Friday, July 25, 2014

A quick get-away.

We’ve been really busy. We’re always busy, but lately, it’s been even more-so than usual. Neither of us had time to plan a vacation, but we had ONE weekend in all of June/July/August that wasn’t already busy with some obligation for one of us. I knew I really wanted to go somewhere to reconnect with Eugene, and also to give the little one some special attention before she’s no longer an only child. My hormonal, indecisive self couldn’t function enough to plan a trip, but thankfully, Eugene saved the day {or my summer} by booking a hotel and buying zoo tickets on a Friday night, just in time for us to leave the next morning.

We woke up at normal time {read: early, thanks to a certain two-year-old}, ate breakfast, got our stuff together and headed 2.5 hours away to Toledo. The little one napped in the car, thankfully. So the trip there wasn’t too bad, other than construction. We stayed one night at a hotel that had an indoor pool so the little one could swim, and then we woke up and headed to the Toledo Zoo. {I didn’t know until Eugene told me, but the Toledo Zoo is ranked #1 in the Nation by USA Today.} We stayed as long as the little one could handle, which worked out to be perfect. She reached her max right around 2pm, and we had finished almost all of the exhibits in that 4 hours, so we headed home and she napped before we pulled out of the parking lot!


Our hotel room had a nice view of the river…


Not surprisingly, she loved swimming with Dada – mainly jumping in nonstop…


We walked across the river and enjoyed a nice dinner at a restaurant on the river. {Pardon the blurry phone pic.}

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She was so enthralled with the boats. It didn’t matter whether the boat was moving full speed or docked!

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She and her daddy got some really good time together on this trip. He’s been working some crazy hours lately, so it made my heart so happy to see them get such quality time.

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And here begins the zoo pictures. Quick family photo before we entered the zoo. {BIIG ole belly! Only 4 weeks to go!}


We got to see them feed the penguins first…


There was a nice playground right next to the penguin exhibit, so we couldn’t escape without a few rides down the slide “all by myself!” {She’s getting so independent!}


Since she loves Curious George, I figured she’d like the primate exhibits. She was so focused the whole time, not even smiling, but I could tell she was just taking it all in. Later on, she talked with excitement about how the monkeys were eating fruit and swinging.  

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I like the picture above to the right. Two sets of gorillas in love, ha!


I have had a longstanding fear of birds, but I faced that fear and willingly walked into the free-flying Parakeet exhibit. I can’t say I really enjoyed it, but I survived. ;)


She loved the elephant exhibit, kept wanting to go back to that one.


The picture above is her mimicking the horns. 


I think her favorite exhibit was the seals. It was really the only time she broke her intense focus with a laugh. The seal would zoom by her and she’d just smile and giggle.


Eugene & I both liked the polar bear exhibit. This guy was so playful and active, jumping off the ledge and diving after a bucket….


You can tell by her tightening grip around her daddy’s neck that she wasn’t as big of a fan as we were. I guess it is a little scary to see a huge bear flopping around right in front of you!


The zoo was great. It had an incredible interactive kids area that would have been perfect if the little one were even just a year older. The zoo was reasonably priced, was clean, contained well-communicated exhibits and paths, had lots of places to sit and enjoy a picnic lunch, had a fun playground area and ample restroom facilities {which is important with a potty trained toddler & a pregnant lady!}, and had interactive experiences to enjoy throughout the day. I’d recommend the Toledo Zoo for sure.


We had a great little get-away, and I’m so thankful that we got to experience it together. I love my family. {So much.}


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Flower girls.

I shared pictures from the wedding, but I had a ton of flower girl pics still left to share. So, here ya go – a post full of mint tulle and blonde curls! ;)

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The picture above is just the girls coloring while we waited for photos to begin. They were troopers the whole day; so proud of them!


Cate was much better at smiling for the camera than my little one. Cate looks angelic to me in the photo below!


With the beautiful bride…          

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And this one was not staged. They just grabbed each other’s hand and went walking. {Love it.}

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Oh, by the way, my sister & I made their tutu dresses using this tutorial, but we didn’t tie the tulle again for the waist. I just put the ribbon on them the day-of. The dresses turned out to be more see-through than I expected, mainly when the girls would twirl in them or sit down. I sewed some liner fabric {part of a ribbed tank top actually} and had her wear some white spandex shorts too. When they were in the ceremony, you couldn’t tell one bit, but once they got dancing you could definitely see the shorts/lining.

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They made it down the aisle with no tears…and no shoes! {Their shoes gave them blisters.} I’ll take the trade of no shoes for two happy flower girls any day!

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The rest of the pictures were taken after the ceremony.


Sisters. Cousins. Two sets of best friends.


This was towards the end of the night – what an ornery smile.


The girls loved sitting in the big picture window right behind the head table. By this point, I was really picking my battles, plus it was pretty cute to watch Eugene entertain them!



Once the DJ started playing some upbeat music, the little one got a whole new burst of energy. She was running around and dancing NONSTOP.



Both girls were dancing machines from the start of dinner until my sister and I pulled them off the dance floor to put on PJs.

I think it’s safe to say they had a blast. I love these little flower girls!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dillan and Kelsey’s wedding.

We spent last weekend celebrating the wedding of Eugene’s brother & now sister-in-law. Eugene was the best man, the little one & Cate were flower girls, and I had a reading in the ceremony; we were honored to play a part in their special day. I took lots of photos {especially of the flower girls}, so I’ll post another blog of mainly just flower girl shots later.

This shot’s a little blurry, but I still love it. Cate colored a picture for Kelsey, and the little one gave it to her. So precious…


I was so proud of our little flower girls! They made it down the aisle like pros!

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I love it when the bride & groom save the “first look” until the walk down the aisle…


The weather for the ceremony was perfect, and the rain held off until just after cocktail hour…


Beautiful Aunties & cousins…

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What a sharp looking bridal party!


The new Mr. & Mrs…


I know I’m partial, but I’ve also heard a TON of bridal party speeches {being an Event Coordinator and all}, but Eugene’s Best Man speech just might have been the best one I’ve ever heard. He did such an amazing job – talked about making a list of memories with your best friend, the challenge of being selfless in your marriage, and the ultimate example we have of selfless love in Christ, our groom. {So good.}


Kelsey’s dress looked just as beautiful inside at night with a flower crown as it did outside with the veil for the ceremony. Gorgeous…


I’m so happy we stole the newlyweds for a quick pic of the four of us…well five if you count my 8-month belly bump. ;)


Eugene’s sisters looked gorgeous too. I love these girls!


Caught a parent pic at the end of dinner… 


The girls LOVED dancing. That’s an understatement actually. They danced nonstop from dinner time until 9:30 – way past bedtime! I managed to grab a little family photo for our own too. And let me tell you, it wasn’t easy to tear the little one away from the dance floor!



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