halloween preview

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audrey decided early on that for halloween she wanted to be rainbow dash from my little pony. actually, she really wanted to be an equestria girl but we talked her out of it because i was pretty sure no one would get what she was, because it’s pretty much just a little girl with colorful clothes and brightly colored hair. so rainbow dash it is.

usually i like to try to make something at least semi-homemade but this year, with being pregnant and all, i didn’t have the energy and audrey fell in love with this costume we found at party city, so it’s all good. it’s pretty cute and it made her so happy to wear it, i couldn’t resist.

hopefully i can persuade her to choose a costume that can coordinate with her baby sister next year. i’m thinking wizard of oz. i’ll be glinda, audrey will be dorothy, baby sister will be the lion and alex would be the tin man. although, knowing her she’ll be pretty headstrong and determined to be something from disney jr. happy halloween!

our first trip to the north carolina state fair

wow. when the south does state fairs, they mean business. this fair is HUGE. our little arlington fair could fit in a small corner of the nc state fair. i was in heaven. i really do love fairs. my inner kid comes out and i get excited for audrey to experience it all. finallyshe is at an age where she can go on some rides by herself and she really got into it after some convincing to go alone. the wiggle wurm was her first ride alone and probably her favorite.IMG_4909 edit

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we also let her try a game! and she “won”!IMG_4937 edit

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after a couple rides it was quickly turning dark so we got some cotton candy and headed home. IMG_4961 edit
of course, one trip to the fair wasn’t enough. we had to go again over the weekend to get in a few more rides. even though we went early on sunday morning, it was still super crowded. i thought the crowd was going to be small because of church, but i was so wrong. luckily most of the lines moved quickly and audrey was very patient. our friends joined us so audrey had a friend to ride some rides with!
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audrey was so excited to get her face painted, as she always is. this beautiful butterfly was painted in about 2 minutes. i was amazed! it was well worth the $15 to see the smile on her face!
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popcorn and ice cream!IMG_5265 edit

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it’s time for a revival

i really can’t believe that it’s been 10 months since i last posted. i don’t have an explanation other than winter blahs ran into big changes in the panek household. and the craziness of it all made it hard to focus on this poor little blog. we made the big decision to move to raleigh, nc and made the big move on july 1st. we have been settling in and oh yeah, we found out that we’re expecting a baby girl in march! so much has happened in the past few months.

i’ve been working on my photography lately. i feel a new wave of inspiration since moving to our new surroundings. however, i do have to bribe audrey and/or the family to be my models on occasion. this was one of those times. i took a couple of pictures of audrey and cooper at a nearby park a few weeks ago. it was a hazy day so i hope to go back on a clear day to see the skyline better.



raleigh has a lot of beautiful parks and outdoor space that i’m loving exploring. there is also an awesome art museum called north carolina museum of art which has a beautiful park with a lake and a great walking path. it’s also a great place to have a picnic.

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and… here are the pictures of us announcing our pregnancy!
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we can’t wait to fill out house with more bows and tutus come march 2016!

catching up- 4th of july and last weekend

this has been a super busy summer. can you believe it’s almost august? i’m starting to panic about the summer being over! let me share some of our pictures from the fourth. it was a low-key holiday for us where we hung out at home and then watched the fireworks from crystal city. they had food trucks and emily and gulliver tagged along!

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last weekend we headed down to charlottesville to see friends and visit a brewery and winery. turns out charlottesville is a perfect middle meeting spot from richmond, dc, and roanoke! we went to pippin hill farm and winery. let me tell you, this place is gorgeous. you’re immediately transported to europe when you pull up. it was hot as the dickens, but still an amazing time!
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day trip to chesapeake beach and father’s day

what do you do when you really want to get to the beach but you only have a day? you drive to the bay! chesapeake beach, md is less than an hour away, so we decided to pack a picnic lunch and head over there for the day. it’s a quick, easy 50 minute drive, and you are barely on the highway! i can see more trips to this beach or one of the others close to it in our future. audrey had way too much fun to not go again. IMG_8296here she is so excited to get going! don’t you love this cute dress? it’s from target!IMG_8416 editdoesn’t the beach look so calm and peaceful? it was, except there were no calming sound of waves, but that’s ok. next time i’ll play that sound on my iphone :)IMG_8320 editIMG_8300 IMG_8306she loved splashing around in the water, and even though it wasn’t a real “beach”. i loved feeling comfortable with no big waves and deep waters. it was a stress-free, relaxing afternoon. IMG_8385IMG_8329alex wasn’t too jazzed about a bikini, but i couldn’t resist!IMG_8355 edit
IMG_8366 edithere she is bringing water to the hole she dug. every time she “successfully” dumped off the water she would yell, “hooray, i did it!”IMG_8414 edit.jpgand then she made a friend!IMG_8441 IMG_8446
on father’s day we headed up to maryland to spend time with family. that is, after we gave alex his cards and his gift, a gift certificate to grape and bean, his new favorite beer store!IMG_8459audrey fell in love with some fish,IMG_8465and she continued to yell “hooray!”IMG_8471 editIMG_8481 editIMG_8496
here’s the adult table (with audrey’s my little pony) :) the kids had a really good time. jesse was flopping around in the tunnel calling himself the blue worm. the younger kids loved it. thank you for playing with the little ones, jesse! IMG_8514IMG_8527IMG_8552
i hope everyone had a great weekend!

our weekend: mary washington reunion

we spent saturday at mary washington for alex’s college reunion. it was a beautiful day. we had a great time touring the campus. it really is gorgeous this time of year.
we took a tour of alex’s old college dorm. it still has that 70s “college smell”. it reminded me of summer camp.
train for the kiddies. audrey was not really a fan. she was excited about the idea of it but the reality wasn’t that great, i guess.
the famous carl’s did not disappoint. it was worth the “long” line. i got strawberry, my fave. it was a little taste of heaven.
i’m busy eating strawberry ice cream, mom. like mother, like daughter.
after sno-kones, face painting, moon bouncin and ice cream we had a little adult time at the wine tasting area. i was pleasantly surprised that mary wash provided free babysitting. audrey was in heaven with popcorn and despicable me playing! i was in heaven with some uninterrupted wine tasting time. audrey liked coming to find us about every 15 min but was having fun on her own as well. we think she was doing a periodic “check-in” to make sure we hadn’t left her!
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i thought this building was so pretty from the outside. can’t you just picture a wedding taking place here? ps. this is when my camera and phone died. waahhh.

memorial day weekend

we had a great memorial day weekend filled with good friends, laughter and fun. it was really a great weekend. on saturday we had crabs at the quarterdeck, which i think is the perfect way to kick off summer. then on sunday, we wanted to see a few  motorcycles heading to rolling thunder. we’re lucky to live close to 395 and had a great view to see a few on their way to line up at the pentagon. we hear around 800,000 people showed up! IMG_7471 editaudrey has been asking where the motorcycles are now ever since.  IMG_7466IMG_7463IMG_7507we also set up the sprinkler, which audrey loves, and she continues to want to go to the bwink-wer ALL THE TIME now :)IMG_7516IMG_7533IMG_7602IMG_7703even coopy got in on the action!IMG_7655 editIMG_7791we also took an afternoon stroll along the riverIMG_7759IMG_7807 editwe hope you had a wonderful memorial day weekend!