Lots of pictures to share today! Which is ironic, because at the end of our recent trip to Colorado, I thought I’d completely failed at taking pictures because I only took the “porch pictures” on my camera, but I borrowed and compiled shots from my mom’s camera, Caleb’s phone, and my phone and ended up with a pretty good photo summary! Our first couple days in CO were very cold, wet, and windy, so we ran errands and took Cody to the library to play and helped my parents go through and set up some of their things, as they are still getting settled in their new house! The pictures begin on day 3, when the sun came out and Caleb and I headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park while my parents graciously cared for and entertained Cody. Without further ado:
While we were gone, Cody got to explore some of C. Spring’s parks and walking paths! Here he got to collect sticks and throw them and rocks in a pond, which is really all a little boy can ask for!
Cody got to help slice strawberries to make homemade popsicles!
Clinking popsicles with Grandpa on the deck
Saw some exciting construction equipment in Grandma & Grandpa’s neighborhood!
And now from the getaway: first time in Rocky Mountain N.P. for me, and it did not disappoint! Beautiful scenery, great hiking, perfect weather…it looks cold because of all the snow, but I shed that jacket pretty quickly once we started hiking!
Here’s Caleb at the same, snow-covered Bear Lake (never saw any bears, to the disappointment of one of us) Elev. 9450′
After a little warm-up hike around the lake, we got the blood pumping with a hike to Alberta Falls
Then we embarked on our longer hike out to Emerald Lake. All together we hiked about 6.5 miles the first day, all on top of about 3′ of snowpack, which was an added challenge I could’ve done without, but certainly made for a unique experience!
Snow-covered Emerald Lake, Elevation 10,110′.
Hallett Peak, I believe? Over 12,000′. Beautiful!
Hallett Peak on one side, Flattop Mountain on the other, both a bit over 12000′. What was really neat was we witnessed a little avalanche while we were resting here! You can kind of see the trails of fallen snow down the basin in this picture? We heard a loud noise and were looking around for a jet airliner, when we saw snow tumbling down onto the lake! Pretty cool!
We took it easy the rest of the day, then had this fantastic breakfast at the nice lodge/B&B where we stayed!
We inadvertently drove past the famed Stanley Hotel on our way to get sunscreen from Safeway, ha, so of course I wanted to take a couple pictures and pop in. You may recognize it as the “Overlook” from “The Shining”.
We didn’t have much time for hiking the second day, so we stuck to a lower elevation–no snow!–and a nice easy little hike along this lovely mountain stream. We decided we’d definitely like to come back and explore more in the future!
Tough to see, but there were elk on the hillside here!
Grabbed a couple pictures before we headed home! Our furry companion did not want to cooperate for the picture, but at least the 2 year old was cheerful and cooperative!
Thanks for a great visit!
Mother’s Day morning: Caleb and Cody assembling the box spring for his new big boy bed!
Mother’s Day photo shoot–much better than last year!
As we were wrapping up, Cody, unprompted, said, “I love you! And now I need to play basketball.” ha ha ha!
Lots of fun pictures to share from April!
First we had Caleb’s birthday, for which we had a little dinner with friends and I made this Butterfingers Ice Cream Cake. That was my first time making an ice cream cake, and I’ll admit I was kind of thinking, “this seems like a lot of work when we could just eat ice cream” but I must say it was very good. It’s a graham cracker crust, vanilla ice cream with crushed Butterfingers, more crushed Butterfingers, and whipped cream frosting. The recipe called for one layer of plain vanilla ice cream, but the quantities given in the recipe did not match up at all with the 9″ Springform pan I used (in case you want to give it a try yourself).
Then we have a few pictures and a video from Easter, always one of my favorite holidays, and a couple other random pictures.
Enjoy! Hope you all are enjoying your April, and maybe some warmer weather?
Presents at breakfast
Cody couldn’t wait to use this mower, a hand-me-down from a neighbor, the first time Daddy mowed. I grabbed my camera and snapped this picture without checking the settings, and it was completely overexposed, and they never lined up so nicely again. So it looks a little weird but I still thought it was cute.
First time dying eggs for Cody! It was over too quickly!!
He really did pretty well taking the eggs in and out of the dye, for a two year old.
Front yard egg hunt after church! (Not sure how many years I’ll be able to get him to wear those ears, so enjoying it while it lasts!)
Counting the eggs
Here’s what we got when I asked for a smile, ha ha! We thought it was an appropriate expression for a little rabbit.
Here’s the smile Daddy coaxed out.
Our friends who made it in time for our adult egg hunt! Another couple joined us for dinner later.
Best shot I could grab of the table!
Last week, we were going to go camping, so we set up the tent for some practice, apprehensive of how Cody would do. He actually slept pretty well! But then we had to cancel the trip due to weather. Hoping to give it a try in May.
A few pictures from our recent quick trip to Kansas City! We really enjoyed staying with and seeing my Grandma, who is having some trouble with her vision but otherwise is doing quite well. I think we are all in awe of her. 🙂 My cousin and his family made the trek from Tokyo, which was the main reason for the timing of our trip! Great to see them, and my Aunt Susie, Uncle Mike, and Aunt Dony.
(We also enjoyed visiting my old friends Crate & Barrel and Target but I did not take any pictures there 😉 )
Saturday morning snuggles with Dad
Cody loves finding the pictures in the middle of non-fiction books (I remember doing the same thing!)
Billy and Cody playing. That cement mixer brought a lot of joy!
Great-Grandma with her third great-grandson!
Baby Ray 🙂
The whole crew!
Uncle Mike with Ray
Cody and Joe had lots of fun playing together!
Things have been pretty routine around here, with the exception of a recent visit from Caleb’s parents!
I didn’t take very many pictures, but I’ll share a few. I forgot to take my camera the day we went to our children’s museum, but that is always fun. We also got to see Caleb flying in formation; practicing for a flyover in San Antonio the following week. Amazingly, in six years, this is the first time I’ve stood on the ground and watched a plane I knew he was flying. And it was a first for Caleb’s parents, too, so that was fun.
Giving Grandma a wagon ride
Grandpa reading to Cody
Cody and Grandma in the sandbox
Last morning. Bye-bye, Grandma and Grandpa! Thank you for coming!
Here’s what I got from Caleb’s flight. Not my best bit of cinematography. One of those times where it was tough to see the screen and try to make sure the far-away objects stayed in the picture. Anyway, hopefully you can get the idea. Caleb is in the plane second closest to the camera in the first pass, or second from the right once the formation is past us.
Immediately after yesterday’s post, I realized I completely skipped over the pictures I have from Thanksgiving! Some of them were used for Christmas cards, so I was holding off until those went out, but no need to wait any more!
Since we were already in the south over Thanksgiving, we were excited to be able to drive up and spend it with Caleb’s family! The whole family was able to make it; the first time we’ve gathered since our niece was born in May. I can’t believe I didn’t grab my camera when Cody and his young cousin were interacting! Next time. In addition to the big feast at a family friend’s house, we enjoyed time hiking, walking, and playing Ultimate in the great outdoors, and just relaxing and chatting and playing games with family! We also took Cody through the Bristol Speedway in Lights, which is tough to explain if you’ve never done it, but basically you drive through their property and complex and on the speedway while admiring their elaborate light displays! Fun for all. And of course, I know at least I had fun with our big family photo shoot, the results of which are shared below. Belated thanks for a great visit!
Lucky Cody got to have Aunt Katie sit in the back and read to him one day!
Caleb’s cousin, Peter, and Cody playing with Duplos at Caleb’s aunt and uncle’s house one night. Thanks for hauling out those toys, Uncle Larry and Aunt Lois; your efforts were not unappreciated!
Aunt Julie with niece Sophia.
Ashley, Josiah, and Sophia
This baby wins the award for always looking at the camera with big beautiful eyes!!
Nephew Cody was not in such a cooperative state on the day of the big photo shoot. This was the most pleasant expression from the shots with him Aunt Julie requested.
Whenever I do family pictures, I like to try to get a couple of couples without their kids 🙂
Grandma and Grandpa with their two grandkids!
Cody helped Grandma make a big delicious waffle breakfast!
He loves helping. Thanks, Grandma!
Apologies for our lengthy radio silence! I’ve had these pictures sitting on my camera for weeks and weeks now.
Once we returned home from our Southern excursion, we were busy trying to cram an entire season of preparation into one week: hanging lights, selecting and decorating a tree and the rest of the house, baking for the office and the neighborhood, assembling Christmas cards, purchasing, wrapping, and shipping gifts, etc. We had lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services here and shared a Christmas Day brunch with some neighbors before preparing for a jaunt to Colorado to spend some time with my family. After the Colorado trip, I did a little math and found in 7 weeks we’d spent about 70 hours and 4300 miles on the highways and interstates of 8 states. I think I’d nearly recovered from the exhaustion of all that when I became completely paralyzed by the cold weather (it gets or at least feels colder than you might think here!!); unable to tear myself out from under the blankets on the couch.
So that’s why we’re now seeing pictures from December! Also, I think I’ve been procrastinating because now that these photos are done, there’s nothing to prevent me from doing our annual family photo yearbook. I love having the results, but it takes forever to create!
The first weekend in December, our friends Ben and Amber graciously drove up from Tampa with their little boy so we could spend some time together in Destin.
Watching our kids play together is so fun and surreal. Doesn’t seem long ago we were gallivanting around Hillsdale together.
Some favorites from the beach
Thanks to Amber for taking our pictures, and to Ben for making us smile!!
A couple shots of Cody playing in the apartment. Mostly I was testing out my new lens, but I am also increasingly amused by his inventive play. Here the people are crossing the tennis racket bridge to board their plane.
Ok, a bunch of pictures from Caleb’s graduation. You may notice this one has nothing to do with Caleb, but it’s recognizing this guy who had the best 5K time: can you imagine running 3.1 miles in less than 15 minutes? My jaw dropped, and then they explained this guy is an “AF elite athlete” or something, and he runs the steeple chase (it was horribly rainy, cold, and muddy on the day of the 5K) and is hoping to compete in the next summer Olympics, so I took this in case he makes it!
Now we will brag on Caleb a little bit 🙂 He is standing closest to the podium on the right, facing away, as they called his name for basically finishing in the top 10% of the class, although each flight also votes on which peer should be a DG…a little confusing.
Caleb’s flight(SOS=6 Squadrons, about 40 flights, with ~14 students, so about 600 students) got “Chief of Staff Flight”, which I guess means they did the best overall in certain categories: I believe academically, these leadership problem exercises they had to do, and physically. There were a lot of awards so it was a little confusing to keep them all straight. They also won the base dodgeball tournament, but I didn’t get a picture of that
Here Caleb receives a nice little desk name plaque from the SOS commandant
Here’s Caleb’s flight with their flight commander far left in the back. This was a really great group of people from all career fields such as pilots, doctors, a lawyer, and a bunch of other multi-word job titles that are tough to remember.
Fast forward to the end of the month in Colorado. I completely missed the ball on taking Christmas photos this year
Besides the nice gifts Cody received, this may have been the highlight of the season for Cody: Grandma and Grandpa let Cody help break up the ice on the driveway and sidewalk with a hammer!
There’s a great Lake Wobegon story called “Uncle Al’s Gift” that is about adults giving “the gift of work” to kids, because it really is a joy to learn the satisfaction of applying yourself, mentally and physically, to a challenge, and overcoming it, and receiving praise or other compensation. I was reminded of the story seeing how much Cody enjoyed this work. 🙂
And we got one shot with Grandma and Grandpa right before we got in the car to go home! Most of the time we were there was spent relaxing, although we did a little game playing, and doing the city errands and shopping we can’t do at home, AND Grandma and Grandpa babysat Cody so we could go see Star Wars: Rogue One, which we both very much enjoyed. Thanks for a great visit!
Lots of pictures to share real quick today before we head off to Tennessee to spend Thanksgiving with Caleb’s family and, undoubtedly, take more pictures!
The first few are from when we got to stay with Caleb’s brother Josiah and his wife Ashley and Cody’s one and only cousin, Sophia. Thanks again for hosting us, guys! Great to get that little extra tim win to catch up and see where you live!
The rest are from our little weekend trip down to Destin. Caleb’s cousin Adam lives in the area and graciously agreed to watch Cody for us so we could go out to dinner to celebrate our 6th anniversary. 😀 Thanks, Adam! This was Cody’s first trip to the beach, and my first trip to the beach with a DSLR camera and the knowledge I’ve accumulated with it. The good news is we got some beautiful pictures of this beautiful area. The bad news is the experience has ruined all other photo locations for me: I just want to take pictures at sunset on the beach forever and ever!
Hope you all enjoy and hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving Day!
Cody assists Aunt Ashley in cracking the eggs for omelettes
Sweet baby niece
This is one of my favorites: look at that little doll!
Sophia with Uncle Caleb 🙂
Cousins. 🙂 Cousins are just the best. I hope these two will be great friends forever and like looking back at this picture. The second time they’ve met, but the first time I got a picture with both of them!
First morning at the beach: totally frigid but still beautiful!
Cody LOVED the waves chasing his feet, and chasing the waves. I couldn’t pick just a couple!
Cody thinks the beach is a bad location for cuddling.
We also found a high quality plastic rake and shovel on the beach and had a lot of fun raking and shoveling the sand, which is totally my scene, so I didn’t get pictures.
Pre-anniversary dinner pic!
One last hour at the beach!
So beautiful. My happy place.
Nearly caught up now.
Labor Day weekend we attended the joyful wedding of one of Caleb’s cousins. This was before the ceremony, with Caleb’s parents and grandparents.. I’m bummed I ran out of time to get a better picture of Cody, who was charming everyone in his first bow tie, and the iPhone didn’t do too well with the haze here
but I’m glad we got something!
The clan who made it to the next morning breakfast. Everyone’s looking pretty chipper!
Cody with Grandma.
Again with Cody’s grandparents and great-grandparents
We took advantage of a day off to visit the Oklahoma Zoo. It’s amazing how much more Cody can understand and the commentary he can provide this year compared to last.
I love it when you get an animal that clearly knows mealtime is approaching and they’re all active and pacing!
Caleb was very excited to see the grizzly bears that day since they were not out last year, for some reason.
Cody and Daddy splitting wood together.
One Saturday we went to this neat “Family Farm Fun Day” at our local pioneer heritage village/museum. Here’s Cody in the one room schoolhouse
Woodturners made a really neat spinning top for Cody…wish I would’ve kept clicking!
Cody eating an apple in line for the pie-making station
Getting some help rolling out the dough (that entire experience really validated my practice of buying pie crust, or just not making pies at all)
Cody loved picking out a pumpkin
And we got to take a neat horse-drawn wagon ride. Cody got to ride up front with the driver so he could get a good view of the horses 😀
Caleb took this shot of Cody helping water our little island, right before Grandma and Grandpa arrived!
And here’s a video I had the urge to make a while ago. Kind of long, but guaranteed to make you smile! Please ignore the ridiculous things we do and noises we make in order to get this footage and focus on the results 🙂
Alright, working my way backward in time!
The week before Halloween, we enjoyed a nice visit from my parents. In addition to the activities pictured, they got to go trick-or-treating through the courthouse with Cody, which was that week’s library story time group activity, attend “Zumbini”, a kids’ music and dance class we go to sometimes, and on the first day, my mom took Cody out on a long walk so I could finish his Halloween costume! 😀 After Cody’s bedtime, the adults had viewings of “Inside Out” (my recommendation), “Bridge of Spies” (everyone else’s pick, though I enjoyed it as well), and the older adults trounced the younger adults in an intense match of Trivial Pursuit. Thanks for making the trek; we all enjoyed having you here!
We spent one afternoon at our local children’s museum. The giant train table is a big hit!
It even has a little airport!
Fun temporary exhibit where you can float these little plastic balls over tubes blowing out air…
We were all pretty entertained!
Grandma and Grandpa showing just a bit of silliness
Cody is becoming more and more imaginative; so much fun to watch. I’ll admit when I was editing this photo I started to pat myself on the back for all the produce he’s loading into his cart, thinking, what a good example we set, and then I realized the produce bins are the only ones he can reach at this little store! Ha ha.
We dropped a number of coins into the black hole simulator.
Pre-nap story time with Grandpa. Don’t miss Kayla in the background, pressing her head against Grandma’s leg, begging to be petted!
Here’s a sneak peek from G&G’s Christmas card photo session: one with just Cody!
Hugs from Grandpa.
We went out to the base playground one afternoon and just played.
Hi! I know I’m very behind with sharing pictures and anecdotes from our little lives, and I promise I have some things in store for upcoming posts, but real quick, wanted to talk about Halloween!
First: here is why we dressed our child as a UPS driver this year:
In case you can’t decipher from the video: the couch fort is Cody’s UPS truck, and the entry way rug is both the pick up and drop off spot for the UPS man to bring chocolate, an airplane, and pizza. He also prompts us to say “thank you, UPS man.” I’ll add that before I turned on the recording device, Cody just kept saying he was bringing boxes or other things that have come to our house in the past, so my surprised tone when he announced the pizza and chocolate is quite sincere! Especially since we pretty much never have chocolate or pizza here! (Not trying to be nutritionally self-righteous: we definitely have other treats around, but never chocolate nor pizza!) I thought it was pretty cute, and I thought it would be easy to get brown clothes and make some little UPS logos to put on there.
I got a leg up on photographing the costume this year, as we attended a local event the Wednesday prior to Halloween 🙂 Really takes the pressure off to have multiple opportunities to get a decent photo.
With Daddy before trick-or-treating
This was the best picture we could get with Mommy 😦 He didn’t know what trick-or-treating entailed exactly, but he was eager to get started!
Last year I think we went to about 3 houses of people we knew. This year we expanded to about 6 AND let him eat a fun-size package of m&ms, a rice krispie treat, and a couple suckers. So this will go down as the first real trick-or-treating.
Never said “trick or treat” nor “thank you”, but we did, and Cody enjoyed getting shiny wrappers to carry in his parcel!
Daddy carried Cody to the one house we visited that was not on our block.
We took Cody around while it was still light, as you can see, then sat on our porch–swatting mosquitoes, no less! A far cry from my childhood Halloweens of sub freezing temps and snow blowing in the face–for about an hour handing out candy. I think there were fewer trick or treaters this year than last, probably because it was a Monday, but still managed to clean us out of the candy we bought, and selections we didn’t really want from Cody’s collection.
More to come soon from September and October! I think most of you follow me on FB or IG or both anyway, which have the highlights, but I’ll share a few more here.
Hope you all had a fun Halloween!