Thursday, December 22, 2011

Year in Review

Merry Christmas!!

This Little Light of Mine (that's moose poop on the right)

Halloween - Ian wanted to wear a different costume every day following Halloween - he's definitely more of our fashionista!


A Pair on the Island of Coronado

Snorkeling in Kauai 

Connor and Noah 

My fave - boys exploring in the rain, and hanging with Poppy in NC

Sunday, December 18, 2011

San Diego, North Carolina, Maryland, Oh My!

Back in Maryland, at the end of November - after a month of travel - we cut down the perfect 2011 Bates Christmas Tree.

Photo Credits: Noah Bates
We spent Thanksgiving in Chapel Hill, NC with family - four grandsons all together!  Here are Grey, Ian (both 2) and Cameron (1) rub a dubbin'.

Beyond eating and visiting, we got Christmas trees, took hayrides and kept up with the Twilight movie series!

 My sister, Carly and her family.
  Cam - below in his blue hat.

 My new slipper duds!

 Signature look by Ian

 The last night in NC, Carly and I got together with my UNC ladies over margaritas and Mexican at our old stomping grounds - Monterrey's.  We took many a 'study break' here while at Carolina!

Right before Thanksgiving, Connor and I may have lost our heads for a moment and decided to squeeze in a quick trip to San Diego (Connor was  there for work and I joined while the boys played with Grandma).  Del Mar, La Jolla, Coronado Island, downtown San Diego, Torrey Pines Park - we hiked down to  beaches, sat by fire pits, toured, and hung out with some of our best buddies who were also in town!  Definitely a memorable time.



 Halloween 2011 was also very memorable - we spent it in Chapel Hill, NC with family.  The first house Ian hit, he ran straight in and to the back.  Welcome home!  He is doggie below.  Cameron is the dinosaur.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I'm Just Sayin'

Just doing year-end picture clearing house--making 2012 calendars and came across these...ahem, gems.  Connor had just re-tarred our driveway (with the boys' help of course) and thank the good Lord I was able to get to the camera quickly enough.  Be still my heart.  I love this man.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

2 Boys, 1 Pumpkin Patch and a Corn Maze

Falling behind this fall - but the good news is that we are thoroughly living it to the max.  Daily I wish I recorded more events, took more pictures and captured more of the growing world around me of 2 boys.  Instead, I am fully immersed in simply keeping up with each adventure as it comes.

Ian in a tippee

Ian watching Noah in the Pumpkin Patch

Noah flirting (a typical question for him - "are girls my age going to be there?")

A mom in a corn maze, and...

  A pumpkin-head dad

Saturday, September 17, 2011

We Do It Island Style

From the mountain to the ocean from the windward to the leeward side.
On the Island, we do it Island Style!

We just returned from our journey to the island of Kaua'i.... Crazy to say that this marks our third visit to this majestic place.  We honeymooned and babymooned here as well!  Words cannot describe so pictures...

The Na Pali Coastline - hard to tell where the sea ends and the sky begins.  This is about an hour and a half drive from the North Shore, where we stayed.

Secret Beach - we spent most of our time exploring the rocky masses on the far end of the beach.  Water pooled in low-lying areas creating 'baby pools' for swimming and playing.  The ocean waves and currents were actual insanely strong this day.  No one was swimming, only watching the waves storming in and out - they were huge and fast.  Well, no one went in that is except for me.  A guy had to pull me out!  Seriously, what was I thinking!

 Connor and Ian stopping to check out the views on the Kalalau Trail (~14 mi).  We made it about a mile in and back.  Noah hiked the whole way - even lost his shirt about half way!  Many fellow hikers likened him to a mountain goat.  This trailhead began right next to the Ke'e Beach, great for snorkeling.

 We lived off local fruit (papaya!!) - the Starfruit in particular was a hit.

Connor and boys on Hideaways Beach (Princeville - near St. Regis Resort) - this was a picturesque spot where waves crashed against the rocks behind (of course, not in timing with the smiles...)  To get to this beach, you must shimmy down several hundred feet of bumpy dirt, holding onto ropes, rusted pipes, even garden hoses!

Our duo in diapers - Ian and Ayla

 We managed to fit in some romance...we celebrated our 7th anniversary while here!  On the night of our anny (September 5th), we opened a bottle of Vueve (champagne) and laughed over our favorite memories together thus far.  Kari and Bob also celebrated their anny (5th) while there (September 3rd)...actually this is how the idea to take this trip originated...over a bottle of wine in California I believe...

 Ian's "cheese!"

Connor and Noah on Ke'e Beach.

Jackie and Ian on Ke'e Beach

 Now, my favorite beach - the one where they filmed a scene from the movie, South Pacific: Lumaha'i Beach.  Long stretches of fine sand and turquoise waters combined with steep rocky structures and low-lying rocks where the ocean rushes in and gets trapped, creating warm shallow pools.

 Kari and Ayla

 Bob and Steve did end up jumping off the far end of the rocks!

Ian n Ayla
The bus!  Sophia is the driver, then we have Ian, Noah and Rocco.  This outdoor patio area was a Kingdom at times, a bus and even a late-night cocktails location for the adults.
 Sophia our driver
Ian, "cheese!"
Girls on our way out for cocktails: Patty, Kari, Gene (Kari's mama) and Jackie

 Oh we had some fun!  My face seriously hurt the next day from laughing so hard that night!

This is a locals favorite, and became one of ours as well.  When we walked into this joint for the first time, the live Hawaiian band randomly hit it with our theme song: We Do It Island Style.  We could have died!

 Ian in one of the caves we visited.

More from Secret Beach.

 The "Daddy Express" - How we made so much headway on the island.

 Our room
 The Na Pali mountain range.

 And, for our last night, we stayed at the Marriott (for free on Connor's points).  Nice, but we much prefer the do-it-yourself / take on Kauai version of the experience.

 Ian finally crashing out by the ocean.

 Mr. Cool Kat.

So thankful for this experience.  It was not only gorgeous, amazing island-style experiences, it was 100% pure family time, which is a treasure these busy days.