Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Florida Flooding

We have had all kinds of rain thank you very much Debby.  Luckily our home has not flooded but I cannot say the same for our streets.  Sunday afternoon after returning from a bridal shower I could not make it home and had to park at my Mom's.  Dave had to pick me up in his truck which is commercial size.  I was finally able to get my car by noon the next day.  The picture below is our neighbor Matt.  He is in the middle of the road in front of our house.  Apparently, while I was at the shower my kids were also playing in the street with their boogie boards.  They have promised me that they did not go under water and showered immediately afterwards. (Dave confirmed the shower part) They know what a germ freak their Mother is.  Happy to report that while the winds are still very strong and closed several of our bridges the rains have calmed down and things are drying out a bit.  Until next time, welcome to hurricane season.  Gotta love Florida.

Relaxing in the pool, um street.

Friday, June 22, 2012

1st Swim Meet of the Summer

McKenlee had her first swim meet of the season last night. She did really well, I have always said that swimming is her sport. She is built like a swimmer, really tall and all arms and legs. I love watching her in the water it is the one place that she is really graceful. (McKenlee if you are reading this I mean that as a TOTAL compliment) She took first in every event except breast where she came in second and it was close.

 My cousin's daughter is visiting from Michigan and she came with me to cheer McKenlee on. It was a beautiful evening,  on and off rainy which kept the heat away and a storm that kept trying to do something gave us a beautiful breeze.

 My favorite part was how every time McKenlee got in the water (they don't use the blocks at this pool) she would look over to make sure I saw her and I would give her the thumbs up sign. It melted my heart, my grown up girl still wants to know her Mom is watching.
McKenlee and Ashley before her first event.

Kickin butt in the backstroke.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Lifeguard Life

Recently as a result of my daughter Sydnee's awesome job as a lifeguard she has gotten to experience some pretty cool things. First of all she was able to participate in a training day with the U.S Coast Guard and had a fantastic time. They swam out until they were in 15 feet of water and then had to perform tasks all while under the chopper and dealing with the crazy water and wind that the chopper creates. Of course, she thought the best part was the super HOT Coastie guys who did the train with them.
At the beach with the Coast Guard chopper flying in the background.

She gets to experience all kinds of great wildlife at Fort Desoto Park. Here she is with the resident Raccoon "Boo".
I guess Raccoon's really like Cat Food

Here she is helping the local Sea Turtle Rescue group mark the nests of Sea Turtles. She will also be volunteering when they hatch to help them make it to the ocean. As many of them get confused and need a little direction.
She loves this part of her job.

Such a lucky girl!!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Around here...

A lot has been going on around here.

1. We bought a new car.  Yes, I no longer drive the Mom-mobile mini van.  I will miss her she had a lot of space and accommodated tons of kids in her day but we were having all kinds of issues with her lately and it was time.  We bought a 7 seater Dodge Journey crossover which is way small in spite of the seven seats.  However, it is super sporty and has all these cool features like talking through the car with my phone. (I'm sure there is a technical name for this feature but I do not know what it is called.)  But since I was always trying to dig my phone out of my purse while driving when it was ringing and 85 percent of the time being unsuccessful I love this.  Plus, when I have to take my kids somewhere I am no longer hearing "can we PLEASE take the truck" they totally hated the van.

2. McKenlee's team won TOC's and had an undefeated season.  It was super exciting and she got this really cool trophy.  We also found out that she made the All Star team so softball is still going strong in our house.

3. Summer swim team has started so back and forth to the pool every evening I go.  (of course this is more fun in a brand new car.)

4.  We have some friends from England flying in Saturday for a spur of the moment trip.  We are very excited to spend time with them.

5. Looking forward to a relaxing week at the beach next month.

6. Totally enjoying having my girls out of school.  Days just seem much more laid back and relaxed.  Seems as though my evenings are still swamped though.  Sometimes I look at the clock and it is 10pm and I think how is that possible?  The evenings just fly by.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Father's Day weekend.

Friday, June 8, 2012

New Orleans...

Last weekend Dave and I traveled to "The Big Easy". One of my best friends Karen and her husband Mitch have a time share in the French Quarter and have been asking us to join them there for years. We finally made it. LOL We had such a great time. I always said if and when we visited New Orleans we wanted to do it with someone who knew the place. Someone, who could show us all the really neat places that you might miss if you didn't know about it. Let me tell ya Karen and Mitch KNOW NOLA. They took us to all these fantastic restaurants, awesome little bars and then some of the famous one's. We took a trolley car ride through the Garden District.  We enjoyed gorged ourselves  on biegnets from Cafe Dumonde. (Um, we did that twice OMG so amazing.)  Spent an afternoon drinking the famous Hurricanes and singing away to dueling pianos at Pat O'Briens pub.  We did some shopping in the French Market and walked around Jackson Square admiring the wares sold by the street vendors. (some amazing artists those street vendors)  We lit a candle in the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral.  I have to share a little story here:

We entered the beautiful cathedral and it is really something to see it reminded me of the old churches in England.  We took a minute and sat in the pews to take advantage of the chance to sit (after all our walking)  and the delicious air conditioning.  I saw that there was a place to light a candle, isn't this common with most Catholic churches?  I told Karen I wanted to light a candle and asked her how much she thought the required donation would be.  (she's Catholic she should know this right?)  She said a dollar, so we headed up to the candle lighting dollar in hand. Well, the suggested donation was $3 go figure.  So Karen laughed and said just put your dollar in and light the candle it's not like they are going to arrest you.  So I did.  After I lit the candle there was a shelf type thing that you laid the lighting stick on so I laid my stick on it.  I looked over at Karen so we could proceed back to our seats.  Karen's head was bowed in what I assumed  to be prayer, remember she's Catholic so I thought maybe she felt compelled.  After a few seconds I said "are you all right?"  She said "yes, I am just watching your lighting stick, when you put it with the others it ignited them and they all started to burn I wanted to make sure they all went back out."  I looked over and sure enough they were all burning but luckily were starting to die out.   Cheating the Cathedral out of $2 you might get away with but burning it down, not so much!

We ate at the most fantastic restaurants.  Dave decided he is now a huge gumbo fan and I am in love with anything muffaletta.  Who would of thought something as simple as a burger and baked potato could be so good but OMG "Port of Call" was amazing.  Biscuits and gravy old school right? Um, unless you are eating it at "Oceana" then it's like heaven on earth.  We visited Oak Alley Plantation and it was gorgeous, a real walk back in  time.  How amazing would it have been to live in that beautiful home and sip mint julips on the veranda back in the 1800's.  We ate lunch in the plantation restaurant and I had the best pecan pie I've ever tasted.  Notice a pattern here? New Orleans is all about the food.  LOL

 What a fantastic time and I could never thank Karen and Mitch enough for  inviting us to join them at one of the most famous places in the U.S.

Karen and I at Pat O'Briens.

Street view of Jackson Square you can see the cathedral in the background.

Outside Cafe Du Monde waiting for our beignets.


In the Quarter there are balconies everywhere totally covered by beautiful flower arrangements and ferns. Just like in the movies.

Dave and I at the "Cat's Meow"

In front of Oak Alley Plantation.