Wayback Machine: December 2008

This is one of the very first pictures I ever posted on the blog, taken on a day when Anna, Nick, and I went out for a walk in Fairmount Park. I think Anna is about twice as tall now as she was in this picture:

Anna likes to have a walking stick

Sunset is coming noticeably earlier these days, and some of the trees around here are already losing leaves, having decided after this summer’s intense heat to pack it in early. We’ll be bundled up in coats again soon enough. For now, it’s going to be 97F/36C outside today… talk about going out with a bang!

Penelope’s Room

Miss Maria had herself a very busy summer that included four weeks of ballet camp and about two months of theater camp. Her theater camp produced an original musical called Penelope’s Room that was really well done – funny, sweet, and clever. Maria played a tin soldier named Nick. As in her ballet recital at the beginning of the summer, she had much more time on stage, and a bigger role, than I had expected going into the show. And she was fabulous!



Our girl had several singing and dancing numbers as part of her role:


It was really a joy to see her so clearly in her element.

Anna on the job

Programming note: I have a ton of pictures to share from Maria’s theater camp, and I thought I would get to them today, but it’s going to be next week. Remember, this service is worth every dime you’ve paid for it.

Anna is not old enough yet to take part in the official Take Your Children to Work Day extravaganza at our office, so we decided to have our own event – Take Your Anna to Work Day. On the Friday before our vacation young Anna came into the office and showed me what real productivity looks like:


The weather in Philly is supposed to be just about perfect this weekend. Enjoy!

Strike a pose, part three

One of our last evenings at the beach was simply perfect for doing family portraits:


Chelsea took about a million pictures with her fancy camera… the pictures I’m posting here are the ones I took with my battered little point and shoot. Every now and then, I convince Chelsea to share some of her pictures with me, so the next time that happens I’ll post up some of the ‘official’ portraits.



My sister made her first and only beach appearance of the week for the portrait session… the poor thing wasn’t able to spend any time on the beach because of her bum wing. However, she jumped in willingly as both photographer and subject:




Side note: My sister has the most radiant natural smile I’ve ever seen. It’s a thousand-watt smile. I’m just glad she has chosen to use her powers for good and not for evil, because she could smile her way into a dictatorship of a small country.

Anyway, there was a strong breeze going on the beach, which posed some problems for the girls, but no problems whatsoever for the boys:


Now, let’s take a look at those handsome kids:




That’s about it for Shore Week 2010… sun, sand, and lots of smiles.


Tomorrow: Penelope’s Room!

Strike a pose, part two

We took some great family pictures one day on the beach, and I wanted to be sure to share those as well as the ones I posted yesterday. Tomorrow I’ll have even more, this time from Chelsea’s portrait session with the kids one evening.






Strike a pose

During our week at the beach, as you’ve seen, we take a lot of pictures. Sometimes I’ll start taking pictures of people in between bigger events of the day, just to pass the time and to see if anything cool turns up. Following is a collection of some informal pictures that I snapped while nothing in particular was going on.

Here are my Aunt Mary Lou and Uncle Ray, who came around to spend a day with us:


Cousin Dan decided to strike a pose, just for fun:


I like this picture of my mom quite a bit:


Dad got in on the action a moment later:


My kids even obliged me that evening with a group picture:


Younger cousins aren’t supposed to get this tall:


And finally, my favorite photo trick – asking the kids to look tough:


Nick in particular looks ready to step into the Swagger Wagon video.

Bikes and boardwalk

We try to use our bikes to get around at the beach as much as possible. In this era of sustainability, we get to be righteous about reducing our carbon footprint, but the truth is we would be riding anyway for fun. This year we rented a bike for Maria so she had something just right, and she landed a wicked cool beach cruiser:


Anna has started riding on her own this year, but for longer journeys she still hops on the Tagalong. I took some pictures of her over my shoulder while riding, which explains the dubious photo quality. Notice how she is leaning to try and get into the frame of my clumsy shot… such a sweet girl:


One evening we hit the boardwalk in Ocean City, and this is always one of my favorite parts of the trip. I just love getting a whole mess of family out on the boards for an evening together.




We went on some rides, including some scary thing that swings high up in the sky and spins around at the same time. Maria and her cousin thought that was pretty fun:



There were also some tamer options available for the faint of heart:




And of course, no evening on the boards would be complete without some tattoos:



What fine summer memories!


More fun on the beach

After the strange day of marine layer fog, we enjoyed a few days of nearly perfect weather. The kids took to the sand and the water with great enthusiasm, and we buried the girls a couple more times just for fun.







Tomorrow: Bikes and boardwalks.

Sand and sun (sometimes)

Our beach vacation got off to a great start this year. I finally did something I’ve been meaning to do for years – I brought along a big shovel so we could make more ambitious sand castles, and also so we could bury people more efficiently:


We brought along our extra kid Will for the week, and on Monday the soccer players and I rode down to the neighboring town for an open pickup game. They had an age group available for Anna, too. Here they are downing some hard-earned lemonade after the match:


Tuesday was a strange day at the beach – there was a marine layer of fog on top of us, even at 1:00 in the afternoon. Here’s how it looked from our vantage point only about 60 feet (20 meters) from the water:


Even as the fog slowly lifted, it was a strange sight:


Chelsea and Maria actually joined us a day late this year, because Maria had to finish out her performances from her summer theater camp. (That girl keeps a busy schedule!) Once they were with us, though, their bright smiling faces were more than enough to cut through any fog:


Tomorrow: More fun on the beach.

Company picnic

We had our company picnic at work the weekend before we left on vacation, and it was an amazing production. The picnic had a Harry Potter theme, and incredibly, they had a Quidditch ground set up for the kids:


Both Maria and Nick played, but the batteries on my camera died, so I only got pictures of Maria in action:


There were carnival games and rides:




We even got to sing karaoke:



It was a wonderful treat for everybody.