Archive of ‘family’ category

Tutus and Toes in the Sand | Seaside, FL

Emery and I made a little extra time for the sunset today, just because. Her ballet class is about 100 steps from the beach, so it’s practically illegal not to skip over and check it out. Of course, a sweet treat is almost always involved and today we went for Dawson’s yogurt with sprinkles and M&Ms. It was perfection. Emery and I ate every bite, then she demonstrated her newest ballet moves as if she had an entire audience. This mostly involves lots of clapping her hands and saying, “Okay. Okay. Okay.” as she thinks of the next plié or pirouette. I love every minute. These are the moments I just want to pause and savor!

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My Grandmother – A True Southern Belle

My grandmother Nelda Anderson - a true Southern Belle

My grandmother was always so chic. She wouldn’t dare be caught outside the house without heels on. Wish I had more of her fabulous wardrobe and easy sophistication. I hope Emery has as many amazing memories with my parents and Hunter’s parents as I did with my grandmother. This is one of my favorite pictures of us!

Conversations with my grandmother

My grandmother - a true Southern Belle

Psalm 46:10

Be Still And Know Print  |  Psalm 46:10

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Sometimes, as much as you might see something approaching, it’s hard to accept that it’s actually happening when it finally arrives. Life is busy, things are happening and time moves fast. Truly absorbing a situation requires being still long enough to piece together the reason and really acknowledge the big picture. That’s not always easy and this is one of those cases.
Though my grandmother’s health has been declining over the years and has gotten worse lately, it’s difficult to imagine my world without her, even as I’m sitting bedside with her, coming to terms with the fact that it will soon be time to say our final goodbyes. This woman has taught me so much about life, love, family, hard work, dedication, humor, manners and proper grammar. She is a true Southern belle who taught English and Math, raised three boys with my granddaddy and managed to be one of the first women to graduate from FSU Law at the age of 42, all with never-failing class, style and faith. She is and will always be one of my biggest inspirations.
Take a moment to be still long enough to love those around you, let people know how much they mean to you and thank the good Lord for the beautiful life he’s given us.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Card)

This holiday season has been nothing short of a sprint. Is it just me or has it really flown by? Now, here we are mere days before Christmas with our last-minute family Christmas card (hopefully) arriving in mail boxes of family and friends. We almost didn’t do a card this year, but after deciding one morning last week to take a few snapshots that afternoon, here’s what we ended up with. Nothing like a little procrastination! Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!2013 Christmas Card - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

A few of the outtakes…Ray Christmas Card Ray Christmas Card Christmas Card mommy daughter Christmas card mommy daughter Emery style christmas card

Santa Strikes Out – Again

Poor baby. Mom and I took Emery to visit Santa and after picking out her own outfit, the promise of seeing Santa’s helpers up close and personal and much coaxing once it was actually her turn, we officially struck out. I think this year’s visit was even worse than last year’s with the same stream of tears, sad face and even a cry of “Get me out of here!” Even Santa said it was the first time he heard that one. At least the trauma was all forgotten as soon as we walked away. Emery looked at the take-home picture, folded it and put it back in my bag. We went immediately to Zoe’s Kitchen for chocolate cake to make up for it. :)

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Emery Style: Polka Dots and Boyfriend Jeans

Emery is rocking the boyfriend jeans look today. Also known as “need-to-do-laundry-so-let’s-wear-jeans-you-haven’t-grown-into-yet” look. What do you think?
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A Southern Thanksgiving

I have to give full credit to my mom and aunts for putting together the coolest Thanksgiving we’ve had to date. We had all the usual turkey day ingredients including turkey (of course!), catching up with out-of-town family, homemade casseroles and pies galore plus an extra special setting this year. Instead of cramming the group of 30 into one of our houses with makeshift tables and the TV buzzing in the background, we took to the lawn at my grandma’s house, dining al fresco with fall breezes, sun beams and Mother Nature as our decor.

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We had fresh flowers in silver servers with a smattering of pumpkins running down the table.

Thanksgiving table family

I set out to try one of everything, but determined that was a little too ambitious after filling my plate partway down the serving table. To name a few dishes, we roasted turkey, baked ham, fresh corn, corn casserole, field peas, broccoli salad, parmesan asparagus, traditional dressing, oyster dressing, macaroni and cheese, lima beans with ham, sweet potato soufflé, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, creamy spinach rolls and a full table of desserts.
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Thanksgiving plate

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mom and emery
family fun  |  uncle + niece
Sister  |  jamiray.com

Fall Sunsets at the Beach

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After a busy day of ballerina time for the Flutterby Festival, the obligatory trip to Target and plenty of 30A sunshine our Saturday was topped with a pit-stop to the beach just in time to catch the sunset. Emery’s favorite part? “Giving sand back to the water.” I just love the way she thinks!

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Cottages for Kids 2013

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My friend Shaye so graciously invited me to attend a kick off party for the annual Cottages for Kids display in Rosemary Beach. First of all, Rosemary is one of my favorite places on 30A, full of fun for both little ones and adults. Every year, the town plays host to the most amazing and adorable playhouses, on display for a few short weeks before traveling to their new homes where kids will undoubtedly spend hours upon hours playing and making sweet memories. One of our local charities, Children’s Volunteer Health Network, partners with area builders to coordinate the design and construction of these cottages that look like they are straight out of a fairy tale. Even better? Anyone can bid on these and help make a difference for local children. Funds from the sales go straight to CVHN where school-age kids in need receive medical, dental, vision and mental health services from volunteer providers at no cost.

Emery tagged along with me and “tested” each playhouse until the sun went down. I can safely say each and every cottage is not only Emery-approved, but really impressive. From Seaside and Rosemary Beach architecture to a pirate ship, there was a lovely mix of styles that also included features like a rock-climbing wall, slide, television and plenty of stairs for endless climbing. The cottages are open weekends through November 30, so if you’re anywhere nearby, be sure to make a stop and let your little ones enjoy all the fun. For more details, visit the Cottages for Kids site here.

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>> ALL DECKED OUT
BID NOW for a chance to win this Cottage!
Generously built and donated by:
Corestruction

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>> KID COMFORT
BID NOW for a chance to win this Cottage!
Generously built and donated by:
Heritage Builders and The Merchants of Rosemary Beach
Designed by HGTV’s Vern Yip

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There’s Vern! What a fun and friendly guy who also happens to love Rosemary Beach. This playhouse is modeled after the real house he’s building with his family in Rosemary.

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>> SEASLIDE
BID NOW for a chance to win this Cottage!
Generously built and donated by:
Chuck, LLC
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>> LIVE IT UP
BUY RAFFLE TICKETS for a chance to win this Cottage!
Generously built and donated by:
Davis Dunn Construction & Studio:A:Architecture with CUP Food You Pick Up & Redfish RenderingCottagesForKids-RosemaryBeach7

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>> THE PIRATE SHIP HHK (HEALTHY HAPPY KIDS)
BID NOW for a chance to win this Cottage!
Generously built and donated by:
Freeport High School Key Club & Randy Wise Homes

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Finally, after circling the entire Cottages for Kids area at least 50 times playing in all the playhouses, we headed for the car. Emery’s eyes lit up at the sight of the fountain and she begged me to find change so she could make a wish. (I don’t make this stuff up!) Of course, I couldn’t even find a penny, but she made do by throwing in about 8 acorns. Little moments like these make my heart so full and happy.  I wonder what she wished for? Perhaps, a fun new playhouse?CottagesForKids-RosemaryBeach9


Ballet and Seaside Sunsets

30 Days of Thanks. Day 5: thankful for time to unplug to enjoy little moments and big beauty

Tuesdays have quickly become a frontrunner for favorite day of the week. I know it’s hard to beat a relaxing Saturday or a lazy Sunday, but lately our Tuesdays have involved pink tutus, buns, ballet slippers and adventures in Seaside. Emery’s Itty Bitty Ballet classes take place at The Studio in the heart of Seaside. While she’s in class, I get to take a time out to grab an Amavida Coffee, browse Instagram, Pinterest or (more often) peek in to watch the class. These little ballerinas are adorable!

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After class, we could easily wander over for a Frost Bites sno-cone, yogurt at Dawson’s, mac n cheese at Barefoot BBQ or a quick trip to the beach. It’s literally across the street. With the fall-back time change, we have just enough time to cross over to one of Seaside’s gorgeous pavilions (see more here and here) and make our way to the top of the dunes to see the clouds and water undergo their daily transformation.

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While I like to soak all this in…AfterBallet-SeasidePavillion9

…my excited little ballerina is just as fun to watch.AfterBallet-SeasidePavillion2

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Here’s the view from the West Ruskin Pavillion looking east toward Bud & Alley’s…

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…and the gorgeous view looking west toward the Pensacola Pavilion and Watercolor in the distance.AfterBallet-SeasideView


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