Scenes from the Weekend

Trey nana and papa Lunch with Dee Friday Night Lights Football Huddle Prayer Football Everglades Sunset Cup in the Sun Ray Cooking under the lights Coffee in the Hammock SwingBeachClouds

It was the first weekend in October and it is officially fall, I guess.  Living in south Florida gives fall a whole new meaning.  Let’s just say that this was the first weekend where the heat wasn’t scorching, the temps stayed in the mid 80’s and there was a great breeze.  This meant that we could actually stay outside without sweating.  It was amazing!  I was outside every chance I could get.  Here are a few pics from the weekend.

  1. An after game pic with Nana and Papa.  Look how long his legs are!
  2. Taco lunch with my college girl.
  3. Friday night lights.
  4. After game huddle.
  5. Everglades sunset at the football game.  Sunset was beautiful, getting eaten alive by bugs was not so nice.
  6. Sunrise and coffee.
  7. Family cookout.
  8. Coffee in a hammock swing may be the best way to start the day.
  9. The super moon brought clean waves.
  10. Sunny days and sun rays.




Scenes from the Weekend :: Celebrating 41

Wings are Served Steve Deep DiscussionSteve Laughng Hysterically    Nell Crab Legs Steve and Papa Watching GameNell and Nana Selfie Papa with Silly HatFull Moon before Eclipse Friday Night Lights  Dee Home Mom with crocheted Hand SockButterfly Boil Beginnings Backyard Work in Dress


The hubs turned 41 on the 27th.  In true Steve fashion, to celebrate, the decision was made to lay low, hang around the house with family and friends and cook his most favorite meals.  I am a busy body, always wanting to be on the go but I have to admit that the chill birthday weekend he planned was perfect. I had the best time and went into the new week nice and relaxed. Here are some of the pics from our weekend.

  1. Special homemade wings and some football watching.
  2. Good convo with he in-laws.
  3. LOVE this! A true belly laugh. This pic makes me smile every time I look at it.
  4. CRABS! Cooked my famous seafood boil.
  5. “Watching” football.
  6. Selfie with my favorite lady.
  7. Crochet experiment gone wrong.
  8. The blood moon before the eclipse.
  9. Friday night lights.  Trey’s team won 32-20!
  10. SHE CAME HOME TO VISIT! I miss her face so badly! (having grown kids is harder than I expected)
  11. The successful crochet sock for mom’s arm.
  12. Backyard butterfly. I call these the bumble bee butterflies.
  13. Seafood boil beginnings.
  14. Landscaping in a dress.  Why not?

College Girl Ceremony

Handley Family - White Coat Nell and Dee White Coat Dee with Nana and Papa Dee Walking In Dee and Nursing Friends

Our college girl was one of 100 chosen for the direct admit nursing program at her college. The college has a tradition of doing a white coat ceremony at the beginning of the nursing program to signify their commitment to nursing and an initiation into the program.  We absolutely could not be any more proud of our girl and the future that lies ahead for her.  Congrats, Dee!  We love you!

Laptop Shoulder Bag DIY

Laptop Shouder Bag On Laptop Should Bag with Supplies

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of juggling my laptop in hand back and forth from the office along with the ten other things that I tend to carry to and from work as well.  Basically, I have a crap load of stuff to carry so I decided to make a cross body laptop bag to carry my most important commodity.  Here are the materials and step by step instructions.  Enjoy!


1 yard of canvas material
1 yard of standard material (for liner)
leather belt
quilting thread
large sewing needle


  1. Measure 4 rectangle panels; 1 canvas and 1 standard material should be 6-8 inches longer than the other two (for the flap).
  2. Sew canvas on three sides.
  3. Sew liner material on three sides.
  4. Turn material on the correct sides and sew the liner into the canvas at the top edges.
  5. Fold together a 4-5 inch slender strip of material, sew together and then sew into the middle top of the flap to make a loop.
  6. Buckle belt and cut in half.
  7. Thread large sewing needle with quilting thread and sew belt on each side of the bag.
  8. Sew button on the front in the spot where the loop falls.

Underwater Anniversary

Snorkeling Selfie Huge Jellyfish Nell Swimming in From Side Angel FIsh Steve Swimming Down 2 FIsh Errywhere Nell Swimming Straight Down Steve Swimming Down

Every now and then our anniversary falls on Labor Day and that means a guaranteed day off to celebrate.  This year we celebrated 19 years of marriage!  Wow, how did that number get so big so fast?  Sometimes it all seems like a blur between, jobs, homes, raising kids, school, etc.  The one thing I do know is that it has been an awesome journey and a great ride.  I wouldn’t want to do this life with anyone else.  Simply put, this guy makes life fun.  He makes me laugh and fills in all the gaps where I fall short.

We decided to spend the day (first part at least) at the beach snorkeling.  We did an early morning snorkel which meant there were a ton of fish to see.  It was breathtaking!  There were other big plans for the day like riding a motorcycle and such but true to Florida summers, it stormed all afternoon.  Hey, that’s ok because we had a great excuse for a long afternoon nap.  It couldn’t have gone any better.  Happy anniversary, Steve!  Here’s to many, many more.

High School

Trey Permit First Highway Drive Trey First Day of School First Game Number 47 First Varsity Game
First Game Take a Knee

My not so little boy has made it to high school.  He practiced football and conditioned hard all summer in the 95 degree heat with 80% humidity to make the varsity team at a local private prep school.  I am proud to say that as a freshman, he is playing second string linebacker (#47).  This means Friday night lights for this family every week, and man, we are loving it.  He also got her permit and is driving.  I have to be totally honest and say that he’s already driving better than me but that’s really not saying too much (I’m not the best driver in the world).  He has signed up for some exciting, yet hard classes at his new school.  Classes are underway and he is tackling them head on.  We are beyond excited and thankful to God for the amazing opportunity that our son has at this new school.  The sky is the limit and we are beyond proud of is dedication, hard work and passion.  I have no doubt that he will go very far.  Football, driving, and a brand new school; it’s going to be a great year!

The College Transition

Loaded Truck Dee On Back of Loaded Truck Dee Wallking in with Box Dee Opening Dorm Door First Time Dee Room Before Decorating Dee on Bed in Dorm Dee FAU Sign Nell & Dee Hug GoodbyeDee and Roomates

Our tribe of four is now officially down to three. My daughter moved out of our house for the first time a couple of weeks ago to venture into her college career.  The only way to describe this major life event is bittersweet. On the one hand, I am exceedingly excited for her as the opportunity ahead is an amazing one that she will, no doubt, run with and make great things happen.  She was one of only 100 students accepted into the direct admit nursing program as a freshman.  This makes me one happy and proud mama.  On the other hand, I am sad and lost.  After moving her into the dorm, the first steps back into our home with her bedroom empty was difficult to say the least.  The emotions I experienced were far harder than I had mentally prepared myself for.  Not only is this special girl my daughter, she is my best friend. There was an aching emptiness inside that I wasn’t quite prepared for.  It has been two weeks and most days I’m ok.  There are hard days where I find myself upset and in tears.  I’ve been told by other mothers that have paved this path that it does get easier as time passes.

Overall, our college girl is doing great, adjusting to college life with classes underway.  Life change can be difficult but usually those difficult ones are the most rewarding.  Off to new adventures.

Nostalgia and Change

Steve and Baby Dee Nell and Baby Dee Dee & Steve College Apartment  Dee with Sunglasses Bald Baby DeeLittle Dee


In two days we will be moving this sweet little girl into her dorm room.  It is crazy how fast time has flown.  I found myself in a recent conversation with someone who didn’t understand why I was “struggling” with my age and my daughter moving out.  As I was explaining myself, the reality hit me straight in the face.  Does that ever happen to you?  (it seems to happen to me a lot) Anyway, it isn’t that I am necessarily upset about turning 40 (ok, sometimes maybe a little); it’s not so much about the number.  It’s really all about how I got here.  My husband and I got married, had babies, did college and got real jobs almost all simultaneously.  Life moved fast.  In the midst of all this activity, time flew.  I found myself “waking up” at 39 thinking, “hang on. stop. what just happened?” It’s like someone snapped their fingers and I went from being 25 to peering over the edge into 40. It’s not so much about the number 40 or my daughter moving out as it is about simply not believing that I am here in this place at this time.  It’s almost like I’ve watched a movie of my life and the last 15 years were summed up in 2 hours.  It’s surreal I guess. I sit here with the realization of turning 40 and my baby girl moving out of my house for the first time to start her college life and think, “wow!” This is so surreal.

On the flip side, I am beyond excited for her and proud of her.  I know she is going to do amazing things at college, make the best of friends and have the time of her life.  So, of course, to celebrate and reminisce, I had to pull out a few old pics from when she was little.  I’m so proud of you, Dee!  You make me one proud mama!



I apologize in advance for this deep post as well as for not posting here in a while.  What is reflected (no pun intended) below is the reason behind the lack of activity here on my blog.

As I lay here, I look over at the clock and its 1 am. This is quite unusual for me. See, I am never one to have trouble sleeping. This year has been different. 2015 was expected to be a monumental year for me without my moms tragic accident and without losing my precious grandmother. As we creep into the eighth month of the year, I am tired. I am worn out. I am stressed. I feel my body breaking down. I feel like I’m getting sick. And the big stuff this month hasn’t yet begun. Four days from now, I help my daughter move out of my house for the very first time and into a new college life. My son transitions in two weeks into to a brand new high school. Later this month, I launch the largest work project of my entire life (three years in the making) and definitely the largest project my company has ever seen. I am losing my boss and mentor at the end of this month which means a transition to a new boss. I am tired and there is more to come. I have worked tirelessly this year to balance my life but seem to fall short nearly every time.  All I can say is that God must be doing something pretty darn big, but I don’t know what exactly.  What I do know is that this year has been a character building year for me. Other than that, I have no idea what the future holds.  All I do know is that some things have to change.  The burdens must become lighter as I move toward the end of this year and into next.  My goal at this point is to hang in and hang on to see what God has in store.

Costa Rica Day 4 :: Explore

Big Wave Dee Crashed on Beach Dee Gazing on Rocks Dee in the Sunset Dee Running up from Beach Dee with Hands up Epic Sunset Nell in Cave Nell Jump Nell on Rock Nell under Short Palm Nell Victory on Rocks Steve and Trey Out in Water Steve Catching Wave Steve Running into Ocean Steve throwing Dee in Water Trey Catching a Wave Wave in SunsetSteve Gazing at Ocean from Patio

Well if you made it this far, then you managed to look through the ridiculous number of photos I posted.  The good thing (for memory purposes) is that I literally took 2,000 photos on our Costa Rica trip  The bad thing is that I took 2,000 photos on our Costa Rica trip and have to go through each and every one of them.  Honestly, there are just so many good pics from this trip that it takes me at least two to three passes through the photos to decided what to post.

Well, anyway, here you are.  This is day 4 of our Costa Rica adventure.  We rented a house in the Punta Leona gated resort with no rental car.  This wasn’t really an issue since the resort had two amazing beaches, 800 acres of rainforest, restaurants, stores, etc.  But, hey, we figured we should head off the grounds to explore a local town at the very least.  We chose to get a taxi and head to Jaco (pronounced Ha-co).  While the town was a great place to shop for souvenirs and eat a nice authentic Costa Rican meal, there wasn’t much else to rave about.  To be honest, we were pretty disappointed.  But that was ok because we were able to not only begin the day with a quick exploration of the caves at low tide, but also catch probably the best sunset I’ve ever seen while body surfing 5-6 foot waves.

Costa Rica, you never disappoint.  What a great way to end the day watching the sky being painted with the prettiest of colors while having a blast in the beautiful ocean.  Perfection.