Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Check marks on the bucket list

Since we stayed here over the holidays I was determined that I get some of my bucket list items checked off (bucket list being currently in urgent mode seeing as we've hardly done anything in our 4 1/2 years here and we only have 6 months to go).  The second driving factor is that I forget that in a few months I will be cursing the weather and the hot mess I call hair and not want to leave the house to do anything but get in the pool that only requires about 10 steps of effort out my back door.

So over New Year's we met up with some friends (I should call them Our Friends - as in like basically one of the few and far between that actually do anything with us!  So sad they moved).  We did the west side of Florida.  Oh my.  Why didn't I go there before?  Except that then I would want to spend all my money on beach houses going there again and again, and we may have never had our Disney adventures. We went to Naples, Ft. Myers Beach, Sannibel Island, Lovers Key and Marco Island.  BEAUTIFUL sugar-sand beaches, great shelling, and beautiful (almost cool!) weather.  Totally changed my mind about Florida.  I loved it over there. They had the BEST beach houses right on the ocean front.  Sadly, as a last minute idea they were all booked for our trip.  If I was staying here longer I would definitely go oceanfront and splurge on a big ol' beach house with a fire pit overlooking the gulf coast sunsets...


Check out this awesome sandcastle!  (Not our doing).  And all the detail!  So cool.

Snowman, Florida style.

Oh look!  There were Other Friends. 

Front row seats for the sunset.  Every night we were there people literally clapped when the sun finally went down.  It cracked us up every time.  Way to go, sun.  Nice show.  Good job on another hard day's work.

Hurray for the New Year!!

It turned out very fitting that we literally watched the sun set on 2012.

And I love the self-taken picture of the dirty, chubby baby feet.

It was really the most perfect trip we've been on.  We realized that camping with 4 kids = lots of work.  Disneyworld with 4 kids = lots of work.  Beach with 4 kids = actually a relaxing vacation.  We've never been beachy people.  Ryan and I would take the streets of Italy or New York over the Bahamas any day. But now I can see why people are.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Christmas wrap

To document the rest of our holiday festivities:

Helped out at a party at the twins' school.

Ready for prayer at school:

Boys in front of our holiday card wall, appreciating the box of presents sent by family to open all throughout the month!

Enjoying Christmas lights with the Young Women from church.

Holiday party with some friends:

Twas the night before Christmas...

Watching out the window for Santa....

Hooray!  Everyone gets what they wanted!

Like a new shopping cart to put on your head.

Even mom, who got a new apron from Anthropologie.  And some sweet new sunglasses from Tiffany's. (Our annual free glasses that came conveniently at Christmas.)

I mean, who wouldn't want a big box of this for Christmas?

Why I even tried to make a bunch of yummy food for breakfast was a little silly since everyone was too excited to eat it.  Except me, of course.  

Oh, and this guy - breakfast being the only thing that would get him out of his new massage chair cushion. (Note to self: next time give him that after he helps the kids put all their new toys together....)


And in case you wanted a closer look at the dragon-fly studded Tiffany glasses.  :)

Yay for a fun Christmas!! I was super hesitant about staying here for our first Christmas all by ourselves and not going home to be with family.  But it was great.  And while I'm all about a white Christmas, it was harder than I thought to complain about hanging out at the beach over the holidays.  And I'm pretty good at complaining.  :)