Brenna turns 5

I can’t believe it’s been 5 years. Wow. This year Brenna turned 5, got the flu, learned to play Mario Kart Wii, and has declared she’s changing her name to Princess Peach. All in the last two weeks!

I want to keep this short, but here’s a quick 5 years of Brenna. Goodness how you’ve grown.

We love you.

Welcome, baby Brenna

Welcome, baby Brenna

Happy 1st birthday

Happy 1st birthday

Cupcake for birthday 2

Cupcake for birthday 2.

Happy 3rd birthday!

Happy 3rd birthday!

This is actually a few weeks for 4th birthday, but I love this photo of Parker and Brenna.

This is actually a few weeks for 4th birthday, but I love this photo of Parker and Brenna.

My big 5 year old

My big 5 year old

I wish I looked this good when I had the flu.

I wish I looked this good when I had the flu.

I'm so proud my kids are so girly, and still love dinosaurs and robots and bugs.

I’m so proud my kids are so girly, and still love dinosaurs and robots and bugs.

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe new year.

We kept to our tradition of finger foods, hats, noise makers, and fireworks with the kids. The kids weren’t even scares of the loud fireworks this year! Brenna actually laughed and Parker said they were really cool.

Breakfast was pancakes, and over to Nannie and Papa’s for lunch and play. Then we had naps, bike riding and more time outside on the new playset.

This has been a great end to 2014 and start to 2015.

swinging at Nannie and Papa's

swinging at Nannie and Papa’s

Playing with cousins

Playing with cousins

learning to ride

learning to ride

smiles!

smiles!

Best. Christmas. Ever.

This Christmas was full of sneaking around, deliveries to other people’s houses, and assembling projects and activities for the kids.

In my nearly 38 years I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a holiday more.

Special thanks to Moonie, Nannie, Papa, and Bo for the financial and time and skill assistance in pulling this all off. We love you all.

(Also first post from my phone. I thought there has to be an app, so I don’t have to move photos all the time. And of, there is. So behind the times. Derp.)

Rawr!!

Rawr!! Paper velociraptors!

Thanks, Bo

Thanks, Bo

Giggling girls

Giggling girls

Big smiles

Big smiles

Thanks, Papa

Thanks, Papa

Bikes

Bikes

Google, Auto Awesome my Christmas

This is a very quick post to talk about how neat Google’s “Auto Awesome” feature is. I use Google to back up all the photos of videos from my phone, and occasionally they “auto awesome” them, sending you some color enhanced versions, or making a short 30 second compilation. At the end of the year, you get a “year in review” as well. All this is done automatically using some kind of algorithm to determine what’s “photogenic” enough to use, and is shared with you privately to share or delete as you want. Pretty neat.

Anyway, below is the one Google sent from our family “Early Christmas Eve” when Meg and I told the kids we were building a play set with a tree house, and went to Nannie’s for dinner, and a family gift exchange. The music is generic and hokey, but I though the photo set was stellar.

Awesome work, Auto Awesome.

One for me…

This is not a family update. Today the trailer for the new Jurassic Park movie came out. While I’m not terribly excited about it, it did immediately make me remember the original, and its incredible soundtrack. So I wanted to share the main title theme, because it’s possibly the best theme John Williams ever composed, and John Williams wrote some of the most impressive movie themes in history. It sets up the film wonderfully; the mystery, the majesty, and the tragedy. Just perfect.

Set aside 8 minutes and enjoy.

Brenna the tree hugger

We have a few weeping willows in our neighborhood, and there is one Brenna has always been obsessed with. She asks about it, she can’t wait for it to turn green again, she makes up stories about magic weeping willows that are purple with pink flowers, and although she hasn’t done this in a little while, she used to say “daddy… a weeping willow is coming up!” as we drove through the neighborhood.

Anyway, yesterday on our walk she finally got to live her dream and give her special tree friend a hug and a kiss.

brenna-treehugger

Halloween spooktacular 2014

This is sort of a short post today. I mostly just wanted to show off some photos of the kids at Halloween.

Each year we take the kids to trick or treat at Riverbanks Zoo. This year we did it early to avoid the long lines and crowds that always show up the closer it gets to Halloween. Plus, it spaces out the candy and costumes a bit and the kids really get to make a bigger deal out of Halloween than just a few hours on one day. (click to expand photos).

The kids love it, there are activities for everyone to do like the foam pit for kids, a kids dance area, a magic show, roasting marshmallows, etc… and sometimes you get to see some animals before dark.

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Hello, awake Koala!

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trick or treat, flamingo.

Anyway, after a few days to settle down from Boo at the Zoo it’s actually Halloween. We always take the kids to Nannie and Papa’s to run around in their neighborhood because it’s (usually) more active than ours. Plus it lets the kids show off their costumes to the grandparents, which is really more what it’s about.

Trick or treating with Nannie

Trick or treating with Nannie

I loved this decoration.

I loved this decoration.

I broke with tradition from being a pirate (or the Red Skull, which Brenna requested I be last year for some reason), and utilized my beard to the best of my ability. It’s not quite long enough, but it got the point across. Also I went to work like this and wore it almost all day. I even won a costume contest. BAM! Have I mentioned I love Halloween?

me as Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)

me as Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)

The day after Halloween we headed to the beach… but that post is coming soon…

xoxo,

-Travis.

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