Thursday, June 30, 2011

Simple Things, Friends and the River

I had a girl's night last Thursday night.  I had a girl's day last Friday too.  I'm a lucky girl.  Before you read any further, I can just about guess you are imagining me shopping, sipping wine and getting a pedicure or something silly like that.  (Well now, I'm not going to knock that.  It sounds lovely as well.  That's just not what we had in mind this weekend.)

I did something really cool.

I felt the earth beneath my feet.
Sat by the river and it made me complete.

By the way, if you are not listening to the music that is playing along with this, that above couple of sentences might seem odd.  I'm not that poetic, but I do listen to lyrics.  Hey, it sets the mood.  I can't help myself.

The song made me think of us.  We are simple girls with not so simple minds and lots of ideas about what a girl can do.  How did my friend describe us?  Adventuresome.  Yep, that's what she said.  I agree.

We went here.  It's north.  It's clean and so incredibly beautiful.  I wish I could bottle the air and bring it home and fill my house with it.  Or maybe I just need to move there?  Great.  Now I need a beach house, a house in the city AND a house in the mountains.  Must win lotto.  Must win lotto.


The celebration started with really good food and spirits Thursday night.  Homemade guac and salsa and shrimp and chicken and steak.  Oh my, oh my!  Add some margaritas and hold everything folks...have you ever had a lime Martini?  You got to try this!  Cheryl rocked the Martini.

Heather rocked the guac.

Natalie rocked the grill.

We said something here.  Something really funny.  Where is my picture of Jill?  Oh well, she just rocks it all.


Naughty and...



Just look at these beautiful, brilliant women.  I'm so blessed to be in their company.  But guys, that's a little boring.  Give me something else...

There we go.  I actually love both of these pictures.  The second one is probably my favorite from the night.

Just a little decor that caught my eye and made me smile.

On Friday morning, we loaded up after the most incredible blueberry pancakes and put some kayaks in a river near by.  Yeah, you heard that right.  Awesome ha?

Jill and Cheryl 'N Sync.

We had lunch on this rock.  It was lovely.

You see that tree growing out over the river?  It was really beautiful.

And my favorite photo.  Not because I'm in it.  It's because it captures the spirit.  We got the spirit.  (All river pictures courtesy of the other Heather and Cheryl.  Thanks guys!)

This is living life people.  You got to do this.

And finally, some quotes from the weekend...

"Space Camp!  I saw Space Camp and that was it.  Best movie ever."
"Wow, this is beautiful!"
"I need some grits."
"I'm in love."
"I just want to do dishes." (Heck of a view from the kitchen.)
"See, she's the biggest girl I know."
"There's roots on this cilantro."
"Her Mom puts on lipstick to go to the grocery...with dirty hands from working in the yard.  Her Dad walks around in his unders...even with company."
"When I went to Arizona...well,...I haven't actually been to Arizona."  (Odd pause, strange looks, freaking loud laughter.  Good one.)
"I got fake grass."
"Hot tub?"
"I'm in love."  Actually, I didn't say that one outloud...I just thought it again.
"I locked my bag in the closet.  Please help me!"
"What's that noise?"
"You've seen a bear out here?"
"Where's my Margarita?"  Oh no, I didn't actually say that.
"How can I sleep?  I'm too excited.  I can't sleep!"
"It's Ok.  It's OK."  (I still scream in my sleep.  Jill soothed me when I woke up wondering where the hell I was.  Jill is the most nurturing person I have ever met.  Incredible mother that Jill.)
"What is that?  What is she doing?"  "She's probably worried the truck won't start.  She was probably up all night.  God love her."
"I didn't  brush my teeth."
"She didn't move all night."
"Who's wearing make-up?"
"Left!  Left!  No, right!  Right!  You're other left!"
"Here comes the rain again...falling on my head like a memory..."
"Are there any snakes and gators out here?"  "Ha!  Are you kidding me?"
"Where's the damn orange and yellow bouey?  Must be soon.  Just around the next corner."  (Bout 2 hours later we found it.  It was the finish line.)
"I'll be on Craig's List looking for Kayaks!"
"Face the seats outboard."  "Damn AE's."  "Does the kayak need to go forward or aft?"  "Damn AE's"
"Ok, what's our next adventure?"

I love my friends.  Many more adventures to come.  I can't wait!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Good Life

We had finally made it.  It's a very long ride, and it's a very exciting moment when we get there.  It's the gulf coast.  It's Destin.  It's our home away from home that we dream of the entire year.  It's about the seventh time we've been and it's still just as exciting as the very first...when Jonah had little to no hair and big rolls on his sweet legs and the puffiest cheeks.  Oh, I remember sitting his little bottom on the sand and thinking it couldn't get any better than that moment. 

Little did I know...

seeing this excitement and watching them grow up going here makes it better and better every year.

Destin is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.  The water is crystal clear, even after everything that's happened.  The sand is lush and white.  It's a dream.

We go to Sandestin every year.  It's familiar.  It feels good.  It calls our name.

This is not exactly what I meant by get in the picture Jonah.  But, it's ok.  I sort of like it.  It captures your spirit.

This is along the village in Sandestin.  It's a really neat atmosphere full of shops and restaurants and activities for kids.


And this is our boy on the Euro Bungee.

I was proud of us this year.  We spent more time at the pool and the beach than anything.  We took it easy.

The weather was great.  The pool was probably their favorite.  Funny how that is.

Jesse girl.  She's something.  She was quick to tell us when she had to go potty.  You heard that right.  Jesse girl is potty trained.  It's a miracle.  This is our first trip with her in big girl panties.  That's a big deal.  And she was quick to remind us every time she went potty that she needed some M&M's.  I actually think it is more about the prize than anything.  Hey, whatever it takes.

Jonah gets braver every year.  Jumping in like a wild man.

Making friends as usual.  (Such a sweet boy.  They reminded me so much of each other.)


"Hmmm, if I go potty again, I wonder if she will buy me another bag.  She's so easy."


"If not, I'm sure I'll get her again tomorrow."


"...and the next day."

I think I mentioned that my love turned a year older.  Yes.  He did.  Jonah wanted a Harry Potter cake, but a beach theme seemed more appropriate.  Although, the theme of the weekend was an equal mix of Harry Potter movies and beach for sure.

I'm just going to sit back and let you see these...

Birthdays are special.  It doesn't take much to make it that way with our family.  There's cake.  There's a song.  There's smiles.  And there's love and laughter.  That's what it's all about.

And it helps if you go for an unexpected game of mini golf after cake.  Well equipped with glow in the dark necklaces and bracelets of course.  Yeah, that's a nice treat.


I can't look at these long.


Where's my baby girl?  Oh good grief.

Sometimes we went out to dinner.  One time it didn't turn out well, but this night was fantastic.  Lesson learned:  stick with what you know.

Then we went back to the village for a little adventure.  Well, Jonah went adventuring.  It was his night.

There wasn't anything he didn't want to do.  He started out on this.  He's connected to a rope pulley.  He has to follow the course to the top and ring the bell.

If pictures had sound, well, you would hear me screaming, "Way to go Jonah!!  You rock buddy!"


But that wasn't all.  They had a zip line.  Holly Molly.  They had a zip line across the lake and he wanted to do it.  Where's my little chunky baby boy?  I can't handle it.

And she hung out with us and watched and told us stories of what all she would accomplish in this life time.


"Well, that's my brother up there."

"But, when I'm a big girl, I'm going to go here."




"You're going to be so proud of me."  I already am proud of you my sweet Jesse girl.


I'm proud of the both of you.

Note to self:  Why didn't you zip line?  Next time.


Nature trails are a treat, but you have to go early.  Like after a morning breakfast out.


And of course, vacation is the perfect time for Harry Potter and ice cream in bed after a mid-day nap.


I mean.  Why not?

Cause we got more beaching to do you know.  We need some energy.

We are so drawn to them.  You know...dogs.  I do not believe we go on a vacation that I am not capturing a picture of them with a sweet dog of some kind.  They have the same hair.  I'm loving this breed.


Oh good grief.  Where did those longer legs come from?



Oh, good grief.  My sweet young man.  I can't handle it.



No honey, touch your cheek to Jonah's cheek.  Don't literally touch his cheek.  Oh honey, that's his chin.  Oh shit, don't listen to me.  Just be natural.


You know, sometimes the very, merry unpefect shots are my favorite.  I would like to blow this up and put it on my cubicle wall at work.


Sea breeze.  I'm so happy at this moment.

And yet again, we look desperate enough that someone comes along and says, "Would you like for me to get your picture together?"  "Oh, thank you so much!"  I hand over the camera and in my mind I am remembering that I forgot to take it out of manual mode.  I'm thinking, oh my this is not going to work.  Then, I just say to myself, there's always a chance.  We gather together.  I don't know if she counted or said the familiar "say cheese".  Actually, she probably said nothing.

And it turned out just fine.

It's all I needed.  One picture.  Thank you.  Whoever you are.

It's been harder than ever adjusting back to the routine this year.  I just think that every year I realize how precious my time with them is.  I see how much they are changing.

Being with them is the good life.  It's a real good matter where we are.