Erie PA

Want to know the best non-ocean beach here in the States? Oh, it’s just 2 hours north of us in Erie, Pennsylvania!

Want to know the best non-ocean beach here in the States? Oh, it’s just 2 hours north of us in Erie, Pennsylvania! We recently went to Presque Isles State Park to check out this little paradise as well as stopped by the local Theme Park called Waldameer. The beach was beautiful with no trash in sight. White, sandy beaches. Big Pennsylvania trees and warm swimmable water. Like, going to a pool in the summertime warm. Nothing like a chilly cold lake you have to get used to. Waldameer was also a treat because it was a cool older Park that you just paid by the ride. It was a lot of fun and Larrin and I even took turns to go on this insane top rated wooden roller coaster. It was kind of the perfect day!

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4th of July

We kept it low key this year for the 4th of July. We are not huge fans of going out in the large crowds so we skipped the carnivals, parades, and large firework displays. Instead we had our own family day filled with activities and food including: a watermelon bust, money water scramble, pool time, hog dog BBQ, and pack of fireworks. It was a fairly successful day even though our kids had a handful of ups and downs – like when Hannah had her sunscreen drip into her eyes during our money scramble and ruined her life for what seemed like a few hours. Russell had a very hard time listening and had some meltdowns but we survived them all. Enjoy our photos of yesterday!

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A Lot of Things

Many things have happened since my last post about our trip to Cleveland. All good things, except for a small hiccup where we had to say goodbye to our Ford Focus we bought after Russell was born. Larrin got into a fender bender on the highway and it was not fixable. Other than that we celebrated Hannah’s 2nd birthday, Russell graduated pre-school, we MOVED INTO OUR NEW HOME, I’ve had a handful of births I photographed and got published, and had other small adventures in Pittsburgh.

So here is a crash course in our photos and lives here in Pittsburgh for the last month! We are very excited to have a jam packed June and July and a much needed birth photography break for myself. Enjoy!

Hannah’s Birthday

Hannah had a nice low-key birthday with our family. She got a bike from Grandma Jackie and Papa Hoss, a trampoline from Grandma Diane and Papa Tom, Russell bought with his own money a toy phone for her, Aunt Calista and Uncle Collin bought her Moana, and we got her a pop-up RV tent. We bought our delicious ice-cream cake from none other but Sugar and Spice!

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Phipps Trips

I love taking the kids to Phipps Conservatory. It is beautiful, always changing and more low key than some of the more popular museums.

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Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium 

We love going to the zoo come Spring time. We have gone a handful of times now since the last couple of weeks. The kids really enjoy going here.

Also, check out our Zoo VIDEO. I’ve been practicing video with my Fuji XT20 for all the good traveling and vacationing we will be doing this summer. The kids LOVE when I make little family videos.

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Other Fun Family Photos

Here are other random assortment of photos we’ve taken last month and this month. I know it all looks like rainbows and buttercups but I promise you we are just like everyone else where we have rough days and our children are monsters and we get mad and yell and are lazy and stay in our PJ’s all day and things do not go our way. I do enjoy sharing are good moments with our friends and family though. We are very happy in our lives right now.

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Hello Cleveland

We have lived here in Pittsburgh for a year and a half now and have finally just now made it to Cleveland! It’s been on our to-do-list for some time but haven’t gotten around to it until this last weekend during Spring break/Easter weekend.

We have lived here in Pittsburgh for a year and a half now and have finally just now made it to Cleveland! It’s been on our to-do-list for some time but haven’t gotten around to it until this last weekend during Spring break/Easter weekend.

It’s definitely been a hope of mine to make it someday to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum so moving out here to the East has made that quite easy. It’s just a little frustrating that it took this long! I could have stayed there all day – obviously – but my family had about an attention span of 2 hours. My expectations were set low towing the family along and there were definitely some major meltdowns during our visit but the highlights included: Jimi Hendrix guitars, original written songs (Purple Haze, Holy Diver, My Life, etc.), Some amazing Hammond Organs by the Allman Brother’s Band and Journey, fabulous costumes and clothing by artists like David Bowie, Elton John, and Elvis, even pieces of wreckage from Otis Redding’s fatal plane accident. Of course, the building itself is a sight to see on its own. I loved it, but perhaps I can find a fellow rocker friend someday to go with me again.

After the museum we went to Little Italy! It was cute and we went to lunch at Mia Bella. It was a good choice. We also had to get some desert over at Prestis Bakery afterwards. It was so busy. We had to take numbers and wait for about 20 minutes to get us some cheesecake and canoli’s.

Our last stop of the day was Edgewater Park where we got to see lake Erie and hang out at the beach. Hannah was not too sure of this whole beach thing… but she started to warm up towards the end a bit. Hopefully she will like it a little more when we go back up to Lake Erie this summer when it’s a lot warmer. We got to take take some photo ops by the Cleveland sign before we left. We got some slurpees at 711 and headed home.

* *While we were heading home Russell told me that a rock that he found at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum had a sticker on it and asked me to read it. I thought for sure he had dropped it somewhere at some point or put it down back and the museum. I looked at it and realized Russell had found a special rock that was SUPPOSED to be found and that we needed to take a picture of it and go re-hide it! We thought that was pretty cool. So, our fish rock will soon be hidden somewhere cool in Pittsburgh for someone else to find and do something with!

Enjoy our photos and family video of our trip!

Video:

Pics:

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Easter Backyard Egg Hunt

We had a great Easter weekend. On Sunday morning I snuck outside to set out eggs all over the yard. Russell was geared up and ready to go! Hannah on the other hand was perfectly content to remain in her PJ’s. Once Hannah figured out what to do she LOVED it as much as Russell.  Here are some pictures and video of the kids Easter morning.

 

I didn’t edit anything on these videos so this is the ENTIRE egg hunt from start to finish on Larrin’s phone, so it’s long and basically just for grandparent to see. You are more than welcome to watch all of it or parts if you wish!

Hannah loves CANDY!

Easter gift joy!

I <3 Oakland

Maybe it’s because I feel like college was not that long ago and that I still believe I have some coolness left in me. I love going to Oakland here in Pittsburgh. They have some top notch eats and our regular go-to museum, The Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Art. There is also Hogwarts – I mean The Cathedral of Learning and all the gorgeous towering churches on every corner. It’s pretty hipster/college vibe but without being too pretentious like Lawrenceville, a neighborhood which I do enjoy but they have tiny streets with no parking.

On this beautiful day we went to the Museum to check out the good ol’ dinosaurs. I tricked my family into walking to Five Guys only to detour them to a place I’ve been really wanting to try for a long time – Conflict Kitchen. Their menu rotates and changes often based on countries the US is in contention with curently. We had Shwarma and it was the best by far I have ever eaten, including my own. Russell was not too happy though because his lemonade that he was excited to drink had mint in it (I don’t know how I personally will drink lemonade the same way again). It was a beautiful Pittsburgh Spring day!

Also, I recently splurged and got myself a mirroless camera for family outings!!! Much more compact and lightweight to carry around for everyday use but still just about as amazing as my professional camera – a definite upgrade from my mid-range DSLR! I was super set on going big on a Fuji xt2 but Larrin was not super excited about the price tag that came along with it. Luckly Fuji JUST came out with their xt20 and it didn’t take Larrin long to convince me of this amazing camera. I have a learning curve ahead of me for sure – since it is just a completely different system and brand from my Nikon DSLR’s, but I think this camera is going to make me very happy and much more likely to pick up my camera. I use my cameras on a daily basis so I think this is the kind of camera I really needed. Tac-sharp and the color is just as everyone says it is like – amazing. Here’s to my new Fuji xt20 camera!