Monday, July 30, 2012

Haboob

We came out of the movies last Saturday to this giant wall of dust.

Photobucket

First thing Benson says to me? "The windows in my car (which was at our house) are half open"
So we bypassed my parents house where Abby was waiting for us and rushed home to close his windows and save his car from an intense dusting - as he's rolling down his windows I ran in to get my camera and as soon as we're back in the car the storm was billowing over the houses across the street from us. It was a crazy drive to my parents house.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
Yes, those are palm trees and yes it really was that hard to see.

Photobucket

We drove right into the center of the storm and it was SO dark and hard to see. Then it got lighter and lighter as we drove out of it

Photobucket

Then, by the time we got to my parents house it was cleared up, except for the rain which Abby had fun playing in with her Grandpa.

Photobucket

Friday, July 27, 2012

6 & 7

This little girly gets cuter and more fun by the day. She is SUCH a ham and loves to make us all laugh. Just last night she was up and wired at 11pm. I was exhausted and laying in bed trying to sleep while her daddy tried to wear her out a little bit - well she crawls over less than an inch from my face and starts laughing the most ridiculous, loud, breathy laugh right in my face - as soon as I opened my eyes she got a huge dimply grin and let out a genuine belly laugh. I guess she thought I was missing out on the fun and needed to wake me up so I could join. Silly sweet girl.


Photobucket

Photobucket

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Pews

It's always exciting when people start a new chapter in their lives and get to move across country for exciting reasons like starting medical school. That is, until those people are your good friends who feed you chocolate and nutella brownies and let you come over in your pajamas and don't make fun when you leave early because you are tired at 10pm, and will spend all night laughing at dumb youtube videos - then it becomes very sad.

We are definitely excited for the Pew's to have a fun adventure in Michigan, we just wish we were going with so we could keep them close. Before they left I did some quick family pictures since it had been years since they last had them taken with the extended family.

Photobucket

Photobucket
This little girl made everything easy, she set all the poses up herself and couldn't get enough of being in front of the camera

Photobucket

This little Griffin was born just a few days before Abby and I am pretty sure he took all her chub - look at those cheeks! The next time we see this face he'll already be one! (boo hoo)

Photobucket

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Abby & the Giant Watermelon

We have some dear family friends who have an amazing garden. They always have an over abundance of delicious fruits and vegetables to share, which are always impressive in size. This past week, when us girls (my mom & her best friend Karen, and me and my best friend Ashley, Karen's daughter and of course Abby) got together for lunch and a shopping trip, Karen mentioned we had to come to our house to see their prize garden item of the summer - this giant watermelon. It weighs 35lbs!

Photobucket

Photobucket


We had to let Abby pose with it to document just how big it was and then we cut it up and ate it - and it was delicious as it was big. Karen sent us each home with a 1gallon bag of the leftovers (there was enough to fill  6!) and we're still eating it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lakeside (again)

Our favorite weekend retreat

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Friday, July 20, 2012

Omaha - Part 4

Our final day in Omaha we decided that we just had to go back to the zoo. We had seen everything else on our "must do" list and realized that we missed a couple of awesome attractions at the zoo that we thought would be worth paying another $12 to go again (seriously - cheaper than the Phoenix Zoo and 10 million times cooler)

Like I said before, this zoo is AWESOME. Seriously, this cannot be overstated. If you like animals or have kids who like animals... skip the San Diego Zoo and Seaworld and go here instead. Here's why:

#1 - The zoo is GORGEOUS. All of the landscaping is beautiful and they have really gone out of their way to create a wonderful atmosphere. My mother-in-law called it the Disneyland of zoo's, and that is a perfect description. No detail was missed.

#2 - There are so many animals. 6 cheetas, 30 large cats (lions and tigers), 20 gorillas, 4 different species of bears...etc. Every exhibit is FULL of animals and they are all so close you are rarely left wondering where they are hiding or what they are doing.

#3 - The animals are all VERY close and in natural looking habitats. I literally could have touched a tiger if I was dumb enough to try.

#4 - Special exhibits. They have an aquarium that I thought was way cooler than Seaworld, which includes a touch tank, and a giant aquarium with a tunnel you walk through.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

There is also a butterfly pavillion which is basically a greenhouse that you can walk through with THOUSANDS of butterflies and hummingbirds fluttering around.

Photobucket

Photobucket

There is a "Desert Dome" which includes animals from all of the worlds greatest deserts as well as an underground area called "Kingdoms of the Night" which houses an artificial cavern complete with stalactites and stalagmites, underground waterfalls and bats (in cages of course) and a "swamp" area where you can view alligators, crocodiles, and beavers from a couple of feet away (literally)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

There is an indoor jungle which is indescribable. It is full of monkeys, rivers, waterfalls, otters, hippos, wild birds, sloths etc. all barely out of arms reach.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

There is also a giant aviary, a "Madagascar" exhibit and a children's aviary where they can old and feed small birds. All of these special exhibits are in addition to the regular zoo exhibits of rhino's, giraffes, zebra's etc. 

Everyone who worked at the zoo was kind, friendly and knowledgeable and we all had a great time. I was amazed at how much Abby loved the zoo. She howled at the monkeys and animals all day, LOVED the jungle vines and couldn't get enough of the jellyfish. 

By the end of the day though, we were exhausted and ready to head back to sleep in our own beds.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Omaha - Part 3

The next few days in Omaha we spent seeing some of the local sites/museums.

We went to the drive through wild animal park affiliated with the zoo where we got to see lots of elk, deer, buffalo and bald eagles up close.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

We then headed over to another favorite spot of the trip - the Durham Museum. This gorgeous museum is located in the old Union Station which was build in the 1920's with amazing art deco style architecture. The museum is HUGE and you could spend so much time there and miss half of it (like we did). The museum basically contains the entire history of the state. They have old train cars and buses on the platform you can walk through as well as several walk through exhibits including a life-size teepee, covered wagon, Indian hut, old schoolhouse, country stores and homes, as well as an exhibit of historic documents and coins and the cities photo archive.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

They also had the old soda fountain counter still up and running - so we couldn't pass up getting a banana split

Photobucket

Which Abby sure enjoyed

Photobucket

Later that night we went to downtown Omaha and walked around the Old Market area which is just a set of old buildings with fun little shops and restaurants in them

Photobucket

then we walked on the worlds largest pedestrian bridge which crosses the Missouri River into Iowa

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

The next day (Sunday) we went to the Winter Quarters visitor's center and learned all about the pioneers as well as the old tabernacle. We also went to the Mt. Vernon Gardens which, despite their name and description, looked nothing like Mt. Vernon (although it was still pretty). 

Photobucket

Photobucket

And of course, we couldn't pass up visiting the little city of Benson:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket