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!

Sunday thoughts.

This weekend has been a great mix of relaxing and productivity. Yesterday hubs and I fought the Christmas crowds and managed to finish our holiday list. Well, minus the gifts I need to buy for him. Brett, on the other hand was all like, “How much do you want your gifts to be a surprise?” as he held up a sports bra (super romantic, I know, but the fact remains that I do need some new ones.) I asked him to please refrain from buying my gifts while I was with him, which he lovingly did.

At times I forget that it’s winter when outside it looks like this:

For some reason I keep thinking that it is the same elsewhere, until I talk to someone up north and they mention how freezing it’s been. I have a feeling that hubs and I will be rather shocked when we step off the plane this Friday and into the freezing cold Pennsylvania air.

Today, minus my morning run and church, we have bunkered down in our apartment, pretending that the winter chill is here as well. The day has consisted of good movies and afternoon naps, which makes the end of the weekend all the more enjoyable. Add in pancakes for dinner and it comes out pretty much perfect.

I will leave you with this, a sneak peak of our new house’s dining room/kitchen/sliding door to our new pool!

Hope you had a relaxing and productive last weekend before Christmas!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Can you find me?

Well..sort of. Inside at least. Outside…well, that’s a different story. This IS south Florida after all. Today it rained so I could kind of imagine it as snow. Except it was about 78 degrees outside and pretty humid.

But that’s not stopping us from feeling the Christmas cheer inside the Becker household! We’ve got Christmas music on Pandora blasting, festive red and green M&M’s ready for snacking on the coffee table and Herbs the Christmas tree brightly lit. All while keeping the patio door open. Welcome, winter.

Our exciting weekend news, everything is a go with our new house apartment and we couldn’t be happier! You’ve only got 2 more weeks, Mr. Neighbor, to shout loudly into your cell phone out on your patio. So live it up.

Hubs and I also made a dent in our Christmas shopping this weekend, but I gave up about an hour and a half in, after fighting my way through the crowds at Macy’s. I decided I would much rather shop from home, in front of my computer with a mug of hot cocoa and Elf on tv.

It’s Monday and I’ll leave you with a picture that will be sure to invoke holiday cheer in all. I give you my puppy nephew Koli, the cutest most festive pooch around:

Is he not the cutest??

Happy Monday.

Back to the heat

Well, Brett and I are back home after a long weekend in VA. And let me just tell you, Virginia is cold. There I was all excited to step off the plane and finally feel fall and instead I stepped off the plane and experienced…winter. It seems although we must have missed fall completely. Darn it.

Hubs is the greatest at scoring sweet deals on hotels and flights (I mean, come on, he IS basically an extreme couponer after all so getting sweet deals must be in his blood) and he found us a great hotel, right off of 95. Of course, being the awesome deal it was meant that we had some beautiful views from our window. Right across the street? Why, that would be a Hooters.

Just keeping. it. classy.

The wedding was wonderful. Where are the pictures, you ask? Well, here’s the thing. The ceremony took place in a church at 7 pm, which means it was really dark. And no one seemed to be using their flash (including the photographer) and I didn’t want to be the one blinding everyone in order to catch the precious moments. So I just took mental pics in my head. And you’ll just have to believe me that it was beautiful.

On Saturday the Lord blessed us with a wonderful, beautiful, crisp fall day, most likely because he was sick of hearing me complain about the weather non-stop since we arrived. Since our flight wasn’t until later that evening, Brett and I decided to drive into Carytown, a cute little area of Richmond, where the police officers still patrol the neighborhoods on horse back.

Carytown is just the cutest. And the houses in the area? Well, let’s just say I wanted to buy almost every other one I saw. And the fall leaves! I was just about ready to shove them in my suitcase and take them back to Florida with me.

This is the point where hubs told me to stop taking pics of cats.

My dream house:

Walking around Richmond did make me miss the rich history of Virginia. My dream is to one day live in an old, historic house, which will not be coming true where we live in south FL unless by “old” and “historic” I mean a ranch house from the 1950’s. Which I don’t. FYI. But hubs seems to think that there are historic FL homes, somewhere. We’ll see.

And I have to say, after sitting in the airport for far too long, I was nothing but thrilled to step outside, smell the sweet salt water breeze and realize that, although it was after midnight, I was not shivering. We’re happy to be home, but even happier that we will be jumping back on a plane in just three days to head up to NY for Thanksgiving!

Hope your weekend was fall-tastic.

What’s better than library books and kitties?

It’s Sunday night…where did the weekend go? Ours was full of racy rouge toenails (okay, only mine not Brett’s, for some reason he’s against me painting his toenails), holding kitties at the farmer’s market (again, only me) and enjoying time at the library (annnnnddd that would be only me again). Okay, so maybe our weekend was full of things that I enjoyed. That’s the best kind, right? But seriously, we hit the library yesterday and there, just waiting for me, were 5 new releases I have been dying to read. What are the chances that none of them were checked out? Yup, it was my lucky day alright. (And I will admit, that trip to the library? Yeah, totally the highlight of my weekend).

The weather stayed sunny and cool and the windows have remained open. I don’t know if I love anything more than hearing crickets chirp and feeling the cool breeze blow through our window as I fall asleep. We took our traditional Saturday morning Starbucks walk where I continued down the line of their fall drinks. This time I had a caramel apple spice, which, although delicious, was a little too sweet and didn’t hold a candle to my favorite pumpkin latte.

Now it’s time to cuddle up and watch a movie with the hubs. Hope your fall weekend was fantastic!

Florida’s fall

Tonight I am sitting out on my patio in a zip up. Yeah, you heard me correctly, a zip up. Oh Florida, your 95 degree days with 98% humidity had me worried for awhile that fall would never come. Oh how I doubted you. But then you brought me two glorious days this week with perfect temps-mid 70’s during the day with bright skies, warm sun and cool, crisp air, and low to mid 60’s at night, perfect for sleeping with the windows and patio doors open, snuggled under our duvet (which we never ever use). Fall is here. Now Florida, don’t go breaking my heart by bringing back hot weather next week. You can’t play with a girl like that.

Hope you are enjoying some perfect fall weather, wherever you may be.

Back to the island…

Brett’s parents were down in FL visiting our their condo this past week so Brett and I headed up after work on Friday for a short visit. They left Saturday late afternoon, but Brett and I stayed to soak up the island goodness until early this evening. I know everyone up north would smack me for saying this, but it was a bit chilly on the beach this weekend. The clouds mixed with the cool ocean breeze made it a bit too cold for sunbathing on the sand, but we still enjoyed the sun and ocean views for a relaxing weekend.

This morning Brett and I headed to our favorite breakfast restaurant where I practically screamed with excitement upon seeing pumpkin pancakes on the specials menu. And I was not disappointed.

Pumpkin pancakes for me, strawberry waffle for hubs

The weekend was great. Full of laughter (not much coming from the comedy show we went to on Friday night with Brett’s parents. As much as listening to raunchy jokes with your in-laws is super awesome….) love, good food and my favorite sound of the waves breaking on the beach.

On the way home we broke our new tradition of driving through Sonic for a strawberry limeade because a pumpkin spice cappuccino at Cumberland Farms was calling my name.

And although we loved our time on the island, at the end of the weekend I as ready to pack up and make the drive home, trading the sounds of the breaking waves for the soft rain. Apparently we missed a LOT of rain this weekend since there seemed to be some serious flooding around town. But in the end, it’s always good to be home.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!