Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween 2014: It could have been worse.

Someone told me recently that the key to happiness is low expectations.  As sad a thought as this was to me at the time, I'm beginning to thing there's some truth to it.  

Those of you who know me in real life know that I love October.  I love everything about it.  Halloween is my favorite holiday and I'm trying to convince my children that pumpkin patches are better than fireworks or presents or turkey dinners.

Plus, when you  live at the beach, you can go on a hay ride in your flip flops and then head to the beach for a swim in the gulf on the very same day.  This is the life.

Ah, but into every life a little rain must fall.  Two weeks before Halloween this year, Andy took a wonky fall off his skim board and broke his ankle.  So much for trick or treating and that awesome gargoyle costume we were planning.

Of course, for Andy, the abrupt end to his soccer season is the bitterest pill to swallow.

He has still been at the field every chance he has gotten, cheering for his team and giving the coach his very 'expert' advice.

Of course we have been making the best of it.  Carving pumpkins and planning as much Halloween fun as Andy was up for.

We changed gears and had Nanny make Andy a costume that he could wear in a wheel chair and Zadie planned to dress as princess Jasmine with Rosie as her pet tiger Raja.

That is until Halloween day when Rosie began running fever and throwing up.

I was a little grumpy (read impossible to be around).  Yep, Halloween is my party, and I'll cry if I want to.

But would you believe that several amazing friends and neighbors talked with several more amazing friends and neighbors and invited us to trick or treat again the next night.  Rosie was so excited.  She has been practicing saying 'twick or tweet' for weeks and she loved every minute of it.

I can't tell you how grateful I am to all our friends who helped save Halloween and I promise next year I'll set the bar a little lower and try not to cry in my candy when life happens.  After all, this year turned out pretty great despite all of it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I always feel so thankful in the fall.  Thankful that I survived the heat and crazy of the summer, thankful that the kids have amazing teachers who are helping them learn all kinds of cool new things.

I thought I'd share a few of the things that are filling me up with gratitude today.

First of all, my Rosie.  I picked her up from school today and she told me that she had been playing with three friends on the playground.  She knew all of their names and she told me all about the games they were playing.  I wouldn't have found this remarkable at all from my other children, but with Rosie, my eyes filled with tears.  I'm so happy that she can tell me about her day.  Six months ago she would only smile and nod.   And friends? No way.  The other kids didn't really know how to include her in a game because she couldn't even tell them her name.  I don't think I'll ever take the gift of speech for granted again.  What a blessing!

Another wonderful gift Fall brings is soccer.  Just as soon as it's too chilly to get in the pool, you get to go run around the soccer field and be awesome.  Andy was beginning to think life at the beach was no fun unless it was summer, and then soccer came along and gave him something to look forward to three days a week.  Not to mention, new friends in the neighborhood who come knocking on our door  whenever things get a little dull.

Moving is hard.  Just when I thought a new school, new church, new life was stressing everyone out, October showed up and reminded me that something wonderful is always just around the corner.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Settling in and finding a zoo

It's always a bit of a zoo in our house, but there's been a definite lack of real zoo in our lives as of late.  

Andy hasn't missed it so much, but the girls are used to the zoo being as regular a part of our routine as the grocery store and dry cleaner.  I think if I left Zadie over night with the llamas, she'd never notice the lack of human contact.

They are kind of cute.

Notice all of our pictures show the rest of us watching Zadie get covered in drool and hair.  Yuck.

These pictures are from the Gulf Breeze zoo.  A very sweet little zoo about 45 minutes from our new house.  I must warn you, though, it's a lot more expensive than the Montgomery zoo.  All of you who have a publicly funded zoo in your area, don't take it for granted.  It is a gift!

This trip included a bonus kid- Andy's friend Jess, who is awesome and makes hanging out with little sisters way more fun.

 Somehow I feel even more at home here in Florida now that I know my way to the zoo.