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15 Favorite Moments from Our Florida Trip

We have been home from our trip from Florida for a week now and I’ve been scrolling through my iPhone pictures and smiling at the memories ever since. It was such a special time getting to know my oldest niece and y’all…she’s incredible. Smart, funny and full of personality. I shared some scenes from Christmas with you last week but we had so much fun after that! Here are 15 of my favorite moments from the trip.

1. Girl’s day out. I took Jaidyn shopping for a bathing suit and flip flops and we got mani/pedis. She was so sweet to the lady who was doing her nails and told her it was, “the best service she’d ever had in her life.” Look at that smile! (on both of them)

2. Watching these two together. They were using the binoculars to look at something in this photo.

3. We spent a good bit of time at the pool. While I wouldn’t call the water “warm” (even though the pool is heated), it was tolerable. I even let her convince me to get in with her to play sharks and minnows.

4. Family dinner date to our favorite seafood spot. I had blackened grouper and all the hushpuppies. So good. Jaidyn declared she wanted gumbo and also ate grilled shrimp dipped in cocktail sauce…which she said was her favorite. I was impressed by her willingness to branch out.

5. Foggy beach morning.

6. Chinese checkers with Mema. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent playing this came with her too when I was a child.

7. Four days of consecutive running. Love that Florida winter weather. I even got four miles in on the sand, which I never do down there. It was TOUGH!

8. My mom and Jaidyn in front of the big tree on the waterfont in downtown Fort Walton Beach.

9. Matching PBJ lunches for me and Jaidyn.

10. Playing in the sand. I taught her how to make a drip castle…which she then turned into a “foot spa” by sticking her feet in the hole I dug to get to the watery sand.

11. Playing with the Furby Connect. It pairs via bluetooth the iPhone and had us cracking up with all the things it was saying and doing all week long.

12. Sunset.

13. Movie date to see Moana. My mom, dad and Tanner went to see Rouge One but us girls were not interested. I LOVED Moana.

14. The face of an 8-year-old who hit the wall at dinner after eating an entire box of chocolate chip cookie dough balls and a Mister Pibb at the movies. (insert cry face emoji)

15. Our 11 hour road trip back to Charlotte. This was seriously a highlight of my trip because Jaidyn entertained us for the six hours we had her with us until we dropped her off. We stopped at Chick-Fil-A at lunch where I had the original chicken sandwich and their super foods salad, which was surprisingly delicious!

Did you see any movies over the holidays?

Favorite activity to do with your nieces and nephews?

Favorite childhood food that you still love as an adult?

Running in the sand…love it or not so much?

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Sherri January 5, 2017, 12:24 pm

    Awww! So happy for you to get so much connection time with your niece. We also did a Moana/Rogue One movie day. My MIL was going to take my youngest to Moana while the rest of us went to Rogue One, but my Harper was a little freaked when the lights went out. So I saw most of Moana, and only 1/2 hour of Rogue One, but it was still fun. And now she keeps asking to go back to the movies!

    • 2
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2017, 11:17 am

      Thanks Sherri – it was our first time really spending a lot of time together and it was great! Love your story about the movies and glad she’s asking to go back! 🙂

  • 3
    Rebecca January 5, 2017, 12:42 pm

    I *loved* Moana!

    My favorite thing to do with my niece and nephew is read, when they’ll sit still long enough for me to read to them! My nephew is five, so he can read some and will chime in. They also like to “cook” me things in their play kitchen (usually with Play-doh), they have come up with some interesting food combinations!

    • 4
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2017, 11:16 am

      Me too! Such a great movie with an inspirational message. And haha to the Play-doh kitchen. I’m sure you do get some interesting creations coming out of there!

  • 5
    Bonnie January 5, 2017, 12:56 pm

    I love when you post pics from Florida (not least b/c I grew up in that area). These photos are wonderful – she looks so happy. I love playing anything with my nephew. When he says “Bonnie, want to play (insert toy here) with me?” there is NO other answer but yes!

    • 6
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2017, 11:15 am

      Well I love to visit so I’m glad you enjoy them! 🙂 And yes, how can you say no to those little ones!?

  • 7
    Brittany January 5, 2017, 1:13 pm

    I love that you got to spend that quality time with your niece! So special to have that time to bond and I know you must be such a positive and wonderful influence on a young girl of that age. Also, Moana, yes, my girls and I LOVED it too!

  • 8
    Nathaly January 5, 2017, 2:52 pm

    PBJ sandwiches are definitely my childhood favorites and they still are to these days:)

    • 9
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2017, 11:14 am

      Agreed, I don’t think they’ll ever lose their childhood appeal.

  • 10
    Jackie January 5, 2017, 4:34 pm

    Jen, your niece is a mini you! She’s adorable. It looks like a lovely time together.

    • 11
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2017, 11:14 am

      Thank you Jackie! She’s so super sweet!

  • 12
    natalie Homesley January 5, 2017, 4:47 pm

    So super sweet you get to hang with her. Precious!!!! xoxo

    • 13
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2017, 11:13 am

      Thank you. It was the absolute best end to the year.

  • 14
    H January 5, 2017, 9:42 pm

    Love the joy you captured in these photos! What a great trip for her, I bet she’ll be itching to visit you all again soon. I used to visit my Grandparents/cousins who lived across the country by myself every summer and I still hold onto those memories fondly. Super impressed your niece’s ability to try foods at that age… but then with her dad’s side of the family’s love of food and cooking/baking I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise 🙂

    • 15
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2017, 11:11 am

      I can totally relate to your summer trips to visit family. I have so many amazing memories from times like that in my childhood as well. These family bonds are so important.

      And haha on her willingness to try foods. She definitely turned her nose up at asparagus and some other green things while she was with us! 🙂

  • 16
    Brittany January 6, 2017, 5:05 am

    How amazing that you get to spend this time with your niece? My favorite and most meaningful relationship is the one I have with one of my nieces. I am so happy for you both.

    • 17
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2017, 11:12 am

      Thank you. It was such a meaningful and loving way to end a painful year.

  • 18
    Haley January 6, 2017, 9:45 am

    This is so nice that you get to spend time with your niece, you are such a great role model for her. Also I see a very strong resemblance between the 2 of you in some of these pictures! Very sweet.

    • 19
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2017, 11:06 am

      It was the best week with her! And yes, definitely some resemblance there, even more so with her little sis!

  • 20
    tara January 6, 2017, 2:01 pm

    i saw Rogue One and Passengers. Both were ok. Our theater just got redone to be all luxury lounge recliners and i gotta tell you….it made seeing star wars worth it ! so comfortable. i dont want to go to a movie any other way now ! we saw Passengers in non lounger theater and i swear my thought of it was skewed cuz of that !

    • 21
      Jen DeCurtins January 12, 2017, 11:06 am

      That theater experience sounds AWESOME!

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