Um, Merry Christmas?

I really have no excuse for why I’ve been an absentee blogger except to say that the holidays did, in fact, swallow me whole and just now spit me out the other side…  Do you feel that way?  We had some kind of craziness or activity every single day leading up to Christmas.  All good things but all serious time drains.  I’ve got a ridiculous amount of photos to share that I will now dump into this post.  I want to end this year by remembering all of the amazing things we did this holiday season yet I know this isn’t the most appropriate way to present this information.  But what am I gonna do?  I simply ran out of time to post each story individually…  Perhaps things will be better in 2012 in terms of blogging consistently?  Well, better in terms of everything would be really nice too.

Let’s see, I left off blogging on December 13th…  What happened next?  Oh, yes!  Our city’s annual Santa-on-the-fire-truck tradition.  He came zooming by our house at 9:30 PM on December 15th.  We’d been hearing him since 6:30 pm and had waited outside pretty much the entire time.  At 9 PM, I finally had the kids get into bed thinking he was not coming down our street after all.  Then the music and sirens got louder and louder.  The boys shot out of bed just in time to see Santa go speeding by our house!

I also invited Cutie Pie’s preschool class over for lunch during the last week of school before winter break.  We had a yummy assortment of preschool-friendly foods with plenty of pizza, salad and sangria for the moms 🙂  Then the kids camped out in front of the television to watch the new Ice Age Christmas movie on DVD.

Cutie Pie’s preschool Christmas program was on Friday, December 16th.  It struck me while sitting in the audience surrounded by all of the loving friends and family that this will be our last Christmas program at the preschool…  Cutie Pie will be entering Kindergarten in the fall and Eastminster will become a distant memory for him.  Bittersweet, indeed.  And see that little girl with the white fur trimmed dress in the first picture?  Her mom informed me that their entire family will be moving to Shanghai with her husband’s work in March.  It’s an exciting adventure for them but it will be so sad to see them go.  Wildman was in the three’s class with her middle son and Cutie Pie is now in VPK with her youngest daughter.  It’s funny how lives overlap and you get used to seeing the same familiar faces everyday and then one day they’re gone for whatever reason.  You realize how much you enjoyed their company over the years.

Saturday, December 17th brought the Satellite Beach Boat Parade!  It was our first time participating.  We were so excited to be a part of this cool Florida Christmas tradition!  We left the dock with Big Red, his kids and our across-the-street neighbors at 5 PM.  The parade began at the north entrance to the Grand Canal at 6 PM.  The weather could not have been more perfect- clear with wonderfully mild temperatures.

On Saturday night, after the boat parade, we quickly changed into our best vintage polyester and headed over to our friends’ Disco Funk Christmas Party!  What a crazy fun evening!

The Sunday before Christmas brought sugar cookie decorating with the cousins and breakfast for dinner!

We delivered Christmas goodies to the neighbors and hosted a little family party for Wildman’s 7th birthday on Monday, December 19th.  He insisted on an Angry Birds cake from Publix and was thrilled with all of his amazing gifts including a sweet child-size kayak from J and I.

On December 20th, we hosted a little beach bonfire for Wildman’s classmates to celebrate the last day of school before winter break and also roast s’mores in honor of Wildman’s birthday.

This post has grown much too long!  Looks like I will have to break it up into two.  Stay tuned!


Catching Up

Hi everyone!  It seems I’ve taken a little blogging hiatus.  It was not a planned event just something I needed.  My motivation has been waning lately.  J’s travels coupled with B’s mother-in-law passing and family drama have completely drained me.  I’m sorry.  A little break was in order.  I can’t say I feel 100% recharged but I do feel a bit better.

Here, let me share with you a few adorable photos from today’s feast at Cutie Pie’s school.

The children dressed up as Native Americans in homemade pillowcase costumes, paper headdresses and pasta necklaces. The cuteness was too much!

I stayed after drop-off this morning to help with the feast prep and decorating.  Luckily, several moms joined me so that we were able to get everything ready to go in no time.  Turkey noodle soup, cornbread muffins, pumpkin pie, chocolate chip cookies, apple pie and drinks!  We even had time to spare to help out Cousin B’s teacher who did not parent volunteers.

The blessing was delivered by Pastor Elmer.  He announced that he will be leaving the church where Cutie Pie attends preschool to begin a new church on the mainland.  We’ll all be sad to see him go in February but wish him the best in his new adventures.

J was in town and was able to get out of work for a bit to join us!

I helped serve the turkey soup that the children prepared with their teacher.  It was really good!

It was a lovely lunch and time of fellowship with our preschool families.  We are truly blessed.

Highs and Lows


Chatting with our new across the street neighbors about their misadventures with the previous owners of their house has definitely been a high for me.  Let’s just say that talk of leather chaps and fringe was brought to light.  Hilarious and not at all surprising.  The previous owners were boisterous and quite entertaining.

Tony and Violet are very nice and quite funny.  I am enjoying getting to know them and hope we become friends.  Violet has a knack for remembering names.  I wonder if that was something taught to her in medical school.  Like one of those Capstone courses.  “Mnemonic Devices 101”.  It always helps me when I repeat someone’s name back immediately upon learning it.


My name had been appearing less and less frequently on the schedule at a local gym where I had been subbing weekly as a Zumba instructor.  I finally got my answer as to why after my third inquiry.  The aerobics coordinator was told by the board (the club has a board of predominately geriatric, bitter people) that I was not a good fit.  I can totally picture some of the women who took issue with me.  From the first day when I asked the class to form a circle for a song, I was kind of black balled.  One of the older ladies from class came up to me afterward to firmly state that “We don’t like to do anything different in class.  We don’t like circles.”  From that moment on, I was judged.  Apparently none of the frequent positive feedback I received made it to the board.

It’s a blow to the ego but I think not working there has been a blessing.  I’d rather not teach a bunch of catty women who don’t want to work out too hard and don’t like change.


This summer has brought us many opportunities to spend time with our friends at  a slow, low-stress pace.  We’ve enjoyed many days in the pool and look forward to many more.  We are very thankful to have such wonderful people in our lives.


We’re going to Alabama for a long weekend.  J’s grandparents are not doing well.  Their health is rapidly failing.  This will probably be the last time that we will see them.  I’m going to support J and his family who will all be there.  It will be a sad trip, I’m afraid…


After 6 months of turmoil, homelessness, stress and struggle, Steph finally moved into her new-to-her house on Saturday!  It’s not the house that I told you about way back in February.  The contract fell through when the owners decided the appraisal value was too low for their taste.  I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason.  She and the boys weren’t meant to be in that first house.

I could not be happier for Steph.  Her crazy mixed up family (us included) turned out in droves to help her move her belongings and fix up the new place.  It was an awesome testament to the support system she has.

The new place is just three block from our door and it’s as cute as can be.  Steph has really fixed the 1976 home up nicely with new floors, skip-troweled ceilings, new baseboards, wallpaper removal, new fixtures, new paint and new furniture.  She can finally relax in her own home again.