Beach Celebration

The weekend was spent celebrating another Bob’s championship – yes, these are a big deal around our house as there is nothing that Ry enjoys more. While the guys may get older and the trophies get larger, the players are still little boys at heart who get excited to sport their uniforms, put on their cleats, get dirty, and of course win the game!

The celebration pictures are not exactly my favorite blog material, as I prefer to feature images that do not remind me of college in Isla Vista, therefore, I will leave you with several beach pictures from the day.

Congrats Bob’s!

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Happy Tails

Well, you would think after this long hiatus I would come back and have a great recipe, a new nifty craft, or shoot, even some decor updates. But none of those are happening because I have been maxin’ and relaxin’ and enjoying time with the hubs. Our dinners have been mostly take-out, home decor has been relinquished to removing the Christmas decorations, and crafts have been replaced by Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Gossip Girl.

So in an effort to get back into the swing of things I will leave you with these photos of Lola…no we did not get a dog despite my charming efforts to swoon the hubby into saying yes. {insert extra big smile here} Lola belongs to our best friends who just might be obsessed with her and all things Lola.

Yes, this shoot really happened with three collar changes and all – but don’t worry kept the  Christmas dress safely stored away in the dresser drawer.


Hope these pictures warm your heart just a bit on this chilly February evening!

aqua grace

Underwater cameras and photo booths are two of kind and basically irresistible to all who come in contact with them.  Checking out everyone’s funny faces, weird air bubbles, and floating hair can offer endless fun. Now, if only we had some long flowy dresses to throw into the mix would we have real photography magic…maybe next time! Until then, here are some goofy faced, pure summer photos.


xoxo

Getaway.

It feels so great to get out of the normal daily grind and enjoy a few days out in the desert on a girls trip! The heat, lush flowers, summer dresses, and warm pools all make for a wonderful, girlie rejuvenation. The desert clouds were so beautiful over the ever present mountains and made for a beautiful sky and a little bit of shade cover – after all it was 110 degrees with 48% humidity! Good thing there were a lot of pools to spend our time in. And now back to work left with only the fun memories of a great relaxing trip! Happy Monday!

xoxo

TASTING TIME

PhotobucketWhen I received the email inviting us to enjoy a day in the beautiful Temecula Valley with great friends to celebrate the birthday of Jena & Jared, I couldn’t wait! I love a chance to get out of the confines of the city buildings and enjoy the open space a bit. There is just something so relaxing about it all. We boarded the bus and headed to Callaway VIneyards and Longshadow Ranch Winery.

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PhotobucketI love the beautiful colors of the vineyards and the warm sunshine. Longshadow Winery had an outside tasting area under a canopy of trees which provided fantastic light and allowed me to use our 85mm with a wide aperature (something I am not usually able to do in the middle of the day). Most of the these shots under the tree where shot at f/2.5 (for any camera geeks that may want to know).

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Example of how to not look cool while wine tasting….drink at the same time as your friend and get caught.

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Yep, caught another set of guys not looking cool despite the cigar in hand. I will consider this a half offender.

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All and all, it was a fantastic day with wonderful friends! Happy Birthday guys and thanks to Anna for arranging everything!

XOXO

Friday | Picture of the Week | Week 25

Yes, this actually happened and I was lucky enough to capture it in the camera where it will live forever (sorry babe, even if you try to delete it, I have it backed up)! For those of you who know Ryan, you will see the amazing humor in this shot; however for those of you who do not know him I will tell you, Ry conducts himself in a very serious manner–always thinking and always learning. Ryan’s idea of “letting lose” means going out with his top two shirt buttons undone compared to his usual one and maybe throwing a few fist pumps while on the dance floor. So when Ryan came with me to take a few pictures of the goats, this particular goat began kissing his cheek which resulted in Ry, well wanting more I guess!!!

Now that we had a little fun with Ry, this is me laughing so hard……hmmmm..what could it be that has me almost on the floor laughing?

Well, you see I just asked: “Check out that goats goat-…Wait, GOATS HAVE GOATEE’s?!!?!”  At this point the entire barn stall stood looking at me with a long pause, then I saw small confirming head nod from my husband which turned into a “Omg, Shan are you serious?! Yes!” At this point, I was in full blown hysteric’s repeating my new revelation that the term “goatee” comes from GOATS!!!  I am pretty sure an actual light bulb went off during this revelation! Seriously, goats have goatees — Still cracks me up!  Does everybody know this and I am the last to put this together?? Doubt it, but if you did then A+ to you in farm animal class!!!

Thanks for the laughs and hope everyone enjoys the long weekend!!!

XOXO

TEAM PICTURES | MANHATTAN BEACH BOBs

Doesn’t every adult male softball league need a team photo day? When your team colors are mustard yellow and green and you have “home” and “away” jersey’s and your team name is “The Bobs” the answer is yes. And to top it off, someone even painted their house mustard yellow and green to use as a backdrop for the team pictures!!!!!! Just kidding! Someone did paint their house mustard yellow and green but the reasons for this peculiar color choice may never be known.

Guys, here is the link to the team pictures (but you must have the password to see them)

XOXO

Boys.Football.Fun.

The male gender has the ability to live life without ever outgrowing their childhood pastimes. My Mom always says, “Men are just big kids with more expensive toys” and I couldn’t agree more. I hear stories of Ryan’s childhood and how he knew the name of all the Hot Wheel cars and spent hours lining them up just perfectly until he was satisfied. That little twinkle of his obsessed still lives in him except now it’s displayed in the form of life sized automobiles and 4×4 trucks and at times consumes his every thought.

Well, on Saturday, a group of friends got together for a little rivalry game of flag football San Diego v. Manhattan Beach. I love that no matter how old boys get they still know how to dig into that childhood pocket of memories and discover the enjoyment of simple play.

Commentary from Ryan:

I’ll be turning 30 this week and maybe its  old age  setting in but getting out to the park and playing some football with friends at the park was a huge deal.  In order for the game to go off the following things had to happen:

  • months of back and forth emails with lots of shit talking
  • tons of follow up calls and texts
  • a challenging team driving all the way up from San Diego
  • bottle service and “tables” reserved at Bugaloo where the winners would be celebrated and the losers would be disgraced
  • cones and flags (along with promises that we wouldn’t be playing tackle)
  • not getting too hammered on Friday night at Fitz’s party (because of course we get hang overs now)

All of that happened, a miracle, particularly the last bullet.

Saturday morning came and a very familiar group of guys came together.  The guys who were playing were literally the exact same guys who I used to play with all the time, when we were about half our current age.  The pregame activities of lacing up the cleats, joking, running patterns and throwing the ball back and forth to warm up all came and went.

But where was our challenging team from San Diego?

Well, they were late.  Why were they late? Becasue Gib and Bob had to get coffee.

Once they finally arrived we were not surprised to see that they also took the the time to put on eye black that was in the shape of little pistols.  Flag football  was played and we of course smashed them, Manhattan Beach 45 – San Diego 26.  Hopefully this will be annual tradition.  Big ups to DJ who played even though he starts professional baseball soon.   The effort was definitely worth it and the celebration at Bugaloo was glorious.

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LA Art Walk | January 2011

Maybe it was the video I saw last week about Scott Schuman’s visual life or the fact that my sister is coming back from her Air Force tour in England and I never got a chance to visit her, but lately I have been dreaming about how wonderful it would be to move to Paris and just photograph. Photograph the streets, the buildings, the food, the people, the monuments – the list is endless.  So while I have been dreaming about photographing Paris, I was reminded last Thursday that I have many things to photograph right here in Los Angeles – I just need to get out and explore the city.

The invitation from our friend, Matt of Groceries Apparel, to attend LA Art Walk could not have come at a better time. It allowed us a chance to get out and explore the city in which we live in. We started the night off checking out Matt and Rob’s new manufacturing warehouse and then headed to the Art Walk.
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Thanks to all for a great night and lets do it again next month!

Cambria | New Year’s Eve | 2010

We spent the New Year’s Eve celebrating with a host of great friends! Mark and Nancy Epstein were so kind to host their 3rd annual New Years party at their beautiful home in Cambria. Mark and Nancy are always so kind and gracious to open their home up to so many of us and once again the party was a huge hit filled with fantastic food, great music, and lots of love.

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Happy New Year to you all and thanks again to the Epstein’s for such a great party!

Costa Rica | Vol. 4 | The Wedding Finale!

Andy and Katie’s wedding at ‘Casa de Capitan’ was an incredible event and the finale of our trip. We had looked forward to the wedding day the whole week and we were happy to see that the event would be set in absolutely perfect weather. As the sun began to set we gathered on the beach and watched Katie, the gorgeous bride, come the down the aisle.

Sarah, Katrin, Vivian, Alexandra and Shan

Charlie and Me

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Anthony & Alex, Sarah and Brian

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The newly engaged.

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For the reception dinner, Shan and I were assigned to the “pantera” table.

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After the ceremony, the group enjoyed drinks and appetizers on the beach.  There could not have been a better setting.

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Fitz played a few a songs.

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The ceremony amongst the palms, the circular arrangement brought everybody close the action.

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The groom, very happy obviously.

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Mr. and (very soon to be) Mrs,

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And they’re married!

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First steps of many in a life together!

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Brian, Sarah, Katrin and Sten

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Shan, Kim, and Suzi

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The Father-Daughter dance was all time, a full, intense swing dance to Free Bird.  An instant classic.

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The Punta Coco clan, those who live together, party together and eat ‘Gallo Pinto’ together:

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This is scene looking towards the beach from the house and swimming pool, Marty, myself and Kevin.

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Flor de Cana a local rum,

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Dinner was first class, also first class were the “Shot-skis,” here the Curtis’s give a lesson in teamwork.

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Andy’s brother Erik, delivered a great speech.

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Some ‘Shot-ski’ races.

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The happy newlyweds.

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At midnight, Katie surprised Andy (and all of us) with a firework show! We were blown away!

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I really like the shot on the right here, it’s the Grand Finale on 20 second exposure hand held.  What you’re seeing on the bottom is the tent illuminated by the fireworks and framed by palm trees on both sides, quite an experience!

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Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Curtis!!!

Costa Rica | Vol. 3 | Santa Teresa

The ride from Manuel Antonio to Santa Teresa is a long one but very pretty and hugs the coastline the whole way.  We passed some very pretty towns including Jaco which stands out a bit in Costa Rica due to its few high rise buildings.  One ugly town we had to pass through was Puntareraus, the town where the ferry departed from.  We made our way through Puntareraus as quickly as we could and without incident that is until our last turn before boarding the ferry.  Standing in the middle of the road with his hand up was a weird looking dude and we had nowhere to go so we had to stop.  With the guy now standing on the running board right next to me, I gassed it a bit and he jumped off.  It was kind of a crazy experience and none of us were sure what he was after, we think he wanted to help us find the ferry and get a tip.  We knew the direction so he was just a hindrance.

With that passed us, we boarded the ferry for the first time.  The whole process stumped us initially, the tickets are sold out of store across the street. We boarded the ferry and were on our way. The boat had a full snack bar and even karaoke!! One Costa Rican sang the whole time and nobody had a problem with it because he pretty much killed it.  The four of us ate a churro, a taquito, and a beer.  About an hour later, we arrived in Paquera.

Once on the other side of the peninsula, we started our drive towards Playa Santa Teresa.  We heard the roads were bad, but we had NO idea.  The procession of cars that left ferry left me in the middle of the pack so I had to tackle the road at the same speed as the locals who had memorized the pattern of potholes.  This left me at a serious disadvantage.  Their line swerved on the left side of the road and included the shoulders on both the right and left side of the road. Flying down a road that was 40% pothole at 40-60kms per hours was definitely an experience.  It was nuts!

Finally, we arrived in Santa Teresa to find a big group of our friends having lunner at Burger Rancho.  Everybody literally jumped on our Mitsu’s running boards and bumpers as we drove a short distance down the road to where we’d spend the next week, Punta Coco.

“Punta Coco” was a gathering of jungle casitas (jung-alows) in the midst of dense trees, right on the beach.  The property came with a native family of caretakers who protected us and cooked us “Gallo Pinto” breakfast.

Here is the sign that marked our entrance, it was doubly important.  The sign was a marker for tourists as well as for “Rocko” one of the property’s dogs who would hang at the local bars into the early morning hours.

Looking north-west-ish from under the Punta Coco sign. “Super Ronny” is pictured, this is where we picked up water, beer and other snacks on a daily basis. This dirt road is the only road through town, so you can imagine how dusty it can get during peak hours!

Katrin, Kim and Alexandra hanging in our second story room during our first night in the jungalows.

Chris and Shannon enjoying a drink before we went out for a family dinner at “El Pulpo”.  El Pulpo served some of the best pizza we’ve had anywhere.  Shan has even vowed to learn to make pizza as good as El Pulpo’s because she liked it so much!  The chef/owner was European (and he had a really sweet sheep dog too).

Poosman and Toneman

From right to left, me, AC, Sten, Chris and Jaime (led the Costa Rican Pacific league with 17 goals in the summer of ’09, and great guy, we gave him a Laker’s shirt and even though he didn’t speak a word of English he fit right in).

Aside from surfing and lounging on the deserted beaches, Santa Teresa offers many opportunities for adventure.  On one of the days, about a dozen of us rented quads and headed south east-ish towards Montezuma to see one of the many waterfalls.  Quads are the way to do this as it provides a chance to ride on the back-country roads through beautiful farmland with several fun water crossings.

We sped along on this dirt road until we hit our first hold up.

Costa Rican road block!

These bulls were not happy!  The black one was scrubbing his front feet just like the cartoons so we held off and let them pass.  Fortunately no one got horned. Thanks to Fitz the photog for getting this picture of me and Shan participating in a stare down with “el torro negro”.

Soon after this bull encounter, I saw something move and before I had a chance to stop I ran over about a 4-5 ft snake.  It was red and after we hit it, it scurried very quickly into the green. I’m glad we didn’t kill it. The road paid off with this great waterfall.  We swam in the pool and did some jumps.  Fitz grabbed these shots with our Canon (underwater camera), kudos for the timing the second one.

Shan grabbed these great shots as the sun set on Punta Coco while I was out surfing.  Her first attempts with our ND filter and I’d say she did an ok job!  The fog is actually waves moving water while the shutter remains open. Nice job Shan!

Kim and Chris enjoying the view from Andy and Katie’s rehearsal dinner at Brisas Del Mar.  Incredible food and an even better view! Everybody was happy that the taxi driver didn’t kill us on the way up.  It was a close call as the driveway feels like 45 degree hill and at the very top he pitched his ten passenger van sideways and way off camber.

Early morning from Punta Coco, a few hundred yards down the way was where we surfed each day.

Alex and AC were newly engaged just before the trip so it added to the fun of traveling with them.

Really fun waves the whole week, Stenner.

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Katrin was getting great waves the whole week, here is one.

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Kim at our pool, where we hung out each day.

Here is one of my favorite shots of the week, Shan grabbed this after one of our afternoon sessions.

Andy and Katie’s wedding day came on a gorgeous day.  Everybody was ready to go and the cab was waiting but Sten wasn’t ready yet so it gave Shan and I some time to mess around and take some shots of each other.  I’m a lucky guy!

Shannon getting in touch with her inner-self.

The last sunset before the wedding from our pool at Punta Coco.

Stay tuned for wedding shots and more!

SPACE

SPACE

2nd Annual Thanksgiving Photoshoot | Sneak Peek

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving weekend and enjoyed a little to much home cooked food to be comfortable! Here is a quick peek from our 2nd Annual Thanksgiving vacation photoshoot. Stay tuned for more…and yes, that little house fan in the corner magically became a wind machine!

 

 

Untraditional Thanksgiving

The beach is just a part of our life here is Los Angeles and these pictures are a perfect example of that. As much as I have always hoped to one day spend a Thanksgiving among the beautiful east coast trees full of orange, red, and golden leaves, I am a California girl and here in Los Angeles, we have an endless summer made up of palm trees, sand, and light weight scarfs that eventually leave you sweating because it just isn’t hot enough to actually need one. Sad, but true.

This all leads me to our Thanksgiving morning which began with a walk on the beach and a quick surf in the Pacific Ocean before heading to the grandparents for a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. While it may not be what most people envision for Thanksgiving morning, it was our morning. Spending it enjoying this beautiful land that God created for us to enjoy with lots of family and laughter – now that is something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wedding | Louie & Danielle | Beverly Hilton

On Saturday night, Louie and Danielle were married in a beautiful ceremony held at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Yes, the Beverly Hilton, site of the Golden Globe awards show! It was a perfect November night, filled with endless love and friendship! Louie was Ryan’s fraternity brother at UCSB, so the night was filled with lots of laughter, smiles, and hugs!

Since, I love a great wedding (well, just about any wedding), I couldn’t help myself and had to take a few pictures of the gorgeous evening! Enjoy!

Not only was the wedding gorgeous and super fun, but they topped off the fun with a photobooth! Honestly, those things just NEVER get old!!!

Congratulations Louie & Danielle and thanks for inviting us to join in the fun! Have a fantastic honeymoon!!!!!

first year ~ part II

As posted previously, last time I went home to visit, we took some pictures of Riley for use on his birthday invitations. Now that his invites have gone out, I can reveal the rest of the shoot. And just in case you really want to see more of this photoshoot, click here for slideshow.

For the invitations, we decided to do a postcard style photocard using Photoshop. With Melissa’s poetic skills and the book editor skills of my mom, they came up with the poem and I did the design.

Sorry, but the crying pictures are just too cute to not include – crying with a party hat on! Man, I can’t wait until this little guy is in college and this gets sent around to the frat brothers!!!!

 

Brady-Man turns ONE!

Brady is a crawling machine, loves when his daddy tosses him in the air, points at almost everything, loves to give kisses to his mommy and best of all, he celebrated his first birthday on Sunday! Ryan and I couldn’t be happier to celebrate this little guys birthday with his parents, Joanna and Chad, and I couldn’t help but to snap a few pictures of this lovable little one year old. For a slideshow to view a few more click here.

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first year.

I can’t believe how quickly one year goes by. One year ago, Ryan and I had just returned from our wonderful honeymoon, we were celebrating Melissa’s baby shower, and Joanna was still pregnant and about to bring little Brady into this world.

Fast forward to today and little Brady turns one on Sunday, and Riley is almost about to celebrate his first birthday in November. Being that Riley’s mom is my very best friend, Melissa, we get the chance to shoot Riley as much as possible.

It is just amazing how quickly they grow in the first year and since I am in LA, I hate that I don’t get to see this little guy more. At two-weeks old he was just a little, squeezable ball of love, and at 5-months old he was a calm, happy baby just learning to sit and smile. Now at 10-months old this guy crawls, eats, laughs, cries, and sure knows how to go through those diapers!

Here is the first set of pictures of this little guy.

kim’s surprise birthday bash.

Our favorite starlet celebrated her 30th birthday two weeks ago with a surprise party organized by her amazing husband Chris. Word on the street is that Kim has never been surprised before — in Elementary school her friends came to drag her out of bed to surprise her but when they arrived she was already ready!!!!! I think he pulled off a successful surprise and quite a party!!!

 

And here she is – the birthday girl arriving at her party!

 

double-play, may-day.

The Bobs are back which means Wednesday nights will start with the same dialogue:

Ryan: Shan, Bobs are playin’ tonight, you going?
Shan: I don’t know. Is it cold?
Ryan: Come on babe, we’ll dress you warm, it will be fun.
Shan: I don’t know. Are any of the girls going?
Ryan: Yeah, they all are (lying).
This leads to me one of two responses of either, “I’m going to watch Gossip Girl” or “Sure, I’ll go!”

This past Wednesday I decided the second option and went. Apparently, the team “always play[s] well in front of a crowd” so in an effort to drum up attendance, last Wednesday’s game was deemed “Significant Others” night.  Being that it was Cinco de Mayo many of the girls were spending their night amongst margaritas and sombreros, but a few others made it out to the field with me.

The Bob’s ended up playing a terrific game; they made five double plays, hit one home run, and won the game!

Just in case you didn’t get enough softball pictures (or didn’t see yourself above, here is a slideshow of more pictures from the game, and a super killer picture of Morgan at the end, it’s worth it!

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Riley 5-months.

I was so lucky to spend last Friday with one of my favorite people and her cute as a cupcake, 5-month old son, Riley. If you recall, back in November, Ryan and I did a little Riley-Man Photoshoot when he was 2-weeks old. Boy has this little guy grown a lot since then! Melissa and I spent the day hanging out like old times, going to Chevy’s in Folsom (which is now Q’bode), window shopping the home stores, and enjoying a nice glass of wine in the park (although this time, we are actually old enough to buy and drink it).

While we were in the park, I took advantage of the fabulous weather and lighting to take a few pictures of Riley.

 

 

 

 

I have too many favorites, but this one might just be it – that pacifier just cracks me up!

Seriously, is there anything cuter than this little guy!  Thanks for the fun day guys, miss you already!

Marco Polo Softball

Shan and I play co-ed softball once a week on a team with our closest friends, it’s something that I look forward to every week.  Between the mens league and the coed I am basically playing all year round.  This years team in a mix of newcomers and veterans and it’s a blast.  Each week we get better and better.  Last game we lost a tough one coming back from a nine deficit only to lose by two runs…and get this…we had the bases loaded and two out when the game ended.  (The pictures below are from last week’s loss.)

Coming off such a tough loss tonight we came out with great energy and had one of the best all-around games in Marco history.  We won handily and everybody contributed with all around strong defense and timely hitting.  Highlights of the game included strong outfield play by Andy, nice defense by Katie and 3 timely RBIs by our girl batters. As manager, I was proud. –Can’t wait for next week MARCO!

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