Cadence and I took a little roadtrip today to meet up with my friend Cristen and her 3-year-old son Julian for a playdate. We’ve been trying to coordinate a meet-up for months, but between our busy schedules and a few miles between us, we just couldn’t seem to get it together. But finally, today, we made it work and we had an absolute blast. Cadence was already excited and talking about “Julley” before we even arrived, and was eager to greet him the moment they pulled into the play area.

The two of them had a blast running, jumping, playing, climbing, swinging, eating mysterious sticky things, and barreling down the tall tornado slide at least 150 times before we stopped them for lunch.

We spread out a couple of blankets, and tried to get the kiddos interested in eating a little something. They shared a few crackers and had a few bites of their peanut butter sandwiches, but seemed far more interested in snuggling up with each other than eating. At one point, Cadence even leaned over and gave Julian a kiss on the cheek.

Is it too early to start sending out wedding invitations? Because these two are seriously adorable together.

Here are just a couple of pics from today. I’ll have to save the rest for another blog post because this Momma is seriously worn out.

Cristen and I being dorks and trying to take a picture inside one of the little play houses. It took three tries, and I had to prop my camera on top of a slide, set the timer, and then run like hell to crawl through the little doorway, but we finally got the photo. Too bad we didn’t realize the whole right side of the house was open, I might have saved myself a head injury.
Cadence and Julian flirting shamelessly during lunch. Seriously, how cute are these two?
We managed to get one good full group shot just before the kiddos started melting down from exhaustion. Great end to a great day!

365 Project – Day 250 – Behind the Screen

For all of the wonderful things the internet has given us–online shopping, gaming and fantasy sports, Ebay, YouTube, Facebook, email, etc.–there is also a darker side, because you just never know who is lurking behind that computer screen. The internet has both connected and isolated us, allowing people to connect and keep up with each other through a veil of comfortable anonymity.

When I received an invitation to join a small group of photographers in an online group last year, I was delighted. I’d been following several of them and admiring their work while trying to launch my own business and continue to develop my style and hone my skills. I quickly developed friendships with these amazing and talented women, and often wished that we all lived closer so we could actually have the chance to meet in person.

The joke quickly developed that we were all, in fact, a bunch of old, fat, hairy guys getting our kicks by pretending to be a bunch of young, up-and-coming photographers. And I guess you always wonder unless you get a chance to see for yourself who (or what) is hiding behind the screen.

As luck would have it, Erika, one of the photographers from the group, lives in Arizona, so I jumped at a chance to meet up with her as soon as I scheduled my visit. Since it is still hotter than hell here in Arizona, Erika welcomed me and Cadence into her home to meet her two young daughters, Elika and Selah.

From the moment we walked in the front door, Cadence and I felt totally at ease and welcome. There was no old, fat, hairy guy waiting to kidnap us or murder us with a  hatchet. Instead, we were greeted warmly with hugs from Erika and smiles from sweet baby Selah. Just three months apart in age, Cadence and Elika were best friends the moment they laid eyes on each other. They spent the first 20 minutes exchanging hugs and kisses and smiles, before taking off running and chasing each other and playing with Elika’s toys. They hooted and hollered and giggled and yelled and talked and laughed as if they had already been friends for a lifetime.

Funny, but that’s exactly how I felt about Erika too. Sure, I’ve been getting to know her this past year in our online group, but I have to admit, I was sort of amazed at how quickly we clicked and how the conversation never lagged. Add a delicious meal t that Erika made, and you’ve got yourself a damn near perfect day.

My only regret is not taking more photos while I was there, but I guess I just go so caught up in all the fun I was having with an amazing new friend. It’s just too bad that Arizona and Nebraska are so far apart. But, I guess that’s what vacations are for.

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to a day well spent with some wonderful new friends. Here are two photos I snapped of Cadence and Elika’s impromptu percussion concert courtesy of the coffee table and a few of Erika’s knitting needles. It just doesn’t get much cuter than this.



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