Sunday, January 31, 2016

Siesta Key

My good friend Chantelle and her family came vacationing to Orlando, so we met up with them! We drove there after church on Sunday and then first thing Monday morning we headed to Siesta Key. Rated number one beach in the U.S. and it did NOT disappoint!

My kids got right to work in the sand. We know beach business. Haha.

Daphne was SO adorable with her hat and her little swimsuit. I just was dying every time she ran up.

Beach cuties.

She's just so cute! Everyone else was adorable too, but Daphne kept coming up to me, and who am I to say no to picture-friendly kids?

We had an awesome sand castle. It was very well loved and had a really awesome moat.

Cutest gerber baby Phoebe ever!
One night at the dinner table Ruthie was chatting away while we were doing 'happy and sads' and started listing off people. At the very end she tacked on 'and Pheebs' and we all busted up laughing. It was SOOOOOO so so cute. It was said so jovially and naturally and semi-loudly and it was just so funny that she already was taking up Phoebe's nickname. I already like that name, but that moment made me LOVE it. It was SOOOOOO cute! Chantelle already told me I could use it someday. :)

Lest the sunshine deceives you, my kids and I were FREEZING. So we laid in the sunshine and played in the sand and avoided the water unless we had to find sea shells. Chantelle's kids LOVED it, haha.

Chantelle is the best. We went to the same junior high for a bit and a year of high school and we had the same group of friends but I wouldn't say we were ever close. Then one summer we walked into the same singles ward relief society and reconnected. She got me a job because I told her I was looking for a second one for the summer, and we worked side by side cleaning hotel rooms for the next year. We loved it because instead of cleaning rooms separately, we'd pair up and not only be faster, but have a buddy to chat with all day long. Or sing with. Or vent to. Or just really work through life with. I was starting my senior year of college so we chatted about life and growing up and boyfriends and eventually fiance's and then husbands! She also SAVED MY BACON by watching my kids when I was still working. I remember crying so many times when I dropped my kids off and drove to work, but was so comforted to know that Chantelle had them and I trusted her so much. She loved them like her own and you can still tell. Olivia and Ruthie are the cutest best friends ever and I LOVE it! I'm SOOOOO glad her little family was able to make the trip to Florida and we could spend some quality time together!

Ruthie dances everywhere she goes. Chantelle actually sent us a shirt in the mail a few months ago that says "Life is better in a tutu." and when I told Ruthie what it said she loved it so much she wears it the first day it comes out of the wash every time.

They were awesome and let me take 200 family shots! Haha. Cutest little blondie family!

This is hilarious. Molly NEVER smiles when I ask her to, but every time I tried to get all the girls to say cheese for the family picture, she'd run right in front and give me this huge cheesy grin. Adorable!
Olivia was SO in love with the ocean. It was SOOO sweet!

Daphne, Ruth, Olivia

Family love.

We found so many beautiful sea shells!

We caught two starfish!

We stayed ALL. DAY. LONG. and it was absolutely breathtakingly STUNNING. Also, we ordered hamburgers at the restaurant on the beach before driving back to Orlando and they were closing so the nice manager gave us a huge bag of fries that they had extra. It was awesome, haha.

What an absolutely perfect day in the sun and the sand the frigid water with such wonderful friends. Lovely.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Merrie Christmas

No, it's not Christmas anymore but that's the name of the park we went to for playgroup and it was SO much fun! Tricia and I were say it has all your best features: fenced in (no escapees), no sand (can go there after rain), covered (can play in the heat of the sun), extra nice swings, etc. So basically, we need to frequent here more often! I usually go further SOUTH when I get out of the house, because north means city and city means traffic. But it wasn't bad at all and it was actually a lot closer to our house than I realized. 
Molly fell asleep in the van on the way there, poor girl never gets her morning naps. But I love that I-just-woke-up-and-am-still-stunned face.  
Ruth was SOOOO excited about the little monkey bars! She made it across the entire thing. And then said the tall ones were too hard. HAHA.

Also, it was FREEZING. Okay, yup, I admit it---I have become a BIG WUSS! It dropped below 65. It was SIXTY-TWO degrees this morning! Which actually would have felt fine, but we had our lovely Miami breeze which made it officially COLD. I mean, I was SHIVERING people and I had pants and socks and a hoodie on! (Sterling, I think we better keep thinking of places like Arizona and southern Utah to settle in because I might not survive anywhere else!)
Too funny.

 Of course that meant we had to pull out every scrap of winter clothing we owned. ESPECIALLY this adorable valentine hoodie that my sister Amy gave Molly when she was born and I thought she might never get the chance to wear it. But she DID!

Another great feature: banyan trees!

Trees equal sticks which equals endless entertainment!

You can look at this photo fifty times. It is necessary, I think, to fully appreciate HOW ADORABLE that little crazy girl is!!!!

Oh I just LOVE cheese faces that make your own face hurt!
Can we say biggest banyan tree EVER?!?!?!
Yesterday I made bread that turned out better than I think I have ever made it in Miami. HURRAY! I also made a huge batch of waffles for Sterling (to use as bread) and after FHE we had a big party in the kitchen and cut Sterling's, Will's, and Ruthie's hair. Good times. 

Right now I should be upstairs cleaning my bedroom (all this pulling out of winter clothing has made quite the disaster zone) but as you can see, I am choosing instead to waste my time on the internet. Doing important things like documenting my children's childhoods. Which is truly important. I also am glad I pulled out my camera this morning. I miss that. I've started only bringing out my camera when Sterling is along to help watch the kids. But Molly is bigger and easier now and I should get my camera out more often. 

Okay, okay, I'll go clean my room.