Nantucket

Growing up on the east coast means spending the summer in, on, or near the water. Despite having moved inland to Texas, this does not mean that our baby girl will miss out on east coast summer traditions, starting from the very beginning. We spent a glorious few days on Nantucket at the end of June, adding to Ben’s list of island’s visited (we covered Martha’s Vineyard last May).

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Having two jeeps that could go on road or sand, the 6 of us were able to explore the island completely hitting all the labeled beaches and then some. Even the “labeled” beaches were only so crowded as the first picture shown here, a bit different from Martha’s Vineyard!

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Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures, we managed to stay cool with a couple dips in the Atlantic (or at least most of us did including baby’s first dip in the Atlantic ocean). The southern coast had cooler waters and crazy waves, while the northern coast featured calmer, warmer waters the following day.

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Aside from beach exploration, we found time to peruse the downtown shops, go strawberry picking, share home-cooked meals in our beautiful rental home, and many, many photo opps since it wouldn’t be a Cronin vacation without them. We also can’t forget to mention the lovely game of after-dinner Spades that everyone thoroughly enjoyed, maybe some more than others. Results: Dane & Kara reigned supreme, Dennis & Karen held their own, Ben & Claire crashed and burned…

Saturday brought a return to reality and population as we finished up our shopping, boarded the ferry and made our way back to Cape Cod for Cullen & Sarah’s wedding celebration.

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It’s time for new flags to fly almost three years after our big wedding tent dwarfed the lawn.

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Click here to view many more pictures from Nantucket and Cullen and Sarah’s party. We’ve tried to add some captions to help guide you along; unfortunately Boston exploration and others are missing since they reside on Dane and Dennis’ cameras.

Sunday Pickup

Basketball practice was successful. Three wins at “H-O-R-S-E” provided good background for jumping in with the big guys. Jan 16 marked the first day in Sunday pickup history that a woman braved the court. Though it wasn’t perfect, a few steals and a few baskets made the men think twice about treating ladies with kid gloves.

Thanks Dad for letting me play. A few videos from the morning can be downloaded below, unfortunately I didn’t get any of the successful shots on camera, either from Dad or Gary.

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Jacob Creek bed, culmination of a busy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 2010 has proved to be a wonderful affair of staying put. Of course, that does not mean staying put on the couch. Wednesday morning dawned bright and early and after being home for several days for a change, we’d finally had a chance to regroup (slightly). Ready to tackle the next project with the remaining days home before we hit the road again, I quickly researched mulch and rock delivery options. Dismayed that last minute plans may be disrupted by holiday schedules, I did not give up. At 8:30am on Wednesday morning I hit the jackpot. Good prices, great selection, not so bad delivery fee, and best of all, same day delivery! By 12:45 pm we had 1 ton of 2″ – 8″ Colorado Cobbles and 6 cu yards of hardwood mulch sitting in our driveway. Apparently 6 cu yards is a hefty amount.

Taking Wednesday afternoon off to begin the exciting yard rejuvenation project, I dug right in, literally. After 2.5 hours, one side of the house was safely tucked away for the anticipated morning freeze; there was a minimal dent in the driveway mulch pile. I decided it was time to tackle the next task of Christmas shopping and pie baking before I broke my back.

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Smart decision considering I had the 10k Ft Worth Turkey Trot to run the next morning. (Side note: Megan and I beat her personal record despite frigid, windy, wet conditions Thursday morning. Go team! Having a good running partner makes all the difference in the world. Thanks Megan for the entertainment, looking forward to our continued runs! See my running tracks to follow along.)

Friday the pile of mulch laughs at me daring me to begin again. Day 2 gets off to a slightly slower start overshadowed by the need to pull all the droopy, brown annuals that didn’t fare so well in the season’s first freeze. Not to mention the mounds of red ants that seem to find me wherever I go and needed to be addressed first. Die, ants, die! Several hours later and I only succeeded in completing the new tree beds. Darkness begins to fall and I move on to the task of advent calendar creations. My hour spent attempting to create a festive calendar was rewarded by a shocked and excited face. I think Ben is excited for December 1st 🙂 So excited in fact that he agreed to put up the Christmas tree. The morning spent cleaning and preparing did not go to waste!

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The days home are slipping away, but two workers are better than one. Saturday we finish the mulching both front and back (with almost 2 cu yards left, oops…), and we made a great start on our new dry creek bed… 4.5 hours later. Luckily we had a pot of homemade vegetable soup simmering all day to celebrate a hard day’s work and to soothe aching muscles. Not to mention the recorded IU football game and Notre Dame live that evening, both victorious thank goodness. With football in the background, hot chocolate and tea, pumpkin pie and Christmas candles burning, we decorated the tree. Not a bad way to spend Saturday night if I do say so myself.

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Just when our backs are about broken, we finish the creek bed on Sunday morning. I hope you like the outcome. More pictures can be seen by clicking on those below.

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Backyard Wildlife

There’s a bunny eating my garden! This must be the reason I have no vegetables. It has nothing to do with the fact that we are rarely home and put all our faith in the sprinkler system. Mr. Bunny thought he was being sneaky and would never be spotted aside from his droppings. Alas, he was caught up on our patio this morning, and then in motion as he scurried away.

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The question of the day: Vegetables or wildlife?

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I hope Mr. Bunny won’t scare the birds away from their new feeding post.