Some Backyard Fun

Can you believe it is already time for school to start again?! Where did the summer go? Actually, since I don’t have children yet in school and it is still 95+ degrees outside it is technically still summer in my book. The new season doesn’t come around until Halloween, and most years a month of so after.

Florida is hot people. While living near the coast is great because of the wonderful gulf winds, that doesn’t stop the humidity and sticky skin factor.

Due to the massive amount of rain we have had lately we haven’t had many chances to go outside. The girls have been going bonkers being cooped up inside, so I was really excited when we were able to have an afternoon outside. We had a great time while Sarah played in her little pool and Elanor watched in the swing. Sarah loves being outside, and pools, and water, and the hose… actually, anything outdoors and involving water. She’s a toddler, it’s what they do.

I decided to finally grab a few pictures that capture our girls growing personalities really well.

One of her many faces

Seriously?! Girl has some spunk.

Proof that she does sit still, even if it’s ever so briefly.

Elanor is so peaceful and chill. She just sat and watched Sarah play in the water

Leftover Easter eggs are great for all sorts of play

It wouldn’t be an honest photo session if there wasn’t some nose picking involved

Elanor watching

Smiling at Papaw & Nana

Our little tan girl

At one point Sarah decided to share the water with Elanor and it quickly escalated from just putting it on her feet to throwing it in the air. Thankfully she’s a good listener and quickly stopped. I’m glad Elanor is used to having water splashed in her face from their bath experiences. It seems there isn’t much Sarah can do that doesn’t make her laugh and grin. Now if only I can bottle and/or channel that joy to last in their teen years… A mom can hope!

Memorial Weekend: Monday Edition

We started off Memorial Day with a fun and exciting trip to the zoo. We had been once before when we went to Zoo Lights the night after Christmas, but had never gone during the day. During the drive Sarah kept saying “I’m gonna feed the andimals.” We were so excited to finally have a day full of Sarah being outside and having unlimited access to goats, chickens, birds, pigs and even peacocks with baby chicks running about. Do all zoo’s have a petting area? Probably do, this was just my second zoo visit in 29 years so I was surprised.


This is Sarah’s “Woooow” face. She made it A LOT!

She wanted to watch everyone else feed the animals

One proud girl with one proud dad

Sarah chased this goat all over the place. It was adorable.

Giraffes are crazy cool. Seeing them in person made me feel like I was in Jurassic Park for some reason.

Getting so big and brave

The weather was absolutely perfect!

We had a bit of fun at the kangaroo stop…

yep, this happened

then this

and then THIS

neither of them look too happy with the situation

On the train with our sweet 6 month old

Sarah sitting with Aunt Kelley

I love this last photo!

I’m sure the pictures help show just what a fabulous time we had. My sister and her hubby Jeff came. As well as my mom and sis-in-law Kelley. Sarah was pretty much in Auntee heaven. Kelley is a huge animal lover so she knew all sorts of cool information. She also helped give Sarah the needed patience and encouragement to feed several different animals. The train ride was really awesome. It was only $3 per person and given that Sarah LOVES trains, and us adults appreciated the shade and wind, it was a fantastic deal! Elanor was a great baby the entire time. She is big enough now that we were able to just put her in the stroller and swap out kids when Sarah wanted a break from walking.

After we left the zoo we headed to my parents house. Dad fired up the grill and made his famous bbq chicken while mom whipped up a bunch of tasty sides. It was a delicious feast. Sarah played in the backyard and Stephen Elanor and I got to take a catnap. I actually think that is the first time the 3 of us have napped together… it was great!

There ya have it, a breakdown of our Memorial Weekend. It was a much needed time of relaxation. Tomorrow is Friday and I know this weekend, although pretty busy, can’t get here fast enough! We need a vacation. Or a vacation from vacation. Ya, you guys know what I’m talking about.

Fun in the Sun

My brother and niece came into town last week and I thought I’d share some pictures from our weekend together.

Graycie and Sarah are at such a fun age now. The girls play together so well, and it’s great to have someone else around with endless energy for Sarah to tell ‘run’ to all day!

Cousins swapping and sharing snacks

Papa with the girls

Elanors new favorite toy: her feet!

Miriah & I hijacked Matt’s camera for some fun :)


fun times in the baby pool


baby got back


I shared the potatoes with the floor
(thankfully AFTER we ate)


Miriah (aka: Addison) has finally popped!


It was a great weekend with some extra family time squeezed in whenever possible. Can’t wait til we get to see them again!

Beach Babes

While Miriah was on spring break we decided to start the season right and head out to the beach. The weather greeted us perfectly, we couldn’t have asked for a prettier day.

Sarah absolutely LOVES the beach and Elanor seemed to agree with her big sister. You know what I’ll stop with the words and let the pictures do the talking.

a lot of my time was spent filling up a water bucket

Sarah is in a mimicking stage and it’s really cute
[example seen below]

the Ringl gals

I love her so much!

We had a great first beach trip and I know we will be having many more over the next few months!


Family Time

While sitting around the house today Stephen came up with a great idea. The man knows me, so when he mentioned going on a walk I was sold!
When we were talking about the idea Sarah got really excited and immediately headed for the front door.
Thankfully we have those [frustrating] white child-proof door things, so she had to wait for us first.

We got the baby loaded up in the stroller, packed on some warm clothes (because it was unusually cold today), and headed outside.

Here are some photos from our little adventure.








Living in the country has its perks. Sarah moo’ed at the cows and actually pet the horse that came up to us.
We had a great time. I’m so glad phones have decent cameras so we can easily capture moments like today when we don’t have our actual cameras on hand.

Now I’m laying on the couch with Elanor asleep on my chest, Stephen playing a video game with some friends in TX, and Sarah sleeping soundly just down the hall.

2013 sure is looking good!


Zoo Lights

On Wednesday we celebrated Christmas with the Wells side of the family. After a day of pigs-in-a-blanket, swapping gifts, chowing down on stocking-candy, a yummy roast lunch, and eventual napping, we headed out to the Gulf Breeze Zoo. Every year they set up Christmas lights and we had never been before and knew Sarah would absolutely love it. Well, turns out we were right! The girl had a blast. It also happened to be one of the coldest nights that year, so we had to bundle up nice and warm for the outdoor show.

Here are some photos from the evening, and as a special treat there’s a video at the end!




Fall in the Air

With the weather finally cooling off Sarah and I have been taking advantage of some time outdoors.


We have a pretty large yard, so Sarah has lots of room to run around without getting into the road.


Our sweet little acorn collector :)








We had our baby shower for Elanor on Saturday. It was wonderful being with so many friends and family that have loved and cared for us, and now our sweet little girls. We love our girls so much and I know Sarah is going to be a wonderful big sister!

I will post some pictures from the shower as soon as I get them :)



A Bucket of Fun

I may not have felt this way Sunday morning, but I am officially a fan of spring forward! Not only is it great having more sun in the evening, but Sarah still hasn’t quite adjusted and has slept past 7 every morning! I never knew I could be so excited about sleeping until 7am… the adjustments of parenthood :)

Besides getting to “sleep in” this week we’ve also been enjoying the incredible spring weather we’re getting. This entire week has been full of perfect blue skies.

On Wednesday we had a day packed full of fun. I got to visit my friend Melissa and her sister and niece, then my friend, Sara, and her hubs Jordan and little man Jairus came over for a visit. Sarah and Jairus are 2 months apart and are so fun to watch together. The weather was too perfect to hang out indoors so we went on the back porch. After letting the kids swap turns in the swing we decided to let them play in some water. I had no idea a bucket of water could be so fun AND adorable!

These pictures will prove it to ya : )



Chowing on an orange


Running around in her diaper


Jairus making a splash


trying to climb INTO the bucket


Then today we had a blast with Sarah’s new bubble machine she got from her Aunt Valerie for her birthday.




so many colors in so many bubbles


bubble face



I’m sure it’s obvious that we have had an extra fun week! Sarah is all over the place now that she’s walk/running. The past week we explored buckets of water, bubble machines, and next up I’m planning on kiddie pools and beach trips!! I think I’m more excited than Sarah is… hehe.



A Friendly Trek

For the past 2 weeks the weather here has been kind of ugly. The misty and heavy air make it less desirable to go on our strolls and enjoy the outdoors. I think Sarah and I both need that time. The fresh air and sun are a natural mood enhancer. Plus it’s nice to get out of the house every once and a while…

Despite the dingy weather we made the decision to venture out on a trek last week. Mom and our friend Darlene (also our realtor that found us our home) came to visit us one day and I showed them one of our favorite spots to visit.

If we take side roads we can turn the walk into a 3 mile venture, which makes me feel like I exercised a bit. It’s also just the right amount of time Sarah will tolerate being buckled in the stroller. Win-Win!

Last time we visited the “turn around” point there wasn’t anything special to look at, but there was this time.
Sarah had her first up-close encounter with some horses.

I think she enjoyed seeing something other than the usual cows and goats.

My mom

Mom and Darlene


When we got back to the house we all snacked on some oranges, which Sarah is a fan of. I think she likes how messy they are ;)
All in all it was a fun adventure, even of we did get rained on :)


The Pressure is On

Last week I got to work on something I’ve been wanting to do since we moved into our house. It’s funny how when you buy a home you have all these projects in mind… each time I mark something off the list I seem to find something to add. Stephen isn’t particularly a fan of my lists. I don’t blame him.

My parents graciously lent me their pressure washer and I got to work on our back porch. Now before you look at the pictures you should know that I had no idea how disgusting and grimy the thing was until I started spraying it down.

So, you have been forewarned, prepare yourself for some rapid color change!

Here’s a side-by-side. On the left we have the after and the right is the, rather obvious, gritty before.



I didn’t know bricks could get so dirty until we cleaned half of them. That is a nasty 40 years worth of grime…


Another side by side


and for a little fun, name graffiti :)



Who would have guessed a pressure washer could work such magic. It was totally worth the hand cramps and unintended arm workout.

Has anyone else used a pressure washer lately? Those things are beastly. I sure wouldn’t want to get in the way of one, that spray is fierce!

I do hope you all had a wonderful valentines day. Wanna know something funny? At first I wrote “hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving”, instead of saying valentines. My brain has been on the fritz the past few days while working through some nasty bug or virus of some sort.

Speaking of Valentines, it’s time to hit up the store to buy some clearance candy… love myself some discounted chocolate :)