Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fun in the Sun

Our friends, the Delphs, invited us to one of their favorite places in the Keys: a sandbar about 6 miles away from Key West. You feel like you are in the middle of the ocean, and then the water becomes only a few feet deep. In all of the pictures, we are sitting down. There is a little deserted island where you can go camping - so cool. We had such a blast visiting, swimming, and collecting sea shells. It was a really great day.

Sam, Beth, and Nicholas

Kelly, David, Piper, James, Daniel, Sam, Beth, and Nicholas

Daniel, David, Billy, Kelly, Piper, James, Nicholas, and Sam

Key West is somewhere that way!

Our Running Trail

Here are some pictures of the "boardwalk" by our house. It's a concrete sidewalk that goes around for about 4 miles.

The view of the water when you leave our house.

Looking to the right of the picture above.

Sam and Nicholas across the street from the East Martello Museum

I'm posting these pictures for two reasons. First, I love this part of Key West. It is so beautiful in the morning because the sun rises right here, and there are always people out walking, running, biking, and roller blading. I like to come out here to walk/run in the morning or evening, and we often take Nicholas here so he can run run run and then crash into bed. Second reason for the pictures is this was an unusual night. We brought our camera on our walk and noticed that the water and sky were the exact same color. There was no wind at all, so the whole place was still and quiet. You couldn't tell where the water ended and the sky began. It reminded me of the Neverending Story and The Nothing. It felt a little creepy, but mostly really cool. And very very hot.

Nicholas Pants

Nicholas likes to call everyone "Pants." Mama Pants, Daddy Pants, Nicholas Pants. It comes from two things...first, because he can't say poop unless he is really talking about it (he thinks it is really funny to say the word poop), so he says pants instead; and second must be from Sponge Bob Square Pants.
Anyway, Nicholas' humor lately has been opposites. He likes to say I am his "sweet boy" and Daddy is his "sweet girl." So it wasn't too surprising that when I asked him to get dressed the other day, he thought it would be funny to put on his clothes the opposite way. When he walked into the room to say he was ready, I laughed out loud, and he was pretty proud of his little joke.

Cayo Hueso

History Lesson for the day....

Cayo Hueso is the Spanish name for Key West. It means "Island of Bones." When Ponce de Leon first arrived at Key West, the island was littered with bones from the Indians who had lived here.

Shipwrecking used to be a major contributor to the KW economy back in the day. People would watch the water from the top of a tower, and if they saw a shipwreck, they'd ring the bell and yell "Wreck ashore!" Everyone in the town would run out to the wreck. The first boat captain to make it to the wreck took control of the ship (whether those aboard wanted him to or not), and people removed everything they could from the ship to sell, trade, or keep for themselves. Usually the ship was not completely underwater. Actually, the majority of the time, a "wrecked" ship had only slight, but mostly fixable issues, the major one being unable to move because the boat had crashed into something (often placed there by KW locals). Although highly unethical, shipwrecking provided interesting salvaged items...including pianos with ivory keys. (I couldn't imaging dragging that out of the water!!) At one point, Key West was one of the richest cities per capita because of the shipwreck "industry."

Sam and Nicholas went around town recently and took a few cool pictures of our little island. Nicholas is pictured ringing the bell at the top of the Shipwreck Museum's tower.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Just a few new pics

Nicholas on the train

Beth on the train

Nicholas at Sunset

Nicholas with our intern, Oanh

Rachel, Beth, and Chelsea (two of our interns)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Aquarium

Ahhh! That fish is eating my child!

Nicholas and a starfish

Sam touching a nurse shark

Hungry nurse sharks

Great white shark eating lunch

Nicholas and Beth

We spent the day at the aquarium getting to know some of the things we swim with when we're at the beach. Nicholas was brave and touched some of the starfish and sea cucumbers. Sam and Beth got to pet a nurse shark. There were tons of really cool fish and huge turtles (one with "Bubble Butt Syndrome." It really is a thing). Now we'll actually know some of the names of the fish we see when we snorkel!

All Aboard!

June is Local's Month in Key West, which means we get to see a lot of cool things for free. Nicholas is a train freak, so (of course) he chose to ride the train tour that goes around the entire town. Nicholas wanted to ride on the last seat of the train, but it faces backwards, so I told him we could sit there the last few minutes of the tour. He fell asleep halfway through, and I couldn't wake him up, so we didn't change seats. He was pretty sad when he woke up to say the least. The next day, we went to the Aquarium, which is also free. When we came out, a train had just ended it's tour. Nicholas ran up and tried to get on the last seat. As we were trying to explain that he needed a special sticker to ride, the conductor came up. We told him how Nicholas wanted to ride in the last row yesterday, and that we plan on coming again later in the week so he could. The conductor said he had to go around the corner and up a few blocks to the train station, so he let the three of us ride on the back row. Our own personal train ride! It was very exciting for Nicholas (who seems to get a lot of cool things for free now that I think of it!). After we got to the train station, the engineer let Nicholas sit in his seat. That made his day!

Hooray for June!

So besides a great trip to Michigan, May pretty much sucked (sorry, Mom. I know how much you hate that word). I'll save you all from the boring details, but basically this month had way too many downs on our little roller coaster of life. We tried to keep positive, but life kept throwing large, rotten, maggot infested lemons at us. In times like these, it was great to have my faith, my Sam and Nicholas, and a really great view of the ocean to keep me from cracking. Here are the things I have learned this month:

1. When life throws large, rotten, maggot infested lemons at you, sure you can make lemonade. And it's okay to make one batch with sugar and another batch with a little anthrax if you have a some in your cupboard.

2. There isn't too much a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper can't cure for the time being.

3. It's always good to stop and smell the roses. Nicholas and I did just that, but in Key West they are called bougainvilleas, and they are all over the place. Even though they really don't smell like anything, it was a really sweet moment walking down the street and stopping to smell each flower with my little guy.

4. Hope is a very powerful antidepressant. Chocolate is good, but hope really feels better (plus there are less calories). When the rotten lemons moved in, and brought along their friends, Hope moved in, and stayed in our room with us. Hope is a great house guest. She keeps out of your way but is by your side in a flash. And one day, she just sort of quietly lets herself out when you aren't looking. Before I knew it, her stay wasn't needed anymore. I can still feel her presence, but I am not as dependent on her as I was.

5. When the boat rocks, you hold on tighter to the person you are in the boat with. "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." Sam and I are not dead, and we are much stronger together because of it. Also, it is hard to feel down when you have a cute Nicholas telling you that he loves you or saying, "Mom, you're my sweet girl," and "Dad, you're my sweet boy."

6. If you think of someone, call them. Write to them. Google them if you don't know where they are. Tell them they are important to you. God puts their name in your head for a reason. I learned this lesson the hard way, and now I have shoulda-coulda-wouldas to deal with forever.

I think I would have loved to have just been told these lessons instead of walking through them the hard way. But like the Footprints poem goes, there will be times when He carries you. I am grateful for those times.

So from the Delises, we give May '08 the finger and say "Hello June. We are glad you are here."


This is Nicholas' favorite picture!

Summer and Beth

Nicholas loves to kiss Grace!

With Grace at PF Changs

I love the way they are looking at each other!
I hope they are always close!

Nicholas and I went to Michigan to visit my sister Summer, her husband Brent, and see their new little muffin, Grace. She is so sweet! Brent and Summer are great parents, and they are all so lucky to have each other! We had a blast getting to know little Gracie. I was able to spend some quality one on one time feeding Grace and hanging out with her while Summer slept, took a shower, took a breath! Nicholas is a great cousin. He was so helpful, and when Grace cried, Nicholas would say, "Just a second Grace, I'm coming," or "Hold on Grace, I'm getting your passie." He kept saying, "Let me give her a kiss." What a sweet guy. He will be a great big brother...someday!
I also LOVED going shopping. I dragged Summer and the kids all over the place - Ikea, Target, Wal-mart, Old Navy, the (most awesome) mall, Pottery Barn. As much as I love Key West and the beach, there is NO PLACE to shop. Most locals shop online or take a 3 hour drive to Miami every now and then.
Summer also took us to the zoo with some of her friends, and we had a really fun time seeing the animals. It poured buckets of rain, but it was fun to run around in the rain. Key West only gets a short rain shower about once a month, so it was nice to see rain again. Michigan is cold, so I liked wearing jeans and long sleeves for a few days. But not for too long! It was great to come "home" to the beach, the sun, and the palm trees. I just hope Gracie doesn't grow up to much before we see her again!


I've been tagged by my seriously awesome friend, Kelly....Here's the lowdown:
1. Who is your man? Sam
2. How long have you been together? 9 years (almost to the day!)
3. How long dated? 7 months
4. How old is your man? 29
5. Who eats more? Sam
6. Who said "I love you" first? Sam...seriously 3 days into dating
7. Who is taller? Sam
8. Who sings better? We both do. We have both been singing forever.
9. Who is smarter? It depends on what we are talking about. Politics and computers: Sam
Social issues, medical stuff: Beth
10. Whose temper is worse? Depends on the situation
11. Who does the laundry? Both
12. Who does the dishes? Both although I feel like he should since I cook.
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? If you are looking at the bed from the door, I sleep on the right. It always changes where we live. For some reason, I always sleep closest to the door, even though I make Sam get up to get the bad guys and check on noises.
14. Who pays the bills? We both do. Dave Ramsey anyone?
15. Who has bigger feet? Sam
16. Who has longer hair? Me. And, luckily for me, on the day I hacked off all of my hair, Sam shaved his head bald while I was gone just in case I came home with less hair.
17. Who is better with the computer? Definitely Sam. Hello - he worked for Dell!
18. Who mows the lawn? The maintenance guy.
19. Who cooks dinner? I do, unless I don't feel like it, then I ask Sam to cook which means we are going out.
20. Who drives when you are together? We trade off. He prefers to drive on highways, and I like to drive in town.
21. Who pays when you go out? Sam
22. Who is most stubborn? We are both stubborn! He's Greek. I'm Beth.
23. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Sam 99% of the time. But that's because I'm never wrong. HAHA! No, he's actually that nice of a guy.
24. Whose parents do you see the most? We haven't seen any lately. HINT HINT!
25. Who kissed who first? Sam asked me if he could kiss me.
26. Who asked who out? We were set up on a blind date.
27. Who proposed? Sam asked me two weeks into dating! Of course I didn't say yes right then. I think he asked me about 3 times total.
28. Who is more sensitive? We both are, although Sam cries more, and I get my feelings hurt more.
29. Who has more friends? We have about the same, I just spend more time talking to mine and going to lunch, etc.
30. Who has more siblings? I do
31. Who wears the pants in the family? Honestly, in the day to day, I do. But he is also my boss, so at work he does.