Win and Relaxation

nana-with-sign sunset-nana-and-papa nana-and-papa-fishing bird-and-nana-on-pier tree-growing-from-bridge sunset papa-and-trey-kayaking sunset-nell-and-nana nell-hammock-chair nana-and-trey-fish steve-and-trey-chess nell-paddleboarding hammock-chair-biew tropical-path trey-and-papa-chess sunset-with-pier

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.

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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!

I’m on a Boat

Boat - Mom and NellBoat - SteveBoat - Trey DrivingBoat - Mom BundledBoat - PapaBoat - Joanna and KonaBoat - Steve 2Boat - Mom and DadBoat - Nell and SteveBoat - Earl Cast NetBoat - Trey DrivingBoat - Nell Lighthouse

My dad has worked so very hard for over 40 years; selflessly, tirelessly and wholeheartedly giving everything he has. The only thing that he’s ever wanted is a nice salt water fishing boat. Because of my mom’s accident (11 months ago today!), he had to retire suddenly and much earlier than he expected.  Because of this, he didn’t think he would be able to ever have his dream boat. Well, I’m excited to say that after all his hard work and the horrible year that he’s had (that none of us can ever imagine) he got his dream boat this past weekend. The entire family went out on the boat on Sunday. Dad’s favorite thing is to have all of his family together, but this time he had all of his family on his dream boat. He was in heaven. I cry tears of joy every time I tell this story. He so greatly deserves this gift. He is the most amazing man and I am beyond excited for him. I foresee many more days with family in the boat enjoying the water and each other. God is totally in the process of taking something that was a tragic and absolutely horrific situation and right before our eyes is turning it into something good. Just to be a part of this story has been so amazing; a true privilege. You just never know how things are going to turn out in any situation. Life is certainly not easy for mom and dad. But we are starting to see so much positivity and blessing in their lives. I can’t think of any two people more deserving of a blessed life.  Now, let’s hit the water!

Tropical End to Friday Night Lights

After lots of hard work my sons football team made it to the playoffs which landed us in Key West. Unfortunately that is where the season ended. I am so incredibly proud of him. He has given his all and put in lots of blood, sweat and tears since June. Proud, proud, proud; I couldn’t be more proud. I already cannot wait until next football season. There’s just nothing like the Friday Night Lights!

Plus, hey, we got to hang out in the Florida keys for a couple of days. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Nell Under PalmTrey Pier (1) Tropical Hotel View Trey Feeding Fish Tiki Underneath Tarpon Huge Robbies Price Board Robbies Dollar Bills Robbies Beach Number 47 Nell Beach Chair Nell and Tre Pier Nell and Steve Pier Laughing Key West Football Game Hotel Dusk Beach View Football Field Selfie Nell and Steve Beach Chair Line

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?

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.

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