Category Archives: 2016

A Glimpse Inside: Our 2016 Holidays

At the request of my overseas sister, Sara, I am sharing a look into our 2016 holiday season.

It was crazy, fun, tiring and the weather was flippantly confusing, in true florida fashion.

We did a lot of cuddling, playing, crafts, dancing and, in true we-have-a-newborn spirit, napping (Stephen, me and the baby that is, Sarah and Elanor laugh at naps ).

 

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July ’16

Here’s a look at our July…

June

I feel like I should title June as The summer of smoothies & Popsicles. The heat has come strong and it isn’t letting up a bit.

Elanor wrote her name the first time. Given, it was backwards, but that’s what happens when you start on the far right side of the page. Sarah was so excited for her.

Sarah has discovered texting on my phone  She messages her uncle Matt and cousin Graycie, and on occasion RiRi. She knows how to record voice messages with the mic, take and send videos and loves to do silly face photos, which my brother always does back to her. She pretty much thinks every time my phone beeps its for her. 
-here’s an example-


We got Sarah registered for Kindergarten. She was so excited just walking in the doors.

Elanor still takes random and spontaneous naps. There’s no system to it, but they usually occur when we are in the car and then I carry her inside and she finishes there.

For Father’s Day Sarah picked out a homemade confetti cake for us to make. It was a detailed and time consuming dessert, but she was so excited and proud. They made him a card and Sarah built him a Lego creation.

Lots of Frog hunts and pool playing to survive this summer heat.

Visiting a garden center with Nana and Aunt Kelley.

My hydrangeas bloomed this month! They didn’t do anything last year and I thought they were dying/dead, so I was thrilled to see blooms. They are one of my favorite flowers.

Bedtime stories with Uncle Jason.

Beach fun!

Reading with dad ❤️

And LOTS of swimming at Nana and Papaws house :)

Life Update: iPhone version

The summer season has come on fast. It felt like we just had Sarahs 5th Birthday and now we are 1/2 way through May.

The girls and I have been enjoying a few of our favorite warm weather activities. Miriah and Addison are often with us with the help of our extra seats of the van. It’s also hard to believe we’ve had that for over 9 months already.

So in March Sarah turned 5. We had a little get together with family at our house and the kids all had a blast.

We got her a bike and she is really loving it.

The week after that I turned 32! We had a joined bday fajita dinner at my parents for Jeff and I since our birthdays are close. A friend from church, Melissa, made me a from-scratch strawberry cake. It was amazing!

After that was Miriah and my camping trip, which I wrote about a few weeks back.

Since then we have gone on a few beach trips, blueberry picking, and visits with friends and park trips.

                   Fort Pickens visit

 

Easter 2016

I love the real-life of this group kid photo.

Stephen on puppy-patrol at the park.


Just a couple girls cruising the neighborhood.


Burying Nana :)


Stephen and I slept in one Saturday morning and found the girls like this around 7:30…

My sweet friend Rebekah, who is about to cross the globe with her two kiddos to join her husband in New Zealand,where they are moving to. So excited to see their adventure unfold (Instagram to the rescue!)


Family meal at Jason & Kelley’s. Dad was there too, he snapped the photo to send to mom, who was out of town.
Grandma with her girls.


And that about sums up a life update from my iPhone photos.

Sister Adventure

A little over a week ago Miriah and I took our first camping trip. Just us girls, no kiddos or hubbies with us. We both love the outdoors and have talked about it for a long time and decided to go for it. We looked up campsites that were within a few hours driving distance and then reserved a spot at Torreya State Park which is in Bristol, Florida – about 2 1/2 hours away.
We were originally planning on going on a Friday but discovered the week we could go was the same as Spring Break, so we grabbed the 1 night that was available and headed out on a Wednesday afternoon.

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Driving without kids in the car is always such a different experience. In the 2 1/2 hour drive we had time to talk, listen to our own music and an NPR podcast. Wow, I am in my 30′s – adulthood is awesome!

We got to the park and snagged our parking pass at a small lodge where the ranger was. We grabbed an extra map to plan our hikes and found our campsite.

 

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After unloading some of our stuff we put the tent together. Miriah and Jeff just got one so it was the first time to use it. Putting it together was pretty easy, so we grabbed some firewood while it was still really light out and then headed out for our first hike.

 

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One of the biggest reasons we went with Torreya Park was because of all the reviews about how great the hiking is. We wanted to spend the majority of our trip in the woods, and this was the perfect place to do so.

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Our first hike was heading along the  Apalachicola River to a historic home called the Gregory House. It was a fun little 2-3 mile trek.

With the hills and water that were around it really didn’t feel like we were in Florida. It was great. We even came up on (and scared off) a family of deer. And with it being late afternoon and in the trees it was nice and cool.

 


Miriah is all about some mossy trees, so we grabbed a photo in front of them.

 

After our hike we made a fire and got dinner cooking. We had a sandwich wrapped in tinfoil and placed it on the grate to get warm and toasted.

We played a round of Skip-Bo while our food cooked and enjoyed the quiet evening as the sun set for the evening.

We sat until the fire died down and then made our way to bed. I think we were tucked in before 9pm #MomLife

 

 

We both slept pretty off and on. I woke up to an armadillo walking around outside our tent and then the occasional howling in the distance.

We got up and going around 7-8. Taking our time to fully get up so we didn’t have to rush.

 

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After we got up we started the day with a fire and some breakfast. We had some crescent rolls that we wrapped around sausages. It was good, but far too much work for a morning meal. Which was one of the main points of this trip, figuring out the ins and outs of camping, especially a quick and easy food plan. I don’t know why we fancied up hotdogs, haha, but it was pretty tasty since we weren’t cooking for more than just the 2 of us.

After breakfast we broke down our campsite and got ready to head to another hike. We didn’t know how long it would take and wanted to make sure our campsite was cleared in case we went past check-out time. It was a good decision because the trail we were headed to is called The Torreya Challenge and what was supposed to be a 5 mile hike was actually over 8 and took us a good 3 hours.

 

This is about 3/4 a mile in where the trail starts. The whole experience was really good. The trail was marked really well and we got a major leg workout with the hilly terrain.


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It was a great trip. We caught the perfect weather with it being between 50-75 degrees and no rain until our drive back.

It was really good to see how many families were camping together at our site. From grandparents to young families, and singles and couples. Campers talked to each other and it was fun watching one of our neighbors share roasting marshmallows when each set of their kids started up conversation.

The amenities were really nice too. The bathrooms were super clean, and they had a little “clubhouse” with games, couches, and a shelf of books people donate to fellow campers to use.

We learned a lot about the ease of setting up the campsite, and then what to and not to bring for food. I’ve never craved chips so much in my life! What is it about salty food and camping?! Or is that just me… probably.

I can’t wait until our next excursion, possibly with the kiddos and husbands next time!

Mississippi Blues Run

Around Christmas my friend Nicole asked me if I would run a half-marathon with her. She missed the race the year before and we have talked for months about a girls weekend, so it was the perfect excuse to take a trip. Plus, I think I’ve caught a little thing called “run all the races” bug. When she asked I immediately said yes, bought my packet and then asked Stephen. Ya, I didn’t do those in the right order. Thankfully I have a gracious husband.

Nicole booked us a hotel online and we awaited our trip to Jackson to run the Mississippi blues race. During the weeks leading up I did a horrible job training. I probably ran once a week and met up with Nicole one Saturday morning so we could do a 10 mile run together.

The Friday before race day I dropped the girls with my mom where Stephen wuld pick them up after work. Nicole met me there and we loaded up in the van and started our trip.

 

 

It’s about a 5 hour drive and after we got there we stopped at the race expo to pickup our packet which has our bib, local info, race tag and shirt.

We went from there to the hotel. The hotel. Ya. When we drove up we both looked at it and thought “okay, this’ll do for 1 night”, then we went to our room. When we walked in it made me think of the 80′s, only no one had been in it since then, or at least no families had. I’m sure it’s had a lot of visitors, just not the kind that stay for an extended period of time. After sending a photo to her husband for laughs, Nicole and I sat in the room a few minutes discussing dinner ideas. We checked the room out which had cleaning products on the front table, a sign that informed all guests to deadbolt their door and not answer unless expecting guests, and the bathroom was just…ick. I was making a joke about not sleeping under or on the covers when Brandon, Nicole’s hubby, texted her that we should go find a new hotel. We debated for about .03 seconds and decided the $74 loss was worth it to not be there another minute, much more overnight.

 

We drove across the highway and the second hotel we checked had a room available. Hampton Inn to the rescue. When we walked into the room to a giant king sized bed, bright working lights and a shower with normal sized towels we didn’t look back for a second, except to laugh at the concept of staying in the other place. I think it was only $35 more for this room, which had a later checkout (so we could shower after the race), continental breakfast and an immeasurable amount of peace of mind.

That morning we woke up to rain, just like the Pensacola half I did in November with Miriah. We got dressed and headed out to wait with the crowds.

 

The race started promptly at 7 and it only took about 35sec for us to get across the start line.  I felt good when we started. I usually take about 3 miles to get in my groove and that held true for this race. Then, the hills. So many hills. At one point I heard the man behind us telling the people he was running with that we were about to reach the highest point in Jackson. I looked right at Nicole and said “then why in the world are we running to it?” That sums up how I was about to start feeling. The first 5 or so miles weren’t bad, we pushed through the city hills and we’re keeping a good pace. We eventfully turned and ran along the interstate and under an overpass to the other side. Nicole took a little video which made me laugh and we kept trucking along. Then we hit mile 9. Oh the dreadful 9th mile and its jerky jerk hill. I took my first chew at that point, which for me says I’m seriously feeling it. We ran through some downtown neighborhoods, which I always enjoy because of the different architecture of homes in old towns. Then we made the turn back into the city. One thing that was different about this race was how thankful and appreciative the volunteers were. They were thanking us for visiting their city and running the race, it was really nice and encouraging. The ladies were so southern and sweet. At mile 12 I got a nasty cramp and our pace slowed down but knowing we had just a little over 1 more mile I knew I could push it. We made the last turn, which an older man called the “time to smile turn” and we sprinted to the end. Crossing that line felt great. We walked a bit to let our legs relax and then grabbed a photo at the finish line.

 

After we finished and walked around to cool down we both got hungry fast. The pizza, cookies and chili that was offered was not sounding good to either of us and after checking the time we saw we had 25 minutes left until breakfast ended at the hotel. 

 

After a huge and filling breakfast we both cleaned up and packed our overnight bag to head home. The drive was a lot easier than I thought it would be, but Nicole and I had a lot to talk about and catch up on so that made it fly by.

When I got home the day continued as normal and then that night I ate most of an x-large pizza from papa johns. What can I say, I run to eat

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Last night I was told by a sweet friend that lives far far away, across an ocean and 3 hours in the future (that’s how I like to imagine time zones), that updates without words or explanations or big life events are needed. “Just pictures will do. Even if they’re straight from your phone.” So I am going to start doing that, because I love her and when someone I care about asks to see pictures of our life I provide. 

To my Uruguay family.

        Christmas with the Wells: 2015