Category Archives: family

Gulf Shores Vacation

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I am proud to say that our daughter is a happy traveler. 1600 miles traveled and not one single melt down. Even when we were stuck in line to board the ferry to Foley Alabama for 4 hours. Yes, I said it, 4 hours!

We stopped in Jackson, Mississippi on the way down. The “We” in this scenerio was Zalyn, my brother Tom and myself. Daddy was unable to go on vacay with us due to work issues. So, Tom was our driving buddy. And what a good buddy he was. When we got to Jackson, we met up with our brother, John and his family. They were just a couple hours behind us. We stayed at the same hotel. It turned out to be an amazing idea because we caravaned the rest of the drive down from Jackson to Gulf Shores. Having another car to hop into during that dreadful ferry wait and having 3 cousins to entertain Z, made it seem so much less painful.

We finally arrived at Big Blue and Little Blue sometime in the evening. A mere 4 hours past what we had anticipated. But it was a beautiful site to drive upon the beautiful place we would call home for 6 days. Our brother, Jeff and his family had already arrived. They were a few hours behind us but opted not to take the ferry.

While waiting for the rest of the family to arrive, we decided to hit the beach before the sun went down. My little girl loved the water. I couldn’t keep her away. But throughout the rest of the week, she wanted nothing to do with the water. Just the sand. The sand was like heaven to her.

I’m happy to say that the week went by slow. Each moment was cherished, nothing went unnoticed. We made the most of every little second we had there.

Our drive back home went just as smooth. We stopped in Memphis and made excellent time. Z was a complete dream for both trips.

Millions of kisses for cousins and aunts and uncles.

Long naps.

Yummy food had and cooked by all of us.

Dance parties that seemed to last an eternity.

Karaoke like you’ve never seen before. My sister-in-law is the S*&#

That beach smell lingering in your nose all week.

Hearing laughter every which way, all around you.

And of course, pictures.

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Splish Splash

I’ve been wanting to take Zalyn to The City Garden in downtown St. Louis ever since it started to get hot out. So, when a failed mission to take her to the Circus occurred, we took the opportunity of being downtown to head on over to this glorious park. (The Circus attempt failed because I was a dummy and didn’t buy the tickets when I should’ve weeks ahead and the performance sold out. Duh!)

But we took advantage of it being an early Wednesday morning and not having to beat the crowds and drive around for hours for a parking spot. It was perfect. In spite having her morning nap skipped, Z was still her excited and happy self. We played in the water for a good half hour then she started walking towards the stroller and climbed in. She was ready to go. It was so cute.

So, how about some photo’s eh?

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Fathers Day

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A few things about our day:

Zalyn loved chasing my brothers dog, Meeko, around the house. She’d yell, “Dawwwg! Dawwwg!”

I would say to Z, “Zalyn, where’s Papa?” She’d look around and when spotted, she’d head right for my dad saying, “Paw Paw Paw Paw.” It melted my heart.

Seeing that little girl walk around the grass was hilarious. Who knew walking in grass would cause so many stumbles? My parents front lawn has a bit of a slope. Seeing her stumble and get back up and stumble again and get right back up again… priceless.

Zalyn does NOT like Trader Joe’s veggie burgers.  A gagging child is not a happy one.

My sister-in-law believes that Z will be an outdoorsy child. Considering the fact that you couldn’t pay me to camp, I’m a wee-bit weary of what I would do with a child that earns for the great outdoors. I suppose I could be a changed woman. Anything for my daughter!

My dad was able to relive a little bit of one of his favorite childhood past times through Z. He loved climbing trees as a child so he let Z explore that excitement just a bit. It was awesome to watch as he put her down after letting her reach for the branches and she would reach up to him wanting to do it again. A-Dor-A-Ble.

Z loves her daddy.

And I love my daddy.

Enough said.

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Mothers Day

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My first Mothers Day, last year.

A lot can be said about Mothers Day. The privilege it is to be called mother. That warm feeling in my heart I get when my little girl looks at me with stars in her eyes. The excitement I get for every single morning where I can start another wonderful day with my daughter.

The honor it is to call my wonderful Mother MY Mother. The lessons I have learned from her. The humbleness I feel just thinking about all that she has done for me.

The bond that my husband shares with his mother and the chill I get seeing them together. The smile that my mother in law wears when she sees her grand daughter.

That happiness I feel seeing my sisters as mothers. The joy in the eyes of my nieces and nephews that they have such wonderful mothers, mothers that I am lucky to call “sisters.” The countless texts, phonecalls, sit down chats I have had with these mothers about how to be the mom I have become today.

The words my oldest brother said to me and Zalyn yesterday, “Zalyn, you sure are making her into being the best Mommy.”

That is what Mothers Day is all about.

Happy (belated) Mothers Day to all  you wonderful mothers!

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Me and my girlie this Mothers Day

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A Week with Nani and Papi

We had a lovely week with Andres’ parents. They live in Orlando so when we see them, we cherish every moment.

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A Roadtrip to Iowa

As much as I absolutely loved going on this little mini vacation with Z, it pained me that we HAD to. Let me explain… As we know, it is not legal for same sex couples to marry in every single state. So, when my sister wants to commit her life and love to her partner, she should be able to. Not have to drive/fly/travel somewhere else to do it only for it to be legit only there….

But we had the most amazing time. My sister lives a couple hours away so we started the trip out with a little drive to her house. Zalyn did wonderful on that car ride. Slept most of the way. We spent the first day there lounging around, playing with iPad’s, Zalyn got some cuddles with Aunt Christine while I ran errands with her partner, Katie. It was a great start to the trip.

We headed for Iowa early Monday morning. We took our time, made stops. Two memorable stops- one was at the American Gothic House. They have prairie dresses and overalls that you can dress up in and take your picture in front of the house. It was a pretty exciting stop. My nephew Nolan, got into character real quick. He loved it. Our second stop was a stop for lunch at this teeny tiny little dinner. To sum it up: Took us 20 minutes of standing around waiting to be seated until someone tols us to seat ourselves, Nolan’s grilled cheese wasn’t grilled, they didn’t bring us out any silverware or napkins, brought us tuna instead of chicken salad, gave us water with no ice, many many eye-rolling and sighing when we asked for anything and so on and so forth. As horrible as the service was, we laughed if off. We joked about it the entire trip. “Just a minute on the silverware.”

We spent 2 days in a beautiful log cabin in Charles city, Iowa. Zalyn was loving all the extra attention she was getting from her aunts and cousins. It was so lovely. I am so honored that they chose us to be a part of it. The ceremony was by a bonfire in the snow-filled woods.

Congratulations to my sister and her wonderful partner, Katie. May state borders never divide your love and commitment.

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Oh Mother Nature…

….Why must you be so confusing? On Monday we had a play date in the park with Vicki and the twins. Today, we went on a walk AND had a picnic. It’s January/February! I’m totally ok with it.

She is so my daughter- not matching.

Christmas Day

Playing Santa rules.

Drace said it best, “Having a child brings the magic back into Christmas.”

Zalyn got what she asked for from Santa.

Best Christmas ever.

Hope your holidays were magical just like ours!

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Christmas Eve

Doing it big like we always do. Christmas Eve style.

Photo shoot here

Playtime with cousins

Dance party to 80s music

Desperately awaiting Daddy to get there (he was working. Showed up just in time for Zalyns turn to unwrap her gifts.)

Unwrapping presents which took about 3 hours.

Zalyn loving on Aunt Katie.

Staying up past our bedtime to savor every little minute of family time.

Making my sister cry twice.

Tears from all of us.

Lots of Whippet love.

Each of us opening boxes of photo’s from our youth.

Receiving my very first little blue box.

Tons of laughs.

And tons of pictures….

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