Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lucky Number 13!

Happy lucky number 13 to us!

Thirteen years ago, at 1030 on a hot, hot Sunday morning, Keith and I tortured our friends and family by making everyone stand out in the sun while we tied the knot.
We met in the fall of 1993, went out on our first date in February 1994, and married June 7, 1998. We had planned to get married a year earlier, but slowed down and decided to wait until I had finished college.

We had a fantastic wedding at Lake Lilly Park in Maitland. It was beautiful and many, many people gifted us with their talents to help us pull off a memorable day.

Dancing together

In our 13 years of marriage, we've moved 14 times - between me being a Travel Nurse for a few years, and Keith joining the Coast Guard. We've also survived periods of little communication during 8 weeks of bootcamp, nearly 2 years of Keith being stationed on a 2 month out/2 month home ship, 3 different Air Stations with their scheduling/deployment variabilities, and a handful of Coast Guard schools that would take Keith away from us for anywhere from a long weekend to a couple of weeks, 3 months and 5 1/2 months. Not to mention the full year that Keith went "geographical bachelor" living near the Clearwater Airstation, while the kids and I lived here in the Orlando area. Learning to live apart was rough, and then learning to live together again proved to be even rougher! We've lived in some awesome cities - Boston, Atlanta, Chapel Hill (NC), Falmouth (Cape Cod, MA) and Kodiak (Alaska) have been my favorites.

Leaving to go on our honeymoon. We're both so practical, we actually stopped to get the car's oil changed on the way to the island.

We've bought a house, sold a house and bought another house (hopefully this is our last!). We've been through a few cheap-pay-cash-for vehicles, and yet somehow, our trusty green 4Runner that we bought a year after we got married is still hanging in there.

So typical - Keith's checking out my plate to see if I got anything to eat that he might be interested in.

When Daniel was born, Joshua was 3 years 2.5 months old; Megan was 17.5 months old. And here we were with a newborn? What were we thinking! We were living in Alaska and Keith was working the 4pm-midnight (or whenever the work got done into the wee early hours of the morning) shift. And I was working 8am-3pm at a fabulous medical practice. It's funny now to think of how chaotic our life was then - to add into the mix, Daniel absolutely refused to take a bottle for Keith, so the baby would nap most of the day and then stay up all night to nurse. I'm sure I was extremely pleasant to be around during that time!

And now here we are with a nearly 9 year old Joshua, 7 year old Megan and 5.5 year old Daniel. Our kids are gaining their independence, and Keith and I are finding more time to hang out together. It feels as though we've circled right back around to where we started 13 years ago - I'm back working for the same Hospital, although in a much different area. Keith is back in college and for a while was on the same campus he went to straight out of high school. And we live a few streets over from the house that Keith's parents have lived in for many, many years.

It's been an awesome 13 years. I'm excited to see what's still ahead for us. Our wedding ceremony ended with this blessing...

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Daytona Museum of Arts and Science

On Tuesday, the kids and I picked up Nana and took her to the Museum of Arts and Science in Daytona Beach. Our science museum passes got us in free! The museum had a big open-house a few weeks ago to reintroduce the giant sloth.

There were a lot of really cool things inside the museum. Statues and doll houses and tapestries and teddy bears and coca-cola memorabilia. There were also pictures from old Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circuses, and old indy race cars and an old pharmacy set up in the museum. Most of what we saw was in a "no photography" area. We did get to go outside and see two private train-cars that are now part of the museum.

The kids took off pretending to be at the train station.

Getting ready to board the train.

Waving out the back!
The boys were ready to go back inside, but Megan was really into looking through every window.

Once back inside, we came across the Pirate Room.

Daniel trying to "aim" the cannon to fire.

Joshua's the pirate.

Such a ham! Joshua's pretending to be attacked by the shark, on the way to the Children's Wing.

In the Children's Wing, Megan pretended to be a radio DJ.

Nana and Joshua made tennis birdies fly.

The kids all made pretend pizzas.

Oops! Good thing it's not real. Somebody was high-sticking and lost the pizza off the end of the pizza peel.
Megan playing the electric harp.

Joshua riding the bike to create energy.

Daniel raising the Jolly Roger flag on the pirate ship, singing "yo ho, yo ho, a pirates life for me".

These chairs were awesome. You were supposed to pull the rope, it pulls the chair up and you raise up into the air. Megan needed help pulling hers up.

Joshua pulled his up and then let go of the rope to fly back down.

Daniel couldn't pull on the rope hard enough to raise his seat when he was seated in it. So he got off and pulled the rope to move the chair...genius!

Taking a ride on a Harley.

It was a great time. Lots of fantastic things to see! It was great to spend time with Nana, too.