Stitch Therapy

Discovering me … one stitch at a time

Tag: beach (Page 1 of 3)

A visit from the Christmas Chicken

Can you believe that it’s really 2017? Do you remember when the year 2000 seemed so futuristic and far away and here we are 17 years later!

How was your holiday? I never totally got rid of the grumps, but did manage to put on a happy face and hide them well enough as not to be a Debbie Downer.

Anyhoo, here’s what we did…

There is a story that gets told over and over about how when Tom and his brothers and cousins were younger, a giant costumed chicken would show up at various family functions. This year, Tom thought it would be funny if a chicken showed up on Christmas Eve instead of Santa.

Guess who he thought should be the chicken?

That would be none other than yours truly.

Thankfully, one of his brothers stepped in at the last minute and made a great Christmas chicken.

Santa showed up too. It was mayhem.

The boys pretty much got everything their little hearts desired on Christmas morning. So much for minimalism and simplicity.

I was off from work the week between Christmas and New Years. It was nice to hunker down and be lazy. We spent our time…

Coloring

Taking a long hike



Creating animations

I checked out two biographies from the library, one on Julia Child and the other on Catherine the Great. Culinary History Royal Nerd heaven!

We went to the beach house on Thursday and stayed through the New Year. Biggest was excited to test out the crab trap that he designed and built.

He caught 11 crabs and we made a delicious crab bisque!

We went to the Melting Pot for dinner one night which has inspired us to up our at-home fondue game in 2017. I can already tell that my diet is not going to go well.

We visited the cat rescue and pretty much wanted to take every cat home with us.

I was particularly fond of the three black cats on the windowsill. How cute are they?!

And worked on a big puzzle.

I say “we”, but really it was “me” who kinda got obsessed with it.

I spent New Years Eve in my jammies reading about Catherine the Great, which was GREAT. Some of us didn’t make it till midnight.

Happy 2017, Friends!

Tricks & Treats

Hi Blog! Another weekend has come and gone.

Saturday was windy and cold! Tom and Biggest went to the beach house to do some fishing and crabbing. Biggest has really caught the fishing bug! It’s great to see his enthusiasm.

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While they were away, Littlest and I spent some quality time together. We:

shopped for Halloween costumes,

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picked out Tom’s birthday presents (this Thursday! 45! Wheeee!),

made gluten free pumpkin muffins (yes, I’m back at it!),

did a little grocery shopping, where I managed to drop and shatter a glass bottle of tea tree oil in the checkout line at Whole Foods. Mortifying! Especially when people started to wrinkle their noses and say “What’s that smell?”

went on a gluten free pizza and frozen yogurt date,

and watched Zootopia while cross stitching!!!

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On Sunday, we dragged the Halloween bins down from the attic, which led to hours of trying on old costumes and giggling hysterically. Here’s a random sampling of what we modeled:

Spock ears
Karate outfit
Cowboy/Cowgirl
Caveman/Cavegirl
Chinese dress
Red Riding Hood/Wolf
Monk with pug head
Wednesday Addams

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The BEST part is that I found a costume that I made for Sammy when he was just a puppy. He wore it to a costume contest and won. He was even featured on the evening news! Sammy has put on some weight over the years (sigh… haven’t we all?) and it no longer fits, but Charlie was able to be squeezed into it! HA!

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The WORST part is that it’s been a few years since I’ve worn some of these costumes too and could barely get them zipped up. Sammy, I feel your pain.

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Charlie, afterwards, obviously trying to forget the entire ordeal. Sorry, Charlie!

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Happy Monday!

Hola!

Hola Blog! Did you miss me? We just returned from a nice long family vacation to Mexico. It was so much fun!

My goals were to:

  • eat guacamole at every meal
  • ride a zip-line
  • relax and spend time with my family

I am happy to say that I achieved my goals! (*There was one night at an Asian restaurant where there was no guacamole, but I’m still going to count that goal as 99% met.)

Of course I took a million trip photos because that’s what I do.

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I thought that I was really original to wear a straw hat to Mexico. HA! So did everyone else. The boys made a game out of “count how many people are wearing the same hat as Mommy.” We counted 9 before we even got on the plane.

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This is where we stayed. It was so beautiful, I almost couldn’t stand it.

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We spent most of our time at the pool. It’s hard to leave when they kept walking by offering fresh guacamole and drinks.

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Littlest really embraced the good life.

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We did get off of our butts long enough to have a few adventures, like zip-lining,

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(That little blue dot is Biggest high in the trees!)

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ATV riding,

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swimming in a cenote (Tom was the only one of us brave enough to jump in),

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watching lots of cool shows,

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and getting fish pedicures! (They tickled!)

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Speaking of fish, we went to a little fishing village called Puerto Morelos.

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They are known for their leaning tower.

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The beach where we stayed was so clear and warm and white, a far cry from our familiar Jersey Shore.

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Biggest spent his time building and demolishing sand castles.

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Littlest spent his time following the ultra cool Entertainment staff guys around.

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I spent my time applying sunscreen (obligatory pool selfie) and looking for coral.

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Tom spent his time drinking cerveza and reading about Benjamin Franklin. (Seriously, didn’t I say that we are two peas in a pod?)

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It was a great vacation and just what we needed after a very busy year of school and work.

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I am so thankful that we were able to take the time and spend it together. Yay Mexico!

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Memorial Day at the Beach (in pictures)

Hi Blog!

We just returned from a lovely 5 days at the beach. It was very relaxing.

Biggest has developed a real passion for fishing, so there was plenty of that.

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Fishing is just my kind of activity. How can you go wrong with sitting around looking at the water and eating corn chips?

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We also gave crabbing a go. Don’t ask me why I felt the need to point at the crabs in every picture.

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We are lucky to live on the bay, so Biggest could run back and forth to check the traps. He was very dedicated and even went in the early morning drizzles. He caught 17 crabs!

We rode our bikes a lot, which I loved. This is the best picture I could get without crashing.

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The beach was pretty cold, but people still got in. Those people did not include me.

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Look how tall he’s getting!

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We went to the old fashioned 5&10 store and I found a fanny pack! Why did these things ever fall out of fashion? I was so excited and texted this photo to Stephanie. She called it my granny pack. Thanks Steph.

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We ate a ton of yummy beach food.

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And visited the cats at the cat rescue. They had over 90 cats! It was like a real life version of Neko Atsume. We would’ve brought home a few if Tom hadn’t put his foot down. I guess it’s good that someone in our family can exercise restraint when it comes to cats.

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Of course, there was lots of cross stitching on the porch.

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Hello distinguished gentleman!

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Sammy kept me company with his loud snores.

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I love the beach!

Pipe Dreams

Friday 5PM… Tom and I go out for a date night! Sushi (yay!) and a visit to a cool new art supply store near us. I buy stuff to do some linoleum block printing. All is well.

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Friday 9PM… Tom discovers that the utility sink in the basement has overflowed and flooded the basement. The new rugs that I just showed off in my last post are destroyed.

Saturday 8AM… Plumber 1 comes and says there’s a block in our sewer line which he can’t snake. Plumber 2 comes to camera it and only sees black water. They tell us that we have to dig through the foundation and replace the sewer pipes. It will cost thousands of dollars. We can’t use any water in the house until at least Wednesday.

Saturday 3PM… We decide to go stay at the beach house which has working toilets and sinks. Toilet flushing feels luxurious.

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Sunday all day… We try not to think about plumbing woes, go for long walks, and recreate bitmojis in real life after we find this sign in an old fashioned 5&10 store. Die laughing.

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I see this, but am able to exercise control and not buy it.

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Monday 6AM… The sun rises

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Monday 8AM… I cross stitch.

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Monday 2PM… Head back home. Charlie pees in the car.

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Monday 8PM… Go to dance class and learn the cha-cha. Giggle hysterically during the move where you “chase” your partner across the dance floor. Take turns chasing each other.

Tuesday 8AM… Insurance adjuster 1 comes to look at the basement. Plumber 3 comes to give us another opinion. He says we need to dig up the yard, not the basement. Draws lines for the digging. It will still cost thousands of dollars and the work can’t start until at least Friday.

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Tuesday all day… At work, thinking about how many months of work it will take to pay for plumbing and try to pee as much as I can at the office so that I can hold it all night.

Tuesday 9PM… Bedtime finally! Yay!

Tuesday 9:30PM… Tom hears running water in the basement as he’s locking up for the evening.

Tuesday 9:35PM… Discover the utility sink is SPEWING SEWER WATER everywhere and WON’T STOP! Floors are FILLING WITH SEWAGE!!!

Tuesday 9:45-midnight… Chaos. The township sends an emergency crew with huge trucks and lights. They find that it is the main sewer line in front of our house that has major blockage, not our line. They are able to stop it. On a bright note, our plumbing now works fine! I celebrate by flushing a toilet.

Wednesday 12:30AM… I go online to file a new insurance claim.

Wednesday 8:30AM… Clean up and restoration company comes to clean out the basement.  I hide in the bedroom alternating between crying about the mess and feeling thankful that we no longer have to do a major dig.

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I call this photo “Blooming Dogwood Against Township Sewer Truck.” So artistic, right?

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Wednesday 9AM-3PM… Talk to insurance people on the phone, including one person who can’t figure out how to fax OR email me a document.

Wednesday 3PM… Insurance adjustor #1 comes back.

Wednesday 8PM… Go to bed.

Back at it!

I was super cranky and wanted to stay in for New Year’s Eve but Tom wanted to go out, so I did my makeup and put on pleather pants and we went to a friend’s house. Don’t say that I never take one for the team.

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On New Year’s Day, we headed to the beach house. The quiet and solitude was perfect after the busyness and overstimulation of the holidays and the city.

Sammy in the car. That dog knows how to work a scarf!

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Tom likes to get up super early and watch the sunrise. The boys and I prefer to stay in the warm comfort of our beds so he takes pictures of the sunrise to show us. It’s a win-win.

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The beach was relaxing. We went to the arcade, ate junk food, and did A LOT of walking. Good thing I got a new fitness tracker for Christmas, otherwise all of that walking would have been wasted! It doesn’t count unless you have proof.

Biggest took these terrific photos. I love the sun shining in the sky. If you believe in Spirit and the Universe and God and that stuff, that’s what it reminds me of.

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At long last, we finally went home… HOME(!)… i.e. the best place on Earth. I jumped right into a fit of domesticity, making elderberry syrup…

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And deodorant bars (I know… same boring mold shape for EVERYTHING. Snore.)

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Littlest decided that he wanted to write his life story. He worked really hard on it.

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My favorite is Chapter 2.

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There were sad parts too.

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But overall it’s been a pretty good 9 years.

And finally, in unbelievable stitching news, this one came back out!

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It feels good to be stitching again. Here’s to more stitching in 2016!

Help!

Work and life stuff have been crazy which means very little time for fun things… like blogging and stitching and lying around for hours mindlessly scrolling though Pinterest. Le sigh. What’s a girl to do?

This week I had to commute two days to NYC in the rain [equal parts boring (long train rides with dead cell phone battery) and stressful (meetings with angry people)], get a mammogram, AND go for my annual exam (if you know what I mean). It that isn’t the trifecta of an icky week, I don’t know what is. But enough complaining, let’s catch up on the fun stuff!

Thanksgiving was delicious. Tom’s parents do all of the hosting and cooking, so we just show up and eat. I used to mind this because I love hosting events, but have come to appreciate the benefits of this arrangement!

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Our elf on the shelf returned from the North Pole on Thanksgiving night.

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The boys were pretty excited, but Sammy wasn’t so impressed with his arrival.

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We spent a few days at the beach house. The weather was unseasonably warm and sunny.

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We discovered this new-fangled version of Pac-Man on the boardwalk. Not to brag or anything, but I was kind of a Ms. Pac-Man legend in the day. Isn’t it funny that when people say “not to brag,” they are totally bragging. But since I’m already bragging, I will tell you that I once had the high score on TWO separate Ms. Pac-Man machines at the same time on the boardwalk. Does that make me cooler in your eyes?

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Tom made me DO WORK while we were away, so I took this picture to show how totally hardworking and techie I am (nothing could be further from the truth) with two computers going at once!

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We made it out for dinner one night at our favorite shore spot. We always go for the Early Bird special and I always “pretend” that I don’t realize there is an Early Bird special when the waiter tells us about it.

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When we got home, Littlest was determined to learn how to skate board.

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I didn’t stitch at all, which gave Charlie ample opportunity to really get comfortable in my stitching basket.

First he just sat in it.

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Then he napped in it.

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Then he cleaned his you-know-what in it. UGH! CHARLIE!!!

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We had a strange bird meeting on our patio. There were more birds, but I couldn’t get them all in the picture. So weird, right? Can someone who knows more about birds than I do, tell me what they are doing?

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And, oh happy day(!), I found some cool cross stitch stuff at the thrift store.

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What’s new with you? Happy Thursday!

Sitting on the dock of a bay

Hi Blog!

Maybe it’s obvious to everyone else, but I realized over the weekend that I like to be busy. Because I was sick leading up to our trip, I didn’t do such a good job of planning food and activities. So we didn’t do much, besides eat out and hang out. The boys thought it was great but I was SO BORED! It was so foreign to me to not be cooking or busy with something. Is this how normal people relax? Weird.

Here are some photos.

Always a packed car.
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Reeling in a big one (not really).
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Relaxing on the bay.
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Nothing to do but watch the boats go by.
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I finished this!
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More “relaxing”. AAAAAKKKKK! Isn’t there a pantry to organize or something?
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Fun and games on the boardwalk.
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Me and my sweetie.
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This guy burrowed in the couch
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Which quickly turns into this:
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Or this:
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Love these three.
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I guess this part of relaxing is OK.
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Old souls and best buds.
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Coming home to this cutie. YAY!
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And starting something new.
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How was your weekend?

Down by the river.

My office is next to a river. I found that if I squeeze through a gap in the overgrown bushes in just the right spot, there is a tiny beach.

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It’s not much to look at and is, unfortunately, strewn with trash, but I like to go there at lunch time. It’s a good place to take a breath and decompress. I suppose people know it’s there, but I like to think of it as my secret beach. I like to hear the waves crashing or just watch them ripple softly, depending on the day. I like listening to the leaves rustle overhead and the birds chirping. I like feeling the wind on my face. It even smells beachy. If I close my eyes, I can pretend that I’m at the ocean instead of just standing behind the bushes outside of an office building.

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Sometimes I go for a little walk. Lately, I’ve been trying to notice how the plants and trees are changing through the seasons and work on identifying them. For instance, this week I noticed that all of the Honeysuckle is gone and has been replaced by bunches and bunches of Queen Anne’s Lace. I guess it’s technically a weed, but I’ve always been a fan.

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Did you know that Queen Anne’s Lace is also called a wild carrot? I pulled one up to look at the root and it did indeed resemble a white carrot and it smelled like one too.

Did you also know that there are a few tiny purple blossoms on each flower? They almost look like a squished bug in this picture.

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Those purple blossoms are one way to tell the difference between Queen Anne’s Lace and Hemlock (which is poisonous!). The other is that Queen Anne’s Lace has hairy stems. See the things you can learn by taking a lunchtime walk?

Last night, I went to my first ever stitching group meeting! The ladies were so welcoming and I really enjoyed it.

We learned some specialty stitches and worked on Christmas ornaments. Here’s where I got with mine.

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I tried to use nontraditional Christmas colors. We are supposed to complete stitching by the next meeting so that we can work on finishing techniques. So fun! I think I will enjoy being a part of this group.

Ship Shape.

Hi Blog! We are back from our vacation, and what a vacation it was!

I was nervous about going on a cruise, but OH MAN(!), we had fun! The 8 days positively flew by.

The highlights were:

Being with my little family.

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Boogie boarding.

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Tom and Biggest dressing like twinsies.

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Boys in ties.

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Molten Chocolate Cake for dessert.

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Almost every night.

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The whitest softest sand.

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Finding one perfect shell.

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Nothing but water for as far as the eye could see.

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Celebrating a special couple’s 50th Anniversary.

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Towel animals.

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Reading from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory every night before bed.

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Hours by the pool.

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Me and Biggest winning $1000 at Bingo!

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So much color.

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Wearing my floppy straw hat.

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Trophies.

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A full moon over the water.

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Starting this.

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These three…

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… Always make me smile.

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What did I do to deserve this?

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