Friday, November 20, 2015

Casual Fridays

Well hello there! It's been a while, and frankly, I don't have the slightest idea where to begin so I've decided to grace you with another Photo-Prompted Post. But first, an update on the Pumpkin Predicament of 2015: I am happy to report that last Thursday, Cody took me to Coldstone (the one in Lakeside for any likeminded people who are distressed by the deplorable lack of pumpkin-y goodness), and they had pumpkin ice cream. And y'all. It was to die for. I got graham cracker cookie crust mixed in, and I'm pretty sure I heard angels singing. Loved it. Also, I bought a pumpkin pie from Publix. Because I can always count on Publix, hallelujah. And on Tuesday night, my parents took Cody and me to LongHorn for my birthday, and LongHorn is currently serving a pumpkin spice lava cake which, although I didn't actually order it, looked amazing. I'm feeling a lot more optimistic about life.

Anyway, on to our Photo-Prompted Post. 
First up: my Gracie girl is in college. And we got to visit her a few weeks ago. I can't talk about how much I love her and how proud I am of her without crying, so instead, let me just tell you that she took us to this place called Steel City Pops. They sell gourmet popsicles made from all-natural and local ingredients. And I had a pumpkin popsicle. (Are you so sick of hearing the word pumpkin yet?) It was amazing, and I wanted to try every popsicle on the menu (except for the smoked fig with cheese....too weird even for me). We had a blast visiting with Grace, and her new school and town are beautiful. We will definitely be going back soon. If not for Grace, then for those Steel City Pops. Holy moly.
Our quick visit with Grace was actually a pit-stop on our way to North Carolina for family vacation. Fun story: I was driving when we crossed into North Carolina, and as soon as I saw that beautiful welcome sign, I pulled off the highway. There was this steep--and I do emphasize the word steep--road leading up to a gated community right before you passed the sign. So I crawled up this hill, did a little U-turn, pulled off, and was quizzed by my husband on the proper direction to turn the wheels when we're parking on such a steep incline. (I passed the test, by the way.) We almost broke our necks running down this slippery hill, snapped a couple pictures, then we huffed our way back up to the car, during which I almost lost my flip-flops several times. We jumped back in the car, pulled back onto the highway....and almost immediately passed an entire parking area for what I can only assume is a place for crazy people like me who want to take a picture in front of the state welcome sign. My poor husband was just shaking his head. Bless. Welcome to North Carolina.
My family is the best and we know how to vacation. Here we are playing Golf late into the night. This photo really represents an entire week of fun games, the most memorable of this trip being Family Feud. (Good answer!) Even though we're extremely competitive people, we love each other and have a blast playing together, although to the casual observer it might seem more like one death match after another. And speaking of death matches, my biggest triumph in the realm of family games this year was definitely sustained during a game of Rack-O in which I completely annihilated my mom and two of my sisters. Fun times.
The leaves were all turning and the fall colors were gorgeous. We don't get any of that down here in Florida (what we do get is 70 degree weather in November--praise Him!) so we took all the opportunities to take pictures with that beautiful backdrop.
A sweet lady from our church sent all these cozy, handmade, stocking caps up with my dad for all of us to enjoy throughout the week. And let me tell you, we were grateful for any warm thing considering we're pretty much all tried-and-true Floridians and those temps were dipping down into the 40s all week. Also, have I mentioned my family is the best?
Personally, one of my favorite things about vacation (and probably the only thing in this post relevant to the actual purpose of this blog) is having time to read. I did some major damage to Theodore, but still wasn't able to finish it. I was seriously hoping to knock it out completely but apparently that was wishful thinking. As far as my reading goals for the rest of 2015 go, my only one is to finish this dang book. Vacation also affords my loving family members numerous opportunities to make fun of my hermit-like tendencies. While everyone else was out shopping or hiking or doing who knows what, I was holed up by the fire, reading a biography of a dead president. And loving every second of it. 
While I was snuggled up inside reading to my heart's content (#introvertsunite), my boys were out exploring and adventuring. I really don't have much else to say about this photo except I love those two with all my heart (the one in the hat especially). 
Last week, I got to take my BFF Erin and her firstborn to Busch Gardens. Since Cody and I have annual passes, I got a free day-pass for a friend during the month of November because of my birthday and I'm so glad I got to take Erin and her daughter. And there's a brand-new baby rhino! The first time Cody and I had BG passes, we got to watch a baby rhino grow up throughout the year. Now that we got passes again, another new rhino was born. Coincidence? I think not. Busch Gardens should just give us free annual passes for the rest of our lives, amiright? Anyway, call me a nerd if you must but I'm excited to watch this little rhinoceros grow. It's amazing how big they get so quickly.
And in case you missed the multiple times I mentioned it, I got older this week. But it was fairly painless thanks to this amazing guy. He had the six days leading up to my birthday off, and he really spoiled me. Those six days included dinner and a movie and Coldstone, new ChapSticks galore, a date night to Old Town, the new Cinderella movie on DVD, a full-body massage, more presents than any one girl should get, and all his love and affection (just to name a few). I couldn't be more blessed.

And I think that's about it for this post. Good catching up with you. Let's do this again soon. What have you been up to the past month?


  1. Let's just state that the Rack-O annihilation was before Mommy "changed" the rules on us!!!! Haha!

    1. Oy. Seriously. That was awful. I definitely like the way we play better! LOL!!

  2. Family vacations are the BEST. I cannot wait for next year. I thought you had me in that hold 'em hand. We have to up the stakes next year ;)

    Also how many books you knock out this year? Caroline and I are ticking them off our reading list. I think we are close to 40 and are aiming for 52 before the new year.

    1. That is an impressive amount of books!!! Go Osbornes!!!!

  3. I love the photo with hats. I love this whole post. I love you. And I love family reunions. (Not in that order.) Also, I'm so glad you're my best friend. And you totally already know what I'VE been up to this past month, because you've been my biggest cheerleader throughout the whole process! :))))