As the title suggests, we are deep in the woods of north Florida for said holiday. It was nice to see our family and share a delicious meal. I hope your holidays were well, now it’s time to get back to the family before our flight back north.
What!?! How has it been three years since David and I walked down the aisle and said “I do!” I guess the old cliche is right: time flies when you are having fun. I seriously love this guy. He has challenged me, inspired me, loved me, supported me, and made me laugh each and everyday. In these short three years, we have built a family and a home together and I am so incredibly grateful to have such a fabulous husband (Of course, I am a pretty fun wife too!). Our little twosome is about to be a threesome but I am really happy to have had these three years together. It has been an adventure and promises to continue to be. Thankfully I will have this lovely guy by my side to keep it all interesting!
When it became official: The Kiss
David has a number of recipes that he is “king” of in the house. One of my favorites that he makes is garlic chicken. David used to prepare chicken this way growing up in South Florida. When we first started dating, we tried to prepare our family favorites. Each week, one of us would treat the other to an “oldie but goody.” On one such night, I was introduced to this chicken recipe. According to David, garlic chicken is quick, easy, and he promised delicious. On that first night of preparing a bird like this, he headed into the kitchen and I waited to taste the results. And, our favorite garlic chicken was born for our house!
Garlic chicken starts with a bone in chicken breast.
Seasoning include onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Using a brush, cover the chicken breast in the melted butter. Lift up the skin and make sure to butter under the skin as well.
You can also use olive oil if you prefer instead of butter and both ways are delicious. Once the breast is covered in the butter, it is time to season it.
Season the chicken all over with garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. David absolutely covers the chicken in the seasonings. His opinion is that you cannot overdo the spices! Bake the chicken at 300 for 1hr.
Remove from the oven and enjoy a truly delicious, crispy, chicken dinner. We plate our garlic chicken with our favorite kale salad obsession!
In mid July David and I were able to fly down to Florida to visit with his brother, sister-in-law, and their littles. Each year around the fourth of July we make our trek down for a long weekend of fun and sun. This year we met our newest little nephew only 14 days old. When we arrived a tropical storm was trailing us, promising to keep us indoors during the visit. Somehow though, it broke up allowing us all to enjoy the outdoors. We had a picnic at the beach at sunset, went to a cookout in a local park to honor the Navy Reserve, took walks around the block, had a massive water balloon fight, and just soaked up as much time together as possible. It is always so hard to leave on Monday. I wish I could pick up Florida and place it right next to Massachusetts so that we are only a short drive from one another.
Uncle David meets our newest nephew. They are both rocking the same hairdo.
Just a little beach nap at sunset.
Setting up our camp site. We packed blankets & fried chicken and sat in the sand between sea turtle nests.
Nothing beats this view
Did not done a bathing suit this time, but still had to put my feet in.
The little guy woke up right before it was time to head home. First visit to the beach at just a few days old not to shabby.
Our niece and nephew splashing around in the waves. They are fearless, beautiful, little fish.
A little family portrait? Gosh do I want us to start a family. Holding little boy really made that desire apparent. Maybe someday…
While we were there, I was reintroduced to ramen noodles and fell in love with that salty, noodle soup
Kid races at the cookout. About to launch off for the potato sack race.
David and his littles
no explanations. just a moment captured.
The birthday celebrations that cram into the first week of June end with my mom’s birthday today. It has unfortunately fallen on my school’s graduation the past 4 years and I have not been able to celebrate with her personally. Hopefully, though she knows how much I love her and how much I wish I could be there to celebrate her birthday with her today. At least this year, in just four days, we will see each other for a mini-Florida vacation. Growing up, my mom worked tirelessly to ensure that Bryan and I were not only basically well fed and sheltered, but truly loved, challenged, and thriving. She focused on our education and helped us hone our writing, reading, and critical thinking skills. Each day after school, we would make camp at the kitchen table while she prepared dinner and we worked on our homework. There we munched on snacks, chatted about the days events, and struggled with Spanish, grammar and, of course, math. In between sautéing vegetables, she would quiz us for our upcoming assessments, help us create a variety of projects from scratch, and go over our work with us making sure we asked questions but more importantly that we could explain why we had the answers to her questions. I believe I am teacher today because she was always a present teacher in my daily life. She balanced this strength and determination though with a soft side and I can recall many times snuggling on the couch with her and talking about her own childhood memories. My mom was my partner in crime. Many afternoons we would sneak out to the mall together and shop for dresses for school dances. While we sometimes argued in the fitting room over the style of dress (I always aimed for something a little too mature and she for something a little more immature), we designed a veto system to turn these tiffs into productive discussions in which we explained why a particular outfit was unappealing to one of us. By the time, it came to buying my wedding dress, we had mastered our veto system and the experience of being just with my mom on the day we found “the dress” is a memory I will always cherish. My brother and I were so lucky to have our mother home with us each day. She modeled unconditional love, patience, support, and she always believed in the beauty of our dreams. I hope today my lovely mother has a truly lovely day.
Today is my brother’s birthday. When we were growing up, I could always count on him to play with me even though I was five years his junior. Each summer, for two weeks, our family would trek down to Florida for a beach vacation. The only two kids within miles, we created a variety of games to entertain ourselves. Splashing around we pretended to swim from sharks (ironic as he was in fact bit by a shark later in life), shout “marco…” “polo”…, and run top speed into the ocean. We were obsessed with digging deep holes in the sand. We could spend the entire day just digging a giant pit and pretending we were heading to China. Our giant pit once even became the nest for a sea turtle. In the afternoons, we would take a 1 mile walk to the pier and back and I would often listen as my brother and father talked about aviation. Afterwards, we’d head up to the apartment to eat sandwiches while watching Chips or the North Shore on TV. We probably watched that movie a hundred times over the summer. We bought boogie boards and tried to stand up in the waves and my bro eventually graduated to surfboards. We grew so close over those vacations. They were always the highlight of the year for me. I had him all to myself and did not have to share him with his older friends (and potential girlfriends). We were just kids, just siblings. Now watching him become a father of his own still boggles my mind. How did we ever get old enough to have our own families? Even in this new phase of our lives he is a beautiful model of love, compassion, team work, playfulness, planning, consideration, professionalism, and integrity. I love my brother so much and I just want to wish him a very Happy Birthday today!!