Friday, January 31, 2014


Happy Friday friends AND last day of January.  Friday means I'm linking up again with Darci and friends for this fun link up.

One month down in 2014 and one month closer to SPRING!!



Somehow, my sweet boy turned 18 months old today.

Don't ask me how that happened.  Except I distinctly remember writing his six month post thinking "wow, in a year I'll have an EIGHTEEN month old".

And just like that.  Here we are.

But I'll take it.  Every month keeps getting more fun and to be honest, more entertaining.


WINTER is back again.

I realize it's just the end of January, but we have had a few days mixed into January that are beautiful and we literally spent the day outside.  It was heaven.

But the 5 day outlook looks like this.  And I hate it.  No snow please!!!


And so so thankful that I have never got stuck on a highway for 18+ hours because of snow.  Oh my gosh, watching the news about the highways in Georgia literally made me want to cry.

That is exactly why I make my husband put an extra coat in the car.


Decorating.  UGH.

Seriously, this used to be my favorite thing in the world.  But that was way back know, when I had all the time in the world and wasn't forking over a second mortgage for day care.

Decorating takes time and money - both more than I have these days.

So I'm working with what we have.  And we actually have a whole room of picture frames, shelves and wall hangings from our old house that are just sitting there (yes, this room has to be emptied to make way for a nursery sooner rather than later).  So my Monday night activity (after lots of pinning) was building this "gallery wall" on the floor of my bedroom while watching the Bachelor and drinking hot chocolate by the fire.  It was a pretty great evening.

However, the process of getting this baby UP on my wall.  Well that's another story.

Can I use the "I'm pregnant" excuse on this one?  Eh - I guess, but Jimmy is not as precise as I am, so I feel like if I left it up to just him I would just nit pick and "fix" it.  And no one would be happy.

So for now, I have 2 pieces of paper hanging up on the wall.  We'll see how far I get this weekend.


 I know this is OLD news at this point since it happened on Sunday night - but did you guys watch Sean and Catherine's wedding?  I'm not going to lie - I really like them and was excited to watch it live and see what they showed, etc.

Best part?  His dad officiating hands down.  Loved that they didn't try to be someone else on TV and stayed true to their Christian beliefs and values on national TV.  Such a great example and seriously, I believe they are in love. 

Well do you follow Sean's sister Shay's blog (or her cooking blog)?  I do and I love her stories, cute kids, cute clothes and recipes and she did a fun behind the scenes blog post that was great.  Check it out here!!  Fun to see another side.

And even better?  Her hilarious friend and blogger (at had the FUNNIEST recap.  Loved the comments on grown sexy. 

Check them out!!


Finally - as February is upon us tomorrow, that means it's Vanessa's birthday!

Happy happy birthday to one of my best friends.  I'm sad we don't get to be together in person to celebrate birthday's anymore.  But oh my gosh.  Have you ever spent time going through old pictures on Facebook?  Well I wanted to get some from her 21st birthday celebration in college and I found some gems.  The best part?  Reliving college for 45 minutes searching through pictures.

I haven't said this in a while.  But take me back.  Or at least give me a girls weekend.  AHH!!

We are so fun.  I know we are still.

And apparently we liked peace signs.

Peace sign #1
Peace sign #2
Peace sign #3

Hope you have a great day tomorrow, V!!

P.S. Also - prayers for my best friend, Katie, and her family.  Her grandma passed away yesterday, which is so hard.  Love you all!!

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One and a half - my goodness

Seriously - when did my baby grow up?  I know everyone told me it would happen fast, but I literally can remember when I sat down a year ago to write this 6 month post about how much you've grown and changed and how you were SO big.  You just started trying food for the first time and didn't have any teeth.  Oh my word.  How things have changed for all of us!!!

And in all reality when I look back, each stage is just as exciting to get to and see how you change and learn and grow.  

So what do you love at this age??

Height: 33.5 inches (85%)
Weight: 25lbs and 4oz (40%) - so yes, tall and lean right now
Clothing Size: 24 month and 2T
Shoe Size: size 6 still
Number of Teeth: 16 (all 4 canines are IN!)

Oh Charlie - you have started to show your personality SO much this past month.  At school, we got a note that you were quite the "social butterfly", greeting everyone that comes into the classroom and telling them hello.  Hmmm - wonder where you get that from??  It's so fun to see you interact and be social.  I love that you love giving out hugs and smiling.  Your cousins and grandparents are your favorite for sure.  They can always make you laugh!!

You are starting to communicate and say so many words these days.  Sometimes, I'm shocked because I have no idea how you learned the word, but it's fun when we can finally tell what you are saying.  You are starting to string a few things together, but let's just say, we are OK with the talking taking a little longer.  As we learned with an early walker, sometimes we wish for the next stage and then look back and think "what were we thinking!?".  So pointing, signing and one or two words and you can pretty much tell us what you want or need.

You also know just what you want.  And you love Elmo.  Especially the Seasame Street counting DVD that is in the car.  Even though Ernie is the star (trust me, your dad and I have the whole thing memorized), you always get in the car and point to the video screen and say "Elmo".  Then scream when we don't watch it every time.  I'm sorry though, you'll thank me later.  For teaching you early that you don't always get what you want...even when you say "please".  Which you try with everything when we say "no".  At least you're polite!  But the crying after isn't so fun.

You really don't like to be disciplined.  A simple and stern "no" from either me or your dad can send your lip a quivering and the sad face and then the tears.  While it breaks our hearts - sorry to tell you kid, you'll hear that word MANY more times in your life.  And the tears don't mean we'll give in.

But overall, you're a joy.  You are a decent sleeper and a decent napper.  We have our nights, but usually if we stick to your routine, you are good to go.  You seemed to have an aversion to the bath tub a little this month, which was strange, but are starting to like it again (good - you have to like the pool!).  The basement is now your play ground and you run circles in it.  So fun.  You are starting to play with your toys a bit more and I can see your imagination and pretend play coming out.  You like to serve me "drinks" and "plates" from your kitchen and you laugh when I pretend to drink or eat from them.  

I absolutely LOVE making and hearing you laugh.  It makes me seriously the happiest person alive.

It's been a fabulous (and FAST) year and a half kid!  And while there will be some pretty big changes in the next 6 months, I know you'll get through them just fine and be thrilled to have a baby brother or sister.  Cheers to another half birthday, kid!  

No Embassy Suites visit this year...just some good old fashioned fun at home.  Maybe next year?

Love you so much!
Mom and Dad 

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The love of a heartbeat

You know what I rarely thought of before I was a mom?  How amazing our bodies are.  
Every one of us.

The other night Charlie woke up in the middle of the night and I was wide awake (I have been going on and off on whether I can sleep well), so I got up and decided it was a good opportunity to get some extra snuggle time in with my little man.

I rocked him and hummed a little and soaked in the smell of his sweet baby hair and skin.

{Yes - even at 18 months, I think he's still a baby.  He still smells like one, so that counts!}

When I laid him back in his crib, I stood there with my hand on his chest.  It was so quiet and completely dark and all I could feel was his heartbeat.  I stood there and soaked it all in.  And then I started to become sappy mom (maybe hormones kicking in?).  

I couldn't stop thinking about how special this little heartbeat was to me.  How I felt the first time we heard it when he was just 10 weeks along.  And how it was so strong and now over two years after the first time we heard it just how thankful I am that it is so strong.  I prayed for all the moms and dads that have sick babies and those babies that have health struggles. 

And I kept standing there.  With my hand on his chest feeling his sweet heartbeat.

I remember looking forward to every doctor's appointment just to hear his heartbeat.  How excited I was.  And it continued to blow my mind that his heart has been beating outside of my womb's protection for almost 18 months.  How is that even possible?  He might as well be 18 years old {ok...not really}.

And then I grabbed my stomach and thought about the sweet baby inside me.  And what a miracle life is.  What a blessing it is to be feeling Charlie's heartbeat in the silence of the night and holding my stomach where another sweet heart is beating away and a baby is growing. 

I remember the first time I heard this sweet baby's heartbeat.  To be honest, I was especially thrilled that there was just one heartbeat and not too (another story...).  But once I got over that, looking at that heart beat away on the screen at only 7.5 weeks along, I felt the same way.  

So much love.  So much gratitude.  So much to be thankful for.

Now, I am one of those weird people who really like being pregnant...and it's mainly because I think I'm just so fascinated at the transformation my body can make and the fact that I am capable of growing a person.  I mean - I have a little person to prove it.  Which still blows my mind.

But what a blessing it is to be a woman.  What a blessing it is to get the honor of creating life.

And no matter how you might get your own heartbeat to care for (naturally, medically, through adoption, surrogate), every heartbeat is so precious.  It never gets old hearing those sweet hearts beat.

So while there are days while I plop down on the couch after a long day at work, a fussy kid that won't stop whining and didn't want to go to bed and am sick to my stomach and tired from the other kid I'm growing - I'm thankful.  

For every single heartbeat.  But especially for the ones that their heartbeat inside of me.

We all have something or someone to be so thankful for.

Happy Wednesday!

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Five on Friday: Baby #2

This is an extra special Five on Friday (linking up with Darci and friends).

The theme of this post?  Baby #2.

Yes my friends, this Carter clan is expanding to add one more little girl or boy (the news on that will be revealed in just less than a month - crazy!).

Can you believe it?  Yep, there are some days that I cannot either!!  Let's get to the fun stuff.


We officially found out that we had a bun in the oven the Thursday before Thanksgiving.
I woke up, felt a little nauseous, took a pregnancy test...and ran to bed to tell Jimmy.  Yep, nothing like the first time when I broke the exciting news to him through a cute slideshow!

The next few days were quite the whirlwind...which is a story for another time, but we did get to see our little peanut at 7.5 weeks that following Wednesday and couldn't have been more thrilled!


Due Date??

July 12, 2014.

Yep friends - that's just two weeks shy of Charlie's SECOND birthday.

I don't know what is more of a shock to me when I talk to people about it.  That we are going to have another baby or that I'm going to have a TWO year old.  How is that possible?  I feel like he was just born yesterday!!

And apparently I like to be pregnant right dead in the middle of summer.  Let's just hope that July 2014 isn't as hot as July 2012.

Remember these beauties from 2 weeks before I delivered last July?  People STILL talk to me about this picture of my feet I posted on Facebook - so again, please wish for less than 100 degree days this July!


 We ended up telling my parents earlier than we thought...but were able to keep it a secret long enough from Jimmy's big family to do something pretty special.  We made a fun book about Charlie's Christmas adventures and what Santa brought him for Christmas.

I put a note on the outside saying that Charlie wanted her to read it out loud.  So he jumped on her lap and read the book and we got her surprise on videotape.  It was pretty fun.  This was the best picture!


 They always say that baby #2 starts taking shape faster - and my is.  

WHOA baby.  

I swear this tight shirt makes it look bigger (I'm mostly rocking loose shirts these days).
Most people are shocked when I tell them I'm pregnant - so I guess that makes me feel better!
You probably wouldn't believe that is only 5 pounds, but really it is.  Crazy how your body reacts to growing a baby the second time!

Regular shirts are already starting to get a little shorter and I'm alternating between maternity pants from last time (finally ponied up and bought a few new pairs of jeans since I wear those everyday now) and regular pants with belly bands.  But overall, I'm feeling good and loving the little movements that I'm feeling and can't wait for more of those.

First belly picture almost 16 weeks - oops.  Guess that's what having an 18 month old while being pregnant will do to pregnancy documentation, right?


So there you have it - this little family of expanding in just 24 weeks.  And the way time is flying these days, it will be here before we know it!!

This might be the most fun "five on Friday" post that I have ever written!!  So thanks for stopping by to read!

I'm sure there will be more to come about this sweet little babe (and of course Charlie!)

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The toilet paper debacle

So this post is random ramblings and precisely why I started this blog way back in 2009 (which for some reason right now seems like forever ago).  It was to have a place to document random things that happened or that I was thinking.

You will see why I say random...however, I wouldn't be surprised if many people resonated with these thoughts.

So here it goes.


One day probably like two months (I mean even three- at this point it feels like a year ago...) we were walking through CostCo going through our list and got to the back where the toilet paper is.  The normal Quilted Northern we get wasn't in the coupon it usually is and then it happened.  Jimmy asked me if I thought we could save a few dollars and get the cheaper brand.  It seemed like a good deal when you look at the financials.

But let me tell you that toilet paper is NOT about financials people.

I have spent the last two months attempting to waste as much toilet paper as I can every time I go to the bathroom.  Because it's so thin and so hard.  It's so bad that sometimes I think to myself in PUBLIC restrooms "wow, this is softer then that crap at my house".  Like how is that even possible?

Worst yet, we have had LOTS of people over to our house in the last two months (holiday parties, graduation parties, etc.).  So I'm sure it hasn't just been me that has noticed it - my sister even commented on it (probably one of the few people that had the guts to say something like that to me, but much appreciated).

Literally on Saturday of this weekend, the tide FINALLY passed in our master bathroom and the thin, hard toilet paper ran out and I couldn't have been more excited to take out the nice, soft, quilted toilet paper.  You have no idea how much better it is going to the bathroom.  It's crazy.

The SOFT stuff

The HARD stuff (yes, you have to unwrap the individual rolls)

I'm still waiting for the rolls of the hard stuff to run out in the downstairs guest bathroom - so maybe I should pee there more or in all reality just let Charlie keep pulling it when he tries.  That would be a fast solution to my problem.

You know what a faster solution would be?  Just throw them all away.  But unfortunately I'm a cheap sake and cannot do that.  So instead, hopefully it only lasts a week until the thin stuff runs out (there is only one thin roll of toilet paper left - OMG!).

I know this is a weird thing to post but it has seriously been consuming my bathroom thinking - it's crazy.  Everywhere {bathroom} I go I think about the toilet paper and compare it to the thin toilet paper I bought.  It's a weird thing to consume my mind, but it's amazing what a difference it makes.

So there you go, the random thought from me this Wednesday.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Kid free day

Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day friends!

Jimmy and I were BOTH off work and Charlie's school was guess what?  We had a kid-free day and couldn't have been more excited.  We had it all planned out. 

Drop Charlie off at school.

Go get a casual breakfast.

Run some errands.

Go home and take a nap.

Time to use a restaurant gift card for a KC Restaurant week lunch at Sullivan's.

Then a movie.  
{For the first time together in two years}

We were seriously so excited.  Just me and my husband hanging out.  Sounds like the perfect day, right??  Haha.  I love that.  Always sounds so great, never works out like that.  
Such is the life as an adult.

Turns out that nap was about 30 minutes and not too good, lunch was delicious (thanks to my mother-in-law for the awesome gift card to Sullivan' week luch menu was amazing!!!!), but with the need to make a quick stop at a carpet place by the movie theater before made us late to the movie and guess what?  It was sold out.  That's what a holiday will do to you, right?

Then I completely acted like a 12 year old and pouted for sure and said that I WILL go to a movie today and got mad at Jimmy.

Oh Brittany.  Such a child sometimes.

So instead, we decided we'd skip a movie altogether (yep - I was still pouting) and go back to the carpet place, pick up the carpet remnants to finish the basement project that my dad started.  Yep, you read right, on the day that we originally thought was going to be focused just on us turned into running errands for Charlie. Ha ha.  But oh my goodness.  Getting that carpet home and bringing Charlie home from day care to an amazing play area and basement set up for Charlie was worth it.  Seriously, his face was amazing!!

We had to drag him upstairs when it was time to eat dinner.

And then went right back down there.

SO worth it.  And the fact that my dad and husband are the best ever.

I wish you could have seen the mess of boxes and just random stuff that was there before (dang it for not snapping that "before" picture when I told myself to).  It's amazing when all that is cleared out ALL the space that was down there.  And the carpet remnants fit perfectly too.  A nice little carpet pad (yep, we bought pads too) in case he or his friends take a tumble.

Indoor playground.  #howmanydaysuntilspring

Charlie and Papa admiring all the hard work!

He even hung up our random pictures...

There are the shelves that started all the organization (and the gate to keep little mister out)

Like the patio table?!

So there is the basement transformation that trumped our kid free day.
(I also just realized that these are the only house pictures that I have posted on my blog since we've moved into our new house about 6 months my goal, post some pictures of it by the sixth month mark of living there that is in just a few weeks!)

The best part of it all?  The 3 of us (well really 6 because all 3 dogs were down there) were hanging out down there after dinner and he was running around and around up and down the slide, in and out of the tent, around everywhere.

It was close to bath I asked Charlie if he was ready for a bath.

Charlie: "No"

Then I asked him if he was ready for "night, night".

Charlie: "No"

So we are laughing thinking that he has just decided to say "no" to everything.  Then Jimmy asks him if he wants a cookie.....

He literally stops in his tracks and turns around and goes "Cookie".

What a little stinker - I guess it's good that he does understand what he's saying no to, but hilarious at the same time.

And you know what, that made me realize EVERY single sacrifice (big or small) we make as parents is worth it.  Just to experience the sweet moments with your babies and seeing them learn and laugh.

And the movie theater will ALWAYS be there.  Charlie at almost 18 months with his sweet little personality won't be.  So I'm soaking it up.

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Friday, January 17, 2014


It's Friday again (wahoo!), which means I'm linking up with DarciAprilChristina and Natasha again for a Five on Friday!


We had some FUN last weekend and built Charlie's kitchen helper.  And guess what?  He loves it.

Loves climbing on it and loves standing on it to see everything that we can see.  We were searching through grocery ads last night together.  So awesome!!

Seriously, you need to check out - her website is just amazing and this was not a hard project to do.  We started it on Saturday during nap time and it was painted and coated by Tuesday.  (remember, everything takes longer with a child!!)


What else am I excited about?  Well - I'm really loving my time with Charlie before Jimmy gets home from work.  Sometimes he's cranky, but I think we are finally getting into a routine and I'm loving our laughs and cuddles and chasing and "going crazy".  He's hilarious.  And my favorite.

And his dad's favorite too.  Everyone in a better/happy mood suits me just fine!!!


I also got a griddle pan this week off Amazon.  I used it on Wednesday night to grill some hamburgers and it was great.  It is long enough that it fits over two of the burners on our stove.  Still haven't quite figured out how to clean it (or not clean the website says about cast iron), but it's a  hit so far.  Hope I will get some good use out of this puppy.


Budgeting.  Oh budgeting.

As it's a new year with a new job (and new income), it's that time.  I'm gearing up for the official Carter budget of 2014 and am pretty pumped (with that said - 1. I'm a nerd and 2. This is my job in real life).  I'm utilizing a new tool (similar to mint, which I like a lot) that our bank offers.  Trying to see how I like it.

What I am looking for now and have been pinning like a mad woman is not so much how to set a budget but tips to stay within the categories of each budget.  We always have one, but it's easier said then done with two people and the same bank account to follow the same rules.  So I'd like some sort of system that holds us both accountable.  I'm thinking that our bank has something that will send us text messages (alerts) if we are over budget - so hoping that will work - but if anyone has any other great ideas that they use for the family budget - I will gladly take them!!

Toddler activities/entertainment.  

What do you do with yours?  Haha - this is very generic, but mine is finally at the stage that if you give him your iPhone, he'll sit down and play a game on it with animals for like 5 minutes and that gives me time to pee alone.  We play games, we "ride the bike" around the house, we color.  But it seems to last like 30 minutes and Charlie gives me a look like "what's next?" and I give him a look like - "OMG...worst mom clue".

Do you plan activities/games/songs, etc?  Again - I'm searching all over pinterest.

And I felt bad for thinking I'm a boring mom, but then some lady I work with said that she felt the same way when her kids were this age - so I felt better about my life.  HELP!

Looking forward to a nice weekend here in KC with my boys!!!!

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Florida trip: the pictures

Instead of presents this year, my parents decided to take us back to Clearwater Beach, FL right after Christmas Day, just like they did in 2010 (check that out herehere, here and here).  I promise I won't write four posts this year - just one with some fun pictures!!

And we're off - Charlie's first plane ride!!

After a slight delay in Kansas City...this little booger fell asleep right after take off and woke up with about 30 min of the 3 hour flight left.  We were all thrilled (minus my arm that fell asleep!).

First night dinner out at Crabby Bill's - the only time we actually ALL went out to eat as a group. 

Notice Charlie's position and you will understand why that was!

The next day...despite lack of sun, Charlie saw the beach.  

And he just loved EVERYTHING about the sand.
Sand was EVERYWHERE!!!

And he had no cares in the world that the water was cold.  He wanted to hop right in!

When my mom, sister, Casey and I made a trip to Ikea (and came home with the AWESOME tent on the right)...apparently my dad, Jimmy and Charlie had lots of fun bar hopping.

I think this kid learned a little too much from his dad.
{don't worry - he doesn't know how to open it...just retrieve beer from the fridge for his dad}

We did have one day where it was finally nice enough to pull on our swimsuits and head to the beach.  My mom brought Charlie down after his nap (and after we hit up Hooters for some wings!) and yep, still loved the sand, the sunshine, the water...and...

...even the ladies.  He was flirting with everyone on the beach.  Oh Charlie.

One family picture with mom's CRAZY bun!
One of the best things?  In the morning, my dad, Jimmy and Charlie would walk to the gas station to get out of the house and get a newspaper.  I joined in a few days too and loved it.  I wish we had this weather every single day!!!  {and these trees!}

One of the attractions on Clearwater Beach is the aquarium.  It has the famous dolphin, Winter, that has a prostetic fin and a movie all about him.  Charlie liked the aquarium a bit, but there were less attractions then the one here in Kansas City.  More stuff for older kids - so maybe we'll go back??

He did like this room though!  Got to draw his hand on the board and say where he's from!

Along with our aquarium admission, we got to take a trolley to downtown Clearwater and the museum where Winter movie props are as they prepare to shoot for their second movie.  Charlie was less than impressed and fell asleep instantly when we got there.  

Wish you could have seen the picture of our family when we just walked in!  Charlie's face...haha.


Holy cow - this kid knows what he wants.  And every time one of these puppies passed us on the street he would yell "ride the bike".  So finally, despite a little bit of rain/mist that day, while my mom, sister and Casey were at the mall - we rented a "bike" and the four of us went on a ride.

Don't be fooled.  Charlie didn't stay in the front - of course he wanted to be in the back with us.  So I got to pedal this beast with Jimmy (he steered) while Charlie was sitting on my left leg.  

Holy leg workout.  Don't think these smiles don't mean there wasn't pain.  Days after. 

But it was fun and Charlie got to ride the bike - thank goodness.

As the day passed and the rain stopped, this is what Charlie did.  

You have no idea where we found sand for days after.  After several baths.  But he loved it.

He even loved the happy hours.  Definitely his dad's son.  
{virgin strawberry daiquiri was his drink of choice!} 

But most days, honestly, we did a lot of this.  And it was fabulous.

Fabulous to relax in the beautiful condo that my mom found.  Hang out with our family.  Cook dinner and go to sleep early (ha!).  Of course, we got up early and entertained our toddler - but it was a little more fun knowing we were in Florida and got to walk outside to this every day!!

Then came the last night of our trip - New Year's Eve 2013.

Let me tell you this...neither of us are big NYE people.  But we decided to go to dinner just the two of us and let my parents put Charlie to bed.  However, we snapped a few family pictures before we headed out.

Most of them were cute - even with our squirmy man.

And then we tried to get one of just the two of us. But heaven forbid that Charlie was left out!!!
{see those crazy toddler begging hands??!!}

And just like that - after 17 meals and 6 nights and 6 wonderful days...we woke up on the first day of 2014 and started our journey back to Kansas City.  This time, it was just the three of us and we had 2 flights - a connection in Nashville.  

Charlie did great on the first flight (slept the whole way) and then was a crazy child on the second one.  I guess that's the way it goes right?  We were just so thankful that the second leg we had a seat in between us because the flight wasn't full.  

Best thing of the trip?!?  The Nashville airport having a kid's play area RIGHT by our gate.  Germ infested and all - we let him play and play and play in it with other kids, in hopes that he would get worn out...but no such luck.  However, it was fun to see him playing around!

Then we landed at 2, got home by 4PM (after stopping to get our dogs) and that was it.  The end of vacation.  And it was back to work for both of us the next day.

No recovery time to unpack, get the house in order, clean from the holidays.  It literally took us a few weeks to get everything back at least to the way it was.  And Charlie too.  After a double ear infection and some brutal teeth popping through - we are all pooped still.

But boy was it worth it.

Thank you again mom and dad for a great trip and a great time!!!  Clearwater Beach was good to us again.  Would highly recommend it as a vacation spot!!!

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