Thursday, April 23, 2015

Crescent City Classic 2015

My husband. The runner. Man, I am so proud of him and all of the dedication that he has in training for races. He sets goals and then does what he has to in order to hit them. This year, one of his goals was to run the Crescent City Classic and beat his time from last year in the same race.

His stepfather, stepbrother, sister and her boyfriend all joined in on the running fun. I was also able to attend this year and I was so excited to be able to capture the craziness that New Orleans has to offer during this particular festivity.

I had always heard that NOLA really brings out the characters for this race, but I wasn't quite sure to what extent until I watched them literally run by. I knew you wouldn't believe me when I told you who - or what - I saw, so I brought my camera along. Just for you.

This brings a whole new meaning to the age-old joke of why the chicken crossed the road. Also, it answers the question of which came first since I never saw an egg pass by. Gonna have to go with chicken on that one.

Look, it's The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!

Of course, crawfish were hanging out here.

And the Blue Brothers even made an appearance!

Hello Mario! And Luigi!

This baby head was actually super creepy in real life.

The race was held before Hilary's announcement was made, which makes this photo extra funny.

No, cast of characters is complete without surfing Santa.

There were a ton more, like Peeps, superheros, guys in thongs, and so much more. And then there were these guys. Craig's stepdad, Layne, and sister, Megan, passed us in style...

...and then Layne turned to us and told us to meet him at the finish line so we could pick him up off of the road and drag him to the beer. Because of course, NOLA.

As you can see, I didn't actually see Craig, Jason {his stepbrother}, or Jonathan {Megan's boyfriend} in time to capture them crossing the finish line. That's right. I missed my husband crossing the line and beating his previous time by ten minutes!!! I was totally bummed that I didn't see him, but I was so proud of his time!

In true New Orleans fashion, we ate some jambalaya as an after-race snack. 'Cause nothing says stay healthy like rice and sausage. Oh wait.

We actually spent a couple of days enjoying the Crescent City itself and I will be back next week with photos from the rest of our time there.

So yes, I missed one of the biggest reasons for making this trip with Craig. Yes, I spent nearly an hour and a half scanning the crowds of runners just to catch a glimpse of him...only to miss him completely. Yes, I am still kicking myself for it. But oh yeah, I am completely in awe of all that he has accomplished in just one year. Shaving ten whole minutes off of your race time?! That's huge!!! Way to go, babe.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Date Day with my little Dude

A few weekends ago, Canon and I had a date day because Craig was working the weekend. It was a beautiful day - one of the first of spring - so we decided to make the best of the weather and spent the day with a bunch of wild animals. 'Cause nothing says "I love you" like a little zoo.

The pathway from the parking area to the zoo's entrance was lined with gorgeous blooms, so of course I had to stop and smell the roses take some pictures.

We spent about 45 minutes standing in line, just waiting to buy tickets. I have all of this technology at my fingertips and I didn't think to order tickets online before we went. Seriously, Whitney?! Whatever. Sun flare!

Once we finally made it in the gate, it was animal action everywhere. Not that kind. Get yo' mind out tha gutta!

First stop - flamingos! Canon couldn't figure out why they wore bracelets on their legs. Duh. Fashion.

Our frequent visits to the Gulf Breeze Zoo in Florida proved to be a little hairy in the budgie feeding area for Canon. Ok fine I'll say it. They scared him. Not the birds themselves - at least not until they flew at him {at the food that he held right up to his face.} With that memory still fresh, he opted simply to walk through the budgie exhibit sans grub and it proved to be a pleasant and uneventful stroll.

Though judging from this shot, I think he may have hurt their feelings by not bringing an edible gift.

I don't think he noticed though because he made a nest for himself and decided to stay a while.

And I thought I had a double chin...

Zoo Atlanta is home to several pandas, and most recently a set of twin cubs were born there! They were so cute and so popular that I had to push Canon to the front to check them out while I stood in the back - so short that I barely got a glimpse. Oh, the things I do for this kid.

Evidence of spring time was everywhere from the blooms to the babies. Oh mama, I know how you feel.

This guy, though, made a huge impression on my boy. And not just because he was quite large. This komodo dragon is a baby at 5 feet long and will grow to at least 10 feet long by adulthood. In the wild, these guys will stand up on their tails to fight one another. I'm gonna let that mental picture sink in for a moment. Yeah...

Of course, Canon didn't necessarily care about the "facts". All you had to say was dragon and he thought it was the coolest thing in the world. He wasn't entirely wrong.

The boy veered off the beaten path a few times to get away from the crowds and just run for a minute. Believe it or not, he actually asked to have his picture taken and positioned himself in this bamboo. Ok, fine, I'll take the shot.

Canon thought this rhino playing with a stick like a puppy was the funniest thing he had seen all day. He sat there, watching and giggling, for a solid 5 minutes before we had to move and give other people a turn to ogle.

He may have thought that the rhino was funny, but I found this sunbathing turtle to be downright hilarious. Check out his hind legs!

When purchasing our tickets, we got the unlimited ride pass that allowed us to take the train as many times as we wished. I have to say that the train at this zoo wasn't nearly as cool as the Gulf Breeze Zoo's train, but we rode it twice anyway...because it was a train.

On the way home, we had to walk back down the path of amazing flowers and found a downed tree, which was just pleading with me to take pictures. I couldn't say no. That would have been rude.

He definitely knows the way to my heart. He picked these flowers just for me. Yeah the flowers are great, but just check out those freckles! Aren't they to die for?!

This was definitely one of our better Mommy/Canon dates. We had so much fun just running and playing and spending good, quality, one-on-one time together. Bonus points for seeing a real-life dragon too. Beat that date, Daddy! ;)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Go Monsters!

If there is one sport out there that Canon loves, it is soccer. Now, I know it stems from my brothers all having played and so our family is a "soccer family", but the feelings are real. We signed him up for a spring team this year and were so excited to have such amazing weather for his first game.

Being five years old means that he is as fierce as his uncles - who are all now 20, 22, and {almost} 31. Scratch that. Even more fierce. Duh.

I called ahead to the soccer association and requested that they have blue shirts to match Canon's eyes this year.

While some other kids like to play on the field with everything except the soccer ball, Canon is all business, all the time.

At this age, they actually hold practice for 30 minutes and then host a game for the next 30 minutes. Everything they learn in practice is fresh on their brain so it seems to help. Plus, we only have to go one afternoon a week. #winning

Kick it in the goal, baby! Yep, that's my blur.

I was so proud to see that he was being such a good sport. "Hey, high five because I just made a goal!" Oh wait. We have some teaching points ahead of us, I see.

Goal numero dos.

Halftime contemplation on how to improve his game. It's a thing.

In all, Canon got a hat trick - that's 3 goals scored in one game - and his team won which made him even more excited for the next game.

Now if we could just get him to teach his uncles how to play. They really need some help.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Wanna know where we went?! Tellus!

*Collective groan for the stupid title. Ok, enough groaning. Don't be rude.*

Along with all of the nature-y stuff that we want to expose Canon to, we want to introduce him all of the cultural wonders that this world offers. Ok, so that may be using a little too much drama to say that we took him a science museum a few weeks ago. Womp, womp.

Whatever, man, all three of us loved it.

We took him to the Tellus Northwest Georgia Science Museum, located way out in B.F.E. We couldn't figure out why in the world it was placed in the middle of nowhere until we discovered that they host star parties at their observatory. How freakin' cool is that?!

The Tellus is divided into several different sections : the mineral gallery, fossil gallery, science in motion, a planetarium, a solar house, and a kids' hands-on experiments exhibit called My Big Back Yard.

Of course, Canon didn't care about anything once he saw the dinosaur. "Yay, we are going to a museum. Oh wait, is that a DINOSAUR?! THIS IS MY FAVORITE PLACE EVER!!!" Ptractically verbatim.

Our little budding geologist also thought all of the rocks and crystals were cool too.

The periodic table of elements - each element was represented by either a picture of the scientist that discovered it or an example of the element and how it is used - was a favorite of mine.

"These rocks are glowing in the dark! I want one!"

The creme de la creme though? Definitely the T-Rex. Dude was so excited to see it that the moment he spotted it his jaw literally dropped and he didn't move for a good 20 seconds. That may as well have been an eternity. This alone was worth the price of admission. Twice.

They had quite a few prehistoric skeletons on display - none of which rivaled ol' Rexie from above - but I thought they were pretty great.

The picture doesn't do this guy any justice. This sea turtle's shell was at least 6 feet across. He was seriously huge. See honey, yet another reason I need a wide angle lens. I couldn't even get his flipper-span!

They had, on display, cars and motorbikes, airplanes and space travel. To see the transitions between the first car to the newest space shuttle - and realizing how little time actually passed between the two - is seriously awe-inspiring. Kind of makes you feel a little dumb too. I mean, what the heck have I ever thought of that was as cool as either of those two things. A big fat nothing. That's what.

Along with all of the real vehicles, there were some really incredible models for viewing. The level of detail in each of them was so astounding that I wonder if their creator ever had time to eat or sleep.

We took in a show at the planetarium that took us on a tour of each of the planets. We even got to see little Pluto, poor guy. This was probably my favorite part of the entire museum because space completely fascinates me. I wasn't allowed to take pictures during the show, but snapped a couple of the domed screen as we were leaving.

There were a couple of activities to get your hands dirty such as mining for gem stones, which we kept...

...and digging for dinosaur bones. Of course, Canon found one. Because he is brilliant. He left it for other kids to find later. And also because it was stuck to the ground. But mostly for the other children. Bless him.

Want to observe the Earth's rotation for yourself? Yep, you can do that here too.

After spending several hours pouring over every exhibit inside, we took on the beautiful weather to check out the solar house. It is a structure, complete with furnishings and appliances, that runs solely on solar power.

These pipes took in rain water for use inside the house.

Apparently I didn't take any photos inside the house {aside from those Seussical flowers} but trust me when I tell you it was cool and I could totally live like that.

Aside from the dinosaus, this monstrosity was definitely Canon's favorite "exhibit". Behold, the gargantuan beast of a dump truck that was parked outside of the museum.

It is so huge that it had to be disassembled and transported on multiple flatbed trucks in pieces just to reassemble it here for motor-heads like my son to enjoy. It was about three times the size of a normal dump truck.

We had so much fun at this museum and were all fascinated by different exhibits, which simply confirmed what we already knew. We love science. We aren't nerds at all. #goscience