Wednesday, May 30, 2018

9.1.17-9.4.17 {labor day weekend}

Gosh... have I bragged on our good friends here, yet?
They seriously are the sweetest family and our get togethers are our favorite & nothing short of exciting!
We have dubbed ourselves the Adventure Club!
Our kids are about the same ages and they all just love each other & we all have the best time together!
They really make it worth staying in this city.

For Labor Day weekend, we packed up the cars and ventured down to Daytona Beach.
They found this amazing condo with a water park right on the beach.
Talk about a weekend full of fun & sun!  I'm glad I packed the GoPro so I could capture the best moments from the weekend!

Piper is our early riser.
Typically I moan and groan about how early she wakes up each day, but when you get to watch the sun rise over the ocean, I must admit it's moments like this that I'm glad she wakes up at {literally} the crack of dawn.

Friday, May 25, 2018


Just a week after school started, they were encouraging kids to take an excused absence from school to watch the eclipse.  We were actually told not to send our kids in for their safety as the eclipse would be occurring just at pick-up time.
So, we took advantage of the day off and kept Norah home.  We made makeshift viewing boxes since this mama dropped the ball on buying the glasses {and because it's way more fun to get crafty with your kids}.  It turns out it was pretty overcast and a little rainy here in Jacksonville, so we weren't even sure we would see anything, so we watched a lot of the coverage online from places getting a full eclipse.
The clouds broke just in time for us to see a glimpse of the moon passing over the sun.  I remember doing this with my 6th grade class many years ago, so it was exciting to share in the moment with the girls even if they were mostly more interested in playing than viewing.  Brad surprised us and arrived home from school just in time before the cloud coverage rolled back in.


Today, Norah starts her first day of Kindergarten.
I'm nervous.
It's a new area, we don't know a single person, her school is 20 minutes from home because it's a better school and in Florida, for whatever reason, you have the option to choose your school so your children aren't forced to go to a horrible school.  The school system is like nothing I've ever heard of.  You have your choice between magnet schools, charter schools, private schools, choosing another public school out of your area, or going to your designated school.  All because the school system is so bad here, so they create more schools instead of fixing the big problem.
But, I digress.  We didn't move here in time for Norah to go to the magnet or charter schools, which are preferred, so we chose the next best route and got her into an A rated public school.  The only problem is this mama has to drive her 20+ minutes to school every day.  But, let's be honest, I would drive her to school anyway... it's just the commute that will take some getting used to.


We were so lucky to have her Daddy home today to help with the drop off!  His work let him come in a little later so he could be a part of this big moment.  She loved walking along side him to school & I know he cherishes the moments he can be a part of with the girls.
Drop off was rough for her {which was no surprise to us as drop off was rough for her on her LAST day of pre-school}.  We are so fortunate that her school allows us to wait every morning with her until she has to line up for class.
But, she reported that she had a great first day of school & has made lots of new friends!


I'm not going to lie... Florida didn't give us the warmest of welcomes.  We were off to a rough start from the get go.
The city is one of the dirtiest I have been to and the people lack that southern hospitality you hear so much about.  Florida and I are not friends, but, it has warm weather and sunshine and sometimes those are the important things in life {probably not, but there's nothing better than hopscotch & playing in the dirt on a beautiful summer night}! ;)
As long as we have each other, we have it all.


It was a tough move for the girls.  
It was long, but most importantly, Texas had become home for all of us!  Norah started school in Texas.  She made her first real best friend there {you know, not a friend that you become friends with just because your moms hang out on the daily}, but C and Norah chose each other and that was one of the most difficult parts about this move.  And, of course, Piper only ever knew Texas.  She's still young, but it was still a big change for her!

We were so spoiled in Texas.
EVERYTHING was at our fingertips.
Whatever we wanted and wherever we wanted to go, was typically a short drive away.  And, although we moved to Florida's largest city, it turns out Orlando gets all of the fun stuff, so we're looking at an almost 3 hour drive to find the same entertainment we had in Texas.  :(

But, we wanted to do something for the girls for being such great sports with the move.  They don't fuss much on road trips even though we drag the drive out and make very few stops.
One of the girls favorite things to do in Texas was get dessert at the American Girl Cafe.  And, of course, the closest one is Orlando.  So, after Daddy returned home from his 2 week school, we jumped in the car for a day for the girls.
The Orlando store is much smaller than the Dallas store, but that didn't stop the girls from playing and shopping!  We managed to get reservations at the cafe and a salon spot right after to have their doll's hair brushed.  Norah fell in love with the doll hotel & could have spent all day gawking over it.

Sadly, as we sat down for dinner, a fever came over Norah and she spent most of the meal sleeping on the bench.  But, just as dessert was being served, she was well enough to decorate her cupcakes.  It wasn't the most successful trip to AG, but it was nice that the girls had a little bit of home a few hours away.