Our New Normal

IMG_0006_2Routines can get boring. We knew that when we set out on Project Pink Day that our normal routine would be replaced with something new and different. But, to be honest, we had no idea what that new normal would be – until now.

Each day begins with breakfast and home brewed coffee. No more Starbucks (we were addicted, gold card carrying members). Kids still have cereal, but the store brand stuff. Kelly and I still have Belvita breakfast bars (so delicious!).

On sunny days (most of them), we head to the beach. Only decision is whether we go to the main beach to the north that is more of a touristy spot, or south to a more secluded place.

IMG_0003_2Usually we go north so Zoe and Alex can find some other kids to play with. Regardless, we always make sand castles. We’ve seen dolphins swimming the shoreline about once a week and it never gets old seeing them out in the wild.  Although a few days ago, some newbie on the beach thought the dolphin was a shark and started screaming for everyone to get out of the water – solid entertainment.

After the beach we jump in the pool. It is a salt water pool (meaning no chlorine), which as been great for the kids. And, always feels good after being at the sandy beach and after the hot walk home.

Lately, in the afternoons, there are the typical Florida thunderstorms. Hearing that crack of the thunder across the water is bone chillingly cool. It pours down rain in buckets and afterward it is calm, cool and fresh.

IMG_0956Just in time for spectacular sunsets!  They have come in all shapes and sizes since we’ve been here. Kelly loves the bright yellow ones that light up the sky in pinks and purples bouncing off the clouds. I like the big, red ball of fire sunsets.  We love watching from our balcony or over a beer at Pincher’s Tiki Bar just a couple of doors down.  Zoe and Alex like to call it “the MA-Tiki bar”.  Not sure why!

On the cloudy days (had only a few) we have found some local things to do; like the Naples Zoo, Jumping Jack’s bouncy house or grocery shopping. We’ve also enjoyed just driving around the island to see what else there is to do in our adopted beach community.

IMG_0009_2We are cooking almost all of our meals now. Partly due to budget, partly due to watching our waistline, but mostly because we simply have the time. We do a couple of trips to Publix per week – or as we like to call it the “Best Grocery Store Ever”! They’ve got all you need, friendly staff and, of course, the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Yum!  Sorry waistline!

We have a couple of “obligations” that we have for ourselves. One is going to the “amazing library” (another Zoe phrase) on Wednesday mornings for story time. A volunteer (usually a retired teacher) reads books to a group of kids and they do a project of some kind. Zoe and Alex really enjoy it and we let them get a few books and DVDs too. Kelly has signed up for yoga 3 times per week and takes hour long morning walks on the beach almost daily and I got a gym membership so head there most afternoons.

IMG_0663What hasn’t changed much is the fact that the kids still have at least one daily meltdown. They are kids after all and beach living can be tough on the little ones with all the activity. But, we knew that was what we signed up for on Project Pink Day – lots of family time so when those meltdowns come, we know we were also there for all the good times too.

 

 

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