Saturday, November 23, 2013


Last week I found myself giving a lecture on why Christmas music isn't played before Thanksgiving to an administrator at my daughter's pre-school.

Don't get me wrong; I love Christmas. I have buckets of Christmas decorations that my husband dutifully hauls down from the attic each year. I have hundreds of Christmas songs in my iTunes list. My Christmas cookies can beat the shit out of the Pillsbury doughboy's Christmas cookies. I have Christmas shirts and I have magnets that go on the car (Yes, I am that goofball.) I say "Merry Christmas" not "Happy Holidays."

But I do all of this AFTER Santa Claus comes town at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. In America, that is the beginning of the Christmas season. 

The key to that phrase, I have found, is "in America." Did you know, that it is impossible, for me as a white woman, to not sound like a redneck while beginning a sentence with "In America…"

But that is the key phrase IN MIAMI, and NOT BEING HISPANIC. 
My daughter's daycare, which I love, is very hispanic. Sam comes home saying "Agua" and "Caca", not "Water" and "Poo-poo".

Sometimes we Americans forget that Thanksgiving is an AMERICAN holiday. It feels like a religious holiday to me. It's Christmas without the presents. You have the 3 F's: Family, Friends and Food; and it's a time to be thankful for the blessings in your life. It's a purer form of Christmas really. A more sacred holiday, though technically a secular holiday.

For immigrants to this country who came over late enough to have not been raised with the diluted history of pilgrims, turkey and indians, and without the tradition of family, food and thankfulness, it just seems to be in the way. If you aren't American, then Thanksgiving doesn't get in the way and the Christmas season seems to start earlier.

So I understand. I get it. But you are still wrong and stop playing "Feliz Navidad" in Novemember. Why are you wrong? Because I'm writing this in Miami. And though it is commonly thought to be the northern annexed territory of Cuba, Miami is technically "In America." And "while in Rome, do as the Romans do." We are In America. Please respect our first, and most sacred National Holiday. Please respect Thanksgiving. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Joey takes Sam for a ride around the cul-de-sac.
Sam was waving most of the time like high school prom queen in a parade.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013



Only the boring get bored.
Have a 1/2 hour wait for a table?
Play Pitch-a-penny outside against a wall!
 Sam didn't quite understand the rules, and so was playing a different game... fetch. 
 Sometimes the penny hadn't stopped rolling before she picked it up and brought back!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Drinking from the house


Grandma and Joey wanted to take a canoe trip up Dove Creek. But they didn't want to paddle all the way across the bay to get there. So Uncle Chris towed them with the boat to and from.
Make-shift bubbles made with dish washing soap and a bottle opener. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Someone is spoiled.
Someone is discovering things to chew on, I hadn't even thought to protect. 
But Chance is so sweet, even Mark isn't yelling at him as much. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Mark and Sam reminded me the other day of a story my dad loves to tell about his childhood dog.

My Grandpa Craven had trained "Tag" well.
Tag could do all sorts of tricks, but he was especially good at playing dead. Not only would he roll over, but he would let out his air and hold still. Grandpa Craven and tag were so proud of themselves, it got to the point that Grandpa could just say, "Tag, do your favorite trick," and Tag would roll over and play dead.

One day, my very proper Grandma Craven was playing Bridge with her friends, or having a ladies meeting of some sort (She was highly social). One of the ladies mentioned hearing that Tag could do all sorts of tricks. Grandpa puffed up, and hollered to Tag, who was nearby, "Tag, do your favorite trick." And Tag sat down and licked his balls. 

So Mark comes in to the bedroom holding Sam this past weekend, looking very pleased with himself. 
He asks her, "Sam, what does the Bunny say?" and Sam replies with a burp, a hiccup and says "MEOW."

He HAD taught her that the Bunny wiggles its nose. And she knows that the lion "ROARS" and a few others, but her favorite is that darn cat. And she does a great, elongated  "MEOW."

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Emma's 4th Birthday was Pinecrest Gardens
 "You wanna me to touch what?"
Sam wasn't too interested in the petting zoo.
 The girls really enjoyed the gardens.  
 If you think a 4 year old asks a lot of questions, try 2 of them.
 When you're the best of friends...
 Sam really knows how to enjoy a cupcake.
 Splash zone!
 Why do all babies try to sit on fountains?
 Water mohawk
 Too cute.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Sam is ready for her ball, or halloween, which ever comes first!


Mark calls our new dog, Chance, "Nada."
As in Not-a-chance.
Here is the darling saint... eating a leash.

Sunday, October 6, 2013



Why, you might ask, are my two darling girls making mud pies in beautiful dresses?
Because they both go to schools that require uniforms. So they get to pick out what they want to wear on weekends. To tell them they can't wear there nice dresses for fear they might get dirty means they will never wear them at all!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


We actually spent a weekend in the keys without putting a boat in the water.
 We still went to our favorite place for breakfast, but we drove a car. 
(Grandpa was teaching Joey how to shoot the straw wrapper across the table.)

 Sam drove her "WEEE!" (That's what she calls the powerwheels ATV. "Wee."
 How many people can we fit in the inflatable kiddie pool?
 The girls have so much fun in this silly thing.
 We actually did some work from home. Mom had each of us going through a day's worth of invoices here.
 Alright, so we did put one boat in. 
Joey's favorite boat is the canoe. Don't get me wrong, she still likes to go fast. But she also loves camping and nature and this falls in that category.
This view never gets old.
 Neither does this one.

Monday, September 30, 2013


The end of summer celebration for the RIPTIDES was a really fun pool party. With great pasta dinners. Joey really likes getting trophies. 
 My little swimmer!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


The last weekend before school started, we went to the Keys, of course!
Becca was down with the kids, BUYING A HOUSE to move back permanently! YEAH!!!
So Joey can see Emma all the time now!
Yes, those are toilet seats being used as channel markers behind me.
It was a REALLY windy weekend, so we put the blue boat in on the bay side and took a ride to Holiday Isle. It was rough, even on the bay side!
The kids are all posing Captain Morgan style above.
 We are going to be in SO much trouble when they grow up.
Dinner table secrets.
 Sam's new version of peek-a-boo.
 When you're the best of friends...
Rebecca is good at doing little girl's hair.
 We hit Jacob's Aquatic on the way back up Sunday. Time for the school grind to start again!