Thursday, December 31, 2009


Happy New Year!!!!!!

I'm skipping a bunch of posts that I will eventually go back to (Rosemary's second birthday, Christmas, and other fun things we've been up to in December) because I realized tonight that it is not only a new year, but a new DECADE as well! (edit: I stand corrected. Technically, the next decade doesn't begin until next year. Alas, I am treating this as a new decade. I've entered a new decade in my life, and I could use the change so why not?) The last time it was a new decade was also a new millenium. There was all that Y2K hype and people were stock piling canned goods in the event there was a major crisis. Obviously there was no global crisis (though the State Library of Florida's av system did experience a minor malfunction that was since corrected). Here are my highlights (and there are many) from the past decade:

- Celebrated New Years 2000 in Jackson Square in New Orleans!!!! I had the most awesome gold and black dress. It was bitchin!
- Southwest Odyssey Road Trip. I can't believe it's been 10 years. I'm still scrapbooking this trip! We drove from Jacksonville, Florida to New Mexico. It was the most amazing trip of our lives (and we've since traveled all over Europe as well). We saw the mystery lights of Marfa, Texas, Smoky the Bear's home, had a conversation about the subtelties of French cuisine with a truck driver and a true local Texan, saw the sunset over the Grand Canyon, hiked into the Grand Canyon, saw so many amazing sights and met so many amazing people.
- First career as a library technical assistant. I think I should have gotten my MLS. Perhaps one day....
- Got married. That was a biggie!
- Between Joe and I, we received 4 college degrees.
- Moved to Tampa.
- Traveled to the Czech Republic. Words cannot explain how beautiful this country is. We WILL return!
- Traveled to Europe (12 countries in 14 days). Awe-inspiring.
- Spent Christmas in London.
- Got my masters in elementary education and worked in an inner-city school, and for the first time in my life, my optimism turned to heartache, which turned to anger. It's been 2 years and I'm just now coming out of my shock at how the atrocity that living in poverty can affect children. And still looking for a way of making it all better. I will find a way. Though perhaps it will be behindd a library desk ;)
- A couple cruises, road trips, and many miscellaneous vacations (including a baby moon in Duck, NC).
- Bought a house.
- Added a baby to our family. Rosemary is the best thing ever to happen to us!
- I became a stay-at-home mom. I love my job.

Joe and I had a brief discussion tonight and decided that there is NO way to top the decade we've had. But we both agree, the most wonderful thing is that we've shared it together. We are blessed to have each other. And if the next decade holds less stamps in our passport and less mileage on our cars, at least it will hold more memories of our family, which is the most important thing.

My New Year's Resolutions:

Personal Improvement:
- Get more exercise, sleep, and improve posture.
- Do a better job at reaching out to people I care about.
- Remain positive no matter what challenges I may face.

- Learn some new cooking techniques and recipes.
- Continue improving the organization in my house.
- Paint the living room.
- Add curb appeal by figuring out what to do with the front beds.

I don't know what the new year (or new decade!) holds for me and my family, but I am sure whatever it is, it will be wonderful. I am truly blessed. I always thought if I ever wrote an autobiography, it would be called "Lucky." If the past year has taught me anything, it is that you need to let the people close to you know how you feel. So, anyone who took the time to read this- Thank You, whoever you are.

West Virginia

I have tons to catch up on and thankfully I'm ending the year with a working camera so I can do it all in pictures! First up, West Virginia!

It was a looooong car ride. On the Sunday after Thanksgiving we loaded up my parents mini-van with luggage and Christmas gifts and headed up to West Virginia. Luckily there were enough people to split the driving time so my dad and Joe alternated. We also decided to make the drive over two days, eight hours a day, rather than one long stretch. We did get pretty cozy in the good old Honda Odyssey. Here's a pic of Romy playing with the phone:

That night we stayed at an awesome new Marriott outside Charlotte, NC. They had a game room complete with a Wii and a poker table. After a few hands of poker, my parents volunteered to put Rosemary to sleep while Joe and I played some mean games of tennis, bowling and bowling. He kicked my butt, but he was gentlemanly enough to let me win a time or two.
The next day we finally made it to Berkeley Springs. Here's a picture of the stream you have to cross to get to my sister's little chalet on Sleepy Creek Mountain. Her house is absolutely amazing. I don't have any good pictures of it so you'll just have to take my word. It's a little log cabin on 5 acres that she has transformed with her nursery and gardens into a little wonderland.

While my sister and brother-in-law are reason enough to make the drive, the real star of the trip was little Malachite Sky. What a sweet baby boy! While he may not look so happy in this picture of the happy grandparents with their grandkids, this was one of the few times he cried during our two days up there. He is a little dream.
I'm not the only one who feels that way. We dressed them up in matching Christmas pjs and Rosemary did not stop kissing him long enough to get a picture of both of their faces! I think she's a little smitten with her cousin! Could that be a sign to me and Joe that perhaps she's ready for a sibling?
Aunt Terra has a trampoline on her land so we had a little family-time on it. This is one of my favorite pictures from this year and it made it onto our Christmas card.
This is the only picture I got of my sister and I with our babies. I think it's kind of cute!
We did Christmas that night. Terra got Rosemary and I a YogaKids dvd that I really wanted! Now that we're home, I put it in and we do a little yoga after breakfast each morning.
Rosemary really loves her yoga. She set up the teddy bear my brother-in-laws family got her and her Sleeping Beauty doll my mom gave her into downward dog position and then climbed up on the table and joined them. She's a little hoot! But if you tell her that, she'll say "I'm not a hoot, I'm a baby."

We had an incredible time in West Virginia. Berkeley Springs can only be described as a place right out of a Hallmark or Lifetime Christmas movie. A small art and spa town, history is everywhere! George Washington was one of the original surveyers. The small downtown area is adorable. The mountains are majestic. It even has a castle. Joe and I fell in love with it and have been fighting the urge to pack up and move the family ever since we got back. But, alas, timing is everything, and for some reason something is keeping us in Tampa for now. Perhaps that something could be a good job and a house. That whole responsibility thing is kind of a drag. At least we have a reason (or two or three) to go back. I hope it won't be too long before we can see Malachite again. He is precious!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rosemary update

I know, I still haven't updated with pics of our West Virginia adventure. But I just had to share my happy news!

Rosemary had her 2 year checkup today. My baby that once lost so much weight that we were freaking out and having weight checks several times a week is now in the 75th-90th percentile! All that hard work paid off! I'm so happy to have a healthy, happy big girl! I couldn't be a happier mom after that news!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


We finally got home from our Thanksgiving in Jax with my parents and in-laws and our early-Christmas celebration in West Virginia with my sister and family. I just finished downloading 155 pictures. There's no way I'd be able to put up all the pictures so I chose just a few from Thanksgiving for now. It was a really nice Thanksgiving. As always my mom went all out with the dinner. This year, however, she had some help. Here's a picture of Rosemary rolling out the pie crust.

While the food was cooking, my mom, mother-in-law, and I made Rosemary a candy cane tutu! I've been wanting to get one made for this year. Rosemary loved it! Here she is spinning! Oh- and we had enough tulle leftover so we made her a bow for her hair, too.

My mom, the genius that she is, also made us these adorable turkey aprons. She didn't use a pattern, she just made them up herself. I think she needs to sell them next year.
We all ate WAY too much food, watched lots of Lifetime Christmas movies, and did nothing but relax. Rosemary loved the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade- she started clapping when Santa came on!
After the Thanksgiving celebration settled down, Joe, Rosemary, my mom, my dad, and I all made ourselves very comfortable in their minivan and drove up to West Virginia to meet Malachite. Pictures from that adventure will come next. I need to go rest!