Friday Happiness & Giveaway Winner

Life is so busy these days as they always are during the holiday season. So much going on and my blogging time has taken a back seat. But I wanted to take a few minutes to share some Friday happiness and announce the winner of my 26.2 Bangle Bracelet giveaway…

 

 

1. We delivered 10 bikes to Toys For Tots this morning for our beloved Jingle Bikes For Kids program hubby and I started in 2011. This was our third year and it will continue in 2015 as well. Here is the back story behind our cause, in memory of my dad. It feels to good to give back. We are thankful for the bikes donated to us this year.

 

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2. Our house at Christmas… I am a sucker for Christmas decorations. I love our tree and how mismatched the ornaments are – they all have special meaning. This year was the first since since bringing Blue home in 2011 that we have put the tree in the main living room. It’s been in the family room every other year to keep him from bothering it. The addition of the fireplace media center is a wonderful thing and adds to the coziness of it all.

 

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3.  We are running two races this weekend. This should be interesting since I have not run since Space Coast Marathon. The last few days I’ve finally not been sore and I feel like I can get out there again. All that’s left is my bruised big toe. I fear I am going to lose the nail… But alas, we are doing the Santa’s Twilight 5K tomorrow night on Honeymoon Island. On Sunday morning, we are running a virtual half marathon for Best Damn Race Cape Coral. I am looking forward to both very much!

 

            

 

 

4.  My niece Autumn! We had a girls day last weekend and it was too much fun. She’s 7 now and so much fun shopping and having silly conversations with. She makes great company and is so considerate. I so treasure our time together.

 

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5. And I have a winner for the 26.2 Bangle Bracelet from Milestones Sports Jewelry… I was so happy about the number of entries I received for this! I am very excited to announce that the random winner is…… Angelina from Run.Chew.Sparkle. Congrats Angelina! I will contact you via email!

 

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Stay tuned soon as I will be working more with Milestones Sports Jewelry and will soon have a discount code so you can save 10% off any item in their store!

{Review} Dolphin Tale 2

After our tour of Clearwater Marine Aquarium almost two weeks ago, (read my post here), we were lucky enough to go to an advanced private screening of Dolphin Tale 2. I was excited, and so was my company for the day, Autumn. Not only did she have a blast at the aquarium, but she was on the local news! Bay News 9 stopped by the hotel before our visit to the aquarium to talk to bloggers and I guess my niece and I were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time when the reporter and camera man walked in. Autumn was not shy at all and loved every minute of telling them how she had been waiting to see Winter and Hope since she was 5. And oh by the way, she’s 6 now. Click here for the full story….

 

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(Courtesy of Bay News 9)

 

Dolphin Tale 2 picks up a couple years after the first one left off. Hazel and Sawyer are both a huge part of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium along side Hazel’s dad, Dr. Clay Haskett as they care for Winter. After Winter’s companion and surrogate mother Panama passes away, Winter becomes withdrawn. Facing a transfer to another facility, they then learn of Hope, a very young dolphin who is rescued and brought to the aquarium for care. It is their hope that they can pair the two together. This is met with some struggle though, as Hope is afraid of and doesn’t understand Winter’s prosthetic tail. After much love and care, the two unite.

 

 

 

I loved Dolphin Tale and getting to know the characters. Hazel and Sawyer were very young and we were getting to know Dr. Haskett and the staff of the aquarium who helped with the care of Winter. In Dolphin Tale 2, Hazel and Sawyer have grown up and blossomed into wonderful young adults, wise beyond their years. They both have an incredible bond with the Winter and eventually Hope, and care for all of the seal life that comes in. This includes a sea turtle they rescue and eventually release, and Rufus, the pelican who makes the aquarium his home.

I love the bond between the characters in Dolphin Tale 2. I also love the amazing scenery of Clearwater, where I have lived for almost 23 years. And I love all of the local references in the film. But mostly I love the actors portrayal of the characters. Harry Connick Jr. is perfect for Dr. Clay Haskett, as are Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff for Sawyer and Hazel. Morgan Freeman resumes his role as  Dr. McCarthy and Ashley Judd plays Sawyer’s mom Lorraine wonderfully. It is also a treat to see Bethany Hamilton as herself. In addition to the cast, my love of dolphins has also grown after learning more about Hope and Winter.

If you saw the first movie, you must see the second movie. If you haven’t seen the first yet, rent it now and go see Dolphin Tale 2 when it comes out September 12. My niece and I enjoyed it so much. Not to give away anything, but there is real life footage at the end of the movie is so wonderful, the true meaning of the movie. It was incredibly touching.

 

I also had the pleasure of sitting next to a very nice man at the screening. His name was Miles and he was there with his wife. He works at Clearwater Marine Aquarium and was hoping to see himself on the big screen. He was definitely in the movie! Both Mile and his wife were excited to see him and it was fun to see that myself.

I’ll leave you with a little bit of movie trivia that I find so incredibly interesting. The night of the wrap party for Dolphin Tale was the night that Hope was rescued. The crew was still there and just start taping it. How amazing is that? And what incredible timing…

 

Dolphin Tale 2 opens September 12 at your local theaters. Will you go and see it?

Dance, dance, dance!

For the last three years, I have watched my niece grow up from a shy little 3 year old starting out in dance class, to a 6 year old who has her own sense of style and is the happiest kiddo I know. Each year takes her from the cutie-pie she is to being a beautiful little girl. I am so blessed to have her in my life and love being her Aunt Nanci.

Last weekend, was her annual dance recital and it was wonderful. Her dance school puts on quite a production – two acts with 78 performances total, and it is held at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. It was a full house for the recital, proud parents, family and friends all there to watch their loved ones perform.

 

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The dancers range in age from sweet little 3 year olds up to high school graduates. The older dancers are amazingly talented. The younger ones are so fun to watch – they are all so precious. Some are shy and reserved, some are born performers. Each performance is a joy to watch.

This year, Autumn was in a group with 11 others, all close to her age. They tap danced their little hearts out to “Bigger Isn’t Better”. They were all so sweet in their costumes. In the picture on the left, Autumn is second from the left. In the picture on the right,  Autumn is the cutie pie turning around looking at the audience.

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After the recital, we all met Autumn outside and of course we took pictures. Her mom and dad gave her beautiful flowers and being the sweet girl that she is, she gave me one. See? I’m a lucky girl to have such a sweet niece.

big girl autumn        autmn with aunt nance

outside under tree    nick jenna autumn

 

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Favorite posts of 2013

 

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Another year is coming to an end… As I look through posts from this past year, it’s amazing how much has happened, how much was accomplished. Running, weight loss, personal growth, and more…. My blog has turned out to be the best form of a scrapbook I have ever done. And now it’s time for me to share my favorite posts of 2013. Since I just shared all my race recaps for 2013 yesterday, I did not include those in this list…

 

 

I have so much to look forward to in 2014 and continuing my blog is one of them. I hope you’ll stay with me and follow along!

 

Have a safe and Happy New Year! I hope you have a wonderful 2014!

Autumn turns 6!!

Time is literally flying by. It seems like I blink, and another year has passed. Every time I see Autumn, I wonder how it’s possible that she is getting to be such a big girl. On Sunday, she turned 6!

This kiddo is the best niece ever. I know, I know, I’m a little bit biased. But she is so fabulous, I can’t get enough of her. Her and I have a great bond. Since she was a little tiny baby and I would babysit her or pick her up from daycare, she has always been a joy to watch and spend time with.

 

welcome autumn me and mike    me autumn baby

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autumn hooter onesie    baby autun with mike

autumn laugh    me autumn bw

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And  now, all of a sudden, she is this big girl, in Kindergarten, has a booster seat in the car, spends weekends at our house, and has the funniest conversations with us. She is incredibly smart and has the ability to make me laugh like there isn’t a care in the world.

 

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me mike autumn 091513    me autumn johns pass 102613

me autumn seaworld silly    me autumn seaworld smile

 

Autumn had a super fun birthday party at the bowling alley on Saturday. Her and a bunch of her cute little friends. Watching little kiddos bowl is too fun. It was a great day!

 

me autumn 110913    autumn bella 110913

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bowling kiddos    bowling boys

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It’s hard to believe she’s 6 years old… I am so excited to se her grow up and become the amazing young lady I know she will be. But for now, can we slow the clock down a little?!

 

Happy Birthday Autumn! We love you so much!