Danica and Trey Po Disney SignHot Air Balloon Danica in Zero Nell 1970 Nell and Dee Matching Shirts Typhoon Lagoon Trey and Grumpy Donald Nell Flower Wall Steve and Trey Donkey King Trey on Bus Nell and Trey Pop Century Nell 70

This amazing young man is now 16. I remember very clearly the day that he was born. There wasn’t much toil. There wasn’t much labor. In just five hours short hours he made his appearance into the world at 10:35 on a Tuesday night. I couldn’t believe that I had a long, skinny, blonde hair, blue eyed baby.

As I’ve mentioned here on the blog previously, when I was raising my babies, I looked too much into the future and did not enjoy the moment. This is definitely one of my regrets. That being said, one of the things I did right was when Trey was a baby. I had a sinking feeling that he would be my last and every single night, when I rocked him to bed, I held him extra tight and extra long and just gazed at him as he slept in my arms. I didn’t want to put him in the bed before I absolutely had to. I treasure those deep longing moments with him cuddled in my arms sleeping. If I close my eyes and think really hard, I can still see that sweet baby face in my mind.

How to fast time flies. It seems that you blink and suddenly your baby; your youngest is 16 and and in high school.

In those younger days we was all boy and very hard to keep up with. He made us laugh all the time. I guess looking back he’s always been the “funny guy”. This kid was ALWAYS hungry; so hungry, in fact, he wanted to eat every 30 minutes yet spit out all of his vegetables.

Today, he loves football, working out, laying in bed and watching TV,  playing video games, going to water parks and eating.  He is a thoughtful, considerate and kind young man.  He considers my feelings.  He thanks me every night for cooking him dinner.  He apologies when he thinks that he has upset me.  What mother of a 16 year old boy can say that? Not many! I am blessed beyond measure.  Trey is excelling academically, socially and athletically.  I am so very excited about the amazing young man he is becoming and am so grateful to be on this journey with him as his mom.  I think he is just down right pretty darn awesome!

Happy 16, bud!  Here’s to many more together.  I love you!

*Since he loves water parks, we did a weekend trip to the Disney water parks in Orlando to celebrate.  


Life Without Internet

Burning PaperBuilding Blocks Trey Playing in the Fire Terrorizing the Cat

Our home entertainment options are solely based on the internet.  This means that when then internet goes down, all entertainment options go with it; no tv, video games, computer, Skype, etc.  So this is what a weekend with two teenagers and no internet looks like.  The kids threw their old school work into the fire in our new fire pit page by page.  The boys pulled out some old building blocks and made Lord of the Rings towers.  Because just building the towers wasn’t enough, they had to make them crash and video it in slow motion (which actually looked pretty cool, I must admit).  Things got really desperate when we resorted to putting on gorilla slippers and terrorizing the cats.

I’m not a big TV watcher but do spend way too much time on my phone and on blogs.  To be honest, I really enjoyed not having internet. Our teenagers spent time just hanging out with us with no distractions.   Overall we have way too many entertainment options and way too many distractions.  This weekend we were forced to unplug but I would choose to do it again anytime.


A photo of my children every month :: July

D and Jake Trey July After Baptism

Dee {17 years and 4 months}:
After having a long distance relationship between Belgium and the U.S. for a full year, Dee’s boyfriend came for a visit.  It was a joy getting to know him.  They spent the two weeks going on dates, hanging out watching tv and going to church camp.

Trey {14 years and 2 months}:
I am so proud of this kid! He went to church camp and recommitted his life to Christ.

They Are Home

Back from Cali

After being gone nearly a month to California, my kids are home. The hubs and I had nice quality time alone but, it is great to have them back where they belong. Our family is whole again.

As a bonus, my parents flew back with them to close on their retirement home here in Florida! I am so excited for them and excited that they will live nearby soon. Check back for more details on this in the near future.


A photo of my children every month :: June

D in a Hat papa and trey fishing

Dee {17 years and 3 months}:
They spent the entire month of June in California with my parents.  They got to do so many cool things together but she got some special treatment alone like breakfast in bed and a girls day manicure/pedicure with my mom.  She had a blast but is looking forward to the next chapter of her summer.  Her boyfriend (who she hasn’t seen in a year) comes back from Belgium, she has church camp and then gets to go on a trip with her boyfriend and his parents to get him setup for college.  She’s beyond excited.

Trey {14 years and 1 month}:
They spent the entire month of June in California with my parents.  Trey got special treatment in California by going on fishing excursions with my dad.  He had a so much fun but is looking forward to coming home and starting football next week.  Also, he is now just a tad bit taller than my dad.  He is growing so fast!


A photo of my children every month :: May

May Danica May Trey

Dee {17 years and 2 months}:
May is big month with end of year exams, scheduled SAT’s and AP exams. It’s also the month that the seniors complete high school and the juniors are crowned as seniors. My girl is officially a senior. Let the tears begin!

Trey {14 years}:
May is Trey’s birthday month. He turned 14 in May and the one thing he wanted to do was try archery lessons. He did his first lesson on his birthday and as usual did an amazing job. This kid is just naturally good at sports right out of the gate. It blows my mind! So proud of him.

The Senior Year Journey Begins

Senior CrownD in Senior Crown

This week is senior crowning week for my daughter. All the graduating seniors are officially done with school and gone from campus and the juniors are crowned “official” seniors of the high school. Granted the crowns are simply black Burger King crowns that the students decorate but they are much more than that symbolically. This crown marks a right of passage and a huge milestone for Dee. She is officially a senior. This crowning marks the beginning of her senior year and therefore the beginning of much emotion and crying for me. Senior year will be filled with figuring out college, scholarships, clubs, grades, ACT’s, SAT’s, expenses, etc. But more than that it will involve my sweet girl moving into adulthood.

Let the tears begin. I need to start stocking up on kleenex now!


Trey BabyTrey 14
Today this kid is 14. It’s so hard to believe. In the past year he’s grown nearly a foot in height. It still freaks me out when I call him on the phone and hear a deep voice on the other end. It seems like he should still be this little blonde haired boy in the picture. He has the kindest and sweetest heart and I’m so proud of the young man that he is becoming. Happy birthday, Treyman! I love you with all my heart.

After School :: Fisheye View

Home Entrance ViewD in Room on Skype Fisheye Kitchen Cooking Fisheye Trey attacking D at door
I ordered a couple of new lenses for my DSLR; a fisheye lens being one of them. I thought I’d take some after school pics around the house to try it out.  Our after school activities involve a lot of crock pot cooking, boyfriend Skyping and sister tormenting.

A Disney Celebration

D at Cinderellas CastleD in the West Wing Creepy Trey Walking up from the Lighthouse at Hotel Trey Patiently Waiting in Line Teacups Steve waiting in line Photo Bomb at Beasts Castel Parents Waiting at the Teacups Nells Crazy Face Epcot Purple D with Belle D on Stairs at Hotel Disney Cinderella Castle Balloon View

My daughter’s favorite place in the world is Disney. So, naturally wanted to go there to celebrate her 17th birthday. It worked out perfectly because I already had a conference scheduled at a Disney resort. I have to admit that the previous trips were just mediocre. Honestly, we try to pack way too much into one day, which leads to complete exhaustion and frustration. This time was different. I feel like for the fist time we had an actual “Disney experience” and I truly believe it had almost everything to do with the hotel. We stayed at the Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. The hotel was beautiful and the fact that it was within walking distance to Epcot helped, but the biggest selling point was the pool. The pool went on for days and had a sand bottom. There was also a massive water slide. Not just any slide. It was a water slide that you’d only see in water parks.

We did Magic Kingdom on the first day. It was crazy and crowded like always but with the new magic bands (brilliant idea) and fast pass, it made for a great time. My daughter wanted to eat at the Be Our Guest restaurant which is always booked but they now offer a fast pass option to eat there. Another brilliant idea, Disney! That experience was phenomenal.

We did Epcot the second day. I haven’t been to Epcot in at least 15 years and had very low expectations for this trip based on what I remember from years ago. I have to admit, I was completely wrong. We had a blast. I absolutely loved seeing all the countries and the food that each had to offer. What a pleasant surprise. Epcot didn’t have a ton of rides but the experience was amazing. Loving the experience over the rides these days; does that mean I’m getting old? Maybe.

Happy birthday Dee. I love you to pieces!