Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fall Break . . . Panama City Beach style

Fall break is so dreamy. It's my favorite break of the whole school year. Or maybe I'm just saying that because it was the most recent break, and perhaps I'll feel the same about Winter break too? Either way, I love it.
The above photo just about sums up the week . . . it was a dude fest.  The teen boys took over our vacation this year, and I wasn't mad about it.
Thanks goodness Amanda and her sweet friend Zoe brought some girl vibes to the scene. They were awesome, as usual . . . very self-sufficient and easy going. I would take these two anywhere!
And of course, thank goodness for my friends too! We had a blast. Michelle and I taught Natalia the fine art of sitting on the beach ALL. DAY. LONG. And hitting the cocktails first thing in the morning. She was an excellent learner!
There were too many hysterical moments of the week . . . not any good photos to document them, but I'll just leave these here with minimal explanation. There was an insane lady who thought terrible things were falling on her balcony, but that was false. There was a beach tackling incident that was both shocking and hilarious. There is always a Speedo when Juan is involved. And when fools take goofy selfies, they sometimes show up on the Internets. Suckas. And for the last time, who the hell is Bob? I mean, seriously, "what the wwhhaaattt?"

We go to the beach to well, . . . go to the beach. We don't run around site seeing and barely make it off the beach to shower and head to dinner every night. We all just seemed to entertain ourselves doing beach things like . . .

Looking for hermit crabs and sand dollars . . .
Digging unexplained holes to bury one's self in . . .
Spending hours creating a WATER pong sand table . . .
Rubbing red Popsicle on your chest to make your mother think you got sunburned and then watching her flip out and then being annoyed she wants a picture because it was so funny . . .
Playing on a cellular device . . . possibly working, possibly gaming, possibly changing the music . . .
Paddle boarding together . . . which they thought was super fun, btw. . . {Thank you to our friends that brought it to the beach every day and were willing to share!}
Swear on the bible my kid and her friend are wearing bikini tops . . .
the backs had white straps. LOL!
Entertaining the masses . . . with weird finger moves?
Looking like a beach babe, all day every day . . .
Floating way too far out and freaking your mom out who thinks you fell asleep . . .
Struggling to simply sit in a chair . . . ever heard the expression "fold up like a lawn chair?" Well here you go . . .
Wondering where the heck your partner in crime is and why is she taking so long . . . so you pretend Myrtle the Turtle is her . . .
So yeah, that's what we did. For 7 whole days. It was glorious.

Speaking of glorious, check out these sunsets. I am way more likely to see a sunset than a sunrise . . . so here you go!
I will spare you the details about how our original condo flooded, and the rental company called me about an hour before arriving in PCB to tell me how lucky was I was to get an upgrade . . . at another resort. Keep in mind my friends and my sons were at the resort where I rented. So after promptly telling them that wouldn't work, we spent the first night at a different resort and then moved to a completely different condo that wasn't as conveniently located to our friends, but at least was in the same complex. So all is well that ends well is how I'm looking at that debacle. And yes, I promise there were more details, but I said I'd spare you. Ha!

So the most random vacation post ever . . . I feel like I should apologize for it but . . . nah. Enjoy.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Favorites . . . on Friday, the 13th!

I love a Friday Favorites post because it's a treat to scroll back through my phone and reminisce about things that made me happy recently so let's get to it . . .

1.  Ahh, fall . . . it is for sure my favorite season. It just feels so cozy to me. The smells of cinnamon, raking leaves, cooler temperatures (well, sort of) and all things pumpkin . . . especially a pumpkin patch. 
Amanda is still game for all my adventures, but the boys would rather just not. I bribed them this year . . . Ryan got to skip the early release day at school, and Kyle got a new video game. #parentingboss They smiled when asked for pictures, but I saw them like this quite a bit.
Kyle is not normally a mouth breather . . . I must have caught him saying something to Ryan.  LOL.
I looked around for a new place to go but couldn't find one I preferred over our old standby . . . Pettit Creek Farms in Cartersville, GA. 
The boys politely declined to join . . . ha!
They always have a Groupon, there's enough to keep the kids busy to justify the cost and everyone is just so nice. Oh, and they have camels. Yes, camels!
Included in the entry fee is a hayride (minus any hay, actually) and for a dollar, you can buy a bag of food to feed the animals. I bought each kid a bag . . . even the ones that said no thank you. Yes, you will all enjoy my fall fun.
I love that Amanda's friends could join us. They call themselves the "Gringos" and love to hang out together. They really are such sweet girls . . . they seem to know when to tease each other and when to give support. I'm trying really hard not to raise a mean girl . . . and having such a good set of friends makes that easier.
A mom can never have too many pictures of her kids all together and thankfully mine were happy to indulge me. Oh, my heart.
2.  Zeus . . . he's a mess. He is so fun with our family and loves my kids so much . . . that's why he gets to keep a permanent residence at our house despite his general grumpy demeanor with others. But would you just look at him and his girl? I can't even.
3.  Are any of you out there a fan of Gilmore Girls? Several friends have recommended this over the years, but I never wanted to make the commitment to 7 seasons with 22 shows per season. 
As it turns out, I love it. I watched one episode a while ago and then took a break. I picked it back up recently and now have to regulate myself on not binge-ing and ignoring other things in my life. It's so good.  

4.  Amanda loves horseback riding, and I love to watch her. I also like to text my mom each week so she can see which horse Amanda is riding and pictures and videos of her riding and jumping . . . it makes my mama so happy since she always wanted to ride horses as a child.

So far we have her favorite . . . the gorgeous Dixie.
Next up is Tennessee Whiskey . . . a lovely gray fellow.
And this past week was Winchester . . . such a dapper name.
Amanda rides with an English saddle and is working on her jumping skills. They start off with "jumping" over poles and then they just keep getting higher . . .
And higher! Oh my mama heart drops every time, but I know she loves it. And she looks so cool!
See . . . aren't you impressed too?

5.  My sweet friend Kim invited us to her lake house in north Georgia last Saturday, and we had a blast! They made us a delicious lunch and were the perfect hosts.  And man is their lake house gorgeous.  

Getzy clearly didn't have any trouble kicking back and relaxing on the water.
We had so much fun boating, and the kids had a blast tubing.  I took action shots but they all came out blurry so these will have to do.
Last but not least . . . I was thinking maybe I could add one of these to our Christmas card or get a new profile pic for Facebook, but my Kyle got a little over zealous with his smile.  
Every time I look at that picture, I giggle. What a goofball . . . but they all keep us laughing. My favorite quote of the day was when Ryan fell off, and as we were circling around to get him he said, "It was like I was Jesus."  

6. I'm adding an extra this week . . . I need to send a special shout out to my gorgeous friend Anny. I joined her gym recently and needed someone to basically hold my hand in the weight room since it's been awhile for me. 
I met her there this week and she spent about an hour walking me through so many different weight lifting options. I was so darn impressed with how much she knew and can appreciate how her body is so amazing. Now I just need to put it all into action. Baby steps. Or at least horizontal running steps.

Well that's a wrap . . . I hope you have a fabulous weekend. 

I'm linking up with some fabulous bloggers because it makes life more interesting . . . Andrea, Erika, Narci, and Amanda!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Big Canoe Girl's Weekend!

Bet you thought I disappeared again, huh? Me too. Ha! Nope, I've just been getting it done over here this week. My to do list was obnoxious and stressing me out so I tackled the bulk of it over the past few days. Totally soothes my soul to make a list and mark stuff off of it. 

So yay me . . . I got to enjoy another girl's trip with my fabulous mama friends. It was short and sweet for me because I had to come back early, but it was just what I needed. We laughed until we cried, connected and comforted each other about mom stresses and drank LOTS of wine. Oh, and took way too many pictures, thanks to Shelly! 
We headed north and decided to stop in Elijay for lunch and antiquing! We enjoyed a delightful little meal at the Cantaberry Cafe and then strolled around town.
Who can resist a photo op?  Not us apparently!
The best part was accidentally finding a wine tasting . . . and the owner of Chateau Meichtry vineyard just happened to be there to say hi!
Our friend Deb likes to think she invented (and has perfected) the "group photo in a line" technique. Funny enough, it usually works . . . but it's our job to make fun of her every time.

So after strolling in and out of the shops killing time until we could check into our Big Canoe rental cabin, we headed out for what should have been a quick trip . . . emphasis on should.  Y'all, it's like we went stupid and couldn't find our way out of a bucket.  

Shelly and I finally make it to one of the Big Canoe entrances and are high-fiving ourselves for beating those other fools. We listened to the directions to the house from the security guard and off we go counting the stop signs. We are chatting on the phone with our friend Christy because she had already made it to the house after leaving work . . . back near Atlanta. We keep asking her if it sounds right and she can't remember . . . mostly because it turns out she had gone a different way than us. We roll up to the top of a steep hill only to discover we were literally at the top of the mountain and were clearly off course.  Luckily for us there was a cute fireman there who directed us back down the mountain to our house. Gah. What should have taken 30 minutes took about 2 hours. Dumb.
Our rental house was adorable, but it was at the bottom of a scary hill.  Like so scary nobody wanted to leave the house again . . . well that and because we had no clue how to get out of Big Canoe.  
But alas our growling stomachs required us to brave the hills and directions so we headed to a cute restaurant only about half a mile from our house in my swagger wagon!
I cannot remember the name of it but it was absolutely delicious . . . like we were all surprised at how tasty it turned out to be! And it had quite the lovely lakeside view . . . perfect for a group photo!
After stuffing ourselves silly, we headed back to the cabin . . . retracing our steps because it was dark now. And then I had to back my car down the driveway so I could have place to park on what felt like a mountain ledge. I was the DD so it was now time for a serious drink.
And luckily for us, our crafty friend Tina brought us all the most fabulous wine glasses with personalized wine charms attached. How thoughtful was that? Very. That's how thoughtful. 
Speaking of thoughtful, my friend Deb needed her toes painted and believe it or not, I volunteered to do it . . . everyone else was running in the other direction.  And I was the sober one . . . lol.
But not for too long because poker, drinks, tasty snacks and some 70's sing-a-long music will make life better! Clearly I have no shame. And neither do Deb and Tina . . . that's why I love them so!
Up and at it Friday morning . . . because this was wine tour day!!! Woot. Being the super responsible mamas that we are, we hired a driver for the day to cart us around to four different north Georgia vineyards. I know that's a super blurry van photo, but it was so twisty and turny that we couldn't get a steady picture.
First stop was Monteluce Vineyards . . . this place is huge and lovely. It looks like you're rolling up on an Italian villa when you first drive into the place . . . grapevines everywhere.
These folks were generous with their tasting pours . . . thank goodness for our lovely driver Anna. However, they were not very generous with their wine costs . . . Tina liked one that was $59 a bottle . . . uh, pass. But yay for fun photo opportunities!
Sorry Tina . . . it was the best photo of the bunch.  And of course we had to do the "line" photo . . . our genius way to make sure everyone is included in the selfie and not have to bug the other customers.
Next up was our lunch reservation at Wolf Mountain Vineyards . . . very delicious . . . and more amazing views.
We didn't get a chance to do a tasting here because we were on a time line, but we all enjoyed a little something with lunch. Cheers.
Now, off to Kaya Vineyards . . . and wow, this one was stunning with it's rolling hills.
We finally all agreed to stop for a photo op at the entrance sign because we never seemed to get it done on the way out.
Our cute little waitress was super sweet and fast on the pouring so we got back on schedule . . . well we used our time to take a ridiculous amount of photos.  
I've spared you from most of them . . . but holy gorgeous, right? And the backdrop isn't bad either. I crack myself up.
And you know it . . . we're making the line photo famous . . . or infamous.
Last stop of the day . . . The Cottage Vineyard . . . and the last sign photo.
At this point, we were all tired . . . I mean drinking and chatting and wine touring is exhausting. 
We ordered food on the way home and had the driver stop to let us pick it up so we didn't have to leave the house that night . . . genius idea.
After chilling out for a bit . . . we played our nightly poker and took one last group photo because Christy and I had to take off the next day. It was a comedy of fools trying to get that photo taken with a timer . . . and perhaps we should have done it earlier since we were all ready for bed at this point . . . can you tell?

So here's my advice to you . . . find a tribe.  Women need each other . . . husbands are amazing, but they are dudes.  Dudes just don't always get it. Lift other women up . . . be a light. And take a second to read through these . . . and make sure you are one of the women doing the lifting. 
And cheers to the freaking weekend . . . and fall break for us Georgia peaches! No school next week so it's off to the beach! Catch you on the flip side!