Monday, November 24, 2014

Halloween 2014

For Halloween this year, Ryan went as Captain America (in his Winter Soldier costume). And Alex was ... I don't know ... some sort of Army Ranger / Call of Duty knock-off.

I was annoyed and disappointed with costumes for my eldest. Apparently, he has outgrown pretty much all boys costume options, and they only sell five costumes in all of Austin that are a boys "XL" size. All military themed. There are no tween/teen boys sizes. When your son outgrows the Boys Large sizes, the next step up is men's costumes.

And men's costumes aren't generally appropriate for 11 year old boys.

 Sigh. Big SIGH.

I'm either going to have to make something next year (not what I do) or else he'll become one of those kids I loathe seeing on October 31 - those tween boys in no costumes holding a pillow case open to me, and expecting me to put candy inside the pillow case. I've always been annoyed at these boys who can't even bother to put on a costume, and silently rebelled by giving them the crappy candy, and not the good stuff. And this year, it dawned on me. It's not their fault. They have no choice. There are NO COSTUMES for them to buy.

So for all those tween boys who are costume-less and whom I have wronged through the years based on false assumptions, I apologize.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wedding on the Beach

October was the month of family weddings for us. First up, my uncle Bobby and Nanette.  They wanted a small, intimate wedding of just immediate family at the beach, and opted for Port Aransas.

He rented two wonderful homes for us to stay in - this was the biggest one, and the one where Ryan and I were lucky enough to rate a room (Carl and Alex were off camping at Webelo Woods, a big event for graduating Cub Scouts, or so I am told. Yep, still annoyed)

We were all told to wear white. Easier said than done, especially for little boys. But I think we did okay.

And I think the photos came out beautifully.

And speaking of photos, I volunteered to be their photographer when I found out they hadn't hired anyone. (I just don't get this... I L*O*V*E photos, so much I often want to hire someone just for my own normal parties, To each one's own, though.)

They did, however, get a beautiful cake.

Beach themed, and all.

We had a whole weekend of celebrating, starting with a clam bake for the rehearsal dinner.

 Saturday morning, Ryan and I spent down at the beach.

Along with some fun ATV rides.

The day was just beautiful, and the weather could not have been more perfect.

Nanette has two sons, 16 and 13, and my boys just love their new cousins. (So, technically, they are my new cousins, and first step-cousins, once removed, for my children, but clearly they are playmates for my munchkins. It all makes *somewhat* sense when you think about it. My mom, the eldest, is nine years older than her brother, the youngest, and he is nine years older than his new wife, who is nine years older than me.)

I was able to get some great photos, so here are a few more of my favorites.

We asked the minister to take a group photo of all of us, and I have to say, he did a pretty decent job.

And to end... the new happy family...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

No longer my little pumpkins

For Ryan's first Halloween, I couldn't resist having my own little pumpkin patch. 

Through the years, we've parted with the smaller infant costume Ryan wore, but I've hung on to the 3T Alex wore. 

And amazingly, it still (somewhat) fits them, Here they are at various points this year, worn while helping decorate for the funnest holiday of the year.

Okay, maybe this will be Alex's last time wearing it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Husbands are very handy

... when one accidentally deletes all photos one took of one's family member's wedding when one was the official photographer for a small, intimate beach affair.

Thank you Carl for saving me from 1) a heart attack; 2) my uncle from killing me; 3) my new aunt from killing me; and 4) all of the above.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Portland or Bust

We spent the last day of our time in the Pacific Northwest visiting Portland. (Well, the last day until our 5pm flight home, that is.)

Portland looks like a really fun, great, hip city.

One I would love to visit for a girls' weekend, or a couples' getaway.

But with my kids in tow... um, no. Portland was a bit of a bust.

We started with Powell's Bookstore, the largest independent bookstore in the country, and a Big Sister to our local Book People.

Powell's was cool, but I didn't have a chance to really explore any of it beyond the children's section.

I had planned a walking tour of downtown Portland, but that didn't work out so well. There are homeless people everywhere, and we encountered two people in particular who put us on alert with their loud ramblings and screechings walking behind us. Carl and I soon decided the walking tour would soon end.

Next on my list, Voodoo Doughnuts, which is supposed to be world-famous, and The Best Ever.

But... we waited in this line for 20 minutes, and then some guy came out to someone at what looked like the front of the line and announced he had a 30 minute wait at that point. I'm sorry, but no donut is worth what was looking like a two hour wait.  Even one covered in m&ms (the Marshall Mathers donut).

So we tried the Saturday Farmer's Market - a market that reguarly makes the Top 10 best markets in the world, and which I had planned my PNW trip around to make sure we hit Portland on a Saturday.

And it was stunning.

With cheeses, and fruits, and lavenders.

But, alas, no bottled water or kids' drinks to be found (Ryan was "dying" of thirst at this point). The kids were not feeling the farmer's market love, and even I had to admit that it was slightly torturous seeing all these great things we couldn't buy and bring back with us since we were about to fly home.

So, next on my list - the aerial tram. A friend of mine from high school who works in transportation helped bring this tram to Portland, and she recommended it to me when I asked about things to do with kids in Portland.

I have to admit, the tram was pretty cool - it carries people up from the bottom of Portland to the top, and the boys really liked this.

We also had some great views.

Added bonus - we could finally see Mount Hood!

And, Mount Saint Helens!

And at the top of the train ride is a hospital, with some really nice outside platforms.

But truth be told, the best views of the day were on our ride home.

More about this Trip:


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