My heart is full following many special family filled holidays, continuing to settle in with Archie, and hanging white lights on a beautiful tree. We hosted a small holiday dinner, and Jon and I enjoyed spending time together before he headed south to the Keys for a couple of weeks with his work crew. While things have been busy as usual with my work, and traveling a couple times in the last couple of months, and projects on the boat during the slower winter months, we've certainly taken moments to pause and enjoy as well.
I hadn't realized until putting this post together just how much we have done these couple of months! While it isn't always all fun and easy going as these photos may make it look like, we have gotten much better at spontaneously picking up and going, and taking advantage of any moment we have together to do something outdoors, fun, or out of the norm.
Florida Fall & Winter
Even though we are in Florida now, I have seen a weather switch as fall and "winter" has come around. We've had some pretty good storms, some chilly nights, and spikes of heat that have definitely confused me about it being Christmas and almost New Years. The biggest sound to get used to is hearing palm fronds hit the house. These things are taller than me and spiky. I got to 'rake' leaves this fall though because so many fell from trees in our yard..
Today Archie and I went to the beach... 80 degrees, felt like 83. What a different world this is!
As you might have seen on the last blog post, Jonathan and I adopted a 2 year old Golden Retriever who we now call Archibald. Through Coastal Golden Retriever Rescue of Florida we found this loving gentleman who was surrendered by a family who could no longer care for him.
Archie is a purebreed Golden Retriever... he's got a very large blocky head, currently weighs about 80 pounds, and is a big lapdog. He will play all day at the beach is possible, but when he's at home not carrying around all his toys or napping in his chair or on his bed, he loves to snuggle. Archie will even do a little puppy yelp/rumble as if crying for some hugs and snuggles.
There has most certainly been adjustment for him (and us I suppose), and some lessons that he's had to learn in a new house, but we have really worked through a lot of it and Jonathan and I are so happy with it all. He has fit into our life so well and our home feels so much more complete now with toys, blankies, and dog air scattered about the house.
Jon spent October and parts of November in the boatyard with the Schooner Freedom, doing regular maintenance and bottom paint. We also took a good drive with the truck up to Jacksonville and got to see the Liberty Start, as she was here for boatyard maintenance period. Archie loved jumping on board and getting so much love from the crew who had sailed down from Boston.
Another recent favorite activity has been going to the beach, which is even better with Archie now. He absolutely loves to run around, chase birds, and swim out. He's gotten much better at riding the waves in and always finds his tennis ball. It's so hard to get him to leave, but as soon as we get in the car he falls right asleep. Here are a collection of photos at the beach from the last few weeks.
Des Moines (and Greenville)
In November and December i've also taken a couple work trips. November brought a few days in Des Moines, where I was training on some new projects, as well as getting to see some family! In December I was off to Greenville, SC to help with some transition for a new branch our company has there.
Back in Saint Augustine - Bundled up for a drive and Cinnamon Ornament crafting time
Thanksgiving in Vero Beach, FL
We traveled to Vero Beach, Florida for thanksgiving with Jonathan's family. It's a couple hour drive, and Archie did well with the drive. This was the first time Archie had met Jonathan's 'brothers' Cooper and Chipper, and after meeting late at night, they settled in for rest before a day of play. Thanksgiving day they did very well - sharing toys, fighting over places to lay and even playing in the yard together.
This was a lovely first Thanksgiving in Florida, and Archie was sure wiped after all the puppy time and attention. Jon and I were so hapy that the boys all got along so well, and they definitely loved seeing each other a week ago.
Getting Archie's first Christmas Tree
After we got back from Thanksgiving, we headed to get a Christmas tree! Loaded into the truck Jon, Archie and I took the scenic route through the Nights of Lights lit-up downtown to get our tree.
I've had quite a few more projects going this month as well. For Saint Nick's Day I made Jonathan and I stockings! And.. I also decided to make our Christmas tree skirt. As you can see, Archie was a helper for most of it too. These were fun little crafting projects and helped make this house feel very homey for the Holidays.
Geoffrey Visits Saint Augustine
Geoffrey visited Saint Augustine this month too. For the first week of his winter break he got to enjoy haning with Archie, the beach, and exploring the historic town we live in now. Food and drink were on the itinerary - Mehann's for drinks and apps watching Jonathan sail in at sunset.
Celebrating First Christmases
Jonathan and I have had a great season getting our christmas tree ready, shopping for Archie, and taking in the Nights of Lights which has our entire town looking like a Holiday card all the time. Traffic has been absolutely crazy, but that works well for getting in more walking.
Certainly a highlight this month was seeing Papercut at the Amphitheater. Okay, just kidding.. this 80's cover band was a hoot to watch though... Jon and I swung by with a few of his work friends and it really brought the holiday spirit. There's weren't a ton of people either, so was really a quality concert : )
While this is by far the warmest winter i've ever had, it has been great so far. Decorating the tree was an ongoing project, definitely helped out by the entire town being decked out head to toe. Here are some photos of our holiday!
As you can see, we adorned the tree with homemade cinnamon ornaments, some red and gold ball ornaments, cookie cutters, snowflakes, and even our first Christmas ornaments. Jon and I both picked out one for ourselves (a tradition from my family) and even got one for Archie - from a small boutique in our neighborhood. At a little store down the street I also got a metal star and added our names and date. The town looks draped in frosting and jewels with all the lights, and Archie had become a big fan of joining in the cuddling by the tree, especially with his new doggy blanket he got from Santa.
Even without snow, we've had our hot chocolate and had to wear vests and jackets. And with that it's been a very merry holiday season. Locs and bagels and mimosas were had Christmas morning, and we took a good walk... a peaceful little 'staycation' was had.
now it's time to post...
The computer is getting slower and slower at processing words (guess I shouldn't put two months of photos on one post!) and this pretty much wraps up what we've been up to recently. Archie will sure to be featured in many more posts (it's just too hard to resist!), but coming up this month and some of February will be the random, fun, productive, artistic and smart/healthy tasks that are on my list while Jonathan is gone sailing (with the Schooner Freedom crew). As always, Instagram has most of my latest expeditions near and far, and i'll be working up some other goodies soon too!
Extra photo roundup!
Well, all for now! Time to figure out dinner for me... ice cream perhaps! Archie has been snoring at my feet too and is ready for the computer to go away. Have a great evening, day, and Happy New Year!
What are your plans for the new year? I'll be getting my year 23 list going too.. although i'm a little behind there's some things I still want to fit in from year 22 list and being settled in Saint Augustine gives me a few more ideas for awesome stuff to add!
Ice cream time,