A lion’s roar has nothing on my dog!

A lion’s roar can be heard up to 5 miles away.  My husband learned this during his lion park adventures and walk.  I thought that sounded quite extraordinary, but it’s true.  I looked it up.

Guess what else!  A whale’s can be heard hundreds of miles away…to attract a mate.  Obviously it’s not a roar.  We’ll save that for the lions. But it’s registered decibel levels are so loud that KISS has nothing on them.  Perhaps they’re the rock stars of the sea?

Impressive, eh?

I just hope that the female that answers the call isn’t too disappointed when she travels so far to meet that whale 😉

And, if she is, what does she do next?  Swim away?  Splash her tail?  Tune into a different radio station?  Tell him to kiss off?  Pun intended.

Haha.

I am on an unnecessary role.

The real reason I brought you here today is to show you the pictures my husband took while on his lion’s walk in South Africa (yes, he physically walked just feet away from these wild beasts).  And to show you the absolute blast my daughter had playing with some rather big kitties…

Hope you enjoy!

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(c.photos Richard Nungesser)

An amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience.  And they enjoyed every minute.  Rich said that when they were eating dinner that evening at this park, it was as if they were in surround sound—roaring surround sound.  He said it was deafening.  And a bit frightening.  But awe-ing to be sure.

No matter what, though…I am pretty sure that these impressive wild beasts have NOTHING on our own domestic beast.  Sierra.  Our Giant Schnauzer.

You see, Sierra’s been living at our home in Poland and being taken care of while we’re away.  But she was obviously very excited my daughter returned home…Witness it in her own rocking bark.

As for my daughter’s array of baseball helmet and getup.  She was just excited to be home and play with her stuff.  The helmet must have been missed, I suppose.

Oh, and here’ the link to other amazingly loud animals:

http://animal.discovery.com/animal-facts/7-animals-that-can-be-heard-for-long-distances.htm

Hope that no matter where you are in the world,  you have a ROARING Friday!

Even if you have to put earplugs in…

I spy a hottie pastor…and a great looking bride and groom! Day 2.

And since my husband leaves now tomorrow to head back across the border, back to South Africa, and then on to Europe…these are probably the last few shots I have for you.  (And pretty much the only shots I have myself)

Hope you enjoy Day 2…

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I spy with my wife’s eye a hottie pastor in the back!  Do you?

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Making new friends

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And cuddling old friends (we have Auntie Tania in this photo…yea!)

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The parents/families of the Bride and Groom

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My princess at the reception…Adelyne Marguerite!

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And last but NEVER the least…the bride herself, Dr. Seun…wife to Kwesi! 

Well, Maxwell and the Belly and I greatly enjoyed the glimpses of the big days!  Hope you did too.

xo always,

the first half of crazy…Brooke

A safari and a wedding. South Africa to Botswana, what a journey!

In the words of my daughter, “Seun looked like an African Queen!”

In the words of my husband, “If I could go back and marry Brooke again, I would have a Nigerian wedding!”

(If you read my past posts, Seun and her family are originally from Nigeria.  Kwesi and his from Ghana)

There are not many photos, but I am sure that you can see why BOTH said what they did.  Again, congratulations to Seun and Kwesi.

(When Rich reaches Poland, I am sure that he’ll send me more.  But for now, these are LOVELY starting shots!)

Enjoy.

First photos…Safari shots and dinners with dad.  Lovely, lovely, lovely!

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And now to the wedding…First, the rehearsal dinner.

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The above are from the evening of the rehearsal dinner.  Daddy is SO proud of doing his daughter’s hair.  Well done, Rich!

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Mother of the bride…Stunning!

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Flower girl, Adelyne.  She had her hair in a headdress for the wedding (maybe those photos will come another time?)

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Adelyne and the handsome groomsmen!

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Adelyne and her “Cheeky Twin” Seun…The unbelievable stunning bride!

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Kwesi and his groomsmen go before Seun’s family!  Awesome. 

Should have had Rich do this at our wedding. 

Maybe an anniversary 🙂

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The groom and bride…

May God bless your today and all of your tomorrows.

We love you. 

Thank you for asking our family to be a special part of your days…

xo from afar,

Brooke and Maxwell and Belly Josephine

Here’s their personal website, if you want to get to know them even better:  http://seunandkwesi.ourwedding.com/view/5483962792241072/34042896

Copyright above photography goes to Richard Nungesser

My husband’s off to get people hitched…in Africa!

Adelyne and Richard had an amazing start to their African father/daughter journey.

Well…After they flew 10 hours to Germany, then a 10-hour layover in Frankfurt, and then another 10 hours to Johannesburg.

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Frankfurt Layover…Goodbye, Sunny AZ!

But when they FINALLY arrived in Africa, they have had an amazing time!

The lion park.  Huge perk for a little girl.  Especially when a lion cub gets to gnaw you to smithereens.

Then they have gone on Safaris and wild animal roundups.  And they have even gotten to go swimming.

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Daddy’s toes enjoying the African sun!

At breakfast the other day, they ate outside and saw grazing giraffes.  Pretty stinking awesome.

Finally yesterday, they had to leave their safari paradise and begin the border crossing…on their own.

I remember when Richard was going from Kenya to Uganda (Nairobi to Kampala) on his own—well, in a bus full of others.  It was a midnight bus crossing and Rich said that he was the only white passenger on the bus (an important part of the story in a moment) and he was RIGHT below the radio’s speaker button that was playing the same scratchy tape over and over again.  So when the tape took it’s pause to switch sides, he reached up above him and turned off the speaker — and the bus fell into a beautiful midnight silence.

Well…it may have been a night bus, but that did not mean its passengers were sleepy because soon he heard from the back of the bus in a deep voice, “HEY, Muzungu!  Turn back on the radio.”  Without looking around or missing a beat, he crept his hand in the air, found the speaker’s button, and turned back on the loud midnight music.  Listening to it all the way to Kampala.  And the rest of the passengers were pleased 😉

But this time, with Adelyne, Rich was not in a bus as a passenger.  He was the driver, and he had to get his daughter safely across the border and make his way to Gabarone, Botswana.

He said trail mix was a nice treat for the border agents as he crossed.

And then, the rest of the journey, well, let’s say it was wrought with, in Richard’s words, “Six hours of dodging goats, cows, donkeys, people, cars, potholes, baboons, and anything else you can think of.”

But he finally made it!  And they are thrilled.

And today they get to begin the celebrations of Seun and Kwesi!  Today is the traditional ceremony.  Adelyne is a blessed and honored part of today’s event.

Tomorrow is the church wedding.  Richard gets to do the whole, “Do you?  And Do you?  And Yea!  You may kiss your bride!”

I am so excited to hear how Seun and Kwesi have brought their two families together (Nigerian and Ghanan family backgrounds) and joined them together in beautiful ways to celebrate who they are and who they will become together.

It brings me back to my own wedding.

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I am not a big church and fluffy wedding dress-type woman.  And my husband, he could have gotten hitched on a raft, shouting “I Do,” as we went through a rapid.

But, since we have families that love us, we decided to have a wedding…in 3 weeks!  Good thing I have an extremely organized sister, eh?

She pulled off my wedding in 3 weeks.  And I wore my mother’s wedding dress.  And I received my grandma’s wedding ring.  And we wore tennis shoes or hiking sandals.  And we had trail mix at our tables.

We were in the day of “film” so there is not a lot of digital documentation of this day, but we didn’t even go with, at the time, the VERY traditional wedding cake.  You see, neither of us are huge cake fans.  So we went with something we both do love…Marie Calendar pies!

We bought out the restaurant.

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Richard’s vows to Brooke

And our evening even ended with illegal fireworks, sending us off, in our Jeep!

Yep.  It wasn’t fancy—but it was beautiful.  And one of my favorite moments, dancing with my husband while our guests surrounded us with bubbles in the air.

I am sure today’s wedding will be extremely different than mine.  And I can’t wait.

Because each wedding day should be an introduction of two families, coming together, to join as one.  Not leaving behind what makes the other so beautiful and unique, but joining together the beauty of “you” and “me” and making the two a “we”.

Oh…and it should be a LOT about the bride.  (Well, saith this bride!)

And I am sure Kwesi and Seun’s wedding will be just that…a beautiful joining of two families with a great celebration of the bride herself!  And the groom.  And the two of them, joined with their family and friends from around the world.

And I can’t wait to see where God and their future takes them.

I pray their day blessed and joyful.  I pray their day tomorrow honoring and special.

And I pray their lives, forever, together…full of adventure, hard work, fun, and, when God gifts, beautiful children to fill their hearts to the brim of overflowing!

In the meantime, I simply hope that they’ll enjoy their honeymoon and their brand new future in great and adventurous ways.

Congratulations, Seun and Kwesi.  Now, go and get hitched!

Kiss.  Kiss.

Alex the Lion nibbles on Adelyne…

Today was amazing—from the sounds of it on my Skype call with Rich.  They landed in Joburg late Monday night.  So today was their first day to start to explore…

Their explorations started with a trip to a lion park.  Anyhow…the cubs you could handle and hug and pet and play with.  One particular cub, Alex the Lion, really took to Ada…and her clothes.  In the video Richard sent me (that I can’t seem to upload here…bummer), I can’t tell if she is pleased or annoyed.  But her daddy said that later in the day all she could talk about was how fun it was to hold Alex the Lion!

And then they made their way to the “lion walk” with the 1-yr-old lions.  Ummm…The guide gave Rich strict instructions to “Keep Adelyne Close!”

Rich said it was a GOOD thing he did.  As soon as they entered, he said the lions got down on their haunches and began to creep toward her.  I guess she is more “bite sized” eh?  But the closer Richard got to Adelyne, the more intimidated they were, and they backed away.  I guess he is still too big of a meal for 1-yr-old lions.  Roar!

After the lion park, they headed to their game park where they’re staying for two days.  They got to swim, go on a night safari, and eat outside under oil lanterns!

Man…can we say, “Momma be jealous”?  I can!

During the night safari, the guide tossed food to the crocs…Rich said the water became a ripple of activity.  It was fascinating.  And then during the Safari drive, they actually spotted White Rhinos!  One even had a baby.  Rich said a tusk of another was a good 2+ feet in length.  Amazing!

What does Adelyne hope for in the next two days?  Adelyne hopes to get close enough to a giraffe to ride its back.

What a crazy explorer she’ll make—She should’ve been stranded in the movie Swiss Family Robinson.

Anyhow, it was a short but awesome Skype convo between me and my man.

Tomorrow they get to become like the cowboys of the National Geographic.  They are joining a “round up”!  True that. (Why am I going all old school talk on you all, I don’t know…Jet lag?  Oh wait.  I didn’t go anywhere 😉 )

Back to the “round up”.  I guess that there are too many animals on one reserve, so the helicopters will come and herd the animals into different crates to be taken to wider, more open spaces.  Just like Marty’s dream in Madagascar, eh?  Wide, open spaces!

I think that Rich is as excited about this next one as Adelyne!  There is a bit of AZ cowboy in him ready to go all “Yeehaw” on the zebras’ behinds.

Anyhow…One more day of South African exploring before they head into Botswana for a multi-day joyful wedding celebration.

I’ll keep you as updated as I myself am 🙂  (which means not too terribly updated).

Hugs for now…And lion kisses…Much like those Alex the Lion gave Adelyne.

Munch.  Munch!

Belly Josephine…And my Ada and Max!

Well…It’s not a blog posting, but we sure had fun preparing a gift for daddy’s return from South Africa and Zambia!  Won’t he be surprised?

And my joyful boy thought the Lego table was far more fun than taking pictures—therefore, he got to play while my girls and I posed all pretty.

(Adelyne is the gal…Josephine is the belly)

It’s hard finding a dress to wear when you’re all big and preggo like me—so I went with the cute blue one I found and then we accented it with pink.  Twas the best we could do.  And SCORE—the dress only cost me $10!  Can’t beat that, eh?!

Anyhoo…Hope you enjoy.

And, in case you’re wondering…She’s coming January 2014.  Woot-woot!

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