Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Country Side Mother's Day

Mother's Day this year was such a delightful family day. Keith and Krissy opened their doors to their beautiful home and hosted a family Bar B.Q.  Kaufman's from near and far all came together, and spent a very relaxing afternoon with one another.
 Their home sits on a picturesque eight acres of land. Plenty of room for all the Kaufmans, little and big, to run around in.

 Menacing storm clouds did force us indoors for a short while as a down pour of showers began. But it never put a damper on the day on account of our host, Keith, who continued to provide tasty foods for his guest, by grilling in the rain.
 Kathy soaked up the shower hour by snuggling and reading with her girls.
 I set up shop in one of the bedrooms and used the, "too wet to go outside" time to snap a few practice photos of my niece Shalya and nephews, Shane and Jack, and my little Gracie.  
These next few photos are my favorite.

 Once the rain stopped it was back outside for the family to enjoy the freshly washed country air.
 Keith walked Gracie down to his pond and told her about all the creatures that share their homes there. The fish, turtles, frogs, and birds. 
 We gathered all the Kaufman boys together for a family photo. With a background this magnificent, it mustn't go to waste.
 Then it was the Kaufman girls....
 Along with our honorary Kaufman, Krissy.
 The whole family together. Not a bad looking crew, don't you think?
 This property is Krissy's Grandmother's. Her Grandfather built the house that we all fit so comfortably in. And although her Grandmother wasn't able to be with us for the day, Krissy's witty and very kind Mother spent the afternoon with us, and fit in just as perfectly as can be as a member of our family.
 Keith and Krissy planned and organized the day, and they did such a wonderful job. It was for Mother's Day, yes, but we couldn't let the day go by without singing Happy Birthday to Keith, as he was the birthday boy, but never even brought it to anyone's attention, wanting to keep the focus on the Mothers in the family. Such a sweetie pie.
 Thanks to the two of your for helping create a tremendous day chalked full of family memories. We all had a blast!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Green Easter Bunnies?

This year March was packed with two festively colorful holidays. As always, on March 17th, was the ever so popular day to wear green, St. Patrick's Day. My in-laws hosted a family get together, where delicious food was served, joyful music was heard, and thanks to my sister-in-law Krysty (who is an art teacher. She teaches in Grace's future elementary school. Score for us!!) she brought along fun art projects for the kids to create.  Construction paper Leprechauns and tissue paper rainbows. Grace loved the projects, and had a blast hanging with her cousins.

 And because I never had the chance to post for last year's St. Patties Day, here's a flashback look at the hubster in his authentic Ireland rugby jersey, and little miss 13 month old Gracie from 2012. (She looks so tiny!)
Spring has sprung! Easter was very early this year. It fell on the last day of March, so exactly two weeks after everyone was seeing green, it was time to break out the pastels and go searching for hidden Easter eggs! 

There is a very cute little park just up the street from where we live, and each year members of the community host an egg hunt for the little ones. This was Grace's first year attending the egg hunt. Let me tell you, these toddlers mean serious business when it comes to gathering up as many eggs as they can! You could cut the competitive tension with a pair of fluffy bunny ears! Actually, it was a lot of fun. Grace enjoyed herself, was able to fill her basket with colorful eggs, and had so much fun hanging with our neighbors eldest daughter from across the street.
My only suggestion for the superb group of people who coordinate the event.... I think it's time to hire a new Easter Bunny! Grace wasn't scared, but I don't think she was thrilled to have photographic evidence of the creepy Easter Bunny impostor!
On Easter Sunday, Grace woke up to find that the real Easter Bunny had visited our house and left her a super fun surprise on the kitchen table! After church we headed down to my in-laws, and spent the afternoon with family. Gracie really enjoyed having her Great Grandma, (G.G.) and her Great Grandpa (Poppy John) up for a visit from the Jersey shore.
And of course, we must close with a small flashback from last year's Easter. The weather was much warmer, I'm sure that had to do with the simple fact that Easter was actually in April last year. So little Gracie had her first egg hunt in her backyard, and was a natural at gathering them all in her basket. Mr. Bunny must have made a sweet deal with a brood of chickens, because my goodness, there were rainbow eggs everywhere!
(Again, I can't get over how tiny she looks in these photos! So stinkin' cute!)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Disney Cruise

(This post is a month overdue. Terribly sorry about that.)

February is a love filled month in our house. Of course there is Valentine's Day, but it's also the month we celebrate the birth of our daughter, Grace, as well as our wedding anniversary. So this year we decided to combine the latter two and give ourselves an extremely fun-filled family gift. For Gracie's second birthday and our fifth anniversary we joined some good friends of ours and together we took to the sea with a Disney Cruise!
 I think we've stumbled upon a glorious treat, one that I'm hoping becomes something of a tradition for us. Taking advantage of an extended weekend in the depths of a frigid winter to a little tropical paradise, is just what the doctor ordered. 

I wish I could say that we soaked up the sun and relaxed every single second while we were away, but I will admit that we got off to a bumpy start. On the plane ride down to Miami, I came down with what I believed was motion sickness. Yup, half my flight was spent staring down the ever so lovely paper baggy, or making my way to the restroom whenever it was available. (And before anyone out there even has the chance to think it, let alone ask me, nope, not preggers. Sorry to disappoint you all. hee hee) I was hit with a pretty nasty stomach bug that stuck with me up until dinner time. So I missed the sail away party, but I'm told Gracie loved it.
(Above three of the four members of the Cappello family. Jodi, Matteo, and Renato. Little Marco was sleeping next to our table, or at least trying too. Below, well, you know who we are.)
That night, Gracie caught my bug. She was up a few times throughout the night. By the morning she seemed to be doing better. Not 100%, but better. The kicker though was the hubster caught the bug. I think it hit him hardest of all. He didn't leave the cabin room at all that day. While he was resting, Gracie and I explored the ship, and we discovered some fun places to hangout and play. 
The ship was in port at Key West, Florida that day, but we never set foot on land. It looked like a very nice place to visit, so as I said earlier, perhaps we'll be there again some day.

One of the most fun things to do while onboard was to track down the Disney characters, and snap a photo with them. The look of excitement every time Grace saw a character was of pure joy. And when she saw Mickey Mouse for the first time she literally squealed with delight. I'm not kidding! It was like a teeny-bopper who just saw a Beetle. 
We had two beach days. The first of which we went on an excursion to the Atlantis Hotel in Nassau, Bahamas, where we spent a majority of the day playing in the sand, swimming in the ocean, and checking out some amazing fish in different aquariums. 

 The second beach day was spent on Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. I was thoroughly impressed with Castaway Cay. It had everything. Things for the adults, places for kids of every age, food, shopping, trails, bike riding, snorkeling around a coral reef, etc. Just so much to do. We kept it simple, and let our kiddos build sand castles, and go for a dip in crystal clear water, which I might add had what I like to call "ghost fish" as the color of the fish that would swim right up around you, almost to shore, was an exact match of the water, so you could barely see them until they were right next to you. (I pointed at one for Gracie to see, and yeah, it must have thought my finger tip was something to munch on, because it tried to take a nibble. I screamed, and needless to say, from then on I was a little more leery of these uber friendly ghost fish.)

Family photo time! It was awesome traveling with another family, not only to share the vacation and all the fun experiences with, but I have to be honest and say that I loved having someone who could snap a family photo for us. I'm always behind the camera, so its rare to get a shot of all three of us. Thanks, Renato and Jodi, you two rock!

(Below, Gracie mastered this funny face while away on the vacation. She's a silly one.)
 This is how we roll. Just a few snapshots of us all on the go.

We jokingly refer to Matteo as Gracie's boyfriend. She giggles, and has this sweet little smile whenever his name is mentioned. I think it's adorable. Mommy and Daddy totally approve because, hey, he's one heck of a handsome little guy. What can I say, the girl has good taste!

 One of the nights on board the ship Captain Hook and his crew take over, and it becomes a giant pirate party. The kids dressed up, and looked way-hay (get it? Argh!) cute! They have a big party poolside after dinner for all the matties on board, with fireworks and everything. As much as we love to party, after a long day on the beach, both the kiddos, and the parents were all tuckered out. So down-below we went to button down the hatches, leaving yet another thing to experience on a future date.

 We loved our little winter getaway. It was so much fun, regardless of the rough start. There is something truly wondrous about Disney. It brings out the kid in us all, and when you combine Disney with a tropical escape you get something magical. These are the first of very many fond memories to come, I'm sure.