Monday, June 27, 2011

More Than Bronze

Today is our nineteenth wedding anniversary.  N-I-N-E-T-E-E-N-T-H.  There really isn't a "traditional" anniversary gift for your nineteenth anniversary ... although the modern gift is bronze.  Bronze?  

Typically, the coming of our anniversary is for Dean and I to celebrate quietly, but this year it feels differently.  This year we have watched several friend's marriages dissolve ... as in that is it.  And each one has been upsetting to us ... and made us want to fight for our marriage all the more.  We have a lot to fight for!

Because there has been a lot of living for us in the last nineteen years.  We share a daughter.  We have moved across the country ... twice!  There have been more pets than I care to remember (please don't remind me of the hamsters!)  We have moved into 9 different homes.  We have built 3 houses (or, should I say HAD built!)  We have gone to Israel.  And Mexico.  We have spent many, many hours on the beach.  We have worshipped together.  We have laughed.  And cried.  And shared.  And grieved.  And dreamed.  And loved.  

I would daresay our celebrating our 19th anniversary is worth more than bronze.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Well, peeps, it is Friday ... or, iPhriday.  I realize it has taken me a bit to get these pictures up.  I sort of dragged my heels a bit once I started to receive threatening emails.  And when I didn't respond to the emails Jennifer she who shall remain nameless started in with the text messages.  I guess when you feel you helped create something you think you can say "jump" and expect the other person to say, "How high?"  Note to self ... be more careful who I collaborate with.

Truth is, this week's pictures are a bit lame.  We have been mostly home doing nothing.  Which you know I love.  But, here are your pictures, Jen ...

My view on our ride home from the beach.  I sat in the third row.  The whole way home.  Do I really need to say that I was moving VERY slowly the next day?  I am not ashamed to say I am getting old.  Sitting in the way back was too hard for Gram and the girls wanted to sit together and they were watching movies.  Hopefully my name will be spelled correctly on my Mother of the Year and Daughter in Law of the Year trophies.  
 The view out my front door.  My crepe myrtles are in full bloom and everything is green (which is a bit scary since we haven't had rain since April or March ... our water bill is going to be through the roof!)
 Cats made it home on Monday.  They were not happy.  At all.  Sophie gave me the cold shoulder.  She has since forgiven me, but, she made sure to let me know I was in the doghouse ... so to speak.
 Speaking of back ... the ducks made an appearance again.  What is up with that?  Annoying.  Zack barked and barked and they sort of flew off (not for long) and then he strutted around the backyard all proud of himself.  Dogs are funny.
 Remember the no rain thing?  Well, look what appears to be coming our way.  Rain.  It rained and rained and rained on Wednesday.  Sort of freaky at first ... because we haven't had it in so long.  Now I know what Noah and his family felt like when it rained ... what is this stuff?!
 Torrey was going to lunch with a friend and we made a quick stop at the Hob Lob on our way into Houston ... I boldly went inside without my umbrella (it wasn't raining at the time) ... Torrey said you are going to be sad when we come out and it is raining.  Clearly she has the sight because it was pouring when we came out.  And by pouring, I mean buckets and buckets.  She was sweet and made me go get the car and come back and get her ... since she had spent hours straightening her hair and all.  Teenagers.
I sent this back and forth to my sister a few times until I was happy with it.  Now that I look at it though I am wondering if it needs a period. Maybe I'll ask Grammar Girl ... or wait for someone to comment.

Another iPhriday is in the bag.  How many until it becomes a tradition?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And the Cousins Came

My dad arrived this morning with Ben and Carly.  They weren't in the house long before we headed to the beach ... inner tubes in hand.
For the rest of the week we saw a lot of this ... inner tubes in the water.  Pretend you can hear the screams ... because there was a lot of that going on too!
I also saw a lot of this the rest of the week ... Carly dragging Torrey back out to the waves.  Carly was in heaven ... TWO big girls to hang out with.  I should have gotten pictures of her straightening her hair beside the big girls.  Heaven.
Dean rode the waves with the girls.  There was a lot of seaweed and Ben was not a fan.  At all.  Dean was either riding the waves, keeping watch to keep boys away from the girls or standing strategically so that the girls could watch the boys without being too obvious.  He grew many gray hairs this week!
The seaweed drove Ben to the sand.  He didn't seem to mind.  Occasionally he would go in ... but he never stayed in for long.  He became quite the hole digger.  Ben made it seem like fun ... the girls always joined him ... but not for long!
Our beach set up changed a little bit with my dad's arrival ... actually, we only looked like this one day.  My dad quickly learned that only Dean and I sat on the chairs and he claimed one for himself (much easier than dragging chairs and umbrellas to the beach!)
Ben and his hole ... finished just in time for lunch!  Which means we will be back to the beach soon ... and then off to the pool.  Got to love a week at the beach!

Back to the Beach

After lunch (and a rest) guess where we went?  That's right ... back to the beach!  But, can you guess what we did?
 There was sitting ... but, only by the adults!  What is it about going to the beach that makes it so fun to read a book?
 The girls hit the water ... with the inner tubes.  Seriously a great investment!  
 Ben even joined us in the water this time ... but only for a little bit.  He was still hating the seaweed.  Can't say that I blame him.  
We were awfully glad that Ben and Carly could come to the beach with us.  They had always planned to come ... but for only one night.  And then the car accident happened and it was too much for Jen to come with the broken foot.  Fortunately they were able to hitch a ride with my dad ... who came without my mom because of her knee surgery.
Guess who went back to digging holes?  Another great day at the beach came to a close ... but the kids weren't done with the fun.  They had a great game of hide and seek ... by the end of the week they changed the rules to SILENT hide and seek (wonder why?!) played in the dark.  Summers and cousins ... they just go together!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our Days Are Beginning to Look the Same

So, here we are ... Tuesday.  Which is still a good day, but, you are beginning to realize your vacation is coming to an end.  At this point we had a pretty good routine going ... wake up (late-ish), go to the beach, come back to the house for lunch, rest, go back to the beach, go to the pool, head home for dinner.  Repeat again tomorrow.
 The girls stayed in the inner tubes the entire time we were at the beach.  Dean went back to Publix to get two more because Ben and Carly will be here tomorrow.  And, Dean and I found out how much fun the inner tubes were because we gave them a whirl today.  FYI ... when you are a little bit older, it is a bit difficult to get out of the inner tube gracefully.  Just sayin'.
 The water was exceptionally gorgeous today.  There are bands in the water where the color changes ... from green to teal to aqua to purplish.  So beautiful.
 Here Torrey is demonstrating her wave riding abilities.  It is really fun ... especially when you catch a "big" wave.  "Big" for this part of Florida is really quite pathetic.
 Even our chairs/towels/bags/snacks looks the same.  We were completely in the groove at this point.  I loved coming out to the beach to our chairs and umbrella already set up for us (in the same spot) ... it was so convenient!
 Torrey in the living room ready for dinner ... or is it lunch and ready to head back to the beach and then the pool?  Who knows ... we were all so relaxed and enjoying our time at the beach!
And, Gram doing what she did every day ... reading a book in "her" chair.  She would read, watch a little TV, rest, read, watch a little TV ... 

And so ended the Tuesday of our vacation.  Tomorrow the cousins come ... wahoo!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Also Known as the Day We Wised Up

Two things changed our beach vacation today ... a golf cart rental (we praised Jesus for the golf cart all week) and $7 inner tubes from an early morning Publix run.  We were still in vacation nirvana ... because the second day of vacation still has almost as many days left as the first day of vacation.  Trust me it sort of went downhill from here.
 The girls and I hoofed it to the beach ... Dean stayed home to wait for the golf cart.  I know it appears I made them carry everything.  I promise it was the opposite.
 Almost ready to hit the waves ... first a sorority girl smile.  She loves it when I tell her she has a sorority girl smile.
 NOW they were ready to hit the waves.  Seriously, it took forever to get them in the water.  Both of them were conscientious about putting on the sunscreen.  Torrey was afraid she would burn.  Seriously?  I think we are past the point of burning ...
 Today I watched a sailboat come up on shore.  It entertained me for a few minutes.
 And then I went back to searching the waves ... we did see a few schools of dolphins (are they called schools?) which just makes you happy, happy, happy.
 Here is where I did my watching from.  And reading.  And resting.  And sitting.  And relaxing.  And talking.  Ahhhh ... I love vacation.
 My two most favorite people.  Love.  Love.  Love.
 Torrey and Meghan.  It was fun to have another daughter for the week ... Meghan is definitely a keeper.  That is until it comes time to pay for college!
 So, we drove forever looking for a place to eat and ended up in a restaurant 5 minutes from the house called The Old Florida Fish House.  It was delicious!
 The girls ready to eat ... at this point it was almost 8:00 and we were all starving!
 After dinner we rode into Seaside to get snow cones.  Legendary.  Not as good as Mam's, but fun.  They make and serve the snow cones from a retro trailer.  Super neat.  I fell in love with the lights.  I've been trying to figure out where to hang them in our back yard!

Funny story, while Torrey was ordering she felt something on her leg.  She thought it was a bug and went to brush it off ... it was a tree frog climbing up her leg.  Disgusting!  We watched the little buggar climb up the trailer ... all the while Torrey was freaking out!

It was a good day.  We ended rested, full, and happy ... and dreading the end of the vacation.  At this point in the week I tried to figure out a career that would mean a move to the beach!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Good Morning Paradise!

The first day at the beach is always magical.  Dean says it is the best day because you know you still have the whole week in front of you.  We woke up rested and ready to hit the beach.  (Dean and I braved Publix the night before ... for the love of the crowds!  I did run into someone I knew from school ... I threw that out there for my sisters because they made fun of me because I kept running into people I knew when we were in NYC.)

Dean went ahead to rent our umbrellas and beach chairs.  It was supposed to be a 4 minute walk.  Someone clocked it while on a full-out sprint ... there was no way the walk was 4 minutes.  But it was a very pretty walk.
 The neighborhood had wooden walkways that led to the beach.  They dipped and curved through the sand dunes.  There were also pretty parts where you went over bridges and around ponds.  And two inches from front porches (nosy me was in heaven!)  Very serene.
 But, no matter the length of the walk, when we actually got to the beach ... gorgeous!  This was my view for most of the week.
I kid ... this was my view.  We spent most of the day on the beach .... and on the phone searching for a golf cart to rent!  One word to describe our first day?  Bliss.  Pure bliss.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Because Getting There is Half the Fun!

So this morning we got up VERY early, loaded up the car (think Beverly Hillbillies ... oh brother) and headed to the panhandle of Florida to spend the week on the beach.  We were super excited about the trip ... even the drive.

Last year, Torrey went on her mission trip to Pensacola.  While on that trip, they took all the kids to Lambert's in Foley, AL.  Torrey fell in love.  And insisted we MUST stop on the way to the beach.  So, stop we did.
 And then we waited ... because there was a long wait to get in.  And it was 3:45.  I think we waited about 45 minutes before we got in the door.  Totally worth it.
 Lambert's is known for throwing rolls.  Hot rolls.  The size of your head.  We became quite good at catching them.  Although they weren't throwing them too far for us ... some tables were making catches from at least 20 feet away.  Impressive.

Torrey brought her friend Meghan along for the fun.  Which was fun for all of us.  Dean really enjoyed keeping the boys away from BOTH girls.  HA!
 We also brought Gram along.  She really liked Lambert's.  The drive was hard for her ... but, she was a trooper.
 Dean and I ... and the rolls the size of our heads.  For the record, I caught Dean's roll for him.  I was VERY good at catching rolls.  I'm thinking a new tradition has been started for Christmas!
 Equally as big were the cups.  And there was one guy who was in charge of making sure we had refills.  Refills.  Um, no thank you.
If our fun at Lambert's was any indication, our week at the beach is off to a great start!  Can't wait to actually MAKE it to the beach!