Monday, September 25, 2017

Springtime Weddings & A Big Boat

Two of our closest friends, Dave & Larcy, tied the knot in April and we were thrilled to be invited to their wedding celebration on a 3-day cruise to the Bahamas. James was excited to celebrate two "firsts" for him-- first time on a cruise ship, and first time in a wedding party, as he was the ringbearer! 

I was also honored to be selected as the photographer for the official church ceremony that took place before the cruise "ceremony". They wanted to be married in the Catholic church and chose to have a very small wedding of only family beforehand and save the big celebration for the cruise ship. The cruise took place over the weekend of Chris's birthday, so we also got to celebrate him as well. (I'm always happy to celebrate him. He's amazing!)

The beautiful trees in our backyard made a pretty great location for pictures of just the bride and groom.

The church ceremony was simple and intimate, and such a lovely celebration of their commitment to each other.

Cruise time! Due to the spread of the Zika virus throughout the Caribbean, I was advised by my doctor to stay on the boat and not to go ashore at all to avoid any potential mosquito bites and subsequent risk of birth defects to the baby. While I was disappointed not to get to enjoy any beach time, it was still better than not being able to go on the cruise at all. The other bummer happened when Chris's phone (which we used for a lot of our pictures) did not remain as waterproof as expected in its waterproof case and bit the dust in the beautiful waters of the Caribbean. You'll just have to trust us that we had a good time. 

James made friends with another guest of the wedding on our bus ride over to the port,
sharing his iPad and headphones. They had a great time together all weekend!
Hanging with Unca Dave in his "Official Ringbearer" shirt.
Checking out the porthole in our room. 
James was a big fan of the fold-down bunk bed and ladder that were his for our trip.
As close as I got to Nassau. Rumor is that I didn't miss much. 
James checks out a luxury yacht docked in Nassau. 
While everyone else was ashore, the water slide was his for enjoying! 
Chris took James ashore on the cruise line's private island for some fun beach time. It looked lovely.
We have no pictures. This is where the phone died. :( 

The cruise wedding was great and the reception afterwards involved a lot of drinking and dancing and celebrating, which I was happy to spend photographing. Larcy's Colombian heritage includes a fun "happy hour" during wedding parties that led to a pirate invasion complete with costumes and lots of pirate treasure. Good times!

Look at how handsome my guys are! 💖 
Dave and I have been friends since our days at UF. So grateful for this friendship!
Man, do I adore this kid! 
He took his ringbearing duties so seriously. We were so proud of him!
Even though there was a "wedding photographer", I couldn't help snapping at least one shot of the ceremony.
Making sure the ring is still there. So conscientious. 
Our boy has mad skills and was twirling her all over the dance floor. 
Then he dipped her! It was so adorable!!

The beaming bride! 
Pirate time!

The pirate bride and groom 
I LOVE how fierce this little one is!
A fearsome band of pirates. Look out! 
Notice the volume of necklaces our little Mr. T has stolen from the partygoers. Quite the pirate, indeed!

Congratulations, Dave and Larcy, and thanks so much for including us in your celebration! 
We love you guys!!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Summary of Spring

Not to be confused with "a summery spring", which we didn't really have. This past spring in Florida was quite nice weather-wise. 
This summer, however... UGH! But that's another post.

While super grateful and excited to be pregnant again, I am not a person who has an easy time of it. In the first trimester, especially, I was pretty sick and so our adventures were severely limited. 
Here are some of the highlights!

This is our sweet baby girl at 10 weeks. 

Chris and I had a weekend trip to Savannah planned to celebrate our 13th dateaversary before we knew about our little surprise baby. While I certainly didn't feel good, I decided to rally as best as I could and give it a go anyway. It was not the weekend I had hoped for, but we still managed to enjoy it. Pictures were definitely not a priority, though. Taking a bubble bath in the antique claw-foot tub and sitting in on a history lecture in the beautiful sitting room of our B&B were highlights for me, while Chris really enjoyed walking through the many beautiful squares in the Historic District.

It's such a beautiful city with so much history, and I love the tree-lined squares!
We stayed at the gorgeous Kehoe House and it was fantastic! Our room was lovely and the location was perfect.
Scrumptious breakfast delivered to our room every morning? Yes, please!
A quiet courtyard outside our B&B was a great place to enjoy some delicious rolled ice cream.
Enjoying a walk along the Savannah River.

We always enjoy visits with friends and family who come into town.

James and his buddy, Declan. Their combined energy level could power a small city.
Tanya and I celebrating our two miracle babies! 
Uncle Dan and James cracking up about something. I have no idea what.

In April, I celebrated my 38th birthday with a day at the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival with my two favorite people.

Chris took James to a "paint your own pottery" place and he made me a beautiful mug for my birthday. I love it!
He painted a happy face at the bottom so it's always waiting for me when the coffee is gone. I smile every time I see it.

Spring also meant time in the backyard and the pool, and an added bonus for James-- a new treehouse!

We have a gopher tortoise residing in our backyard and sometimes he stops by to say hello. 

James and Grandpa hard at work on the base of the new treehouse.
It surrounds the tree without being attached to the tree (except for one small bit of the ladder). 
James is becoming quite the little carpenter. 
The treehouse is finished! 
One morning I found he had taken a camp chair up there and was reading in it. 💖
He's also happy to read on the back patio while Chris works from home. 
Love his creativity! He took a leftover Costco box and made it a jet. 
Putting him to work in the kitchen making some yummy French toast. It's never too early to learn how to cook!

It's always nice to me to get away somewhere for Mother's Day. Feels like more of a holiday that way. This year, since I still wasn't feeling up to much, we opted to just head to a nice Disney resort where Chris and James could play in the pool all day and I could lounge in a chair and have food and drinks brought to me. Win win! James had been asking to stay at the Beach Club Resort for a while entirely based on the pool. It's called Stormalong Bay and is 3 acres of pools, some of which have real sand on the bottom, a lazy river, and the highlight of which is the giant pirate ship with a water slide. Why not?!

The blue hotel in the background is ours and you can see the pirate ship to the left. 
James and I just relaxing on a swing outside the hotel.
Family swing selfie!
Chris's mom, Cindy, came to celebrate Mother's Day with us there
and James shared his latest book with her at bedtime.
Even the ice cream looks like a mouse. This place is so on theme.
Enjoying a less-crowded weekday at the Magic Kingdom.
James meets up with the Main Street Fire Chief and gets recruited.

Our friend, Jess, was kind enough to take Leo for the weekend and he apparently spent the whole time playing with her awesome dog, Morgan. When we got him back, he was one pooped puppy. Thanks again, Jess!

He stayed like this for about 3 hours!