A Cali Birthday for Mama

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My 35th year on this beautiful planet started in one of my favorite places.  California, and Malibu in particular, hold such a special place in my heart.  I lived there for 5 years, went to college there, made some amazing friends that are like family to me there, and have experienced some pretty incredible things that most people only dream about.  I’m very fortunate that my parents sacrificed so much to allow me these opportunities, and it helped mold me into the person I am today.

In 2018, I was so fortunate to be able to travel to California not once, not twice, but THREE times!  The first we went to visit my very best friend and celebrate her daughter’s first birthday at Disneyland.  I don’t think I posted about this trip because it was a quick weekend, I didn’t get many pictures, and to be honest… it was EXHAUSTING traveling with two toddlers by myself.  Not sure what I was thinking…  The second trip was in October where Husband & I went with three other couple friends to Napa for a few days of wine drunk hilarity, again, I don’t think I posted about that trip… read: wine drunk hangover.  But this trip, this amazing birthday trip, I got to go with my sweet little family (plus our nanny :)) and enjoy the good life for a few days.  Got to do all the cool stuff like stay at one of my FAVORITE hotels (Shutters on the Beach), hang at the beaches and parks, and visited my alma mater, had brunch with my sister cousin and sweet baby Parker James… then, when husband & I wanted to have a nice dinner or go shopping without being interrupted by a massive meltdown, the kiddos went back to the hotel and hung with the sitter!  It.Was.AWESOME!

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^I have to tell you, what made my birthday trip so incredible was this man right here ^

There are not enough words to express how amazing he is to me.  He truly exemplifies what it means to be a husband and father and I couldn’t have been blessed with a better partner in life.  He really outdid himself this year, and I’m so lucky.  So. Very. Lucky.

Thank you, hunny, for always treating me like a queen.  I love you.

 


Malibu, CA :: March 2016

This little family of mine!  We had so much fun being tourists in my old stomping grounds!  We seriously did a little bit of everything that Malibu has to offer… except surf… I’ve never been a big fan of the cold Pacific water.  We did go to Pepperdine, ate at all my favorite spots, went hiking, saw some of my greatest friends, and of course did some shopping ;).  It was a blast!

There are days when I reminisce about my time in Malibu.  It was such a special time in my life.  I was finally feeling what freedom was for the first time (my parents were 2000+ miles away!!).  I was meeting people who were totally different from me and grew up in a different world than me.  It was truly one of the best experiences, and I don’t think I would be who I am today if I hadn’t have been brave enough to leave the comfort of my home in Texas and go to college in California.  I never wanted to conform to the norm and get too comfortable knowing that my parents could just rescue me at the drop of a hat.

Someday, Bennett will be at the age where he is figuring out where he wants to go to college and as much as I selfishly will want him to be close to home, I hope that I am brave enough at that time to let him choose his own path and encourage him to fulfill his dreams.

Anyway, once again, Husband & I had a great time with our little buddy.  It’s crazy that his first college visit was to my school across the country when daddy’s school is only a 2 hour drive from our house in Florida :).

 I just know he is going to be a wave!!! ;) Enjoy the pics!

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Mommy & Bennett in Malibu

I’m about to post a ton of pics from our time in Malibu last weekend, so I thought I would share this sweet video of my first “walk” on the beach with my boy!

Thanks, Husband, for the cute video!



a day in the ‘bu

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I feel like we have been on vacation for months! Whenever we leave for long periods of time like that I always feel like it takes a while to get back into the groove of the real world.  For instance, my “to do” list for today consists of grocery shopping, 100 loads of laundry, paying bills, work stuff (ie payroll, quickbooks, etc…), purchase flights for Thanksgiving… ugh!  And I’m exhausted!  I know you guys know what I’m talking about… sometimes you need a vacation from your vacation.

Anyway, it really was a great little break from life in Florida. First we were in California for a couple of days for my bestie’s wedding.  Then the last few days we have been visiting my family in Texas.  Husband & I had never been to Los Angeles together before, so it was really nice to be with him to show him around where I lived during college at Pepperdine.  Oh, and my parents were there too!

It was the most gorgeous day to be in Malibu.  I took him on a little tour of the campus, I showed him my old apartment, I introduced him to Westward Beach where I spent lots of time sunbathing with my friends, and of course I took him to my favorite sushi restaurant Nobu which has completely changed since I was in school.  Still delicious, I think it has changed Husband’s life. ;)

After lunch we decided to head back to the hotel since my parents had a flight to catch that evening…

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Shutters on the Beach is by far the best hotel in Los Angeles. Not only is it perfectly located in Santa Monica, (close to all major freeways, the airport, shopping, and fabulous restaurants) it also has the best view!  Love, love, love, and highly recommend staying here every time you are in the Los Angeles area.  Oh, and what an amazing sunset we had that night!  (see pics below)

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More fun pics to come!  Stay tuned… I’m just gettin’ started…


Gator’s Season Opener

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Ok.  I know it has been almost 3 weeks since college football started.  But I have a good excuse as to why I have been gone so long!

See here’s what happened…

We drove to Gainesville on Friday (almost 3 Friday’s ago now…) since some of Husband’s friends from undergrad were going to be in town and everyone wanted to hang out!  I was really excited because we were finally going to eat at Husband’s FAVORITE sushi spot!

  Let me give you a little background on this place… since the day Husband & I met, he had told me about his FAVORITE sushi at this place called Dragonfly.  Every time we would have sushi anywhere he would always compare it to Dragonfly… and with all the chances we had to eat there while going to gator games over the last five years, we never did!  So, this was finally my chance to have this amazing sushi!  And I’m happy to report it was pretty darn good.  Wouldn’t mind having the sautéed edamame every day for the rest of my life!

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The next morning, we got up bright and early and headed out to do some tailgating where we ran into the Florida marching band drum line!

Word.

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And then we finally made it to the game… where the Gators beat Toledo!

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THEN:: After the game, Husband & I headed out to the beach for a couple days which was amazing,  but… as we were driving back home a few days later… I realized that I left my computer at the beach… boooooo!!  I have been so lost without it!  Thank goodness my awesome father in law grabbed it for me when he was down there this past week! Whew…

So, that’s my story… that’s why I have been M.I.A.  I’m sure you all have been VERY concerned.

On a more serious note.

Fast forward to today:  September 11, 2013.  I still remember where I was and what I was doing on that horrific day 12 years ago… isn’t it amazing how if you ask anyone where they were on that day, they will remember?  Gives me chills.  And every year I sit down and start watching the documentaries of that day and as soon as it gets to the part where they show the 2nd airplane crash into the 2nd tower… I still break down and cry.  It’s so heartbreaking.  My alma mater, Pepperdine University, has a memorial for those lost that is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.  If you are ever in Malibu around this time of year, you must go see it.  Click here for more pictures and information.  Seriously, click on the link.  The pictures are incredible. Picture #5 is my favorite.

For those who were lost, their families, the military men & women who continue to fight for our safety and freedom- God bless you.

And God bless the United States of America.

We will never forget.

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My Weekend with the Bride to Be!

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So…(in case you have forgotten) my best friend, Torey, is getting married!  She got engaged a few weeks ago, and is hoping to be married within the year, which means we have a lot of planning to do!  If you need a reminder of who Torey is, here is a recap.

Side note:: I’m so blessed to have a wonderful husband who fully understands my duties in helping Torey plan.  He knows the importance of having a second opinion of someone you truly trust to help you make the right choice in flowers, colors, cakes, etc… Right Hunny? Love you, mean it! ;)

Anyway, I flew into Los Angeles on Thursday morning and got to spend the whole weekend with the Bride to Be!  We immediately got down to wedding business, and by “business” I mean grabbing lunch at CPK ’cause I can’t focus on ANYTHING without food in my belly. Just sayin’.  Ok… so after lunch we went straight home and went through about 100 bridal magazines & started building private boards on Pinterest.  It was so fun to see what inspires her and what she wants to do.  She has the finest taste and I know this wedding will never be matched!  I feel so lucky to be a part of it!

We also had some R&R visiting our alma mater in Malibu and seeing old friends.  Ate at some of our favorite restaurants like Taverna Tony and Moonshadows.  It was crazy seeing all of the changes that have taken course since the last time I was there… doesn’t even seem possible that so many things can look so different after such a short amount of time.  But it was great to be there! Overall, I’d say it was a very productive trip and I can’t wait to celebrate my sweet friend’s nuptials in a few months!  Italy?  California?  Mexico? All three maybe?!?  We shall see!