Venetian Pool

Nell Road of TreesNell Laying in Pool  Pool Wide View  Venetian Ceiling Danica Waterfall
Danica in Front Waterfall Three Palms Dee in Front of Pool  Danica Laying in Pool Nell in Front Waterfall Nell and Dee in Front of Pool

My, now college sophomore, daughter had only one full week off between spring and summer semesters.  I decided to sneak in some quality time with her and do something a bit touristy.  When you live in a vacation spot, it’s easy to forget about all the unique opportunities right at your finger tips.  We decided to shoot down to Miami for the afternoon and visit the Venetian Pool.

The pool was created in the 20’s from a coral rock quarry, where much of the original coral rock was used to border and further accentuate the pool.  The Venetian Pool was transformed into a paradise that is included in the National Register of Historic Places, the only swimming pool to have such a designation.

Upon walking in, you feel like you have transcended into a lush tropical vacation in Italy; waterfalls, caves, a beach, shallow lounge and, of course, the massive pool.  All of this beauty is surrounded by stone landscape and buildings architected from another time and place.  This south Florida tourist spot is a must if you are anywhere near Miami.

I thoroughly enjoyed my one-on-one time with my girl.  Now she’s off to the fun things in life like micro-biology.

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Favorite Things

Nell and Steve Sunshine SmallSunset Half Down Small Steve Walking into Sun Small Steve in Sunset Small Nell Sitting in Road Small Nell Running in Sunset Looking Up Small Nell and Steve Sunshine Looking at each other Small Epic Sunset Small Bunny Small Blurry Bird Flying Small Nell Running in Sunset Looking Down Small

We chased the sunset, discovered uncharted territory, held hands, talked, laughed and saw a bunny. Two of my most favorite things; nature and my husband.  This night was good.

Mexico :: Day 4

Nell Yellow House Hand Up Small Caribbean Couple Small Nell Top of Tiki Lifeguard Stand Small Steve Mimosa Bar Small Nell and Steve on Wall over Beach Small Nell Close Up Small Steve Standing on Golf Cart Small Carnaval Dancers Purple Small Kissing in the Caribbean Small Barefoot in the Streets 1 Small Nell & Steve Up Close Beach Bed Small Steve with Mexican Man Statue Small

Last days are always hard; soaking in the final bits of your destination before you head back home to reality.  We took in as much of the island as possible.  One really cool part of this last day was sitting on a second story balcony of a little Mexican cantina watching the super bowl in Spanish on the TV while watching carnaval parades on the streets below during commercials. Well this was cool until the following morning.  I knew not to drink the water in Mexico.  It’s a well known fact that the water is not at all drinkable.  This was ingrained in my brain.  Little did I know that the ice in my drink at dinner while watching the super bowl (and carnaval) was not filtered.  I woke up the next morning stupid early to the sound of an alarm feeling all kinds of horrible.  I didn’t realize right away what was wrong with me.  I literally vomited my way back to the U.S.  I threw up in the airports multiple times and had to repeatedly jump out of the customs line to run to the bathroom to vomit.  When in the United States customs line, you see signs everywhere stating all these different symptoms and their related diseases.  I made sure to force my happy face when getting to the front of the VERY long customs line in the U.S. I did not what them to suspect anything strange.  I just desperately needed to get home to my bed.  Needless to say, it was the worst travel experience I’d ever had.  After thinking it through and talking to a few people who had traveled to Mexico, we narrowed it down to that one glass of ice.

Isla Mujeres was quaint, authentic and breathtakingly beautiful.  I would go again in a heartbeat but will NEVER have ice in my drink again!  Adios!

What’s in a Decade?

Last Day in 30s

Today is the last day to be in my 30’s. Overall, this decade was pretty good to me. I was much wiser, made better decisions and accomplished more goals than in my 20’s. My 20’s was a decade of navigating a new marriage, having babies, finishing college and starting a career.  They were years of indecisiveness and uncertainty but they were the building blocks for what was to come.  My 30’s was a decade of accomplishment; moving 1,000 miles, pushing the career envelope and it paying off (thank God!), raising one child successfully to adulthood, getting another to a successful place in high school and establishing a very happy marriage.  The 30’s was also a decade that drew me much closer to God which has made all the difference in my life.

I have been told that the 40’s are even better; that life begins at 40. Well, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be to take it on. I’m excited to see what this next decade will bring.

Tomorrow

Isla Mujeres

Tomorrow, tomorrow; I love ya, tomorrow.  You’re only a day away.  This time tomorrow, this will be my view.  Let the 40th birthday celebration commence.  Vamonos!


					

January

Nell Walking to Waves Nell Walking to Waves 2

Going to the beach in January is unheard of.  Well, this is the reason I live in south Florida.  Typically, January and February are the coldest months that we see.  Cold for south Florida is a low in the 50’s and a high in the 60’s to 70’s.  Well up until a week ago it was was still very much summer weather with high’s in the mid 80’s.  While everyone was screaming for cold weather, I was at the beach riding the waves and soaking up the sun.

This past week the weather has adjusted itself to the typical January chill.  I have worn closed toe shoes for over a week now and I’m totally over it.  Bring back summer!

Becoming 40

Isla Mujeres Pier

Let the celebrations begin!  In my last post, I mentioned that 2016 is the year of celebration.  It will kick off in exactly one month.  One month from today, I will be sitting right here on this beach.  I will be spending the last week of my 30’s in style!  How do I prepare for becoming 40?  By going to a very small island in the Caribbean off the coast of Mexico.  Isla Mujeres, here we come!

2016 :: A Restart

Vision Board

In many ways, my life was on hold in 2015.  There was the tragedy of my mom’s life and death struggle and recovery from her car accident.  My daughter graduated from high school and then moved out of our house for the first time and went to college.  My 3 year long technology project at work launched (still smoothing out the details).  My son moved to a new school and started high school.  2015 was most definitely a year on hold personally as I prepared for and worked through the tragedies and milestones of life.  While there is still much investment to do in these areas, I want to be intentional about my 2016.  I want to make up for lost time.  I want to have a vision, goals and aspirations.  This is quite a strange thought for me as I have literally never done a New Year’s resolution.  I don’t really believe in them.  Instead of putting together a resolution or multiple resolutions that you forget about within the first month of the year; I decided to make a vision/goals board that fully incorporates everything that I want to do this year.  Most are not simply do and forget goals, but things that I want to do, not only in 2016, but on an ongoing basis.  These are things that I want to make into a lifestyle.

So, here it is; my 2016.  It is going to be a year of celebration.  I turn 40, my parents turn 60, my brother turns 30, I celebrate my 20 year wedding anniversary and my brother is getting married.  How can you not celebrate with this line up?  This is a year setup for celebration.

Here is the list of 2016 visions/goals that went into building the board pictured here.  Happy 2016 to you!  Seize this year.  You never know, it could be your best year yet!

Travel – Hawaii/Costa Rica/Mexico
20 year anniversary & pics
Book teaching
Making friends
Investing in marriage
Have more fun
Smile more
Peace, joy, hope
Stillness (not busy) – letting God work
One day at a time
LOVE
Crossfit
Invest more in 401K
Less confusing; simplify
Go to the ocean more (body board, sup, snorkel)
PMP (project management) certification

2015 :: A Not So Sad Goodbye

Sunset on 2015

Goodbye 2015! You were a quite a crappy year; probably the crappiest yet. But if I’m completely honest with myself, in looking back, in between all the tragedy and hardships were major milestones, joy and miracles. We have my mom with us on this earth. I have an amazing husband that loves me fiercely. We have two extremely amazing and successful children. We are gaining a new family member and overall our family is closer than it ever has been. Looking through the 2015 window of hard times is a future 2016 full of life, new beginnings, hope, love and family. So, what I guess I’m saying is thank you. Thank you for the tough times that has brought forth more blessing than I could even imagine. Bring on 2016! It’s going to be the best year yet!

Happy New Year to you all!

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.