The hubs and I went on a very quick getaway to Denver to see our favorite singer live. We have been dying to see Amanda Shires for years but she never seems comes to our state. However, she does go to places like Denver, CO. Since we had just celebrated our 20 year wedding anniversary, we figured, why the heck not. Let’s go to Denver! It was the perfect excuse. So, we booked our little 2 1/2 day getaway to Denver to see Amanda at Opelia’s Electric Soapbox (amazing little venue) and to do a bit of sightseeing (my fave). Unfortunately, I had altitude sickness the entire trip but was determined to push through. It was by far the most fun I have ever had all while feeling dizzy and nauseous.
The place we stayed in the keys was absolutely perfect. It was located directly on the Gulf and lined with palm trees and hammocks; the perfect location for doing absolutely nothing; exactly what this family needed. The sunsets never cease to amaze me. I stand there in awe every time taking a ridiculous number of pictures as the colors evolve every few seconds. I don’t think I will ever get tired of watching them.
The real reason we went to the keys was for our annual showdown with Key West High School. This year was a bit different than last. This year we won (yay!), but unfortunately my son got a fever just an hour before the game started. The win was great, but a bit bittersweet night for us since he was feeling so bad. We spent the weekend in the keys relaxing with family as planned. As soon as we got home on Sunday, I took him to the urgent care and sure enough he had bronchitis. They gave us an antibiotic and we are hoping for a quick recovery.
All is well that ends well.
It is truly amazing how quickly twenty years of marriage has flown by. The first decade was spent having and raising young children and seemed to go by at somewhat of a normal pace. The second decade has gone by in the blink of an eye. It feels a bit strange and surreal; like a couple of years went by but definitely not ten. It seems like we went to sleep one night with young children and woke up with older teens. We now find ourselves embarking on being empty nesters with two adult children. I really am having trouble wrapping my mind around this time warp.
Let’s back up over two decades for just a minute. I’ve been told that my marriage and what we have is an anomaly; truly unlikely and almost statistically impossible. The hubs and I met my junior year, his senior year of high school. We became best friends and then started dating. After dating for four years (on and off), we got married at the young age of 20 and had a baby right away at the age of 21. Being together since the age of 16, getting married young and having a baby at a young age. Any one of these factors alone sets us up for failure, but all three? Impossible. Right? Well, somehow we made it. Not only have we made it this far but we are happy; seriously happy. We are just as happy now as we were way back then, maybe even more so.
I don’t know that there is any one “secret” to my marriage. I am just as awestruck as anyone looking in from the outside, to be honest. I feel incredibly grateful for what I have and I definitely try not to ever take it for granted. I will say that getting married young and having children young as opposed to waiting until we were older and “set up” in life had its real advantages in our marriage. In those early years, we truly fumbled through life. We were so young and had absolutely no idea what we were doing. I think when you get married young, you expect each other to change. You expect each other to grow. This expectation allowed us to come together and actually grow up together. Neither one of us had the answers. We just figured it out as we went, but we did so together. It was an adventure. It was our adventure that turned into an absolutely beautiful life with an amazing marriage and two awesome kids.
What will the next twenty years hold? I have no idea. I do know that it will lead us into a brand new season in our lives. We will have two adult children, become empty nesters, put our children through college and watch them spread their wings and start their own lives. Then it is us again. Back to the beginning, in a weird sort of way. We still won’t have the answers but we will figure it out together. It will be our next adventure.
* Steve, I cannot thank you enough for sticking by me all these years. I absolutely love doing life with you. I cannot wait to see what the next twenty years hold for us. No doubt, it will be something beautiful. I love you with all my heart. ;)
I spent a good bit of time online looking for something to hang on the blank wall above our bed. Because I needed something quite large, I decided on a tapestry. The only issue is that when searching for wall hangings or tapestries, the only search results were hangings of the hippy/India/mandala style. I rather like the hippy style personally but I was wanting something with a bit more flowers and a lot less tie dye. Also, I was looking for something that didn’t just look like a square blanket hanging on a wall. I wanted something with some shape to it. So, as per the usual, when I can’t find what is envisioned in my head, I set out to make it myself. Below are the steps to recreate.
2-3 yards of fabric (I got the extra wide type from the home fabric section)
Fabric pencil (or a pink colored pencil)
Adjustable curtain rod
Instructions (see pics below):
- Cut fabric to be evenly square or rectangle (size of your choosing – my finished product is 6′ x 4′)
- Find the middle of the fabric and measure 18″ from the bottom (or measurement of your choosing). Make a mark in this spot.
- Lay a long ruler or your measuring tape from the mark made diagonally to the corner of the fabric and make a line with your pin pencil. Repeat on the other side as well.
- Cut out your triangle from the bottom middle of the fabric.
- Flip the fabric over and iron all edges over except for the top. I did about 3/4 of an inch.
- Sew all your edges.
- Make a 2″ loop at the top of your fabric and pin in place.
- Sew the loop.
- Hang and enjoy
My brother is marrying the absolute sweetest girl in less than 50 days. We are all so excited to have her become part of our family. To ensure that she felt super special, we pulled together a backyard Hawaiian themed surprise shower for her this past Sunday. They will be going to Hawaii (Kauai and Maui) for their honeymoon so the theme was quite fitting. In planning and crafting for weeks, I was super excited about how this shower was coming together; maybe a little too excited because typical Florida summer rain was quickly turning the party into a very soggy event. We setup for hours only to have everything rained on multiple times; moving everything outside, then inside then outside again with the last move only being a matter of 10 minutes before the bride to was to show. My sweet, sweet dad could see my devestation and was determined to get everything back outside and setup before the kick-off. Surprisingly enough, the rain held off the rest of the day. One table was soaked and the photobooth area was drenched but that didn’t seem to matter. We all had a blast and it turned out to be a HUGE success!
Welcome to the family, JoAnna! Based on my brother’s answers to the bridal jeopardy questions (and just generally speaking), he is incredibly blessed to have you in his life. I am just so excited to be a part of this monumental time in your lives. I can’t wait to share in many more.
P.S. – So excited to have my Dee (and her boyfriend) at the shower to not only celebrate with the bride and groom but to support me (even after having just moved back to college two days beforehand). You’re amazing, Dee! I don’t know what I’d do without you.
Today would have been your 84th birthday if you were still here on earth with us. They say that time heals. Maybe it does. I still just feel emptiness in my heart. I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that I don’t think about you. I miss the days when I could pick up the phone and say, “hey granny” and hear your voice on the other end reply, “hey bébé”.
I’m going to admit something here that haunts me everyday. It’s three simply words that continue to mull over in my mind…I didn’t call. You died in the midst of my mom’s tragedy. You were sick. I didn’t want you to know about mom because you would get upset and worry making your sickness all that much worse. So, what did I do? I didn’t call. I didn’t call because I wouldn’t know what to say when you asked about mom and dad. I didn’t call because I didn’t want you to get upset. In my heart, I thought I was doing the right thing. I know now that I was wrong. So what if you asked me about mom. I should have called. You needed to hear my voice in the midst of all that you were going through. For that, I am eternally sorry.
I love you with all my heart and miss you like crazy. Happy heavenly birthday, Granny!
PS – My deepest apologies for the heavy post. You can read the “One Year” tribute post HERE that is a bit on the brighter side.
It’s summertime and that means it’s family vacation time. We have lived in Florida for ten years now and have not been to any of the beautiful natural springs that our state has to offer. For this reason and because we didn’t want to spend much money (one kid in private school and one in college), we decided to do a staycation of sorts. While we didn’t exactly stay home, we only went three hours north to Orlando. You see, if I don’t get the boys away from the house, then I’ve lost them to the world of video games. Pulling everyone away from their day-to-day routine and environment makes all the difference. We are able to hang out as a family and truly connect.
For the springs part of our adventure, we chose Kelly Springs which is a short 30 minute drive from Orlando. Kelly Park is a free-flowing natural spring (68 degrees year round – yikes!) which makes is popular for tubing. The upside to this little adventure is the beautifully clear water and views, the close proximity to Orlando, the tubing experience and the laid back and relaxing environment (including our hammock – good call). The only downsides is the crowd (the park is closed by 10am due to max occupancy) and the temp of the water (almost painfully cold at first – see pic above).
Most memorable parts of the day:
- Steve and Trey racing down the river to see who would win. Trey won (in case you’re wondering).
- Steve making a bed out of tubes and falling asleep.
- Watching some kid curl himself up in a tube and roll down the hill being encouraged by his family the entire time.
- Trey looking for Pokemon (he had just downloaded Pokemon Go).
- Danica being a princess; not wanting to be outdoors or get in the cold water.
- Danica doing a high kick and a dance in the middle of the park when we announced we would be going to Disney’s Magic Kingdom the next day.
*I brought the underwater camera along and was able to capture some good pics. I will go on record that my 16 year old son decided that he wanted to be the photographer for most of the day so some of these pics are attributed to him. Great job, Trey!
What does a person need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.
The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life? ”
― Sterling Hayden
Last day of freshman year! It has flown by and has, by far, been his best school year yet. Trey has grown and flourished this year excelling academically, socially and athletically. This kid nailed freshman year and I couldn’t be more proud. He worked so hard in his classes, on the football field and on the track. He truly went above and beyond putting in extra hours and going the extra mile (literally in some cases); he gave it his all and then some. All this hard work is starting to pay off and will continue to do so. This is one amazing young man and I am one exceptionally proud mom. Love you, bud!
(Here’s a little side-by-side view of first day and last day of freshman year)
Eat food from farmers markets.
Drink good tea each morning.
Read books that make you feel.
Paint, even if you’re awful.
Write, even when you have nothing to say.
Sit in the fresh air outside.
Go on hikes.
Swim in lakes and wade in streams.
Sleep as long as you need.
Work hard at what you love.
Work hard at what you hate.
Love unconditionally and wholeheartedly.