Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Top 11 of 2011 (Part II)

Welcome back! I really hope you enjoyed Part I of my top 11 sets in 2011. Now it is time for the 2nd part of my top 11.

6. Summertime

2011-05-22 - Pool-13

Gotta love that summer weather! This past summer we had plenty of time in the pool with our little guy and even made our first over night trip to the beach with him and he had an absolute blast.

2011-10-14 - Riley Beach 1-211

The beach also yielded a couple of amazing sunsets. God created the beauty, and again, I was just a witness who happened to be there with a camera. Always thankful for those opportunities.

2010-10-14 - Beach Sunset-77

2011-10-15 - Beach Sunset-206

7. Halloween

2011-10-19 - Pumpkin Patch-485

I always love this time of year but the excitement and anticipation just isn't the same as an adult. Fortunately, Riley has brought that excitement back to life and for the second year in a row we have had a blast with him in the "Pumpkin Patch" and on Halloween
. He brings joy to my life in more ways than I could ever count and I am so thankful for that.

2011-10-19 - Pumpkin  Patch-398

2011-10-19 - Pumpkin Patch-10

2011-10-19 - Pumpkin Patch-370

2011-10-19 - Pumpkin Patch-365

8. Christmas
2011-11-27 - Christmas Card-69

Talk about special times! Riley's first Christmas was obviously very special to us all but this year definitely had some great moments as Riley was a bit older and could understand a bit more of what was going on. Our yearly Christmas card shoot which has become somewhat of a tradition was a great time!

2011-11-27 - Christmas Card-39

2011-11-27 - Christmas Card-58

2011-11-27 - Christmas Card-13

9. Basketball

2011-11-21 - UF v. Wright State-744

Basketball is one of the few sports that holds a special place in my heart. As most of you know I went to the University of Florida and lettered in basketball as a student manager. One of the best experiences of my life. I currently assist the communications department during home games as a spotter for the stat crew so I rarely get the opportunity to shoot our current Gator basketball team. Fortunately this year they traveled to Tampa and played in the St. Pete Times Forum. Great game, and a great shoot!

2011-11-21 - UF v. Wright State-912

2011-11-21 - UF v. Wright State-729

2011-11-21 - UF v. Wright State-732

2011-11-21 - UF v. Wright State-1028

2011-11-21 - UF v. Wright State-1082

10. Pop Sikes

2011-10-06 - Pop Sikes-5

This is the only set in the top 11 that I did not actually shoot but it is certainly worthy of sharing. Golf is an extreme passion of mine and I have been playing for quite some time. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play with my dad regularly and team up with him in many Parent/Child and team events. The alternate shot format in a Parent/Child is certainly a character builder but regardless of how bad, or good the tournament goes, at the end of the day it is a good time and valuable time spent bonding and enjoying my dad. Can't tell you how blessed I feel to have that opportunity. We have had some great success but really haven't had a major tournament win.

It isn't easy to have everything going perfectly at one time and be able to beat other great golfers and a competitive field. On October 6th 2011, dad and I played in the annual Pop Sikes Tournament that benefits the Florida Southern Men's Golf team. This is a tournament that my dad has won twice in the past (in the 80's) and is an important one for us to participate in and do our best.

The day went absolutely perfectly. We both played well and there was even a little bit of luck involved and we managed to WIN the event. The field was very strong and we won by one stroke. What a great day!

I knew we were "in the hunt" later in the round as my dad continuously told me to "just relax" and "keep breathing." Once that started I kept thinking "oh crap, we could win this thing" but stayed focused and savored the moment.

I will never forget that day and the amazing accomplishment I got to achieve with my dad on the course.

2011-10-06 - Pop Sikes-4

11. Zoo

2011-12-26 - Zoo-877

In late November I had already decided to do a "Top 11 of 2011" and thought I had all of the photos I needed for the blog post. That was until, we made our first trip to the Lowry Park Zoo. We enjoyed the day so much that at the end of the day we signed up for an annual pass and can't wait to go back. There were some great photo opportunities, but most importantly, Riley had a blast. Here are just a few of my photos from an amazing day.

2011-12-26 - Zoo-310

2011-12-26 - Zoo-129

2011-12-26 - Zoo-115

2011-12-26 - Zoo-44

2011-12-26 - Zoo-552

2011-12-26 - Zoo-1070

2011-12-26 - Zoo-577

Toward the end of the day we stopped by an area where 2 young Leopards were housed and almost as soon as we got there, nap time was over, and play time erupted. It was so much fun to watch and photograph such beautiful young animals at play.

2011-12-26 - Zoo-620

2011-12-26 - Zoo-819

2011-12-26 - Zoo-855

2011-12-26 - Zoo-910

2011-12-26 - Zoo-891

2011-12-26 - Zoo-908

2011-12-26 - Zoo-753

2011-12-26 - Zoo-712

2011-12-26 - Zoo-876

Thank you so much for taking the time to peruse my "Top 11 of 2011" photos and for being a reader of my blog. There are some great things in store for this year and I look forward to sharing a lot of them with you in the coming year.

I wish you all the best in 2012 and look forward to seeing you back here soon!

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