Surf fishing

Friday, May 29, 2015

Bright and early on Memorial Day, Patrick convinced us all to do some surf fishing.  We had hoped to beat the sunrise, but this mama was too tired from hosting Caleb's tennis buddies at the house all weekend when the boys were not playing in their tournament (which Caleb played very well in, by the way.)  Anyway, we arrived as the sun was waking up, and Patrick got to work setting up the rods.
 We had nothing biting for a while, but we did have a blue heron who thought he could hang around and try to steal our bait.  We wouldn't let him, though, so he had to fish for food himself.
 Eventually, Madeline managed to catch a catfish.  Caleb's expression is hilarious in the shot below.  He really didn't mind the fish.
 Once Patrick managed to unhook him, we decided to toss him over to the heron instead of back into ocean.  He snatched it right up. It took him a while to eat it, but he did. The kids got a kick out of that.
Then an old colleague of Patrick's spotted our family fishing while he was exercising on the beach and stopped to chat.  We hadn't seen him in a few years, so it was nice to catch up.

On a photography note, I enjoyed shooting the wildlife when we were at the beach but was bummed I didn't have my telephoto lens on me.  I just might have to break my personal rule of one lens only at the beach, at least when we're fishing.

Next weekend is going to be a big one for us.  Madeline has her spring recital for dance, and Caleb has his tennis state championships tournament.  Last year they fell on back-to-back weekends. This year we're not as fortunate.  We will be doing a lot of driving back and forth because Madeline will be performing both Friday night and Saturday night, while Caleb's tournament will be Saturday and Sunday.  Can you say busy?  Ugh.  I wish it wasn't.  But we're going to do our best to get each of our kids to their siblings event because it's just that important to us.  These are the biggest events of the year for them both.  It just plain stinks that it happens to be the same weekend.  It goes without saying that my camera will be seeing a lot of action though.  I better get my memory cards and batteries ready!

The big 4-0

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

So my sister and I had to get together to celebrate our second 20th birthdays this year.  We love living a short drive from each other, which allows us to spend the day together and sometimes even longer.  

Well, as I alluded to in my last post, we opted to combine our birthday/Mother's Day celebration with one of Caleb's tennis tournaments.  On the Friday before our birthday, we arrived into town in the afternoon, just late enough to miss an opportunity to swim at our hotel before heading out for the evening's festivites.  Instead we grabbed a few quick treats from Starbucks to nibble on back at the room.
 Then Patrick and I took Deb and her crew, along with ours, to the Cirque Du Soleil show La Nuba.
The show was fantastic, such a display of creativity and strength.  I certainly felt my age when I left. lol  Anyway, after the show we went to a Cuban restaurant for dinner.  Delicious!  We stayed at a hotel off Disney property, the Marriott World Center, which had this great view of Epcot in the evening.
On Saturday, our actual birthday, Patrick took Caleb to his tennis tournament (at the facility down the street from my sister and Andy's house). But my sister and her crew headed to the hotel to hang out with us by the pool all day.  Once Caleb finished up his matches, he came back to join us. I picked this hotel because of the three big pool slides, along with a splash zone.  And boy, were they perfect! Even the splash zone had a slide so Havi and Josh didn't get left out.  We had such a fantastic day lounging by the relaxing and fun.  I actually forgot to bring my camera down to the pool.  So I only have a few iPhone photos from our time swimming that I still haven't uploaded yet.

Anyway, because we spent so long at the pool, we went to dinner that night in the hotel at a casual Italian spot.  Havi promptly fell asleep as soon as we sat down.  Poor girl slept across two chairs but was so zonked she didn't even budge.  After dinner, we asked Andy to snap a photo of the birthday girls in front of the eatery.  He was standing in such funny "photographer" positions, I had a hard time keeping a straight face.
After dinner, we went back up to the room where we proceeded to sing Happy Birthday to the Twinsies and eat cake.
Having spent all day every day at the women's pro circuit tournament the week before our birthday meant I had zero time to bake us our birthday cake.  Boo.  But Patrick graciously picked up a cake for us at Publix, and my sister brought along the candles.  So we had something to eat and blow out.  Anyway,  I will have to make it up to me/us soon.   

On Sunday, we checked out of our hotel and headed back to the tennis tournament for Caleb's semi-final match.  Although he didn't win, he played so great.  And my sister and her kids actually got up extra early to come watch him play his 8am match.  Yep.  8am on a Sunday.  That's love.

So that about catches us up to speed here.  Caleb will be playing in another tennis tournament this weekend (no surprise there).  But since it's a long one, Patrick wants to go surf fishing one really, REALLY early in the morning.  We'll see if that plan comes to fruition.

Did somebody say tennis?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Last week was filled to the brim with tennis.  And the reason it was so was due to the Women's USTA Pro Circuit tennis tournament that was played where Caleb trains.  Consequently, this precious tennis loving boy of mine was able to be a ball kid once again.  And boy did he love it.  He worked four long days, only taking breaks to participate in his own privates and group lessons.
The first day's matches included two girls that also train with Caleb, as they were given Wild Card spots.  Caleb really enjoyed working one of the girl's matches; it was very special for him to ball kid for her.  She'll be heading off to the University of Oregon to play tennis for them next season.
The first day of main draw action saw the return of Taylor Townsend, who won both singles and doubles last year.  (And that singles win earned her a Wild Card spot at the French Open, where she upset Serena Williams in the first round and eventually lost in the third.)  It was a great match to watch, but a repeat was not in the cards for Taylor; she lost in the first round.  
Sometimes he got to work matches alongside his friends.
Sometimes Caleb got to work alongside his coaches too because he's homeschooled and could help out earlier in the day.
The one position he was itching to do was the scoreboard.  And on his last day working, he was finally able to do that for a doubles match.
After his own three hour practice (yep, you read that right), he came back to stadium court to work the doubles feature match, which included Taylor Townsend and partner Maria Sanchez.  It was quite a match!  Taylor and Maria won that round of doubles and, eventually, the tournament.
Someone else apparently thought Caleb made a cute ball kid and couldn't resist snapping his photo.  Of course, I couldn't resist capturing the moment! lol
It was such a fantastic week of tennis.  The girls were troupers.  The days were long, and there were times that Madeline had had enough and wanted to go home.  But overall, the girls did great.  Unfortunately, we had to miss the last three rounds because we headed out of town for my birthday/Mother's Day/tennis tournament extravaganza.  I'll share all about that next time!

About This Blog

This blog is the place where shared our lives while waiting to bring our daughters Madeline and Havi home from China. (Our son Caleb was already home before this blog began.) It is now the place where we continue to share our life experiences, both big and little, as we try to glorify God and raise our 3 dumplings from China.

Feel free to join us as we journey through life, while I try to capture our days...

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