Hello from Jacksonville Beach! Chase and I made a last-minute trip to Jacksonville on Thursday evening to surprise my mom! My dad and I coordinated a surprise visit because my mom is recovering from surgery she had last Monday and we wanted to surround her with love and support. Plus, Chase brings a whole lot of energy and excitement with him wherever he goes, so a visit from Chase sounded like the perfect pick-me-up for my mom.
My sister picked us up at the airport on Thursday evening and when we walked into my mom’s bedroom, she absolutely lit up! Chase broke out in the biggest smile and smacked the bedspread as he immediately crawled over to his Grammy. Surprise success!
Here’s a little peek into the past few days with my family in a “Surprise Weekend Top 8” format!
Surprise Weekend Top 8
- Sea & Sky Air Show
The timing of my visit to Jacksonville coincided with the Sea & Sky Air Show in Jacksonville Beach. The air show featured the United States Navy Blue Angels and watching the planes speed by and run through an arsenal of tricks and impressive maneuvers was incredibly captivating. The Blue Angels truly took my breath away. The beach was packed with spectators who gathered to watch the aeronautical acrobatics and it was impossible to ignore the energy and excitement surrounding the Blue Angels! We watched the show three days in a row (Friday was a practice day) and continued to be enamored every time!
- Chase Giggles
I hope I can make Chase laugh and smile as big as I can right now for the rest of his life. Nothing makes my heart soar more than watching Chase explode into a fit of giggles or smile when I do something as simple as make a silly face or blow on his belly. This is such a fun phase with our little man and I find myself trying my hardest to commit these small moments to memory because I know they are going to pass by in a flash.
My sister and her husband recently started working out at Timed:Exercise and hearing them rave about it made me really want to give it a shot during my short visit. I joined Leslie for a T:E workout on Friday and then Leslie, Ross and I went again on Saturday morning and it was killer! Both workouts were seriously challenging but went by in a flash. After a brief workout, the trainers demonstrated the exercises displayed on flat-screen TVs and then a 30-minute timer began and we were off! It was a sweat fest but we left feeling wonderful! (My glutes and hamstrings are still sore!) I’m also a big-time fan of group exercise workouts that get you in an out in 45 minutes or less because I am less likely to get bored and tend to push myself harder. I’m hoping to sneak in one more T:E workout today before heading back to Charlotte tomorrow.
- Vistamar Brisa Carmenere Wine
When my dad opened this bottle of wine to enjoy before dinner on Saturday night it took me one sip to become a fan. For an incredibly affordable wine (less than $10 a bottle), it was fantastic and I quickly snapped a picture of the bottle so I can pick up a few bottles when I return to North Carolina. It’s a very smooth red, easy to drink and won’t break the bank. Yes!
- Good News from the Vet
For the past month, Ryan and I have been a bit anxious about Sadie. In early October, we had some follow up blood work done on our favorite furry lady when some concerning results came back from a routine urine analysis. The blood work had us concerned about issues with her liver and after putting her on a course of antibiotics and liver protectant medication for a month, Ryan took her in for another round of blood work on Thursday after he dropped me and Chase off at the airport. On Friday afternoon, I got good news from our vet who told me that Sadie’s concerning levels had normalized. Thank goodness! Our vet said she honestly wasn’t expecting good news, so we were very relieved! We’re going to follow our vet’s advice and take Sadie off the liver medication through the holidays and test her levels again to make sure she can maintain healthy liver levels without medication, but if she can’t, our vet said long-term use of the liver medication is a perfectly healthy option for Sadie. Good news all around!!!
- Chase and Pop Exploring
Watching my dad and Chase walk around a local beachfront park on Saturday afternoon was so adorable! Chase was really interested in three ladies enjoying a picnic at the park and walked my dad over to say hello! (He’s still not walking great on his own, but with a steady hand or a walker, he’s quite speedy.) Thankfully they seemed happy to chat with our flirty little man and one of the women was pregnant with her first baby! Chase waved to the ladies over and over again and had a blast meeting his three new friends. I loved watching him grip onto my dad’s hand as he walked and smiled his little heart out. The sweetest!
- Easiest Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
I went on a bit of a dessert bender this weekend. For some reason, anytime I get together with my family, I am overcome with a strong urge to bake and make delicious sweet treats to share with everyone. I made s’mores bars for Friday night that were a bit of a fail, though we still ate them because even bad s’mores bars are still pretty darn good. On Saturday night, I made a homemade pumpkin pie which was promptly gobbled up after dinner and then on Sunday I made chocolate chip cookie bars! I followed this recipe from Normal Cooking and it could not have been any easier. I think this recipe would be an easy one to toy around with and customize and I already have a vision for a Christmasy version of these bars in the back of my mind!
- Time with Extended Family
The timing of my visit was ideal for a myriad of reasons but the benefit of seeing some of my extended family was at the top of the list! My second cousins were in town for the Navy game and we all got together at Leslie and Ross’ house yesterday for a cookout. There’s nothing like family and we had a great time talking around the dinner table for nearly five hours! I love our long talks because I inevitably learn more about our family history and enjoy reminiscing with people I love very much. I am always so curious to learn more about my relatives, the origins of some of our traditions and some of the crazy and wonderful stories that surround any family.
Question of the Day
- What was one of your top moments from this past weekend?