The Big Move

        

So, it’s been nearly a year since I’ve posted to the blog but this big change warranted a post. Hoping to get back to more postings about our new journey.

It seems like most people have a similar story; the couple meet in college, they fall in love and get married. They spend the next 10 years or so traveling, building their careers, building a home with pretty things and enjoying time with each other before settling down to have children. Good, bad or indifferent, our story is the opposite of most.

My husband and I met when we were 16 during my junior and his senior year of high school. We fell in love and got engaged at 19 and 20, married at 20 and 21 had our first baby at 21 and 22 with the second baby at 24 and 25. There was no money or time to travel, to build a career, to build a home with pretty things or spend a lot of time together. We focused on our children and our family.

Then in the blink of an eye, we realized our children are pretty much grown. We took a step back and evaluated. We have been married for nearly 22 years and most of our furniture was given to us and we had no matching dishes or towels (just to nam a few). We had been so focused on raising children, we hadn’t really focused on all the little things. We were living like college students!

So we decided to make a big change. We decided to sell our family home and purchase a small town home near the beach. Our town home is about half the size of our family home. This was the perfect opportunity to throw away all of our old crap and actually be adults and buy and fill our home with new and pretty things.

Our daughter has moved out and will be getting married next year (yikes!). Our son will be 18 in a month and will spend his senior year in the town home before he goes to college. After that, it will be just the two of us. We have never truly been married without kids but we are excited about this next season of our lives. While everyone else our age is raising a family, we will be biking to the beach to watch the sunset, paddleboarding down the intercoastal, fishing from our boat, walking to beach restaurants for dinner and traveling the world.

Even though our story is different, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have two amazing (ahem) adult children (still so hard to say) that I am incredibly proud of and a loving husband that I get to spend the rest of my life with. So while it’s sad to see my children go, I am excited to step into the next phase of our marriage; our fun empty nest phase.

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Forty One

sup-beach-view nell-hat-on-beach rock-climbing sup-selfie nell-and-kiddos 41 single-wave abc-breakfast sup bike-ride

So, this is 41. Supposedly once you’re over 40, then you’re considered “over the hill”, right? Well maybe, maybe not. In my 20’s I did consider the 40’s as being “over the hill” and I had a picture in my head of what that would look and feel like. This is not at all what I expected. Man, am I glad.  I choose to make the most of every day.  I choose to do the things that make me feel alive. So, here’s to the 40’s. Bring it on!

*A special thanks to my three favorite people; Steve, Danica and Trey.  Steve made me feel special and let me do anything I wanted all weekend while he did my chores for me.  Trey went rock climbing with me and we had the best time.  Danica gave me the best present by coming home for the weekend to hang out with me.  To each of you… thank you for being you and thank you for being amazing.  You made me feel so very special. 

 

Ocean Magic

board-sky-view-small ocean-selfie-small pier-water-small  stand-up-ocean-view-smallboard-in-motion-small sup-beach-view-small water-cloud-view-small

For me, paddleboading can be a purely magical experience.  This week I got to experience one of those magical moments. The water was completely flat, glassy, crystal clear and calm, the ocean was filled with beautiful sea life, the wind was calm and the moon was full.  It was perfect!  I quickly remembered just how much I love paddleboarding and how grateful I am to live in a place where I can do things like this year round.

You see, two years ago (before my mom’s accident), I was out on the water every single week without fail.  Then life flipped upside down and I just never got back into the habit.  Well, I’m taking life by the horns and I’m changing that.  Doing fun active activities makes me feel better physically and emotionally. Paddleboarding is probably at the top of that activity list for me.  It makes me feel alive! Now I’m looking to add additional activities to this list; mountain bike trail riding and indoor rock climbing.  More to come on that.  In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying more time on the ocean.

Me Day

Runner Girl Selfie Pier View Sunglasses on the Beach SUP Pier ViewSUP Beach View

Sometimes you just need a day away; a day alone to regroup, refresh and refocus.  When life gets crazy, you have to take time away from the hustle and bustle and have some “me” time.  I took a little retreat day from everyday life earlier this week and it was fabulous.  This is my ideal day…  an hour long run, two mile paddle, snorkeling the reef, laying on the beach soaking in the sunshine, a great lunch with my husband and a long afternoon nap.  My friends, it just doesn’t get any better than that.  What is your ideal day?  If you had one day to yourself to do anything you wanted, what you do?

Tropical Tuesday :: Beach Lunch

Grassy palms Lifeguard Stand View Palm Tree Leaning Palm Tree Shadow Pier View Up the Palm TreeNell Profile

The beach is my happy place. I am completely blessed to work very close to the ocean. I don’t get there every week (especially these days) but try as much as I can to go there to spend my lunch hour. No matter what stress I’ve experienced during my day, I can go to the beach and it seems to literally melt away. I am making it a goal to get to this beautiful spot each and every week.

Tropical Tuesday

After Snorkeling After SUP Beach tiki camping at the beach hats at the beach Paddleboarding B&W Palm VIew Pool Jump Snorkeling vw van at the beach

1 :: Snorkeling sesh with my favorite boy
2 :: The end of a great paddle
3 :: Beach tiki (pinterest)
4 :: A little beach camping (pinterest)
5 :: This is where I hang my hat (pinterest)
6 :: A lovely paddleboarding sesh
7 :: Palm view
8 :: Go ahead…JUMP
9 :: A little snorkel in the clear Florida waters
10 :: Nothing like some beach camping

Tropical Tuesday

I decided to take the last weekday of summer off with the kids so that we could end the summer with a bang.  We went to the beach, paddleboarded, snorkeled and hunted for shells.  It was perfect!

Beach from Water View Nell Snorkeling Walking UpCalm Beach Nell and D at Beach

Nell Sun Rays View Shell Collection SUP Water View

Summer 2014 Beach Photography

With summer winding down, I thought I’d post some of my favorite beach pics from this summer (there were many to choose from).  Enjoy!

Beach Sunrise Breathtaking Water View Nell After PaddleBeach Scape Beach Rock View SUPs on the Sand Pier View Palm View Nell CrazyNell Beach Smile Breathtaking Sunrise Clear Water ViewEarly Beach Pier View

A Beachin’ Weekend

Beach Landscape Dee Side View Beach Green Ocean Jumping off Paddleboard Nell and Dee Beach Selfie Paddleboarding In Trey after Snorkeling Trey Snorkeling Trey Walking in from Snorkeling

It was a beachin’ kind of weekend.  The water was fairly flat and breathtakingly clear.  Those type of days are the best.  The fam and I did some paddleboarding, swimming and snorkeling. The beach is my happy place and spending the weekend there was just what I needed.

Mother’s Day on the Water

Coffee on the WaterD at beach in glasses D Throwing Football Earls Fish Hardheads and Crazy Faces A Man and His Dog Fishing Nana and Papa Hang Loose Nana and Papa SUP Nell the Lifeguard Papa Carrying Football on Beach Steve and Nell Fishing Steve and Papa Fishing Trey Carrying Board In Trey SurfingNana and Papa Fishing

Here are pics from a weekend on the water. My parents are in town and rented a house on the intracoastal. There was lots of fishing, paddleboarding, surfing and beachin’ it up. Good times were had by all.