Thursday, September 29, 2011

Two Cute!

Baby Graham's birthday was in August, so we asked Heidi if she would take his two years photos while we were down visiting at the end of the month. Of course, she obliged. She's got a little bit of a crush on my boys. I started scheming what to do for his pictures, and it quickly came to me that I needed to involve airplanes. He's sooooo into them. We'd never done a themed session with either of my kids, so I thought it would be fun for a change. I gathered some items and made a few paper airplanes out of an old atlas. Booyah. Adorable. I LOVE almost every picture from the session. We threw in a few "favorite book" pictures as well.

I adore these pictures the most because they truly capture Graham's personality. His expressions and spunk are frozen in time so I can always look back and better remember this time and his sweet face. Thanks so much, Heidi!

 Really Parker?

Just a few of his favorites.

 I think that last shot just screams "life of the partaaaay!" Love that boy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

11 years

That's how long it had been since Heidi and I had taken a trip together. Just us. This summer we made a decision to end that way-too-long era. Our last trip together was to South Africa when we were 16 years old. Yeah, a lot has changed. Our friendship? No. Actually, I think Heidi would agree that our relationship is much stronger today than ever. 
 We had to pick a location for our little sabbatical. There were many places we both wanted to go, but only a few neither of us had ever been. We quickly decided on California. Heidi had been to 5 of the 7 continents, yet had never made it to the west coast of North America. Ridiculous. Once we chose California, I knew I wanted to go to San Diego. Why? Well, my favorite dentist lives there. 

My childhood best friend, Sheena Howell, moved to San Diego about a year ago after graduating dental school. How could I go to California without seeing her? Heidi was down with the plan, so we booked our tickets! Woo-Hoo! We received a little bit of bitter-sweet news right before the trip. Sheena had to fly out the day we were to get there to go to two interviews. She had applied to 3 endodontist programs and they called her last minute to give her the interview dates. I was bummed she wouldn't be there the whole time, but she was scheduled to be home late on Wednesday and we didn't fly out til Friday evening. I was glad I was going to see her despite missing the first few evenings. I am proud to announce she was offered a position at two of the three programs. So happy for you Sheen! She'll be moving to San Francisco next year for three more years of school. I think she's a glutton for punishment, but I am super proud of her. I cannot thank you enough, Sheen, for letting us stay in your place and use your car. You were the best host ever. You even supplied your supper sweet fiance to drive us to your apartment the first night. Five star service for sure! Sheena and Bobby are getting married in April and am so excited to be a part of their big day.

Can I just say, this vacation was everything I hoped for and exactly what I needed. Heidi and I got to just do what we wanted. No kids pulling on us as we got ready, and no husbands standing at the entrances to stores as we bored them to death with shopping. No offense, Mike and David, but shopping is so much easier without boys involved. In general, we are perfect traveling partners. We like to do and see pretty much the same stuff, so there's none of that awkward silence when making plans. Heidi, let's make sure we don't go 11 years again without another "just us" trip!

We did so much on the trip, but actually didn't take as many pictures as expected. It begins to get a bit monotonous when it's just us with a new backdrop in every picture, you know? So, I promise we're not cocky or self-obsessed, it's just that picture taking is hard with only two people.

Balboa Park
 A cute little restaurant on the harbor. I love this picture of Heidi. So pretty.
 Only we would make sure we stopped at a cupcake place. Yum.
 I'm a lotta-bit obsessed with seafood, so Heidi, who's not-so-much-impressed with the likes of ocean creatures, let me pick the Coronado Boathouse restaurant one night. Thank you! My lobster bisque and halibut were to die for!
 One day, we left the schedule open to just drive up the coast. We started in La Jolla and only made it to Oceanside. Our plans were to make it to Laguna Beach, but we kept stopping to shop, eat lunch, grab frozen yogurt, and shop some more in all the cute little towns ;) Oh well, it was fun driving along the cliffs and admiring the beautiful Pacific Ocean.
 Both of us have control issues with driving, so we took turns every other day. It worked out and neither of us died of any panic attacks. I may have had my eyes closed while in the passenger seat, but I survived ;)
 One of the highlights of the trip was seeing an outdoor play. While wandering around Balboa Park, we found a replica of the old Globe Theater. Next door was an outdoor stadium where there were Shakespeare plays going on all summer. Lucky for us, Much Ado About Nothing was on schedule for Wednesday night! The play was hilarious. I try to be all cultured and enjoy plays/shows, but sometimes I just want to leave at intermission. Not this one, it was completely entertaining. It was neat sitting out under the stars, wrapped up in a blanket, watching super talented actors.
The first night Sheena got home we went out to celebrate her getting into the San Francisco 
 program. Thanks Bobby for a delicious dinner! Great choice of location and food! (That means a lot coming from a self-proclaimed professional food critic-lol)
It's hard to believe Sheena and I have known each other for 24 years. 
La Jolla is so pretty, even on cloudy days. I love my warm Florida beaches, but the ocean/cliff combination is new to me so I kind of dig it.
The only thing I regret not getting to do is going out on a sailboat. I mean, I didn't really expect to, but wouldn't it have been nice? I have such an affinity to boating and water from my childhood. I love that part of my growing up years. Doesn't San Diego have a pretty skyline?
We were too wimpy to get in the 66 degree water past our knees but I couldn't leave California without getting my feet wet in the Pacific, so we explored a little bit of La Jolla Cove. You aren't going to believe this, but we got to see Clyde and Seymour!!!! Okay... no, we didn't hit up the California Sea World because of my unsettling obsession with that place, but we did get to see seals in the wild! So EXCITING!
Do you see that one out on the rock?
I didn't realize at this point that the seal had dove into the water and I was just posing with birds. Whatev. It's still pretty.
The last day before went left for home, we drove to Southern California wine country to see a vineyard. It wasn't Napa Valley or anything, but the mountains and grape vines are just so romantic and pretty. I had to restrain myself from going up and down the isles fanning my arms as if to put out flames. (If you're lost right now, you've never seen Keanu Reeves in A Walk in the Clouds.) We ate in the winery's restaurant and even got to hear Train play for a radio event. Okay, so we weren't out on the patio for the concert, but we did get to hear four songs through the restaurant's walls. Still way cool.

Another really fun thing randomly happened on our trip. The last day before we flew out, one of my closest high school friends flew into San Diego for some business, surfing, and vacation time with his girlfriend. I got to eat dinner and chill with them before heading back to WV. It was so good to see you Nick and Katie!

Heidi and I are already planning our next big trip. We intend on bringing our husbands on that adventure if they behave. I say that like I have a job or something to pay for such an endeavor.  Just kidding hubbies. We love you, but we just needed some girl time. I can't thank you enough for giving it to us. Also, thank you to my in-laws who watched my boys while I was gone. David was in Seattle for most of the time I was gone, and yet, I still never worried for my little guys. Such a blessing.

Want to read about this trip from a different point of view? Check out Heidi's blog of our fab vacation!

Here's to great friendship and exploring new places!