact that she looks like 12 years old in these pictures, aren’t they absolutely gorgeous!? berkley beth you are growing up too dang fast!

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^ she was a turtle in Alice in Wonderland

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^some of the fam made it to town for the big show!  she was beyond thrilled.

1407_original (1)and to all those lucky dads who got to sit through a junior ballet on Father’s Day, you are the best.


what a fabulous thing cruises are! although when you get on and think it’s only a 4 night cruise, you should really hope you have an awesome dog sitter who gladly accepts another day and a mother who works for the airline and can change your flights….or just pay attention when you book it in the first place!  i really like how easy cruising is.  you don’t have to decide where to go for dinner.  you don’t have to rent a car or catch taxis.  they have daycare and you know your kid isn’t going anywhere [except possibly in the water, but really there is no need to go thinking morbid thoughts like that because the kids program was really great] and you get free date nights with free entertainment!!

it was a really lovely experience, as you can see from the massive photo dump below!


^ bug obviously enjoyed herself, as you can see through all the pictures! she’s been on a “god bless america” kick lately, i’m pretty sure i’ve heard it over a 100x by now
6414     111_originalwe spent a whole day at Atlantis, which was amazing!  bug wasn’t quite tall enough to ride the really scary rides [thank goodness, she would have hated them], but shane and i tried them out.  the abyss, a 200 ft drop through the dark basically, was our favorite.  there were lots of kid friendly slides/pools/play areas and an awesome lazy river with rapids!61 62

we also toured through all of their aquariums and outdoor viewing areas ^  we saw the HUGE manta ray below at the very beginning of the day and jumped around like a bunch of loonies! 658274112_original

^ shane on the slide, going through the shark tank80
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^ the forecast kept calling for rain every day, but we ended up with only a brief spell on the last day!71 83 85116_original

^ bug cherished every moment she got to dress up and act all fancy!  the food and staff were truly outstanding!


^ the second port stop was Half-moon Cay, Bahamas.  this was one of our favorites! it is only used for cruise ship docking and is uninhabited, and thus so clean and gorgeous!98108_original (1)

^ grit those teeth girl. [i consider it quite an accomplishment that the exposed scalp there did not fry after getting those braids, although i was deathly afraid it would]
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we spent the last day in port at Grand Turk.  we hung out at Margaritaville, in their huge swim up pool basically all day. well, until they did the booty shakin contest and bug asked to move up closer to see better…..we left then.104 001 99

^ while on the ship we saw some great shows, learned how to fold these little guys at home, watched a lot of karaoke [and they also randomly pulled in stevie wonder for one show. no joke! we thought it was at first, but nope. really him. and bug adored it]2217i think i should become a travel blogger or something of that nature, don’t ya think?! i could definitely do this year round!

welcome to miami where the heat is on

and mama got fried like a pickle on the very first day of vacation…

but we won’t start there!  oh no, we had such a jolly good time trying out planes on the way there, that we have to start there.  we boarded our flight at 5:45 am, they closed the door to the plane and then immediately announced that we would have to deplane due to an alignment issue with the nose.  they will put us on another plane that is ready to go, with the nose aligned.  we board that plane and half way through the process hear a loud crash!  we are then informed that the door [which is also the stairs] has fallen off, leaving us stuck on the plane until they could jerry-rig some stairs to get us off.  we were then informed our flight was cancelled and all passengers would need to be rerouted or rescheduled.

and then the beauty of flying standby displayed itself in full glory [it is not always an easy thing to fly standby, as i mentioned here]! as we were exiting the plane, we walked by a gate that was boarding for Charlotte, made a split decision to connect there and were able to hop on while our fellow passengers created a monstrous line at the help desk!  VICTORY!

welcome to the land of art deco, endless sunny skies, and lots o booty shorts!

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^ a family bathroom pic.  yep, we went there. 829

^ hot dog on the head.  you are a brave soul husband.109_original (1)50

^ mojitos and cuban food [aka heaven]34 37114_original

^ la princessa.  rocking the oversized shades on the daily.

^ probably one of the cutest hotels we’ve stayed at, the Pestana. we loved that we could sit at the little cafe and eat while bug played in the pool!7 25_original (1)3042105_original (1)16

^ putting on a show [she was applauded by strangers walking by when she was finished]104_original (1)10


^ we got to meet up with some good friends110_original25and then it was on to da cruise! ^ i tried to fit it all in one post, but it wasn’t happening.

spring time lovin

spring just warms my heart.

it’s a season that inspires people to randomly start cleaning. you get to dust off your sandals and paint your toes. then there is tennis, tennis, and more tennis (and even swimming in the not so far off future!). plus there are bright colorful flowers everywhere!! i am finally shaking the winter doldrums off and getting inspired.  inspired to exercise, inspired to paint or be crafty, inspired to do wonderful and glorious things (like walk to the ice cream shop down the road)!


85spring clothes and no more tights (thank goodness)


so cheers to you spring!

for the love of art

the older i get, the more i appreciate art.  i have filled up our home with all sorts of painting/photos/sculptures/etc. and am constantly craving more!!  i adore how diverse and different each piece of art is and how they all evoke different feelings or memories!

[note:  having a miniature artist in the house helps my craving for new artwork.  she is always willing to provide! ]

blown glass from Venice, Italy ^

paintings by my great-grandmother ^

Steve Keene 2011 ^

refrigerator art ^ done by my little artist bug  [see some of her favorite artwork hanging on her bedroom wall in this post]and my personal favorite form of art ^

the falls

while my sisters were in town we had two cloudy gloomy days in a row.  they were the type of days where one minute it would be almost sunny and the next minute it was sprinkling again.  we got tired of sitting around the house and decided to brave the weather and check out the Great Falls Park near our house, and boy were we glad!  it was really beautiful, even on a cloudy rainy day!

extreme curl envy happening right now. i wish i could say she got it from me!!


Oh the morning!  Such a beautiful time of day, normally spent rushing around, attempting to get myself and the little bug ready and to work/school at a somewhat reasonable hour (rarely accomplishing that thanks to DC traffic). This morning, however, I did take a few well deserved moments to stop and enjoy the things around me.

The trees outside our apartment are amazing!  It’s definitely one of the things I like the most about this area.

Bug took a few minutes to do something she enjoys, climbing trees.  I miss this [not very easy to do in heels].



I was able to get off work early enough to make it to the tail end of a work happy hour!!!!  It was so nice to see people other than my audit team (not that I don’t love them and all).        I was also able to take in this amazing sunset 🙂 today was a very happy day!