Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Best Mommy EVER!

Yes, I still call her Mommy...and probably always will. I also realized today that she calls her mom "Mommy" too (her mom passed away when my mom was 16).

Here are a few ways she is the BEST:
She moved from her home, 2 1/2 hours away, to us when she found out I was pregnant with my first child. She helped me during my sickest times while pregnant, she was here when I was going through postpartum depression, and just through all the ups and downs of being a first time mom.

As I've said before, she loves my husband like a son. I love that they love each other and get along so well (except for the times they gang up on me).

She always brings the kids peppermints.

She's always such a trooper and comes with us on our adventures. She has the most contagious laugh!

She knows me so well, almost better than I know myself. She knew I loved sun catchers before I did! She is always so thoughtful.

I love you Mommy...more than words could ever say. Happy Birthday!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

He'll Always Be My "Baby" Brother

My "baby" brother, Evan, turned 19 today...19! I vividly remember the day he was born...waiting in the lobby with my uncle, eating Wendy's and waiting to hear if I had a brother or a sister. And now...he's finished with his first year of college and he's 19...19!

Isn't he handsome...I think so!

I made him a card. He actually called me to remind me of his birthday while I was making the card. I laughed a little inside...I could never forget that day.

Here's the card (and I would show you the inside but after I took these the camera died, sniff):

I used my Bitty Birthday stamp set and my new Designer Series Paper (DSP) that I got from the SU clearance rack (there's some good stuff on there).

When I was done with the card there seemed to be something missing and so I decided to add a piece of ribbon. Usually when I add ribbon I attach it and wrap it around the paper before I adhere it to the card. But since I was already done I just added a strip on top and you can see above why I usually wrap it around the paper...the ribbon was just a little short. I still like the card and I hope he likes it too!

Happy Birthday Baby Brother...I love you!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thanking God on Friday

~ I am thankful that my mom has a pool at her apartment complex. This way we'll be able to have a place to swim since we won't be getting a pool pass this year...not in the budget (sniff).

~ I am thankful for a great meeting with the ladies from my Small Group. We are reading Fresh Wind Fresh Fire together and it is an amazing book. If you're looking to improve or stir up your prayer life this is the book for you. If I get myself together I will do a review and give highlights because it is a WONDERFUL of those that you read over and over.

~ I am thankful for our wonderful, fabulous vacation (missed it...look here).

~ I am thankful for warm weather for the holiday weekend. I hoping we can go to our local spray park and hang out!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Whew, That Was a Close One!

So, yesterday I was taking pictures of a card that I made (I'll show it to you after I send it) and all of a sudden my LCD screen went black and said "change batteries." So glad that happened after the Florida trip. I would have been sad to see that message right in the middle of taking our beach pictures or while meeting of my blog friends and not being able to capture the moment. Now I need to check to see if there's something I can do to program the camera to warn me that they are running low...

Has that ever happened to're in the moment of picture taking and the batteries die?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Best Vacation EVER - Destin, Florida

Well is one of my longest posts ever. There won't be that many words, but a lot of pictures. I really want to capture all of the highlights of our trip. We had an amazing time and can't wait to go again. If you want to read about our last trip to Destin you can go here.

Here's our Destin...ation (ha, ha)!

We left on Thursday when Jamison got out of school and drove a little less than 1/2 way to Nashville and stayed overnight. The next day we got up early and made the second leg of our trip. Here are some highlights:

Caleb was well entertained with Gramma Lee's DVD player. I'm so glad it had headphones so we didn't have to listen to Thomas songs the entire way there.

Jamison had her own spot in the back of the van.

I was fascinated with the red dirt in Alabama and tried my best to take a good picture.

Just over this bridge...Destin! It was a great moment.

Turning onto US 98, which would take us to what would be our home for the next week.

Hello Destin...we have arrived!

The Beach

The next day we hit the beach. I worried about the oil prior to our trip, but there was no oil in sight (I am still keeping those truly affected my the oil in my prayers). It was a bit overcast and the water was more green than usual, but that didn't matter...we were at the beach!

Here are some beach highlights from the first day:

The waves were great!

It was neat to see a freighter off in the distance...see it?

We had a lot of moments to just stop and admire the beach:

Here's a view of the beach from our condo's beach entrance.

Here's a shot from one of the public entrances...breathtaking!

We had dinner at a restaurant that was on the beach and after dinner we walked down to the beach to enjoy the beauty:

One of our most beautiful journeys and traveling to Pensacola Beach along the National Seashore. We traveled on a two-lane highway and just admired the beauty.

Blog Friends

The main reason we were traveling along the National Seashore was to meet one of my blog friends for lunch in Pensacola Beach. Kelli (doesn't she have a GREAT name) and I have been blog buddies for a while and it was wonderful to be able to finally meet her. She drove TWO hours to meet us AND brought me homemade chocolate chip cookies in the cutest yellow bag that she decorated with felt chocolate chip cookies. It was wonderful to just be able to chat and see her adorable little boys in person. I just love her!

I also got to meet my buddy Joanna. I can't even tell you how long we've been blog friends...seems like forever. She is the brains behind my blog design! She traveled over from Panama City Beach with her husband and two lovely little girls. They spent almost the entire day with us...swimming, eating dinner, chatting, and playing Scrabble.

Jamison, Kayla and Kelsie at the pool. They became fast friends.

Mommy won...I should have known.

The kids all had a great time.

I will definitely hook up with these ladies the next time we're in Florida! I miss them already.


We had some great food while we were in Destin. Here's a recap:

We discovered Jack's the last time we were here and this time we ate here a few times. Rondell loves their wings and their Mango Tango sauce (this year he bought a bottle of it to bring home) and I love their friend shrimp. Good stuff.

Funny story at Jack's...My mom and Rondell were ordering the food to go (Jack's is wonderfully located just around the corner from the condo) and I asked them to order me cheese sticks. A bit later Rondell told me they didn't have any...I was a little sad. As the waitress was walking by I said "I am so sad you don't have cheese sticks." She said "I don't think we've ever had those." I said "Really, I got them the last time I was here and they're on your menu." She looks and says "Oooh, cheese sticks...I thought ya'll were sayin cheese steaks." We laughed. I guess we have accents!

The Back Porch is a popular restaurant in Destin. It belongs to a family of restaurants (last time we ate at Pomano Joe's). I've heard great things about The Back Porch so we (I) decided that we should go there for dinner one evening. The food actually ended up being just OK to me, but everyone else enjoyed their food. I was so proud of Jamison because she actually tried crab claws (which were extremely small...I should have taken a picture) and crab cake (she didn't like the crab cake).

Another funny thing is that when I picked up Jamison from school the day we left we ran into her guidance counselor (I love her!) and we told her where we were going. She told us that her brother lives in Destin and he used to own the group of restaurants that included The Back Porch! He now owns The Crab Trap, which is another popular place in Destin not too far from where we stay. Next time we'll have to connect with her sooner and maybe get the "family" discount :)

Mommy really enjoyed her grouper and Rondell enjoyed some good chicken (he's not the biggest seafood fan).

Here's the view from our table...NICE!

Rondell was on a quest to find some good BBQ while we were there. He tried one place called Hog's Breath. He said it was pretty good but will try another place next time. He's on a mission!

My favorite meal was our Seafood Night in the condo...yum, yum! Well, seafood for me and Mommy...this is the night Ron had BBQ. Above is my mom getting the lobster tail ready.

We had lobster tail and pull & eat shrimp with pepper/butter/garlic.

My, that was a good meal.

Family Moments

We had some great family moments during our trip:

Lots of sleeping...the sun and sand wore us out!

What's a family trip without an injury. Caleb hit his head on the table while running...huge knot (the picture doesn't do it justice)!

Gramma Lee decided on the trip that Caleb needed a, she bought him a new DS. He was instantly in love. It actually made the trip back a lot easier because he was entertained and not begging the entire time to play Jamison's DS.

Mommy and Rondell in the same shirt. They bought these shirts the last time we were here. Have I mentioned that they are the same person. You know how people say girls marry their father...I married my mother. They.are.the.same.person.

Sibling love.

I just love this little girl.

We're adorable...I know.

Family shots on the beach.

The Pool

One of our favorite places to be was the pool. We went everyday and the weather was perfect for it almost everyday.

Gramma Lee hanging out with the kids in the pool.

This kid took to the water super fast. By the end of the week this is what he looked like:

Jamison got much more comfortable in the water while we were there. I was so proud of her.

His expression shows the fun we had!

The end!

Here's the last shot from the balcony on the morning we left.

Until next time Destin...