Time is marching forward! Zane went to his first indoor swim meet today, along with 500 other swimmers from SC. Don't worry, I have footage. :) 

But before we get to that, I have to take a few breaths and write just a little about our New Year's trip to Gville. 
I don't quite know how to describe it other than it simply felt like going home. Not like home to our family out west, of course; we're in no way trying to replace anything or anyone (never fear!). We just really feel like we found "home" in Florida, and are thankful we can make occasional trips back to see the people and places that made such an impact on us.

During the visit, I vacillated between wanting hoards of pictures and not wanting to ruin the moment by demanding, "CHEESE!" from one and all. Mostly, the kids were (and always are) the victims of my enthusiastic moments. 

Enthusiastic moment #1 (look, Zane's thrilled):
 Put these kids in a house together and they leave you alone ---ahem--- play for hours and hours while you chat with their delightful parents. And then apparently if you send your oldest home with the big kids, they continue to play for hours and hours, while the three on the left also continue to play for hours and hours.
That's a lot of hours and hours. 
There was a karaoke machine involved, at least at one house. You understand. :)
Deep connections my kids have made with these dudes. So happy to call them all friends.

Enthusiastic moment #2:
The addition of sweet H and outdoor play one sunny (and chilly!) day added another element of fun for these gals, and they swung and marched around and dug in the dirt and who knows what they did (more karaoke) but they had a great time doing it.   
And Soren? In heaven this day, outside in the DIRT and SUN. 
(You know how some people left their heart in San Francisco? We left that red hat in Gville. Sniff sniff.)
 Happy times.

Enthusiastic moment #3: This actually came on the day we decided not to go to the coast/beach due to a number of pressing issues (sickness in kids and adults (me), long drive, cold temperatures, etc). I was sad to not see the friends over there, but thankfully there is always next time! And double thankfully this little neighborhood park did for the group what the beach would have done minus the 100-minute car ride there and back.
Sometimes Plan Bs are just awesome.
 The men decided to try gymnastics. I don't pretend to understand.
(Z hopes to have hair like Q one day. You can see the appeal.)
 I used to think that the moss on the trees was so strange and (gasp!) ugly. Now it's comforting and (you know you think so too) so so cool. Had to get a family picture in front of some. Even in our sweats.
Among other soul enriching activities, we also attended sacrament meeting (church) with many of the people we remember so fondly from our 4 years there. We didn't quite know what we had when we had it. I guess it always works that way, right? You gotta cherish it! (I fear that was a "Billy Madison" quote. My apologies.) 
We left determined to bring a little bit of that special feeling into our worship/lives here in SC. Not sure if I can put my finger exactly on it really--maybe the word is simply love? Love and inclusion. Family. Home.
Special thanks to our most amazing hosts. Usually I like you guys so much I spare you from being on my blog. But I knew Gigi and others would want to see your happy faces. Thanks so much for entertaining us! Scopa!
Until next time, wonderful FL.....


gaylene said…
It was so fun to see you guys again! Thanks for letting us be part of your vacation :)
Tina said…
With you, I morn the loss of the red hat.

And no, the moss on the trees isn't cool to me- it's kinda creepy. Maybe if I had lived there, it would be different.

And these pics look really pretty, some good lighting in FL- great job!