Daytona Beach Spring Break 2016

Last week was spring break and it was so much fun! A friend of mine graciously let us use her condo at the Plaza Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach, (which is really a hotel room with a sink, refrigerator, and microwave…but it was perfect!). It had beautiful ocean views, a great pool for the kiddos, and a private beach. And it was the perfect location: walking distance to the downtown area!

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To start off the trip, they were troopers in the car for the 7-hour drive from North Carolina. The first day we were there it was a little cloudy, so we all went to the Marine Sciences Center in Ponce Inlet and learned about sea creatures. It is also a sea turtle rehabilitation center, so that was cool to see. McKenzie is doing a project for school about the Leatherback Sea Turtle (big black one), and it was a neat comparison to have her standing next to the real size mural of one! I’m going to print it off and include it in her project.

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We had really fun pool days, and McKenzie was really getting good at swimming! She made some friends and the pool and played all day. Bennett is an awesome little swimmer, and very confident in the water (which is terrifying to be honest!). He’s such an independent little man. We also dipped our toes in the ocean and played in the sand! Bennett had a blast running away from the waves, and throwing sand at everyone and stomping his sister’s sand castles like a little punk. Such a monster.

The last day we went mini golfing! It was fun and Bennett even got to go. He was very patient and we managed to finish all 18 holes without a breakdown from either child, which is quite a feat. McKenzie did great! She beat me on several holes. Anyway, it was a very fun trip. We were so lucky! Can’t wait to go back again soon. ♥

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2016

The new year has been off to a great start. Good weather for the most part, and I love that the kiddos can be outside almost all year ’round here. McKenzie has finally mastered bike riding! So that’s been a really fun first with her. And her “two front teeth” are still nowhere to be found.

The holidays were great, Nina and Jennie came for a visit. That was nice! For Christmas for the kids we got a year-long membership to Marbles Children’s Museum in Raleigh, so we’ve also be frequenting there. It’s about an hour away, but it’s a really fun day-trip!

January has been especially awesome because of my Starbucks Holiday tumbler (free brewed coffee or tea every day in January!)…it was a gift from my close friend for Christmas, and I’ve used it literally every day this month! I feel so energized. [[Insert witty coffee meme here.]] Every morning I grab a coffee before heading to the gym, it’s part of my routine. And then I call my friends while I drive there. =)

I also got my old job back! I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to be able to work remotely from home. It’s a balance for sure, but it’s nice to be able to contribute financially. And if anything, it makes my time-management even better. Hope everyone’s new year is off to a great start!

Fall’s Been Fun.

Fall in NC is a very different experience—the leaves don’t change until October. It’s 70˚-80˚ out, and there’s not the crisp chill in the air that screams “Fall is here!” But alas, we’re already coming up on Halloween weekend and Daylight Saving’s Time. Cheers to it being dark at 4pm!

We’ve managed to have some fun outings this fall. We did a pumpkin patch with Daddy-O, and also snagged some pretty mums for the front porch. (I am obsessed with Mums!) We also went to a Farm and did all the fun Fall activities: fed farm animals, jumped in the bouncy house, went on a barrel ride, ventured through a hay-bale maze, and finished with a hayride and more pumpkin picking. It was an amazing time! We even got some yummy homemade lemonade and orangeade—which was actually quite delicious, I’d never tried it! Bennett, in classic 2-year-old fashion, was running all over the place like a crazy little monster. Soon we need to carve the pumpkins and watch Hocus Pocus, per our household tradition!

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Speaking of Bennett Monster, I stalked him with my camera while he was playing in the back yard the other day. He was adorable playing in the leaves! Anyway, I love how his sassy little personality shines through. I’ve really been enjoying taking photos again lately. Maybe I’ll do a post with some of those in a few days. I’d really like to do a gallery display of some of my work behind our couch, but that’s a project for another day.BennettFall1

As an aside, I tried my first Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks a couple weeks ago. I must say I’m not really a fan…sorry. The Peppermint Mocha is WAYYYYY better, and frankly, if I’m wasting calories on a fluffy beverage, it’s gonna be the Mocha all the way!

Horsing Around.

Horse Riding1A couple days ago McKenzie got to ride her first horse! Our wonderful friend, Krystal, was kind enough to bring us to her barn, and give McKenzie a lesson on Snickers, the mini horse! She was amazing with McKenzie, and said that she was very natural and intuitive around the horses. There was not a saddle for Snickers, so she got to ride bareback. As Krystal said, if you can ride bareback you can ride with a saddle!

HorseRiding2McKenzie LOVED every minute! She got to learn technical skills (like directing the horse), and basic horse safety. For example, say to their side so they can see you, and never stand behind a horse. After her lesson, she even got to brush him and walk him around! He was not “broken,” so it was also great practice for Snickers.Horse Riding5There were also 4-week old kittens at the barn, and McKenzie was in love with them. She took the opportunity to name them: Dime, Troublemaker, Nosey, and Mittens. All-in-all, McKenzie was very excited to put her cowgirl boots to good use! It was an amazing afternoon, spent with wonderful friends and animals!

Kittens!

It’s been awhile.

I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since I’ve written a blog! Needless to say, a lot has happened over the past six-months. 4-birthdays, a summer vacation, a new school year, wonderful visits from family, and that doesn’t even begin to cover it all!

BUT. I can honestly say I’m the happiest and most content I’ve been in a long time, on a personal level. I’ve taken a lot of time to focus on me, and my goals. I’ve been in the gym 5-days-a-week, and I feel stronger and more confident than I have since I can remember.  I run an 8-minute mile and lift weights daily. ((I have my soccer legs back, you guys!)) I’ve been focusing on fitness, rather than weight loss, and the difference is amazing. I just feel better. I’m working out for me, and that change in mindset has done wonders.

And I’ve also gotten very close with some amazing, genuine, and fun people, whom I absolutely love having in my life. We’ve had many fun times that include great conversation, great food, and an abundance of wine. =)

And the kiddos are getting so big! McKenzie turned 7 and Bennett turned 2 in August. McKenzie is doing very well in school, and is currently loving soccer. She even scored the first goal of the season! And Bennett—let’s just say he’s a little handful! He’s so strong-willed and knows exactly what he wants. But they have great fun together, and they’re beginning to play really well. It’s fun to see! ♥

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Anyway, I’ll be better about blogging, I swear!