Love was in the air…

This past weekend ((as you know)) I was at Rifle Paper Co. Thursday through Saturday, I was busy calligraphing love letters, favorite quotes, scripture and much more. I always enjoy my time with the wonderful people who pass through the doors as well as the rockin’ employees! Basically, it’s a great time had by all…


Valentine’s Day at Rifle Paper Co.

It’s that time of year again when love is in the air and everything is smothered in all shades of pink. It’s also that time of year when I’ll be at Rifle Paper Co. calligraphing love letters! If you will be in the Orlando area, you are cordially invited to stop by Rifle, browse their amazing sales and gorgeous bouquets! Also, make sure to stop by so I can see your beautiful face and calligraph a little love letter to yours truly!



The Sparkling Wine Walk

If you’re looking for some laid back fun before the craziness of the Valentine weekend begins… I have a SUPER FUN solution: The Sparkling Wine Walk in Winter Park!

Tomorrow I will be at Rifle Paper Co. calligraphing love letters to your favorite love(s)! If you’ll be in the area, stop by for some really great sales on Rifle products and {free} – beautiful – calligraphy! 🙂

I hope to see you there!



The Keys. Take 2

Here are some photos from our first week here in Big Pine Key.

The first day out on the water, Daniel catches a shark. Let me just paint the picture of what was going on in the boat…. Daniel is fighting the shark, slow and steady, fatiguing it and getting the it to the boat. Now, as soon as I hear that he caught a shark, my heart immediately begins to pound. I think I asked him about three times if the shark was going to jump in the boat and bite my legs off. Every time I asked, he answered me  with a calm ‘no’. I was frantic. I was moving from the front of the boat to the back, standing up on the bench and moving down toward the cooler. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I just knew that the shark was going to jump in the boat and kill me. Why did I know that? Well, because Daniel has shown me youtube clips and Shark Week, and with my vivid imagination I knew that I was going down. Daniel was very encouraging and assured me that I wasn’t going to die… Though I didn’t know if I would be safer jumping overboard or just staying in the boat.I think I lost control of anything calm and level headed inside of me.

Daniel realed the shark closer to the boat and I exclaimed, “Oh my gosh it’s a great white shark!!!!”

It wasn’t. Apparently it was “only” a 5 1/2 foot black tip shark. But I tell you one thing… that didn’t calm down my heart from beating to the Jaws soundtrack.

Daniel wasn’t the only one catching sharks this past week. My sister Charissa caught a little hammer head (below) and I also caught a few, all of which were bonnet head sharks. Lets keep in mind that our catches (and releases) were about 2 1/2 – 3 feet. Still, they all put up a good, fun, clean (no blood was shed) fight!

We also went to No Name Pub. If you are in the area, you’ve gotta go check this place out! You seriously wouldn’t believe how many dollar bills are stapled all over the walls and ceiling. Daniel did a little research and found that there is around $80,000 in one’s in there. The pizza was good, the unique environment was like none other, the prices were decent – a little touristy. I had never felt like I was stuck inside someone’s dirty wallet before now… All in all, we had a great time and are looking forward to visiting again soon!

We also enjoyed some time with my cousins Rebecca and Jordan, and their little skipper, Hudson. It was Hudson’s first time out on a boat and I’d say that the consensus was he really enjoyed himself! It was fun watching him experience being on the water for the first time. By the way he watched Jordan look for lobster, and Daniel drive the boat, I think this kid is destined to be a Florida Sportsman!

We caught our limit of Mangrove snapper and lobster (thanks to the guys). We all know I’m not jumping in there to go tickle some lobster!

One thing that surprised me, I enjoyed fishing this past week! I enjoyed the peace that I found out on the open water, the silence and the good conversations, the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature and the successful feeling of a good catch.

Though one thing that I did not like, was when I needed bring the fish into the boat… getting THAT close to the fish was a little out of my comfort zone… but hey, what is life without allowing yourself to be stretched.

…baby steps.

They aren’t all lizards.

I still feel new to Florida. Even though I have been here about four years I am still getting used to the super hot climate, harsh grass and beyond ugly yard creatures. I will admit, I struggle being here sometimes. There are a lot of things I miss about the north, but nothing compares to the way my hair misses a drier climate.

Now, I am not a reptile fan. I think they are gross, no offense. I am still getting acclimated to these little creatures that seem to be everywhere I look: cockroaches, lizards, snakes, bufo toads (you’re gonna wanna look that one up!) and noseeums (you can’t see them – no joke – but they bite like a mosquito). We recently had a new and unwelcome yard guest: an armadillo.

I was throwing myself a pity party the other day, with Daniel (though I know he wished he wasn’t invited), about all of the gross animals that live here. I was wondering why they couldn’t be like the animals in Indiana: soft, cute, friendly and approachable. I am used to soft grass, nice squirrels, worms and ladybugs.

A few days later I had thirty minutes of free time so I went to the beach and just sat there. I felt something crawling up my leg, and I’ll be honest, these days that freaks me out. Though much to my surprise it was a little ladybug. I don’t know the last time I saw a ladybug and on the fringes of my earlier conversation, I found myself encouraged.

Sometimes in life we can find ourselves overwhelmed with change, the lack of change, external or even internal circumstances. I think that if we allow ourselves to stay there we can be defeated. Yes, the majority of animals here make me skittish. Yes, I look both directions before I step out of my house. But amidst all of the change, adjustments and growing pains there is always joy if I choose to see it. After all, the grass isn’t always greener – or softer – on the other side… but that doesn’t make it bad – it just makes it different.