Thursday, July 26, 2012

Minne-sotah 2012

We began our journey by flying to Minnesota which was a journey in itself with two babies.  We enjoyed a Nymark family reunion BBQ, a Twins game, the Mall of America,Maple Grove Days,  lots of foods wrapped in bacon and lazy times around the house with kids.

Owens First Flight!


The Stars of Maple Grove parading around

Twins Game
CandyLand Snacks

Farmer's Market
Snapshots of Minnesota
Jamin can't stop talking about his cousins and his love of "'Sota"

Neither can Jud.

Neither can I.

Let's go back!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

a (run) down memory lane

This past weekend we celebrated the retirement of a really important man, Coach Calhoun.  He was the high school cross country coach that put together such an amazing team that is was truly an honor to be a part of it.

I met my husband on the Cross Country team back in '99, when I was 13.

The day started with a race around the circuit.  Bringing back out from the depths of closets old t-shirts and uniforms that haven't been worn in years. They are faded and stained from their numerous wears through Appalachian State trails, Titusville and the halls of Seminole High School.   

The race also brings runners out of retirement who can't recall the last time they laced up running shoes, some have become mothers and come armed with babies and jogging strollers, children join us on this run as they follow in their parents footsteps. Dedicated runners also arrive who have maintained their passion for the sport beyond their high school years.  Some simply arrive to cheer and honor coach.

After the race we celebrated with a retirement party that literally brought out hundreds that Coach has impacted during his 29 years as a coach. 

It was a very pure thing we were a part of- the cross country team.  We stayed close and had eachother's backs.  I remember high school as a sacred place where worries were simple; ranging from drinking enough water before a big meet, keeping up good grades, and practicing with the team loyally through all seasons and weather.  It is where I met my future husband and my best friends and had some of my very favorite memories.

The kids that ran for Coach are quick to say positives about their HS experience.  I realize the friendships I made and the lessons I learned are rare and amazing.  They existed because I was part of a team that was about dedication, loyalty, humor and high expectations.  Thank you Coach Calhoun for creating this environment for me to be a part of in HS.  I couldn't have dreamed up better teenage years for myself. 

July 7, 2012 was officially declared Bruce Calhoun Day by the Mayor of Seminole.  There is no one more deserving.  Thank you coach.  My life, very literally, would not have turned out the same without you.

Happy retirement! It is well-deserved!

Friday, July 6, 2012


This weekend couldn't come fast enough.  Even though it was a rare and special treat to have Jud home with us on Wednesday to celebrate 4th of July it just made me wish for the weekend even more.

This weekend we have a special retirement party to attend, some catching up on sleep to do, packing and prepping to head to Minnesota and possibly taking Jamin to ride the trains on Sunday.

Life is good (and scorching hot).  Happy July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How do you vacation?

How do you plan your vacations?  Do you like to drive the scenic route and find quirky stops and hidden sights along the way?  Or are you more of a hop on the plane and get to where you're going kind of person?

I absolutely love the memories I have of driving up the East Coast packed in a car to visit family in New York and Connecticut.  Although the drive up North was an annual event the earliest trip I remember taking was at about four or five years old.  

There was an amazing anticipation of crossing state borders and finding quirky billboards.  We played alphabet games and the license plate game.  We meticulously packed  and repacked our backpacks with the best entertainment that could fit at our feet.   There was the secret, and sometimes not-so-secret, hope of getting ice cream or candy at rest stops along the way.  Or possibly Mexican jumping beans at the South of the Border.

And that amazing sense of adventure I felt as a child is what I still remember the best.

Something like this is pure magic to a kid.  Trust me, I have been that kid.

Road trips scream of summer to me.  The best kind of summer fun.  The adventure along the way and the final arrival at the destination where the fun begins in a whole new way.  You had to put in your time for the payoff.

I mentioned yesterday I would be traveling to MN soon with the family.  Our main objective while we are there is to soak up family time, catch a Twins game and have a huge BBQ.  This is exactly what a good, old-fashioned summer vacation should be made up of.  Except I feel a sad wistfulness that I wish this trip were a road trip.  I have the urge to pack a cooler of sandwiches and my camera.

But then I remember I have a two year old and a three month old. The car ride would be long and torturous (hey, it's true!).  A road trip is definite in our future but were not there yet.  Give me five more years and I will be the mom packing the car days before we set off.

Is it possible to be nostalgic for something that hasn't even happened yet?  How do you like to travel and what are your favorite summer vacation memories?

Getting off automatic

I have an amazing camera that I was starting to finally get the hang of while vacationing in Charleston.

Then life got a little wild (you know...adding a new baby to the mix) and I became dependent on Instagram and forgot to use my real camera.  I took it out last night. I charged the battery, wiped the lens and reread my chicken scratch notes about aperture and got myself prepared to bring the camera to the playground today.

It's not quite expert work, barely even novice...but I intend to keep practicing manual mode!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


When the summer began I didn't think we would be having a summer vacation.  With Owen being so young and us adjusting to our growing family we didn't want to commit to travel.  Some amazing things worked in our favor and I am so excited to be going to Minnesota in less than two weeks! Since our amazing Babymoon in Charleston I have been itching to travel again.

Here's some snapshots of our summer adventures in the land of 10,000 lakes in 2011.

Always such a fun time! I cant wait to go and visit family, shop at the mall of america and spend some time outside away from the sweltering Florida heat.

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