Mexico // October 2017

We arrived home from Chicago on Monday and were back at the airport on Friday to leave for Mexico! To say we had a busy October would be an understatement. We were off to Cancun to celebrate Maggi & Greg’s wedding.

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The flight to Cancun was quick and easy! As soon as we arrived at the resort, we started seeing family and friends. The kids wasted no time getting their suits on and heading to the beach.

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The welcome reception was Friday night in the main bar of the resort. It was so good to see a lot of friends and family who we hadn’t seen in a long time. We had an Asian dinner at Lemongrass before heading to bed to get ready for the wedding on Saturday.

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The kids were up early each morning so we had an early breakfast before the wedding festivities began on Saturday. I have so many pictures from Saturday, so I will share those in a separate post. Greg and the kids played at the pool and beach while I was with the bride-to-be before the wedding ceremony.

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The entire wedding day was so much fun. We woke up on Sunday and it was my birthday! Greg and the kids ordered me cake for breakfast, which was awesome.

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We spent the entire day at the beach and the pool while the kids enjoyed some time at the kids camp. Michael and I went out on the stand up paddle boards which is all I wanted to do all day. It was so much fun.

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Kenley got her hair braided and the kids jumped on the trampoline as part of kids camp. The camp was such a great feature of the resort, the kids were begging to go while we were happy to have some time to ourselves.

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After such a relaxing day, we headed out for a birthday dinner with more dessert!

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We headed back to Orlando on Monday kicking and screaming (mostly me). We could have used another day on vacation but the real world called us back. We said our goodbyes and hopped on the shuttle to head to the airport.

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We had such an amazing time in Mexico celebrating Maggi & Greg. The entire wedding weekend was absolutely perfect and being able to celebrate my birthday on the beach in Mexico was an added bonus!

Disney Dream Part II // March 2017

I’m back for the continuation of our spring break cruise aboard the Disney Dream. On day three, we docked at Castaway Cay! We had breakfast then headed off the ship to explore Disney’s private island.

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The tram from the ship to different spots on the island, but we opted to walk. I wish I would have grabbed the Ergo before heading off the ship because it wasn’t long before the kids were “so tired” of walking. Luckily, we passed by a row of strollers and wagons which ended up being free to use!

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The entire morning was spent playing in the sand and in the water. The water was a little chilly at first, but not too bad. We had lunch at the BBQ buffet on the island. Greg took Crosby back to the ship for a nap while we bummed around for a little bit longer. On our way back to the ship, we stopped into the shops and Kenley got her hair braided!

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Once we were back on the ship, it was time to get ready for pirate night! Based on everything I read about pirate night, it was a big deal so we were prepared for a full night of festivities. At dinner, the kids got a light up cup which I put to good use the rest of the night.

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After dinner, the kids went to camp and the adults got to explore. We checked out the pirate party that was happening on the pool deck, then we headed to the show of the night, JUNKK. It was really good and I think the kids would have liked it, but they were having a lot of fun getting their face painted in camp.

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We had a couple of hours between the end of the show and the start of fireworks at 10:30pm! We weren’t sure what we were going to do or if we should even be staying up that late, but we decided that it was vacation, so we were going to do it. In our free time, we saw some of our favorite characters in their pirate gear!

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This was the first time of the trip meeting Mickey and Minnie and I was happy we crossed it off our list that night. I didn’t feel like we had to make a point to see them on our last day. By the end of our character visits, we were rushing up to see the fireworks. After being so worried about all of our free time, we almost missed the fireworks show! We headed to the back of the ship and didn’t see any of the show leading up to the fireworks, but it was still really cool!

We headed right to bed after the fireworks show and were up early the next day for our day at sea! We didn’t have much planned for our last day, so the kids went to camp in the morning and the adults went to the adults only area of the ship. We had our fair share of ice cream cones, did some shopping, and continued to explore the ship.

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My parents met us at dinner after winning at trivia. Our last night of dinner was in the Animator’s Palate, which was our favorite restaurant. We were lucky enough to sit by the interactive screen and the kids got to talk to Crush from Finding Nemo. It was really neat!

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After dinner, the kids went back to camp for the last time and we headed to the pub to watch some March Madness basketball. The waves were crazy so we were swaying all over the place. After a couple of drinks, we got the kids and headed to the show, Disney’s Believe. I won’t share much about the show other than it was amazing! Everyone sat so nice and just loved it.

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The next morning, we headed back to Animator’s Palate for a very early breakfast and disembarked the ship. We were back home in Orlando by 8:30am and everyone was ready for a nap.

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While there were certainly rocky moments and a couple attitude problems during the week, we had such a great time. We’re already looking forward to our next Disney cruise.

Anna Maria Island 2013

It’s been quiet here on the blog, but rest assured, we are back to the real world.
We had a wonderful week away following the 4th of July holiday & our anniversary,
where we headed over to Anna Maria Island for a family vacation.

This was our second time on the island. Ironically enough, the last time we were all there
was at our last family vacation almost exactly two years ago when I was pregnant with Kenley.
Last time, we went over the 4th of July and I was 24 weeks along… this year we decided to
go a week later since the price was a lot better and again, I was 24 weeks along.
We’ve already joked that the next time we go, probably in 2 more years, I’ll be getting my party on, finally!

We were in the market for a house to rent with a pool so we could be occupied during nap time each day.
This house did not disappoint. It was so beautifully decorated and had a great outdoor space.
The best part was that it was only a couple blocks from the beach.
The bonus points came when we showed up and there was a ton of pool toys AND a wagon.
Big win for us!

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After a couple of days, Kenley was a rock star in the pool.
She loved swimming, but also loved when we filled up empty cans with water,
and she got to pour them out. I’m not kidding when I say that she did this for almost an hour one day.
She also loved throwing empty (or full) cans into the pool, which became tricky
for those who still had full beers just sitting around the pool.

We got her a Puddle Jumper right before we left that worked out wonderfully.
She had no problem keeping it on and was even “swimming” with it by the end of the week.
She also did a lot of swimming in her flip flops since the pavers were so hot
when she got in and out of the pool. This led to some wicked flip flop tan lines!

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Pool time also included intense games of Pro Kadima, which meant the
boys battled all week to see who could have the longest streak.
Dad & Michael won with a grand total of 184 (or so they say!).

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The beach was also great. Kenley loved being in the water and it was so warm!
We usually went to the beach for a couple hours in the morning, then headed back for nap time.
We did a great job of sticking with Kenley’s schedule and she slept great for both naps & bedtime.
After nap time, we hung out in the pool for the afternoon.

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On Friday we headed out right when the storms were rolling in.
You can see the rainbow and the clear line of storms to the left.
Luckily, the rest of the day was beautiful.

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Went to the beach & it started raining, so we took a selfie. #goodstory #ami2013

Thursday, we took a break from the sun and headed up to St. Pete
for the Rays vs. Twins baseball game at Tropicana Field.

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Raise your hand if you're excited for baseball! ✋⚾ #rays #actionshot

In addition to the pool and beach…and just relaxing in general,
we ate well, drank plenty, and played some games.
Apples to Apples was the biggest hit, until we went through all the cards. Twice.
Some of our favorite restaurants included Sharky’s (a favorite from last time),
The Beachhouse, Tortilla Bay, Lobstah’s, and of course Two Scoops, which we got a lot!

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Now it's a party! Bloody Mary extraordinaire right here people. #sansvodka #stilldelicious

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Already missing vacation and the world's best ice cream. #ami2013 #twoscoops cc: @kdlower @mjlower @rachwenn @slower1974

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A lot of these photos were taken with our iPhones and a few good one with my camera.
I really wanted to use my camera more, but it was just easier for one person
to whip out their phone, than for me to be in charge of pictures all week.
Looking back, I’m not sure where the week went!
We had a great time hanging with family and relaxing as much as we could.
Anna Maria Island, we’ll see you again in two years.

Now that we’re back from vacation, I have a lot of posts to catch up on,
so stay tuned!

22 Weeks [Round Two]

To celebrate 22 weeks, Greg and I hit the road for a nice little babymoon.
Last time, we had already had a trip planned to Miami, which we dubbed as our babymoon,
but let’s be serious, isn’t your whole life a babymoon before you have a child?
This trip also marked our first trip away from little miss K, which was not easy.

Meemaw & Grandpa arrived Thursday night and we hit the road Friday morning to head southwest
about three and a half hours enjoying some treats on the way.

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We pulled into La Playa Resort in Naples, which was nothing short of amazing.
We had a great view from our balcony and spent the days soaking up the sun
and taking naps by our favorite pool.

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Along with all the crazy pregnancy cravings I have been having,
one of them has been a Bloody Mary… I know, it’s so wrong to be craving
cocktails during pregnancy, but this [virgin] one hit the spot for sure.

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Our first night out, we had dinner at Fleming’s and went to the fanciest movie theater ever.
We were totally bummed out when we got there and all that was left were front row seats.
Assigned seats no less… how weird!
We debated not seeing the movie, but finally decided to cough up the $16 per ticket and see it.
Thankfully, we did because they were the biggest, plushest, comfiest seats ever
and we couldn’t even tell we were in the front row. Plus, the popcorn was only $6,
which is unheard of in our parts. So the cost all evened out in the end.

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First time at a theater with assigned seats. Expensive seats, but they are the most comfiest seats ever. #fancy #babymoonpartdeux

The second night out we headed down to Fifth Avenue, full of shops & restaurants.
We ended up at Yabba Island Grill which was right up our alley.

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I later realized that I had salsa for every meal that day, which was awe-some!

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Greg and I had a great time together relaxing, eating, and sleeping in as late as we wanted.
The scenery wasn’t too bad either.

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We were excited to come home to our sweet girl on Sunday,
even though she was having a great time being spoiled by Meemaw & Grandpa.
We got a little spoiled too.
Not only did they come down to babysit, but we also came home a mowed yard
and trimmed landscaping! We are so thankful for both!

In other pregnancy news, I am still feeling great & energized, most of the time.
Baby G2 is moving around a lot, kicking & jabbing and Greg has been able to feel it.
The weekend getaway was a great way for me to rest, but now that we’re
back in the real world, it’s a little bit more difficult.
I have been pretty good about not picking up Kenley as much,
and she really hasn’t seemed to notice, which makes me feel better.

Progress in the nursery is moving along slowly but surely
and we have been tossing around names (after name after name)
to see if something will stick… so far… not much!
Good thing we have some time.

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my weekend in indiana

Kenley and I headed up to Indiana for a quick trip this past weekend.
45 hours, to be exact.
We had some fun, family functions we had been invited to,
but I just pulled the trigger last weekend and decided to just go.
This was after a very crazy week, which I will share with you at a later date.

We had SO much fun and saw SO many people during our short visit.
It was awesome to enjoy the first day of fall with the cool, crisp weather.

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We celebrated Megan & baby GB on Saturday morning.
Meg didn’t know that Kenley & I were coming in, nor Misha, who came from Seattle!

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Later that night, we celebrated Logan & Vanessa who got married in Alaska!
Fail, I didn’t even get a picture of the bride and groom.

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Sunday, we had a play date with Katie & Ashton and spent time with the other side of the family.

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I like to think that I’ve reached pro traveler status by flying solo with Kenley.
Even though I know moms do it probably all the time, I’m pretty impressed that we did so well.
Kenley was a rock star and flying after bedtime was an excellent idea.
Not to mention, I made it there and back with one carry-on suitcase.
That’s got to be some sort of record!

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We had a great weekend in Indiana
and were so thankful to see so many wonderful people in such a short amount of time.

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How was your weekend?

so long sweet summer

Since I live my life one semester at time, it is officially FALL in my book.
Bring on the sweaters, football, crunchy leaves, and pumpkin spice everything!
Ok, who am I kidding? It’s still ridiculously hot and we don’t have leaves, just palm fronds.
But, we do love us some pumpkin spice lattes, coffees, and coffee creamers.
If it were up to Greg, he would indulge in pumpkin flavor year round
but I think that defeats the purpose and it would totally kill the excitement.
I digress.
Anywho, I want to give summer one last shout out before we move on to bigger and better things.
I’m pretty sure fall would be my favorite season, if we had seasons in Florida.
I love football season, those perfectly crisp mornings that aren’t too cold but aren’t too hot,
October in general (birthday(s) month, breast cancer awareness, Halloween),
and knowing that the holiday season is right around the corner just leaves me feeling giddy.

Again, back to summer. We had a great one. I have no idea where it went, but it was fun.
Everything I was excited about in this post lived up to its expectations.

We had a great vacation up in Indiana over the 4th of July,
it was great to see family and friends, yet relax at the same time.
You can read more about it here, here, and here.

It’s hard to imagine how different our family vacation will look next July.

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I mentioned that I wanted to try some make-up and beauty products, tips, and tricks.
A huge thanks to Rachel for keeping me up to date on what’s out there
because Lord knows I need help in that department.
Some of my new favorites include the Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes,
MAC Naked Lunch eye shadow, and Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain.

We also got our baseball fix in this summer. Greg hit up a Phillies/Rays game in Philly,
in addition to our trip to St. Pete for a Rays/Red Sox game. Yes, he saw the Rays in two different cities.
Our St. Pete trip could not have worked out any better than it did meeting up with the Campbell/Pena clan
as it was the front end of their family vacay. We had a great time and we got to see some live baseball,
which is a must in our household every summer.

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We normally do a lot of year ’round grilling in these parts, but it’s usually the same things week in and week out.
Throughout the summer, we did try a new recipe here and there, but nothing spectacular.
I do a great job of pinning recipes on Pinterest, it’s just the making them part that doesn’t get done.
We’ll chalk that up to a work in progress.

Overall, we had a great summer, but we are definitely looking forward to the fall season.
We have a lot of fun things planned between now and the end of the year,
which brings me to the last thing that we’ve been up to… First birthday party planning.
I mentioned I wanted to get a head start, and I definitely have. I realize that we are still two months out,
but like I said, October is my favorite month and it’s also the busiest. Each year it’s insane.
Therefore, to avoid me running around like a crazy person (even more than I do now), I need to do things in advance.
I am a major planner… I know, I know, shocking, right? and that’s what we’ve been doing,
along with sewing, crafting, hunting (for bargains) and gathering (party supplies).
It’s gonna be fun people. Real fun.

So there ya have it. What we did this summer. How was your summer?

41 weeks :: photo overload

Can we just stop a second? How is it August 1st?
Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess.

In honor of the new month, I’m going to overload you with some photos from July that never made it to the blog.
I was looking back on Kenley’s younger years months and was shocked how many pictures I have of her on my phone,
You’d think I was obsessed with taking photos of her. Oh wait, I am.
I was especially surprised by how many I have of her as a wee little newborn that I never posted!
So sorry for that.

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Loves playing at the window and in the curtains.

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Enjoying a snack outside in her swim suit on a hot summer day. Doesn’t get much better.

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One big difference between Indiana and Florida is the grass. Florida grass is hard and crunchy and not fun.
Kenley has really ever been in the grass so she was not sure what to think.
It didn’t help that Indiana is going through the worst drought in history, so that grass wasn’t too fun either.

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She definitely has a love/hate relationship with animals. She’s definitely not sure at first…

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but does warm up to them later. Holden’s baby kitten was the perfect size for her!

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Just swinging at the park with Kyler. They must have got the memo that day to wear green.

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Heaven on earth right here. This girl loves her cords.
I had written my computer off at this point, so I let her get a few good whacks in.
Still works, no worries.

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This was the only way I could get her to pose with her “First Rays Game” button.

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This is probably one of my favorite pictures. She had so much fun figuring out how to open the drawer,
then proceed to take every single shirt out of it. This ranks up there with opening and closing cabinets.
Not even sure why she needs toys.


41 weeks today!