Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Family Reunion

Mallard Side of the Lay Family
A few weekends ago, Michael and I traveled to southern Arkansas to attend the Lay Family Reunion. I was so excited about getting to see my extended family. The Lay family is my paternal grandmother's side of the family. The majority of the extended Lays live south of Little Rock. Most of my father's side lives south of Little Rock, and I don't believe Michael has ever traveled that far south. It was a whole new world. Cotton fields and two lane highways, in which my father reverted back to the years he drove a Camero and decided to drive 100mph on those two lane highways in his Tahoe.

I have a lot of good memories of driving to visit my family with my grandfather and my cousin. The last time I spent any amount of time down there I was 13 years old, and doing anything away from my parents at that age was fun. My great aunts and uncles all lives within about 20 miles of each other and we drove to visit each one and we did something special and fun at each one's house. To a 13 year old it was a great time; horseback riding and visiting cemetery. Yes, visiting cemeteries. Apparently we all need to know where our family is buried, according to my Great Uncle J.

It was great visiting with all of my extended family. The last time we had a family reunion I was 2 years old and pictures are the only memories I have of the day. I do know most of my extended family, mainly from attending our fair share of funerals throughout the years, so it was nice to get together for a happy occasion. It was wonderful to know everyone still looks the same. The reunion was held at my great grandmother's house (which has been remodeled) on the Lay family farm. Most surprising thing of the day was that I actually remembered how to get there, or at least a few random landmarks.

Hopefully it won't be 23 more years before we have another reunion.
My Dad and Great Uncle Alvie

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pineapple Express

While in Hawaii, we went to the Dole pineapple plantation. Now for those that know me, know how much I hate any fruit, but that did not stop me from enjoying the plantation. The day we went to the plantation was a super long and super enjoyable day. I think everyday in Hawaii is fun.

Veronica, Skye, and I all went to Pali Lookout first thing in the morning. It was extremely windy up there. We actually didn't think it was all that bad at first but then we walked to a second (lower) level of Pali Lookout and I couldn't even push the stroller because the wind was so bad. It was beautiful from up there, I think Skye was a little concerned about the wind, but I can't really blame her.
the view
Top part of the lookout
Low hanging clouds
Notice my hair

After we left Pali Lookout, we decided to drive over to the Dole Plantation. Veronica really wanted to ride the Pineapple Express. When we first got to the plantation we had some lunch. Lets just say anything that could be made with pineapples was made with pineapples at the plantation. They have a few items made without pineapples, THANK GOODNESS. The plantation has a lot of things to do, they have the train, a maze, and even a koi pond. You could even feed the fish at the koi pond. Skye loved the watch the fish, but so did I! After lunch and a quick stop at the koi pond, we got on the pineapple express. We had fun on the train and Skye really liked the train ride, her face was priceless. I am definitely missing that little girl and her mommy. I wish they lived closer!
Koi Pond
Skye watching the fish
Only picture of the two of us!
Check out that face!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Back to the windy city. I will finish writing about Hawaii later this week, and I am already very very sad I am back to reality. I did miss Michael tons, but something about waking to the salt in the air and cool walks at night is really a bummer now that I am in Chicago.

Chicago is a fabulous city to go visit, and right now it is fall. It isn't even fall in Arkansas yet. The trees are beautiful and the air is crisp, and the hustle and bustle of the big city is definitely happening. Most people know that I like to take pictures. I am not a professional photographer, but I do enjoy capturing moments in my life and the lives of my friends and family. My friend, and former co-worker, asked that I help her with a project for her parents for Christmas. We were lucky that I was in Chicago on the perfect day this week. The fall colors are amazing and honestly the pictures look very good. I think her parents will be so excited to see them, whenever they get their present in a few months.

I will show the pictures after I work through all the touch ups. Tomorrow is a Better than Ezra concert. Sometimes work functions can be fun.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Honolulu Zoo

We took Schuylia to the Zoo, her very first time to go to the zoo. It was a very fun experience. Skye was fun to watch. I think most of the time she was too busy watching all the people walking around the park, but occasionally she liked certain animals. Her absolute favorite live animal was the Llama. I think the Llama wasn't too sure about her, because it was making funny noises, but that's why Schuylia loved it that much. We could make the noise later and it would send her into giggles. Her other favorite "animal" was this giant cow. She wanted to touch the cow and she would give a big smile every time. I just have to say watching kids at a zoo is probably the funnest thing ever, they are so in love with every animal.
Starting our day out right
Giant Turtles are cool
Checking out the Llama
Country girl at heart?
Group Shot
We have had many firsts with the baby this week, including going to the beach for the first time. First, she loves the water and the sand. She loves to splash in the water and eat the sand. I don't know what it is about kids and wanting to put sand in their mouths. One would think after tasting the sand, they wouldn't repeat the process 100 more times. I am pretty sure that somehow that sand tastes very good. I personally am not going to try and find out. We will just keep those little hands from going into the mouth. I was very excited that she liked the water, just means that we get to go to the beach more.
Happy to be in the water
Playing in the water with her momma
Riding the waves

Monday, October 4, 2010

Carnival on Base

Veronica and I took Schuylia to the joint base carnival that was occurring the other evening right out in there front yard. They had crafts, rides, and a band. Best part it was all FREE!! So, we ventured out to take Skye on her first carousel ride and play with the crafts. Skye was not a huge fan of the carousel, or she just did not really understand it. She rode with the same look on her face the entire time. We did make her daddy a present, or I should say Skye made her daddy a present. At the end of the carnival they had a laser show with music. It was really cool, and the best part was that we got to watch it from Veronica's front yard.
What is going on?
Making her daddy a star
I bought Skye a couple of really cute razorback outfits. Multiple reasons, one they are really cute, and two her daddy is a Vandy fan and so of course I have to provide a little influence, her momma did live in Arkansas for awhile. Skye really liked the first outfit we put her in with a Hog!
One more Hog fan in this world

North Shore

We took a trip along the coast up to the North Shore. It was crazy, with all the people. We went up there last year whenever Michael was here and it wasn't near as crazy. The waves were huge, the surfers were out, and so were all the surf sponsors. The waves were so bad that there was no getting in the water.

We did take Schuylia out of the car at one point and put her feet in the water. We found a beach with rocks right off the shore to break up the waves. Skye loved the water and the waves. She kept staring into the distance watching very intently. We had lunch in Haleiwa at a cute little place called Breakers. In honor of Michael we then walked over to this really good coffee shop and I had a mocha freeze, it is ice cream, mocha, and two shots of espresso. Yum Yum! After lunch, we took Skye for a walk along Haleiwa Beach Park and saw a sea turtle. It was huge. I was lucky and caught it on my camera.

Love walking on the beach.
Yay for Rocks
The water was a little cool
So windy
Checking out the Waves
Sea Turtles

Friday, October 1, 2010


Two weeks in Hawaii. Love it. Well I have arrived and I have been getting up super early this week, so that I could do some work, but that is all over with and done. Now it is time to start my vacation with my best friend Veronica and Schuylia (Schuylia is Veronica's daughter and my new best friend). I arrived on Monday afternoon, and boy that is a long long flight. I wish there was a faster way to get here. From Dallas it takes almost 8 hours flying time. Doing an 8 hour flight alone is rough, especially when no one is sitting next to you. Lots of movies later I made it to Honolulu.

Veronica and Schuylia picked me up at the airport, Skye cried. Apparently her Aunt Jennifer is really scary, but now we are best buds. It took about a day and a half before Skye stopped crying every time she looked my direction. Her whole world has changed, her daddy is deployed and it has just been her and mommy and now this new person, who she has only seen in person one other time in her short life, has arrived. Life is good again. I get lots of smiles and kisses.

Hawaii has been beautiful. It has rained everyday since I have been here, but in Hawaii that's not saying a lot, because it has been sunny lots too.
This is the face I got when I first arrived.
Happy Girl


I need to update the blog. Been to many fun places, but last week I was in Seattle, the Emerald City. Beautiful city. If it ever got really hot in Seattle, say during the summer, I might actually want to live there. The weather while I was there was amazing, I don't think it rained even 5 minutes. I was there for work, so I didn't get to do all the things I would have wanted to do had I been there for vacation.

I did go to the Space Needle, the view is amazing. The price to go to the top is a little pricey for what it is, but it is part of Seattle that I am glad I did it. I did see the first Starbucks, I did not try to purchase a coffee because everyone had that idea. I did eat LOTS and LOTS of fresh fish. Best restaurant, Blueacre, best meal Moonfish. The Hawaiian Moonfish was melt in your mouth fresh! I love good fish. I did go to Pike Place Market and while there saw amazing flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fresh fish. I did take several pounds of fresh fish home to my wonderful husband.

The verdict for Seattle, I will go back and I will take Michael. Downtown is the best to be and stay. I would recommend to anyone who lives in the US, to go to Seattle in your lifetime, it is a place with heart and soul and $5 flower arrangements.
I am truly in LOVE with these, if I lived in Seattle these would be in my house all the time.
Fresh, Fresh, Fresh!
Top of the Space Needle

About Us

My photo
Michael and I have been together since 2006. We met in college at the University of Arkansas and began our life together. We bought a house and moved to Fayetteville from the Chicagoland area in November 2009. We were married in 2010 and had our first child, a boy, in 2013. Our favorite thing to do together is travel and we have gotten the opportunity to go to lots of fun places. We are working, breathing, playful parents. Our fur baby and child are the center of our crazy life, but we wouldn't have it any other way.