Twenty Years

nell_steve_holdinghands_fieldboca_resort_front nell_beach_arms_out nell_steve_swing_nell_laughing nell_waving_balcony steve_side_pool nell_looking_over_balcony photoshoot_looking_at_ea_other_laughing_sm steve-bodyboarding-close-up photoshoot_nellstand_stevesit_sm nell_wipe-out photoshoot-20-pic steve_bodyboarding_tongue_out steve_walking_to_beach nell_bodyboarding

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.  😉





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!


A photo of my children every month :: February

Dee {16 years and 11 months} and Trey {13 years and 9 months}:
I thought I would post a video of both of the kids to represent February. We went to the Florida Keys to celebrate my birthday ending the evening with a dinner on the water. In the video the kids are trying to jump and touch every rafter all the way back to the car. All this happiness ended pretty quickly because after the video was over my daughters iPhone popped out of her sweatshirt pocket and landed face down on the concrete shattering. Nonetheless, it was still a great time.


A photo of my children every month :: January

Dee January 2014 Trey January 2014

Dee {16 years and 10 months}:
She never wears make-up at all because she thinks that she looks better without it (and I agree) but decided to give the no make-up with bright red lipstick a try.

Trey {13 years and 8 months}:
He got a new surfboard and hit a break through with surfing after many months of painful hard work. This is his Rocky victory punch.

The Board that Made all the Difference

Trey Carrying Board In Trey Paddling into Wave Trey Surfing 2 - for posting Trey Surfing 3 Treys Rocky Air Punch
My son loves to surf. You know that someone really loves something when they continue to pursue it no matter how many times they fail. This kid did exactly that. He owned a short board and would go out and try and try and try with hardly ever catching a wave. Man, was he ever persistent. I’ll give him that credit. Don’t get me wrong, he got down and out and even threw a 2 year old fit a few times, but all in all, he never gave up.

I tried to tell him that surfing a short board on Florida waves would probably never give him the satisfaction he was looking for. Out of sheer heartbreak one day, I decided to bring him to the local surf shop to convince him to potentially get a long board. The sales rep was quick to tell me that it wasn’t a long board that he needed but a fun board. Honestly, I had never heard of this type of board before. It is basically a board that is the length between a short board and a long board with a pointed nose like a short board. Luckily, my friend Mike, the owner of Bird Surfboards (the company I race paddleboards for) had a used board that he allowed my son to take and try.

This past weekend, we went out to give it a test drive. He paddled out and caught the first wave and then pretty much caught every wave after that. He must have caught 20 waves in an hour. I have never seen a smile so big on his face. All the hard work he put into the short board truly paid off. He just simply was using the wrong board. He ran out of the water to me and my husband and said, “I love this board”. My husband then looked over at me and said, “we are buying that board”.

There’s nothing more fulfilling that seeing the hard work that your child has done come to fruition.


A photo of my children every month :: December

danica december 2013 Trey December 2013

Dee {16 years and 9 months}:
She volunteered at church for the Christmas drive-in series which meant that she got to dress as a 50’s diner girl on roller skates for about 5 days in a row.  I love her servant heart.

Trey {13 years and 7 months}:
He is persistent in learning how to surf no matter how difficult it may be.  I’m so proud of this kid.