Catching up....Part 3



Taylor is in her Junior year and she has begun the journey of looking at potential colleges.
My niece lives in West Palm Beach and is a nurse and Taylor is maybe, possibly, just might be
thinking of becoming a nurse.  My sister happened to be going down the weekend they were
having an open house at FAU so she asked if Taylor would like to come along and she'd take her
by one of the colleges she is considering and get a chance to check it out.

1st college road trip:
Florida Atlantic University

They got to tour the facility, speak to a few people in the department,
see some of the campus and most importantly
check out the shopping in the city

Thank you Aunt Kim, Uncle Pat and cousin Brittany for such a fun weekend
for Taylor.

When did it happen that my baby girl is ready to look at colleges.
(insert tear)


My birthday surprise

As a birthday surprise, Mike whisked me away for a two day trip to a beautiful hotel in Tampa,
The Epicurean.

(I didn't bring my camera so I just have a few phone photos)

It's a new food and wine themed hotel that offers modern design,
amazing food/wine and even cooking classes if you choose.

I would advise anyone who will be near the Bayshore Drive area to check it out.
It's normally a bit pricey but we got an extremely good deal with a military discount and
going during the middle of the week.

There was a very cool barn door to the bathroom
 I've never liked this decorating trend
that is until I saw this one up close  
Loved it.
Just trying to figure out where I could use one.

Our room had a beautiful garden patio.

Probably the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in.

That wasn't the only surprise.  He also got fourth row center
seats to see Jersey Boys at the Starz Center for the Performing Arts.

To say I was excited was an understatement.

The Starz Center in Tampa was very large and quite lovely.
I'd never been there before.  We usually go to plays and musicals at
The Bob Carr Center in Orlando.

I will say the people seemed to dress much more casual at the Starz Center which 
my husband really appreciated.  Very few people were dressed up like they tend to do at the Bob Carr.
There were even people in shorts and jeans.

I want to give a big thank you for my baby sister, Michelle and her mother-in-law, Jill who
helped Mike get such great seats.  We had a great time.
For those of you who haven't seen Jersey Boys, you really need to go if you get the opportunity.
One of the best I've ever seen.


Cousin Easter Egg Hunt

Usually there is a cousin easter egg hunt for the extended family at someone's house.  This year, even
with Easter being late, time just seemed to slip away.

There was a last minute executive decision made to throw
a quick one together at the park.  It turned out to be the best decision ever and I hope the
young moms who plan the easter egg hunts do it that way every year from now on.

They brought pizza, cookies and eggs that they had already filled up.

It began at 6:00 in the evening so it was already cool.  There was plenty of sunlight
left.  The kids played on the playground while the food was set up.
We took a group picture.
They ate cookies and cupcakes while the eggs were hid.
They hunted the eggs and proceeded to go through their treasures.
Played a little more before goodbyes were said.
Then home well before dark.

No one had to clean their house, host everyone and then have the task of cleaning up again.

It was so relaxed.  

The cousins:

We missed having Makenzie, Brody and Kylee with us this year.

Some easter cookies I made.

This was the best group shot I could get with pretty much everybody looking in the same direction.

I love this shot.  You can tell who's excited to begin.


My birthday

On my actual birthday, my wonderful daughter Melissa brought over dinner to celebrate.

She brought me a delicious citrus chicken and Reisling.  Yummy!

I had some easter egg cookies left over from the Cousin Egg Hunt.

Taylor made me some lime and pink lemonade cookies that were amazing.

Mike picked up some cupcakes from a bakery which were so good!!!!!

As you can tell, we had no shortage of sweets.

It was so fun to celebrate with my family.
We missed Ryan, Kelly and their families this year but they were
 with us in spirit.

Why is it that my birthdays seem to roll around faster and faster each year.
What's up with that.


Dylan's sleepover, Easter style

Even though Dylan sleeps over most Fridays (Nana's day), when we have
a holiday near we try to celebrate.  
We use every opportunity to have a celebration around here.
Hopefully memories are being made.

We did eggs.  This year we did tatoo eggs which didn't 
work out to well with impatient little boys and 
we painted eggs.  We skipped dyeing them because I knew
he and his mom would be doing that the next day.

We also made a picture for his mom.
I purchased a wooden cross (hobby lobby for 99 cents) and
used a thick piece of water color paper.
I had him choose some colors and we just put the cross on the paper
and as I held it down, he painted outwards from the cross in they way he wanted.
When your finished painting, remove the cross and the cross shape will remain.

The end results.  He was so happy to give his mommy an easter present.

After baths while I was picking up the craft material he did his usual
hour of playing with his knights, army men and cowboys.
I can't begin to tell you the countless hours he has enjoyed those figures.

We watched the movie Hop and Charlie Brown's Easter Beagle special.

We read our Easter books and then off to bed.

We had our usual pancakes for breakfast (his only breakfast request)
which were egg shaped.

And before he goes home he absolutely has to have a lazer gun war with Poppy.
Which may or may not be very loud and annoying but they love it.


The only thing that would make these fun nights better is if Makenzie and Brody lived
here to enjoy them with us.  But I try to do my best to squeeze all the fun in 
on the weeks I get to visit through out the year.

It's really hard on this grandma to have grandkids that live in a different state.


Easter Breakfast

I still like to make Easter baskets for my kids and grandkids.
I usually make a group basket for the families and then the little grandkids get their own.
It's just filled with little things and a few candies.
I made my grown kids with families a burlap bunny easter door hanger.

As we are sitting down to breakfast, someone is not to thrilled to eat and would rather be opening
his basket or doing anything else.  Can you tell who.

Dylan had a small egg hunt in our front yard.
Not sure if there is such a thing as too many egg hunts.

The Easter Bunny was very clever in his choices of hiding places.

A few family shots.

Melissa made us this lovely easter box.  She is always so sweet and creative.


After they left Mike got busy making an Easter Bunny cake for our nieces and nephews
so we could drop off on our way to my mom's house that afternoon.

I even made a few crafts and my own bunny cake to take to my mom's.

We had such a great Easter morning feeling so blessed on this special day.

He has Risen!!!!!


Our Extended Family Easter Celebration

Every year all of my sisters and brothers and our families meet at my mom's house
at 4:00 in the afternoon for our big meal and visiting with each other.
Most everyone tries to make it including friends that are like family.
We've been doing this since I was little and I can't imagine it any other way.
It's very casual and covered dish style and it's just the best.
This year was extra special because there was a big announcement to make.

My baby sister is pregnant.
What a clever way she choose to surprise everyone and
make the big announcement.
Thanks pinterest.

Doesn't she look fabulous!

Michelle and my Mom!

Linda is a really good family friend who is going to be a second grandmother to 
our new addition.  

We are really happy for Damien and Michelle and their new blessing.

 family and friends
easter 2014


above, my nephew Hunter and I share close birthdays usually near easter so
we generally get a birthday cake together.
Isn't he just the cutest boy teenager ever.
I love having him as my birthday twin.

My sister Kim (3) and I found these t-shirts in St. Augustine
when we were there earlier this year.  We thought they were adorable.
Number 2 and 4, not so much.
But they were great sports and wore them with us.
We keep threatening promising the boys (our brothers)  blue ones for next year.
Kim, I guess we need to schedule another trip next February.

This sweet little thing is my younger sister, Michelle's niece on her husband's side.
Damien's mom, brother, sister-in-law and niece were able to join us this year.
Her name is Gray and she was the best baby ever.

egg hunting

Well, that's a wrap.  I do believe I've caught up for the most part and am
promising myself to never let this happen again....
Hopefully anyway.

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