Monday, August 29, 2011

Boating on the Lake

It's been hot here.

No, not just hot...HOT!

urgh.  I sweat more than the average person, so I don't do HOT very well.

Fortunately, we spent all day Saturday on Grammy and Papa's boat.  The lake was gorgeous, the water was perfect, and we all had a lovely day.

Cole took responsibility for all pre-trip checks on the boat - you know, he wanted to make sure everything was in working order and all:

 Seeing Cole in that life jacket just kills me...he is SO.ADORABLE!

Helping Papa drive the boat:

Papa and Daddy on the wakeboard:

Notice there are no photos of me on the wakeboard...this is because I spent my entire wakeboard time with my face in the water.  I'm surprised there was any water left in lake, I drank so much.  Athletic, I am not - but since every muscle in my body is STILL screaming from that workout, at least I know I tried.
But Cole and I took a dunk together:
And Cole was enamored with the bridge we went under:

And, you know, with all the boat checking and driving the boat, Cole was just exhausted and passed out on Grammy for the rest of the day:

And so I leave you with a photo of poor Cole's major injury of the day:

The poor little guy stumbled and took a face plant right into the corner of the cooler.  He's such a little trooper, he hardly cried at all (I may have shed more tears than he did), but it did leave a mark.  Fortunately, he didn't even bruise and you can't even see any mark there today. 

How was your weekend?  What's your favorite way to beat the heat?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Your daily dose of cuteness

Please take a moment to observe how BIG my boy is getting:

 Serious face:

I just love him soooo much!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011



That's not a feeling I experience very often.

Today, I stopped on the way home from doing errands at the gas station.  It was 97 degrees, Cole and I were hot and tired and I needed to get home so Cole could have his nap.  He was whining in the backseat and the line was taking forever, so my patience was starting to stretch.

An older gentlemen, dressed in simple clothes with deep lines etched on his face, walked by the car carrying a roll of paper towels and some Windex.  He made eye contact with me and gestured to roll down the window.  He told me how he was trying to get to Portland, how he'd hitchhiked all the way from Pennsylvania and was washing windows for money.

"Anything will help - a dollar, anything." He pleaded.

I'm not the type who's very comfortable around strangers in general, and much as I try not to judge, homeless people make me especially nervous.  Too many stories in the media, too many generalizations.  For whatever the reason, I quickly shook my head no.

"Sorry," I said as I rolled up my window.

But as I started to drive away, I heard Cole babbling in the backseat.  I thought about all my ideas for when he is older to teach him to be kind and generous to others, especially those in need.  I thought about how, for the first time, our family is in a better place for giving to others.  I thought about how many homeless people I see just asking for a handout on the corner, and here this man was willing to work, to stand out in the hot sun just to make a buck.

I was ashamed.

How many times a day do I think about how to shape my actions to show Cole the example of the kind of person I want him to be?  How would I have wanted my son to behave toward this man?  If that man had been Cole in sixty years, wouldn't I want a stranger to help him out?

So I turned around.  I had exactly seven dollars in my wallet, and as I handed it to the man with my apology, his face lit up. 

"Thank you, ma'am.  Thank you so very much."

I told him no, thank you.  That I wished I had more to give him.  I told him thank you for reminding me of the important lesson I wanted to teach my baby.  And as I drove away for the second time, I felt better.

Was it enough?  Maybe not.  But perhaps it was a step in the right direction.  And one of these days, Cole will remember our actions toward someone in need, and hopefully copy them. 

And then the world will be that much better of a place.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." -Mahatma Ghandi

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yellowstone Epic Vacation - Day Five

Our last day in Yellowstone was spent at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, which was only a block away from our hotel in West Yellowstone.

I'm not a big fan of zoos in general, but the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center had bears and wolves that are unable to survive in the wild and would be destroyed if not for the Center.  It had a TON of really interesting information.

Cole enjoyed the polar bear exhibit:

A bear trap:

Chris and Cole in a wolf den (Cole is way more interested in the rock in his hand):

Chris got some really awesome shots of the wolves:

All in all, even though Cole seemed to be on a total sleep strike most of the trip, we had an amazing time in Yellowstone.  We saw so many people from all over the world who came to this beautiful place, and it made me so glad our country preserves our national parks and the natural beauty they offer.  There's nothing like getting close to nature to learn to appreciate it!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Screaming with laughter

And you know what was making him laugh so hard?  Grammy and me saying "BZZZZ" when he put our fingers together.

Well, I don't know about you, but that makes ME fall on the floor rolling with laughter every time.

I wish he would always stay this easily entertained!

Yellowstone Epic Vacation - Day Four

 Day Four began with an early morning trek to see some more wildlife.  I was a teeny bit disappointed I didn't get to see a moose (what is the plural of moose anyway?  Meece? Mooses? Mice?), but we saw another few buffalo REALLY close:

Yup...still hideously ugly.

Next up was Artist's Point, which offered a phenomenal view of The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone:
And this guy's pretty phenomenal looking too:

We had some spare time, so we let Cole run around on his unsteady little legs - he gained MANY admiring smiles from strangers while toddling around:

Then we drove over to the other side to view Lower Falls.  My nephew JJ:

Chris' mom isn't too excited about heights - we had to do some "encouraging":

Cole enjoyed the water:

But seriously guys, this kid was way more impressed with ROCKS.  I know, surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet, that people travel from all over the world to come view, and Cole gets most excited about a handful of ROCKS.  That's kids for ya.

Then we saw more hot springs:

Cole wasn't too sure about how much he liked the sulfur smell of the hot springs:

And since we were all pooped, we went back to the hotel and went swimming:

Which was torturous for Cole, as you can tell from the photos!

Our last day in Yellowstone, coming up tomorrow!

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