Perfect Picnic

So, it’s been a couple of weeks and I haven’t written much about our trip…it’s not for lack of desire, believe me.  Here I thought summer would offer some time to rest, relax and recuperate!  I think I have most of the pictures I snapped ready to share, so you can expect to be bored riveted for the next few days as I give an account of our first cross-country (well, sorta) road trip.

Knowing our kiddos are accustomed to at least 4-5 hour trips to the upper peninsula we figured that getting in an 8-hour driving day would be just about right.  That meant we hoped to stop for the night in St. Louis, MO.  We choreographed our departure just perfectly and were on the road by 2:40 am (yes, a.m.) and made it a good 4 hours before the kids woke up!  Even though we’d left on only one dim light as we carried the kids out of the house, there was a minor moment of panic as Calder began announcing “It’s dark, Mom!  Look at the lights!  It’s dark outside.  Where we goin’?”  We sat in silence for several miles and he soon fell back to sleep!

Here’s a couple shots at one of our pit-stops where Seneca enjoyed some lunch while Calder wandered around playing with his slinky!  I wish I remember where it was – all I know is it was H-O-T and H-U-M-I-D!!

Slinky 1

Slinky 2

We finally arrived in St. Louis where we enjoyed a picnic under the arch…because after all is was only 11am!!  That’s right.  There we were at our destination for the night before noon!  

Lunch 1

Lunch 3

Lunch 2

(He dropped his sandwich and was pretty upset that he couldn’t finish it!)

Arch 1

Crazy perspective – but I love that I captured her kissy face!  She did this non-stop all week! 

Road Trip 001

The first of many family pictures on our vacation adventures!

Road Trip 002

 This one is my best shotfor today!  I’m ga-ga for the sunflare!

As we headed back to the car, we heard heavy sighs from our full-bellied babes.  Exchanging a knowing glance, we loaded up and continued on our journey as they settled in for their afternoon naps. 

Sleepy Traveler

Sleepy Traveler 2

While the entire journey was better than we could have ever imagined, those moments of peaceful sleeping were priceless!  We weren’t retrieving thrown toys from the furthest nooks of the backseat, singing “She’ll be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain” or “Oh Susanna!” for the umpteenth time.  Turning our anticipated 8-hour day into 14 hours (well 13 with the time change) was impressive to say the least. 

I’m quite sure the kids were in need of some space to run around, so we encouraged them to do just that.  Of course, the pool was fun and refreshing, dinner was delicious, but of all the things they enjoyed the most – the air conditioner provided the greatest entertainment for the night!

Wordless Wednesday ~ Memories in the Making

The last shots of our trip to OKC!

Uncle Luke 1

If I can find it and scan it, this shot reminds me so much of a similar self-portrait we snapped as we began our drive to FL for our honeymoon nearly 6 years ago!  It’s amazing how quickly life changes!

Self-Portrait

 I love every sweaty curl on his precious head!

Lunch 4

There’s nothing like Daddy’s arms to comfort you when you’re a little unsure!

Daddy's Girl

Calder thought he should give Seneca a “bath.”  I snapped it thinking that no one has “cooler” kids than we do! 

Those of you who know me, have to love yet another of my clever ridiculous puns! 

Cooler

So I guess this was a little verbose for a Wordless Wednesday!  Oops!

Our First Trip to the Zoo

Not only where we shocked at how well our little ones traveled during our drive to Oklahoma, but also at how absolutely enthralled they were with the animals when we visited the Oklahoma City Zoo.  We have another local zoo trip planned for later this summer and if it’s anything like the first, it’s sure to be amazing!

This hippo was our first animal, and boy did it set the tone!  Calder was either speechless or loudly yelling about each exhibit we saw!

Hippo

Flamingo

Tortoise

Statue

They were feeding the gorillas grapes – a zookeeper was throwing them down from up above us.

It was cool to watch such big creatures delicately find them and pop ’em into their mouths!

Gorillas 1

Gorillas 2

Looking for more treats!

Gorillas 3

Gorillas 4

Think he’s a little focused?  He loved the gorillas!

Intense

Quench

Takin' a Break

Bear

Zebra

A walk on the wild tired side!

Tired Kids

Family

Thanks for taking us on such a memorable trip, guys! 🙂  We love you!

First Road Trip – Check

A few months ago mornings around our house began to get a bit dicey. The kids seemed to be getting enough sleep, but thanks to my DNA, they are not morning people! To accomplish the required tasks and get out the door on time, we started a little oral checklist that has served us well.

Nearly two weeks ago, we employed that little tool (among new little trinkets and yes, a borrowed DVD player) to help us complete the 1,000 miles one-way trip to visit my brother and sis-in-law in Oklahoma City.

A: “Mama?”
C: “Check!”
A: “Daddy?”
C: “Check!”
A: “Calder?”
C:  (goofy grin and slight pause) “Check!”
A: “Seneca?”
C: “Check!”
A: “And away…”
C: “we goooooo!!” (enthusiastically, arms outstretched and waving since that’s the extent of allowable motion in his 5-point harness car seat).

I’m sure you’ll be hearing much about the excursion in the coming days, so for now I will share the pictures we snapped while visiting the Oklahoma City Memorial.  I know my little ones won’t really remember being there, and the impact of what happened isn’t something they can yet comprehend, I hope these images and their future experiences will help establish a sense of community and compassion in these wonderful little lives!

OKC Memorial

The inch-deep fountain was very powerful to me.  You can also see the chairs on the left of this image that signify the lives lost in the attack.  They are arranged based on the floor the victims were on, and the smaller ones represent children.  Though we were there during the day, it seems that the bases of the chairs are illuminated – which I’m sure is also very moving.

OKC Memorial 2

OKC Memorial 5

Leaving their mark.

OKC Memorial 4

He was very interested in the tiles – what a sweet heart he has!

OKC Memorial 3

A closer look at this shot brought tears to my eyes as I recognized the little zebra toy as one my own children love!

OKC Memorial 6

Cutie in Crocs

She looks so grown-up here!

Tired Boy

Poor little guy fell asleep in the car en route to downtown.  I love this shot of him snuggling with his Uncle Luke!  A little late, I know, but this is my Best Shot today!