Friday, April 27, 2012

Baby Girl Session

Several weeks ago I photographed this precious little newborn. This baby was a dream. Such a dream. I had a great time. She was so tiny and new and sleepy. She snuggled right up in any blanket we put her in and did her job well. Thanks Tara and Dan for letting me photograph this little sweet girl.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Outer Banks

 For a long time I have seen pictures and heard about this amazing magical place called the Outer Banks. Once we moved here to Maryland I knew that we had to try to get there for a trip before we moved away. Last year I started scheming on how I was going to get there, and finally a situation presented itself, my parents were coming for a spring visit and I talked them into joining us for the trip. With Chris' schedule being so crazy and him really unable to take time off to travel with us, it was a great idea. The six hour drive back and forth would have been painful without them, and it was great to have them along to share the experience.

We headed down for spring break, and we were only there for three days. Looking back on it now, one more day would have been really nice, driving back so soon was kind of torture. My kids cried when they got in the van, 'can't we just stay one more day'? I wish we could. Our full beach day there, day two was heaven. The weather could not have been better, light breeze, warm, sunny in the afternoon, perfect. My girls and little boy had a blast. Ellie is my shell seeker. She spends her time searching for beautiful treasures. Sophia is my socialite, making new friends and planning adventures. Gradon, was my little satellite, roaming just so far away so that he could see me, and then run back for a hug. Grandpa snoozed and read the paper. Grandma popped in for a visit later in the afternoon. *sigh* I sat and watched and walked the beach a little. It was amazing. 

We arrived early evening on Tuesday. We went right to the beach. The next morning we had a lovely breakfast and headed out again!

In the later part of the afternoon my kids headed to the indoor pool with the grandparents and I took the baby up for a nap. Our first evening we ate at this fantastic local eatery: The Kill Devil Grill where we ate the best crab cakes of our lives. Really. The best. We all agreed. We liked it so much we went back for lunch before we left. Everything was tasty on their menu, and their service was great. If you are ever in Outer Banks, you must try it! 

                                           Ellie leaping in the afternoon sun.

          The morning we left the hotel was sooo cold and stormy. The kids begged to go down to the beach one last time. 

On our way out of town, we stopped at the Wright Brother's National Park. Now, you know our family, we are an aviation family, so we had to stop for a visit. I didn't realize just how much the story of Orville and Wilbur would impact me. These men were in love with the dream of flying. They were determined and committed to their dream. The Wright Brothers were originally from Ohio, and traveled to the Outer Banks because of the weather and empty beaches.One of the stories that I liked the most about the Wright Brothers was their commitment to their family and religious values. The day before their successful flight was a picture perfect day for flying, the weather conditions were perfect! But it was a Sunday. They promised their father they would never fly on a Sunday. So they didn't fly. The next day Monday December 17, 1903 was not a beautiful day. It was windy and colder, but still a day to attempt their flight. They were successful that day, and that made an impression on me.

We had a wonderful trip! There is something ridiculously calming about the ocean and the beach. I hope we can get back to the beaches of North Carolina again. I don't know that we will, but my kids had an amazing time. It was wonderful to share these moments with my parents.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Getting so big

I am finally getting caught up with some of the posts on my blog, and I must mention my little boy who is now 20 months old. I can't believe this summer I will have a two year old. Actually already he is turning into a fabulous two year old. His favorite word is 'NO'. He is very emphatic about voicing his opinion about everything. He is still particular about who he prefers, (me mostly) but he loves his daddy and sisters too. Still in a constant state of motion, he runs everywhere he goes. I have tried my best to get some decent pictures of him but mostly what I see is this:

He has discovered throwing and hitting and pushing and jumping, and besides his shoe and hat fetish, he is pretty much all boy. He loves to play outside and I can tell this spring and summer we will be enjoying a lot of time out there together. I love this little man. I love that he climbs on my lap with a book and turns on my radio to rock it out. He is such a funny little man.

Cherry Blossoms in DC

We've had an usually warm and early spring. I am sure you are having the same experience this year. I kind of wanted a little more winter, even a snow storm, but I am happy that spring is here, and the blossoms are amazing. I have had more daffodils then ever this year in my yard every day new ones bloomed. I loved driving around everyday looking for new trees that had opened. It seemed like this year it was a bit of an explosion, one two, then everything was blooming.
At the end of March a few of my favorite friends and I drove down to DC to the Tidal Basin to enjoy the early cherry blossoms. It was a very cool overcast morning. We struggled to find parking but finally found a great spot. We walked around for a while and then enjoyed a picnic on the grass. All of our kids had fun. Sophia did NOT want me to take her picture at all, but luckily I convinced her to take a few. It was a lovely day. I love this time of year.

Half Marathon Take 2

March 17th was my most recent race, the USA Rock N Roll Half Marathon. I was really excited about this race when I signed up for it, and then winter happened and my training got all messed up. I had been so sick this winter. I was constantly fighting illnesses. Luckily, I had just ran a 1/2 back in November, so I wasn't starting from scratch, I just wasn't able to work on my speed as much as I would have liked, and I was, at the end, behind on my long runs. I would have liked to have one more week under my belt, but that's the way it goes.
I was so excited the night before the race I couldn't sleep. I was exhausted, but my mind was going crazy. I was talking to my friend who ran the full marathon that day and he said that is typical for runners. Race day was a beautiful day, clear sunny, and a bit cold. 36,000 runners turned out that day for the race. I was doing pretty well on my over all time, in fact, until mile 11 I was set to beat my current race time, but I hit a wall and I lost a lot of time over the next two miles. I think this was due to my lack of training this time. I finished strong, but I finished slightly behind my 2:30 time. I wasn't disappointed, I was happy I finished and realized more than ever that no matter what, I can accomplish something I put my mind to, even with being so sick all winter. My friend Jodie also ran the half, she was a friend of mine from Naples. It was fun to meet up with her after the race and re connect. Chris and the kids were there to support me and cheer me on. It's a pretty amazing feeling to greet your family after a long race. My girls are pretty awesome and think it's amazing that I run so far in these races.

I think after my two experiences I like the smaller races better, they aren't so crowded. I am thinking more about a full marathon soon. I never said I would do it, but I am feeling like I should...I think. =) I am taking a break right now from training and enjoying spring with the family. I am not worried about my workouts and the next race. I think that will change soon, but right now I am enjoying some down time and no stress about thinking about training. Tomorrow we are heading to North Carolina and the Outer Banks. I am so excited!! I have been wanting to take a trip here for a while now. My folks are going with the kids and I, should be a great trip.