Long Holiday Weekend

The long holiday weekend has been low key and fabulous. After my short work day Saturday, we spent the day chilling at home. Sunday morning we headed out to the Arthur R Marshall National Wildlife Refuge with the younger two puppies. Unfortunately, the weather was too hot for it to be safe for Maya, so she had to stay home.

Dogs are only allowed on the boat ramp and levee, so we walked a mile south on the levee. The weather was beautiful with some clouds overhead. Thankfully, the clouds provided a brief respite from the strong, South Florida sun. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any alligators in our Saturday hike. We did, however, see a bunch of beautiful butterflies, birds, one scared turtle and gigantic grasshoppers. Anakin was obsessed with catching the grasshoppers.

We brought plenty of water for us and the dogs, but it got too hot for all of us. Despite all of the water we brought, I think the dogs were overheated at the end. Consequently, when we got home they got hosed off to help the cool down. They recovered well and spent the rest of the day chilling. It was amazing. I’ve never seen Anakin so calm.

Sunday night we headed to our neighbors Kirk and Angie’s for a 4th of July barbecue. We had a blast hanging out with out neighbors and their basketball families. Even though our kids play hockey, we all encounter the same peaks and valleys of youth sports. The peaks, especially the fabulous relationships, outweigh any of the negatives. At the end of the night, Kirk put on a spectacular fireworks display. It was incredible!

We spent our morning of the long holiday weekend back at the wildlife refuge with the puppies. This time we brought some cold packs to help cool down the dogs if needed. Since the puppies, seemed to struggle yesterday, we went earlier in the morning and cut down our distance. Today we saw three gators, which was cool. Gators pack that place, so it’s almost unnerving when you don’t see one. We had a beautiful walk thanks to some nice cloud cover and a nice breeze.

As for tonight, we’re chilling at home relaxing with the dogs. We’re baking homemade pizzas for which the boys are pumped about. Currently, I have another peach crisp in the oven. This time we’ll eat it right as I have ice cream and whipped cream on hand. The weather is starting to deteriorate a bit. Elsa is going to miss us by Miles’s, but we’ll see rain and storms out of the system. Queue the winds and heavy rain. Literally, as I type this the winds have picked up and it’s about to rain. Cue the deluge. Thankfully, we don’t have to go anywhere tonight.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Demons, by Dostoevsky. I am really enjoying this book so far.

*I walked 2 miles with the puppies and it was great!

* I made another peach crisp. This time mixed in one white peach for a little of variety. I’ll let you know how it tastes.

*The family and I have been binge-watching Thirty Rock. It is such a good show. We’re two days in to our binge and man is this show good.

*I spent my day with the puppies. Maya is feeling great and is super playful with her siblings. We are all relieved and grateful that she rebounded from her illness.

*I’m enjoying the long weekend and tracking Elsa.

*Today’s word of the day is frenetic. Our neighbor Kirk was setting off fireworks at a frenetic pace.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies, and mosquitos?

Magical Moments

Our morning was filled with magical moments as we joined Santa to deliver gifts to the beautiful kids at ARC Broward.  This is my second year leading the initiative with my incredible partner in crime MK.  Consequently, it was also my second time attending the gift delivery.  Last year,  the event blew my away.  When I left last year’s event my heart was full after watching these kids and their parents relish their moment with Santa and their gifts.  I couldn’t wait to go back!


This year ARC Broward’s preschool is under new leadership, so we’ve been working with new people.  Can I just tell you how amazing these people are?  They do an incredible job educating, advocating and creating futures for people with disabilities.  When we first arrived,  Shawn ushered us into a room where ARC’s Culinary program had catered in breakfast.  Their culinary program provides post high school education via a certificate to adults with disabilities.  The food was absolutely amazing!

As we finished our amazing breakfast, ARC’s high school class came into the room to visit us.  They performed a couple of songs and posed for pictures with all of us and Santa.  It was magical.  These high schoolers had incredible energy and were filled with joy. ARC’s commitment to these teens and young adults is to give them the skillset to find a job they want in the community.  Indeed, it’s all about creating opportunities for these students to excel.


Afterwards we headed over to the preschool to start handing out the gifts. I struggle to words that adequately describe how beautiful and amazing it is to watch these kids receive their gifts and see Santa.  While some were afraid to sit on Santa’s lap, many were excited beyond belief.  They bounded with joy to get their presents and see Santa.  Their innocence, excitement, happiness and gratitude were overwhelming. It’s hard to watch without getting misty.

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I was so excited to buy for my angels after having met them both last year.  These two girls are incredibly sweet and full of energy.  Fortunately, I had the opportunity to give one of my angels her gift today.   Moreover, I was able to meet her mom (who’s incredible) and chat with her for a bit.  Many times we donate to charities or toy drives and don’t have the luxury of getting to witness the child receiving the gift. I can tell you that there is nothing better than watching a child receive that gift.

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It’s no wonder that we left today’s event with a full heart and complete joy.  There’s something beyond gratifying in making someone’s world a little better.  As we go on our journey around the sun, it is easy for us to get stuck in the rat race.  We don’t have to be stuck!  We can live our legend, even if we’re punching the clock at a 9 to 5.  Sure we’re not crossing the Sahara looking for an alechemist, but we can find ways to fee our soul.  For me, it’s paying it forward via Angel Tree or raising funds an awareness for pancreatic cancer research.  It doesn’t have to be grandiose to be magical.  It would be a small, purple pony that you give to a little sister who didn’t think she’d be getting a gift.  Sometimes it’s all about the small things.

Tonight’s song performed by U2 is “Christmas.”

Happy Independence Day!

Wishing the blogosphere a very happy July 4th!   Today I am thankful for the men and women throughout our history that have preserved our freedom and for those serving currently.  Freedom is not free.


As I researched my family’s history for our upcoming trip, I found that my  great great (could be here awhile if I wrote them all out) grandpa on my Grandma T’s dad’s side served in the Revolutionary War as a member of the Massachusetts Militia.  I can’t imagine how we must have felt being a part of such an transformative moment in history.   He was tremendously proud of his service, which is even noted on his gravestone in Connecticut.


Today many of us will enjoy the beach, barbecues, parties and fireworks with our families to celebrate the holiday.   Be safe, have fun, live in gratitude and pursue your passions.