Monday, July 15, 2013

Father’s Day

We spent Father’s Day taking dad on a nature hike—Jonathan was feeling left out after seeing all of the fun the kids and I had the week before.  :)  Actually, we had been meaning to check out a nearby trail to the Big Rock Nature Preserve, with huge granite rock formations that archaic Native Americans inhabited over 7,000 years ago. They are ginormous—my pictures don’t even do them justice.  The kids loved climbing all over them.  Hard to believe this is all just 10 minutes from us.  We explored the rocks and then walked some of the trails (the kids also did some vine swinging, which was on instagram that day), and then once we we’d gotten our fill of hiking and climbing, we took Jonathan for his favorite Sunday morning treat, donuts.  We tried the new Krispy Kreme in our area.  Happy Father’s Day to the “greatest dad ever”!

Nature Hikes

During the first week of summer, Jack and I had some free time in the mornings while Ella was at tennis camp.  Her camp was at the courts of a local park, Colonel Francis Beatty Park, that also has several nature trails.  Jack and I spent the entire camp time—3 1/2 hours—of one morning on a nature hike—amazing, considering this is the boy who always would say “I tired of walking” not even halfway into any hike we tried to go on.  Jack and I had a ball exploring the trails, finding critters and animals, and just checking out the park.  I brought my big camera along, but, after just a few shots, quickly just put it away to really just enjoy my time with Jack.  He was really just so sweet and happy that day, focusing on the nature around us and on the time spent one-on-one with me.  I loved every minute of it.  Most of these images were from my phone and most were already in my June instagram post, but our nature hike was such a highlight of the summer, I really want to highlight it again here. 

Jack and I loved our nature hike so much, the next day after Ella’s camp we took Ella and Gator to all of the cool spots we’d found the day before.  They both loved it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Steve Smith Football Camp

Jack’s first camp of the summer was a Steve Smith Football Pro Camp over a few nights at a local high school.  It.was.awesome, to say the least.  Not only was Pro Bowler Steve Smith there leading the camp, but he invited a few of his fellow Carolina Panthers players out for the first night of camp, too—Luke Kuechly, Brandon LaFell, Charles Godfrey, and maybe a few others.  The campers were split up into teams for drills, evaluations, and then touch-football games.  Steve Smith played a game with each and every team and, over the course of the two nights, signed the camp shirt of each and every camper on the back as they wore it.  Steve Smith really showed his off-the-field humble, relatable side and definitely served as a great role model for all the young campers (I keep wanting to say ‘boys’, but there were a handful of girls out there, too—Ella said she wasn’t interested, though, for next year).  Needless to say, this was an awesome experience for our football-loving boy.  I wasn’t there for the entire camp each night, but did watch for a bit from the stands.  I was lucky enough the first night to catch when Steve Smith was playing quarterback for Jack’s team.

{jack’s got that star struck face.  he actually seemed pretty nonchalant about meeting so many panthers, calling them all by their first names.  he was telling us that he had been joking around with charles (charles godfrey, that is).  when i asked him if he talked to steve any, he told me, “ya, of course.”  so, of course, i asked him what he said to steve smith, expecting a run-down on a conversation.  but, to that jack replied, “i said ‘pass’.”  :)  and, you could kind of see it in a lot of my photos—jack’s body language, and probably words, staying “pass” to steve smith.}

{still trying to get steve’s attention.}


{jack doesn’t remember what happened here in his exchange with steve smith, but apparently it was pretty amusing.}

{and i guess that finally did the trick, to get steve’s attention.  finally a pass.}

{i wasn’t quick enough on the focus trigger, but had to keep the shot proving that jack caught the pass from steve smith and steve saw him do it.}

{that was the last pass to jack’s team before he moved on to the next team.  phew!}

I think we’ll be back for more next year!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Instagrammin’ in June

Another busy month!

warrior dash! | ella bridged from brownies to junior in girl scouts. | swim team team picture. | minute-to-win-it during an end-of-the-year class party. | not looking good for this swim meet. | jack winning his heat in the rain. | yay! school’s out for summer! | learning cups via youtube like every good little tween-age girl. | all dressed up and nowhere to go—tennis camp is a rain-out. | library and barnes & noble. #summerofreading | steve smith football camp | jack actually catching a ball thrown by steve smith. #epic | creating a report on komodo dragons for fun. #futureherpetologist | jack had a ton of fun with his friends at the steve smith football camp. | nature walk with jack. | having fun on our walk. | seeing lots of nature. | practicing for his upcoming triathlon. | good time to take a break and check on ella at her tennis camp—popsicle time! | jack and i spent over 2 hours on our nature hike. | ella at tennis camp. | mr. timer—volunteering at a swim meet. | my little swimmers, another good meet. | on another nature hike with another cute little boy. | #alsoinneedofahaircut | after tennis camp, we took ella to our favorite spots on the nature trails. | ella helped gator over some of the big tree roots. | and she bathed him and checked him for tics when we got home. | thunderstorm cancelled a swim meet. | someone thought it was a good idea to cut his own hair. #hegotputtystuckinit | date night! | trying to fix his chop job at #pigtailsandcrewcuts. | more of a cover-up job and now his beiber-esque part is to the other side. | she decided to cut her hair shorter, too. | happy father’s day! | at big rock. | “why hello down there!” | us. | [insert tarzan yell here.] | finishing a great father’s day at the pool with some great pool-ready beer. | the ups and downs of siblings. #itscomplicated | while one has a piano lesson, the other reads in a tree. #weeklyroutine | first swim practice in a while—so many rain cancellations this year! | another swim meet. | vbs! | in the mountains scouting a beautiful location for bridal portraits. #girlsweekend | off to photograph a wedding together! | we did it and had fun! | nana and poppop visit. | ella went to the great wolf lodge with a friend—and apparently did some morning yoga. :) | always so proud when ella swims the 100M individual medley. | nana hit the jackpot at sleep poet. | uh oh.  my father-in-law’s car. ugh, swimmer’s ear. | sewing camp—they made beach bags. | last swim meet! | girls morning out. | end-of-season swim team poolside dance party. | off to a week of sleep-away camp. :( | we’re here!  #hiltonheadisland | finding crabs at hudson’s, a yearly tradition. | look who we bumped into at hudson’s, papa and nonni. | gray clouds won’t keep us from the beach. | cousins!