Archive for September, 2014

Into The South-West

September 18, 2014

The second week of our trip and we headed west, well, south-west to be more specific, to a small beach town just outside Cork City called Fountainstown. This is now the place my best friend Derval and her husband call home and we got to enjoy all of the comforts their hill-top house overlooking the atlantic ocean had to offer. They are literally spitting distance from the beach and within minutes of our arrival Keane was demanding that we take ourselves down there ASAP.

We took the rugged little trail from Derval’s house straight down to the beach.

Keane pauses to take it all in.

Cullen loved everything about the beach, the noise, the wind, the water.

He kicked like crazy every time we put his feet in the water.

Jumping the waves.

Derval’s dogs Chaz and Berlino captured in the exact same running pose.

Berlino.

Derval and Keane go on the hunt for rock pools.

Found them.

Keane gives the local seaweed a taste test.

Cullen happy exploring the stoney sand.

Keane still enjoying his seaweed.

Homeward bound.

Chaz and Berlino.

Cousins Cousins and Cousins

September 16, 2014

One thing I was determined to do while in Ireland, was to take lots of photos of Keane and Cullen with their Irish cousins Evan, Emily and Nathan. And as luck would have it, the day before we left my parents house in Kildare to spend a week with my best friend in Cork, the rain ceased and the day was dry and fabulous. So we gathered up all of the kids and walked all of the 100m from my parents house to a freshly cut, golden hay field to have some fun.

Shooting any baby or child is by its nature a very interesting experience. They are unscripted, unpredictable and you never know how its going to go, your best bet is to show up and be ready, FOR ANYTHING. Now, multiple that challenge by 5 kids and best of luck to ya! But I have to say, all of these kids were amazing.

Look at them here, little angels.

Then things took a turn for the silly.

Nathan and Keane enter into their own conversation.

Nathan and Cullen, the youngest of the bunch.

Nathan giving us his best clap hands.

The joy of hay bales.

So squeezably adorable.

Evan the eldest.

Hello handsome!

This little girl has a mind of her own and listens to nobody but herself, thats my type of girl right there.

Absolutely adorable.

My brother and his gorgeous family.

Not since their wedding has my brother and his wife Sarah had a photo taken together, so it was time to fix that.

Evan not at all impressed by the yucky displays of love.

My boys.

This guy, my little tank.

Emily on the move.

Followed closely by Keane.

I love the next 2 shots, it really captured how close Emily and Keane became over their week together.

Taking on the hay.

Keane and Cullen have started to interact so well together.

Thanks to my sister-in-law Sarah for grabbing a shot of my little family.

This sign only applies to strangers, the neighbors (us) are excluded from any kind of prosecution.

Trespassing in action.

While in Ireland The Husband and I did something we haven’t done since Keane (our 2 year old) was born, we went on a date. There hasn’t been a day that one of us has not been with the boys, doing anything together, as a real couple is so foreign to us, but now that we had access to family who wanted nothing more than for us to go away so they could spend a day playing with and spoiling our children, we decided to join some friends at a football game in Dublin. Coincidently, it was an American football game, college to be exact (Penn State vs UCF), being played in Ireland for……….actually, I’m not sure why it was being played in Ireland. Maybe for the craic? Anyway, it was on and we went. And while I did really enjoy it, there were so many moments when I would see the clock and wonder if everything was ok with the kids. But we pushed through, made it to the end of the game, and couldn’t get home fast enough once we left the stadium. Of course it was only when we got home did the kids even realized we were gone, typical. But here are a few photos from our day at Croke Park.

I was trying to snap a photo of the US and Irish flags at the start of the game, but my petiteness in the height department made shooting down somewhat of a challenge.

Cheerleaders, not something you see a lot of at sporting events in Ireland.

It was actually a really good game that came down to the final few seconds when Penn State stole the win with a goal kick.

The face on this UCF fan says it all. Ouch!

Final score.

Penn State flag people rub a little more salt into the UCF wounds.

Can’t leave without a couple’s shot.

Since our arrival Keane had been talking and talking about chasing the sheep, so the next morning we took the boys to the Curragh so he could do just that.

As soon as we arrived Keane was off. I had to corral him back to take a quick photo with his brother.

He paused for a second….

…then he was gone, leaving his brother desperately trying to follow.

Cullen loving the energy and vastness of the Curragh. He was full of excited squeals and frantic leg kicks.

Representing the county.

A lot more black sheep in the herd this year. It inspired Keane to sing the nursery rhyme “Baa baa black sheep” over and over again.

Trying to make one of the Baa baa black sheep his friend.

Bumming a ride of Daddy.

I specifically asked The Husband “not” to go down the steep hills with the buggy (stroller) and he specifically ignored me.

On the way home we passed the Curragh race course and saw a bunch of horses arriving for the days races. So we stopped to get a closer look at these 4-legged-athletes.

Wishing this friendly fella luck.

A Day at The Maze

September 14, 2014

The first few days of our trip were a little on the wet side, but luckily we arrived ready for conditions exactly like this. Straight away the rain jackets were put to good use. In Ireland waiting for rain to stop to do anything is just plain stupid, it may never stop so your best to suit up and power on, and thats just what we did the day we took Keane, Cullen and their cousins Evan, Emily and Nathan to The Kidare Maze.

The maze had a small pets corner where the kids could get a closer look at some chickens, pigs and a goat.

Cullen is amazed.

Baby Nathan throws a token glance in the direction of the chickens but he’s not impressed enough to leave the comfort of his seat.

Now I really liked this guy, he was the friendly type with some personality.

Keane was a bit of a fan too.

Emily wasn’t really into our oversized friend at all.

Dada checks his texts, while the boys check out the goat, thats checking them out.

Then we headed off to one of the mazes. But without getting into a helicopter and capturing a nice aerial view, its hard to shoot a maze in a way that lets the viewer know we are in fact in a maze. But trust me, we were. The kids were given small cards upon arrival with 8 squares. In true treasure hunt style they were to find their way to the various stations within the maze, and punch a hole in the appropriate square once found. To my surprise this game caused some real excitement.

Evan decides that since he is the eldest, he should take on the role of leader.

Emily is happy to follow.

Every time I look at this shot of Cullen, I break into an loud and off key version of the song “All by myself”

Punching station and The Husband helps with all of the card punching.

Pure excitement.

Evan doesn’t need any help, he’s got this punching thing nailed.

Keane does a quick check in on Nathan.

The babies.

Another feature of The Maze that Keane was a big fan of, the zip-line.

The Brett Family

September 13, 2014

So I’m opening up the sharing of photos from our trip to Ireland not with images of my boys (I know, collective jaw drop), but with images of another wonderful family.

I first met Lisa and her family 2 years ago, I was in Ireland visiting my family for Christmas and my dad had found a tiny stray puppy abandon close to our house and when I posted the story on Facebook, Lisa responded saying they would love to adopt the little fella and make him part of their family of 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats and a turtle. There may have been a fish or 2 in the mix also. Needless to say, you can see what a caring and loving family this was. Since then Lisa and I have kept in touch through Facebook, and also since then the Brett family welcomed a 3rd baby, baby Eddie. Eddie was born with Sipna Bifida but unless you knew, being in his company, you would have no idea. He crawls around and has the energy of any 16 month old (despite the fact that doctors told Lisa and her husband that this was something he would never do) and for moments when he really wants to get on the move, he busts out his Formula 1 style wheel chair. His gorgeous sibilings Naima and Evan absolutely adore him and it did the heart good to see the 3 of them interact so happily together during our shoot. Lisa, I know you’ve been waiting patiently for me to get back to the US to see some of your photos, so I made the most productive use of my jet-lag and finally, here are some of my favorites.

Evan, already a little rock star.

Gorgeous Naima.

And little Eddie.

The handsome Brett men.

The fabulous Brett ladies.

Infinite energy.

Evan goes airborne.

And they said he would never crawl.

Cuties!

I love this shot for 2 reasons, 1. the joy on Evan’s face and 2. Naima in the back ground jumping along as she pushes Eddie.