Category Archives: birthday

Happy 40th Birthday Honey!

Today, hubby turned 40. I am no longer alone in the land of 40 and I’m very happy about that.

As is typical for us, we went to Kobe’s Japanese Steakhouse for dinner. It’s a favorite of ours for our birthdays and anniversary. It’s a fun time and the food is always good.

I thought for sure we were going to get rained on as we drove to the restaurant. The sky looked very ominous.

mike bday dinner clouds

I made sure to take a picture of us in the car AND when we got there. I’m pretty sure I drive hubby a little insane with all my picture taking, but he expects it at this point.

mike bday dinner 1

mike bday dinner 2
I enjoyed a nice glass of white zinfandel to start with. Hubby had chicken and shrimp, and I had filet mignon and shrimp. And we always get double yummy yummy sauce. It was delicious and of course there was too much so we came home with a to-go box.

mike bday dinner 3

mike bday dinner 4

mike bday dinner 5

mike bday dinner 6

mike bday dinner 7

It was a great evening out. Happy Birthday Honey!! I love you so much! ūüôā


Sunday Birthday Party!

Normally I would do a Sunday in the kitchen post since today is Sunday. I will stray from that today because I don’t have anything really exciting in the kitchen today. We went grocery shopping this morning and stocked up for the week. I am currently making dinner, which is a not-so-healthy taco bake, but man does it smell good!

What I do want to talk about today is my nephew’s birthday party! Super-Cooper as I like to call him, turned 3! He is a little cutie-pie. His birthday party was at Jungle Bounce in Holiday and there was plenty of bouncing, sliding, and laughter from the kiddos. Afterwards there was super yummy cake (the icing was FABULOUS!) and Cooper had a great time opening all his gifts.

Here are some fun pictures from today…

IMG_9141     IMG_9142     IMG_9187

IMG_9237     IMG_9262     IMG_9255

IMG_9273     IMG_9282     IMG_9286 

IMG_9223                         IMG_9299

IMG_9302     IMG_9303     IMG_9312

IMG_9306  IMG_9300  IMG_9327

IMG_9323     IMG_9326     IMG_9332

IMG_9344     IMG_9346     IMG_9350

IMG_9355     IMG_9360     IMG_9361

Happy 3rd Birthday Cooper! We love you!

What a great night!

Last night we saw Daughtry in concert. No news to anyone who knows me or follows me on Facebook, Twitter, or here on my blog. It’s all I’ve been talking about. I promise this will be my last post about it… For now, anyway.

The concert was at my favorite venue in the Tampa Bay area, Ruth Eckerd Hall. It’s close to home, there’s not a bad seat in the house, and the sound is amazing. It’s a smaller venue, which I like, so it feels more personal.

After getting buying the tickets for my 40th birthday, my wonderful hubby surprised me with the news of ¬†meet & greet passes just the day before the concert.¬†It was something he had been working on for a few weeks and I, of course, had no idea. These are the types of things he does. If he knows I want or like something, he gets to work on it. He loves me. ūüôā

The first part of the meet and greet was to listen to 3 songs during sound check. There were probably 40-50 people there for the meet and greet. We all got to go into the auditorium, down to the very front. I was so excited to be so close! We got to take pictures and enjoy the 3 songs. Here are a few pics I took and already had fun editing.



Afterwards, we went back out and waited for the band. Everyone got to meet the band and have a professional photo taken. I was so excited to see that it was uploaded and available just before the concert started!! I added a few touches to it and here it is!



The concert itself was AMAZING. This was our 4th time to see them in concert and they never disappoint. Driving home, hubby and I discussed where I ranked this concert out of the 4 we’ve seen. It only took a second to answer. My all time fave was the second time we saw them in Tampa, when they opened for on Bon Jovi. Needless to say I was in heaven that night. My second fave would have been tonight. My third fave was at the summer concert series at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. And last would be at Universal Studios in Orlando.

Here are some pics from during the concert!








It was a great night, one I won’t soon forget. Thank you honey for making it a great night!!



Happiness Is…

A day late on my Happiness Is… post for the week. Better late than never!

Happiness Is…

  • Looking forward to a family day. Today we are celebrating Easter, and my sister and dad’s birthday. Jenni and Daddy always celebrated their birthday’s together. When we celebrate Jenni’s birthday, it is second nature to honor my dad’s birthday as well.


  • Going to breakfast Saturday morning with my hubby. We always have so much going on and I am always trying to get a run in on the weekend mornings.¬†I decided yesterday it was a great day to go out for breakfast since we were both home with no real plans. Off we went to Village Inn for a delicious breakfast. It was a great start to the day.


  • Having time to finish reading a fantastic book, Starters by Lissa Price.


  • Getting good news at my mom’s follow-up appointment on Wednesday. Still very happy – and thankful – with the results and knowledge that she is cancer-free!


  • Making a delicious dinner last night, without worrying about how many points it is. Sometimes you just have to not worry about it, and that’s exactly what I did.


  • Being okay with not running this weekend because I got a run in Friday morning and I know I’ll get two morning runs in this week.


  • Knowing that last week I met my goal of 3 runs for the week!


  • The gorgeous weather we’ve had this weekend. It cooled down Friday afternoon and has been so nice!


  • Seeing my sunrise photo from last Tuesday featured on the Largo Patch website and Facebook page. I knew when I took the photo that it was a great one.


Happy Birthday Daddy

Dear Daddy, today you would be 79 years old. I can’t believe we have celebrated two of your birthdays without you.

So much has happened since we said goodbye. We’ve had some amazing family days, that I know you watched and were with us in spirit.

Mike and I adopted another Aussie last April, his name is Ozzie. He is your kind of dog – he is happiest at our side, being loved. Blue is still the wild and crazy dog you knew!

Autumn is getting so big. She is enjoying dance class and talking up a storm. She knows you are in heaven and she misses you, as we all do.

BJ¬†and Darlene came out last summer for a week-long visit. As you can imagine, there was a lot of Scrabble playing and enjoying each other’s company.

In October, Jenna walked 60 miles over 3 days for breast cancer. You would have gotten such a kick out of it, all the people walking all those miles. Jenna did a great job, you would have been as proud of her as we all were.

Mommy and Mike and I went to California last Thanksgiving and we had a great time seeing all of Mommy’s family. We also drove through Long Beach and saw two of the old restaurant locations. I’m sure it’s nothing like you remember. But it was also a bittersweet trip. We visited Pop Pops grave. I know how much you missed him and wanted to see him again. I know you are with him now and I can only¬†imagine the trouble you are getting into.

You would be so proud of me, I ran my first half-marathon in February! 13.1 miles! It was SOOOO cold and windy out that day. I kept thinking how you would have been all bundled up in your scarf, but even that would not have been enough to keep you warm.

Gene and Bea just left after being here since January 3. I know they miss you too.

We go to Crystal Beach on the 4th of every month for sunset. You have given us some amazing sunsets. Each one is different and just as beautiful. There are always quite a few dogs there, running and playing. It’s no wonder you enjoyed going there so much.

This weekend, we will get together as a family at Jenni’s house to celebrate both her birthday and yours. Just because you are not here, does not mean we don’t celebrate your birthday anymore. Your birthday is as special as ever.

I love you and I miss you every single day, Daddy. I don’t know that it’s any easier since we said goodbye, but remembering all the wonderful things from over the years certainly helps to keep your memory alive.

Happy Birthday Daddy. I hope you celebrate up in heaven – we will certainly be celebrating you down here.

Love you always…

A favorite photo of Daddy and I, on his birthday in 2007


This past Thursday, I turned the big 4-0. Needless to say, I was not happy about it. Hubby and I went out to dinner Thursday night to Kobe’s Japanese Steakhouse. It is one of our favorite places to go, a wonderful evening out for just the two of us.

Today, it was a family get-together. We went to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. at John’s Pass in Treasure Island. What a nice afternoon it was! We had a table out on the deck and there was a wonderful breeze. I always enjoy our family get-togethers. Family, food, and fun are three of my favorite things.After we ate, we walked around John’s Pass for ice cream and silliness with Autumn.

Turning 40 isn’t so bad when surrounded by loved ones. I am a lucky girl.










Approaching 40

As my birthday is quickly approaching, just a couple weeks away, this coming week I am reminded why I dread turning 40.

I know, it’s just a number. It doesn’t shouldn’t mean anything. But it does. It is a reminder to me of how much I dislike my body and what it cannot do.

Five years ago this week, I had a miscarriage. Since then, my body has been poked, prodded, medicated, tested, operated on, and more, all to no avail. Five years ago this week, we lost the baby we were supposed to have. We should have a 4 year old child. But we don’t.

Everyone has reasons to dislike their body. Before being momentarily pregnant and then losing it in the blink of any eye, I would tell you I didn’t like my body because I wasn’t thin, I didn’t like my butt, legs, whatever. While I STILL dislike those things about my body, it seems so minor compared to not being able to have¬†a baby, to be labeled “infertile” by doctors.

The last several years have been rough. ROUGH in all capital letters. Losing a baby, running two businesses at once, the crash of the economy and all the stress from that, the above mentioned poking and prodding, losing our Sweet Sammi dog, and losing Daddy last year. My body has taken a beating, – physically, emotionally, and mentally.

I do my best to not think about the very real fact that we likely will never have a child. It is an awful thought to think about. Our resources are tapped, we have no alternatives, so I do my best to focus on everything else. Hence, one of the many reasons I am making 2012 MY year. The year to take care of myself. I am determined to make the year that I turn 40 the one to remember by losing the weight I’ve put on the last several years,¬†to do not one but two half-marathons this year, and as many 5Ks as I can. I want to take control back on my body and show it that I am in charge, not¬† it.

It’s a struggle, it always will be. It’s so easy to not care about what I eat or drink or if I sit on the couch every day and not walk or workout. It’s easy to fall into that trap. My body can’t do what I want it to do, why should I be good to it? But that won’t get me anywhere, except depressed.

I am changing that. And somehow, someway, I will one day learn to accept the other facts. Maybe.