Archive for September, 2015

Leisurely Lake Time

September 29, 2015

This past weekend I was scheduled to do a family shoot in the rustic little town of Hiawasssee, North Georgia with the most adorable family (more about that later in the week), and instead of making the 2 hour drive, shooting and driving 2 hours back, the hubby and I decided to use the opportunity for some family fun. We stayed at Boundary Waters Resort & Marine and literally 50m from our apartment and we were right on the docks looking out onto Lake Chatuge.

Keane told us he wanted to go swimming in the lake. We tried explaining that late September meant the lake might not be all that warm, but he wouldn’t hear of it, so off he went with Daddy (no way I was getting into a cold ass lake) to see for himself.

And the face says it all, Momma & Dadda were right, cold.

Outtcha come.

Pouty lip of disappointment.

To make up for not getting to swim, we said Keane could go out on his first kayak adventure. It took a few minutes and a few smacks to Daddy’s face from our little oar slinger, but eventually he got the technique down.

Bye Momma”

While the bigger boys were kayaking Cullen and I explored the marina.

And looked for fish.

While waiting for the fish, this little fella showed up.

Keane and Daddy got back just in time to feed the duck some crackers.

Back to the apartment.

The next day it was off on a boat to enjoy a lazy afternoon crusising the lake.

The wind in our faces.

Zipping along.

Everyone wants to drive.

Captain Keane.

We dropped anchor so we could just sit and enjoy the warm Fall sun and the view.

The lake breeze rocked one little boy off to sleep.

So we had a slight issue rolling the anchor back up, the issue being, we couldn’t. Somehow it got stuck. There’s Daddy getting frustrated trying to figure out a way to get it up and thats me being supportive and smiley. In case your wondering, Keane snapped this photo. He’s actually decided he wants to take pictures like Momma and is going to ask Santa for a camera. Now I have to watch him cos he’s constantly trying to steal my very expensive camera.

Another Keane capture.

And he just kept snapping.

And snapping.

Until Cullen was over it.

Officially A Soccer Mom

September 25, 2015

My day has finally come, I’m literally one mini van, one cooler, one practical haircut, one pair of mom jeans and one pair of sensible white walking shoes away from being a fully ordained soccer mom. Last week Keane had his very first u4’s training session and aside from a slightly confusing and emotional first 10 minutes of practice, it went really well. My brain is a little fried right now from a very intense week of parenting, add to that the fact that I just sucked down 2 bottles of cider in very quick succession (its Friday and I just survived a very intense week of parenting) and you’ll understand why I’m keeping the words to a minimum (to be fair they’re starting to sound a little sloppy now anyway) and letting the photos do most/all of the talking. So while I go grab myself cider no.3 (easy on the judgement there) please enjoy Keane’s first soccer practice photo montage.

Daddy and Keane off to registration.

Yay! Team shirt

So Americans call soccer boots “cleats”, why? Excellent question, but sadly I don’t know. Either way, here is Daddy helping Keane with his soccer shoes.

Put me in coach I’m ready

This guy, pitch side with a picnic.

And here we go with lots of soccer drills.

Guilty of a hand-ball. And he thought he was getting away with it.

Here I believe the objective of the drill was to kick the ball over the cone. Once you did that you could claim the cone as your trophy.

Keane and a little girl gunning for the same cone.

Keane claimed the cone and received plenty of shade from the little girl as a reward.

Water break.

Next he had to kick the ball to the cone and jump over it.

Dribbling drills.

On the whistle the kids had to stop and put their foot on the ball. 3 ciders in and you won’t catch me passing this particular skill (balance is currently “questionable”)

Cullen on the hunt for cones.

And mad as hell that he can’t reach the corner flags.

Line ‘em up for goal kicks.

Keane’s turn.


Brussels Diamond League 2015

September 24, 2015

For the final leg of our trip to Ireland it was off to Brussels, Belgium. Not only was it Daddy’s last meet for the 2015 track season, but it was also the last Diamond League meet for the year. There we got to do a little city dining and exploring while catching up with none other than our favorite British manny, Alex. Some of you may remember Alex who stayed with us for 3 weeks back in May. Alex thought he was here interning with The Husband’s company, and he was, but not until his arrival did he realize the added “perk” of his internship was providing childcare assistance for the bosses wife, i.e. me. Not only did Alex learn a lot about the business of track & field, but he also became an expert stroller pusher and all round toddler entertainer. In Brussels however, he was there as part of the media team covering the meet. But since it was an evening meet, that meant his morning and afternoon were free, free to step back in his true passion of manny’ing my kids : )

A fabulous day in Brussels meant an al fresco brunch.

After brunch it was off to find a park.

Lots of pedestrian streets, which was a good thing since this guy was showing no interest in remaining in the stroller.

Don’t ask me what this fabulous building was, I have no idea, but it overlooked a small park we stumbled across.

It also had a sizable water feature.

There’s Keane and Alex.

Cullen is desperately looking for fish.

A game of “tag” in action.

Off for a wander.

The boys running through a small maze.

Stroller pushing duties resumed as we head back to our hotel for a nap ahead of the evening’s track meet.

The warm-up track adjacent to the stadium. Being here was a little stressful. As a former athlete I know how intense and focused these athletes need to be as they warm-up to compete, and I was terrified my overly excited, over energized boys would run out in front of one of the athletes as the practiced their starts of something. So I only captured a couple of shots of the lads so I could focus on making sure they stayed out of the way.

I did manage to get a couple of sneaky shots of Allison Felix and she warmed up in the blocks ahead of he women’s 200m.

On our way into the stadium we passed the men competing in the 100m as they headed to the call-room.

Inside the stadium.

YAY! One big happy track family.

First event was the men’s 400m hurdles and in lane 1 was Irish athlete and national record holder Thomas Barr.

The winner Jeffery Gibson.

Men’s 100m.

Won by the controversial Justin Gatlin. Not being a big fan of his I was disappointed with his victory.

A disappointing 5th place finish for Asafa Powell.

Ugh! Gatlin again.

Back in the stands and Cullen is using his foam cheering wand to hit his brother on the head.

The women’s 200m won by the amazing Dafne Schippers, beating the race favorite Allison Felix

The crowd and this little guy went crazy cheering during the women’s 200m.

And if it looks like Dafne was smiling up at us after her victory, well, she kind of was. Her sister was sitting behind us in the stands.

The proud sister.

Who was cool enough to engage in a little wand and cup hockey with Keane between events.

The Lake Life

September 23, 2015

If you’re a track fan you may recognize the names and faces that pop up on today’s blog. World & Olympic medalists Trey Hardee (Decathlete) and his gorgeous wife Chelsea Johnson-Hardee (pole vaulter) just so happen to be on vacation in Ireland while we were there. They were celebrating their first wedding anniversary and we thought it would be an amazing idea to join them for a couple of days to share in the romance of their little getaway. I mean, nothing says romance like a couple of your friends showing up to your first anniversary trip with their 2 kids. My good friend Terry McHugh (Irish javelin legend) owns an adorable cabin in the middle of “God-Knows-Where” Co. Cavan, and ever the generous and pushy soul he is, insisted we use his rustic abode for a little group R&R.

There is said cabin. Amazing. We loved it so much we almost canceled our flight back to the US to move in.

A short walk from the cabin is the boat dock. We were planning an early morning fishing trip the following day so we went down to check everything out.

The anniversary couple.

Trey looks a little confused, “so wait, its a transportation/containment device for small people??

Cullen straight chillin.

A sunset stroll to feed some local horses.

Bright and early the next morning and we are headed to the docks.

In your own time Keane.

Our fishing group.

Skipper Doyle.



So this water drop was a potential problem, no way our boat was making it up that.

But wait, just to the left were the canal gates that would allow us to pass up and through.

Cullen making sure Daddy knows which way to go.

Trey was our designated gate operator, and while he’s up figuring out the controls, we wait.

Hooray! They’re opening.

Trey making sure we pass safely through so he can close the gates behind us and open the ones further ahead.

Patiently waiting.

Gate master job is complete, he rejoins the boat and we power on.


Here fishy fishy.

Cullen didn’t have a lot of patience for fishing and under that kind of pressure none of us got a chance to catch any fishy. But we had fun trying.

We pass a couple of docked barges.

On our way back it was Daddy’s turn to operate the canal gates.

Party Party

September 21, 2015

I’ve never been the type of girl to miss a party. If you’re having a party, I’m there. Post-party party? Yep, there too. Clean-up party after the party and post-party? Yep, in. Things haven’t changed a whole lot over the years, I still like a good party. But what has changed are the parties themselves. Nowadays they are a lot more animated, colorful and sugary, sometimes there are tears and lots of falling down, the odd fight over a highly coveted toy, a little puking here and there from one too many sodas or cupcakes, and by the end of the evening there’s guaranteed to be plenty of passed out children riding home in the back of their parents cars. In fact, when you lay it out like that, there really isn’t that much difference between a toddler party and an adult party. Except for maybe location, toddler parties always seem to happen in the best locations. While we in Ireland my nephew Nathan celebrated his 2nd birthday on a farm and here’s how the fun went down.


Cullen and some rabbits.

Time to feed the goats.

The conversation between my niece Emily and the goat is looking a little intense.

YAY! Birthday boy Nathan.

My eldest nephew Evan on… actually, I don’t know what that is.

Ridin dirty.

Cullen thinks the boys on this vehicle is hilarious.

High-five for the craic being had.

The inseparable Emily and Keane.

Followed by Nathan.

A celebratory birthday slide.

Cullen knows there’s work to be done somewhere.

Pause, “hello random ostrich”.

Plenty of farming vehicles for all the kids to enjoy.

This pony showed up with his hair all a mess, luckily Evan was on hand to save him anymore embarrassment.

And cos its a party Keane gave the pony a leafy treat.

Cake time!

“Hooray for my Birthday ”

Lets finish with the birthday boy and his Daddy, loving on a baby rabbit.