Our dear friends Dave and Tiffany are in town for the holidays and we were able to see them today and hang out! We miss them!
Here is the double-baby bump picture (we are only a couple weeks apart)!
We have not seen them since our trip to Europe over a year ago. Speaking of which, here are a couple layouts that I just completed from our trip. I used Blue Fern Studio's January sketch and brick chipboard on this first layout.
The second layout I created is of our trip to the Nurburgring. I used Paper Issues' Sketch 004 and faux stitching.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We were out of town for most of the holidays. Jesse's mom picked us up at the Indianapolis airport and we drove to Cincinnati to spend a little time with extended family, which was lots of fun. On the way back to Indiana, we rode with Matt & Merida in their coupe. Merida drove, and I (really Nathan) got special shotgun treatment, leaving both 6'2"+ boys to squeeze into the back! (Matt looks a lot happier about this than Jesse does).
Back in Indiana, we spent a few days with Jesse's dad's side of the family.
Then we traveled to Connecticut on Christmas Eve to see my family for Christmas, where we opened a lot of presents,
decorated and ate cookies (the cookie we are eating here is one that Jesse made that said "J + K" -- awwww),
hiked in the woods behind my mom's house (and got ticks!),
put together a 1000 piece puzzle in one night (really difficult but I wouldn't let us go to bed until it was done!),
walked around Mystic Village,
and went to the casino where Chloe bested me at the arcade!
We hung out with some of Jesse's work friends for New Years, then came home and watched the ball drop via live streaming from New York (at 10pm our time) and then promptly went to bed (yes, that is how we roll)!
This month, I started scrapping last year's trip to Europe, and Basic Grey's Cappella collection is elegant and the perfect line to use! My first layout is based on My Creative Sketch's November sketch, and showcases pictures from our first day with the Hamburgers in Belgium.
This second page is from our second day, exploring Antwerp. I was inspired by Scrap Around the Word's mood board, particularly the elegance and combination of light blue, brown, and white. I also used the Stuck?! sketch for this layout.
And here is a picture of the two layouts together.
The last page I have to show you is from the very end of our trip to Europe: when we saw the Germany v. Ireland World Cup Qualifying game. I used Blue Fern's December sketch and chipboard layering stems.
Since we hung around here for Thanksgiving, we were able to put up our tree this weekend for the first time, well, ever! Jesse picked up a cute little tree and we added a couple new ornaments we purchased this year to the host of usual suspects.
I also started scrapping last Christmas using My Mind's Eye's Vintage Christmas collection. The layout on the right is based on My Mind's Eye's November sketch, and the layout on the left is inspired by Swirlydoos' Beloved sketch.
I try to scrap somewhat chronologically, but sometimes I skip around a bit. I realized that while I had finished about half of 2013, I still had one more page to do from 2012, so I finally did it! Here is a two-pager from my firm's retreat to Las Vegas where Jesse rock climbed at Red Rock.
The page on the left is based off C'est Magnifique's November challenge, and the page on the right is inspired by Blue Fern Studios' November sketch and brick chippies. In addition to finishing my 2012 layouts, I also finished the last of my stash of Pink Paislee's Bayberry Cottage line, with some scraps leftover to create this card.
We spent the remaining four days of our vacation on the beachy west side of the island, and snorkeled a lot! Our first snorkel destination was Makaiwa Bay, and we were treated to an array of colorful fish.
I love this next type of fish -- they are always adorably in twos!
After snorkeling, we had lunch at the Mauna Lani's lovely Napua restaurant. Then Jesse practiced open water swimming in Anaeho'omalu Bay right in front of our hotel.
We spent the rest of the afternoon in the infinity pool and reading books poolside. And, of course, we were treated to another lovely sunset from our lanai.
The next morning, Jesse did the real open water swim deal and swam 1.2 miles in the place where they do the open water swims for the Ironman. He kept getting further and further away, until I could only see his yellow cap, and then nothing, but he came back thinking that was fun!
After his swim, we tasted some Kona coffee (so delicious!) and took a tour of Greenwell's coffee farm.
We had lunch at Kona Brewing Company,
and then shared an even tastier treat. Shave ice -- mmmmmm.
We went to church the next morning and had a nice acai bowls for brunch. We headed down to Honaunau Bay to snorkel, and saw some more beautiful tropical fish,
super-weird looking ones,
a nice greeting,
Right next to Honaunau Bay is Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park. We learned a lot about Hawaiian history and posed with these incredible statues (Jesse was less willing to do the bend-the-knees-and-butt-back imitation pose than I was).
Baby bump + baby coconut tree.
That evening, we did one of the coolest and unique things you can do in Hawaii: a night manta ray snorkel. They are large, magnificent creatures and they got so close to us (and even bumped into us).
This video (one of many good ones Jesse got) captures their grace and beauty -- such a treat!
Our flight out was on Monday, but because the plane did not leave until 11pm, we basically had a whole final day. We started the day with (surprise surprise) snorkeling! We actually wanted to get on a sailboat, and they tend to have a lot of snorkel sails, so we really enjoyed both portions of our morning snorkel sail. We snorkeled at Pawai Bay, and we agreed that it was the best snorkeling of our trip.
Not only did we see cool fish -- and lots of them,
we saw a creepy/cool eel,
another manta ray,
and an eagle ray!
The sail was lovely too (as is our hair!)
At the very end of the trip, when we were heading back into the harbor, we saw dolphins! A number of dolphins just appeared and swam alongside our boat for a bit. Such amazing creatures!
After we spent the last few hours we could laying on the beach, we checked out and headed out for the best dinner of the trip at Ulu Ocean Grill at the Four Seasons. The delectable food was matched only by our proximity to the water and the hotel's stunningly beautiful grounds. It was the perfect way to end our lovely vacation.