Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Welcome to Miami

When Josh told me he had Monday and Tuesday off before 4th of July, I immediately suggested we go down to Miami! We’ve been wanting to visit the beach sometime this year and visit my brother and his wife. Josh didn’t hesitate and we quickly planned our trip down. We left late afternoon Friday and drove through the night. Josh was quite the trooper. It was a LONG drive. 12 hours to be exact. But it was definitely worth it. Saturday morning, we waited for Courtney to get back from work and we headed straight to the beach. Oh it was so wonderful!! And not near as crowded as I had imagined. I didn’t take any pictures, but just enjoyed time in the hot sun, warm ocean water and soaking in this new city we had never been to. After a few hours at South Beach, we headed to Wynwood for late lunch/early dinner. We ate at this really great Mexican place called, Taco Stand. Wow! It was delicious. We walked around Wynwood Walls and looked at all the art. We headed home later and swam in their pool for a bit and were absolutely exhausted that night.

The next day, we went to church with them. Their ward is in Spanish and English. It was such a different experience for our family. Michael and Courtney both speak Spanish and are great assets to their ward. It was Fast Sunday and their Bishop bore a very powerful testimony. He talked about having uncomfortable situations during this earthly life. How those experiences that we always don’t feel super confident in or unfamiliar or uncomfortable are the ones that makes us grow and reach out to others. Later I learned that him and his family are from Utah and he came home one day and told his wife that their life is too easy and they need a challenge. They moved to Miami and I can only guess how that was one of those uncomfortable situations he had been talking about. It reminded me of when Josh came home and through out the idea of moving to North Carolina. We have become a better and stronger couple and family because of that single decision. It wasn’t easy, but I have learned so much from our new life in the South.

My Grandma made this Americana dress for my Molly doll over 20 years ago.  Now Charlotte is putting her Bitty Baby in it!

After church, we ate a great dinner Courtney made for us. Then we went and walked around Michael’s campus. He just graduated with his Masters of Taxation from University of Miami. It is a beautiful campus. So tropical!! We saw lots of different animals while walking around, but luckily, no gators!! Michael also drove us around some nice communities close to campus. It was cool to explore a little bit.  When we came back, Courtney and Charlotte made us homemade ice cream.  It was so yummy.  Something we will have to try at home!!

Monday came and we were on our own. We went into downtown Miami. We started our day at the Bayside Market, which overlooks the bay (and where the cruise ships dock). We ate lunch at Hard Rock Cafe (which was pretty disappointing), walked around and then took the free metro, a monorail, around downtown. It was a good way to get around and just sight see. We made it back to Michael and Courtney’s right as Courtney got home. We had planned to go to BJ’s for dinner (a family favorite). So while we waited for dinner to happen, we went over to Petland and played with puppies. Haha. Dinner was so good, of course, and we couldn’t leave without getting a trio of Pizookies for us all to sample. The restaurant was attached to a really cool outdoor mall, so we tried to walk off a little of dinner.

Tuesday was another beach day. We basically repeated Saturday, beach and Taco Stand, and also visited a very popular and amazing reviewed donut shop, “The Salty Donut.” We took those home and they were heaven. We went home and took a rest before going out to the Miami Marlins baseball game that night! Whenever Michael visits us, we always go to a baseball game, so we kept the tradition going, this time, us visiting him! It was a cool stadium, having a retractable roof. The roof was open, for some crazy reason, and we were sweating our brains out. Haha. Naomi was wide awake the entire time and didn’t make a peep. She was perfect!!

The entire time we were in Miami I kept saying that I felt like I was in a different country or Hawaii. It was unlike any continental U.S. city I have been to. I went to Hawaii when I was 19 and it reminded me a lot of there. But then we would hear so many different languages as we were walking around. It was an extremely diverse city, which I love. It was very tropical and green EVERYWHERE! I told Josh I don’t have to travel anywhere now, that I got my tropical, beach fix. So if anyone needs a vacation but doesn’t want to fly, just drive down South! It will seriously satisfy you!! A huge thank you to Michael and Courtney for hosting us and being so gracious to letting us stay with them.  It was a lot of fun!!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Naomi Turns 3 Months Old

I think each month that goes by I will be in awe that my baby is another month older.  It still feels like yesterday was her delivery date.  She is getting so huge, but I know to everyone else she is still so tiny!  She weighs a whopping 9 lbs 1.8 oz!  (I was bigger than that at birth!)

 Having a preemie is such a different expereince.  She is just now starting to legit smile at us, mostly me.  It doesn't happen often, but Charlotte was a pretty somber baby too.  She is sleeping mostly through the night.  She wakes up around 3-4 am, eats, and then goes back to sleep until 7 or 8.  I am ok with this, for now.  I want to start getting her into the habit of last feeding, bedtime routine and crying it out (yep, I'm a horrible mom) in the next month or two. 

She is really easy to go out and about with.  She loves being outside and is always so calm.  She still sleeps a lot during the day but has been awake a lot more.  Which is fun, but she also wants to be held while she's awake.  I try and take time to just sit and hold her.  I know she's my last so I do remind myself of that. 

She is really easy to go out and about with.  She loves being outside and is always so calm.  She still sleeps a lot during the day but has been awake a lot more.  Which is fun, but she also wants to be held while she's awake.  I try and take time to just sit and hold her.  I know she's my last so I do remind myself of that. 

She is such a joy to have in our family.  I love her little face so much.  Sometimes we just can't get enough of her.  There are several times where I just kiss her chubby cheeks constantly.

Charlotte loves having a sister, loves holding her and thinking she can do more than I would like her to (like picking her up...AHHH!).  She loves telling other people she has a sister and I hope, will always be protective of Naomi. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Dino Day in the City

We love living in the suburbs of a big city.  I know, not as big as Atlanta, but big enough.  On Tuesday, a group of friends decided to take the train to the children's library, ImaginOn.  After some complications in the morning, we finally all arrived in Uptown at the library.  The kids were mostly into the Dino exhibit.  They got to ride a dinosaur and watch an egg hatch.  Afterward, we took the train home and met at the Chick-Fil-A for lunch.  Toward the end, it had been a long day and everyone was wiped out.  It was a lot of fun though!

Naomi's First Train Ride
I told Charlotte not to touch anything because of all the germs.  
Talk about germs...I know, don't even get me started!