A double celebration

5.13.2014

As I mentioned in my last post, we spent the morning of my birthday on the water.  Just like we did two years ago, we rented a pontoon boat for half the day.  We cruised up and down a bit, looking at some nice homes on the water and then dropped anchor at one of the small islands that dot this part of the river.
Havi had actually been fighting a fever for the last two days, and we were unsure if we were even going to get out on the water.  Her fever finally broke, but she still wasn't quite herself.
Patrick set up one of the sun shades for us to relax under while the dumplings splashed in the water.
Although not the same islands as last time, we still managed to find two islands connected by a sandbar.  The dumplings had so much fun walking through the brush and exploring, in addition to splashing in the water.  (You can actually see our pontoon boat anchored near the sandbar, just above and to the right of Caleb's head in the shot below.)
After lunch, I snapped a few shots of Caleb and Madeline, and then we attempted a few photos of me with the dumplings.  And just so you know that I'm keeping it real, you can see all that extra sunscreen reapplied and totally NOT rubbed in.  Oh well.
Then it was off to explore the second island.  What Patrick didn't tell any of us was that he had actually spied this rope swing as we went by in the water, which was his reason for selecting this location to drop anchor.  Caleb and Madeline were initially unsure about it, but once they were on, we couldn't get them off!  Even Havi had a turn.
And yes, Caleb is giving his sister bunny ears in the shot above.  
And this is what three tired dumplings look like after four hours of boating.  
And that was pretty much the end of the birthday festivities that day.  Havi's fever came back, and we were unable to go out to dinner that night.  We were unsure if she and Patrick were even going to go with us to watch Caleb play tennis in my sister's neck of the woods.   Thankfully, though, her fever did finally break for good.  And on Saturday afternoon, we all headed out to watch Caleb play.  My sister came out with my niece Leah because my nephew Josh was home napping.  Caleb played up in the 12s division and took second place!  He came so close to forcing a tiebreaker against the boy he played against in the first place playoff.  It was such fun tennis to watch.  We are so proud of him.
Then it was time to head back to my sister's place and get ready for dinner.  We snapped a few photos in the front yard.  And for kicks we tried to replicate the cheerleading photo in the last post, but we were laughing too hard to make a good effort.  Yeah, dress and skinny jeans....probably not the best wardrobe choice for doing cheerleading stunts when you're well past your cheerleading prime. (By the way, I'm in the printed dress.)
After our shenanigans, we all hopped in the car and headed to dinner.  Andy's parents came with us as we were not only celebrating our birthdays but also Mother's Day.  We ate at a cozy little Italian spot.  The food was fantastic, and we all had a great time.

We gave my sister her very own ice cream maker.  So now all the special people in her neck of the woods can enjoy fresh, homemade ice cream without having to make the trek to my house.  To say they're excited would be an understatement.

To celebrate me, Deb and Andy gave me some good old fashioned 35mm film!  Yep, you read that right.  As if two cameras and a smart phone aren't enough, I have decided that I want to give shooting film a try.  And my sis and BIL graciously bought me my first rolls of professional film for my new-to-me 35mm film SLR, which should be on my doorstep some time today.  I'm so excited.  And not only did my amazing hubby treat me to a new film SLR for Mother's Day, but he also bought me a new 80-200mm f/2.8 lens.  After six serious years of shooting digital, I finally have a prime telephoto lens to go with the rest of my fixed prime lenses!  I can't wait to use this at Madeline's dance recital and Caleb's tennis matches (and portraits too!)  Oh, and I cannot forget to mention that my precious dumplings bought me my very own tennis racquet for my birthday!  Now I don't have to keep using Caleb's second racquet when he asks me to hit with him. lol

Anyway, it was quite the action packed weekend.  Lots of love being shared and good ole memory making at its best.  I am so blessed with a wonderful husband and dear children.  And I'm so thankful that my sister and I live within driving distance so we can still celebrate our birthday and Mother's Day together.  With our mother and gramma deceased, it means so much to celebrate these times together.  I love being a twin, and I love her like crazycakes.

Happy Birthday and Mother's Day, Deb.
And a belated Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there in the blogosphere!

3 sweet words:

Cheri Tuesday, May 13, 2014  

Wow, it looks like you had a great day! Enjoy your new camera and lens!

Deb Tuesday, May 13, 2014  

Well girl, we are another year older but wiser, right? It looks like you all had such a wonderful time on the water. So jealous! We had such an awesome time watching Caleb play tennis and the kids had a blast playing together. I think you already know how much I love my ice cream maker after only one use. Thanks for widening my waistline. *wink*

lisacng @ expandng.com Thursday, May 15, 2014  

What a cool place to spend your birthday, like your own private islands! I love the photo of Madeline looking into the horizon on the speedboat, wind whipping through her hair. The photos of you and the kids are gorgeous! What a great backdrop and the colors are so vibrant. What a lovely gift exchange with your family. So cool you'll be getting into film photography and I'm so jealous of your prime telephoto lens! Good job, hubby.

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About This Blog

This blog is a place where we have shared our lives with family and friends while we waited to bring our daughter, Madeline, home from China and while we actually traveled to China for her. It is also a place where we will continue to share our life experiences, as we try to glorify God and raise our two precious dumplings from China.

And now we wait to bring Havi home from China.

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