Monthly Archives: December 2015


We are back home. The pets are getting back into their regular routine, and we are too.

I had a super serious meeting today, which had the whole family worried. So imagine my surprise when I saw my blue bird family visiting. The timing of each of the visits has been super meaningful to me. Today it was as if they were here to reassure me that everything was going to be ok. Oh how I love and need my blue birds! Fingers crossed that I will not need them as often in 2016. It just has to be a better year!

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Christmas Day

Wow, what a day. Morning walks on the beach, a few rounds of corn hole, then inside for cooking. Samantha made us her traditional pumpkin pie, while the rest of us worked on the turkey, stuffing, sauteed green beans, and smashed potatoes. It was a little tricky cooking in someone else’s kitchen, but we pulled it off and had a tasty holiday dinner. After the traditional viewing of The Polar Express, we headed back to the beach for some time in the ocean. Check out my 2 favorite not so little people.


Super grateful for my little family right now as we prepare to head back home. Wonderful memories were made!


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Christmas Eve

We woke up at 5:30am so that we could get to Bowman’s beach at low tide (the best beach to collect shells and best time of day). So worth it on many levels. Check out the sunrise.

IMG_0942And the shells we had to pick from… for miles.


Later on, back at our beach, we made a sand angel…we named her Shelly.


We do have a tree, even though we are in sunny Florida. And egg nog!


Tomorrow – traditional turkey dinner after time on the beach. It does not get much better than that!


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Today we headed to the next island – Captiva. Not much in the way of shells, but like everything here, beautiful beaches. Check out our family selfie.

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And guess what we found…..

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Samantha and I have made it since Saturday (today is Wed) without it. Thank goodness for beach naps and beach beers 😉

On a more serious note, I have noticed a bunch of man made nests on both islands. Today we saw one of the nests on a pole at Captiva….complete with a bird nesting in it! I snapped a pic of it then consulted my bird ID guide when we got home. Check out this beauty.


She is an Osprey, a hawk. And, a quick Google search helped me learn why there is a need for man made nests. Click here to read the article.

Lastly, check out today’s sunset.


Do we have to go home?



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Bowman’s Beach

We headed to Bowman’s beach this morning. It was amazingly tranquil. Oh, and there were lots of birds. I got a few great pics of a Great Blue Heron and Brown Pelican. Check them out.

And, I was able to get my second Christmas present. A picture with Aidan with a genuine smile. He hates posing for pics so I had to be creative in how I got that smile. Check out my gift. I love it!


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J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge

This was our first stop on our Sanibel trip. Well, not totally true. We did take a walk on the beach and found tons of shells. More on that later. Here are our pics from J.N. Ding Darling. A great start to our holiday vacation!

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early holiday gifts

We are heading out of town for this place first thing in the am.

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 7.07.04 PMI am hoping the salty air will help clear my lingering cough and head cold.

Because of our travels, we decided to exchange one gift each tonight. First Rahul’s. We have been watching Master of None on Netflix. Super funny show. The 8th episode featured Paro, a robotic seal. Click here for more about Paro. Rahul fell in love with him. Yes, he is real and you can buy him, but he costs $6000. Yikes.I was determined to find an affordable version of Paro for my sweet, supportive husband. Thank goodness for Ebay. Check out our Paro. And PS – it does make you feel better to pet that thing, even though he is fake 🙂

Next up…me! We have been looking for art to hang above our new mantle since last spring. The family gifted me this to serve that purpose. So sweet and super meaningful to me this year.


And this gift from Rahul. He gets me and still loves me. Super grateful.

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Now for Aidan. Star Wars and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. True 12 year old boy.


Samantha asked for a taxidermied Rory from Furiously Happy. She is my mini me. I settled on a Rory puppet instead.


Now for her gift to me. Trust me there is a story behind it, and that story is in Furiously Happy. She listened the chapter “I’ve found a kindred soul and he has a very healthy coat” with me and then recreated it for me as a gift. I was cracking up laughing when I opened it.


Super meaningful gifts all around. Oh, and the kids got iPhones. Sigh. We tried holding off as long as we could. Parental peer pressure! We are learning as we go. Wish us luck.









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