Category Archives: love

Anniversary Weekend

It’s so hard to believe that Ray and I have been married for 5 years. Some days it seems like we’ve been together forever and some days it feels like it hasn’t even been a year.
Below are some snapshot from our anniversary weekend getaway. We stayed in the sweetest air b&b in Palm Harbor, FL. We spent Saturday eating delicious Greek food, exploring the Tarpon Springs sponge docks, and talking about some of our goals for this year.IMG_6545IMG_6541IMG_6543We watched the sun set at Fred Howard State Park, and witnessed an awkward matchy-matchy family photo shoot in the wild! See below! IMG_6561IMG_6566IMG_6567IMG_6569Sunday morning we decided to drive across the state to Cocoa Beach. First, we made a stop in Ybor City to have lunch at The Columbia restaurant, my favorite! You can’t beat the 1905 salad and sangria! Neither Ray nor I had been to Cocoa beach since the 90’s, and well, it hasn’t changed much. The Space Coast is pretty high on the tacky scale, but that’s only more reason to love it! We stayed in Fawlty Towers hotel (named after the show and run by Brits) which looks like a castle and is painted various shades of pink and teal. Fortunately, we were really close to the beach. Unfortunately, we slept on the most uncomfortable bed on planet earth. We spent Sunday afternoon swimming in the ocean! IMG_6576We drove home Monday and made a quick pit stop at Disney Springs for lunch and a little shopping! It was a great weekend!

Our Lake

IMG_0607IMG_0617You know how couples will have special songs or movies they claim as their own? Ray and I have a lake. Specifically, Lake Desoto in downtown Lake City.
I have a long history with that lake, but it didn’t become really special to me until I was in my twenties. As a child I remember my mom taking me to Lake Desoto to throw old bread at ducks and look for turtles. At the time there were several large victorian-style homes surrounding the lake and I remember wanted to live in one of them sooooo bad. Not that I didn’t love the house I grew up in, but living on a lake and being able to feed baby ducks stale bread all day is a 4 year old’s dream. When I was a teenager I would walk around the lake with my friends too late at night and talk about high school drama and boys.tbt lake desoto 1948Lake City Institue on Lake Desoto 1892(a few photos from around our favorite lake way before we were born via florida memory)
Before we were married (or even dating) Ray moved into an apartment on our lake. Albeit a little run-down, it was perfect for him. 2 bedrooms, a decent size living room, and french doors that opened right onto the lake. We spent many evenings sitting outside, walking around the lake, searching for alligator gar, and watching the ducks… and as cheesy as it sounds, it was pretty magical. I mean, how can you beat that sunset?
IMG_0616IMG_0627 Ray and I both have so many memories on that lake, both together and separately. It’s been the backdrop of our love story. Our first kiss was at Lake Desoto, we got engaged there, we spent time alone there just hours before our wedding, and we still visit almost daily to debrief after our work days. It’s our lake and we couldn’t be more in love with it.

Disney World Anniversary Trip!

IMG_2301IMG_2233 Earlier in the week Ray and I took a short trip to Disney World for our 4th wedding anniversary. Albeit slightly exhausting, we had so much fun! We stayed on Disney property, which we always recommend. We spent Monday at the Magic Kingdom and Tuesday at Epcot. IMG_2253IMG_2314IMG_2322IMG_2331IMG_2332We had a DELICIOUS dinner at Narcoosse’s at the Grand Floridian Resort Monday evening. As we were catching the boat from the Grand Floridian to take us back to the Magic Kingdom the nightly fireworks show began. We watched the show from the water and never had to fight the crowd. It was perfect.IMG_2344

On the real, life has not been awesome lately. We’ve been dealing with some not-so-fun medical issues, Ray is still dealing with effects from his surgery in December and is scheduled for another one in May, close friends of ours have been dealing with lots of hard stuff, I miss my sister everyday, work has been stressful, and life has been really difficult overall. I’m not saying any of that for sympathy or attention, just to explain how great spending a few days at Disney was for us. The break from life to enjoy each other and the magic of Disney World was exactly what we needed!IMG_2276

happy anniversary to us

official wedding 200I started writing this post 5 or 6 times and inevitably deleted them all. Marriage is so different than I had ever imagined. So much better and fulfilling and yet so much harder all at the same time. Ray and I were best friends long before we were dating or engaged. While it might have seemed fast, our love grew slowly and through authentic experiences.
The last 4 years have been amazing at times and terrible at times, and I am forever grateful  to have shared those experiences with Ray. He leads our family in the right direction and sticks to what he believes.
2010 5Happy anniversary to my soul-mate, my “one”, my ride-or-die, my bae! official wedding 129 Extra! The photo above is my #1 favorite from our reception!