Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Oil Schmoil!

Today is my last day of work for a week!  We are headed to the beautiful beaches of Gulf Shores!  Mikey T's basketball tournament is there and we are headed down with Hoppy, MeMe and maybe Ma-Ma.  We are staying away from all the tournament action so that we make this a vacation with basketball, not basketball with a little vacation.

We are staying at one of my favorite places on the planet, The Beach Club.  So, you can imagine I have been obsessed with the oil spill since it happened and how it would change my plans.  I have watched, researched and bugged my "Aubie's scientists" until they are ready to dump me in the oil!  And after all that, I have come to the conclusion that our trip is not a complete loss (although we will not be floating in the surf--thanks Biology Department for the head's up!) and we are headed down as soon as I pack up!!

Don't get me wrong, I am devastated by the spill. My most favorite childhood memories are on the Gulf.  It is where I played in the surf with my cousins from sun up to sun down.  It is where my brothers and I made drip sandcastles EVERY time we went.  I only have a few good memories of my father and most of them are at the beach.  It is where my cousin Ashley, my brothers and I realized a strange genetic trait about our feet ;-)  It is where I realized my fear of bridges extends to piers.  It was where I went on my first roller coaster ride and where my 8th grade crush broke my heart on our gym assistant's trip.  My UMYF youth group would go every summer and I would come back with new friends and a deeper faith.  In 1993, my mom took Michael, Danny and Me to the beach and allowed us to each take a friend. I took my boyfriend.  Danny took his girlfriend (she is now my sister in law).  Twelve years later to the month, I married that boyfriend on the white sugar-sand beaches of Fort Morgan.

The beach is like my second home. I have gone every year as long as I can remember.  I love everything about the ocean.  I have been to other beaches around the world, and the pristine beaches of Northern Florida and the South Alabama are my favorite. 

So, I was so saddened to know that Emma Kate would not enjoy the same memories that I would at the Gulf.  But then, I realized, looking back, that all of those memories were about the people there with me and less about the water itself.  I will miss floating 50 yards out talking to my mom about everything under the sun and freaking her out by telling her something is biting her toes (when it is just Danny sneaking up behind her under the water--classic and gets her every time), but I will still enjoy every minute of my trip. I will take beautiful pictures of my little girl; I will laugh with my husband and family; I will cheer on our basketball boys; and I will close my eyes at night and listen to the waves roll in.  And I will add new memories to my collection, oil spill or not. 

Gulf Shores, here we come!!! Go Raptors!

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Giggles and Coos Contest

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hot and Stinky.

Do you know what that title is referring to???? Our trip to the zoo last weekend!!! We thought it would be wise to take eleven 2 & 3 year olds to the Montgomery Zoo.   It was fun and crazy.  Very hot.  The hilarious thing is, the kids' favorite two spots?  The random stage in the covered pavilion  and the playground (which is like one of the 170 free playgrounds in the Lee County area). 
Mikey T gets a "Dad of the Year Award" because he was one of three dads in attendance. The men came in handy when it was time to lug the cooler around.  Mikey T has always been like a Daddy Daycare around little ones and the zoo was no exception.  Here is a shot of Mary Mckinnon and Emma Kate with Mikey T. Mary McKinnon affectionately calls Mikey T, "Uncle Mike."
Although it was hot, the kids and parents had a good time and I really liked the Montgomery Zoo. It was smaller than the Birmingham Zoo, which is where I went growing up, and that was a GOOD thing will all the little ones! 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wrangling Cats...

There is no better phrase for the attempt to make a cute, group photo at Ella Grace's birthday party. After 45 minutes of jumping, tumbling, flipping, running, hopping and playing, we tried to get a "group shot." Maybe we didn't think that one through. 
In this first attempt, it looks as if once we get everyone seated, it will be a piece of cake. Check out Alisha in the far left.  Nice.
Mr. Frank tries to show everyone where to go, while the girls and Landon sit patiently.
Everyone but the Birthday Girl is ready to go.  Well, and Mary McKinnon making a silly face (under Mr. Frank)
Mary McKinnon returns to pretty face, while Omar makes an escape up the back. Mr. Frank catches him just about the time Ella Grace decides to tumble off the side. 
So close.....Half were in silly face mode and half were in pretty face mode. Mr. Frank now has Omar in his death grip.  Wooohooooo, Ella Grace! Over here!!
Semi-Success!!! I have no idea where Omar went, but at least everyone IN the picture is looking in the same general direction and has smiles on.  Time for CAKE!!!!!