Sunday, July 31, 2011

An Elephant Never Forgets

They're back!  The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo built a beautiful new habitat for its biggest residents.  The finished product is gorgeous.  The animals seem to love it as well.  I hope it really shines a spotlight on our wonderful zoo.

There are two huge outdoor spaces.

The elephants have indoor space as well - to escape the cold Cleveland winters, I presume.

We loved the new elephant exhibit and can't wait to go back to visit!

While we were there, we figured we would say hello to some of the other animals too.  During our last visit of 2010, we were hoping to see the baby rhino that had been born.  It was too young to be out yet though.  This time he (she?) was wandering around the rhino yard with his mama.

And finally the polar bears are always a favorite with the Hughes Family.

Hey, wait a minute...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Strawberry Fields Forever

We took the girls strawberry picking at the end of June.  We picked a ton of strawberries and ate a fair share in the field too! Paige was even a good sport in the baby carrier.

Ready to go!
It was cold that day.
Johnny did the bulk of the picking.
And Maris did the bulk of the tasting!

Now let's go home and make something yummy!
We used our strawberries for strawberry ice cream, strawberry upside down cake, and strawberry pie.  Not to mention, plenty of eating them right out of the bowl!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Morning After

The wedding, as I have said, was fabulous.  However, since D and V live out of town, they had to do things in a whirlwind.  Bachelor and bachelorette parties, rehearsals, fittings, the wedding, after parties, and Cedar Point, all took place within one week.  I think this picture sums up how most of us felt at the end.

Dad.  Take me home.  Put me to bed.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

THE Wedding

My brother was married on June 17th.  I still can't believe it.  We love his wife (ah!) and are thrilled to welcome her, officially, to our family.  Their wedding was phenomenal.  Not since my own, have I enjoyed a wedding this much!  So many touches to make the day special for them.

For example, notice a lack of females?  Vicki had a Man of Honor (her cousin, Jerry) and my brother had two best men.

The wedding party
They selected Vicki's cousin as ring bearer.  Vicki's goddaughter was a junior bridesmaid.  Then there was Maris: Flower Girl Extraordinaire.

My brother and Vicki asked Johnny to do the honors of performing the ceremony.  Getting ordained online is a real thing!


They were married on the beach.  The weather was perfect. They made interesting, original music choices.  Vicki's brother, Nick, walked her down the aisle.  Johnny performed a flawless ceremony.  It seems like every piece of the wedding was put together with a thought of how to make it personal and special.


This one was a crowd favorite.

My favorite family photo to date!

The newly expanded Campana(Hughes) family.

Thank you, Daniel and Vicki, for allowing us to be such an integral part of your special day.  We love you!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Toes in the Sand

Uncle Dan and Aunt Vicki got Maris a sandbox for her birthday.

Important sifting happening here.
She's doing really well considering she's not a big fan of getting dirty.
Intentionally pouring sand on her leg.  (Gasp!)
Thank you, Uncle Dan and Aunt Vicki!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Memorial Day

Paige was 4 months old.  This is our first family photo.  Oops.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Go Tribe!

We took Paige to her first Indians game in May.

 Let's just say pulling Sister's hair was way more fun then watching the game!

 Grandpa and Grandma C came too.  Definitely a Grandpa thing to instigate a blue tongue!

Maris loves Slider.  Meeting him was probably the highlight of her day.


Since it was a Kids Fun Day Sunday game, we were able to run the bases after the game.  We got to high five a few Tribe players and even Manny Acta, who actually pulled Maris aside and showed her how to touch home plate!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Memphis Kiddie Park

Cleveland has a wonderful miniature amusement park called Memphis Kiddie Park.  It opened in 1952.  Children of all ages are welcome but it really caters to the pre-school and school-age groups.  The Memphis Kiddie Park really is a wonderful asset to the Cleveland community.

Recently, Maris's playgroup held the annual group birthday party at the park.  Most of the boys have been before, but Maris was a newbie.

She took her first roller coaster ride.

This was not how she looked when she disembarked!  At least there were no tears.

Did some spinning - which was much more her speed.

Dizzy Jeeps

After the rides, the kids had cake.

Another Johnny masterpiece.

We tried to end the day with a group shot.  You would think as the kids got older the group shots would get easier!  (We have three other little friends not pictured here.)

I'm including, for reference, a picture from when they were all about 1 and the 2nd birthday party.
About 18 months old.
Two year olds!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Meet the Trucks

Maris is pretty neutral about her interests.  While she's had the usual princess, pink, and dress up obsessions, she's spent an equal amount of time obsessing about dinosaurs, trains, and construction equipment.  She loved our city's Meet the Trucks event.

 Testing out her firefighting capabilities.

 The city parks the "diggers" at a location right by our house.  I think she'd try to go play on them everyday if we let her.

Posing with the police dog.  Aren't police dogs usually German Shepard types?

That better be the only time we ever see you in the back of cop car, Young Lady.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Happy 3rd Birthday, Maris!

Maris was very clear that for her birthday she wanted a pink party.  PINK.  Further, she expressly stated that everything should be pink.  Food, drink, cake, decorations, and even the clothes we wore.  We did our best to accommodate her.  And it was a LOT of pink!

  On her actual birthday she got to use the birthday placemat and she chose a Pink Lemonade (of course) cupcake from Main Street Cupcakes.

Make a wish!

Opening presents from Mommy and Daddy.  It was a collection of Disney Princess stories.

Next up was party day.  This was where we really kicked it into high gear with the pink.  Read more here.

We had a hot dog bar, because, hot dogs are pink!


We also served Ambrosia Salad, potato and macaroni salad (both dyed pink), watermelon, jello jigglers, and cake (batter and frosting also dyed pink).

Everyone wore pink including some of our guests!

We love you, Maris and hope you enjoyed your Pinkalicious Third Birthday!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Royal Wedding

Maris was really into the whole Royal Wedding.  Okay, okay, it was me.  I was really into the Royal Wedding.  We DVRed the wedding, dressed up in fancy dresses, bought Raspberry Royale tea and found crumpets at our local grocery store.  It was a fun little "event" with my girl while the baby slept.

By far the best part of this whole royal wedding event was Maris running around Heinen's saying, "Mom, we need to buy tea and crumpets!!"  I wish I carried a video camera with me.