Thursday, January 29, 2009

My mom was a hoochie?

Ok, so my mom was not a hoochie - for the record. Times were different back then, totally. Apparently micro-mini's were casual-everyday-wear.

But, we were sitting around at Christmas and somehow really old videos had resurfaced as a DVD courtesy of a great-uncle. And up flashes Mom and Gail, coming home for Christmas morning.

And they were wearing the minniest of mini skirts! And high boots!

And I thought, "Wow, I get nervous about wearing something like that out to a bar, and here was my mom wearing it home for family Christmas!" It was delightful!

I had them rewind and pause and rewind and pause, so I could try to capture a picture of the screen and post on here. This is the best I've got, but Mom is on the left. Gail's on the right. Check them out!

I'd say for sure my mom's a hottie!

Monday, January 26, 2009

World Premiere of Krusty Production's "Luv to luv ya"

This is what happens when you stick Rusty and I in a cabin, all alone in the woods with a bit of beer and some hip hop. Ah, it cracks me up. Enjoy!


Rusty and Kira Luv 2 Luv Ya from Rusty on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Also known as Jax

So, I've realized lately that I call my precious dog all kinds of names, in addition to his Kira-given name: Raleigh Wolfpack Jaxon. Over the last soon-to-be nine years, I've lovingly called little Jax some pretty hilarious names. I thought it'd be fun to start keeping a running list. Bless his heart for putting up with me.

Jaxon the maxon
Jacksonville
Jax Peoples!!!!! (when he's in trouble)
Dink
Pooter tooter head
Pumpkin butt
Schnookle
Precious
Buddy
Love muffin
Dinkster
Darlin
Shug
Mongrel
Jaxon the terror

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Jax is my little snow buddy

Our adventures outdoors today between conference calls in pajamas.

Hi, little precious baby that I love so much!

Sunday I was able to meet Arjun. And hold him and oogle over how preciously cute he is. And he kept his eyes open and stared at me the whole time. I think he realized instantly that I'm his super cool Aunt Kira.

Look how lovely he is!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Jan went on vacation with an iPhone, too!

Got a note from Jan the other night. (Jan is Rusty's mom, for those who don't know.) It seems that Ed (Rusty's dad) got an iPhone for his birthday and they were taking their first trip with the new device. Here's her story... sound familiar?

Kira -I am on vacation at Myrtle Beach with my favorite vacationer's I-Phone. The I-Phone stopped at Calabash for lunch and ordered seafood. Then it emailed people as lunch was prepared. The I-phone walked on the beach this afternoon in front of our condo, took pix of me and gave me my GPS positioning every few feet...

The I-Phone went to dinner at California Dreamin (a nice place) and it checked the weather in numberous cities while I ate ribs. Once all weather checks were complete, it let my favorite vacationer eat his prime rib!

Thought you'd want to know....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Christian the lion makes me want to cry.

I'm honest. Most all animal videos make me cry. This one is happy though, and very touching. But it still made me cry. Watch him wrap his little paw around his parent's leg. Ah, bless his big, lion heart.

Here's the video:


Here's the backstory (as you will see, confirmed by Snopes):
http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/christian.asp

Welcome to the world Arjun Daniel Shah!


Hooray! Baby Arjun is here and mom, dad and baby are all doing well. Follow their chronicles of new parenthood on their blog shahkids.blogspot.com. Congrats, ya'll! Can't wait to meet him and give you both big hugs!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Note from Chris and Natalie: Update on Hailey

I got this lovely note from the Raplees today, along with some precious photos:

Just wanted to let everyone know how our little girl is doing. After dropping down to less than two pounds, she is finally back to her original birth weight of 2 pounds 11 ounces. Hailey has also graduated from the NIC-U (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) to the TCN (Transitional Care Nursery). This means she no longer needs as much attention and basically the only thing she needs to do is grow! She does need to be able to do other things, but that will come in time. We are hoping to have her home by the middle of February if not a little sooner.

We would like to thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers over the last few weeks. I have attached some new pictures, Enjoy!

Chris, Natalie, & Hailey

Animals are amazing, aren't they?

Watch this video and feel your heart swell with pride and love for animalkind.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Weekend at the cabin

Rusty and I just got back from a weekend at his parents' cabin outside of Boone. It was so quiet and relaxing. I felt like I had been on a week-long vacation when we were getting ready to leave. I felt so calm and at peace. I like that the mountains have that effect on me.

My dad asked exactly where we were located. My answer: I don't know, about five winding miles outside of Boone on the side of a mountain. Maybe Rusty or his parents can help me pinpoint it on a map.

Saturday we had a big breakfast and then headed to Blowing Rock for a hike.
We hiked from the Moses Cone house down to Bass Lake. It was cloudy and muddy, but really nice. Jax loved the adventure. Good thing I brought along a towel or I think Rusty would have left me and Jax at the trail to protect his jeep seats.
(Oh, and it took some stealth photography, but I was able to catch this shot to prove that even in the woods on a peaceful hike the iPhone was out and in use. Rusty didn't want me to have photographic proof of this.)
Later we went shopping in Blowing Rock and out to dinner in Boone. Then back to the cabin where Rusty serenaded Jax and I with the guitar and Jimmy Buffet songs.
Lovely weekend in a lovely cabin on a lovely mountainside. Thanks Jan and Ed for sharing it with us!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Maui wowie

Well, since Cam and Cory are going to Maui to honeymoon. And Melissa and Jim are teetering with the idea of a trip, I think now is a good time to post about our trip to Maui. We flew from RDU to Maui, stayed for six nights, rented a car for the week and did it ALL for $3,000. (That was my trip budget, and I was determined to go to Maui. It's totally doable!)

First of all, I spent a bit of time on VRBO.com. Here, you can view and reserve condos directly from the owners, as opposed to paying rates through a resort property.

Then, I consulted with the Westers, whom have all either lived or visited Maui in the last few years. They recommended West Maui - specifically Lahaina or Kaanapali.

My criteria for the location:

- Lots of places to eat.
- Swimmable, snorkelable beaches.
- Bars within walking distance.
- Shopping would be bonus points.

Kaanapali and Lahaina both fit the bill.

For those considering a trip, Kaanapali Beach is gorgeous and excellent for swimming and snorkeling (especially Black Rock). This area is literally a strip of big resorts. There is a lovely sidewalk that goes down and connects all of the resorts in this area. And smack dab in the middle is a mall!

Lahaina is an older, quaint little sea town. There are no big resorts here, but there is a little harbor. This is where all of the snorkel trip boats, parasailing, etc. trips leaving from. There are lots of little shops, bars and restaurants.
I found a resort in Lahaina called Lahaina Shores. I found a studio mountain view condo and got six nights for about $600 by renting directly through the unit's owner.
Lahaina Shores' location allowed us to go shopping and get groceries, pack picnic lunches and coolers for day trips around the island. We could walk into the town of Lahaina to watch surf lessons, eat dinner, see a show, etc. It was perfect! There's even a luau next door (you can see it from the beach)! The beach was small here, but we just drove and parked at Kaanapali Beach during our beach days.

And since I've mentioned the room rate, I should mention that our flights were about $500 each. So, we're at $1600 now. :)

Rented a car for the week. That was under $100. And this is a must! Don't you dare go all the way to Maui and not explore this amazing island!

This left us with about $1100 to frolic about for the week.

Must do's:

- Buy the book Maui Revealed. Read the book front to back and tag the things you like best. There are all kinds of insider hints and trails to areas that are not tourist traps, so to speak. Literally, you will be able to find waterfalls and have them all to yourself!

- Drive the road up the Western coast of Maui. Hike down to the Nakalele Blowhole, but be careful. The ocean is powerful! Pay special attention to this portion of the book. There is a lot to see, including tide pools and blowholes!

- Drive the Road to Hana (block off an entire day for this adventure). See all of the amazing waterfalls and experience a road like no other through a tropical rainforest. Get started early in the day to beat the others. It's one lane and winds up and down and all around. Be sure to stop at the black sand beach. Visit the lava tubes. The book will tell you how to find little hidden trailheads to get to the bottoms of some of the falls. Like this one, called Three Bears.
Maui is gorgeous. Truly stunningly gorgeous. We wanted to explore the island, and the picnic lunch/condo route worked great for us. And it fit my budget. :)

I'm sure I'll think of something totally important that I left out, but this should be enough to get you started. Seriously, go get the book. And please shout with any questions! Be sure to check out any hotel or resort you are considering at my favorite Web site: TripAdvisor.
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