Archive for July, 2018

Liberty Bridge Jump Off

July 31, 2018

So I haven’t been doing well with getting the posts up from our trip to Ireland. Honestly, its not from lack of trying, there’s just been a whole lot going on thats been sucking my time and attention in 100’s of other directions. Oh and yeah, the sleeping has derailed once again. So there’s that. In the midst of everything The Husband had his annual pole vault street meet, The Liberty Bridge Jump Off, in South Carolina last week. This is a meet the boys really enjoy, not just because its their Daddy’s meet, although they are big fans of his work, but also because the meet hosts a pre-meet kids vaulting clinic, a DJ and cheerleaders to keep the energy levels high and the whole vibe party! but they also get to watch the competition from right next to the vaulting runway, not stuck up in the nose bleed section of some stadium bleachers. So with all that entertainment and a good dose of some amazing pole vaulting by the countries top men and women vaulters, we hit the road bound for South Carolina. Yes, its a slight blogging detour, but I promise I will get back on track with posts from all things Ireland very soon.

2 boys ready and making their way to the kids vaulting clinic.

Coach Steve is amazing. He has so much time for all these kids.

Cullen takes the pre-vaulting grip test.

Keane spots Daddy.

The lessons begin.

I can remember doing something similar when I was a kid. With less fancy equipment. We’re talking a long and sturdy stick to vault across streams and rivers. And no, I’m not 87 yrs old, I just sound like I am.

Boys in line, probably bickering as they wait to do some real vaulting.

Keane is up.


…and launch.

Cullen’s on deck.

Look at that determination.

He’s a natural.

Now we’ve progressed to running with our own poles.

Clearance for days.

Lets go Cullen!

Some tangling issues, but we made it.

Post vaulting ice cream treats which we even shared with Daddy.

Top US women’s pole vaulter Sandi Morris came out to the clinic.

This is her little niece. Basically a Sandi “Mini Me”.

Ok, its getting close to competition time. We’ve got our viewing spot next to the runway and we are watching Sam Kendricks, no.1 mens vaulter with his final preparations.

Worth mentioning that the city of Greenville, SC, is Sandi’s hometown. So she had the entire crowd behind her and all were eager and excited to meet her.

2nd Annual Liberty Bridge Jump Off is ready to go!

I think they were watching the cheerleaders.

First up for the ladies, Taylor Drummonds.

The crowd goes wild.

Sam Kendricks takes his first vault of the evening.

And he’s clear!

Again, the crowd loves it!

Ok, so full disclosure, the boys got a little antsy in the midst of all the vaulting action. The heat, the hunger, the staying in one spot for too long was bringing forth lots of emotions, mostly of the negative kind. So I took them off to feed them, followed by a late night stroll down to the river where they enjoyed a darkness dip with a few other kids. We made it back in time to watch Sandi attempt a world leading height of 4.95m.

See, happy after some food and a refreshing darkness river dip.

2nd attempt at 4.95, was a miss.

While Sandi was preparing for her last attempt at 4.95m, Sam took his final jump of the evening, clearing 5.80m.

Sandi is back, with her final attempt at 4.95m.


The roar of victory.

Keane straight up with the high-5’s.

Crowd appreciation.

Sandi announces that she is going to attempt a new World Record. Wore out from the days events and the late hour I now have a sleeping Cullen in my arms. The responsible mother in me knew I should take him back to the Air BnB and tuck him into bed, but the track fan in me wanted to stay and watch Sandi go for the world record. So I stayed.

Unfortunately Sandi missed out on setting a new world record by the smallest of margins. (No photos of her attempts due to the sleeping child in my arms), but what an evening of vaulting. Well done to all the participating athletes.

Lets here it for civilized sleep hours!!! Two nights in a row now, kids in bed at a decent hour and 2 nights in a row, slept through to 5am. Yes, 5am still sounds like ridiculous o’clock to most people, but when you’ve spent the majority of your week been woken at 1am, rise and resettle everyone back to sleep, only to be woken again at 3 or 4am with demands for breakfast, then 5am starts to feel very much like a sleep in. Also, you’d be amazed at what a difference 2 straight nights of unbroken sleep will do for a momma. Energy surge, positive outlook and pre-bedtime dance parties are now back on the schedule. Sleep is truly a wonderful thing. To celebrate the return of my feeling more human the past couple of days, we’ll get started with the photo sharing from Ireland.

Day 1 and we are already at the cousins house tearing around the hood like we own the place. Or at the very least, live there.

My niece Emily.

Eldest nephew Evan. Less into the scooters, more into the biking.

The youngest, Cullen and Nathan.

A visit to the favorite climbing tree.

One minute you’re pose perfectly…

…the next your big brother is bombing your moment.

We’re on the move again.

Keane run off the road by a sword swinging Cullen.

And we always end up in some kind of body of water.

This moment here, in the face of a strong current, they all decided they’d be stronger if they held hands.



A little construction project at my parents house and this big hill of dirt served as an ideal playground every evening of our visit.

Modern Torment

July 25, 2018

We’re back from our Emerald Isle adventure. We’re back and we are buried in jet lag. Current wake up time is 4am, which is an improvement on the first night when the first child had me up right around 3am. Its tough and its emotional. Damn you jet lag! You modern day torment. On the plus side, 4 am wake ups allow you the opportunity not typically found during civilized daytime hours when your kids are wide awake and needy, to upload and comb through your hundreds of captured photos. Until the glow from the computer screen drives your tired eyes insane.

So as I struggle to get our sleep lives back on track, and organize the hundreds of photos, please enjoy this shot of Keane & Cullen with 2 of their cousins, Evan & Emily at the top of Big Rock at Killruddery House in Wicklow. A rock they climbed all by themselves.

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.



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.