ƒ The Harris Family

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rainy Days

"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain."
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I'm appreciating the rain today and how it slows my life down and gives me pause to notice things around me. Whether that be reflecting on people in my life and how grateful I am for them, or taking a moment to sit and work on my "to-do" list. In my quiet time today, I was reminded that I have a blog (even though I often go through long spells of using it) and felt inspired to update it on just what's new with this little Harris family of ours.

So, Tampa is lovely and we are very content here. Even more so than I had anticipated or hoped for when we first decided to move from Jacksonville. We were so happy with our house, neighborhood, friends, church home and community that I couldn't imagine being any happier in another city. But we've been blessed and have made some great friends here already and are having a great time exploring and enjoying all that Tampa has to offer. We managed to rent our house in Jacksonville, which was a great relief given the cruddy real estate market that we tried in vain to sell it in when we first moved out.

We've had family and friends visit us here since the move and that's been very nice and we hope to see lots more of you all in the coming months. Yes, we have a guest room if you want to come and see us!

Steve is enjoying his new job with Tampa General Hospital and although it brings a new set of challenges and demands, I think I can speak for him when I say he is truly enjoying the career move and is happy with his decision to move from healthcare financial consulting to being part of a hospital's leadership team.

Vivienne and I having a blast together and there is so much for us to enjoy each day. She likes to recite all the activities we enjoy each week and talk about her day and all the fun we've had. Yes, she's a big talker - just like her mama! She's also beginning potty training and, after a small period of time where she didn't want to try to use the potty, she's making progress.

I've been participating in two exercise programs: Stroller Strides (I can bring Vivienne along in the stroller for this one) and a women's bootcamp that I go to alone. Ah, blessed alone time! I thought it would be hard to feel motivated to go to the bootcamp because I have to get up very early to go, but I am loving it so much that I hate missing it (like on rain days like today!).

This spring was the spring of babies! Steve and I had no less than 3 nieces arrive within a two-month span. Lucky Vivienne now has three more girl cousins to grow up with and we are all just thrilled! Erika was born to Deborah & Kenneth on April 6th, then the very next day, April 7th, Corah was born to Mark & Aja, then last - but not least - Mayim was born to Helene & Adam on May 18th.

We've planned a trip to Treasure Island, FL with Marylee, Deborah, Kenneth, Julia & Baby Erika this summer and we're all very excited about spending some time with family at the beach.

I'll be heading to Chapel Hill, NC in August to attend a baby naming ceremony for my youngest niece, Mayim. I'm looking forward to celebrating with my sister, Helene, and her family as we welcome yet another baby girl to the family.

Steve and I are planning to travel to Portland, OR next summer to visit with Mark, Aja and Corah. I think Vivienne will be old enough at that point to endure the long flight out there - crossing my fingers on that one anyway! But whatever happens on the plane, stays on the plane. At least, that's my theory at this point!

Well, that's enough for now. Time to go out to the garage and switch over another load of laundry! : )

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh the joys of moving!

Sad, but true, we are moving from Jacksonville to Tampa next month. Steve has accepted a position with Tampa General Hospital and we are excited about this new opportunity and the better work/life balance and limited travel that comes with it. We are sad to be leaving behind such a great city and friends, neighbors, our church family, doctors and Viv's preschool and last, but not least, our beloved neighborhood restaurant, Biscotti's!

Of course, we have some dear friends awaiting us in Tampa and I'm sure we'll make new friends, meet neighbors and find a new church home, doctors, etc. It'll just take a little time : )

Well, that's all for now - gotta pack!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy Anniversary: 6 years of wedded bliss! : )


This Sunday marks six years of happily married life for Steve and I! Sometimes, it feels like it can't have been six years but when I start thinking about all the changes that have occurred in our lives, then six years sounds right. It's hard for me to believe I've lived in Jax for 6 years though! Or that I'm 36 years old for that matter (but that's a topic that could fill a whole other blog entry -haha)!

Our good friend, Dana, is coming over today for a marathon babysitting session - which is so very, very nice of her - and Steve and I are looking forward to some time to ourselves to enjoy one another's company and get out for a dinner alone. This will be the first time Steve and I have been out for a "date" since Viv was born, which may be a bit overdue but it's hard to find someone you trust to watch an infant (and who is not scared to do it either). Thank heavens for Dana!

In my last post I wrote about needing to make some new friendships and get out of the house, and so far I've met some great moms and have gotten out a couple of times with a gal that lives here in my neighborhood (and has put an offer on a house for sale on my block - how cool would that be?!) for some stroller walks and it's really been nice! I'm planning to meet up with a few other moms that I've just been chatting with online but I think this may be the beginning of a good change for me. Thanks to all for putting up with my vent session. :-)

Steve is keeping busy with work and is looking forward to the Gator football season beginning in September. He cracks me up - just this morning he told me, with great excitement mind you, that we now have several new channels available in our television line-up. He then went to say that they are all "NFL" and college football channels. I can tell already that I will be a football widow once again this fall and winter. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy football too - but just not to the extent that Steve does and I'm always happy when the college bowl games and the Super Bowl are over. We'll be making several trips to Gainesville for Gator games this fall (our annual pilgrimage, as I refer to it) so that's always a plus to football season that makes it all a bit more bearable.

I'm looking forward to October/November/December this year - I have a trip scheduled to see my sister, Helene, and her family in October (Vivi's first plane ride - wish me luck!!), then all of my immediate family will be together for Thanksgiving in Florida this year (doesn't happen very often), and it's my niece, Eliora's, first birthday that month too and Vivienne & Eliora's first Thanksgiving, and then December brings my birthday and Vivienne's first Christmas! Oh, and how could I forget to mention that October or November usually bring cooler temperatures and it's not unbearable to spend time outdoors in the middle of the day so I'll be able to get out and about with Vivi a little more. Yeah!

Hope you all have as good of a weekend as Steve and I plan to! I'll post pics of Vivi at 5 months next week - she's getting so big! Love to all!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The dog days of summer are officially here

OK, folks, I'm going to vent (perhaps it's really whining) so if you're not interested in hearing me vent then just skip this post.

Well, it's July in Florida and only a few days away from August (which is the hottest and most uncomfortable month, in my opinion) and I've definitely got cabin fever. . . if I don't get out the door before 9:30 a.m. it's either (1) too hot to go out for an exercise walk with Vivi in the stroller, or (2) Vivi's already fallen asleep for Nap #1 of the day and I don't want to move her from her crib to the stroller. I'm managing to get out at least 2x a week for about 1.5 hrs of walking/exercising, and on the days when I don't get outside I try to do a floor routine indoors using an exercise tape for inspiration. But, I am starting to realize that I'm in desperate need of adult conversation on a regular basis. I love Vivi, but I sometimes feel bored being at home with her. Unfortunately, I don't have enough time on my hands to pick up any consulting work to do from home - she still requires a lot of time and attention, it takes a lot of effort to care for her and just manage to cook & clean some days. Hence, the lack of posts on the blog lately . . . Don't get me wrong, I love Viv and I love being at home with her, I just need a little connection to the outside world - other than a 5 min conversation with the guy that works the counter at the gym twice a week.

I'd go to Gainesville and visit but I'm feeling trapped by Viv's ability (read, lack thereof) to sleep well while away from home. . . and when the baby doesn't sleep well, I don't sleep well. . . and ultimately, I'd rather be bored and well rested at home than sleep deprived and entertained in Gainesville.

I know, Riv, I need a play group. Yes, folks you read that right, "I" need a play group. I'm sure it'll be great for Viv too, but I think it's more for me than for her at this point! So, I re-registered on Jacksonville Mommies and am going to get on the stick about participating in some functions. I initially registered before Vivi was born and didn't feel the need to participate in any chats or discussion groups, so my account was locked out for inactivity . . . hopefully, I'll find some other half-crazed moms that I can enjoy spending a little time with and make some new friends.

I'll keep you all posted on how it goes . . . wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Watch me grow !

One Month Old

Two Months Old

Three Months Old

Four Months Old

Five Months Old

Six Months Old

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vivienne is two months old tomorrow - time is flying!


I can hardly believe Vivienne will be two months old tomorrow - where does the time go? Well, I guess I can just chalk it up to the old saying "time flies when you're having fun" because we've definitely been having a great time with our new little one. Of course, there are those challenging moments too - when you're up in the middle of the night pleading with your baby to go back to sleep already, and when you're stripping the baby down for a full-body wipe down due to a BM blowout that gets all over baby, her clothes, whatever she was sitting on when she did her business, and the changing table cover too! So, as you might guess, laundry has been one of the things keeping me busy during my days at home with baby Viv. : )

We've had lots of visits from family and friends and there is so much work to do (both for Steve at KPMG and for me at home) that the days and weeks slide by effortlessly.

Steve's family (Marylee (Mom), Deborah (Sister), Kenneth (BIL), Julia (Niece), and Alan (Brother)) came up earlier this month, and it was especially nice to see Marylee with her two granddaughters on her lap at once. Julia is such a sweet little girl and Deborah has been showing her our pictures since she was a little baby to make sure she knows who we are when she sees us (a couple of months can pass during certain times of the year (read, when the Gators aren't playing football and the holidays have passed) which is very nice. I plan to do the same with Vivienne so she knows the faces and names of our family members and can recognize them even if it's been a while since she's seen them last.

My parents, Rachel and Roger, came up for a visit on a Saturday and spent the night with us. Steve and Roger went to The Players Championship while my mom and I went to the Avonlea Antiques Mall (I got Vivienne a little Beatrix Potter book while we were there - I'm going to try to collect them all for her) and just hung out at home with baby Viv. We had a nice dinner at home that evening and opened one of the bottles of wine we'd received from my cousin, Meri, and her husband, Jim, when we got married (we're saving them for special occasions) to celebrate the birth of Vivienne and it was delicious!

My first Mother's Day was fantastic! Steve and Vivienne bought me a huge bouquet of pink and white lilies (they smell so good!) and a very nice silver locket that I'd been eyeing for some time, gave me a sweet card and took me out for brunch at my favorite restaurant, Biscotti's.

We are looking forward to Vivienne's baptism on June 28th, and I am especially excited that my sister, Helene, and her family are coming to stay that weekend with us. Helene and her daughter, Eliora (she's almost 6 mo. old now!) will stay on with Steve and I for a couple of days into the next week so we can have some time together, just the two (really 4!) of us. One of the nicest things about my experience as a SAHM thus far is that Helene is also a SAHM and we can talk to one another several times a week - yeah for sisters! I'm also looking forward to Vivienne's baptism because it'll be the first time that my other sister, Pam, will get to meet both Vivienne and Eliora. I am hoping Pam will bring her son, Skyler (he's 7.5 years old), along but am not sure how interested he'll be in getting up so early to go to church and attend a baptism . . . but who knows, maybe he'll be excited to meet his new cousins and see his aunts . . . we'll just have to wait and see.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

One month old today & a quick visit from Nan & Pere yesterday


I managed to get out for a run yesterday - my first one since Vivi was born - and it was oh so nice to move freely and quickly and to be outdoors! While I was out enjoying myself, my mom and dad called to say that they'd like to stop by for a quick visit before attending a performance of Mozart's Requiem at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts here in Jacksonville. So, it was a doubly-nice day - I got to exercise and see my parents too! Just in case you're wondering, Vivi will call my mother (Rachel), Nan (which is a family name for Grandmother), and my dad (Roger), Pere (which is French for grandfather).

It's also been a nice weekend for Steve too - who also got a run in - because he hasn't had to work this weekend and isn't headed to the airport anytime this week either! Life is quite different now that Vivienne's here; it's a quieter, simpler life and we don't get out as much but we eat well (I really do love to cook!) and strangely enough, I honestly think we're taking better care of ourselves now that we're not cramming the weekend full of activities. For now, I think we're quite content to spend our free time at home and we have no plans to travel for some time yet. Luckily, we live close enough for most of our family to visit us with only a short drive required on their part and lots of our friends are understanding of what its like to have a newborn and are making plans to visit us at our home.

This weekend began the Parade of Homes and I am hopeful that we can make a trip to St. Johns County one afternoon this week to see some of the homes featured - who knows, maybe we'll find a home that we'd like well enough to purchase! Rusty & Shari - one of the couples we know that live in St. Johns County - are coming to visit us next Saturday afternoon and I think we may head over to the Riverside Arts Market (http://www.riversideartsmarket.com) and perhaps grab a bite to eat outdoors at The Brick or at European Street. I can't wait for their daughter, Skyler, to see Vivienne. Skyler is 4 and is a fun-loving, sweet, imaginative girl. I was still quite pregnant the last time we visited with them, and when we arrived at their house Skyler came running up asking "where is the baby?" - later that day she informed me that Vivienne would be black! I found this to be hilarious and tried to explain to her that babies generally look like their parents and since Steve and I are both caucasian, Vivienne would not be black. Skyler persisted in her belief though so I am curious as to (1) whether she'll remember what she thought and (2) if she'll be surprised at all to see that Vivi is not black after all!

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