Posts Tagged ‘charleston’

Kiawah 2016 (Part 1)

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Once I got to 80 pictures, I decided maybe this year desereved 2 posts. Theese are straight chronological, so there are some random food photos thrown in between actually intentional sessions between pool photos between snapshots.

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Waiting for cookies, because there is ALWAYS something baking at the beach house.

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I hate when people wander wander into my beach photos. Obvious I should get the WHOLE BEACH to myself.

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My college roommate and I (we went to college here in Charleston) took our girls into the city for “shopping and lunch’…but mostly to take pictures. You can tell, because I bought them matching dresses for pictures.

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This is the fence for the church where I got married.

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This is the theater across from the church. I havea beautiful painting of it in the entryway of my house.

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Our church.

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Chocolate cake for breakfast, because vacation.

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Erin and I took the boys to the Angel Oak for their photo opp. It was SO crowded, even at 9 am. It’s a miracle there aren’t tourists in every single photo.

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He’s winking, in case you couldn’t tell what that face was.

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We take turns cooking at the beach, usually the same menu every year (because we’ve almost perfected cooking for 13) but Erin added these AMAZING shrimp and grits this year. They’re extra good because the local shrimp came from a only *slightly* sketchy cooler at the farm stand down the street.

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We went through 6 pounds of strawberries in 5 days.  Also, these babies think they are big kids who can sit on stools. Next year we’ll have actual babies again (mine PLUS another!) for a total of 8 children, so maybe it’s ok that these toddlers will be a little more self-sufficient.

Part 2 will include both our first, mostly failed family photo session and our second, much better photo session. Our stupid photographer (me) messed up her settings on the first one with a stupid rookie mistake. Thank goodness the weather cooperated for a do-over.

I miss you already, Kiawah.

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.

My Week(248) in iPhone Photos

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

I am at the beach, where time means nothing, so I totes forgot to do this post yesterday. I’m not even sorry.



Grandpas are popular


My vacation started early because I went to Target alooooooone


That looks like poor choices



Evan and Caroline were REALLY excited about Linc’s birthday presents.


Oil change


Pizza crust is his favorite food



Soooooo much driving




There are other beds, they insist on sharing





This is the church where I got married! Also, it’s very hot. 


Charleston’s version of a splash park



Caroline loves that the city is full of horses




My husband is very much enjoying his scotch…I mean…vacation



I love this house


Lowcountry boil time


Hot Mess



Never leaving


A picture of me in a bikini. Almost.


Hanna Jams and reading time

I’m already late for a 10 am pool date with the kids where I am going to mostly ignore them while I float. Because the beach is amazing and you can do that here.

I’m slooooowly editing the 4000 photos I’ve already taken and will post way too many soon. And then next week I’ll repeat it all over for the lake. My life is not too bad right now.

5 Truths About Vacation

Monday, June 24th, 2013

1. If you are a parent and you take your kids with you on vacation, it’s not really vacation. It’s being a parent in a new and different (and hopefully more scenic) location. You still have extra bodies to dress and feed and clean and beg to go to sleep so you can drink your wine in peace. The only way to TRULY get a vacation is to leave the children somewhere else. Or bring a nanny.

2. Letting your children play in elevators is a poor choice. Even the small private elevator in your beach mansion. Hashtag RICH PEOPLE PROBLEMS. (Luckily Caroline bears no ill effects or claustrophobia from those terrifying 10 minutes.)

3. If you take 1000 vacation photos in a weekend, just switch to JPG instead of RAW so you don’t waste your entire vacation editing photos of drinks and food along with the beautiful shots of your children.

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4. Even if your children previously loved sand/water/swimming/the beach/the dark/cheeseburgers/naps/sleeping/eating/dogs/walking/singing/breathing/etc etc etc, they will insist they DO NOT love those things as soon as you get 200 miles from home. Especially if they are 2 and a half.

5. I need a vacation after my vacation. Luckily I can be totally lazy and sloth-like for the next couple of days while I finish editing photos and forcing you to look at them.

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p.s. Still an amazing vacation, even if I sound a little ungrateful slash spoiled. Driving home is the worst.

Kiawah Island 2012

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Amazing. Beautiful. Super fun. The usual. It would have been better if E had been able to take off of work and come with me, but I managed the trip down to South Carolina and back on my own pretty well despite TWO car puke incidents and some really hectic bathroom stops.

This year all THREE of my BFF’s – Erin and Sara from high school and Erin from college – came to the beach so it was extra special. College Erin, the one with the toddler who takes amazing photos, brought her camera and took amazing photos so I’ll have those to share later (and probably add to my header and my headshot and my Facebook profile and my Twitter avatar…) but for now, here’s what four days in the low country looks like.

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Enjoying some of the 17 throw pillows (no exaggeration) from my bed

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Making a run for the beach

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Digging for treasure

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Helping Aunt Sara squeeze oranges for sangria

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Sunset on the beach

The last known picture of Original Ugly Dolly before Caroline left her in Charleston the next day (I bought her an exact replacement on Ebay and she hasn’t even noticed!)

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Moon, sunset, beach

Me taking a picture of Elliot taking a picture

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What, isn’t your town full of Civil War cannons for kids to sit on?

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Rainbow Row

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Tristan – Where E and I got engaged

Best wings ever

Playing in the fountain at Waterfront Park

Maybe eating the fan ISN’T such a good idea Caroline

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The Angel Oak tree – one of the oldest living things East of the Mississippi

Someone doesn’t WANT to post for pictures by the Angel Oak

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As usually, someone else LOVES having her picture taken

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Alligator story: Erin and I decided we needed to make up for eating all the things by going for a run/jog/walk/trudge around 8 am. We had just started running when a guy jogging towards us started shouting “STOP! STOP! STOP!!” and pointing frantically at the path in front of us. It took us a full 20 seconds to see the GIANT ALLIGATOR lying right across the sidewalk we were running towards. We would have almost hit him with our strollers. We hopped off the path and crossed the road and THEN took pictures from a nice, safe distance with zoom lenses. After posing for a minute the alligator stood up and lumbered off into the marsh on the other side. Despite the signs everywhere that say “DANGER ALLIGATORS” and actually seeing an alligator last year I was totally unprepared to actively avoid them while walking on a sidewalk. We watched MUCH more carefully on the way home.

And now, a brief interlude of nature/macro photography:

The house has two Nikon lenses I can borrow – both take photos like this.

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And I took this with the Sigma lens I bought last year after seeing Elliot’s at the beach


Tiny (dead) crab Reid insisted I hold in my lap



Fancy clothes for a beach photo shoot

Sara and Evan explore the beach

And then I dressed my children up. Evan in a sailor suit…


And Caroline in a tutu…


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GIANT TREE small sara and evan

Caroline, Evan, Mommy footprints with the date – it was WAY cuter on Pinterest

Getting the kids to look at me after writing on the sand is an impossible task

Working together to pop the bubbles

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Look at all these sticks on the beach! Unacceptable!!

On Monday there was a tropical storm heading in so the waves were huge and the birds were going crazy. Monday night it POURED all night.

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Am I ridiculously cute or am I ridiculously cute?

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Ok Mom, YOU can pack up and go home. We’re staying here.

And a few more (I KNOW) from my Panasonic water-proof camera:

Pool/beach facing side of the house at night, from the hot tub (obviously)

Drinking Malibu and Diet Coke in the pool

Toes in the water

evan boogie board

He was pretty good at boogie boarding! He’ll be doing it on his own next year.

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Practically a private beach

It took some convincing but he decided the beach was OK

LOVES the pool

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Too cool for school

Waterfront Park Fountain

Splashy splash!

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Whoa, this water is AMAZING!

Chubby tutu legs

Imagine the Jaws theme song

Sharing a yogurt. Awwwwwww…

Attempting to part the sea?

This is his “What do you mean we have to leave?” face

I totally can’t believe my luck that we got to go on this vacation AGAIN – and that we’re currently looking at dates for next year’s trip too. Hopefully we can find a time when E and Erin’s husband can both come too, but also when no one is so pregnant they’re in danger of having an unintentional home birth. Plus if the husband’s come we can abandon them with the children for dessert night in town. I’m already counting the days!!

Helpful links! So servicey!

Surprisingly inexpensive Sigma lens: Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 SLD DG Macro Lens We obviously bought the that fits our Nikon but they make them to fit other cameras too.

Adorable beach coverups: I bought them on MamaBargains but they’re from iPlay (also have matching towels!)

Water-proof camera: Mine is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 but the newest model is the TS4, and the price on the new one is better. (Despite a bunch of people on Amazon complaining their cameras leaked, mine it still in awesome shape after 4 years, lots of pools, lakes, rivers and the cruise.)

Caroline’s tutus: Handmade by Chelsea’s Pretty Things (Facebook) and Etsy shop. She lives in my town!