Family renewal

Although Claire is over 2 months old, we really haven’t had many weekends where it’s just been US-our little family of 4. Between multiple visits and the holidays-we have had family here almost every weekend since Claire was born. Which, don’t get me wrong, has been wonderful, but we were more than ready for some relaxing time together as a family. So, this past weekend we decided to head up to the island alone. We went out to breakfast at our favorite spot, strolled through a very busy farmers market, spent some time with my great aunt and uncle, drank wine and watched the sunset on the beach, and splashed in the pool. It was fun and relaxing, and exactly what we were hoping for. Claire totally got into the laid back, relaxing spirit and slept from 10 pm-7:30 am on Saturday. If she always slept like that, I think we would move to the island full time! 😉

Every time we head up to the island we talk about how lucky we are to have a connection to this place. As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up vacationing here. My great aunt and uncle have owned a condo-just down the road from my in laws condo-for as long as I can remember, and my grandparents used to rent a place here for the winter as well. I have a photo album filled with pictures of me at the island as a young teen and lately Leah has become obsessed with carrying that particular photo album around and asking multiple times about everyone she sees as she flips through the pages and intently studies each photo. It makes me smile to think that one day she will have her own photo albums filled with pictures of her and her siblings playing on the same sand mommy did when she was a girl.

So a relaxing weekend it was and now we are back home where we have been enjoying some “cold” South Florida weather; perfect days in the low 70’s and chilly 50 degree nights. I know, I know, everyone up north dealing with snow storm after snow storm probably wants to kill me for calling that “cold,” but I’m just saying; when you live in South Florida, AKA the tropics, you gladly take any temps lower than 80 and call it winter!

And then there were three

For over 2 years now, Leah has been the only grandchild on the Becker side (and I can’t say she hasn’t loved all the special attention). But then me and my sister-in-law had baby girls 5 weeks apart, and now there are three precious little girl cousins on the Becker side. So a few weekends ago the whole family gathered up at the island so these sweet cousins could finally meet. We had a great time hanging out on the beach (and introducing Claire to the sand and sea for the first time!), eating good meals, and even getting in some good kayaking, thanks to nana and papa who watched all three girls!

^^We are a family that really likes ice cream…..

^^This picture cracks me up. We tried to get a photo of Brett’s parents with the grand kids and Leah was just not in a photo taking mood. So this is what we got! Gotta love two year olds….

I’m excited that (so far) there are three little girl cousins that will grow up so close in age. I am looking forward to many future family vacations at the island, and the fun these girls will have on the beach!

Girl’s Weekend: Island Style

I’m lucky (very lucky!) that I get to work with some AWESOME child life girls at my hospital. 6 of us have gotten very close and we have been wanting to do a girls weekend for a long time now. With 3 of us pregnant, and with babies and maternity leaves right around the corner, we decided that it was now or never!! Lucky for us, my awesome in-laws said we could use the condo for the weekend so with that, we all packed our weekend bags and headed up to one of my favorite places in the world: our island!

We had the brilliant idea to each be in charge of a meal for the weekend. It was super fun to, not only see what everyone picked, but also get to pig out on SO MUCH food for the entire weekend! Everyone made some really amazing and delicious meals and desserts and we all, of course, brought along a huge selection of beach and pool snacks. It would be so funny because after enjoying an awesome and huge breakfast made by one of the girls, we would all turn to whoever was in charge of lunch and say “We are so excited for your lunch plan!” So basically we ate all. weekend. long. Which was wonderful. 🙂 Add in long conversations, perfect beach weather, late nights, funny chick flicks, and a hilarious game of HedBanz (which is actually now downloadable onto your Iphone!!) on the way home, and it was all in all an awesome and relaxing weekend! Some lovely Iphone pics of our time:

^^The world’s most relaxing balcony view. I think I have 1 million Iphone photos that look EXACTLY like this, but for some reason I feel the need to snap this same pic every time we visit and I step out on the balcony for the first time.

^^The whole crew on the beach!

^^Mandatory condo bump shot. I take this picture every time we visit (while pregnant, of course….)

^^Bumps in order of size from left to right: 21 weeks, 28 weeks, 32 weeks! I cannot believe how fast everyone’s pregnancy is going! Shannon and I (the one in the black suit) are having girls and Katie is having a little boy!

^^The beach belly relaxing with a good book!

^^Kitchen meal prep

^^So on the second day Shannon and I had a good laugh when we walked out of our rooms with pretty much the exact same one piece on, only in different colors. Gotta love the mom skirted suit!! 🙂

^^So blessed to have these wonderful girls in my life!!

It was such a fun weekend, although I did miss Leah and Brett terribly! Saturday night Brett FaceTimed me with Leah before she went to bed and I teared up hearing her little voice tell me about her day with daddy! ALSO! Of course on Friday night I missed Leah’s first ever poo in the potty!!! It sounds so silly (and like such a mom thing) but I was seriously SO UPSET that I missed it!! Brett texted me with the whole story, complete with a proud picture of Leah eating her ice cream reward and I wanted to cry. As silly as it sounds, every milestone (poops and all!) are so special and it kills me to miss even one. However, I am WELL aware that I will be here for so many more potty poops and I’m willing to bet that it will lose it’s charm quick. 😉 But, even still, I am so proud of our big girl!!

Sunday, I came home to a clean house complete with a freshly painted back patio, so of course Brett was a super dad/husband over the weekend. It was so sweet of him to give me a relaxing weekend with the girls AND take care of everything at home that needed to be done! Such an awesome weekend and a fun way to celebrate these 3 new babies that will soon be making their way into the world! 🙂

Leah’s (almost) 2 year old photo shoot.

It hit me the other day that Leah is almost TWO! It boggles my mind how fast time is flying by because in my mind, she’s still this itty bitty baby. As I was pondering about how big my child is getting, it hit me how few real photos we have of Leah. Don’t get me wrong, Brett and I combined probably have well over 3,000 photos of Leah, taken during the first (almost)two years of life, but 95% of those photos are taken by our Iphones. And as nice, and convenient, as it is to always have a camera on your phone to snap an impromptu photo, it’s also a shame because having that convenience means that we pull out our “real” camera a lot less often. So, with that thought, I bugged reminded Brett a million times to make sure he brought his real camera to the island over the weekend so we could do a little photo shoot with Leah on the beach. And our little model gave us well over a hundred adorable shots and I seriously love them all. So, with that, I give you way more photos than you probably ever wanted to see from Leah’s (almost) two year old photo shoot. Grandparents, if you have favorites let me know and I would be happy to send you some prints!

Father’s Day Weekend

We headed up to the island last weekend to celebrate Father’s Day with the whole Becker clan.. It was funny because a few months ago Brett’s sister Lauren texted us and asked if she and her fiance, Jessup, could come down to FL for the weekend to visit. We, of course, said “sure!” and were excited to have a weekend to get to know the (soon to be!) new member of the Becker family. Well, then Brett’s father and brother realized that they could plan a FL business trip for the week following Father’s Day, so they, along with Brett’s mom and Brett’s brother’s wife, decided to all head down to FL for a fun family filled weekend at one of our favorite destinations! My sister-in-law and her husband are also expecting a new baby, just one month before us! It was fun getting to see them and having some good pregnant/baby talk with my sister-in-law. 🙂

The weather started off iffy. The beginning of summer in South Florida brings rain and thunderstorms everyday and, looking at the weather forecast for the weekend, I was a bit worried that we would be losing our beach weekend, but the weather turned out fine! Sunny and warm, with a great breeze, during the day and amazing thunderstorms in the evening/night. Saturday night we all sat on the back patio and watched one of the most intense thunderstorms I have EVER seen! It’s insane to watch storms right on the beach because you can look out over the ocean and see the rain coming down in sheets. The storm brought some crazy lightning and some of the loudest thunder I have ever heard. We even witnessed lightning strike the sand right in front of the condo! Surprisingly, Leah sat on my lap through most of the storm, content as long as I was there to give her a snuggle, but at some point the thunder got crazy loud (which resulted in a few involuntary screams) and she finally decided that she had had enough storm watching.

We brought Lucy with us and she had a blast seeing everyone! My brother and sister-in-law are the ones who gave us Lucy to begin with (they have 2 goldens who had 9 puppies!) and it was like a family reunion with them! We brought her to the beach on Saturday and it was so much fun watching her run around the beach and play in the sand. She liked the water, but wasn’t too sure about the loud waves so we had to carry her past the wake and then let her swim in. Some pictures from our time on the beach:

15 weeks!

Leah reading with Lucy once we got back inside. These two have the sweetest relationship!!

Sunday we went out to lunch to celebrate Father’s Day. Although I missed my own father on this special day, it was great being able to celebrate with my amazing husband and father-in-law! After lunch we had a fun little family photo shoot with the couples (Although we seem to have missed taking a picture of Lauren and her fiance Jessup!)

Hope everyone had a wonderful Father’s Day weekend! We are off to North Carolina on Thursday to see (almost) my entire family and I am so excited (and I’ll be honest, I may be MOST excited to hug my squishy niece, Milly!) I will be back with, I’m sure, a ton of pictures!

Easter

I’m seriously so behind. I contemplated just skipping blogging about Easter all together, but some of the pics from the weekend are just so darn cute I couldn’t bare not sharing them. So I’ll just be that person who blogs about Easter 3 weeks late….

Would it surprise anyone to hear that we spent Easter up on the island? Probably not as it tends to be “our place to go” for weekend get-a-ways! Brett also had multiple family members visiting for the weekend, so it was fun to spend time with everyone. The weather was gorgeous and Leah shone as the center of everyone’s attention all weekend. I swear that girl just lights up with all the attention she gets from her nana and papa (plus some cousins and aunts and uncles!) She went up to the island with Brett’s parents one day before we did, so she got to spend some one-on-one alone time with everyone before mommy and daddy got there. It was the first time she had ever been away from both me and Brett and (silly enough) I started crying as she drove away with nana on Thursday night. Brett just patted my back and gave me a look like “hey there crazy, calm yourself, it’s just one night…” Obviously I knew she would be fine but she seemed like such a big girl, spending the night with her nana and papa without us!! Of course I was itching to see her Friday afternoon and we had a perfect movie moment of her running into my arms when we walked through the front door. 🙂

Easter was a fun, family filled day that started with an Elmo Easter basket in the morning, followed by church and brunch and ended with an Easter egg hunt at the country club. I had a bit of a “mom moment” during the Easter egg hunt. There were TONS of kids, and the egg hunt officials split them up by age group in different areas to find their eggs. Makes sense, except for the fact that Leah’s age group was 5 and under! I’m sorry, but a 5 year old and a 1 1/2 year old’s ability to find Easter eggs are a bit different. Of course the official yelled “Go!” and off the big 5 year olds went, shoving all the little kids and snatching all the eggs they could get their hands on. And then there was my child, running AFTER the big kids and following them around as they go from egg to egg. And yes, my logical side told me that it didn’t matter if Leah found any eggs, it wasn’t like she was going to get to eat the tootsie rolls hidden inside of them or anything, but the crazy mom part of me thought “this won’t do” and the next thing I knew, I had snatched 3 eggs before a 5 year old could get his grubby little paws on them and set them in an obvious place for Leah to “find” and put into her basket. And of course she was THRILLED when she saw those 3 eggs so it made my crazy mom moment all worth it! Plus! As the Easter egg hunt ended in .5 seconds, we heard a little 2 year old crying behind us that he didn’t get any eggs. Brett quickly snatched up one of Leah’s eggs and made a quick donation to the mother so she could sneakily set it down and yell “Look over here!” And seeing that little boy’s face light up was definitely worth it. So all the 5 year olds paraded back into brunch with their lot of 18 eggs a piece but Leah was thrilled as punch with her 2 Easter eggs. So I would say her first Easter egg hunt was a success!! 🙂

So, overall a wonderful island weekend as always. Now for some cute family Easter pics!

Weekend Shenanigans

This weekend we traveled up to “our island” to spend the long weekend with Brett’s parents and their good friends. We had a wonderful time (as usual) and the weekend zipped by way too fast. As for some brief weekend highlights; while at the island…

1. I ran 10 miles for the first time in my entire life and I was pretty darn psyched about it. Like I mentioned before, I am hoping to run a half marathon at the beginning of March and Saturday was my first long run (AKA my “let’s see if this crazy idea is actually possible” run) and I was able to complete 10 miles no problem! Without getting into a long back story, as a teen I suffered from compartment syndrome on both legs and even post surgery my legs are not 100% and super long runs (or jumping…or dancing…or really any high impact activities) are not generally my friend. However, I have been taking it slow and easy, building my mileage up slowly and not worrying about a speedy pace, and so far it’s been okay! Half marathon, here I come!!

2. I went kayaking on the river with my mother-in-law and her good friend Linda while Brett stayed home with the babe. I can’t even remember the last time I went kayaking and it was peaceful and gorgeous and just so much fun!

3. We spent a LOT of time reading and relaxing on the balcony, listening to the ocean waves below.


4. We watched some gorgeous sunrises. One morning it had gotten so cold during the night that you could see steam rise up from the water as the sun rose!
5. Leah worked on her modeling skills. Seriously this girl just loves the camera. While waiting for Brett one day I told her to go stand against the wall so mommy could take some pictures. She happily obliged; giving me a few good poses against the wall before running over to view the pictures on my cell phone.
6. We walked the beach and had an impromptu family photo shoot. It was hilarious because our sand loving daughter would not let her toes touch the cold sand without complaint! She is a true Florida girl through and through!

7. And to finish the weekend off, we stopped at our favorite drink place, Sonic, for some chocolate and strawberry shakes. Miss Leah got her hands on mommy’s chocolate shake and wasn’t too keen on sharing “her” drink.

Another fun weekend at our favorite island!