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Things are changing

August 17, 2019

It’s Saturday morning and as I usually do on weekend mornings, I’m sitting on the deck, enjoying my first cup of coffee and the quiet. 

Ready to load the car.

We managed to squeeze everything in.

Since Tuesday, it’s been a little quieter than usual and instead of setting the dinner table for 5, it’s only set for 4.

Our boy is starting his next stage in life away at college. He is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering at Florida Institute of Technology or Florida Tech for short, in Melbourne, Florida. 

I feel lucky that he’s only 2 hours away and he can come home whenever he likes. I’m sure once he gets used to college life and the freedom that comes with it, those initial visits will dwindle, as it should be. 

It’s an odd feeling for a mom, I’m so proud of him, so excited for what his future holds but also incredibly sad that he’s not living under our roof anymore. 

I haven’t had a good cry yet, and I’m definitely a crier. But when it was time to say goodbye, I tried to be strong, knowing that he felt torn as well. We had a quiet, private moment before his sisters converged on him. Little sis was hugging him so hard and wouldn’t let go, and that’s when middle started tearing up which made me finally tear up and I thought for sure I’d lose it but I didn’t. After one final hug we got in the car, drove around the loop and out the gate of his dorm community and then the skies opened for real. 

It had been raining on and off all day, it’s Florida after all, and when we got back on 95 to head home, it started pouring for real. I pretty much had to white-knuckle it all the way home. No time for tears. 

He’s been in touch. I told him I wouldn’t bug him, and let him take the lead. He texted and called me first. And hopefully, we’ll have a nice phone call tomorrow. 

Obligatory photo with Pete the Panther at Panther Plaza.

He had a busy week with orientation and getting some things straightened out with registration and also realizing that hey, maybe sometimes mom is right after all when she says we should probably get some new pairs of shorts… 🙂

Proud mommy!

You live, and you learn! 

Do you have any children going off to college this year? How has your experience been? I’m here if you want to talk or just need a hug!!! 

xoxo, Susi

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Currently {5/15/19}

May 15, 2019

Haven’t been in this space for a while and just doing a little housekeeping and checking in on things.

I’d love it if you’d come say hello in my new (ish) corner of the inter webs:

Snaps and Spills and let me know what you think.

And here are some gratuitous photos from my camera roll.

Love our backyard. It’s truly our own little slice of paradise.

xo, Susi

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Long time, no see and a few pics from my camera roll

July 19, 2018

It’s been a while…

Due to some tech related issues it seemed that every time I tried to post something on here, I got side-tracked and ended up trying to fix the issue instead of posting.

I got so used to posting from the app that I was majorly frustrated when I couldn’t.

I didn’t fix the issue but may have found a way around it.

We’ll see.

Here are a few pics from my camera roll just to get the ball rolling again. Ha ha ha. Did you see what I did there?

Ally with her new glasses. She did end up needing a new prescription and I’m just happy that I was able to get her in for an appointment before the new school year.

Bite size donuts from Doughboy in Boca Raton. So yummy!!!

Ash is always up for a little photo shoot especially when it’s at a place that’s so Instagram ready!

I got talked into trying a new mascara at Sephora and I’m not hating it.

Ally had the best time at Florida Supercon with her dad. Here she is modeling her Luna Lovegood look. People ended up taking photos with her and that made her so happy.

No words needed.

Say hello to my little friend the puffer fish. Isn’t he kind of cute?

Spending lots of time cooling off in he pool and swimming laps.

Hope your summer is going well!

xoxo, Susi

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Friday Five – dancing, climbing, eating, flying and pics {3/16/18}

March 16, 2018

Hi again,

We made it through another week and it’s another beautiful, glorious day here in South Florida. The past few days were a bit cold for my liking but just in time for the weekend, it warmed up again. Not that we have anything outdoorsy planned. Too much to do for that.

1. Last Saturday, we attended the annual Spring Fling at our school where the students get to show of their talents in the fine arts. It’s a whole day of art shows, drama, singing, dancing, food trucks, a carnival and a silent auction. It’s an amazing event and I love to watch my kids do their thing. Conner had some art work displayed, and did his magic behind the scenes for his stage craft class, Ally danced and sang her heart out. The lower school chorus, our Harmonizers, did an amazing rendition of This is Me from The Greatest Showman movie. There was not a dry eye in the house. Her music and drama teacher is truly amazing and so passionate about what she does. Ash made my heart stop with her graceful dancing. It’s such a joy to watch her pour herself into her craft. She has such natural talent and it amazes me!

2. Sunday our friends from Germany came to visit. They just got married in the most gorgeous Winter wonderland wedding and are now honeymooning here in Florida. We took them to see the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and had lunch at one of our favorite seafood restaurants, Schooner’s, also in Jupiter. I hadn’t gone up to the top of the light house in a while but climbed the 100 steps up and then down again. It wasn’t too bad, but I could definitely feel it in my legs after. Climbing uses much different muscles then walking for sure. The sight is worth it though. Just beautiful.

3. The two big kids have been helping out with the lower school play a few nights this past week and Ally went to see it one evening, so hubby and I went to dinner a deux. It was nice and sometimes, I get a glimpse of things to come. As the kids get older, these diners by ourselves are becoming more frequent. Sometimes, I feel a little lurch in my heart because of it but mostly, I just like to go with the flow and enjoy! We went to one of my favorite, local Thai and sushi restaurants, The Sea, and it didn’t disappoint. I tried their Thai duck salad for the first time and now I crave it all the time. So good!

4. And then I finally shared about our super amazing upcoming trip. We are going to Germany for Spring Break and I’m so excited that my belly has been doing flips for days now. I haven’t been “home” in 13 years and can’t wait to show the kids where I grew up, hug my family, see the sights and… freeze! Ok, that last part I’m not too excited about but it’s all part of the experiment and I did get to buy a few cute sweaters in anticipation. 🙂 I can’t wait to share pics and tell you all about it once we get back. If you’d like to follow along with all the fun, you can find me on Instagram or my Facebook page. I’ll be sure to share lots of pictures!

5. Last but not least, my 5 favorite pics from the past week!

From sunrise to sunset, this week sure delivered some shows. As much as I hate getting up in the dark, it’s lovely to see the sun come up.

Third time’s the charm and today, we were finally able to launch the hot air balloons that 8th grade built for one of their science projects for the year. It was perfect. Cool, no wind and blue skies. It went off without a hitch and all the balloons launched and flew high. And I only burnt one of my fingers. 🙂

Ally loves her daddy and last weekend I got to spend some time behind my camera and caught a few shots of them. Love these two!

Do you guys have any fun plans for the weekend? Or will it be more of a hunker down and snuggle up type? Well, either way, I hope you enjoy!

xoxo, Susi

*The links shared in this post are not advertisement. I’m just sharing because I like them.
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Friday Five – pics, tea, Stitch Fix, Adidas, and midlife crisis {3/9/2018}

March 10, 2018

It’s been kind of quiet around here. I have been wanting to write and share but have felt almost a block about it. Part of it is the ever present lack of time and the other part is how I’ve been feeling lately. Ever since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland on Valentine’s Day, I have been wanting to curl up into a ball and just hug my kids close and not let them out of my sight. I always go into this “funk” right after something of this “magnitude” happens, like how dare I share what’s going on in my life when there are so many families grieving their children and family members? A lot of people say they like to see happy, carefree, positive things after such an event to see that life is not all bad and it does go on. I get that, but for me personally, it’s hard. I need time to process my emotions and deal with my feelings and usually that is by me going quiet. This shooting seemed different to me than the others before, if only for the simple reason that it happened right here, so very close to home and everyone I or my kids know, knows someone affected in one way or another. My 14 year old has friends at MSD, some of her friends and classmates here at our school live in the Parkland community, one of my colleagues has a son who attends MSD and I could go on and on. I’m not a political person at all, but the current political climate in this country makes me feel stressed. I constantly vacillate between wanting to be informed about what is going on and wanting to shut everything off and not read another news article ever. Let’s just say I’m not a big fan of our current president!

I like to share things I like, things I use, things that make my life easier, things that bring me joy but I feel that I’m terrible at writing reviews for products or books, so I decided to do a Friday Five post and hope to keep it up fairly regularly. I’m not going to promise to do it once a week because that will just doom me to failure, but I’m hoping to do it once a month at least.

So here are my Friday five for this week:

1. Midlife Crisis.

Last night I read this post and it truly explains so much. While I don’t like to think of myself going through a midlife crisis, I do identify with some of the points made in this article and feel like it explains some of the feelings I’ve been experiencing lately and thoughts I’ve been thinking. I guess, it’s not truly surprising; things are changing, my babies are growing up, our oldest is touring colleges and making plans for his future. There’s worry, excitement and nerves aplenty.

2. Tea.

Those of you that know me, know that I love tea and drink at least one cup nightly. My favorite is by far rooibus tea but I’m not opposed to trying new kinds, flavors and brands. A few weeks ago my friend BethAnn shared this wonderful new kind of tea – tea drops – on one of her Teapot Tuesday posts. I checked it out right away and ordered some for myself to try and also some to share with my sister and as a surprise for my friend’s upcoming birthday. I love that all you have to do is take a tea drop, but it in your cup, pour boiling water over it, stir and let it sit for a few minutes and you have a fragrant cup of tea. It even has a touch of sweetener added in the drop. I do add a little honey to my tea no matter what.

3. Shoes.

Can we talk shoes for a minute? I’m not a shoe horse by any means but I do love a good pair of well-fitting shoes. These new Adidas kicks certainly fit the bill. I love them. I like to walk and try to get a few miles in every few days but lately, it started hurting my feet too much to enjoy it. My old athletic shoes just weren’t cutting it anymore. There were worn bare and there was no support to speak of at all. I guess, waiting almost 2 years to replace them is a little too long. But this new pair is amazing. I love them so much that I’m contemplating getting another pair in a different color.

4. Stitch Fix.

I finally decided to go for it and ordered my first Stitch Fix. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and was a little worried that things might not fit and I’d be disappointed but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I loved everything they sent me and decided to keep it all. Would you guys like me to do a Stitch Fix post and review of my box? I’ve been thinking about it and hope to put something together soon.

5. Pics.

Last but not least, my favorite part, five pics from the past few weeks!

Hooray for Friday!

My favorite girls. Late night at school for STEAM night.

Audrey. She’s the best pooch ever.

One of my orchids. It makes me so happy to see them bloom. I didn’t think they’d come back.

Finn. She let me take her picture and snuggled with me. That won’t happen again for another year! 😉

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Have you tried Stitch Fix, or the tea drops tea or gotten a new pair of shoes lately?

Have a great weekend!

xoxo, Susi

Blog

How is it February already?

February 13, 2018

Wow. How in the world is it February already? I meant to write a nice 2017 wrap up post and a nice welcome to the New Year post highlighting some of the things I’ve worked on over my Christmas break. As you can see, neither happened.

I did get a few blog related things accomplished, for one, I merged my old blog BocaFrau with this one, so all posts are in one place and if you try to access bocafrau.com it redirects you here. (Thanks, hubby!) I didn’t change too many things on the blog itself since I’m still pretty happy with the template etc. I just streamlined a few things for myself, in hopes of posting more regularly. You see how that’s going, right? I mean, this post has been sitting in my draft folder since December. Ooopsies. I also updated my about me page, as I usually do at the beginning of each year. Other than that I just changed the look a bit and updated the top menu.

I created a portfolio site with Adobe Portfolio  (not an advertisement) since it’s included with my Creative Cloud subscription. I wasn’t sure at first, if I wanted to set up another website but I’m happy that I did. I like the different layout options and it’s ease of use. You’ll find it if you click on the Photography link in the top menu. I’d love it if you could pop on over and let me know what you think.

One of the reasons this post/blog has been sitting neglected for so long is that hubby and the kids all battled the flu in January.  I was the only one spared and only had a very minor cold for a couple of days. The road to recovery took a while but now everyone seems to be back to (mostly) normal and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that no one will relapse and we all stay well. A tall order with all the germs flying around at work and school! If you or your family have been affected by the flu this year, I just want to say I’m sorry that you have to deal with it and I wish everyone a speedy recovery!

I did manage to read two amazing books over break. Fourty Autumns by Nina Willner is a book about a family and their lives in Germany during the Cold War. It highlights the story of the author’s family, her mother’s life in the West and the rest of the family in the East and what they endured being separated for 40 years. The book really resonated with me, as I grew up in East Germany. I only lived under communist rule for 10 years before the fall of the Berlin Wall and can only look back at that time through the eyes of a child. But there are parallels, my grandma’s sister lived in West-Germany and we were only able to communicate with her and her children, my mother’s cousins, through letters. I still remember the first time we went to visit them and how amazed I was by everything!

The second book I read is a much more somber one, When Breath becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. This book is a memoir about how the author, a neurosurgeon, is trying to come to terms with his mortality after he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. This book was on my radar for a while and after reading a post on Cup of Jo, who I’ve been following a while, I decided now is as good a time as any. I never realized the connection there and thought it was interesting how Joanna is Lucy’s twin sister and Lucy is Paul’s widow.  I didn’t regret reading the book and it certainly is a story that will stay with me.

I just started reading Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance and so far so good. I will let you know what I think once I’ve finished it. I need to do some research as I remember an article saying this wasn’t really a memoir or something along those lines. Does anyone know what I’m talking about? If you do, leave me a comment, please.

Other than that, things are moving right along, we are all busy with school and work and trying to eat and be healthier. I started walking more regularly and have also been dipping my toes into yoga. Thanks to Heather at heyyyheather.com I finally found a yogie on YouTube who I feel is easy to follow for a beginner, and who doesn’t make it feel intimidating. I enjoy my 30 minutes a few times a week and cannot wait to hop on the mat. If you feel like checking it out here’s the link to Yoga with Adriene on YouTube.

We are also planning a super-duper amazing trip and I can’t wait to share more about that. It’ll be a post for another day though. 🙂

What’s new in your world? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

I hope you enjoy the random photos that have nothing to do with this post. I took them when the girls and I went to visit my mom on the west coast. I wanted to go to the beach and see a sunset. The sunset was rather lackluster bit we still had a nice time.

xoxo, Susi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Photography

An Evening Stroll {Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Dec. 2, 2017}

December 3, 2017

Now that the weather is a lot cooler and much less humid, it’s fun to explore the wetlands again and see what’s going on. I was surprised by how many birds are already there again, building nests and making noise. I’d been itching to get out and have some fun with my camera for a little photo therapy, as I like to call it.

Blog

A Magic(al) Hat

November 20, 2017

Ally is in third grade now. No more dressing up in costumes for her on Halloween (at school), instead, the kids have to design a hat that matches their word. They get to pick the word in advance with the teacher’s approval and then have to decorate their hat. The hats get worn for the Halloween parade and depending on what it is, the kids are also allowed to dress for their word. The other students/classmates have to guess the word that the hat depicts.

The kids actually have a lot of fun with it and this year I saw a lot of cool hats.

Ally’s word was magic, of course. 🙂 Nothing else would do for my little Harry Potter fanatic.

We decided to keep it simple and bought a plain black witches hat, some puffy gold paint and foam board stickers to cut out and decorate. Ally came up with the design and I helped her implement it a little. She’s very independent and likes to do everything herself. She used yellow foam board to make “scrolls” and wrote some spells on those. The brown foam board was made into a wand. She used the puffy paint to add some stars to the hat. It’s hard to tell in the pictures but the paint ended up drying a nice sparkly gold and stood out in a 3D effect.

She was so proud of her handy work. The kids ended up guessing anything in relation to Harry Potter, because they all know her obsession with the books and movies, but few came up with magic.

The cutest little wizard I did ever see!

Xoxo, Susi

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Grandfather Mountain and the Mile High Swinging Bridge – A Photo Gallery

November 7, 2017

All images taken with my Nikon D3200 and Tamron 18-200mm lens on a gorgeous summer day in the High Country of North Carolina.

 

Blog Wordless Wednesday

Baby Chicks

November 3, 2017

Yesterday, I got a call at work from the lower school science lab teacher to let me know that a few baby chicks had hatched.

I’ve seen it a few times now, but it’s still as fascinating as the first time for me. And these chicks are so adorable. Their little chirps make my heart happy.

Aren’t they just the cutest?

*I’m going to try to post everyday in November since it’s #nablopomo (National Blog Post Month) where bloggers from all over post content every day in November. There is an off-shoot of this for photos. I have to look up the hashtag for it.

Have a great day everyone!

xoxo, Susi