Life's Sweet Journey: Life
Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A February Currently Giveaway!

Happy February!! 
Joining in with this month's Currently edition for a little peek at my month! 

{Packing} I am technically still unpacking from our trip to Vegas, because I am HORRIBLE at unpacking from a trip (it was a month ago)! But I think I will just save some of those clothes and throw them in Flo for our trip out to Peace River next weekend!

{Jonesing} For a good cup of coffee!! I have been trying to cut back on my endless coffee consumption and I think I am doing well... at least until someone asks me what I want. "A cup of coffee! A very strong cup of coffee!!" If you are jonesing for a cup or two yourself there are a few days left to enter my 'Adventure Fuel' giveaway over on Instagram!

{Texting} There are typically about two people in my life that I am texting on a consistent basis; either the hubs or my bestie. So I am sure it's one of them. A lot of them lately have read "adulting is hard! Why didn't anyone tell us that adulting was for the birds?!"

{Reading} A couple different things; including The Mapmakers Apprentice for book club, which is the second book in the Glass and Steel series. I had never even heard of the series until the first book was picked for last month's read. We were all so enthralled with it that the second book was picked for this month! I am also halfway through Sketchy Tacos, a new YA travel novel by Meg D. Gonzalez. I have actually never really read a travel fiction novel before and am loving it! Having the scenes of a different culture set the backdrop, while the storyline of the main character, Mila, plays out is really neat! Check back in on the 8th for more about Sketchy Tacos and an interview with the author! In the meantime take a peek at the book trailer here.

{Hearting} Amazingly sweet friends who know my love for adventure well and the new double hammock they got us! Can't wait to try it out soon!! I am also hearting their gorgeous videos! Amanda and Dustin make up the Simple & Speraw team. They are a wonderful couple, with huge hearts and awesome videography skills! Any video needs in your future? Definitely plan to check them out! 

Thanks for stopping by! 
What is your February currently looking like?! 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Adventure Fun and A Giveaway!

Happy FriYAY Friends!! 
It has been quite a busy few weeks around these parts, so I figured I'd play a quick game of catch-up on some of my adventures with a little 5 on Friday fun! Here's a peek at my world recently!

Big Adventures! We just got back from our trip to Vegas and I can't wait to share all the awesome details! We had gotten a really great deal to head out to Vegas, but we had to stay on the Strip. I was honestly feeling only so-so about it; we had done The Strip before and really didn't feel the need to go again, but a getaway is a getaway. You guys?! Vegas can be an adventure-lovers paradise, as long as you plan right! We did some research and had a great time exploring all the outdoor fun that Vegas can offer! More to come later... 

Big Dreams! We hit up the Florida RV Supershow on Saturday and Oh. My. Goodness!! I have never seen so many RVs in all my life. I was in RV heaven! We were there over 6 hours and probably didn't even see half of the things we could have seen. Apparently this is the biggest RV show in the country and I believe it! We were exhausted by the end of the day, BUT we did settle on what we think we want for a full-time RV layout! Here's to hopefully making that dream a reality very soon... 

Big Kid Fun! On Tuesday I got to check out The Crayola Experience with a friend of mine and her two kiddos. They have annual passes and it was bring-a-friend month. I honestly thought, "oh this will be a cute little experience, something kind of cheesy, but fun for kids. She and I will hang out, the kids will play and we will color a picture or two." This was 90s-kid amazingness!! It was like a was reliving my childhood! I was sucked in from the moment I walked in and loved every minute! There were so many fun stations set up! I got to make some spin-art, my own seahorse crayon, create a crayon with my name on it and make my art come to life! I could have stayed all day!! If you live near one of the Crayola Experience locations (there's one in Minneapolis, Easton in Pennsylvania and Orlando) you should definitely check it out (kids or no kids)! It's $20 for a day ticket or $30 for an annual pass. 

Little {critter} Adventures!! On Thursday I took the kids I nanny for to Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge for the morning. I LOVE this place! It is such a great little Orlando gem. They are an animal rescue and rehab facility that has a wildlife walk open to the public, which allows you to see their resident animals (animals that can't be released back into the wild). We spent the morning chatting with the one-eyed owls, visiting the sneaky fox, and laughing with the lemurs! The people that work with and tend to the animals are also super sweet and answered little (and big) ones curious questions and told us each animals name. You could tell they really love being there (human and animal alike)! Because the land surrounding Back to Nature is also an Eagle Nesting Area, they are tucked back in the middle of protected land, so even tough you are just minutes away from civilization you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. The eagles were actually there nesting and that was a cool thing to get to see! There is a $5 donation fee (per person over 3) to see the animals, but if you just prefer to go out to see the eagles the trails around Back to Nature are open for free. There is a trail that takes you down to the lake and some that are tucked in the woods a little bit down the road. It would make for a good full day of exploring if you do it all (make sure to bring along a sandwich)! 

Adventure Giveaways!! Planning some adventures of your own?! I am hosting a little "Adventure Fuel Giveaway" over on Instagram. Go grab yourself some fuel to get those adventure plans flowing! No Instagram? No worries! Simply leave a blog post comment sharing somewhere fun you have been exploring (or somewhere you are hoping to explore soon) and you are entered! If you do have Insta you can enter there too and have double the entries! Good luck! Winner will be announced next Friday, Feb 3rd.

Hope your Friday is off to a beautiful start! 
Have a fabulous weekend!! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

30 Life Lessons for my 30th Birthday

Happy first Tuesday of 2017!! I hope your year is off to a great start. I turned 30 at at the end of 2016 and this week I am sharing a little review of some of those celebrations. I figured I would kick it off with some of the things life has taught me the last 30 years. Life is an ongoing learning process and each day- each year- teaches us more of who we are and the kind of person we want to be.
Here are 30 things I have learned in 30 years of life....
1.) Age is just a number! That has never felt more real than it does now.
2.) Life will change you; let it! I never much liked change, but I have learned to embrace it, because it’s going to happen no matter what you try to do to prevent it. If someone had asked me when I turned 20 where I planned to be when I was 30, the answer would have been very different from where my life currently is. And I am more than ok with that!
3.) Throw the list away! All the checklists, the pictures you draw and plans you lay that you will just be devastated by if they don’t happen by such and such date, just chuck them. If you cling too tightly to them you don't allow yourself the space to just live.
4.) People are people; we all have hurts and hang-ups, so let’s all just cut each other some slack.
5.) People need people! As much as I enjoy time to myself- which I actually enjoy more and more the older I get- I have also become increasingly aware that we can’t make it through this life alone. We need people to lean on and we need to be a place that they can lean when needed.
6.) Life is hard; don't take it too seriously or it will seriously take you! 
7.) Just be kind! I think those three little words hold so much. 
8.) Relationships are work; but they are worth it. True friendships, spouses, parent/ child, siblings… they all require a sacrifice of self in some way, they mean being part of somebody else’s messy moments, but they also mean sharing your mess in return. Having someone to help you carry your heavy is so very, very worth it!
9.) Finding yourself will happen over and over again! The person I am today is so different than the person I was even 5 years ago. It don’t think it means I never knew who I was, I just think it means that throughout a lifetime we can be so many different things. The things I will experience between here and my 40s will probably mean the picture will be even more changed by then. I’m ready for it!
10.) Give yourself grace! You’re only human, you will make mistakes, forgive yourself!
11.) A smile has a way of catching! Share them freely!
12.) Find what you love and make time to do it as often as you can!!
13.) Some things won’t ever make sense, so don’t even try to understand them- it will just make you so much more confused!
14.) There will always be something that needs to be done, it’s ok to leave time to shut-off for a while and just rest!
15.) You don’t owe anyone anything- yes, we should be kind; yes, we should care for others. We should be giving and generous, but at the end of the day you are only in charge of yourself, don’t let other peoples choices define anything about who you are or take any ounce of happiness from you. 
16.) Hold the people you love close, you never know when it might be the last time you see them.
17.) Forgiveness can sometimes be hard to give, but it’s heavier to hold onto.
18.) A partner who gives you freedom to be yourself is greater than gold!
19.) Marriage is no different than life, it has it’s hard days and it’s easy ones; let the easy ones define who you are as a couple!
20.) Never stop dating! Plan things that you both love and make time to do them. And, every so often, do something that only the other person enjoys; their smile will make you love it too!
21.) Alone time is needed!! Take yourself on dates, just you. Remind yourself why you LOVE being you!
22.) Don’t apologize for being who you are! There are going to be people you just don’t mesh with and that’s ok, but don’t ever make excuses for who you are because someone doesn’t agree with your choices. Simply agree to disagree and move on.
23.) Don’t compare! With all the avenues of social media, this has never been more true. You never know the struggles someone is facing behind that glittering, perfectly-filtered door.
24.) Don’t judge someone on their down days; really just don’t judge period! Give people the freedom to just be.
25.) The real world is better! I can be the absolute worst with my phone, with scrolling Insta and FB, but making more of a point to put the phone down always reminds me that looking up is so much more bright and beautiful.
26.) There is so much of the world to explore! Try to enjoy as much of it as you can!
27.) Love is a verb! Love is not that pitter-patter feeling in your chest; that is the feeling you get when infatuation may have the chance of turning into Love. Love is the commitment to wake up each morning and walk alongside someone; it is remembering the things that will make the other person happy and then doing them. Love falls hard into bed at the end of a long day and still thinks to say, “I’m glad you’re the one by my side.”
28.) There is always hope!
29.) Look for the beauty around you- in the world, in people. It’s always there; in the helping hands, in the sunshine after the rain, sometimes even in the rain itself. The way we choose to see the world is what it will become for us.
30.) Always remember how truly beautiful you are! You were made specifically for this time right now, don’t forget that!

There is so much I could add to the list; 30 years is a lot of life and a whole lot of learning. But we will leave it there for now, who knows what the next decade will have in store... 

How about you? 
What has life taught you up to now? 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Five on Friday! Camping and Birthdays and Giveaways, Oh My!

Happy Friday Friends!! 
It has been one whirlwind of a few weeks since we got back from our trip on the Allure of the Seas, so I figured we would do a little catchup with some 5 on Friday fun today!

Here is a peek into my world recently... 

~Camping with Friends~ This past weekend we headed down to Fort De Soto to do a little camping with our friends, Amanda and Dustin. This was the first time we went camping with another couple since we got Flo and we has a blast! We introduced them to Geocaching, they introduced us to the wonderfulness that is hammock-tent camping (this is on my Christmas list for if we ever go backpacking); we explored, relaxed and ate all the foods. It was a wonderful time, in the great outdoors, with like-minded people.

~Yummy Barbecue~ Anytime we go camping we try to pick a different BBQ place to try near (or on our way to) each destination, so on the way home from Fort De Soto we stopped at Deuces BBQ in St. Pete. YUM!! This place was not only super cute (a little blue building with picnic tables out back for those who enjoy to eat outside like us), but also had a really authentic, home-cooked BBQ vibe. The smoker was out back and the guy was still cooking when we got there (we actually arrived a little before it was open). It must be a really knit together community, because they knew we were from out of town. They guys running it were great and the food was delicious! There is some kind of distinct seasoning combination they use, because I could taste it in everything I got from the mac-n-cheese to the sweet sauce they had and it made it a truly unique and delightful experience. I love when BBQ places have their own flavor combinations, because it makes them stick out in my mind. They also had AMAZING sweet tea!! I was sold and would definitely go back again. I got the pulled pork sandwich and Babe got the rib sandwich. They load you up, so you could also totally share! 

~Birthday Extravaganza Weekend~ Babe turns old TODAY!! He is currently out kicking-off the celebration with his sister at the new Star Wars: Rogue One movie. When he gets back we are officially celebrating the beginning to his 33rd year of life! Then on Saturday we celebrate my big day. I will be turning the big 3-0 on Sunday (eek)!! I can't believe I am going to have been alive for 3 decades!! We took the cruise as my main celebration, so we will spend the evening with a few close friends and call it a close. #BonVoyage20s

~Trip Planning~ We are heading out the day after Christmas for a little camping near St. Augustine and I am so excited!! While we will spend most of the time at Faver Dykes State Park, we are going to head into St. Augustine for one of the days. I really want to see the fort (surprisingly enough I have never been there, despite the fact that it is typically a Florida field trip right of passage) and we were told to see the Christmas lights on the bridge, but other than that I am not sure where else to go or what to eat. Too many options can make me go a little bonkers!! Has anyone been? Any recommendations for places we must see and food we must devour?! I would love some tips in the right direction!

~Happy Feet and a Giveaway~ So, I received these cushioned foot pads to try from a company called Sole Patches. Maybe it has something to do with being almost 30, but y'all, my feet hurt! My poor little piggies are so tired and worn out by the end of the day. I was excited for the chance to give these a try and I am so happy I got the opportunity. Game changer!! Sole Patches come in a set of 6 for $9.95 (you can get them through their website or on Amazon for those with Prime) and in my mind that is pretty reasonable for how well they work and how long they last. There are two options for wearing your Sole Patch. You can apply it directly to your foot for day of use or apply it directly to a shoe and it will stay until it's worn down, which would take a while (at least at the rate I wear my heels). I tried it on my foot, under the ball of my foot where I tend to get the most discomfort, and wore it with my tennis shoes. Honestly, I have been needing to invest in better shoes for a while now, but haven't taken the time to get a pair. The Sole Patch helped to keep me comfortable and even provide a little support. I applied another pair directly to my heels. 

Guys, these heels are the bane of my existence! I wear them maybe once a year, mostly because I dread putting them on so much! My feet slide forward and they feel hard as rocks. The Sole Patch changed that completely!! They kept my feet in place, so that my toes didn't pinch in the front and gave me the cushioning I needed to not feel like I was walking on needles. Does it mean I will be wearing them every weekend?! Doubtful! I'm a woods girl, not a downtown gal, but the Sole Patches will come in handy for big events, like weddings or my birthday this weekend when girlfriends try to convince me I must wear those horrible beasts of a shoe. Sole Patches definitely made my feet far more happy!

And now you can have the chance to make your tired toes happy too!! I am giving away a box of Sole Patches (and a pair of cute cozy socks) to one lucky winner! Just enter below. The winner will be chosen and emailed on Monday. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!! 
What's going on in your world recently?

**This post was sponsored by Sole Patches and BrandBacker, but all opinions are entirely my own. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Weddings, Tacos, Books and Adulting! Happy FriYAY!!

Happy FRIYAY Friends!! 
I hope today finds you soaking in all of the Friday glory! 

It has been a busy few weeks around these parts, so I figured I would play catch up with a little 5 on Friday fun!! Here's a little slice of my life lately... 
This past weekend my brother-in-law got hitched! It was a beautiful wedding and a weekend filled with fun and celebration!! I must say I got a little emotional. Weddings don't typically do that to me, but I think just watching someone I love so much (two people I love so much) make that commitment to each other, had a way of making the tears well up a bit. It could have also been the crazy nerves! I mean how often does one get to be Best Woman (I stood on the grooms side)?! The day I got asked I started planning out my speech and for some reason Fresh Prince of Bel-Air popped into my head. So I may have added in a little bit of rap! The rap part actually went better than I expected; it was the sappy sentimental part at the end that got me good! Dang emotions!!

I may have also gotten stuck in an elevator! It may, or may not, have been as we were leaving the reception, with the bride and groom in tow. Thankfully Babe was not on the elevator with us, meaning we knew someone was working tirelessly to free us! In hindsight we can laugh about it! I also find it incredibly ironic that the only picture I got with the groom/bro-in-law (on my phone) was whilst stuck in said elevator during an intense life situation. Fitting, I guess!!

You guys?! Maybe it is just the lingering emotions, but my tears seem to be so close to the edge recently. Has anyone else tried to reread The Giving Tree as an adult? I nanny for one of the cutest little two year olds you ever did see. Well, we sat down to read it before nap on Monday and I legitimately COULD NOT finish the book because my throat was catching too much and I was starting to cry. She of course then tried to get me to read it to her again on Thursday and I swear that she knew I hadn't finished it Monday for the sole purpose that I am a big cry-baby. She kept giving me sideways glances like "fight through your issues and actually finish it this time!" I would like to say that I made it through with only minor emotional pauses.

I have also been listening to The Hunger Games on audio book (FOR FREE; thank you Hoopla!) and it too has been making me tear up. The Reaping?! I couldn't do it! Katniss trying to protect her innocent sister?! I mean, I have already read The Hunger Games- multiple times- and only the end ever got to me before. Maybe it's just knowing how it all ends; or maybe there is some part of me that is yearning for my lost sense of youth. I could probably write a whole post on that... The feels are real, y'all!! P.S. Adulting is hard!!

I still think adulting is a sham, and that people should make a better point to tell you that, but it does have it's advantages. One being, there is no one to tell me that I can't eat 12 tacos in one sitting! Ok, so 12 may be an exaggeration- but only slightly! I have an affinity for tacos like it is nobody's business, so when the bride and groom gifted me with the best Best Woman present a girl could ever dream of I was as giddy as a kid at Christmas!! Not only was it the best shirt to ever be bestowed on my taco-loving heart, but I also get to go see Harry Potter in concert with my new sister!! Has anyone ever seen it? I have no idea what to expect. Music? Music and lines from the books?... we shall see!

And that's a little recap on where my life is lately!
Other than wedding-tears, books that make me cry and the tons of tacos needed to feed my emotions, I have been missing Babe like crazy (he's been traveling for work) and planning our next Flo adventure just as soon as we can get away!!

What's up in your world? 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Our Hurricane Matthew Plans

It's Thursday night and we are currently boarded up and tucked away at home to ride out Hurricane Matthew! This is our first major hurricane as a married couple. The last big storms that were expected to cause severe damage actually took place right before we met and started dating- nearly 12 years ago. As native Floridians we don't normally fret much over hurricanes. For us it usually means a day or two off school/ work and some puddles to jump in after. Matthew may have other plans though! Even Disney closed it's doors, so when that happens you know you need to worry a bit- Disney doesn't close down for anything! So we prepped as much as we thought needed (sand bags, propane, making sure Flo was nice and stabilized) and stocked up on tons of snacks. We are praying for minimal damage to our community, for our neighbors, for those in the area looking for shelter, and for all those in places where Matthew has already been and who are currently dealing with the aftermath of the storm. 

So, while the weathermen have us fearing the worst and made sure we are tucked away as safely as possible, here is how we are combating the "locked-in blues" until we are truly hunkered down when Matthew fully hits in a few hours... 

1.) This post! I am currently supposed to be at work, but hurricanes do occasionally have their bonuses and, while I love my jobs, I am thankful for a day off to storm prep with my sweet hubs, check in on mom and dad, and have the extra time that I wouldn't typically have to devote to this little blog! 

2.) Movie Marathons! That is until the power cuts out!! We have been picking through Amazon Prime movies. We just watched Invasion with Nicole Kidman and are working on our next pick! Come on power! You can do it!! Just stick with it!! 

3.) Games!! I am assuming we will playing endless games of rummy by lantern light, just as soon as the power goes out! We also have Sorry and Scrabble on hand if we get tired of cards. 

Doesn't it just drive you crazy when you FINALLY finish a puzzle only to find two pieces missing?! Ahhh, oh well!
4.) Puzzles!! I just finished one puzzle that had taken me For-Eh-Vor! (said in full Squints from Sandlot accent) to complete! Not sure how thrill Babe is about the idea, but I can't wait to start a new one!! How pretty is this 1000 piece Cinque Terre puzzle?! Gets me right in my wanderlusting heart!! 

5.) Reading!! One of my absolute favorite things to do during a storm is to curl up in a cozy chair with a good book!! The rain on the roof, a warm cup of coffee, all wrapped snug-as-a-bug in a blanket with a book in my lap?! That is absolute bliss!! Anything good you are reading lately? I just got Harry Potter and The Cursed Child from a friend and CAN'T WAIT to jump in!! 

Now, here's to hoping I can actually stay in a cozy chair and not need to be hiding out in the hallway. Either way though- hallway or cozy chair- I am thankful to have a save place to weather out the storm! 

Praying for all my Florida friends and family! Stay safe! 

And for those not here, how are you spending your weekend? 
 Do something outside and adventurous for me! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesdays Together: The Drafting Desk and the Color of Hope

Happy Tuesday Friends!!
This post will be a bit different than recent posts, but I wanted to brag on some of my friends for a bit! I am so blessed to have some pretty incredible people in my life. People who use their stories, their heartbreaks, their imperfections (or uber-perfections that they have a hard time letting go of) and pour their souls open in hopes of letting others know that they aren’t alone. A few of those friends recently took big leaps of faith and today I want to share where that willingness to jump in has found them…

Lindsey and Rebekah are sweet friends that I know through church. Lindsey and I became close when we were working together in children’s ministry, before she moved to Michigan (boo for Florida, but yay for her new home state). We were also part of a sweet writers group. I miss her, but I have loved watching her story continue as she raises her growing family in a place where the seasons change! Lindsey considers herself a recovering perfectionist and, out of desire for her own heart to have something to remind her that it’s all about grace, she reached out to a gal named Rebekah and together they have began The Drafting Desk. It is a monthly newsletter filled with all kinds of goodness for those looking for a reminder to cut yourself some slack. We all need that, don’t we?! Though I wouldn’t consider myself a perfectionist (recovering or otherwise) I often find myself envying people who are. On a day when I have, yet again, failed at daily life tasks like getting my clean laundry off the couch (for the 3rd day in a row) and into the closet, I grind my teeth and curse myself for not being good at "adulting" and wonder if I will ever get better or if my poor husband will be left taking care of all the housework until we are both old and gray! I am looking forward to an inbox full of encouragement reminding me that it’s ok... It’s ok to be myself, flaws and all, because I was saved by Grace and my worth isn’t in the laundry on the couch, or the waffles in the shower (more on that another day), it’s in Jesus. That’s it, that’s all, amen! In Lindsey's own words, "The Drafting Desk is for all of us who are exhausted from the constant pursuit of "better and need encouragement to choose Grace instead of perfection." 

To join in simply head to their site to subscribe and also follow them over on Instagram. Their newsletters include great freebies like monthly printable prayers, plus phone and desktop wallpaper! 
                                                   the color blue and hope

My sweet friend Jenna; her story is one that can often find my heart in my knees and my brain playing through all the ways she shows how strong a person can be with the right amount of hope. Jenna is a mama of 4, with two babies here on Earth with her and two babies who are in heaven and always in her heart. Jenna writes about her journey over on her blog, The Color Blue and Hope, and her words can share her story much better than I could. She has taken the grief of losing her two baby boys and found the strength to make her pain something that can benefit others. Jenna is using The Color Blue and Hope as a platform to create care boxes for women who are fighting for the life of their child while on bed rest and for those who are grieving the loss of an infant. Jenna is loving on these ladies from a place of understanding and helping them to feel cared for.
You can learn more about her plans and read some of her story here on Instagram. You can also donate money towards a box, that will help show a sweet mama that she is not suffering alone, here at GoFundMe. Sadly, so many of us know someone who has lost an infant or we have a friend doing their best to stay in bed because doctors have told them their baby might not make it if they don't. Seeing Jenna use her story to help support those woman is something I feel blessed to get to witness!! 

I am hoping that today finds you with time to lift someone else up, to come together in community and support one another! That's what we are here for; we are here to love each other and cheer one another on! 

Who in your life could use a cheerleader? 
What friends of yours have taken big leaps of faith recently?
Share them, please! I would love to "meet" them!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Flamingos and Fridays and All Things YAY!

FriYay! It's Friday!! 
I love Friday! One, because HELLO WEEKEND! 
Two, because Babe as been gone all week and he comes home today! 

We have been all over the place recently, so I thought I would play a little bit of catch-up around these parts by joining in for a little 5 on Friday! We will start with the most recent first... 

~1~ With Babe gone all week I got to enjoy a healthy dose of home-aloneness! I love the man, dearly, but I also think time apart can be a good thing. A week without Babe typically looks like this: popcorn for dinner EVERY night (Whirley Pop, I LOVE you), scary-slasher film marathon (think Scream; they're my guilty, 90s-kid-at-heart pleasure), total bed-hogging, a super messy house (which I will be cleaning all day since I promised I would try to do housework), and a slumber party with my mom's pup (Babe does not approve of dogs in the bed- don't show him this picture)! Ok, so maybe not the healthiest after all (for my body anyways), but so good for my soul!! I love a little bit of time for me! Plus, it makes me appreciate him all the more... especially when a hurricane might be coming and he asks me to go outside (in the rain, while it's pitch black dark, wearing only my robe) so that I can place sandbags along the length of the french doors. Then, I asked, "well, how do I get back in?!" and he responds that, duh, I have to run to the front... cue complete downpour! Ok Babe, you can come home now!!

~2~ Before Babe left, we took off for the weekend to Rainbow Springs State Park for some river tubing (post coming soon) and I fell even more in love with sweet Freddie the Flamingo! I had originally purchased him for the kids to use on our Georgia trip, but I have since adopted him as my own (which I may or may not have had in mind the whole time)! Flamingos make the absolute best floats and here's why- perfect head rest!! Seriously, the neck of the flamingo is great for all the resting of the head! It can go behind your neck as a cradle or can be folded down behind your back to form a chair; should you wish to sit up a little more! Also, if you want to flip and lay on your stomach, you can rest your chin up on it by tucking it under. Seriously, get yourself a flamingo float! Now all we need is a River Rat for Babe! 

~3~ Babe and I have recently been big into playing games! We have an ongoing rummy game that we have been playing for years, but we have recently been throwing in some other games too. One of my favorites from childhood is SORRY! We pulled it off the shelf and started playing. Then, after the first game, we decided to make it a little more interesting and I came up with the idea for Double Sorry! It is a really neat way to put a little more thought into the game and make it last a bit longer too. Here's how you play: Instead of just having one color you choose two colors. You set them up exactly how you would regularly and begin playing. You don't actually go twice (meaning you don't go once for one color, wait for the other person to go and then go go for the other color), you still go once, but when you draw a card you can choose which color you are going to move. For example, if you were playing yellow and red and you drew a two, you could choose to take either a red piece from start or a yellow piece. Then let's say you get a 5 when you draw again, you could move a piece of the opposite color (i.e. move the red from start, but the yellow 5). The first person to get all of their pieces (of both colors) to Home wins. It adds a little bit more strategy to the game. We love it! 

Any games you love?! Either tweaked or not tweaked?! We would love some good two player game ideas! 

~4~ I just got through listening to the sweetest audio book (thank you Hoopla) for this month's book club! A Man Called Ove is a must read! I wasn't sure if I would like it or not, but my heart was so invested in sweet, grumpy old Ove and his story. He lost his wife a few months before the book takes place and all he wants in the world is to die so that he can be with her, but a rag-tag cast of neighbors, who can't seem to get by without his help, keep getting in the way of ending his life. This story pulled on my heartstrings for so many reasons, but I think a good bit of the pulling may have been because, in some ways, Ove reminded me of Babe- my own grumpy, hard-working, sees-the-world-in-black-and-white, not-so-secretly-soft-hearted, kinda-old man! I found myself dropping sweet tears many times throughout the book as I pictured what our lives might look like as we continue on this journey together. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy (or listen for free on Hoopla-all you need is a library card)! 

~5~ And now, not only is it Friday, but it's the Friday before Labor Day!! Three day weekend, please and thank you!! While we will probably be checking a lot of things off the to-do list this weekend, I am excited for an extra day to spend hanging with friends and relaxing (or doing his favorite thing... housework) with Babe! 

What are your plans for the long weekend?! 
Whatever they may be, I hope it is a wonderful one! 
Happy Friday Y'all!