Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Taking a "Breaker"

Ryan and I needed some r&r so we planned a quick weekend getaway to The Breakers in Palm Beach. We headed down Friday afternoon and arrived in the most well-manicured city I have ever seen. The buildings all looked brand new, the landscaping was so neat and tidy and the cars were...impressive, to say the least. What a fancy place!
The Breakers sits in the middle of this luxurious island, surrounded by ivy-clad walls and rows of the tallest palm trees. The hotel is a national historic landmark, having been built in the early 1900s, and simply gorgeous. It's burned down twice (!) and was most recently rebuilt in 1926-ish. I felt like such a princess to be able to stay in such a storied place and so blessed that we can get away with each other on a whim. Life, and more importantly God, is so good!
Aside from simply being in awe of the opulence and weath that surrounded us (seriously, some of the people there must be rolling in it!), we spent the weekend dining at the fabulous resort restaurants...
Taking in the sites at the hotel...Relaxing at the beach...Playing tennis...
And just hanging out.Ryan may claim his favorite part was this...
A TV in the mirror of the bathroom! (I told you this place was fancy!)

But my favorite was just being able to get away with my husband and best friend, who can take my mind off all of life's stresses and make me laugh.
We had a great time and I only hope we can go back one day for a longer vacation!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So the prognosis was right

We had tree "doctors" come to the house and do some cleanup a while ago. The backyard needed a lot of work but the front seemed okay.
That was, until the "doctor" looked at one of the elms and gave the grave diagnosis that it was on its way out. Eventually, he said, it would terminate itself. No joke, that's how he described it.

Well, folks, the day has come and sadly the prognosis was right. I drove up to the house from work tonight and saw this...
The tree has indeed "terminated itself." Bummer.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Signs say...

Great days are ahead! Hobby Lobby is closer to opening. I can't wait!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Girls' Weekend 2010 - 5th Annual!

This year's girls' weekend could not have come at a better time. Stress from work and life in general has been weighing me down so I was really looking forward to some quality girltime with some of my best friends to bring me back up.
Ryan and I hosted Allison, who flew in from Michigan, for the first night before we headed over to the beach. Aren't we such a good-looking, welcoming couple with the white picket fence in front? Ha!
We went for a delicious meal of tapas and sangria on Friday night after I scooped Allison up from the airport. The next day, we did a few last minute tasks (I hadn't even packed yet!) and worked on the annual wine glasses for the group. I was inspired by wine charms and had a vision of beads and initials...Allison did most of the work and I think she did an amazing job making my vision a reality! Each girl got a different color and a bead with her first initial to mark her glass.
We got to the beach late Saturday afternoon at the same time that the gals from Hot-lanta rolled into town. Meg hooked us up with an awesome beachside condo in New Smyrna Beach and as soon as we got there the long-separated pals were instantly giggling and chatting it up. I love that we can be apart for months or even a year at a time and still pick up right where we left off. It's such a comfort and blessing!
As we've gotten older, the reading material on the trip sure has changed...And another big change this year was who joined us...Stefanie brought Nora, her adorable 6-month old, that fit in just perfectly. It's amazing to think that 5 years ago when we started our annual trips, I wasn't even dating Ryan and now all of us are married or engaged and three of the six have babies with one more on the way! We're getting old...ha!
We spent the next two days at the beach, getting some sun, swimming (even me!) in the clear-blue ocean, and talking like we were back in the sorority house. It was delightful!
We worried about Nora overheating while we spent all day outside, so we improvised for air conditioning and used chilled water bottles during naptime.Speaking of improvising, we ran out of containers to bring our adult beverages down to the beach, so Allison had the brilliant idea of using an empty milk jug for margaritas.This is what happens after a little tequilla on the beach...We ate in all three nights, another big difference this year. I cooked lasagna the first night, Meg brought an amazing roasted shrimp and orzo dish for the second night and while we originally planned to go out on the town the last night, we couldn't be tempted away from pj's and pizza and ended up staying in.After dinner, we enjoyed (?) Shark Week on Discovery, which was ironic considering New Smyrna is the shark attack capital of the world.And on the final day we took our signature "silly" pictures using props from around the condo.I cannot express how much these girls mean to me and how important it is that we have this time each year to get away, share our struggles, challenges and good news, and continue to fuel a friendship that I know will be life-long. I admire so many qualities in each of my friends and their fierce loyalty and love for each other. It never ceases to amaze me how quick they are to stand by each other's side during life's tough times and how eager they are to celebrate during life's joys. These are amazing women and I am so thankful to have them in my life!