Back to School


20130819-081511.jpg

It’s that time of year again! Moms across the area are rejoicing for a few hours of free time during the day and for the return to routine that we all crave. Riley started 4th grade this morning. I gave him the choice to meet up with friends or ride the bus and he chose to ride the bus. He mentioned that a friend from his bus, Tanner was also in his class. I think he was excited to see him.

We’ve been quite fortunate over the years to have excellent teachers for Riley. He isn’t a difficult student, but he could slip through the cracks if not noticed. Riley is very passionate about a few subjects and could care less about others. Each of his teachers over the years has nurtured him and helped him to grow into who he is now. By all reports and rumors, his current teacher is an excellent fit.

I’ve got one more week before Gavin starts Pre-K, so expect a second photo then!

What is your favorite part of back to school?

Summertime is not the place for a cold


20130731-115440.jpg
These legs should be laying on a beach or paddle boarding. Or even more practically, measuring houses and appraising them. The last week & a half has been slow work-wise. It’s been a nice reprieve from the frantic workload of spring and early summer. Yesterday I came down with what can only be described as a head cold. (To be honest, it struck me Monday night.) I informed my husband that I was allowing myself one day to be sick and get over it. Then I went into work and proceeded to finish a report that was due. In a delightful twist of irony, now that I am finally using this time to nap and get over my malaise, I’ve gotten 3 job requests. I’ve spent the morning napping which is something I never take the time to do. So I guess I really do only have one day to be properly sick. Then it is time to get back to work.

What do you do to get over colds?

20130731-115649.jpg

Class reunion, Niceville style


20130728-094629.jpg

My 20th class reunion was this weekend. I’m not entirely sure how I got this far past high school, but we made it and here we are. In the time since I’ve graduated I’ve gotten married, had two boys, changed jobs 9 times, changed vocation at least 3-4 times, started 2 businesses and bought a house. I still live in the area and would happily have my children go to the same school I graduated from.

I was a little tense about going to this reunion because the 10 year still felt a lot like high school. This was a little more relaxed, but still a little of the same. I guess part of the problem is that I don’t know what to ask about except kids, jobs, and new locations. Most people seemed to have moved to the Atlanta area. A few made it north to New Jersey or out west to Texas, Oklahoma or California. We have a couple lawyers in the group, some small business owners and a doctor. I think we’ve turned out ok and continued to make a meaningful contribution to this world we’ve joined.

I did get to reconnect with a few old friends. Ironically, most of the people I hung out with live only 45 min to 1 hour from me, but I’ve seen them very little.

20130728-095936.jpg
Kim, me, & Regina

20130728-100023.jpg
Michael & Rebekah

20130728-100454.jpg
The whole darn group.

20130728-100602.jpg

20130728-100624.jpg
A couple random room shots…

So what did you wish you had thought to ask others at your reunions? Or did you even go to your high school reunion?

Abrakadoodle + giving back


The Art of Engineering

Abrakadoodle was started in our community in 2008, when my firstborn was 4 years old. I remember meeting Erin, the owner, when she joined our playdate group to do an art project together with our little ones. I was impressed by the frames that the artwork went into and the quality of the finished products. The kids had a blast getting messy creating art and the moms had a fridge worthy piece of art to show off!

dandelion

Abrakadoodle has grown exponentially since it started in 2008 and went from a mobile location to over 16 locations throughout the Emerald Coast. They offer classes that range from Mommy & Me for toddlers up to camps designed for middle schoolers. In addition they also offer adult painting nights, pinterest classes, and they have partnered with local artist Alan Moore for recycled folk art classes.

Recently, Erin has branched out to help out local organizations within our community. There is a class this Thursday to benefit Feline Friends of Destin, a local charity that works with the local cat population.

FFD flyer

By joining them Thursday evening, you will enjoy a painting class that results in the lovely cat photo above to take home and showcase, plus the added benefit of helping out a local charity!

If cats aren’t your interest, there is another charity painting/mixed media event in August for the whole family.

FFTFood for Thought outreach helps to feed local kids via the schools. Its a great program that also collects backpacks to help equip kids with the nutrition they need to thrive. This class is being held on a Saturday morning so that you can bring the little ones to participate.

 

What are your favorite ways to give back to your community?

 

**disclaimer – I was not compensated for this post. I do volunteer with Abrakadoodle and support them with my time. All opinions are my own and unsolicited.**

Horseback Riding Lessons


A few months ago my mother in law suggested that my firstborn should get horseback riding lessons. Since she also bought the boots, covers, and lessons, I figured “Why not?”

She was right. Firstborn LOVES it. His teacher says that he does very well with his lessons and has picked up quite a bit naturally.

20130707-070859.jpg

He is learning how to groom & tack the horse, including brushing down the coat, cleaning the hooves and how to properly put on the saddle and bridle. I think learning how to “drive” such a large animal is helping considerably with his self confidence.

Yesterday Firstborn was able to trot around the arena on his own. It was awesome to watch him.

I found out afterwards that the horse nipped at him when they were getting him ready. His teacher said that Firstborn did get pretty upset about it, but that he moved on from it and kept going.

His lessons are at Rocky Bayou Stables out in Freeport. It is a bit of a drive from Destin, but well worth it.

20130707-072219.jpg
What are your kids trying out new this summer?

Destin Farmers Market


20130413-120931.jpg

Last weekend Destin started its first farmers market. I was so excited to go that I was ready to head out at 7am. As I’ve said before, I am not a morning person, so this was a testament to how excited I was to go. Unfortunately, the market is from 9-1, so I had to wait a bit. I was most excited for the opportunity to get locally grown fruits and veggies, eggs and milk. I found everything but the milk.

Last week I found ginormous carrots, eggs, hydroponic lettuce, tomatoes and freshly baked breads. I didn’t remember to get a photo of everything, so you’ll have to take my word for it. This week’s conquest is pictured above. The tomatoes I found last week were so good that I went back for more. They are beefsteak tomatoes, so they are meaty and excellent on BLT sandwiches. The bread is excellent for breakfast or a snack and my boys love the chocolate chip variety.

There were more vendors this week than last week and it does appear still be growing. It is located in the Destin Water Users parking lot on Main St and in addition to bread and veggies, there is local honey, art, soap and assorted sundries. I highly recommend checking it out!

Karna Fitness


October of last year I won a $50 credit for Karna Emerald Coast via Facebook. I decided to use the credit and enrolled in the Monday night Restore the Core class. I figured it was a once a week mat based Pilates class and would be a great way to strengthen my core. I had just purchased a paddle board and wanted to get stronger on it. Little did I know what a life changer winning that credit was.

I completed the session and thoroughly enjoyed it. I even found a couple of my friends were going that I didn’t get to see very often. Getting to see them more frequently was a great incentive to keep going. When the second session ended, one of the teachers in my youngest son’s preschool class encouraged me to try the early morning workout program called Karna Camp. For the record, I am NOT a morning person. Not even a little bit. But Sara was so encouraging that I decided to give it a try.

Getting up that first morning at 5:15 was a bit like starting a new job. I slept poorly the night before because I was afraid I would sleep through the alarm. I was awake at class, but that was about it. I felt very uncoordinated and slow. But I made it through the class and the rest of the day was amazing. And productive. I was sore the next day, and the day after, but I was hooked.

20130402-221125.jpg

Honestly, it took 7 weeks (!) before I stopped being ridiculously sore. I discovered Epsom Salt baths, copious amounts of Motrin and lots of bananas. I’ve been challenged more than I thought I could handle and I’ve grown in ways that I didn’t think possible. It really is about more than just working out now. It’s about growing, finding a healthy outlet for frustration, and changing the way my body looks and feels. It is also about camaraderie with a group of women I barely know, yet I am now somehow connected to. We challenge each other and push each other forward.

20130402-221138.jpg
Most of the time we do our classes out on the pool deck overlooking the Destin harbor and the Gulf of Mexico. When it rains or is too cold we move the class into the ballroom. But we always meet. I’ve missed one Restore the Core class, yet somehow have not missed a single Karna Camp class. I’m not sure what has made me so consistent in attending except that I know that my body and mind need this time to work everything out.

20130402-221150.jpg

It’s been a good journey so far and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. Preferably to a smaller jean size. 😉

Spring Break in Destin


It’s spring break in Destin. Well actually it’s been spring break for the past month, but my kids are actually out of school in addition to all of the families and kids visiting from out of state. I’m sure spring break in, say, Atlanta doesn’t have the same ring to it. We are a beach town and sometimes the population doubles just because it is Easter weekend and three colleges are out. It’s not a big deal usually. When families are visiting, I usually try to stay out of the way. I take the back roads since only the locals know them, and we don’t eat out during the peak times. This week is a little different. It is often in the 60’s to 70’s this time of year. This week, it is hovering near the 50’s with lows in the high 30’s. I’m sure it is summer weather if you are from Alaska, but here it is COLD. The beaches have been relatively empty. I’m enjoying it.

20130325-211517.jpg