Okay, so I have been receiving lots of calls, emails, faxes, pages, and telegrams asking "ARE THERE MORE ZOO PIX OR POSSIBLY A SHORT VIDEO?" And I'm like "yeah". And then they're like "CUZ I HEARD THERE'S A TRAIN THERE. DID YOU GUYS GO ON THAT?" And I'm like "uh huh". And then they're all "BLOG IT AND BTW MY CAPSLOCK IS STUCK".

And I was like "ok I'll briefly blog it" because Violet's reaction was just so adorable.

She loved it.

zoobilee zoo

A very happy birthday goes out to my Dad today! And to celebrate in the blog world, I am featuring a recent trip to the Detroit Zoo. We love to wear matching outfits, so this was super funz. Actually, it was an event put on by my Dad's workplace- free tickets, free parking, free food & drinks (including ice cream truckish treats!), raffle to win free stuff, etc, etc. It was really fun, since we were hoping to take Violet this summer anyway.

Um, don't think they actually have camels there. Just sayin.

Violet and I passed a milestone together. Wait, is that the expression? Or am I just thinking of "passed a kidney stone"? Anyway, we both enjoyed our first Choco taco. I don't normally give her stuff like that, but I figured the sugary treat might be a good way to keep her awake during nap time. She couldn't miss the animals!

Zebra bein zebra-y.

Violet chooses where to go next. Which is apparently smack dab in the middle of the gorilla pen.

Ok, this was neat. It's a peahen (girl peacock) with little babies! I've never seen a baby peacock (peababy?) before! Look at their little wings with the first bits of a cool design.

And then there's the famous prairie dog area. There are these tubes you can access by going down some steps and crawling up through this very tight slanted area. But you can get some funny pix. I had to include this one of people I don't even know because I love it.

Aww, look how cute...

The previous photo was a fleeting moment. This is more accurate of our experience. Getting up there was a frightening experience. Maybe because trying to wedge myself through a crawlspace actually is a recurring nightmare of mine. And this time I had a baby with me who I had to try to push ahead of me while she resisted & sobbed. But it was worth it, right?...

I liked these thingies. It was really hot that day.

I love this little walkway where you can see the seals all swimming around you.

And apparently this couple does too. However, they looked miserable. *RANT ALERTZ* Ok, I'm totally a hater, but seriously what were they thinking? It was a Saturday so it was crazy crowded. How can you get a good photo? Also, did they really walk all the way from the entrance to here? It's like way in the back of the zoo. And did I mention it was really hot that day? And did I mention that they ended up not even taking a photo because there were so many people in the way? And did I mention that it if you are that girl's bridesmaid you deserve a serious good thank you present?

Anyway, back to us. One of Violet's favorite animal exhibits was this picture of a dog. Typical.

Although her absolute favorite was the Penguinarium! She loved watching them swim by and waddle around. Plus there was A/C in there!

Great times were had by all. Thanks Dad for inviting us and we hope your birthday is wonderful!

video veekend

Watching these 3 videos might be the cutest minute & a half-ish of your Sunday! They're all short- just DO IT.

Learning numbers!

Couch silliness!

Smartie pants!

moments with v

Doesn't she look like a cheery girl in a painting? My parents took her to this lovely park in Ypsi and got lots of pretty pics.

Silly v loves her buddy Elmo (aka "MO")

And Poppy actually taught her how to do an Elmo impression...

Looks pretty accurate to me.

Later, it was time for a sleepover with some best friends! Violet also is BFF's with "TOOEY" and "BIH".*

*Zooey and Big Bird.

And another time, she was just being the little ham that she is.


And again.

And then she looked so pathetically sad that I couldn't help designing my own meme. This is definitely true, by the way.

b & c

Part two of the adventures of Brad & Ciara's wedding! It was awesome to share the experience with close friends. Aren't my friends pretty?

Oh hey there's a plane on the ceiling.

I speeched it up. No I wasn't obligated to do this because of any specific wedding role, but I really wanted to since they both are such close friends. So yes I pretty much shamelessly asked if I could!

Cutting their high-five cake as the pinball cake hung out next to it.

Brad actually drew the design for the pinball cake. "Love Indubitably!" was the name of the whole production (ahem, wedding)- an Arrested Development reference.

More good friends, just hanging out having some laughz.

They danced to "All I Ask of You" from Phantom of the Opera... While serenading each other with the respective guy and girl singing parts of course.

After a delicious strolling dinner featuring food from five different themed stations, and then some dancing, the karaoke time was open for business!

Andrew and McLaine had some solid harmonies on "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".

And it's not karaoke if someone doesn't bust out "Summer Lovin'" from Grease.

And then we danced until the songs stopped playing. Brad & Ciara headed off for vaca, while some of us headed off to an impromptu after party! Hey, we had to take advantage of a Violetless night and do something crazy like stay up til 3:30am for no good reason.

Congrats to the new Mr. & Mrs. Brad & Ciara! We all loved sharing the day with you!

c & b

Don't my nearly headless husband and I look spiffy? We had the immense pleasure of attending the wedding of two of our besties Ciara & Brad! A few months back Ciara said "It's about time you stopped think of this as a wedding, and started thinking of it as a production!" I would say that was an accurate description. The setting was certainly appropriate- it took place in the lovely Andreson Theater at the Henry Ford Museum.

Our friend Kevin officiated the wedding. He couldn't be at the wedding rehearsal since he was actually doing another wedding (busy busy), so I had the stress responsibility of running the rehearsal in his place. I had to fill him in on all the many production cues.

Also pre-wedding I got to run through the couple songs I was singing with more friends- Andrew and Phil- as well as practice my speech (busy busy).

A little backstage pre-show downtime.

Finally (after a clip of the Muppets singing "Somebody's Getting Married"), a couple singers and a choir (seriously) sang while the beautiful sparkly bride processed down the aisle, accompanied by her brothers and mom.

Later, Andrew, Phil, and myself sang Andrew's awesome song "Great is Your Love".

Everyone was so happy!

More sangin'

Why yes, those are oversized rings that they used for a magic trick metaphor of two lives becoming one. Of course.

xxoo (bonus points for Karen's photoshoppery... the officant has magically disappeared)

The choir burst out into the "Hallelujah Chorus" in celebration of Ciara finally getting herself married off. Of course.

And oh what's that up there?...

Just the confetti cannons going off. Of course. And that was immediately followed by what ends any great production- a cast bow!

It was a beautiful and fun ceremony- I was super happy for both of them! Soon it came time to head down to the museum area to enjoy the reception.

Second part to come tomorrow!

my name is karen

and here you will find things that i make and see.

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