Beach Bums in Action

I took my boys to the beach today. It may be our last beach day of the summer, but I’m hoping to squeeze one more in.

As you can probably imagine, I have recent pictures of the boys at the beach doing just about everything imaginable and from pretty much every angle. So, I had not planned to take any pictures today. But, just in case, I threw an old camera into my bag last minute before I headed out.

I lasted almost the entire day, then I noticed things like this:

and I couldn’t resist. Yes, that’s a partial moon over South Haven.

Their grandpa (my father), an adrenaline junkie with no sense of fear, decided to walk with my boys along the pier. It wasn’t long before they were dangling over the edge.

And even less time before they were…

jumping off.

again and again.

I’m glad I brought a camera, because I didn’t yet have them from this angle. (Yes, I do realize how crazy I am for letting a 3 and 6-year-old jump over me).

Though my youngest did faceplant once, he wasn’t injured. So, all-in-all, it was a fun end-of-summer day.

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In My Pool

I have inherited a swimming pool. It’s sort of a project pool. I’ve been working on it all summer and still haven’t gotten the water clear enough for humans to swim in it. It’s sort of a big frustration for me.

There is a lot of swimming going on in the pool, just not by people. I think this guy is the captain of my swampy backyard pool swim team.

And this one is possibly the star swimmer. He was hard to catch.

I’m hopeful that by next summer I’ll have moved all of the green things out and gotten the water clear enough that I would subject my kids to it.

No offense to the frogs. They are welcome. They eat bugs. But, I would like them a little more if they swam someplace else.

Allison and Darren

The wedding of Allison and Darren was held at St. Joseph Catholic Church one Sunday afternoon.

Allison looked absolutely stunning.

Darren was dressed for the day looking quite handsome.

Since the schedule for the evening was tight, they opted for a first look photo — seeing each other privately before the ceremony. Darren’s face lit up when he saw his beautiful bride.

We then quickly headed off to the park for some before-ceremony pictures to preserve the day.

The ladies looked lovely in black.

The gentlemen, handsome.

And the sweetest (and possibly cutest) flower girl and ring bearer.

Beautiful:

The ceremony was perfect in one of my all-time favorite churches.

Once again, the adorable ring bearer and flower girl momentarily stole the show.

Allison and Darren soon left the church to head off for the reception at Cityscape Events.

The wedding party looked fabulous after the ceremony.

They gave me some fierceness before getting in the car.

Allison and the boys:

The flowers were red calla lilies and roses.

These two beauties were smiling sooo big!

At the end of the night, Allison and Darren shared a few quiet moments together before heading off on their honeymoon.

Allison and Darren, your wedding and reception were perfection. I hope I was able to capture some of the artistic vision you had for the evening. View the rest of your online album here.

Gators, Etc.

Thanks to the recommendation of a wonderful friend, I took my boys to one of those off-the-beaten-path type of places that promise to be an adventure. This particular excursion was to the Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary.

Upon first glance, I wasn’t sure what to quite expect. But, in retrospect, what we found were some people who are filled with passion. For those who do not know me, I am a very passionate person myself. Everything I dream and do, I do with conviction and heart. To me, these people are exactly that — about alligators and preserving the ones who have had a rough go of it.

At the start of the adventure, we met some interesting creatures.

There were lizards,

and turtles.

Some of them looked almost Jurassic.

We got to hold young alligators and learn about their biology.

There was a greenhouse filled with tropical plants. There, we searched for frogs hiding in the vegetation.

Then it was off to watch the big guys (and gals).

The alligators almost seemed excited to see us. I’m sure they knew we had gator food.

They are fed a special diet formulated just for alligators. Guests get to feed them which gets pretty exciting. They growl and snap their teeth.

On the way out, we got to meet this charming young man. He’s only 17 years old — just a baby for a tortoise. He wandered around looking for dandelions and shade.

If you visit the alligator sanctuary, don’t expect to find a pristine complex free of dirt with manicured lawns. Do expect to find a couple of people who love what they do and spend their time caring for the many animals living with them and expect to find an abundance of alligators that seem to smile.