Monday, June 30, 2008


(Here's your long awaited post Allison!!!)

I don't even know where to begin.

My life has forever changed and I am afraid I will never get the innocence of my youth back.
My cool points have totally been depleted and I am sitting at a big fat ZERO balance.
I feel old.
I feel like every stereotype that ever was.
Why did we make this decision right before a birthday that will officially put me into my thirties?

Hi blog world. My name is Melissa and I....
......I drive a minivan!

Oh, to see those words on the screen still make my heart skip a beat, and not in the new puppy love sort of way.

That's right, the Halford family now owns, like the other 97% of the middle American population, a minivan. We are the new owners of a Honda Odyssey.

I know I know...All you minivan moms out there. Don't tell me how much I am going to love it and how in a few short month I won't be able to imagine my life without it. I know. I just don't want to be known as a minivan mom. I still can't get out of my mind that my next car isn't going to be a great little two door stick shift Jeep circa 1985. I am sure in time I will treasure all the handy features of my new ride. I am sure one day all of those safety features it took the sales guy a half an hour to go over will save me from a hazardous accident. And when that time comes, all vanity will be pushed aside and I will be thankful, but until then....

I pray that the Lord will allow me to shuttle around my kids as much as possible because I didn't feel the lowest of low until I was driving around a minivan...and caught a glimpse of my reflection in an office building window. (Ouch...cue the tears!)

Atleast my husband loves me enough to throw in this fresh tshirt for me to wear while driving my new ride...
Thanks baby! I love you, and the new car too!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Destin Baby!

My family has been going to Destin, Florida every summer since I was about 7 yrs old. This year, my aunt wanted us all to try to get everyone together and go to the beach on the same week, which we nearly accomplished. 46 of us headed to The Emerald Coast last week for some fun and sun...and it was much needed by all (the fun for all and the sun for a few others!)

You can imagine with that big of a crowd and that many different personalities, there was not many total group activities, as a party of 46 at a restaurant in a touristy area doesn't really work out that well. So it was a "choose your own adventure" type of vaca with most choosing to sit on the beach and veg!

We had a great time and decided that we are moving to that stage in our lives where we need two weeks of vacation instead of just one! With two toddlers, you just about need one vacation after your family vacation to recoup! The kids did great and we couldn't have asked for better kids on the trip! We would literally have to wake them up from their afternoon naps because they would sleep so hard. They would go down for nap around noon and we would have to wake them up at 3 everyday! Thanks to my mom (THANKS MOM!), we would get to go out to the beach and just chill why she stayed up with the kids while they napped. This provided us with some great quality time with my baby cousins who have all grown up on me!

The weather was perfect, the water was like a warm bath and the food was incredible as always. The best food we had was during a family shrimp cook off one night. YUM does not even describe it! Shrimp Destin, Shrimp & Garlic pasta, Fried Shrimp, Peel & Eat...I would go on but I am starting to feel a little Forest Gumpish.

I think I took around 500 photos and still missed so much. I didn't want to have the camera up to my face the whole time and risk a funky tan line so I put it down during most of the day to focus on the kids. One night we went to Navarre Beach right at sunset and got some great photos of the kids and their cousin Jullian. Thursday night, after the shrimp cookoff (that I still can't get out of my mind), we headed back down to the beach and I had the privilege of shooting my aunt & uncle's family and my cousin Linsey's baby Liam. A bonus was getting to shoot her sis-in-laws girls as well. Three shoots in one that's a speed round! Luckily I was able to do some rough editing for them and show them their pics before we left. That is the best part of the job....seeing a clients face when they first see the photos. And hearing that I "captured who their kids are" is such a great compliment! I am loving my new adventure so far!

So I will go on and on in another blog about how much I hate traveling next to anti-kid people and how we will NEVER fly Delta again if it's the last thing we do. But until then, enjoy some pics (sorry, I can't put all on here and blogger would implode if I tried...oh, and I would be grey headed with cataracts before they all uploaded anyway). Stay tuned for more on my new website for the biz and a new blog for my photography as well! Enjoy the pics!

Mom & Keaton pointing out the airplanes.
Keaton fascinated with the airplanes.Oh....sissy spotted them as well!
Keaton learned how to blow up rafts for us!
My babies' daddy on Father's Day (and a self portrait if you look hard enough)
Dinner...after the fact.
My uncle George & his dad "aka: Grandy" on Father's Day
Cuz Emily & Ry at Crab Trap
Elliot's favorite outfit to wear during breakfast each morning.
Em & El
Is she the cutest or what now?
Keaton loved to face plant in the sand


Vittoria & Jullian
Cousin Jullian and his sweet hat!

I am so in love with this little guy!

Rare family photo...Keaton HATED getting anything in his ears!

Uncle George's beautiful family!
Ty & Em

His typical "Wha is it" picture
The best freebie of the week was this baby pool...(good from placing found shells & baby crabs!)

Some of Cousin Liam's photos(Are those the best thighs ever?)

Some of Claire & Lucy's pics

Keaton tired of momma holding the camera instead of him!
Little surfer girl goes crabbin'!

El cut 4 more teeth at the beach as times!
Liam's to die for baby blues!
Geo hyping my kids up with coke before naptime.
View from dinner one night

Awww....good times. Wishin' we were still there!