Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Another Wonderful Summer!

Summer is not officially over, but Jay has started football so it is just Camden and I during the day. Every summer we spend as much time as possible traveling. Once football starts we get very little time to do anything. Jay works seven days a week, until around Christmas. This summer we traveled for almost four straight weeks. We started the summer off with a great long weekend to Marble Falls to spend time with some of our friends from ACU. We came back and finished up the last week of school. I then headed to Houston for a girls weekend with some of my best friends from high school. When I returned we hit the ground running!

Our first trip was to Mexico. This trip was special because it was just Jay and I (and another couple from ACU.) It was the first time Jay and I have been on a trip alone since our honeymoon. We had LOTS of fun! (see earlier post for more details)

We were home for one day before we headed to Branson with the Ocheskey clan. This is always a trip we look forward to because we get to spend time with Grandma O. While in Branson we spend time on Table Rock Lake (possibly the most beautiful lake in the USA), spend a day at Silver Dollar City, and my favorite go the shows. As always, we had a great time and loved seeing Grandma. (see pics below)

Again, we were home for only a day before Jay, Cam and I headed to Destin, FL. This is our fourth trip to Destin. For the past two years, we have spent spring break and a week in the summer there. This year we decided to stay a couple of extra days and head over to Panama City Beach. It was a nice addition to the trip, but we were all wishing to be back in Destin (it is nicer then Panama City.) We always go with a couple of families that Jay coaches with. This year the trip was even more fun, because we were able to meet up with my family one night and play around in Destin.
Jay headed back to Texas as planned, but Camden and I decided to extend our vacation and join my family. We headed from Destin to Atlanta for a week to watch Cam play baseball. We had fun spending some time with the Mavs and watching Cam. (see pics below)

After almost four straight weeks of vacation, we were ready to be home and to spend time as a family! We only had a week with Jay before he started football, so we crammed each day full of togetherness.


Silver Dollar City
Milking the Cows with Daddy

Cam and I sharing some Dippin' Dots .
Trying to cool off under Pop's Hat.
Jay and I waiting for the evening show to start.

Camden loved the shows. She really liked the show at Silver Dollar City because it was outside.
My favorite thing about Branson are the shows! This is Camden making friends at Pierce Arrow (my very favorite!) Look closely...she is eating popcorn out of this lady's box. I was horrified and offered to buy her new popcorn, but she said she didn't mind sharing. Camden ate her popcorn throughout the whole show.
Family pic after Pierce Arrow.

My second favorite thing about Branson is the Hard Luck Diner. The waiters and waitresses are all aspiring singers. They sing while they wait tables. A lot of them are very good! Here is one of the waiters (I forgot his name). He was in the top 25 on American Idol this year. He stopped at our table and sang directly to Camden. She was instantly in love! The whole time he was singing to her, she was staring at him and saying "kiss, kiss."

Listening intently...
She loved it!
Lake Table Rock

In Branson, we always play on the lake. Here is Camden trying on her new life jacket.

Holding the orange flag to let the other boaters know we are pulling skiers (a VERY important job).

Jay and I wake boarding together. When we got home from Branson, the O's bought me my own board. I think they felt sorry for me after watching me board on Jay's for the past three years. I LOVE it! It is so much easier boarding and jumping on a board made for someone my size!

Jay and Cam playing in the water.

The O's on the Sea Doo.

On our last day on the lake (with only about an hour left of skiing), we drove over something under water and busted a prop. The prop on the left is what the prop is supposed to look like and the prop on the right is the one we busted. Notice, no blades are attached.

Since the boat wasn't working, Camden had to find ways to occupy her time. She decided to play with her diving sticks and pool toys and do some swinging (picture above~look closely...she is hanging...her feet are off the ground). This is her favorite thing to do...I think we might have a future gymnast on our hands. She is strong and can hang for a while.

After the prop was fixed, Jay decided to get in some last minute boarding and jumps while we headed back in.

Destin, FL

Camden and Lila building sand castles.
Cam working on her surfing skills! The next Coppertone Baby!

I think she was amazed of how far the ocean stretches.

Jay buried under tons of sand. I thought he looked like he was extremely pregnant!

Sharing apples with Lila was one of Cam's favorite things on the beach. Lila would take a bite (to get rid of the skin) and then Camden would take a bite...then Lila...then Camden.

Telling me shhh because the lady next to us was asleep. She said this every time she saw someone laying out.

Cam's little cabana on the beach.

Some how we spent a whole week on the beach without managing to take one family beach picture. I did however get one of two of my favorite people.

Sharing kisses with Daddy out on the pier.

One of her favorite things right now is "sippin" from our drinks. She points to our drinks and says, "I wanna sip please!" Hard to deny her when she is being so polite :) Here she is enjoying Daddy's sweet of her faves!

Camden and Lila hanging out on the pier outside of AJ's.

The best picture I could get of the two busy bodies.

I wish you could see the background of this picture better. We were standing out on the end of a pier with beautiful boats behind us. The water was so calm that the lights seemed to be dancing across the water.

Jay and I waiting for the swing to start rotating.

We are now at the top. This ride was so scary...I was soothed by the fact that Jay was screaming just as loud as I was :) I had to ride it twice...once with Jay and then again with Melissa. I had no voice left after two rides of screaming my head off.

Family picture in Sand Destin.

Our "Destin group" posing for our traditional group picture in Sand Destin.

The Ocheskey girls hanging by the fountain.

Jay and I have very few pcitures of just the two of is like I feel bad when I don't put Camden in the picture. Here are the two of us in Sand Destin listening to the live music.

Cam relaxing after a shopping trip.

Camden and Jay playing at the pool while I relaxed back in the room.

Waiting for the fireworks to start.

Finally the fireworks start! We were so close. It felt like the were firing them right beside us.

Unfortunantly she wasn't a huge fan. Notice the ugly bruise on her cheek. This happened while trying to wait patiently for fireworks... she fell face first on some brick steps. We were VERY lucky it didn't cut her cheek open.

Jay tring to tell the fireworks that they were too loud, but that didn't work...

So the rest of the time we sat like this. No, she is not asleep...just trying to block out the loud BOOM!


Our hotel in Panama City

Sharing her first Smoothie King with Daddy.

If she doesn't turn out to be an Olympic gymnast, she might give swimming a try. She definitly looks the part.

Camden and I out front of Five Guys. Those of you who know me well, know that I LOVE hamburgers and french fries. Five Guys had one of the best hamburgers I've ever eaten!!!

One of the nights we were in Panama City, we decided to head back into Destin and go eat at Fudpuckers. I was super excited because we got to meet my family for dinner. Whenever we are with the Mavs, we are always garanteed great pics, because Cheryl is there snapping away. Here is one of my favorites of Camden on the playground at Fudpuckers.

Peeking to make sure Gram is still watching.

The girls.

Another favorite. Camden was cracking up about something.

The MAV kidos, minus two. (We love and miss you Coby and Cory!!) Randi, Camden, Cameron and me.

I love this picture! My two favorite Cams. Big Cam and Lil Cam checking out the aligators at Fudpuckers.

Cameron trying to get Cam to sit on the big aligator. She would have NONE of it!

We decided to start slow. She was slowly warming up to the gators.

Getting bravier...


She loved getting to hold the baby gator. I was more nervous then she was.

After Fudpuckers, we all decided to head over to The Track. We love to race go carts, play miniture golf and much more. This year, Randi, Mel and I decided we wanted to ride the Sky Coaster.

Getting last second instructions. Notice how tight we are gripping each other's arms.

At the top...trying to act brave, and laughing hysterically.

My dad looking worried that his girls might not make it through this!


Dying in the Georgia heat and watching Cam play baseball. This was the only day we saw the sun. The rest of the time it rained cats and dogs.

One night, we went bowling. I haven't been bowling in forever. This was Camden's first time. She had a blast. She loved helping out and playing with all the colorful balls.

Rolling the ball together.

Celebrating our STRIKE!

Helping me bowl. The sad thing is I did better when I was holding her hand or when she was on my hip. It helped me from following through across my body.

Two of my favorite girls.

Collecting rocks to put in her pockets.

Camden playing with "her bat". She would swing the stick and then take off running in no particular direction. When she would reach the base (in her mind), she would stop and plop on her bottom and yell "safe." Is it obvious that she come from a family full of baseball players?

Taking a nap in between games.

I love this sweet little face!

Talking about Cam hitting the ball. She is always very observant and always has something to say.

Waiting for Cam to come out of the dugout.

We enjoyed getting to watch Cam play baseball. Baseball comes so natural to my brothers...not only do the have the skills and great talent, but they all have the knowledge. That is something that can't be taught... it is just a second nature that flows from their brain. It is just natural.

Camden and Randi weren't always totally into the game.

We spent a lot of time watching baseball, but we spent even more time in the car due to rain. Many of the games were either canceled or postponed due to solid week of rain. No worried though... we always had lots of fun while chillin' in the car. And yes we traveled hillbilly style. Since Camden and I were unexpected travelers, there were only 2 seats in the van (yes 2 seats for 4 kidos). Since one had to have Camden's carseat in it, that only left one seat for the other three. So, we got the bright idea to put up a lawn chair so that only one of us had to ride on the floor or cooler. Everytime we would stop, we got some serious looks.

After a long day of baseball and chillin' in the car waiting out the rain, we decided to grab chicken and head back to the hotel to just relax, watch tv and play some cards. This was the world's coolest Kentucky Fried Chicken. The mouth of the chicken opened and closed and the eye went in circles. I took video of it, but Jay made so much fun of me that I decided not to post it (if you look at the mouth in the two pictures, you can tell that it is in different spots.)

After watching an episode of America's Next Top Model, we were inspired by the action shots that the models took and decided to try some of our own. A little bit harder when using a self timer.

One night we went to Dave & Busters. We had a BLAST. Here are the girls celebrating after hitting the jackpot on one of the games.

The Cams riding a Harley.

After another rained out day of baseball, we headed to Marietta, GA to eat at the world famous Marietta Diner. This diner is owned by a Greek family and was featured on one of our favorite Food Network shows. It did not disappoint! We enjoyed Greek salads, spanikopita, pasta, baklava and much more.

Camden eating spanakopita for the first time. She loved it! I was so proud to see some of her Greek roots shining through!

My little all American girl!

Thank you for those of who stuck it out through this insanely, long post. I am so thankful for my family, friends and the summers that we are blessed with each year!


campers said...

the name Mavroulis must mean rain!!! Looks like so much fun! It was so good seeing you and my sweet little girl! She is growing so fast!

Mav_Mom said...

Yeah for the post! We loved having you and Camden on the Atlanta trip with us - wished Jay could have been there! All the pictures you took are great!!!

Love ya,

Rick & Shara said...

I just can't decide which of these pictures I like the most. Camden really couldn't be any cuter!! I am glad that you had such a great summer, and that we got to see you guys a little bit (even though it was nowhere near enough). Love you!

Sarah Durham said...

Thanks so much for the sweet comment! Looks like you have had an incredible summer with your fam. It was great to see your dad in one of the has been so long. AND Randi..Oh my gosh. I did not even recognize her. She was just a little thing when I saw her last! Camden is beyond adorable. Every pic of her is precious. You are so blessed!!

mamao-nonna said...

Enjoyed the POST! Relax a bit and get rested for the next few CRAZY months!
Love you!

Joni & Beau said...

I found your blog through Meredith's and I'm glad I did! Your daughter is beautiful! I wish we would have known ya'll were going to be up our way! We live only about 20 minutes from Table Rock lake! Beau and I would have loved to seen ya'll! I'm glad you made it back safe and sound after all that wonderful traveling, and I love reading your blog:)

The Floydster said...

Pictures make the length of a entry a non-issue. I kept going "ahhh" over so many of Cam's pictures. What an incredibly beautiful child! And she's such a happy kid - that is so evident in the pictures. Enjoy what time you have left before school starts again - I look forward to the football chapter that will come next.


Laura Webb said...

I stuck through it..I was wondering what yall were doing all summer...Camden is so cute and you are so tan!!! That diner is from Diners Drive ins and dives isn't it? Leigh Ann and I love that show!! Enjoy your last couple of weeks!!!

EDS said...

I am impressed with how much you guys go and how well Camden seems to do. Hampton is a great traveler, but I get worn out. Glad you guys had so much fun this summer. Sorry you have to go back to work :(

Laura said...

what a summer! OMG longest post but so good to catch up! Um, I want a summer like that! And camden and lanes have the same suit! miss you chica!

Sarah Durham said...

I know, I post A LOT! With my mom living in Alaska I want her to feel like she is here!! It gets very addicting!
Love the pic of Camden shushing you :)

Tricia said...

Hey! I am so glad that you found my blog. Your family is beautiful! Camden is so precious! Can't wait to stay in touch like this. Glad you had a great summer, the pictures are great!

KirkKrew said...

Wow! You had an exciting summer!! I love all the pictures of Camden - she is growing up so fast!!! Hopefully we'll see you soon. Good luck with football and thank goodness Haltom and Everman won't be having a rematch! As good as it was to see y'all we're don't need another beating like that! :)

andydawn said...

SO MUCH FUN!!! I love the pic with yoru sister and cam...soooo precious :)

Cassy said...

Wow, that's the longest post I've ever read. It looks like you guys have had an action packed summer... one of the perks of being a teacher!

annalee said...

i wish i could help you get your room ready! that would be awesome.

i would love to cut out some letters for your classroom though. see the aug 4th blog for details!

themac's said...

Hey. thanks so much for writing on our blog. Your little girl is cute! Nick and I will have to check in on your blog again!
-nick and reyna

*Kendra* said...

Wow! I loved all the pictures! Can't wait to see that cutie pie in person! She's getting so big! said...

hey ally i read threw the post pretty awesome wish i could have been there with yall this summer, but you know im in hawaii so its all good, but im coming home soon so i will get to see everyone in abilene on the 5th when bos plays cooper im guessing you will be there, tell everyone i love them and ill see yall soon,