Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

The camper van is turning out to be the best gift we’ve ever given ourselves. For years we were back and forth over buying one. Wondering if we’d get the opportunity to use it as much as we’d want to. But just before Christmas, we pulled the trigger and finally decided to go ahead and purchase. Then, 2020 showed up in all its manic mayhem and this little camper van has been the saving of our sanity. We’ve been able to take off on adventures, keep our social distance and pretend the world is not the big fat fu@king mess it actually is right now. Without these escapes, am pretty sure I would’ve  snapped beyond the point of mental return.

Our most recent trip was over 4th of July weekend, where we actually teamed up with some friends and fellow camper van owners and took off to Hiawassee, Georgia.

Shortly after our arrival, camper is parked, we begin unloading of all the stuff, while Cullen takes Dexter for a stroll.

A little fishing pond right in the middle of the camp ground. The boys and their friends are straight into it. The fishing that is, not the pond.

Logan was more excited about scooping up the gross pond algae.

Keane is in the fishing zone.

And look what he caught, A FISH!!

Evening rolling in and we’re all getting tired.

Bright and early the following morning and we kicked off our 4th of July with a hike up Bell Mountain.

Hard to see them as they blend in with all the graffiti, but there are 4 little boys amongst the rocky cliffs.

Keane at the peak.

Our view of Hiawassee from the top.

Daddy, Cullen & Dexter.

4 little rock climbing friends.

Great seat with a great view for Keane.

A few more steps and a bit more climbing.

They felt like they were on top of the world.

Keane with his bestie, Luke.

The lads.

Cullen.

Back on solid ground we spent the afternoon at the lake. Keane & Daddy off for a kayak and a paddle.

Cullen kept himself busy on a great white shark.

While Logan struggled to get on top of a hammerhead.

Keane.

Luke & Cullen.

Back at the campground for a nice 4th of July BBQ, the boys were straight into the fishing.

Logan keeps Cullen stocked with fresh bait.

Here fishy fishy.

Logan the cast master.

Just before sunset and we are getting ready for some 4th of July fireworks.

Lighting the sparklers.

Glow masks and glow sticks.

For the final day of our weekend escape, we went tubing!! Logan and Keane called the first go.

Cullen and Luke cheering from the boat.

Cullen getting ready for his turn.

“Have fun guys”.

I think they’re enjoying it.

The big boys, Luke and Keane.

Logan, Cullen and Keane.

Luke, Logan and Keane.

Luke and Logan got bounced off the tube.

Here they are swimming back to Keane, the only one to have survived the bounce.

We dropped anchor for a while so the boys could play around in lake.

A high flying Cullen.

Keane and Cullen, always wrestling.

Keane and Daddy have a turn on the tube.

Followed by Cullen and I.

All the 4 friends.

Cuties.

Co-captain, Logan.

It was movie night back at the camp ground.

May Is Now July

July 7, 2020

Don’t think I’m ok with the randomness and lack of frequency with which I’m blogging these days. But life is not normal and like everything else in 2020, I just have to surrender to the situation and be ok with it.  And if that means sharing our May trip to the strawberry farm, in July, then so be it. Its not like every day, week and month of pandemic life doesn’t feel the same right now anyway.

So here it is, our May strawberry picking trip, shared with you in July. Enjoy!


Pack Up Your Camper

June 17, 2020

A few weeks ago we took off on a little camping adventure. And I’m not even going to try and explain why it takes me so long to post on the blog anymore. Just know that the lockdown lifestyle with 2 kids, does not always allow opportunities to sit down and have the blog chats. So for now posts will apparently be random and delayed. But back to camper living, cos camping is obviouly what you do when you need a break from the 4 walls of your home. You switch it for the 4 walls of a much smaller camper. All in the name of adventure.

Keane & Daddy getting the camper set up.

Bright and early the next morning. Ready for an adventure.

A short drive away from our camp site in South Georgia, was Little Grand Canyon.

The boys trying to figure out if a partially exposed pipe, is actually a snake.

Not a long hike in and all downhill too. Bonus!

Figuring our which canyons to explore first.

So glad we picked a nice warm, dry day to do this, cos the bottom of the canyon was full of little mud rivers.

Headed into the belly of our first canyon.

I think there were a total of 8 canyons, and we made sure to explore them all.

2 little Doyle boys in a canyon cave.

Happy little canyon explorers.

Trekking back through the muddy rivers.

A mini rescue mission.

Making friends with a tiny frog at the base of the canyon.

Starting the walk back up to the rim. Not as fast and easy as the hike down thats for sure.

Came across a random truck graveyard on the way out.

It took a while and there may have been a bit of whining along the trail, but we made it.

Taking in the view from the top.

The view down into the canyon.

Day number 3 and we hit the lake for a spot of fishing.

Life jackets on.

Open waters, Daddy taking the selfies and the boys keeping the eyes peeled for alligators.

The cool crew.

Prepping to fish.

No fish biting this day.

Hmmm, not sure we’ll be swimming in this lake.

Over the weekend Keane celebrated his 8th Birthday. And because there is nothing normal about the year 2020, this birthday celebration was a little different. His friends marked the day by doing a Birthday Drive-By. A parade of some of his best little friends driving by with decorated cars, waving, blowing blowers, popping poppers and spraying him with silly spray. So much fun and excitement and Keane felt like a pretty big deal. Its definitely a birthday he won’t forget, ever. A type of birthday non-celebration celebration.

We had the driveway birthday ready.

The birthday boy and here comes the lead car.

After that, they just kept on coming. Gifts were passed out and Keane & Cullen passed small “Thank You” gifts into the cars of each of their friends.

Both Keane & Cullen looked like little Lord Mayors of the parade.

Keane had no idea, but as a surprise we rented a water slide and invited a few friends over for a small party. He hadn’t seen these friends in 3 months. He was so surprised and excited.

Cullen really enjoyed the surprise too.

So good to play with our friends again.

And because we are deep in the Minecraft phase of childhood, there had to be a Minecraft cake.

All has been quiet on the blog front the past 2 weeks. Let me tell you why. My computer got hit with a pandemic of its own. A virus that took it down. Crashed it. There is never an ideal time for a computer to freeze, fail or crash, and I really tried not to panic, despite the fact that I had 2 very time sensitive photoshoots waiting to be edited. As calmly as I could, I reached out to the people of Apple to get an appointment ASAP. I managed to get a same day appointment. Brought my MAC in. Left it in their technically smart hands for a few hours, only to eventually receive the news that it was beyond repair. Ahhh! Ugh! WTF 2020?? Is there no good news planned for this year?? Anyway, long story short, I had to get a new computer but now all of my software, including my editing programs are either lost or not working. So that sucks. But listen, first world problems I know.

On the lockdown front, we are still trucking along. With each passing week I get a little more desperate for ideas and activities to keep the boys happy and entertained. Beware a desperate mother, who knows what dumb awesome project she’ll come up with in the name of killing an afternoon. This particular afternoon I set the boys up for a little “Paint Ball Smash”. But just like everything when it comes to kids, it never plays out the way you expect.

The set up. Tarp to protect the driveway. Paint balls separated by color. Boys are armed with mallets. Boys are wearing safety glasses (cos safety is no accident).

Let the smashing begin!

This was so satisfying/therapeutic.

Look out kitty! You are right in the middle of the danger zone.

Such a pretty looking mess. In my mind I had plans to let their messy creations dry. Then I was going to frame and hang them in their room.

This is what the boys thought about my plan. They basically middle fingered the entire idea by marching barefoot across the boards.

Paint ball mountain climbers, as demonstrated by Keane.

Cullen is only delighted with himself.

Things are getting very slippery.

Man down.

And couldn’t be happier.

Law and order is gone and we are just dumping paintballs everywhere.

Another man down.

Kids are only happy when things are really messy.

Of course it was only a matter of time before they were throwing paint balls are each other.

Ta-Dah! And lets all be terrified by the notion that this might not be my worst entertainment idea during this time of lockdown.