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!

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!

The Graduate

Before Graduation Dee Hat Before Graduation Dee with Nana and Papa Before Graduation Dee Before Graduation Dee with JakeBefore Graduation Handley Family Before Graduation Nell Kissing Dee Dee Walking Across Stage Dee with Nana and Papa Earl and Dee Sassy Wave Handley FamilyNell and Dee Nell Hugging Dee Tight Hug Nell Kiss Dee Crazy Face Steve and Dee Steve Nell and Dee Trey and DeeDee with JakeDanica Jump

She did it!  Our girl graduated high school!  It seems like just yesterday  I was dropping off this shy, sweet and timid little girl to kindergarten class.  Where did the time go?  It seems as if I blinked and then she was walking across the stage getting her high school diploma.  I’ve put together this “blink” of time in an image slide show above which depicts her life from birth though high school graduation.  Warning, it is a whopping 14 minutes long!

What a major life milestone this is.  She has worked so hard to get here.  I am proud beyond words.  The next phase of her life is rapidly approaching (college) and I cannot wait to see what her future holds.  There is no doubt in my mind she’ll do great.  Big things are most certainly in store for her life.  I am just insanely blessed to have been a part of it.

Now off to Costa Rica!  Stay tuned for many tropical pics!


dee papa and glen at guanabanas earl and joanna at guanabanas Entire family pic at Guanabanas Glen end of pier nana and papa at guanabanas nana papa nell at guanabanas nell and glen at guanabanas nell and trey guanabanas steve and trey guanabanasdee and jake at guanabanasJake carrying dee-throw in pool Trey after pool in towelDanica after pool

It was the night before graduation, which called for a full family dinner at a tiki restaurant right on the intercostal. The dinner was delicious. Our graduate had a blast. The company was perfect and best of all my mom handled her first big dinner out very well. There was even a water initiation of the graduate when we got back to my mom and dads house; a.k.a. Jake threw Dee in the pool fully clothed! Now that was fun!

Senior Shots

Arms Up Laughing 800 Hands Folded Laughing 800 Headshot Beach B&W 800 Headshot Beach Color 800 Headshot Gaze Off B&W 800 Holding out Dress 800 In the Breeze 800 In the Water 800 Splashed with Water 800 Splashing in Water 800 Sticking Tongue Out 800 Under the Pier Up Close Face Shot

Here are a few of my favorite shots from Danica’s senior photo session.  I had so many favorites which made it extremely difficult to narrow them down, but here they are.  This girl amazes me.  Seriously, she pulls off these amazingly beautiful photos without make-up.  That’s our Danica.  She never wears make-up.  She is truly a natural beauty.  In three days she will walk across the stage, grab a diploma, move the tassel from one side to the other and become a high school graduate.

A huge thank you goes out to Eli Goins with GoPix Photography for these unbelievable pics.  I will cherish them forever.

Last of Lasts

I find myself sitting in a meeting on a Friday afternoon.  I get a text from my daughter that reads, “Just walked out of my last full day of high school”.  Then flood of emotions begin.  How are we here already?  I remember bringing you to your very first day of school, I think to myself.  This is the last of lasts for Dee; the last day of the last year of high school.  It is the first of lasts for me.  This is the first time I’m experiencing a child moving through this phase of life.  It is surreal; difficult to wrap my head around.  No matter what crazy and mixed emotions I may feel about this phase and transition for my first born, there is one thing that I do know.  I am proud.  I am incredibly proud of the strong, beautiful and smart young lady my daughter has become.  She has worked so hard and has accomplished so much already.

Since the day she was born, there were two main things I wanted.  First, was for her to know Jesus in a real and intimate way. Second, was for she and I to have a close relationship (eventually to become best friends).  The exciting thing about this next phase of her life, becoming an adult, is that we can become even better friends.  This alone makes me smile.  This brings me joy.  Happy end of high school, Dee!  You’re amazing!

* Sorry for the fuzzy photos.  It was early and bad lighting.

Danica - Last Day - Aggrevated Face Danica - Last Day - Sideways Look Danica - Last Day - Smile

Prom – Where it all Begins

Danica & Jake Head Shot

Danica & Jake Laughing

Danica & Jake Straight Shot

Danica and Jake Holding Hands

Danica and Jake Hugging

Danica and Jake Kick Up

Danica and Jake looking into Eyes

Danica Holding out Dress

Danica Looking to Side

Danica Twirling

Steve and Danica Hugging

This past weekend was my girl, Danica’s, senior prom. She was by far the prettiest girl I had ever seen. We spent hours at the salon to get the perfect hair up do and it turned out perfectly. Danica is the type of girl that is just naturally beautiful and doesn’t need make-up therefore she never wears any. For prom, she decided to do it up right. All I can say is wow! There are no words to fully express how amazing she truly looked. All I can say is that she is the most beautiful girl in the world. No one even comes close. I am so very proud of the young lady she has become. This past weekend really proved to me that this is exactly what she has become. I’m simply in awe of her.

It has began; the beginning of the end. How did we even get to this place? My baby girl, the love of my life, is 18 and going to her senior prom with her boyfriend of nearly two years. So, yes, this is the beginning of the end. First, there’s prom, then it’s graduation and then she moves out and goes to college. All I know is that, at this point, it is certainly hitting me harder and earlier than I expected. It almost feels like someone is slowly pulling my heart away from my body. Uhhh, and here we go. We embark on this new journey of my little girl moving away into adulthood. What can I say? I love her to the moon and back.