Friday, November 21, 2014

early Christmas gift...

I sort of messed up and introduced Zel-babe to her new little mouse friend before Christmas.  I just couldn't help it.  She needed to meet her.  I'll still wrap up the box and put it under the tree but...I may be just as obsessed with this little mouse in a box as Gisella...and that's saying something because she can't handle leaving the box closed once we put the mouse "to bed" after taking her out and putting her back in about thirty times already.  I've created a monster.
She gets it out of the closet...
 Then starts the never ending game of opening the box for her...
 over...
 and over...
 and over...
 again...
 finally, we help her rock baby mouse one last time... pry the mouse away...
 put her to bed for the last time... "good night mouse"...
 but then it starts all over again... :D
 You want one now right... ? ;) ha

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Review of the Hot Chocolate run in Chicago

I may have taken the least number of pictures of any trip I've been on :)  Here's a beauty I got for Noah as he said I simply must see the Sears Tower (Willis Tower).  It does signify one of the best parts of the trip though which was the drive.  Three hours one way with church girls I don't get to talk to (uninterrupted) that often was great. :D  
 I felt like I shifted into major relax mode without my kids.  I went so far as to take a picture of our room number so I wouldn't have to remember it.  So this image signifies our stay at the Hilton across the street from the race.  If you are running a race in Chicago, I would suggest staying within walking distance to the race.  It just makes sense with all the parking craziness of the city.  Julie used spot hero for our parking and we got a spot for half the cost a few blocks from our hotel.  Then we used a cab to get to dinner.  I thought this was a lot of fun since our driver was an "Uber" driver with a black unmarked Lincoln and basically no idea where anything was at in Chicago since he wasn't from the area and had just dropped of a client. Ha  Totally entertaining.  At one point I asked if there was an Uber gangster order and if we would get rear-ended out of spite for him stealing a job out of his area...he was like "What!  Where do you think we are...Chicago!?" haha)

A note on hotel pricing.  Julie reserved rooms out ahead of time.  When we arrived she was asked if we wanted newly renovated rooms for $50 more a room.  She said no but thanks.  They upgraded them anyway.  Seems like she planned to all along but thought it was worth a shot getting money out of it.  Also, when Julie called closer to the race time when we had decided which hotel we wanted, she asked if there was a special rate for the hot chocolate run.  The representative was like Yes! there is...and then gave Julie a higher rate than what she already had booked before.  Beware the concrete jungle...beware. :)
 We almost got seats at Girl and Goat but to no avail.  We did snag a table at the Little Goat though and my glass noodle bowl was amazing. ;)  I was part of later arrival group of girls so we didn't have long to shop :/  I did manage to get into one store on MI before our dinner reservation (Zara).  When I checked out, my credit card company decided that someone (other than yours truly) had my card in Chicago and my phone exploded with text messages declaring possible fraud-alert alert!  Nice they were looking out for me I guess. :)
 We (at least I) may look tired in this picture...we'll blame it on the early alarms and an early morning bullhorn going through the halls announcing it was time for the volunteers to wake up...at 5am... 
particulars: race time 1:40:11 race supports Ronald McDonald House Charities
 The boys asked if this was real gold :) ha  
Pros: 
-I think if you want to spend a day in Chicago and then have a fun event in the morning like a run, then this is a great event.  
-There is melted chocolate waiting for you at the finish line and all things considered the line for that was very very short.  
-The times were posted minutes after the race was over.  The timing chip was on the race bib so nothing had to go on the ankle or shoe.  
-I thought it was very organized.  
-Corrals were neat and tidy.  
-Volunteers were cheerful and seemed happy to be out in the cold handing out water and marshmallows (which most guys were pelting at each other instead of eating). :)  

Cons: 
-There was one very dark tunnel we ran through that was quite long.  The pavement was just uneven enough that the runners slowed down considerably, which I thought was annoying and a little claustrophobic.
-I got put in a late starting corral and while I didn't mind starting later, I was already awake with the earlier starting group (doing 15Ks).  I started the same time as the 5K group, which meant I was back to the hotel later than everyone else.  Whether it was because I signed up later or put down an "honest" time instead of "hopeful" one for wave assignment I don't know.  I got stuck behind the dreaded slow moving mob though at the beginning for sure.  
-Some of the areas we ran through smelled like major strong sewage. :P
-A bit cold but nothing a normal hoosier couldn't handle.  They had the race run low profile thought the concrete jungle and I felt like most of the time we were out of the wind.
-the view coming around a bend the last mile of the race was very nice.  Water on the right...skyline straight ahead.

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Are you still taking pictures...?

Considering two people (that know me relatively well) have asked me this question recently...I've pondered the fact that I never post fave session pictures on this blog anymore.  I've simplified Francis Noara Photography's web presence by using a third party proofing site and a photo blog only.  This was due to me not wanting to update the photography site I had...ever.  The "photography" page tab above has the new links if interested in all that business. :)  So without further delay...some favorites from a recent sessions

I mean...could two little brothers be any cuter? :D 



 brother cuteness strikes again...


urrrrt....family switch.  More major kid cuteness. :)  Loved this kids hair

seriously...?
these girls love their daddy...so cute...I think he likes them back ;)

And this little guy Emmet...I may have posted a single picture of him before.  Still love the newborn shoots so much. :)  I can hold a little one for a bit and ooow and ahhhh over "all that hair"


 Every part of a baby is kissable...

 This little guy was like a week old and super duper alert already. :)
Don't let the smile fool you...this kiddo was the cutest little stinker pants.  My favorite. :) ha   And while I did take many family pictures at these sessions...I posted the ones I thought were more fun to look at and not so much the group shots. :)


 his mom brought the cutest props for his bibs :)


 daddy holding his boy...and his boy's half eaten banana :D haha

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cape San Blas 2014

Finally a little girl swim suite in our family...  ;)
 couldn't wait to get in so...just swam in his clothes :)

We went with Caleb and Laura this year.  It was Lil's birthday so we ladies went on a beach ride for her big day :)  She loved loved loved it-so cute :)




 Another beach bonfire... this year the glow sticks became part of the tradition I think.  They conveniently keep you from loosing kids while crab chasing. ;)

And crabs they caught...

Willem's done...

We cooked in most of the nights, but we went to this well known oyster bar one night
 They randomly had karaoke going on that night...











 Noah only got half of this thing done...
 I made chocolate beet cake...not sure why, other than wanting to eat some bad enough and having the nice kitchen to use ;)
 chill down moment watching Charlotte's Web-the old cartoon version
 date night out :D
 Adrian hunts down a lizard



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