Sunday, August 29, 2010

Change of View

My photography skills have become so lackluster, I decided to turn them over to more capable hands.

I might be using the word "capable" a little to liberally, but you have never seen such enthusiasm for the art of photography as Scarlet captured the latest month of our life.

She began her photographic journey with more of a still life view. This lamp particularly caught her artistic eye.

Literally 34 shots later, the lamp was sufficiently captured.

She then moved onto more of a "capturing in the moment" phase. At first, she found faces to just distract from the image.

Mom discouraged this artistic movement, especially when she discovered most of the angles unflatteringly captured her posterior.

So she moved onto more traditional portraits.

Who can resist these eyes? I love this one,

Thanks to my Las Vegas local status, I occasionally get hooked up with a free deal or two. It's pretty awesome.

My latest, and greatest deal so far, tickets to the Miss Universe preliminaries.

I convinced my friend, Ashley to ditch her family as well and we had our first girls night out.

But first, the photographer just had to capture the occasion.

Rhode and I right before I left
Rhode only barely made the cut I guess.

Then she had to have one of the two ladies ready for their night on the town.
A little more to your right...

Too much! Too much! A little more to your left now...

and there we go!

We had a great time. The event was held at the Mandalay Bay. The people watching alone made for a fascinating evening.

It is kind of funny that they just straight from Miss "Country" to Miss Universe. Seems like a lofty title...

But then I met "Mrs. Earth" and "Mrs. Russia Earth". Trump is right, Miss Universe is a way better title.

The preliminaries included all 87 contestants doing the formal wear and swimsuit competition. And, not to brag, but even without hearing them utter a word, I totally called the winner.

.Miss Mexico. Yup, saw it coming. She was seriously beautiful. That is what is nice about Miss Universe. No need to be a piano savant or the most fascinating person you have ever spoken to as does Miss America. Just good looking. I like the straightforwardness.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cabo Baby!

Jon and I have so been living the hard life this summer. Road trip after airplane trip after vacation... let me tell you, exhausting! It is so hard to be me sometimes... :)

Between all of the work/fun road trips we also fit in two very nice vacations. The first was a trip to Seaside, Oregon for the week before 4th of July. I have been very patiently waiting for pictures of our trip to surface on someone's blog so I can pretend I toted around a camera and captured a million memories... Don't judge me you've all done it. But, so far, the only posted pictures have been of the Baker family (who vacationed with us.) Don't get me wrong, all good looking people, but I was kinda hoping to steal pictures of my family.

Well, I guess beggars can't be choosers.
We were here too... somewhere off to the side finding our way to tide pools...

Don't the Baker's look like they are having so much fun? It's probably because their mom brought a camera & posted them online.

Ooh look! I'm related to people in this one! See, we were there I promise.

Seaside is the perfect place to slow down life a little, enjoy some sea breeze, catch up on reading and volleyball playing, and eat your weight in salt water taffy and fudge. Heaven!

We just got back from our final trip of the summer season, a little trip down to Cabo San Lucas.

Jon's parents are leaving for a mission this fall so they booked their timeshare down in Cabo for some nice bonding time before their long absence. Cara (Jon's sister) and her husband Ben tagged along for the ride. Scarlet and Rhode... not invited. (yay! Love you guys by the way)

I've mentioned this before, but I must mention it again because most my Earl relatives are still probably a little mystified by it... maybe even doubt its reality. Nielsens don't vacation like us. Where we value the number of books read, naps taken, and, most importantly, meals consumed, the Nielsens do a lot of... doing. Doing, going, seeing, being, moving... way more verbs than your typical Earl beach getaway.

We played tennis every morning for at least an hour and a half, sometimes closer to two and a half hours. And, even though we started bright and early, it was hot. Like Vegas hot but wetter. That was usually followed by a brief cleanup, snack from the kitchen, and then onto our adventure of the day. These included some fantastic snorkeling (we saw tons of eels, manta rays, and beautiful fish), body surfing, and a new adventure for me I like to call swiking.

What is swiking? I'm glad you asked.

Here is a picture of the Cabo coastline. Our resort was somewhere around the bottom of the picture.

There is a beautiful beach at the tip of the point called Lover's beach. Normal people (sadly I don't get to include myself in this category) take a glass bottom boat from their resort to the beach.

As the salesman is explaining this to us, Jon asks him if there is any other way to get there.

Javier jokingly said, "well you could sprout wings and fly... or swim!"

Curse you Javier.

That is the moment that Jon decided we would get to the beach on our own. We would hike across the lower rocks and beaches, the swim across the non-accessible parts. Thus, swiking.

We took off from the x on the right and made our way over to the left x.

It was definitely an adventure. The current was strong and most of the hiking was done barefooted. But we somehow made it all the way over to Lover's Beach.

The beach goes all the way through to the Pacific Ocean side where we hiked some more! Then, as is the problem with most adventures, we then had to swike back. At least being a Nielsen is keeping me in shape...

The evenings were a little more low key. We had some good food, were frequently tuned to the movie channel, read lots of my fantastic book recommendations, and even got to spend one evening on the Sunset Cruise. It's most affectionately known as the booze cruise because of its open bar, but that meant a never-ending supply of virgin pina coladas. Delicious.

We didn't have internet access anywhere in Cabo which means I never knew what was going on back home. That was a little more stressful than I thought it would be. Luckily, Kylie and my mom took care of everything and I came home to a clean, newly accessorized house and two very happy, well dressed children. (Gotta love grandmas!)

Kylie did a great job with the kids. If she got nothing else from the experience, I think I scared her away from any early marriages/pregnancies for awhile! I'll wrap this thing up with one of my favorite quotes made in my absence.

Kylie - Scarlet! It's time to clean your room!

Scarlet - (in a harsh, frustrated tone) KYLIE! I am ON the POTTY! You feed me all this food and it HAS to come out SOMETIME!