We had a friend tell us about an Alligator zoo we needed to take the little one to. It was about a 20-minute drive outside out of Orange Beach, but totally worth the drive. I know I keep saying that, but it truly is.
We woke up early and drove out to Summerdale to go to Alligator Alley. We almost missed the driveway. Our directions said, turn left here and we passed the entrance because it blended in with the trees. When you bought tickets to get in, they had different size cups of feed you could buy to feed the alligators. Truthfully, it looked like horse poop. I’m just saying it like it is. haha.
Today I have even more photos for you… as in around 78 or so. I’m sorry. Alabama was so awesome and it was totally worth the trip. I’d recommend it to anyone for a relaxing time. If you haven’t read Orange Beach Part 1, I would. I’ll try not to let this post drag on, but we’ll see what happens. I’m sorry if it does. And if nothing else, enjoy the photos!!
When hubby was in Mobile the few weeks before, they informed him that this is one of the wettest cities in the country. It gets moisture off the Gulf, etc. I’m pretty sure it rained almost every day we were down here. Never for very long and really only enough to make it humid.
Waking up every morning to the sound of thunder was beautiful. It was also fun to see the storms move across the sky. We were greeted with a rainbow Monday morning. It was beautiful. And of course, you know pictures don’t do rainbows justice, unfortunately. It always takes tweaking in photoshop to get those vibrant rainbows caught on film (or digital…).
The other fun thing to watch was all of the boats zooming out of the rainstorms. Case in point here. Every morning. (more…)
I decided to tackle the Guided 365 project that Digital Photography for Mom’s does. This is a paid class. It was a lesson that we received every day (about 5 am). There were times I got behind. It just happened, but as long as I caught up, did it really matter?
We submitted our photos through Instagram. Now… my biggest complaint was I didn’t feel like I got as much feedback as I would have liked. Maybe that’s a good sign. My photos were just so outstanding that… or maybe I was just behind. Who knows why.
The first month she spent teaching people how to shoot in manual mode. That’s awesome, but I’ve been shooting in Manual since 2011. I was a little bored and contemplating why I did this class, but I stuck through it and I’m glad I did. Now, people can start and stop and restart if they want. You paid monthly. No, I’m not getting anything for talking about this, I just wanted somewhere else for these photos to live. I’m going to break it up into 12 posts, otherwise, there would be 400+ photos on this blog post alone. I’ll break them down by month.
Note, I got started late. I’ll tack on the last 3 photos that were done in January 2020 onto that last post so there will be a few more days there.
Day 1 objective: Connect to what you want to photograph.
It has one of my kids and cake… I love photographing both! P.S. Happy Birthday Tbug.
I really want to be like those bloggers who can do multiple weeks in one post, but I just can’t. That’s just not my style. There are 51 photos in this post. People who do those week+ long posts usually have 25 total photos. It’s just not my style.
Now 2, this was about our vacation this last summer in August 2019. Yes, you read that right. I’m just now getting to it. I’m sitting here on a cold snowy day in January wishing I was in Alabama in summer enjoying our vacation. So without further ado, I bring you Orange Beach, Alabama
Headed to Orange Beach
From our house, there are two ways to head to Alabama. You can go through Arkansas into Mississippi, across to Alabama. Otherwise, you drive clear across Missouri to Memphis, then down. We chose to head through Arkansas. I did some research and it was supposed to be the “faster” route. Because we were headed through Arkansas, Jared told us to meet him in Rogers for lunch at a place called Hapa’s Hawaiian Bar & Grill.
Now here is where I tell you that once I got just outside of Rogers it started POURING rain. So bad at one point I really could hardly see anything in front of me. I was driving this stretch. It was awful. Then our GPS took us to the wrong place. We were only 5 miles to the west of where we were supposed to be but traffic was so horrid that it took us 30-45 minutes for that 5 miles. By the time we got there, I was done.
I mentioned in the Chiefs tree post that the little took over the original Chiefs tree. The white tree is like 3 1/2 or 4 1/2 feet tall. I kind of forgot exactly, but Abug wanted her own tree and we had the ability to make that happen. In like September or August maybe even, we were at Hobby Lobby and they had their Christmas ornaments out. With the help of my mom, we got her a bunch of new ornaments for her tree. Now, this is where I note that last year when it had all the Chiefs ornaments, she took it over. And so we were adding to her ornaments not starting from scratch.
The ornaments were focused around things she likes, ballet/dance, tball, unicorns, and mermaids. Oh and ketchup, we can’t forget the ketchup.
I wouldn’t let my mom give her the ornaments until we were ready to put the tree up. I knew if we gave them early, she’d get so excited she’d want the tree up in August or September. While I’m all about putting up the tree early, that might be a wee bit early.
Honestly, I’m quite late on this, but better late than never. Now that we are in our own house, we had a little more room to put up more trees. We put up 3 in fact. You’ve seen the family tree which housed all the presents. Then both girls got a tree. This one was the Chiefs Tree for Tbug. She had options and this was what she wanted.
Last year at the end of the season I bought this tree. The funny thing is if you look at it, it almost has a silver tone to it. However, it was bought to be gold. So looking at the box, what was printed directly on the box says silver. The label Walmart put on it said Rose Gold. With the lights on it looked more rose gold so who the heck knows what color this tree really is. (more…)
For school, the little has to read at home for at least 30 minutes per day. Every 15 minutes, we get to count a “step.” They are supposed to have 4 steps per day as a minimum. She gets 2 at school and 2 at home to equal the 4. But sometimes she and I go over the top.
Things that count, parents/siblings/grandparents reading to them, them reading to the family member, reading books, magazines, etc. A Kindergartener’s book if you’ve looked lately is very thin. That means that you can read 1-6 books in 15 minutes. Sometimes though she and I go for chapter books. And I’m not really sure how, but late last fall we got into watching all the Harry Potter movies. She loved them. I was a bit leery at first, afraid we’d deal with nightmares. Not that they are that scary, but she’s 5. They could be scary to a 5-year-old… She is team Gryffindor. Her favorite character is Hermione. Pretty sure because she’s the lead female character. At that age, it matters.
So I figured if she liked the movies so well, we should read the books. I have Kindle Unlimited and they are on there so no big deal. We can only read 1-2 chapters a night depending on the length. Toward the end, she starts getting restless but that happens when we read 16 children’s books too. We started it on December 11, 2019, and ended on January 6, 2020. (more…)
Welcome to 2020. Can you believe it’s already 2020? I swear I went to bed one night and the next day was the new year. Oh wait, that’s how that works, isn’t it?
Well, our New Year’s started off with a quick kiss at Midnight. Then it was off to dreamland because we had to get up early to head to the lake for the New Year’s Day Dive.
The next day at the lake, I didn’t partake in SCUBA Diving. I think I’m too much of a wimp. Now hubby and about 4 others have dry suits. Maybe if I had a drysuit I might try it, but I don’t have one so… We actually had 16 divers and 19 people on land. I heard the water temp was like 45-50 degrees. The on-surface temp was 56 degrees. The wind was frigid so that’s what made me sit there and contemplate life and why I thought it might be fun to go to the lake on New Year’s Day. As the surface temp warmed up it got better but the wind picked up. We had a wind block for a while made out of tarps but when David had to leave, we lost those. Brrr… (more…)
Friends giving tends to be a newer concept. One that I really only remember hearing about maybe 10 years ago or so now. It’s quite interesting though that it has caught on. I mean truthfully a lot of people celebrated this long before it had a name/concept.
This year we decided to start our first ever Friendsgiving. After the interesting year we’ve had, why not. While the outcome of the year might not be what we all expected, we still have a lot of things to be thankful for.
We started a Facebook group to see who was bringing what. I kind of waited until everyone else picked an item before I spoke up with what I was going to make. At first, I thought I’d make bacon-wrapped green beans, but then I decided to go with the Green Bean Casserole. I found a recipe online to make it all completely from scratch. I didn’t get my green beans thoroughly cooked though, so they were just okay.
Thanksgiving 2019 has come and gone. Ah, I love Thanksgiving. That might not appear that way as it seems like I slide past it to Christmas, but Thanksgiving is totally about the food. Heck yeah! Anyone who knows me knows I like food.
The day before I decided to make the desserts. I knew the day of I’d be super busy. I got it in my head I wanted a Coconut Cream Pie Cheesecake. Now before anyone asks, no, I’m not pregnant. Yes, I’ve already been asked. I was told this was a weird combination. I didn’t think so though. I really like Coconut Cream Pie and Cheesecake is okay. Why not put them together.
My mom had some medical issues earlier in the summer, which has caused her to eat differently. Then she decided to follow a Keto diet so she gave me a recipe my dad came up with for a Keto Pumpkin Pie. Yey, everyone had dessert. When I invited my mother-in-law, she asked what she could bring. I told her to bring a Chocolate pie that she makes, you know, just in case my cheesecake didn’t turn out. btw, it was amazing! (more…)