A picture is worth a thousand words…

I’ve been remiss in my blogging, once again. Here’s all the stuff I wasn’t blogging about…

Before Paige’s college suspended all greek life, her sorority held their philanthropy event- a Red Dress Gala for women’s heart health, and had a couple of social events.

She also spent a lot of time studying…

We loved having the whole family together for Thanksgiving….

Tim and I decided to be tourists one day, and took a trolley tour in St. Augustine (We’ve never done that before! 😳😂) We walked all along St. George Street And did some Christmas shopping, had lunch, and had a fabulous day.

The family went for a nice hike in Guana over Thanksgiving weekend before the kids had to get back to classes. It was a great way to end the weekend (after eating all that turkey 🦃)!

Clay got to spend a day out on the water doing some research before exams, which he appreciated!

I spent a weekend tackling a couple of projects- repainting our patio set, and chalk painting this table. I love how it turned out!


Level Dance Company performed in the homecoming parade, and Paige had a reunion with her Paris friends (from study abroad.)

Looking Forward to Summer 

The spring weather here in Florida has been delightful and Tim and I have been enjoying our evening beach walks immensely. It’s that perfect time of year – not too warm, not too cool – just perfectly wonderful. 

Paige was able to come home for Easter weekend and we had a nice, relaxing family weekend. We had home cooked meals, family movie nights, slept late every morning, (well, the kids did…) and enjoyed lazy beach days. It was wonderful. I think the kids really appreciated the weekend of laziness as they are in the final stretch of spring semester. Clay has final exams this week and Paige has hers next week. 

Paige has been filling out applications, looking for a summer job. Clay will start his summer semester in a couple of weeks and will also be working. I’m looking forward to having the whole family together under one roof again for a few months. 😊

Spring Break (when Mother Nature hates you)

Spring break was a bit of a disappointment this year, especially for the kids. We all had plans; to lounge blissfully on the beach, to go hiking at http://www.gtmnerr.org/, go kayaking, etc. Mother Nature wasn’t feeling very cooperative, however, and a nasty cold front came through and spring break felt more like winter break. 

So…instead of lounging blissfully on the beach, we curled up under blankets and read and watched movies. When the sun finally came out and the temperature warmed up a little bit, the kids went hiking anyway (it was brisk, but fun).

The final day of spring break it finally warmed up enough for Paige and I to wake up early and crawl out of our warm beds, grab our cameras and some coffee and head to the beach to catch the sunrise. Tim scoffed at us the night before. He actually guffawed  when we told him we were going to wake up early and go watch the sunrise. 

Oh yeah!

That’s right, Mister. We were up at the butt crack of dawn, and we’ve got photographic proof! 

Hmph. Guffawing at us. So rude. 

Anyway, it was really nice. Bonding experience, peaceful, spiritual, blah blah. 

We came home and had some more coffee, ran some errands, Paige got a couple hours in at the pool and cuddled with Jack, Clay went fishing, and then….

Spring break was over. 

Monday, when the kids started back at school, temperatures were in the 80’s. 

Mother Nature hates my kids. 

Family Time

Paige came home last Friday and we had such a great weekend, spending some much needed family time together! Paige caught up on her sleep, ate some good food, and she and I had some mom/daughter bonding over shopping (as one does💁🏻). 

Saturday evening we all had an escape from all the awful, terribleness in the news every day (or so it seems) and went the WellRed Comedy Tour, which was hilarious and just what we all needed. 

The rest of the weekend seemed to speed up and go faster and faster as the time came for Paige to have to head back to school, but was mostly spent walking on the beach, or just hanging out, talking and just catching up. It was a fantastic weekend but we’re going to miss the munchkin until we see her again over spring break!

It was nice to see a bit of Clay this weekend too – he’s usually in class, or at work or in the library. Lucky us… both kids were around this weekend! 😊

This is what I usually see of the kids…Snapchat pictures they send to me to let me know where they are…

Vive la France! Vive la République! 🇫🇷

Clay turned 22 Monday. (22!!!😱) He had the day off and we hung out at the beach…

While we were enjoying the sun and surf, Paige was touring the Opera Garnier and hearing stories about the phantom of the opera, whilst being assured by the tour guide that the stories weren’t true. 

She spent the rest of the week doubling down in her French classes so that they could have Bastille Day off. Her group had a picnic in the park, as they have been trying to avoid large crowds. 

I’m almost finished moving everything and organizing the bedroom and bath for Linda. 


Finally, a few more photos Paige sent me from the past couple of weeks…

* I am horrified and saddened by the awful events that took place in Nice this Bastille Day. Many people sent me messages asking if Paige was okay. She is. She is in Paris, and she is fine. My love and prayers go out to those in Nice and to everyone in France. Vive la France! Vive la République!🇫🇷


It’s been rather quiet around here since we got back from our (second) trip to NYC. We’ve been trying to entice Clay to get over to the house more so we can have a bit more family time. We’ve taken lots of walks on the beach. 

We’ve been trying to get all the doctor and dentist visits taken care of while Paige is home for the summer…

Clay has been doing a bit of fishing and even took Paige along one day…but apparently, she is a jinx because they didn’t catch a thing. 

We’ve been trying to get everything together (making sure we’ve got converters, etc) for our trip to Paris later this month – I’m flying over with Paige so we can have a few days to museum hop and shop before she begins her Intensive French program in July. 

We had my sweet refugee family over for a lovely dinner, with lots of laughter and interesting conversation. I’m so happy to know this wonderful family and to be able to call them my friends! Paige had a little admirer…and taught her how to do a forward roll. AND how to use snapchat filters. I’m sure her parents will be eternally grateful. 

New York, Part Deux

I should probably begin by explaining that Tim has a hotel room in the city for the month, courtesy of his company. And so we decided to take advantage of that, since New York City is very expensive… Anyway, Clay had classes, so Paige and I flew up last week for a few days. It seemed like a great idea since the forecast was for rain here…and we had a boil water advisory for our little beach area. Sadly, I didn’t bring my (real) camera this time, so snapchat photos will have to suffice. 

We left Thursday and got to spend that day with Tim before he left for work. He surprised us with tickets to Something Rotten, which was fabulously funny and absolutely great. We loved it! 

The next day Paige and I headed to Chinatown to do a little (ahem!) shopping on Canal Street.  After a bit of haggling, we walked to Little Italy for a quick snack and to rest our feet and people watch for a bit. 

After our respite we headed on to Greenwich Village. We did a bit more shopping, a lot of walking, and finally had a late lunch/early dinner at Famous John’s (Thanks for the recommendation, Theresa!) It was delicious!

While we were noshing on our pizza, we checked on the status of our lottery entries for some of the sold out shows we hoped to see – Hamilton, in particular. Sadly, but not surprisingly, we did not win. So we opted for discounted tickets for an old favorite. And it did not disappoint. 

Saturday was museum day. We went to The Met and we spent hours there, yet probably were only able to see about a quarter of the exhibits. It was all just amazing. And slightly overwhelming…so much to see!

And Sunday (when it started raining in the city, and the sun came out at home) we decided to head home. 

It’s good to be back. Thankfully, the boil water advisory was lifted right after we got home. Perfect timing! 😊 I love visiting NYC…but it makes me appreciate my quiet, peaceful, tranquil home even more. Although…it might be worth the frenetic pace and constant barrage of sirens and honking horns to have access to those museums…

Out like a lamb…

The past few weeks have been busy. We’ve been house hunting, for starters. I’m astounded at how some people live. I admit to secretly sort of enjoying walking through stranger’s homes, silently criticizing or admiring their decorating choices, and getting a glimpse into other people’s lives. The inventory of homes here, in our price range, is quite limited so it is a bit of a seller’s market. Even so, it is amazing how many people have simply listed their messy homes…it doesn’t appear that there has been much, if any, sprucing up of the homes. As for cleaning…? Ugh. Just…ugh. (Seriously – how do people even live like that? Much less let strangers walk through their homes and see that they live like that?! Houses stinking of dog, mold in showers, stuff…everywhere?) 

We are hoping that as the weather warms up more houses will appear in MLS. Because right now there is nothing. At least nothing that will work. 

I spent one day last week driving my refugee family around the area. They live in the middle of Jacksonville and had not had a chance to see much of the city. It was a beautiful day, so we drove east and stopped at the beach. They loved it. Obviously, the beach is a completely new experience for them (Afghanistan isn’t really known for its beaches 😏). They were able to FaceTime their family in Afghanistan and share the experience with them, which was kind of fun. Afterwards, we had a lovely lunch and then drove around St. Augustine before stopping at the store and heading home. 

Paige came home for Easter last weekend and it was so nice to relax with the kids and spend time together. One more month until they’re both done with final exams and home for the summer. I can’t wait! 


Spring Break…and a refugee family

 We had a wonderful week with Paige when she was home for spring break last week. We shopped, and had beach days, and pool days, and got our hair done. We had family Boston Legal marathons and she slept…a lot…and cuddled with Jack, and read, and just relaxed. 




In other news, I’ve met with “my” refugee family a couple of times and I just adore them. They are the sweetest, most humble, adorable family. The father speaks perfect, fluent English (which definitely makes things a lot easier!). The mom only speaks a few words of English, so far, but is so sweet and smiles so much…between hand gestures and her husband, we are communicating just fine. The little girl is cute, and giggly and twirls and skips, and the baby…oh my goodness. That baby is a chubby little smiling machine. 

On my first visit, I went with someone from World Relief, and it was just a short visit to meet them and set up a schedule for meetings. I brought them a gift basket filled with towels and cleaning supplies and a fruit bowl, and teething rings for the baby and coloring books, and reading books, and sidewalk chalk and bubbles for the little girl.

Yesterday, I sat and talked to them for an hour and half. We talked about how they are settling in, and what help they will need. I brought a driver’s license handbook for the dad to study as he is determined to get a driver’s license as soon as possible. (He already has an international license.) He is trying to find a job. He wants to be self sufficient and to be able to provide for his family. He is excited about living in America and exploring his new country and seeing the things he has heard and read about. He can’t wait to become a citizen. He worries about their families back home in Afghanistan, especially his mother. 

They are human beings. They are just like you and I. They have the same dreams and fears that everyone does. They are a beautiful, young family of four living in a tiny, albeit spotlessly clean, one bedroom apartment. They are tremendously grateful for the opportunities they have been given. They are optimistic. Of course, they are worried – they are living in a new country thousands of miles from everything and everyone they have known. They must learn not only a new language, but new customs as well. It can be frustrating. But they are optimistic. 

So am I. 

I try to tune out the hateful rhetoric that certain orange hued politicians bombastically trumpet to the masses. I try to ignore the increasingly xenophobic, racist, and misogynistic tones of our country lately. I am focusing on what is good about America, and there is much that is good. In fact, there is much that is great. Starting with my little family and their hope and optimism and love. We are a nation of immigrants and refugees. We are a nation of second chances. I want to believe that there is more optimism and hope and love than there is of hate and bigotry. I must believe that. 

* I cannot give specific details about my family, but I can share these links which may give you a bit of insight into what they have experienced…



Qué Pasa?

While I miss the kids – a lot, I must confess that this empty nest thing is really not so awful. It’s quiet. And the house stays clean. And there’s barely any laundry. I haven’t been cooking…there’s just Tim and I. It hardly seems worth the effort. We’ve been eating out, or grilling something, or having salads, or just “foraging.” 

We read a lot…

And take walks on the beach…

We’ve acted like tourists and walked around St. Augustine…

And we’ve been planning our first “empty nester adventure” in a couple of weeks, which I won’t say more about because we fly space available and I don’t want to jinx anything. (#nonrevsuperstitions!) but I will say that I’m excited!! 😊

Clay has started his classes and has been working quite a bit. He has met with his professors about his research project and is planning a night sampling soon (to see if Erika’s higher tides brought in any unusual creatures.) He also went out the other evening and caught and tagged sharks (for NOAA.)

(I agree – he looks demonic in this photo. )
Paige has mastered Uber and has gone grocery shopping with a friend…

She seems to be eating healthy…

Although she is not a fan of the heat and humidity in Tallahassee!

And she ran into (literally!) an old friend the other day, whom she’s known since 2nd grade. Their lives have taken such parallel tracks, it’s funny. They first met through rhythmic gymnastics, then again at The Florida Ballet, then again at the performing arts high school, and now at college…and they have the same major and are in the same computer class!

And finally, Jack. Jack has been…well, exactly the same. 

Some things never change…