One Cool Nana

Yesterday at 4:30 PM me and 3 very sad kids drove away from the airport. We had just left Nana there to go back to Texas after 6 days of being with us. Other than the first year and a half of Bella’s life we have not lived near Nana. However, since then (a total of about 9.5 years) she has made every effort to visit often and be a very important presence in our children’s lives. And her visits are so fun because she is such a cool Nana, and here are the pictures to prove it.

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Most of these pictures are from phone cameras. Like above. Who is cooler than a Nana that gets on and surfs with you?

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Or the Nana who brings crazy eyes for everyone, including herself?

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And she didn’t even forget the mustaches. See, she’s cool.

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One thing that is cool about Nana is she always spends weeks before her visits on pinterest planning fun and seasonal things to do with the kids. My children are literally entertained from the moment she arrives until the moment she leaves. And THAT is cool in my book.

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She won major cool points in Ethan’s book with these Minecraft paper projects.

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And she brought so much washi tape the kids covered pumpkins with them.

So what can I do to repay her for her coolness? Well, the best I can do is take some fun pictures of the kids for her. So here they are….someday I hope to be as cool to my grandkids as she is.

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And really, the kids don’t have to be sad long….Grandma comes next week.

(And she is cool in her own ways too!)

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4 Years There + 1 Year Here = 5 Florida Years

Five years ago this week the 5 of us arrived in the sunshine state. To me this is an important anniversary. It is the anniversary of us finding our place.

I wrote about it on my 3rd Florida anniversary HERE.

A year ago this week we changed homes. We moved all of 3 miles, except because of protected wetlands and the fact that you have to drive around them rather than in a straight line it feels more like 15.

For Anthony and I that move was positive. Closer to Anthony’s Orlando hearing location, closer to all shopping, and closer to church. For the kids it was a little more rough. Their everyday changed dramatically as they changed schools. I remember well the night before the school change happened and my heart was breaking as Bella cried herself to sleep.

Change is hard.

Now here we are, 1 year later, in a new school year. We have maintained friendships from our previous school and the kids have made so many new friends in their new school. They have acclimated and really flourished there. Thankfully the tears of that night are long gone and they now love their new school as much as their old.

Change is hard. Moving here was hard. But it in both cases there seems to be so much positive.

Happy Anniversary Florida! Here’s to many more beautiful years of memories. I love you.

A Family First

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Last Thursday night we had a family first. Our first football game. None of the kids had ever been and they were so excited.

Uncle Rob had come in town with his son Jackman just for the game. Wednesday we got to go out to their hotel and play at the awesome pools and Thursday night was the big game. It was like having a weekend in the middle of the week.

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This picture (above) cracks me up. Jackman and I were taking a selfie but our team was currently not doing so hot. Look at the lady over Jackman’s shoulder. LOL. Luckily things didn’t stay that way.

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BYU came back and got ahead. The kids had so much fun cheering. Ethan is still doing the chants 5 days later!

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In the end we lost in OT. It was a late night but SOOOOOO much fun. As we were leaving the stands we saw the BYU mascot, Cosmo, and grabbed a quick picture for memories. It really was a great night and I think the kids will always remember it. Thanks Uncle Rob!

If I Could Go Back

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Last night as Anthony and I were going to bed we did our usual check on each of the kids. Their rooms are on our way to ours so one at a time we peek in, see what sort of weird way they’re sleeping, cover them up with their blanket and say a final good night. As we were doing this I asked him, “If you could go back in time to when they were younger would you?”

His answer was an immediate, “Yes.” Then he followed with something like, “I wouldn’t go back to stay but just to remember and experience it again for a little bit.”

I totally agree with him, so this got me thinking – what ages would I like to revisit?

#1: Infancy. I would love to go back to when each of my children were first born and spend a good few hours just snuggling them, remembering them as an infant, feeling their soft skin, hearing their coo’s, and even their cry again. How beautiful it would be to experience that all over again just for a few hours.

#2: 18 months. The world is still so new to them at 18 months and I’d love to experience a few hours of wonder with them again at that age. I’d love to hold their chubby little hands again, to remember just how they sounded when they spoke, and to get some hugs and kisses from my toddlers again.

#3: 3 or 4. I can’t decide which. There are so many quirky little things each of my kids did at these ages that they’ve completely grown out of and I’d love to hear and see it all again. Ethan had made up words he used regularly like they had meaning, Natalie changed clothes constantly and Bella had a phrase she used all the time that to this day Anthony and I still say and crack up about. I miss those kids.

All this being said we are currently at a pretty great time as parents. Our children are old enough to be self-sufficient but young enough to still want us around. They’re smart and caring individuals who are getting more and more opportunities because of their ages and while that means a busier life for me it means excitement for them. Life is pretty great where we are but there are times I long to re-experience the days of our past just one more time.