Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

Whew - I don't know about you, but I feel like we've lived Halloween a dozen times this year already, haha. We spent the weekend doing lots of fun Fall family things ... took another 700 pictures or so... and I'm beat with a capital B-E-A-T. Here's hoping that we still have energy for the main event tonight!

On Friday evening as the city of St. Louis was gearing up for game seven of the world series, we drove right on by Busch Stadium (where the atmosphere was ELECTRIC!) and went to Boo at the Zoo. I had never been to this festive event before, so I thought we should check it out. The idea was that if we were super impressed with it that we could make this something that our family looked forward to year after year...and I'm all about making new traditions.

So we dressed the girls in their costumes (a little preview for ya!) and began our adventure where the wild things are. Only...there were no wild things.

The zoo was decorated with lots of lights and little spooky Halloween vignettes. There were plenty of places for photo ops, only it was super dark so it's kind of hard to get good pictures there. :) I have to say, it was a little strange roaming the zoo after the sun had gone down - it definitely felt like a different place. But since it's one of my favorite places in the city I was pumped.

Here's Eric attempting to get a picture with the girls:

And Evelyn checking out the water. :)

I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting, but when we began noticing that there wasn't a single animal in a single exhibit I began to scratch my head a bit. I suppose it makes sense that after dark all of the critters need to be safe and sound inside, but it was a little odd to walk past big empty spaces where lions and bears should be. I felt really bad when Evie kept saying, "I wanna see the monkeys now..." :) So now I know... Boo at the Zoo is basically a walk-through of Halloween decorations. Got it.

It was getting pretty chilly and we hadn't eaten dinner yet, so we decided to grab some grub before getting too deep into the zoo. Check out this  menu:

I thought it was cute. :) However, I did not think the prices were cute. I'll have more to say about that at the end. :/

We got our dinner and defrosted for a while inside. It was typical zoo fare, but we were starving so it felt like a five star dinner to me, haha. Things were going just peachy for a while, until I asked Eric to get a picture of Gracie and me together. You see, Evelyn had been trying to escape from her seat the entire time we were there, and as soon as she saw her daddy distracted for one second, a smile spread across her face and she ran. And I mean ran away.

Waiting patiently for dinner...

Not so patiently sitting to eat... :)

Sorry, I have a million pictures and I'm out of things to say. Imagine that. Haha.

And this is me trying to warn Eric to put the camera down and chase our escaping daughter, haha.

Once Eric got her back to her seat, she hit the chair in a funny way which knocked a spoon and a full container of strawberry applesauce out of my hands. (Don't ask.) Red sticky stuff went flying all over the floor, the table...ME...and I was over it.

We ventured back outside where it had gotten even colder, and we walked towards the night-lit carousel where lots of littles in costumes were enjoying a ride. I so wanted our family to take a spin around a few times's where I turn into a bit of a scrooge about the whole thing. I think we are incredibly spoiled by having a normally free-admission zoo. So after paying $14 for our family to get in and another $30 or so for food...I wasn't about to shell out another twelve bucks just for a one minute ride. This was adding up to one very expensive evening for a family on a budget! I don't know...$60 just to walk around in the cold to look at some lights was starting to sound pretty ridiculous.

So we wheeled our stroller around and started heading for the exit. (It was sooo cold by now, and the girls' hands were freezing!)

We did have a good family evening, despite the cold and lack of zoo animals. But my overall assessment of Boo at the Zoo? This is an interesting event that might be worth checking out once with your family. It's not something that I would feel led to do year after year. Kind of a "once you've seen it, you've seen it" type of thing. Maybe we'll go back again when the girls are a little older. I'm sure if we ate dinner before we came and the temperature was much warmer we would've been able to enjoy it a bit more. So we'll give it another a couple of years. :)

Still, we are big fans of the zoo, and on a typical zoo day it would be totally worth the price. I guess one $60 event a year to support a wonderful place isn't such a bad thing. It's just hard to realize that when you're freezing your nubs off.

We listened to the world series game which had just started when we got back into the car...and we were driving by Busch Stadium right as Freese (I think) scored in the first inning. Awesome!! We got home in plenty of time to watch a good part of the game, so we sort of got the best of both worlds on Friday night. We were able to have a family night AND watch the Cardinals kick some behind. We knew that we needed to rest up, because we had a full weekend of bonfires and pumpkin picking and carving to do! I'll share the rest of our weekend later this week.

For now...we're going to busy ourselves by getting ready for going out and for welcoming trick-or- treaters this evening. It *should* be a good night, so I'm hoping everything goes as planned. If you're heading out later here are wishes for a safe evening and to stay warm! Luckily our girls have cozy costumes, and after Friday we invested in some mittens for our poor kids' hands. :) Tonight is a wonderful opportunity for community no matter where you live. I can't wait to venture out among friends and neighbors and have a good time. Maybe we'll see some of you around! Later gators.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Confession Friday 10-28!

Alright, I have to give it up. Cardinals...I love you. 

I confess that the baseball game nearly gave me a heart attack last night...and I don't give a flip about baseball. Thanks to the World Series, I can now tell you a few more Cardinals player's names...Eric and I could only think of two the other day. :)

I confess that this is coming atcha a little later today, because the girls and I slept in until 11:00. 11:00!! My jaw hit the floor when I saw the clock. I guess that's what happens when you stay up late watching the game and then your youngest keeps you up half the night. Our whole schedule is doomed now....

I confess that I'm going to have a stinky kid really soon. Do you remember that book "No Baths for Tabitha?" Yeah, that's Evelyn. She is completely content in her filth. Pray for me as I wrestle her into her WEEKLY bath this afternoon.

I confess that Evie has planted a money tree somewhere, but she won't tell me where it is. She's been coming to me with cash lately, and I have no idea where it's coming from.

I confess that we never went on our annual pumpkin picking trip. (Blasphemy!) We have one last shot this weekend. Can we do it?

I confess that I have put a major dent in Christmas shopping this week, and it feels so good. Super ready for the holidays this year!

I confess that Grace has a very specific face that she makes when she's so excited that she doesn't know what to do with herself...and we finally caught it with the camera. I don't know if you're ready for this one. But here you go:

She was overjoyed to have that little pink ball. :)

 I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy.

Name that movie! :)

I confess that I have a long list of pet-peeves which include, but are not limited to: knuckle cracking, TYPING IN ALL CAPS, unleashed dogs that roam the neighborhood, red light creepers (you know the ones...inching closer and closer to the light ever so slowly until it turns green), facebook evasiveness, and the never-ending string that pulls from your clothes when you're just trying to break it off. *Shudder*

I confess that my children have a habit of dunking remote controls into full cups like you or I would dunk an oreo. I don't know what the appeal is...but we've lost many remotes that way. Little stinkers.

I confess that I haven't taken down a single birthday decoration. I had hopes for today, but sleeping in until 11:00 doesn't exactly help my cause. We've got places to be!

I confess that the Disney bug is creeping up on me again. I want to stay here and meet her and eat this reeeeally bad. Oh, and the girls might want to do some stuff, too. :)

I confess that I'm currently wearing my husband's boxers, and I need to get up and do something with my life. So this is me saying "Peace out!"

Have a great weekend, kids. We have a FULL schedule, and I can't wait! :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Robert Family Picture Day

In the middle of our crazy weekend there was a wonderful oasis of pure fun that I wish I could go back in time and replay again and again. Many different events collided over the past few days, and the result was that we had some family members in town that we don't get to see every day. And in the Robert family that means, "Hurry quick! Get everyone together for pictures as soon as possible!" :)

So on Sunday afternoon we gathered as many of the clan together as we could and had a ridiculously good time snapping pictures of our family. This picture might look familiar to some of you:

Ah. A family photo where everyone is facing forward. And it happened more than once. See?

I just knew it was going to be a great day! 

So I thought I'd share with you all a few of the photos we took as we played and posed on Sunday. We uploaded over 1300 pictures onto our computer Sunday night, and I'm about to show you 37 of those. Thirty-seven out of 1300. There were so many good ones...I mean, how do you choose?? To our extended Robert family I just want to let you all know that we are working to get all of those pictures in an online format so that you can have them to edit and play with yourself! But maybe seeing just a few will satisfy your appetite until we can get them all available. :) (Oh, and I didn't upload them to this blog in the highest quality, so don't worry. They are crystal clear and look amazing!)

Alright, so we played around with the camera a bit before the rest of the family arrived on the scene. We were so lucky to have my sister Shannon with us to take pictures of the whole family. (Thank you, Shannon!) And as usual, I like to show a few of the "flop" pictures when showing you some of the good ones, haha. In order to get the first two photographs I showed you, there was a lot of this:

And this:

Apparently being in a wide open space and about 30 feet from a playground means, "Run!"

So we tried to pose for a few, but most of our pictures looked like this one:


Eric and I really wanted to get individual shots with both of our girlies, but as you can see Evelyn was being a monkey. 

So we ended up with a few great pictures with just our Gracie girl. :)

After about thirty minutes some more family members started to arrive. We wanted to get some good shots of the girls with their cousin Austin. So we plopped their bottoms on the porch of the old school house and tried to get three kids to smile for the camera. But we got a whole of this instead:

Haha. So once again, only Gracie remained. She's such a compliant little thing. :) (That, and she can't quite run away yet, so we have a little more time with her before she gets too squirrely. )

One by one the rest of the family rolled in. Meet a few of the characters in our cast of players. There is Uncle Bruce:

A big kid in a grown man's body. :)

And Amy's husband Terrill:

I thought this was a great picture of him! (Amy was there too, of course. But I couldn't find any individual shots of her - shoot!)

Here's Grandma Robert!

And Grandpa Robert. :)

A smiling Austin....

Aunt Kathy:

Amanda's husband Rich and their daughter Lilly. 

And here's one with Amanda in it, too. :)

And Eric's parents were there!

Whew! The only people we were missing were Eric's brother Denny and his wife April. Denny had a migraine and couldn't make it - darn!!

So the whole point of this day was to get one good (or lots of good) family pictures of everyone all together. I sifted through the dozens of group shots and picked two. I have no idea if they're the best...but 1300 pictures...I mean, my eyeballs were about to bug out of my head. 

After about twenty minutes of posing, switching places, posing some more, saying cheese, and trying to get four children ages two and under to face forward, we needed to let the kiddos roam for a bit. :)

Austin got a leaf stuck in his hair and everyone thought it was hilarious...

...including Austin!

It was the funniest moment of the whole day. I was cracking up at how tickled it made him to pull that leaf out of his hair. :D

Here was our attempt at getting four kids to sit together. We have a lot of this pose, and this one was the best one, haha.

Amanda and Rich, we have lots of good pictures of Lilly!

These two might like each other just a little bit. 

It was getting late and we were losing our light, so we decided to take a few more posed pictures before packing up. These account for the last few hundred photos. Here are seven. :)

Evelyn insisted that great Grandma and Grandpa hold these pumpkins, haha....

It was a great day, indeed. We all gathered at Grandma and Grandpa Robert's house afterwards for a pizza party where the kids were able to play for a while longer. We had definitely worked up an appetite, so it was the perfect end to our family photo day. 

A few more of these may start trickling in on facebook over the next couple of days as we go through them. It's a big job! I'll leave you with one more of our crazy pictures. We could fill albums with the blooper shots. 

No clue. But I crack up every time I see this one. :)

Have a great day, friends!


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