Posts Tagged ‘pictures’

Charleston Photos 2015

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

I went to the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. When I was looking at colleges, I picked out ones with strong marine biology programs because I was 1000% sure I wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up. And look how that worked out! Here I am, an extremely successful marine biolo- what? I’m not actually a marine biologist, because sometimes the thing you decided you wanted to be when you were 7 years old isn’t a thing you are actually good at? I never would have believed you when I was 17.

When I was 16 I learned to scuba dive and went on a 3 week dive trip in the British Virgin Islands, which made me even more sure I wanted to be a biologist. One of my instructors/adult supervisors was named Will and he was a professor at the College of Charleston. He also drove a motorcycle and had a huge scar on his leg from where he was bitten by a nurse shark once. I figured if C of C was cool enough to have him as a professor, then I should definitely go there.

After I narrowed my college choices down to a handful, my mom and I drove south for 8 hours to visit the schools I was thinking about. We drove down I-95, took the exit for I-26 and followed that directly into downtown Charleston. I hadn’t even gotten out of the car before I decided that was where I was going. During the campus tour I barely paid attention because it didn’t matter – I was moving to Charleston. My mom suggested I apply to some of my other schools at back ups, which I did, but only because they didn’t require essays. There was no point. I was so in love with Charleston I would have moved there even if I hadn’t gotten in.

You can tell I really love my husband because I was willing to leave my favorite city to be with him, although I did insist my entire family, all my friends, his entire family, most of his friends, plus my husband himself (who had been transferred to San Diego) all come back to Charleston for the wedding.

It’s just a perfect coincidence that Kiawah, the site of our borrowed beach house, is just outside Charleston. This year my college roommate (who feels the same way about Charleston as I do, at least I’m pretty sure) had the good idea to stay an extra night in the city before the beach, so we could eat there and walk there and take pictures there without dragging all the kids back in from the beach. I think we’ll make it a tradition, so I can get a picture of my kids in this alley every year for the rest of their lives.

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Our hotel is that one right behind Evan. I’ve alway wanted to stay there, and not just because I love that fountain.

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That restaurant is where my college roommate and her husband got married, so obviously we all had to go there.

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That pink house is the narrowest house in the city, less than 15 feet. I would live in it in a second.

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Kiawah Island 2015

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

This is our fifth year in this borrowed beach house, but only the second time E has been able to come. Technically he was there for 24 hours last year, but I did the 2 day drive by myself so that doesn’t count as being there. He drove this year, the whole way, and I got to sleep and hand stuff to the kids in the back which is the perfect start to vacation. It turns out Linc is an amazing road tripper and his presence barely slowed us down, so the driving was well worth the end result.

Kiawah is amazing. It’s an incredible vacation just because of the setting, but the key to a true dream vacation is to have more bathrooms than you have adults. Never having to wait for a bathroom or use a bathroom on the same floor where everyone is eating or worry someone is hearing you in the bathroom or having to take a cold shower because everyone else used up the hot water is an amazing luxury. It’s why rich people are so much happier than regular people. Bathrooms.

Bathrooms are especially key when the main sources of beach house entertainment are eating and drinking and drinking. We’ve gotten pretty good at our menu and consolidating our shopping down to two big trips and then only a few smaller trips for emergency supplies (like limes, and another 5 pound bag of sugar since we managed to use the first one up in less than 36 hours). There was cake and more cake and an apple crisp and Lowcountry Boil, which is seafood and corn and sausage, and Bo Ssam, which is huge plates of pork with rice and lettuce and ginger sauce, and one thousand cocktails, which is the appropriate number of cocktails on vacation. We ate until we could barely move and then we played cards, because even though we were on vacation we are all responsible adults now and can’t get falling down drunk at 2 pm. I like cards better than throwing up anyway.

I took thousands and thousands of pictures, culled and edited them down to several hundred, and I uploaded exactly 100 photos for this post. I know that’s a ridiculous number and I ought to feel bad about my self-indulgence, especially because even though there were 7 adults and 6 kids at the beach house 99% of my pictures of just of my children. But I don’t. While we were in the kitchen, trying to remember specifics from previous years, one of my friends pulled up pictures from a previous year. I was surprised she still had them on her laptop, but she said actually she didn’t, she just looked at them on my blog. So it’s my duty to document this glorious vacation for posterity. Or at least so I can show the kids in a couple months and remind them that they are some very lucky children.

Previous years: 2011 2012 2013 2014

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There is a hair in my lens. It makes that shadow in the top right and the line just left and below center. If I print anything I will take the time to clone it out, but for now I don’t care enough. It ONLY shows when I photograph landscapes/sky at 28mm.

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Take Us Out To The Ball Game

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

I love minor league baseball. I mean, I love major league baseball too, if I get to actually go to the game in person. But major league baseball games are a) expensive b) far away and c) expensive, so I mostly stick to local minor league games. Our team here in town has changed names at least 3 times since we’ve lived here. First they were the Gators (maybe?), then they were The Defenders (I’m sure about that one), now they are the Connecticut Tigers. I appreciate that they make it family friendly. And cheap. Sitting in the first row right on the 3rd base line make the game much more fun for the big kids.

Poor Linc though. Baseball stadiums aren’t exactly baby-friendly, especially for a baby who just started walking and climbing steps. I felt like I spent most of the game wrestling an angry, wet badger. He did seem to like the baseball food, which kept him partially entertained. I mean, who doesn’t like licking the salt off of soft-baked pretzels?

After the game the kids got to run the bases, which they thought was neat. At the end they each got a coupon for free Ben & Jerry’s, which I think is neat, because I can make them share one scoop while I eat the other. Win win.

Photographic proof of our fun and/or eating:

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Running away…

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Linc thought this game was super fun.

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I think that mascot was hitting on my husband.

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Linc also thought this was a fun game (despite his face not looking so fun).

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Several Truths And One Big Lie About Mother’s Day

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

I did not have an excellent Mother’s Day. I’m not saying that to make my family feel bad or shame anyone. I’m saying that because there’s a pretty good chance YOU didn’t have an excellent Mother’s Day either and I want you to know you’re not alone. Those perfect, smiling, happy families on Instagram and Twitter probably didn’t have flawless Mother’s Days either. They might have had a very nice day. A spectacular day. But it was not perfect – perfect is the lie. Kids – even kids big enough to understand the concept of Mother’s Day – don’t stop being kids just because it’s the second Sunday in May. Not once has saying “But it’s Mother’s Day!!” to a tantruming child solved the problem. They do not suddenly stop being tired or hungry or frustrated and pull a bouquet of flowers out from behind their back and say “Oh dear mother, I had simply forgotten! Shall I fetch you a coffee or a glass of wine?” If that is your life, Mother’s Day or not, I hate you.

The problem as I see it is that Mother’s Day is supposed to be Special and things that are supposed to be Special just lead to disappointment. That is why women become bridezillas about their One Special  Wedding Day and freak out that every single second doesn’t go according to plan. The pressure of that ONE DAY is just too much. Mother’s Day is the ONE DAY a year we are supposed to be indulged and pampered and appreciated above ALL the other days. Sleeping in and breakfast in bed and champagne brunch and a family picnic and a manicure and a relaxing nap and a romantic dinner date and a thoughtful gift and a homemade card and flowers and a bottle of wine. If you family really loves you, they will do all of that. Except no, they won’t. And even if you don’t really need them to…even if you try really really hard to keep your expectations super low…even if you say “I will be happy if all I get is a card the kids made at school”…it’s hard to stare into the face of social expectations and be OK with not having a perfect day.

I actually would have had a pretty good Sunday if it had just been a Sunday. I got to lie in bed for an extra hour. My husband picked up lunch for all of us. I got to buy and plant flowers with the kids. And we finished the day by having s’mores for dinner on the newly cleaned patio. But I also did laundry and dishes and changed diapers and made decisions (ugh, DECISIONS) and dealt with tantrums and took the kids with me to run errands and bought paper towels. I really didn’t want to have to buy paper towels on Mother’s Day.

Let me tell you what I really want for Mother’s Day. I want to be a dad on a regular Sunday. I’m making generalizations here for the sake of simplicity, but in my social circle moms are almost always the default parent; the one the kids go to first for everything no matter who is closer/more available at that moment. On Mother’s Day, I want to be the dad. The fun parent. I want to say “Everyone jump in the car, we’re getting ice cream!” and not worry about if it’s too close to dinner or if we need to stop at the grocery store later to pick up stuff for school lunch the next day. The fun parent pees alone. The fun parent has time to read a book or a magazine or the back of a cereal box without being interrupted. The fun parent doesn’t always have one ear open for children’s whines or screams or cries or problems or squabbles 24 hours a day. The fun parent says “We’re out of mustard” into the fridge and, magically, mustard appears 24 hours later.

And then MAYBE on Mother’s Day all of us default parents will get a card and a bouquet and a nap not because it’s our One Special Day but because the fun parent wants to do something to acknowledge being a mom is kind of a tough job.

But since I am not a monster, I did in fact enjoy many parts of my Mother’s Day. The big kids – Caroline especially – remembered it was Mother’s Day and reminded me constantly I was supposed to be having The Best Mother’s Day Ever. There were s’mores. And now whenever we sit on the front steps for the bus we can admire the flowers we planted, together.

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She said the plants needed love to grow.

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Horsing Around (I May Have Used That Title Before)

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

I don’t often have a favorite child. Sometimes I have a least favorite child (defined as the one who is currently misbehaving/throwing a tantrum/crying/keeping me awake at 2 am) but that only lasts for a few minutes. Mothers have an infinite amount of love, so loving one kid infinite plus a little bit more is almost impossible.

That being said, I’ve been finding myself scheduling extra time with Caroline whenever possible lately. Four and four months seems to be a nice age for her. I mean, she’s still FOUR. Life is hard when you are four and you have to wear sneakers instead of sparkly shoes or can’t have candy for breakfast or have to go to bed when it is still light out or when the half-zebra is too far away from the fence and you can’t pet her. Caroline is the middle child, my only girl, the one who I worry about the most as she moves from being a baby into real life. She has so much confidence and curiosity and willingness to try new things right now but I know the day is coming when being herself will feel harder than going with the crowd. I want her to hold on to herself and be fearless as long as possible, so if she’s up for an adventure, I am up for an adventure.

She wakes up every day and wants to Do Fun Stuff. As soon as she hears about a cool place or fun activity it goes on her mental list of Fun Stuff We Should Do so if we have a whole in the schedule she is ready to fill it. And on the way to Doing Fun Stuff she wants to grab a frappuccino. Because who doesn’t love a frappuccino?

Our Sunday included TWO frappuccinos. We went to Target with the Starbucks at 8 am for the Lilly Pulitzer collection release but failed – our store didn’t even get any kid sizes in stock and the first 10 crazy women in the doors bought EVERYTHING else. There was one beach towel and a couple of glasses left at 8:05. Luckily Caroline found a couple of Easter dresses on clearance that she was perfectly happy to accept instead of Lilly (because she’s 4, she doesn’t care). Then when we came home she begged to do more fun stuff. I heard from a friend there was a fundraiser at Ray of Light Farm, so Caroline and I jumped in the car and went, leaving the boys at home. On the way back we had “frappuccinos” i.e. Coolatas from Dunkin Donuts and talked about what we would do for our next adventure.

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I made the mistake of telling her people sometimes have guinea pigs as pets, so obviously now she wants to know when she can get one. Maybe I should have told her some people eat guinea pigs instead.
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More goats. We really like goats. Also, they sold us that food for the special fundraiser day – I’m not THAT much of an a-hole to just feed animals right next to the sign that says don’t feed the animals.

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This horse was named Belle, which made her Caroline’s favorite.

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Waiting patiently for the half-zebra to wander over. She eventually did so our day was a success.

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Caroline’s outfit:
Hat – Gymboree outlet
Dress – Target
Leggings – BabyLegs
Boots – Zulily
Sweater (in the other pics) – J Crew Crew Cuts from the consignment shop
Glasses (in the other pics) – Zenni Optical

For the record, Caroline is only allowed non-coffee drinks. I’m not pumping my 4-year-old full of espresso – it’s mostly whipped cream and ice. And delicious.

 

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