Polka Dots and Pineapple: Life of Family P

Blessed to be a blessing...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Sign of Success!

Yesterday was a sign of success, if I do say so myself!  Last week I Googled professional organizations in Charleston.  One in particular that I miss from Bowling Green (KY) was PMA - Professional Marketing Association.  My Google search informed me that the monthly PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) meeting was scheduled for yesterday.  I registered and paid as a non-member attendee.  

So I got dressed and ready yesterday morning - professional attire, of course!  I left with plenty of time [to get lost], programmed the address in my GPS (remember I'm new here and still don't know my way around everywhere), and headed downtown to the meeting location.  I made it with time to spare, found a rocking parking spot at a meter (the garages are expensive in my opinion), managed to have just enough change to fill the meter, enjoyed the meeting/presentation/people, and returned to my vehicle with three minutes to spare!  It's the little things for sure that put a smile on my face!  :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Sweet Surprise & More!

This afternoon we received a special delivery!  The doorbell rang and we were greeted with a yummy chocolate dessert made by these even sweeter kids!  (Perhaps their mommy helped!)

Could they get any cuter?!!! Way to make our day, R Family! :)  (Verdict on this dessert......AH-mazing!)

Now we're backtracking to the beginning of this past weekend.  When Josh got off work on Friday afternoon, we were beach bound.  We grabbed a pizza on the way and enjoyed relaxing at the beach and throwing football for a couple of hours.  Why?  Because that's what you do when you live in a beach town! :)
Pretty sure this photo is capturing the moment when Josh was sending a photo text with an ocean picture to our family captioned "Just another day....."  (This coastal living thing never gets old.)

 Can you tell we're both loving life here?!!  :)

 It was both sunny and windy.

Saturday morning we decided to attend Daniel Island Park Day!  While walking there we had another gator sighting!  FYI, this is not a baby gator....it was grown for sure......just hanging out in one of the downtown DI ponds.

My new friend Ashley and me!  She and her husband have been so nice and welcoming since our first week here!  We are very thankful for their friendship!
Mr. P and me in front of the shrimp boat on the Wando River.

With all of these gator sightings, it's now odd to see them in the petting zoos.....however, the mouth tape is very reassuring for an up close and personal facial shot!

Here's Mr. P early yesterday morning before he met Mr. R to go paddle-boarding on the Wando River before church. I stayed at home, so no action shots of them going from one side to the other and back.  Proud of him for sure!

We were coming back home after church when Mr. P said "there's a gator on the bank!"  I was thrilled beyond words!  (And scared too.)  Thankfully I had my camera on hand and the gator was not camera shy this time!  It really is crazy that these creatures reside within a couple hundred feet of where we live!  (this one is also grown.....not a baby gator)

Life here is great!  Come visit us and our gator neighbors!  

With love from Charleston!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Doing Life!

We've been really busy "doing life" in our new town!

Here's a quick re-cap of what we've been up to!  (when I had my camera)

 Last week we had some friends over for dinner at our condo.  I am proud to say that I actually cooked the entire meal and also made pumpkin pie and baked banana chocolate chip muffins.  Three points for me being domestic! 

 Last Saturday was the local Race for the Cure and we were proud to join the R family in support our mutual friend, Leslie, who is currently in KY battling breast cancer.  We made posters and cheered for the runners!

Here we are out early and ready to go!  We were so excited for the runners to come by!  The R family's porch was the perfect place to spectate!

If I were a runner and these cuties were cheering me on, I would definitely be motivated to do well!  They are just too cute!

This was the first runner who came by!  He was fast!

 More participants for the cure!  Some of the costumes were very creative!

Definitely sister teamwork!  Love it!

Fun at the park!

Couldn't you just eat them up?!  They are THAT SWEET!  Love these kiddos!

I have scored some major deals this week!  It all started Sunday afternoon when we just had to pick up a few things from the grocery.  I noticed some large bottles of detergent clearanced for only $3 each.  I knew it was a deal, so I bought 3....that should last a few months!  Then a couple days later I saw the exact same thing in another store priced for $12.97!  Oh yes, pure excitement!  There must have been a major overstock where shelves needed to be cleared and I'm thrilled to have lucked out on this savings!

I also found some amazing deals for a few clothing/accessories this week!  Seriously, I am pumped!  For about $25 I scored two shirts, a dress, a purse, a pair of sandals, and a lip gloss!  Thankyouverymuch!

Our move has made us realize that we needed more file storage space.  Nothing too fancy and basically something we could easily store in a closet.  I kind of dreaded this purchase because I knew the last time we bought a file box it was between $15-$20, which in my opinion is ridiculous for molded plastic.  So you can imagine my surprise yesterday when I found these regularly priced for $24.99 each, on sale for $9.99 each....combine a $10 off coupon and a $4 rewards certificate......guess who scored these babies for about $3.50 each!  Deals like these make filing fun!!  (Too much?)

We decided to dine at our local Quizno's last night (yes, I had a coupon!) so we rode our bikes there!  I caught this picture when we were stopped waiting for traffic to clear for our crossing.  However, the true story was that my husband was biking while holding a drink in one hand and talking on the phone in the other!  Hello, Mr. Superdupercoordinated!  Long story short, before I took this picture I had to find a trash can for my drink because it was just too complicated and my safety was definitely at risk. (I kid, I kid......well, kind of)
 Here we are on our bike route after eating at Quizno's! 

And this picture sums up why my alarm clock went off at 4AM this morning!  I joined with 10 other ladies from Seacoast Church to take breakfast to a shelter downtown.  Amazing group of women!  Love them!

And here's my Thursday Bible Study group!  There are actually multiple classes being held at the same time each Thursday, but this is the group I study God's Word with each week.  I have definitely been challenged (in a good and growing way) by these women. 
Except today I didn't join the ladies for study and instead spent some time with the 1-3 year old kids while their mommies were in class.  Talk about a confidence boost!  I was exhausted by the time it was over, but just imagine 3 hours of being hugged and loved!  Seriously, they are precious and I love them dearly!  We had 12 in our group today and I am excited to say that we played with dolls, cars, and balls, read books, practiced our colors and animal noises, watched (and sang to the tunes) Veggie Tales, sang "Jesus Loves Me," and I even made a few imaginary phone calls on the pretend cell phone to let grandmothers know that their grandchild was having so much fun today and is such a great kid!  (I definitely dig their huge imaginations!) 

Tonight Josh and I played tennis at the park and had fun with that!  I'm quite exhausted to say the least, but that's a good thing because we're having so much fun!

With love from Charleston!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nature's Call

This weekend has made me wonder if I missed my calling in life.  Perhaps I should have been a marine biologist or a zoo keeper or Steve Irwin's (R.I.P. Steve) apprentice.  After all, I do recall having young girl dreams of working with Shamu at Seaworld.  I always hated science, yet there is something about animals that I find intriguing....I am definitely a nature girl!  That is exactly why I have dedicated this weekend to take time and enjoy the nature around me...animals in their natural habitats just doing their thing.  Like another world!

Let's start with yesterday's trip to the beach.  We headed out just to relax in the sand for a few hours.  The beach is only about a 15 minute drive from our condo, so it's an easy outing.  We loaded our chairs and iced down some bottled water.  We were sitting and relaxing when Josh pointed out that dolphins were swimming straight out from us.  They played around for a long time and I was mesmerized the entire time.  There were several of them scattered out where we could see.

Side note:  Once in high school on a family vacation in the Bahamas, my parents splurged for us to do the swimming with dolphins excursion.  That remains one of my favorite memories and I would love to do it again someday!

Here's one of the pics I captured of these sweet dolphins swimming:

Then we were driving out again yesterday afternoon when I saw an adult alligator in the pond behind our condo!  I didn't have my camera at the time, but I went back later that evening looking to see her again.  Unfortunately, I did not spot the adult gator but I did see a few of her babes.  It was dusk and hard to see, plus I was being ATTACKED by mosquitoes, so I decided to call it a night on the alligator adventure.  Except that I didn't completely quit.....I came back to the condo and spent no less than 4 hours online researching all things alligator!  I learned lots of new things about them.....plus my fear of them has only increased because I learned how fast they can move and how vicious they can be when attacking prey!  Yikes!  Add to that, several reports have been in our area of dogs who jump in the water and are killed by the gators.  (this breaks my heart!)  Here's my PSA for that:
People, Keep Your Dogs on Leashes!
(at least around these fresh water areas where gators reside)

Obviously, I love animals!  And I especially love dogs and know that most canines adore swimming!  I don't want to take that right from them, however it's just not worth the risk in the gator areas.  Apparently the gators are not a fan of the salt water though, which is reassuring for those ocean and river swims! :)

Sorry to get off on that tangent, but it upsets me to think about this happening when it can be avoided!  Now, where was I?  Let's move on to introducing you to our new neighbors!

The Gator Family

This is actually a baby gator!  That mama stays hidden below water whenever I have my camera on me (bless her heart, she must be camera shy!), so I have not been able to get her picture yet.  Her babies do love swimming!

Hanging Out!

Don't they just look so cuddly?! 



I have to show this precious picture of the Turtle family!  How stinkin cute are they?!!  However, I do fear for them.....after all, I learned that they are part of an adult alligator's dinner choices.
Word has it that Mama Gator likes to hang out near this tunnel.  I looked and didn't see her, but that doesn't mean she wasn't hiding below the water.  You might wonder how I heard about where Mama Gator likes to hang out?!.....Well, let me introduce you to a cute 8 year-old who also happens to be our neighbor!   

I don't know his name, but I know he is a precious little child!  He was wearing elastic-band jeans and a T-rex t-shirt.....all while munching on his PB&J sandwich!  Child after my own heart!  :)  I had already roped Mr. P into stopping by the gator pond on our way back from church....I had my camera, so I was ready!  We had only been there for a minute when this little man showed up to give us the scoop on the gators.  He told us all kinds of things (that we took in, but we're not sure if we should believe), such as:
* There were 13 babies but the crane ate 4, so now there are only 9
* The daddy gator used to live here too and he was so nice!  He would let you get close and take his picture!  (Ummm.....ok, little buddy!)
* The daddy gator was shot for some reason so he doesn't live here anymore (I'm not one to jump to conclusions, but it might have to do with someone else telling us that is likely because IT ATE A HUSKY DOG!.....I didn't tell the little boy about that because who am I to argue?!  I'm just not a dream crusher.)

Did I mention getting attacked by mosquitoes while on my first gator excursion last night?!  Seriously, this is just a small portion of the back of one of my legs!  My dear husband mentioned West Nile Virus.....thanks babe, that will help me sleep soundly!  ;)  Who am I to kid, I am already running from gators during my dreams all night! :)

Come visit and see our natural surroundings and its creatures!  But you might want to bring some bug repellent! :)

With Love from Charleston! 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Excuse the poor quality of the photo, but I am pleased to say that our bike accessories arrived via UPS this evening! Josh assembled the lights immediately so that we could take a night ride around the island!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Simply Enjoying!

We are settling in to our new home very well!  There are only a few boxes remaining to be unpacked and we have made a "home" of our new place!  We have water, electricity, cable/internet, and we are finally receiving mail to our new address....what more could you ask for?!  To beat that, I now do laundry within our home instead of paying $4 in quarters per load at the hotel coin machines!  While I still miss the fresh fruit and coffee each morning, I don't miss the hotel laundry system (although I was extremely grateful for it at the time). 

It's really hard to believe we've already been in our new place for over a week!  The time sure is flying.  The month in the hotel was a great experience and I enjoyed it so much, however we are loving our new place!  Including the extended hotel stay, we stayed 39 of the previous 42 nights in some hotel prior to moving into our current condo.  That's pretty crazy!  Looking back at it all, everything is quite a blur......hard to explain, but for those of you who have done this before I'm sure you know what I mean!  Our suitcases are ready for a break for sure!

Thursday evening we made "the grocery run" -- you know, the [slightly dreaded and also expensive] big trip to the grocery when you first move somewhere.  Not only do you have to think of some meal ideas, it's a grocery trip to replace the regular things that are usually just in your fridge -- like mayo, mustard, milk, and other perishables that we couldn't pack with us. That also brings me to the funny point of mentioning that we had to purchase a broom!  Seriously, we don't know what we were thinking on moving day last month.  We had THREE regular size brooms and somehow we didn't get here with even one of them.  The dust pan was packed and so was the MASSIVE PUSH BROOM, but no regular broom.....whatever, we were exhausted!  So in our Kentucky storage unit there must be three brooms that we will have back in our possession someday.  The trip to Walmart was a pricey one but we are in a pretty good shape and have enjoyed using the kitchen again!
Apparently I was out of practice because while making sweet tea I managed to dump the measuring cup of sugar ONTO THE HOT BURNER instead of in the pot.  Hot sugar makes a bit of a sticky mess.  Glad I broke the new stove top in well!

Thankfully later that Friday evening my domestic side redeemed itself with these easy-peasy mini pizzas (after all, I better start back to cooking in a simple way)!  My husband was thrilled, which was awesome because these babies couldn't get any simpler!  Assemble and bake english muffins, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperonis, a side of marinara.....dinner is served!
Along the domestic lines, I want to mention that we do not have a microwave.  It was the only appliance that didn't come with the condo.  We had full intentions of purchasing one to use, however since being here I have decided to wait on that purchase.  Of course there are times that I think in my head "I'll just microwave that" and then quickly remember we don't have one.  Buuuuuuut.....I kind of like it.  "Like it" as in the feeling that I am not tempted to use it, I'm not settling for some faux version of cooking, and I'm not short-cutting the kitchen experience.  And to be honest, I really haven't missed it!  I have enjoyed stirring my soup on the stove top and reheating spaghetti in the toaster oven (no joke, it worked beautifully).  Just this afternoon I even warmed a tad bit of oil in a covered pan, opened up a bag of microwave popcorn and poured the kernels in the pan, placed the lid on, and watched the popcorn pop to perfection!  It not only worked, but it was fun!  I feel like this is a healthier family option.....any one else out there living without a microwave by choice? 
And speaking of not-so-healthy......these fried gator tail bites with "swamp sauce."  Can I get a "yum?!"  YUM!  They were delish and the perfect appetizer for Saturday's date night at Hammett's Landing!

Josh with his crab cake sandwich!  It also was super yummy!

And I ordered a tuna burger with a cucumber wasabi sauce (yumminess!) and sweet potato fries!  

We shared this gorgeous dessert!  Banana white chocolate won-tons.....YES, PLEASE!!

Enjoying date night after a full day of playing outside!  We rode our bikes and played at the park with friends for a really fun afternoon.  Less than two hours after this date-night pic, I fell asleep on the couch while the tunes of Boyz II Men were playing a concert on our island.  I had every intention of bike riding downtown later that evening.....needless to say, I was good for nothing!

Then after an amazing church service on Sunday, I enjoyed my first experience riding my bike by myself downtown to the Publix grocery store where I purchased our dinner items.  When I left the condo it was daylight and because I spent quite a bit of time at the grocery chatting with strangers, it was dark when I was leaving.  Fortunately the roads are not too busy and I did return safe with my groceries in tow (I learned next time to wear a backpack if biking), however my sweet husband was worried and had already placed an online order for a set of safety lights for my bike!  :) 

Last night we rode bikes together to have pizza at Orlando's, but we made sure to return by dusk since we're waiting on those bike lights to arrive.

Which brings me to tonight.....super simple, and completely amazing!  We had some leftovers so I quickly prepared those things in containers, threw in some paper goods, our picnic blanket and a football....and off we headed to Smythe Park where we enjoyed a picnic and throwing football together!

 Tonight's picnic was in this little area.....completely surrounded by the lake and beautiful trees!  It is really just perfect!  I wish I could capture it completely on film - gorgeous!

So happy together!

Our yummy fried chicken dinner!

 The sun was setting and the clouds were vibrantly pink and purple!  Perfect evening!

We are loving Charleston and especially where we live on Daniel Island!  With all of the parks and amenities, I am happy to stay on the island as much as possible....it really is great!

With love from Charleston!