Tuesday, July 20, 2010

~Happy Birthday, Michelle~

Happy Birthday, Michelle Marie!
 Born on July 20, even though your due date was on the 13th,
my birthday!
But you are still my best birthday present ever!

When I was pregnant with you, I worked at
Crisp Realty/Property Management,
surrounded by people who were as excited for your arrival as I was.
They pampered me, even to the point of sending me off
for a lunchtime nap,
and not waking me up, but letting me sleep the afternoon away!
And I got paid for this!

Also during this time, we moved to a great neighborhood in St. Pete
and into Soncoast Community,
where the quaintest garage apartment on Burlington Avenue
waited for us.
 However, it needed sooo much work. 
A friend from Jersey, Abbot
(who was an avid surfer),
stopped by on his way to Puerto Rico where he was going to spend a month surfing.
 He looked at the apartment, and said
“So, that’s where you’re gonna live!?" LOL ,
as he glanced at my belly.
And off he went dreaming of blue water and big waves.
Well, just a couple of days later he showed back up on our doorstep.
(Did I mention he was a master carpenter!)
 He spent his month vacation making our home a home.
This was before HGTV, but his expertise turned this neglected apartment into a showpiece.
 But he didn’t do it alone…
 many, many hands went into beautifying our diamond in the rough.
 I distinctly remember Yuriko scraping away on a paint-splattered French door.

Your room was painted the yellow of daisies,
with checkered curtains on the windows made by Anita,
and a bright flower vine snaking up the wall lovingly painted by Charlotte.
You loved your Winnie the Pooh light fixture hanging from the ceiling.
 And your favorite crib toy was a Dalmatian puppy dog brought back from Europe by Mark.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here…

I remember the night of the 19th. My water broke around 12:00,
and your dad rushed back and forth in our little apartment frantically gathering my packed belongings while I sat patiently waiting to get in the car.
And then off we went to Bayfront Medcal Center,
which is in sight of beautiful Tampa Bay.
 Once there, my labor started around 4 o’clock and you made your appearance right after 8 a.m.
(No wonder you’ve always been a morning person!)
I had an easy birth, and you were an easy child! Spoiled me in fact!
These were the days when there were stringent visitor’s hours at the hospital,
 but somehow Annie snuck up and spent a good portion of the day with us.
When we did have someone question her presence, we would just say,
“But we’re sisters!”
(see the resemblance:)

You were the only baby amongst many adults for quite a few months.
So you can imagine all of the lovin’ you received.
At one point I had to have a
“no, you cannot pick up Michelle” rule
so that you would be able to learn how to crawl!

And I can’t forget to mention your “2nd Mom”, Misty.
Your first friends: Misty, Lynn, Dorie

I think she was around 11 at the time you were born.
 And she sure did love you!
And helped take care of you!
And watched you!
 And played with you!
At such a young age, she truly had a mother’s heart,
 and even diapers or spit-up did not deter her.

So the 20th of July is forever a special day in the history of the world!
The day of your arrival!
 You were a gift and blessing then, and continue to be so every day!
The happiest of birthday wishes to you, my dear daughter,
I love you,

Monday, July 19, 2010

Birthday(s) Weekend!

This past weekend, we celebrated not only my b-day,
but Charlie's, Michelle's, and Robert's!
And there was a consensus that out to the beach
 we would go for our celebration.
Since Mish and Charlie brought their kayak with them,
 we decided to head to the intracoastal side instead of the ocean side. 
 To "paradise"...

At the mouth of the Matanzas. 
On the other side of that bridge is the ocean.

Who is missing here?!?  Rach!
We missed you and Ethan :(

Charlie w/an unseen Hope
and Christa and Robert off exploring

Heading to the water, getting ready for volleyball
(and you already heard the story that went along with that!)

Peter right before the volleyball game,
and he had his ring on :)

I thought this guy gobbled the ring,
he had a guilty look about him!

You're a good sport, Robert!

Charlie, Christa, and Hope kayaking with a mama and her baby!

Robert looking to the heavens, pleading...
"Please, no more pictures!!"

And then he created a cloud design in the sand
for Christa that went quite a ways down the beach :)

And this was our "Happy Dance" after finding the ring
and celebrating our fun in the sun.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Miracle of the Day

What does this picture look like to you?...

If you guessed Peter's wedding ring
that was lost in Matanzas Inlet
during a game of water volleyball
you would be right!

Yes, that's correct,
the intracoastal;
lost for over two hours
in sand constantly being shifted
by the tides and the continuous stream
of waverunners and boats!

A diligent, but seemingly hopeless search
was done by all, particularly Jess,
who didn't give up and sent alot
of prayers heavenward.

Finally, it was time to call it a day,
the kayaks were packed for the
trip back to the car,
the dogs collected,
last pictures with the setting sun were taken
(more of all of this to come in the next post),
and Peter and Jess were at the water's edge
lamenting their loss.

When Jess glanced down one last time
 and then we heard..."There it is!"

We thought she was joking.
She wasn't!

The ring was literally at their feet!

And she was able to place the ring
on Peter's finger once again...

And they lived happily ever after!

Thank you, God, for miracles!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Don has some heavy competition...
tall, dark and handsome,

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Trans-Generational Fun Day

It sure is a fun day when you can go out with girlfriends
 and one of them happens to be one who you've changed her diapers
 twenty-some years ago (hee-hee)!

We started out at Joanna's great apartment
in historic Avondale...

And then made our way over to the
 held under an overpass on the St. John's River.
It was a hot Florida day,
but with the shade and breeze from the river,
it was totally bearable.
(Where's Waldo?, oops I mean Nina and Diana? They are in the pic)

A work in progress...

Sensory overload...

No, Nina, you CANNOT have another dog...
(but she sure is pretty and sweet)

Choices, choices...
but went with the best named bread there...
(I assume made with all legal ingredients)

And we ended our time at
Thanks, ladies, for a fun day!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

My Neighborhood Celebration

Today my neighborhood had a celebration for the 4th
and to honor our troops...
There was entertainment....
swapping of stories from one generation to the next...
ongoing interviews being broadcast live by the local radio station...
a car show...
free food...
games for kids (she's about to get dunked!)...
water slides for kids...
and just some good old-fashioned fun...