Smartphone Photo Dump: Looking Back a Year

I was looking through pictures on my phone the other day, and WOW, there’s so many things I forgot about! As new parents, it’s mostly Avery pics along with one date night worked in there, but thought it would be neat to do a photo dump from my phone a year ago.

Avery has changed so much (I guess teeth really make a difference), and it’s amazing just how much happens over the course of a year. Well, Uncle Preston not knowing how to hold a kid hasn’t changed…

This was one of the first times I wore Avery on my back in our Onya Baby NexStep. Notice the excitement on her face. Or maybe that’s her getting tired of my selfies.

We love a sleeping baby. Bonus points when you can get this close with the lights on to snap a pic and they stay asleep!

Hey, it’s a date night! We went to a BYOB paint class while G-Ma watched Avery. Good times with my wife!

For some reason, Kelley’s jellyfish got to stay out, but mine had to go in the closet. I don’t get it.

More sleeping. We just wanted to go a cuddle with her, but would never dare do such a thing!

This is a sight we’ll never see again. Now she’s always standing and pointing out our shirt, shorts/pants, and butt. Notice how I kept it safe with the oven on in the background.

C’mon, I know all parents love the sight of their sleeping kid(s). Never gets old!

Now she’s excited about the Onya, after I took it off. This changed and she still loves riding on my back to get a better view of everything around.

This is marks the beginning of her sharing the love of Zevia with Mommy and Daddy.

No, I wasn’t auditioning to be Bane in the next Batman movie. This is an elevation training mask I just got and decided to go for a leisurely stroll with Avery in the Onya Outback. If a baby can get embarrassed, she definitely was that day.

Hmmm, funny, this is how a lot of our meals still look today…

Before the need for a gate in the garage while working out, this jumper did just fine. I’m sure with all the jumping she did, it helped develop that leg strength for her awesome moves she does now.

Maybe I’ll start making this an end of the month thing  where I share pics on my phone from that month a year ago. Hope you enjoyed the past pics, and keep a lookout at the end of August!

Go back a year ago on your phone and see if there’s anything you find that you forgot about.

Find anything cool/interesting?

Happy 60th Birthday, Mom / G-Ma!!

That’s right, today is my beautiful mother’s (Avery’s G-Ma) 60th birthday! As we speak, I have Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones heading to her home for a private concert and just to hang out.

If you’re confused by me saying “as we speak”, that’s kinda what I was going for. Obviously we aren’t speaking, just like obviously I could never afford a private concert for my mom with some of her favorite bands. Yeah, yeah, corny joke, I know, but that’s just how I “roll”. Yep, just like “The Stones”.

For your last birthday, I shared several pictures of you and Avery. This time I’ll share the very beginning at 2 days old…

G-Ma and Avery; just 2 days old!
G-Ma and Avery; just 2 days old!

And then most recently….

Lot’s of changing happened in between, but your love remains unwavering!

Anyway, Mom, no one could ask for a better mother or G-Ma than you. I love that Avery gets the privilege of growing up with you in her life just like I have and look forward to many years to come. Although I don’t always act like it, you mean the world to me and I am grateful for everything you have done and still are doing.

Happy 60th Birthday, Mom / G-Ma! We love you!

PS: I asked Avery to work her magic with about the private concert and she’s taking the task pretty seriously…..


Be on the lookout for a band with a big mouth as their logo and a band with a big mouthed singer.

TreyMark Black-eyed Pea Vodka: Our Private Tour

Having done the Revolver Brewing brewery tour two days before, the next obvious stop with our visiting family was a local craft vodka distillery. This is not just any vodka either, it’s distilled using mainly black-eyed peas, the world’s first!

Before the tour, we met at a cool little joint called Lili’s Bistro for lunch. Any place that is happy to accommodate my request to do or add less is an instant favorite, and they pulled through! Actually, we all enjoyed our meals and the service was good too.

But Avery was on the wild side (no surprise) and we quickly found out highchairs are NOT acceptable. Instead, she switched between my wife or my mom and me as she danced around on the booth. Thankfully, G-Ma’s sunglasses case kept her somewhat preoccupied.

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Good ol’ Grandma in the background. Isn’t she pretty? I would never believe she was in her 80’s if I didn’t know her. One of my mom’s friends joined us for lunch and took my grandma out shopping afterward since she didn’t care much about trying vodka. I think she was burned out on drinking after this visit!

For the rest of us, good thing we had vodka to look forward to right after because Avery made it necessary! Okay, not really, but it sure does help! The distillery was only a few minutes away and we went right to it after paying our bill.

The name is TreyMark Vodka, and is located in an old fire station in Fort Worth, Texas. The creator, Trey (obviously), put together everything with the help of his business partners/friends and started distilling the world’s first black-eyed pea vodka.

TreyMark Vodka
This used to be where the pole was located for firemen to slide down.

He chose black-eyed peas since his family had a large farm with the legumes and it just wasn’t turning a profit, so why not make alcohol? Check out his story and look out for a bottle near you!

I first spoke with Trey’s mom/manager (how cool is that?) who arranged the meeting for all of us to meet for a private tour. No charge, no hassle, and he opened the doors just for us! The only drawback was having no A/C on when we visited, but I can’t blame him; gotta keep costs low!

Uncle Paul with my mom on the left and Aunt Tammy on the right.
Uncle Paul with my mom on the left and Aunt Tammy on the right.

That’s the distillery behind the lovely ladies and handsome young man.

Trey kindly greeted us at the front and gave us an excellent history of how he got started and gave a great summary on how he produced his one-of-kind vodka. Leave it to me to poke and prod with too many questions that he couldn’t answer due to being a family secret and what sets him apart from other vodkas. Hey, gotta try, right?


It’s crazy to think just a couple guys were able o put all of this giant equipment together! The entire place smelled heavily of alcohol (duh), but it wasn’t overwhelming. I actually kind of enjoyed the scent. What none of us enjoyed was the very hot, stale air, but we were provided a little relief when we went up stairs for tasting and he opened a window.


Going Mom is not a big fan of vodka and opted out of the tasting, so she kept watch over Avery as she danced around the wooden floors. She really enjoyed the loud tapping noise her Soft Star Shoes made when tromping around the room.


She also explored a little and since we’ve never had her up stairs like this before, she was fascinated at the view from below.


Well, at least for a minute, then Kelley had to give up her phone to keep the peace.

Crisis averted!!
Crisis averted!!

While Kelley was watching over our crazy toddler, we were learning more and more about the vodka world as we tried TreyMark’s vodka alongside another top Texas “handmade” competitor. Holy burn, Batman, the stuff I used to think was good had nothing on the smoothness of TreyMark!


All of us tried the competitor’s vodka, which Trey ingeniously keeps on hand for comparison, and came to the same conclusion; TreyMark took the trophy, hands down! Check out Paul’s action shot with all of us except our escapee toddler.

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I could hold his vodka in my mouth without a major burn, but the other stuff just lit my mouth up instantly. I never would’ve thought there is so much of a difference, but it’s all in the processing, and Trey has it down pat.

You want this!
You want this!

After feeling the burn of one, lesser vodka, and enjoying TreyMark’s smoothness, we were feeling the family love and posed for a few pics.


Lucky to have these beautiful ladies in my family! Love you, Mom and Tammy! As G-Ma went to get money to buy a bottle of vodka, I guess Avery thought it might be for her college fund or something….


I think my mom is saying “Silly girl, this is for vodka, not edu-macation.” Avery remained expressionless, and hardly cracked a smile when I tried to pose with her even as I held the almighty phone.


Everyone enjoyed the tour and I’m thankful to Trey and his mom for providing a great experience for all of us. This was the last time for us to see Paul, Tammy, and Grandma before they headed back up North to PA, so we said our farewells in the parking lot.

It’s crazy how fast time flies and we never seem to realize it until after the fact. Still, it was great seeing my family and look forward to flying up to PA with Avery when she’s a little older.

Have you ever visited a distillery?

Would you prefer spirits, wine, or beer or something else?

Kids in highchairs. How do your act in restaurants?