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Friday, April 1, 2016

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Independence Day

Friday, July 17, 2015

We celebrated Independence Day with lots of fun events around town! Knoxville and the surrounding areas don't let a holiday go by without plenty of family-friendly activities. It was so nice to have a three-day weekend off to spend together hanging out, just the four of us, catching some of the celebrations around town.  We started the day with the Farragut 4th of July Parade.  We had rain for days, and days, leading up to the parade so we decided to go ahead and go and just go prepared for rain.  We lucked out with a rain-free parade until the last 2 floats so the timing couldn't have been know, because we planned all of that... 

Above are the sleepy eyes of the 4-going-on-14-year-old that stays up way past my own bed time and gets up before anyone else in the house on every day except those we actually need to be somewhere early...on those days, she throws the blankets over her head and grunts "5 more minutes." Oy...

Let the parade begin...

Anything that makes loud noise is a big hit in Preston's eyes, but you add lights and sirens and you take it to a whole new level. This kid is all boy!

I just really loved this truck as it screamed classic America to me.

And this little farmer, a friendly reminder we live here in East Tennessee.

We made it out in a hurry, just before the next monsoon, and made it home in time for the kids to enjoy it!  They love any excuse to wear their rain jackets!

We headed back out to enjoy a Tennessee BBQ meal and then downtown to join in the fun in the mud at Festival on the 4th.  Worlds Fair Park looked so festive with the bridge lit, the Sunsphere in the backdrop and the flag flying high, hung from a fire truck's ladder.  The festival had tons for kids to do and then of course a big firework finale.  We had been downtown to watch the fireworks from the street last year and had watched them on the live broadcast on tv the years before, but we had never actually been down to the festival.  The fireworks were lit while the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra played so it was fun to be down there to watch it live this year. 

The mini golf was a big hit with these two!

Preston wasn't entirely into the idea of fireworks but nonetheless, his eyes never left the show...his little face was priceless.

 The 4th of July celebrations wouldn't be complete without sparklers.  Reese was really excited about them this year, but Preston was completely terrified and stayed as far away as possible.

We had an especially fun Independence Day this year with both kids old enough to enjoy and participate in most all of it! With our work schedules and summer activities all over the place, it sure was nice to have a weekend home as a family.

Hope you enjoyed the holiday too!

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Strawberry Fields Forever

Sunday, June 7, 2015

We took my sister on a trip out to The Fruit and Berry Patch to pick strawberries last month. Although the berries were small, they were delicious! Reese is our big strawberry lover so she was quite excited!  Preston just loved the idea of picking, picking sticks, red berries, green berries, bugs, and all. It didn't matter what it was he wanted to pick it and put it in his bucket.  This little guy sure is into doing everything that everyone else is doing and when it came time to carry a bucket, you better believe he wanted one of his own.  He loved that much so that we couldn't leave without buying one on the way out...oh well!  Who doesn't love a good bucket?

 This little girl is growing up waaay too fast! 

And one more little gem from our time picking strawberries circa 2013...

See what I mean? She's growing up SO fast!

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Take me back to Mexico! (Part Two)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

We certainly took advantage of our last day of vacation!  The day started with another incredible sunrise!  The colors were unbelievable!  The sky performed throughout the entire day really, from sunrise, to the sun glare and sparkling ocean midday, to the golden sky just before sunset, to one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen, to the perfectly placed crescent moon and star above the rock was all incredible! 

We spent the morning poolside, overlooking the infinity pool that led out to the beach and the ocean.

In the afternoon, we headed for the marina to spend the afternoon on the water with a private boat trip of a life time! The marina was so picturesque with the Mexican architecture and the aquamarine-colored water!

We arrived just as the boats from the sun rise fishing trips were returning so were able to see all of their big catches.  The boats would fly a flag for each of their fish caught so they could parade through the marina proudly.  The sea lions were also well aware of what the boats were catching as they would hitch rides from the open water on the backs of the boats into the marina where they would standby to catch all of the leftover bait.  How fun is that?

These sea lions were much bigger than I thought they would be and certainly weren't afraid! Our guides had the sea lions jumping in the boat with us!  We could have easily been content just sitting at the dock, but little did we know, the trip was just getting started!

 We came across a pod of Zodiac whales. The whales migrate down from the northern Pacific area to the Los Cabos area in the winter months, so we were told.  It was such a neat thing to see!  We could actually see the whales from our resort pool 3 of the days we were there, but seeing them like this up close and playing was pretty amazing!

We might have squealed a little when the whale came up and breached...

And my camera might have squealed a little when this happened...the whale took a dive under this one last time and I caught the photo just as his tail was going back under and we never saw them again...
I'm pretty sure it was meant to be. :)

 Next stop: El Arco (the arch), a famous rock formation where the sea lions can be found sunbathing and the water sparkling from the high sun!

See what I mean about the sparkling water?  It was picture perfect!  
And so we did a mini photo shoot...

The sun and friends were so, so good for soul.  Like therapy.  
The best kind of therapy. 

Next stop: the snorkeling cove. And they bumped into a few little sea urchins...

Followed by an authentic Mexican picnic...

And yet another performance from the sky...I can't make this up. 
It felt like a dream!

As we rode back in, we were a bit bummed as the sky was turning grey and dark, almost as if it were about to rain, and this would be the only time we would see the sunset as the rock formations hid the sun from our resort... 

But then, the sky delivered...way more than we could have ever hoped.

From dark grey, to hints of light pink, to highlighter pink, to bleeding red.  

This is another event I highly recommend if Cabo is in your near future, the chartered boat I mean!  Totally affordable and the only way to see it all from the ocean on your own time!  Such a fantastic day!
And one last shot of playing with the sea lions, or sea whales...
those things were huge!

And the marina by night...

Definitely an incredible ending to an even more incredible vacation!

A quick trip out of reality for fun in the sun was so good for the soul!  Such good therapy emotionally, mentally, and maybe not so much physically given all of those tacos we consumed, ha!  I am so thankful for such a great group of friends and can't wait until our next turning of the decade adventures!  

Cheers to us all turning 3-0 this year!

Hasta luego!

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