Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Parts Green

July 11, 2018

We’ve headed for parts green. Off to Ireland for the next 2 weeks. Thought we’d be getting a break from the Georgia heat, to enjoy the unpredictability of the cooler Irish summer. Packed it all in preparation. Small light warmer temps attire, cozy layers for possible chiller temps and of course the rain jackets. As it turns out, Ireland is in the midst of a heat wave, tropical temps across the land. This hasn’t happened in decades and everybody across the nation is feeling a collective pressure to be outside at all times enjoying the unexpected sun and heat. Cos in the blink of an eye, it could all disappear. We cross our fingers it lasts just a tad bit longer. At least for the couple of weeks we’re here. Selfish? Yes, for sure.

Before leaving the US of A, we took the kids to Six Flags for a day of rides and water slides. And because we are smart momma’s, we hit the park early. Less crowded, no lines for the rides and by the time the day had reached its peak heat hours, we’d have the boys at the waterpark. We call this learning from previous mistakes.

I promise you, Cullen was actually happy to be riding the helicopter.

Bryson and Keane are finally tall enough to ride the Drop Zone. They’ve had their eye on this ride forever, but always feel short of the minimum height requirement. Not this time. Unfortunately Cullen was still the teeniest bit short. Not that he cared. Don’t think he really wanted to experience the Drop Zone.

There they go!

Because there were no lines, the boys basically jumped off and raced right back to the gate to go again. No exaggeration, they must have rode it 15 times.

15 Drop Zone rides later and we are at the water slides.

While Bryson and Keane are more of the dive right in personalities, Cullen has a more take his time approach.

Keane and Bryson were so busy on all the slides, I was basically catching glimpses of them as they raced past from one slide to the next.

Cullen is now ready to slide.

A tiny slide for Cullen’s sharks.

Keane.

Cullen.

Not sure what this thing was, but the boys seemed to be enjoying it.

After 2 hours of amusement rides and 3 hours of waterslides I finally convinced the boys it was time to go. Then we walked past Hurricane Harbour. 20 minutes I told them. 1 hr 20 mins later, we finally left.

This is the final Cape related post. Promise. And wouldn’t you know it we spent our final morning at the beach. Three back to back beach days and still it felt like these boys wanted more. Upon arrival the boys spotted this random little sand bank in the midst of the ocean, and boom! just like that the building of a castle/fort type sand village was decided upon and the execution of was immediate. Neither Dinara or I had the heart to point out the possible flaws and/or risks involved in building in such a vulnerable locations. As it turned out, they had already considered this and as a result the building of a trench was added to the plans. Fair enough. Lets see how things went.

Team dig.

Cullen distracted by the discovery of a friendly neighborhood crab and hermit crab.

Things are going well. One castle built and the boys have split up to work on 2 more castles.

Pause in Cullen’s work flow to do some kind of sand construction happy dance.

But wait! Whats this?! The ocean is moving in, rapidly, and despite our trenching system, its flooding the castle village.

2 castles already destroyed, all the focus is on saving the last castle.

Desperately rebuilding as the relentless ocean persists in its tear down.

Mother nature – 1, Castle village – destroyed.

4th of July 2018

July 5, 2018

A pause in The Cape action to talk about our 4th of July celebrations. This was a particularly loooong day, for me. Alarm call at 5.15am. Out the door by 5.45am and lined up to run my 3rd Atlanta Peachtree 10k by 6.45am. It is said that this is the biggest 10k in the world. Am not 100% sure about that. Without accusing Americans of exaggeration, (especially not on its birthday), buuuut, they do refer to the winner of the Major League Baseball Series as The World Series Champions. When in reality, the league only includes US teams. Same with football. NFL claim the winner of the Super Bowl to be the Super Bowl World Champions. Again, no international teams participate. So you can understand my skepticism when they announce the Peachtree 10k to be the largest in the world. But what I do know first hand, is it’s for sure one of the biggest. 60,000 competitors strong and a race so coveted by runners all over the US, that each year hundreds of thousands of people enter the Peachtree lottery in the hopes of securing themselves one of the 60,000 runner spots. This year, I was one of the lucky 60,000. So running the biggest 10k in the world, is how I kicked off America’s birthday celebrations.

After surviving the hot and humid streets of Atlanta, it was off to spend the day with family and friends at the lake. Where this body attempted to use the power of aquatic healing, to revitalize her battered legs. It helped a little, but for the rest of the day I was pretty much physically useless to everybody. We left the lake in time to get home, grab our flags, our chairs and our glow sticks and rush off to watch the 4th of July fireworks. Eventually fell into my own bed somewhere before midnight after carrying 2 very tired, lake happy, fireworks happy, party happy little boys into bed.

All business on the left. Red faced and very relieved to be finished on the right.

The lake portion of our day. Thats Keane way out there test floating Cullen’s new shark.

His very own shark to float on. In this moment Cullen is living his best life.

Our friend Asafa and his fiancé, Alyshia were staying with us for a few days, so they got to partake in all of the festive activities.

Keane on deck.

Diving off the boat is his favorite thing.

Keane and Alyshia head off for a swim, just the 2 of them.

Cullen on his shark, All. Day. Long.

Keane was stuck on the floating donut, impatiently waiting for Cullen to give him another turn on the shark.

This is why we keep the men around. To carry all of necessary/unnecessary day out crap back to the vehicles.

Post workout levels of tired.

Closing out the day with my favorite boys, watching the fireworks.

The boys loved this smiley faced firework.

Crab Trap

July 3, 2018

Last year during our visit to The Cape, the boys got to go crabbing. This year there was no way we were going to get away with not crabbing. Its all they talked about. So bright and early on Day 2, Uncle Jack and Aunt Anne had the coffee brewing (for the grown-ups, to help with the waking up factor), and the traps baited and roped (for the kids, who were already very much awake and ready to get their crabbing on) and we headed off to the marina to see what was biting.

The marina was just a short walk from Jack & Anne’s house.

James, trap aloft, ready for a crab war.

Straight to work.

Cullen is currently in a phase of sea creature obsession. He loves all things ocean life. So this day was as exciting as it could be for him.

James with some hermit crabs = Cullen’s happy dance.

Setting the traps.

Keane with the first shrimp catch.

Acting like some kind of ocean master Cullen was busy checking everyones catch.

Trap check, nothing yet.

A local fisherman had better luck with his own trap. He caught a few crabs and a flounder fish.

Paul may have caught something good.

Cullen straight over to see.

He’s impressed.

There it is, a crab.

High-fives.

Feeding the captives, so they feel less captured.

Keane is having a lot of success with the shrimp.

A few other boys show up to join the fun. And one of the boys also happened to be called Cullen. As a first name. What are the chances?

James got something exciting.

We think it was a baby eel. Cos it was tiny, and eel like.

Jack and Anne sitting back, watching all the action.

A couple of hours later and we decided it was time to release everyone back to their rightful home.

Paul sets one of the crabs on his way.

Keane release the 2nd crab.

Cullen was adamant that he be the one to return the baby eel. So he did.

James just tipped the rest of the captives straight in.

One of the crabs need a little more encouragement.

Group shot with our fabulous hosts and crabbing adventurers.

This is how the Doyle boys felt about us momma’s wanting to get a Doyle boys photo.

Cape Day 1

June 30, 2018

When you have an aunt and uncle who are amazing enough to open up their house to a Doyle Boy (and their mommas) takeover, AND they happen to live on The Cape, I’m sorry, but summer life doesn’t get much better than that. So get ready, there’s about to be a lot of beach related photo sharing.

Day 1, minutes after our arrival and we’er already on the beach.

Oldest Doyle boy, Paul and youngest, Cullen.

Keane’s new favorite sport is Lacrosse.

Work has begun on some kind of beach trench.

#teamwork

A sort of trench digging assembly line. With Cullen as acting project manager apparently.

The mad rush to fill buckets of water for the trench.

But the buckets became unnecessary when the tide started to roll in.

Desperate attempts to save the trench.

When all else fails, throw sand.

Back on the shore and now we’re digging holes for burial.

The first burial victim.

Its snack time for everyone else.

Keane, buried alive.

Escape artist.

Cullen & James wanted a tandem burial.

While Cullen wanted out…..

…James preferred to reamin buried, so he could enjoy his snacks.

Keane took off on a solo adventure chasing a seagull. When it looked like there was no end to his chasing, I took off in hot pursuit.

Me returning the adventurer back to base.

Cullen busy acquiring crab corpses.

Cannot take your eyes off this fella for a second. He gets an idea in his head and suddenly he’s off.

Spotted, a couple of cute lifeguards.

Paul & Dinara get busy on castle construction.

Suddenly the whole crew is involved.

Tried to get a group shot. This was the best of 8 attempts.

Always with the demolition.

After a long and fun filled day at the beach, it was off to check out the local Cape baseball game.

The Kettlers.

Paul is focused, he’s goal is to leave this game with a game ball.

Keane caging himself in the pitchers warm up pen.

This worked for me, less chance of him spontaneously taking off.

Some action shots.

Yep, still there.

Cullen made a friend under the stands playing in the rocky sand box.

Freedom walk.

These kids are on a mission to get a game ball.

Bingo, James got one.

Sharing his prized ball.

Time to get the ball signed by some of the team players.

Homeward bound.

While the grown ups work on dinner, the boys engage in a game of cards. Well, I’m not sure Cullen is playing as much as he is disrupting.

Outside Keane continues to work on his Lacrosse skills.

Uncle Jack on grill.

And Dinara, caught in the act, sipping on a heafty pour of wine.