September 22, 2016

hello fall...

I put out some fall decorations over the weekend, and when I sent Suz a quick picture, an absurd texting conversation ensued. We only wish that when a certain number of people hauled out their fall decorations that the temperatures would fall to reasonable. Today it is supposed to be two degrees above average. What is average? Apparently 90.

Most people will tell you that there is no fall in Florida, and I used to buy into that, but the past few years have changed my mind. We may not be treated to the colorful autumn display that our northern friends enjoy, but as I have walked the boardwalks and trails, I have seen the changing leaves cling to the branches, and when the sun sets, I have felt the occasional coolness set in. Last week, as we went over to watch the high school band practice, the air was downright heavenly. By November we should have daily beautiful air!

Camden is settled back into school in Iowa, and maybe he will send us some pictures of northern fall, but in the meantime, we will seek and enjoy the little bits of fall that Florida sends our way.


August 24, 2016

life lately {and then there was july}...

If June was healing, July was busy.
Busy with life, and fully enjoy the days again...

1. We had a small Third of July dinner at our house, and we grilled 
romaine lettuce for the first time. It won't be the last! I loved it!

2. Our traditional before they go to Africa dinner... I'm sorry, Tina & Oakley, 
that you didn't fit in the frame! It was a fun night and they had a great trip!

3. With the arrival of this shirt, I could finally bundle up our shirts for the NYG and pack! 

4. A quick trip to Disney Springs and finally getting to try this little cake 
I had been dreaming of. It was almost as good as I wanted it to be...

5. Our first Wine Club Dinner at Cooper's Hawk was beyond fantastic!

6. I loved this thank you I got in the mail... one I will keep.

7. At the NYG and finding our girl at her volunteer job! 
We loved that she had the opportunity to be a YAV!

8. The four of us, together again!

9. Our great friends hosted a little Christmas in July party, complete with 
a great dollar store gift exchange. I loved seeing these two picking up right 
where they left off last summer...

I am enjoying catching up....


August 23, 2016

winding down {but trying not to think about it}...

Last year at this time we were making the long, beautiful drive to Iowa...
It was mostly just corn fields, and while they were beautiful, I think more of the beauty was found inside the car, along the way. Laughter, chatter, and time. Those long days of driving and exploring that we had together before leaving him at college were a gift... one I wouldn't trade for the world.

Camden is still home... for two more weeks. I am trying not to count the days. And this year, he'll fly back to Iowa, retrieve his stuff from storage, and move himself in. Yes, part of me wants to be there. The other part? The other part of me hates moving and knows that this is a life skill that will serve him well over the years. He has already proven he can manage it with the summer moving in & out of the dorms, so this time I am not even going to worry.

Pretty soon we'll have to start pulling together everything he has strewn about our daily life, and zip it into his suitcase, but for right now, there is still time to be carefree. Cam & Laura have enjoyed his time home probably more than any of us. Their friendship goes beyond brother & sister, and I am thankful for yet another gift. Last night they cooked dinner together, and I will never tire of hearing their voices, just within earshot, bantering back and forth, and just being silly.

I am so thankful that we have taught them to be silly, and hopeful that they will hold onto it for their whole life...

August 19, 2016

healing june...

Dear June,
Thank you. Thank you for being the start of healing me. You were my fresh start, my second (fourth?) chance, the window that let peace find its way in again. 

Maybe I will never overcome the first day jitters, but it was all joy once I arrived at my new job and was welcomed with arms wide open. It has been a great change for me, and an easy adjustment. I miss my friends at the old place, but once I realized that just walking in the door there filled me with an anger, the choice to leave was made. I could compile a whole list of why I love my new job, but the most important reason is the peace that it has brought to my soul. 
Peace also comes to me here... the gentle sound of the gulf, the laughter that bubbles up from me when I watch the coquinas dig their way back into the sand, and the way a walk along the shore clears my mind to make way for new blessings.
I knew in May that I would have to repeat the surgery from last October. I had two procedures in between, we scheduled the big surgery for August, then moved it up to June. That October ordeal was lingering in my head, but I was hopeful that it would not be repeated, and I prayed for an easier time. My parents decided that they would come across to Miami this time, and I was thankful for a kiss and an I love you from my Mom before I was rolled away. As always, Eric was by my side until they sent him to the waiting room. When I woke up in recovery I felt good, and was so thankful for a successful surgery. We even went home that night. Eric is such a good caretaker... I am ever thankful that he puts up with me. Will the surgery be a forever fix this time around? I just don't know, but it was worth a(nother) shot. 
And, June, when the end of you rolled around, I felt like I was enjoying the new beginning of me. I still had a lot on my plate, and a little more time to devote to healing, but you surrounded me with the people who love me... and you reminded me that laughter, friends, cheesecake, wine, and even salad, can sometimes be some of the very best medicine. 

Oh June, thank you... from the bottom of my heart.