Tag: daddy

Christmas Day FUN!!

After a very nice Christmas Eve, our Christmas Day was a perfect wrap-up to the long holiday weekend. Another Christmas has come and gone… It seems like I blink and it’s over. It was just Thanksgiving and now we are quickly approaching 2013. I was at Publix yesterday and they already had Valentine cards out. We all seriously need to slow down…. Like Blue! He knows how to relax….




But now, I want to share our fantastic Christmas Day! After a quiet morning at home with hubby and Blue and Ozzie, we headed over to Nick & Jenna’s for the afternoon and a FANTASTIC dinner. Of course much of the afternoon was all about Autumn, as it should be. I cannot get enough of her silliness and laughter. And the older she gets, the sillier she gets. Having a bad day? Listen to Autumn for a few minutes and you will forget every single problem you are facing. I wish she could follow me everywhere.

Anyhow, little miss Autumn got a pink BB gun for Christmas after showing interest in Nick’s which he recently bought to shoot in the backyard. And before you go all “you’ll shoot your eye out” on them, you have to know that it is safety first. Not to mention Autumn is an ace shot. Water bottles and soda cans were being shot with unbelievable precision – by Autumn. No need to worry about her and boys, that’s for sure.

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Nick, Jenna, and Jenni also had fun with the BB guns. Not sure why I didn’t shoot it… Oh I know, I was too busy taking pictures! You can’t really tell in this picture, but hubby is holding Autumn’s pink gun.



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There was also swinging and backyard fun. Thank goodness she tolerates all my picture taking and is quite the little poser, both with me and hubby.

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Then it was time to open presents! Autumn very much loved the My Little Pony set we got her. A girl can never have too many ponies, just ask Autumn.


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And then there were gifts from Grandmommy and Jenni too. Silly girl asked why everyone likes to give her so many presents and we told her because we love you!!!


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Scarlett had to get in on the action too… After presents, it was time for Scrabble. If it’s a holiday and we have time, there is a Scrabble game. It’s genetic in this family. Unfortunately this game did not go my way and I kept trying to sell my vowels…

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For dinner, Nick made a deep fried turkey. If you haven’t had one, you should definitely try one. It is so juicy and tender. So yummy!!



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While we waited for dinner to be ready, Jenni and I went outside with Autumn so she could ride her new bike and wear her fabulous helmet and cute gloves.

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Autumn’s Christmas!


Autumn’s bike!


I couldn’t let the day pass without a picture of me and my honey… The weather was nice, so we sat out on the patio while the turkey cooked and Autumn played on her swing. And because you can never watch it too much, A Christmas Story was on all day. That movie never gets old.






Time to eat! Along with the fried turkey, there were also mashed potatoes, rolls, pasta salad, corn, macaroni and cheese, and broccoli casserole. I’m full again just thinking about it. Thank you for the delicious dinner Nick and Jenna!


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After dinner and dessert and we were all stuffed (and discussing how awesome stretchy pants are), we went outside to watch Nick and his new interest, slacklining. Every heard of it? I wanted to try it but I imagined myself throwing out my back and that just would not have been cool.



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It was such a wonderful day. Good company, good food, and lots of laughter. My kind of day…. On the way home, we saw a beautiful sunset. I thought of Daddy all day long, wishing he was with us, having a hard time believing that this was our third Christmas without him, and seeing this sunset reminded me that he is with us, always.


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How did you spend your Christmas? Do you celebrate any special traditions?

Delivering the bikes!

By the end of last weekend, we had 11 bikes with helmets for our special holiday project that hubby and I started back in October. We were so touched by everyone who took part in this, helping to make for some very happy kiddos this Christmas.


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Tuesday morning, hubby loaded them up in his truck so we could delivered them to the Toys for Tots distribution warehouse. They all fit perfectly in the back of the truck.


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On arrival at the warehouse, we were greeted by several people who were more than happy to help us unload our goodies.


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Robin, the warehouse manager, took us on a tour after the bikes were unloaded. What a great guy! You could tell how important Toys for Tots was to him…



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It was wonderful to see all the bikes they had lined up there. My dad would have loved that sight! Our 11 bikes and helmets fit nicely in line with all the others. Do you remember the feeling of getting a bike when you were little? It’s a wonderful thing to be able to pass that on to someone else.

They had games, books, toys, stuffed animals, soccer balls, basketballs, and more. And they were sorting it all out, in preparation for the big day.

It had been our plan to volunteer on distribution day and I was very upset that we could not be a part of that yesterday because of my being sick. After delivering the bikes on Tuesday, I wanted to volunteer more than ever. The important thing, though, is that our bikes made it to their destination and are now in the hands of families in need and will make for a memorable Christmas morning.

Thank you to the following for being a part of this little project of ours – we can’t tell you enough how much your generosity means to us:

  • Karen Okabayashi
  • Angela Gordon-Somers
  • Carol & Ken Lynch
  • Nancy DeTrapani
  • Jenni DeTrapani
  • Cindy Balkema

And, thank you to Jenna and Nick DeTrapani, for purchasing a bike on Friday and dropping it off at the Toys for Tots drop in our name. That makes for 12 bikes in 2012!


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To learn more….


Do you have charities you donate to during the holidays?

What a week!

After starting out the week sick and working from home on Monday, it ended up being a very busy week. Thank goodness I was feeling much better on Tuesday. A few highlights from my week…

I took a few amazing pictures at Crystal Beach on Tuesday… I don’t think I will ever tire of sunsets. I know there are breathtaking sunsets all over the world but in my heart, it would be hard to beat the beauty of the ones at Crystal Beach.


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After sunset, we went to one of my dad’s favorite restaurants, The Ozona Pig. They have wonderful BBQ and I love the atmosphere there. It was a very nice night.




I brought work home with me almost every night. A necessary evil sometimes. And while it’s not fun, I am able to get more done in a few hours at home in the evening than during the day.

Last night, hubby and I went out to dinner and had a few beers to end the long week. I very easily could have stayed home and firmly planted myself on the couch and not moved, but it was nice to get out and enjoy an evening with hubby, knowing we didn’t have to work the next day. It’s the little things in life…

This morning, we took Blue and Ozzie to the park. We used to do this regularly and life has gotten so busy that it just doesn’t happen nearly as often as we would like. Despite it being a very dreary morning, it was a nice walk and the boys were besides themselves with excitement at being at the park!






At our park, there are trees everywhere that have heart-shaped leaves. I love looking at them, especially in the fall when they are all over the ground. As we walked on one of the bridges this morning, there was one perfectly-shaped one. So pretty!




I’m beyond excited about tonight!! Hubby and I are going to another Yelp event, this time at Lowry Park Zoo for Wild Wonderland! They will have reindeer, and penguins, and lights, and snow, and Frosty and Santa! I have actually never been to the zoo here in Tampa, so I am really looking forward to it. Not to mention another night out with hubby… That’s always a bonus.

I have a lot of catching up here to do in blog land. I feel like I’ve missed a lot on the ones I follow, and I have several posts to do here. Before I go, I wanted to mention a fun challenge I’m doing this month, hosted by some fellow bloggers… Here is the challenge, as posted by Beka at Rebecca Roams. Take a picture each day for the theme shown, tag it #holidayaday, and share on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Social media fun for the holiday!




I’m actually pretty proud of myself for keeping up with it! It’s fun to do, especially since I am forever taking pictures anyway. There is also a Facebook page for the challenge as well. If you are an Instagram lover like I am, be sure to follow me… My IG name is auntnanci.


I hope you all have a great Saturday! What are you plans for the weekend?

Remembering Daddy…

Two years ago today, at 1:53pm, we said goodbye to Daddy. There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think of him and wish he were still here with us.

After four weeks in the hospital, the last two in ICU, we had to make a very difficult decision to let him go. While it was very hard to so, I still believe it was the right decision. How quickly he passed was proof of that.

Two weeks after his passing, I made a memory book that I still look at often. I took all the beach photos in it – this is the true meaning of the sunset pictures I post every month on the 4th. I thought today would be a good day to share it again. For my dear family and friends, this will be a reminder of those special days. For those of you who didn’t know him, this is a small glimpse into the love that my family had for the most amazing man and father ever.




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Today we will go to Crystal Beach for sunset and to Ozona Pig for dinner, just as we did the day he passed away. These were two of his favorite places to go and it is just one of the many ways I keep his memory alive. 

I love you Daddy, and I miss you always. You are my hero, my guardian angel, always just a thought away…

Thankful Thursday





What I am thankful for today…


My hubby…. I am such a lucky girl to have him in my world. He loves and adores me and stands beside me as we make our way through this world, no matter how hard or easy it may seem at any given time. I don’t know how I got so lucky to find him but I would be absolutely lost without him.


A roof over our head…. This month marks 9 years in our home and there are times it still feels like we just moved in. It’s not the perfect house and we have a list a mile long of things we want to do, and realistically may never get to do, but it’s our home. When we’re home at night, curled up on our comfy couch watching TV, with Blue and Ozzie snuggling with us, there’s no place I’d rather be.


Family… I have an amazing support system in all that I do and I am fortunate to have family behind me. You know who you are and I love you all.


My health…. Sure, I have a love/hate relationship with my body and I have aches and pains that sometimes seem too much to bear, but I am so very lucky to be healthy. (***knock on wood***)


My friends…. Old friends, new friends, and in between – you all bring something special to my life.


My mommy…. I’m 40 years old and yes, I still call her Mommy. Somehow she endures working with me and seeing me 5 out of 7 days a week, sometimes even more. She is one of my biggest supporters. She is more than my mom, she is my friend.


My mom’s health…. After quite the scare earlier this year, my mom is thankfully cancer-free after surgery.


38 years worth of memories of my dad…. I am so blessed that nothing was left unsaid and he knew how much I loved (love) him. All the memories over the years have more meaning now since his passing and there are days when I remember something that I had put away in the way-back of my memory bank. It’s amazing how memories can come rushing back. I am so thankful to have those memories that are all mine.


My two crazy dogs…. Yes, there are days that Blue and Ozzie test every bit of patience I have and I swear they will be the death of me, but I love them and can’t imagine not having them here to drive me nuts. I love snuggling with them and taking them for rides and showing them off to everyone who thinks they are the coolest dogs ever. They are our babies.


Sunsets, beaches, and the beautiful area we live in…. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day stuff but all it takes is a walk or run at the park or beach, or a drive along the gulf, or an evening out for a sunset and I am quickly reminded how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful state.


What are you thankful for today?