florida 2015


wow. it’s been a long time since i last blogged. i’ll catch you up on all the events of the past year and a half in a separate post. today though i’d like to share our adventures on a little two-week trip we just took to florida.

we drove down to visit family in the villages—yes, we now have family living in florida!! score! if you haven’t heard of the villages, you really need to check it out. go ahead and google it. i’ll wait.

we drove down on a saturday pretty much in time to get in the bed. sunday morning, tripper and i got up and drove a little farther to st. petersburg (tripper was speaking at a conference and i tagged along). y’all—we left the boys! they were in good hands with papa ger’, mamalin, and pompa. and for the first time in seven years, tripper and i had a little weekend recharge.

while we were alone, tripper had a fantastic idea to drive even farther—down to miami—but we needed to pick up the boys for what he had planned. so we headed back to the villages, spent a few days having fun with family and then loaded up the car and drove south.

what was in miami?? well, here’s a clue.


still no idea? here’s another hint. the thing in the blue bag just ate a live chicken.

if you happened to guess snakes, go ahead and pat yourself on the back. you are looking at not one, not two, but three burmese pythons plucked from the wild and safely secured in nothing but 200 thread-count pillow cases. #yikes!

yes. we drove all the way to miami for snakes. you see, alex has developed an infatuation with snakes. he knows everything there is to know and hopes to one day become a herpetologist. um, goody? his favorite tv show is a series called swamp wars. it’s about the miami/dade fire rescue’s venom one response team—a group of very brave souls whose job it is to hunt down deadly snakes in south florida. so we headed down in hopes of laying eyes on them.


we got to meet captain jeff fobb from the show and also got to spend two hours (!!) learning all about the fire rescue team. it was fascinating and so very nice of them all to take us in and show us around.


behind the boys you can see the pharmacy of antivenin ^^^. they had a collection for pretty much every venomous creature you could think of. the boys liked the cobra antivenin the best. naturally.


^^^ that’s the snake that was in the middle bag from above. captain fobb had caught it that morning. my apologies for the shaky picture—i’ve never been that close to a huge musking (read: STINKY) constrictor before and was a little jittery! all four of us touched that snake. omg. for alex.

alex had about a million questions and we all learned a ton. captain fobb was so patient and kind and pretty much showed us everything there was to see. in the next picture captain fobb is explaining a tendon in the snake’s jaw that allows it to spread it’s mouth wide enough to eat an entire chicken.


it’s kind of pretty, right? the snake, not the tendon.

we also got to hold a ball python that lives at the station (he’s used for training). and when i say we, i mean tripper. tripper was the only one brave enough to hold him.


while we were there, we also got to meet the helicopter pilots and the emts that jump out of the choppers into the ocean to save people. amazing.


and finally, the boys got to check out the venom one response truck. happy boys! even max, who is way more into soccer than snakes, loved it!

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and that was our trip to miami!


we also spent some time at the beach …

beachShoes10615357_10152940102198616_7548424344023004885_n 11401174_10152940103263616_3555036482742778462_n 10494818_10152940106353616_4747301711695815786_n 1613797_10152940105563616_4329783269038194074_n southBeachWaves beach

… caught up with a dear old friend who got to meet the boys for the first time. this is eric …


… and swam like little fish at the insanely beautiful pool at the national hotel …

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then we drove the four (really six) hours back to the villages for another week of snakeless fun. though we did see a slug.




for sale.

5222838_201_12yes, after four years of making this house our home, we are selling it. close friends and family already know, but tripper has decided to start his own agency. i really want this to be an exciting chapter in our lives and not a financially stressful one, so we are looking to downsize a bit for a more affordable mortgage.

to get ready for the sale, our awesome agent, holly, brought in a stager. she had only two suggestions for us—replace the carpet upstairs (thank you, alex’s nose!) and get a larger bathmat in the master bedroom. everything else she thought was perfect. in fact, she offered me a job on the spot!! ha!

once the carpet was in, we had a professional photographer come and take pictures of the house. it’s fun to see how someone else sees your home. they turned out lovely. in fact, i didn’t even recognize the boys’ bathroom!!

5222838_J01_87the rest of the images are below.

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the house got listed friday afternoon and we’ve had three showings so far. please keep your fingers crossed for a quick sale!! we need to sell this house and close on a new one before the end of january. small window—yipes! if all works out and we are able to sell, i will truly miss this special house. so many memories made here. but i know another adventure is just around the corner …

corndawgs, y’all.



we took the boys to celebrate the season at a funny little place called corndawgs over the weekend. they loved it! they had everything from an open-aired bouncy house to climbable spiderwebs to a gigantic underground slide. but the favorite of the boys was the hay. yep, hay. bales of high stacked super duper high. that you could run on. and jump off. we need some in our yard.

corndawgs2 corndawgs3


they also had a rope swing with a pit of hay to fall into. they liked that, too.





one of the main reasons we went in the first place was to do the corn maze. but it was freezing and getting dark by the time we made it over to the entrance and the idea of getting totally lost in the cold and dark did not sound very appealing. so, i did what any normal person would do. i told them it was closing. i know. i know. but we’ll definitely go back. the boys had a blast!

last little bit of summer.

fall is here and it actually feels like fall. i cannot wait to start decorating for halloween and taking nightly family walks in the crisp air. but, before we do, here’s a look back at our last little bit of summer.

poolMax3 poolAlex2 poolMax poolAlex poolthe boys absolutely loved the pool this summer. they went from not being able to swim at all to little fish. now that the pool is closed for the season, we’ll have to sign them up for some indoor pool time so they don’t forget. swimming, as it turns out, is not like riding a bicycle!