Thursday, October 30, 2014

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween !!

With love,
Captain America

 & Queen Elsa.
 The superheroes are ready to save the day,

 and the Queen is ready to let it go.
 They've had a great Halloween week already, which will be capped off today and tomorrow.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Family Vacation

During the second week of October, we had a wonderful family vacation to Destin.  This has become our favorite week of the year since we have discovered fall break at the beach a few years ago.  This year, the trip was extra extra special, since Nana and Buddy and Nanny all got to go with us. 
Nanny last went to the beach with my family when I was a little older than Sydney-between 25 and 30 years ago :)  She and I have always been very close and I remember her travels with us when I was little.  Every trip to the beach since then, I have missed her.

I was very thankful that she could go with us and the kids this time.
I was also so thankful that Nana & Buddy could go. 
The kids love spending time with family. 
I never want to take granted of our special times together.
They all three got new boogie boards on the trip and loved putting those to use:
waiting for the big waves,

 and then taking advantage when the time was right!
We had the most perfect weather for the week.  It was never too hot, or too cold, even early in the morning.  We hit the beach every day between 7 and 8 with our early risers.
They enjoyed morning walks with Buddy, who made a special kind of follow the leader game for them:
Building sandcastles was also a favorite.
And they seemed to have almost as much fun knocking them down...
1, 2, 3...jump!
Another reason the week was so special... we vacationed alongside three of our close family friends.
We were able to hang out all week alongside the Hunt, Gable and McGuinness families.
We also got to meet up with the Hales one night for dinner.
Our kids played for hours and hours and hours(!) every day.
They got along so well.
They hunted (and captured) sea creatures, went for walks, played in the sand and ocean, pool, lazy river and just enjoyed hanging out.

Jeff and I are blessed to have such wonderful friends and the same goes for our kids.
Another thing I will not take for granted-Christian family friends.
Riding our boat was another favorite pastime.
It had to be replaced mid week thanks to some huge waves
JJ loved it when I would bury him in the sand
Luke and JJ find each other to be hilarious.
These two especially loved just sitting and playing/digging in the sand for hours upon hours.
When the beach day was over, we had some great
dinners at some of our very favorite restaurants.
One night, we took a trip to the Track for gokarts and rides.
And we returned another night to play putt putt with Buddy
It was the first time ever for Sydney and Luke to play putt putt.
She got a hole in one on the very FIRST hole, and the last one too :)

It is hard to imagine a better place for a family vacation.
Until next time ! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Family Pictures



Blessed to have such an incredible family.
Blessed that they let me do the picture thing without complaints.
Blessed to have spent a wonderful week with them at this beautiful place we love.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Our Dolphin Tale

Dolphins are a pretty regular site right off the beach where we stay in Florida. 
Lucky for us, the condo we rent is very close to a fishing pier where they like to hang out.
The ocean was especially calm on Thursday of our week.  By 8 or 830, we started to see dolphins...
 several dolphins.

Jeff and I knew it was time to rent a kayak and head out to try and get closer.
We did last year and caught a few glimpses of them from afar.
He was very kind and told my friend Brooke and I to go out and take Sydney & Meyer with us.
He would stay and take photos.
The boys were not interested in going on the kayak-they were playing with friends in the sand.
They were very excited!
Off we went, out into the ocean-in search of some dolphin friends.

It was so easy to paddle and maneuver that particular day-calm waves, calm current.
It didn't take long to get pretty far out.

It also didn't take long to see what we were looking for....
First far away, 
 but then closer,
 and closer,
 and then VERY CLOSE!!!
 Kudos to my husband who got some amazing pictures of us.
I cherish them.
The dolphins were swimming all around us, from an arms length to a few feet away. 
At one time we counted 8 ---- 3 on one side of the boat and 5 on the other.
The photo above shows a small part of the baby dolphin we caught a glimpse of a couple times as he/she was swimming with mommy.  Amazing!
They swam all around us, and even under the boat at least 3 times.

It was an incredible experience and one I hope I will never forget.
I hope Sydney will not forget it either.
Brooke & I were overwhelmed.  It was just sooooo special.
Sydney's favorite animal is a dolphin and says she wants to train dolphins when she grows up.
They are Meyer's favorite also and he wants to be a marine biologist.
The two of them were in heaven!

We stayed out in the boat for about an hour-and the dolphins were in the immediate area for the majority of that time.
We even got to see a big school of fish swim in, and the dolphins feeding on them.
Meanwhile, the seagulls started fussing at the dolphins because they wanted those fish for a snack.
Again, surreal.

Several of our friends and family got to share this experience with us from the shore.
And it was a blast to recap with them once the dolphins swam away and we paddled back in.
So now Sydney and I have decided we have our very own dolphin tale :)
That is one of her very favorite movies afterall.