Sunday, August 31, 2014

Our Newest Critter

Aunt Caroline sent Lainey an early birthday present.

Meet Porcupine, former King Triton, and likely to be re-named again.

He's a guinea pig, although he's the size of a rabbit.

Caroline also sent a leash and 'jogging vest' to keep him exercised. Naturally.

We are all so in love. He's precious.

He often sits by me while kids are at school and I'm working from home. I have guinea to my left.....

And, Finn sits above me begging for it to all go away.

He's really into skateboarding.

Welcome to the Starnes family, guinea critter!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Key West Professional Photos

As always, my favorite souvenir from vacation.....professional photography. We started it 11 years ago and have hired a photographer on most of our big trips. Loved these!

Key West is so indescribably beautiful. And, you feel like you're so very far from home.....we loved it so much.

We wanted something totally different. We can do beach photography here any time. So, I wanted just a few water pics and then we headed into town. Old Key West is rustic and beautiful. Took lots of good pics in Mallory Square.

A couple of out-takes.

One of my favorites......real personalities shown here.

Key West has come in gone, school is full speed ahead and we're ready for Fall!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

First Day of School 2014

The first day of 2014-2015 was a good one.

Carter and I walked the littles into class and they did well. Lainey and Jack switch personalities in these situations. Jack owns the place. Laine is nervous. Always surprising to me. 

LC loves her girlfriends. She's such a sweet friend. 

Sweet hug from big brother. 

And our 8th grader walked in with no lack of confidence. Here's to another 4.0 year with two challenging electives that he volunteered for - AVID and Spanish. 

He's prepping for high school Spanish. So proud of this kid. 

Lunches are made often. Kids buy 1-2 days a week. Otherwise? I'm on duty. 

Carter returned from day 1 with a long list of supplies. Went to Target and realized Laine had no shoes. Classy. 

So she sat in the cart. Good times. 

Kids arrived home that day and Jack summed it up perfectly for everyone: "Best day ever."  

Well done, Starnes 3! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Last Summer Day

SoCal living allows us to take a quick day trip to Orange County without a lot of thought or preparation involved. 

We headed to Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach for a day on the sand. 

The Starnes 3.

Plenty of sand sculptures, including those with children. 

And lots of wipe outs while boogie boarding. 

Final summer selfie! 

Next post......first day of school! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Palm Springs and the Waldorf Astoria La Quinta

We have the pleasure of taking one last summer escape into Coachella Valley and visiting Palm Springs. It was awesome.

California's ever changing landscape makes it an amazing place to live. We have everything here, within about a 2 hour drive of home.

We re-recreated Lainey's rock-n-roll pose from our visit with Caroline last year.

Stayed at another amazing Waldorf Astroria in La Quinta, California. Palm Springs (the area) is made up of many smaller parts.......Palm Desert, Indio, Indian Wells, La Quinta and more.

Built in the 1920's.......historical and beautiful.

And, even though we were staying at a luxury resort, lunch still consisted of pb&js. How else would we travel as much as we do?! All about balance, friends!

There are nearly 41 (!!!!!) pools on property, but this was the main one with nice accommodations nearby. Otherwise, there are smaller pools scattered around the little villages we stay in.

Enjoyed a lovely Mexican dinner at Adobe onsite one evening.

We made fast friends with Sarah and Ishmael, who live not far from us in San Clemente. Awesome people. We had a blast. Kids went to bed after dinner and they came back to enjoy an evening on our patio outside our room.

This was the view from our patio......and you can see one of the dozens of smaller pools. Having so many options was nice.

Lainey and I treated ourselves to pedicures (2nd in my lifetime for me and her, too). Blake and Carter got haircuts, also. Jack skipped the fancy spa haircut because he only trusts Mario down by the water who cuts his hair for $7. :) I love Jack.

Blue polish with sparkle glitter that glows in the dark. She's in heaven.

Back home now. Enjoyed our evening at school last night where we picked up info for the kids' teachers. Carter registered last week. So, we're all set. Just a few more supplies needed.

We're ready! I miss our kids like crazy during the school year, but it's time. They're bored. It's time to get busy again.

(Not that we're ever not busy.)