April 1, 2009

  • Four Generational Trip to Florida


    A little over a month ago, my mother called me with a proposal. What if she would fly to Jacksonville, FL, and I would pick her up from there, then we would travel together to Sarasota for a week with my grandmother [her mother]? I thought it was a wonderful idea, since I had wanted to spend some time with Grandma but didn’t know how I would be able to drive down by myself with a little toddler, Ben not being able to take off of work for an extended amount of time. So Ben and I talked about it, and decided that it was a great plan!

    I left rather in a whirlwind, on a Monday morning after having a good weekend with overnight guests for several nights, drove to Jacksonville, and from there to our final destination.

    This was such a special week for all of us – four women! I suppose Zoe’ counts in the ‘women’ category! But especially special since I no longer live in the same area as my mother and grandmother. My mother is the firstborn of her family, I am the firstborn of mine, and Zoe’ is the firstborn of our little family. Zoe’ is also the first great-grandchild on my side of the family, and I was thrilled that Zoe’ would be able to spend some time with both Nana and Grandma Susan.

    At Millie’s Cafe, one of the best breakfast joints in all of Florida – at least in my opinion!


    I feel like I’ve gotten to know my grandmother as a friend only in the past few years. My grandfather and I were always so close, and then when he passed away several years ago, I realized I wanted to learn to know my grandmother in the same way as well. She is a dear, soft-spoken woman, although she can be a firecracker at times you least expect it! :) She has been amazed at how pregnant women are on the go so much these days. In her generation, expectant mothers spent 6 weeks at home before the due date, and 6 weeks at home afterwards! I remember when we were living in PA for a few months around the time of Zoe’s birth, and I actually happened to be at my mother’s house when my contractions began. Grandma walked in and I was talking to her when I suddenly had a strong contraction. I was bent over, trying to relax through it (and I was just about to head to the birthing center, for those who care!), and Grandma was in sheer amazement that I was *there* at my mom’s house and *not* at the hospital! I explained to her that I *was* going to leave directly, with someone else driving me, but she just shook her head and walked off, declaring to her, “It’s just a different generation!” And though I was in the middle of a contraction, I just burst out laughing at her chagrin!


    I was excited to be spending time with both of them, and was just as excited that Zoe’ was going to learn to know both of them much better. At her little age, she has remembered them for some time when I speak of them, but I think they were more faces to her than actual people. So a full week spent with them was wonderful! She fell in love with both of them, and would ask for Nana in a croaky morning voice as soon as she woke up! So precious!

    It was a simply perfect week to be in Florida. The weather was warm, but not hot. So we spent a few days at the beach, enjoying the beauty of it all. After two days at the beach, Zoe’ started asking to go! “Beach? Beach?” she’d say. She was a little daredevil, had no fear of the water or waves or anything. When she’d go out too far and the waves knocked her down, she’d come up sputtering but giggling, and go in again. I had to keep a close eye on her.

    I found this absolutely darling little swimsuit at Target… Love how it looks like a little dress!





    And crocs… I was never a big fan of crocs, but when springtime came this year, and Zoe’ was getting her shoes so dirty outside, I was delighted when I found this little pair. They are simply wonderful outside! When they get dirty, all I have to do is hose them down and they’re ready to go for the next time out. And since we’ve seen how great they are, both Ben and I now have a pair! But only for gardening. I still declare I will not be seen in town in crocs!


    Bare feet bliss…



    We spent several evenings at the park as well. Or perhaps I should say, my mom and Zoe’ went to the park several evenings. Mom would tell me to stay and rest my pregnant body while she played with Zoe’. That won Zoe’s heart like nothing else!

    There are few things that make this little girl as happy as a playground! Giggles abound here!


    The underducks are her favorite, and she giggles until she almost can’t laugh anymore!


    My mother, fearing for Zoe’s safety, as she climbed to the top and slid down the curly slide on her own initiative, thinking it was hilarious that Nana was so concerned about her.


    We ate most of our meals in Grandma’s home, so simple but so delicious!

    Salad with Italian Chicken Strips


    Grandma’s newly-remodeled living room, with a gorgeous oil painting by my uncle Freiman Stoltzfus!


    Some parting shots… It really is hard to know how to pose gracefully when you’re very pregnant…

    The Four Generations, which my mom and grandmother proudly told anyone that cared to know! :)


    Nana and Zoe’… Zoe’ cried for literally about an hour after we said goodbye at the airport!


    Dear Grandma Susan! A wonderful hostess for our week’s stay!


    Me and my darling girlie


    And on the way back to Jacksonville, we stopped and got Zoe’ what I think is her first ice cream cone! She’s had ice cream before, but not a cone to eat as she pleases. What a happy little child she was!


    Of course I had to stop and help her out a bit, which was really just an excuse to have some myself!






Comments (18)

  • oh wow! i didn’t even know you went… looks like a wonderful time!!!! loved those times that you and i spent a week in Florida. seems like another life time, doesn’t it?:)

  • Great post! It was fun “running into” you a bit while strolling through Pinecraft. Glad you got to spend some time with your mom and Grandma. Those times are so special, I am sure. Missed seeing you in Jesup.

  • What a special time for you and your family! I’m so glad you had that opportunity; indeed grandparents are a wonderful blessing! You’re looking quite beautiful, little pregnant lady! :) And, that is such the cute little swimsuit on Zoe’….great post; thanks for sharing your vaca with those of who only long for warm weather and sunshine! :) have a wonderful day!~R

  • what a great post for a cloudy rainy day. Seeing your adorable little girl makes me so excited for when Abbi is old enough to *do* things with–to wear little crocs on and give icecream cones We are enjoying her now too, of course

  • your little girl is darling, and I think you look very graceful pregnant!

  • What a great memory! It’s hard to believe that our little ones won’t always have their great-grandparents around. Loved all the pics – the adorable little swimsuit and crocs!
    You looked lovely as well.

  • How special to be able to spend that amount of time with your mom and grandma! Did you know that your grandma is my mother’s first cousin? Thanks for sharing about your trip! Oh, that salad looks so amazing! Do you have a recipe for it?

  • oh!! it’s simply wonderful! *scream* finally new pics of my princess niece…& the lovely mother herself! you look great! it feels so weird not to be able to see you pregnant this time around! =( awww, such precious memories with family…can’t wait to have grandma home again! & zoe’s crocs are so groovy!! =) oh i miss you guys…it’s a cryin’ shame how little i get to see you. but like you said…after grad & starting work, i’ll be able to afford a plane ticket down every other weekend! ha ha…=) -love you-

  • What a fun post!! It made me long for another day at the beach!(: 

    I hope this rain quits soon, so we can do some walking and talking this week.(:

  • I was gonna say . . . i haven’t seen *you* in any lovely PG pics either . . . but now this post shoots that! I’ll try to do mine soon. =) Oh it was SO good to talk to you today! I always wonder why I wait so long to call, ’cause I STILL had more things to say and more to ask, and if I’d call a little more often then it wouldn’t have to take so much time out of our day all at once, right? Do you think if anyone heard us that they’d think we sound like excited little school girls talking about, oh you know, life in general??!! After I finish talking with you I always feel encouraged, giggly, and all smiley on the inside.

    And I *laughed* about your wet panty incidents, ergh, I mean ZOE’s wet panty incidents. Yes, tomorrow is another day for potty training. And it definitely does depend a LOT on the mother!

    Ok, now about THIS post. I love it! And you are right . . . that swimsuit is perfect! I can’t stand the kind that always, um, are so BARE . . . and this makes such CUTE pictures. And I love the ice cream cone pics too.

    Gotta run, P & D just came in and D needs a bath and bed (um, I think the undies are FULL too).

    Love you!

  • Oh, I’m so happy for you. It sounds like such a great week! I just smiled so often–Zoe’s croaky call for Nana in the morning and picturing her at the beach… This stage really has it’s darling perks! Oh, and before I read your little commentary on Crocs, I though, “You know, that is the first time I’ve ever thought Crocs were cute.” :) :)

  • looks like a fun trip… makes me sad to know too that Candace never got to meet any of my grandparents. So I’m very glad Zoe’ had that chance.  Your grandma & mom look a lot alike I think.

    the crocks – def. a must have w/ kiddo’s playing outside. we bought a pair for candace last summer and she loves them. she could put them on and off herself. she still begs to wear them in the house during the winter. they are getting small though…  and the ice cream pictures are so cute too. I just love pics of little kids w/ their ice cream cones. Can’t wait for summer weather around here!

  • Zoe looks so adorible in all those pictures! What a little delight.

  • That looks like a fun week.  I love the shots of Zoe and her first ice cream cone! 

  • i am very fascinated by what your grandma said about pregnant mothers being “down” for 6 weeks, before and after. that`s so hard to imagine– close to 3 months!! i must say there isn`t too much down time in my world, sad to say.

    what a beautiful memory you`ll have of this vacation! you really are so blessed. loved the pictures– just lovely– especially fun to see how zoe is growing…:) what a little blondie.

  • what a delightful post.  it’s so wonderful seeing aunt susie so content with her children and grandchildren and GREAT grandchildren.  what a heritage!  wow!  6 weeks to “prepare”, sounds great to me, although, i’m down to 4 now!  it’s 4 am and i’m awake, i just HAD to have some pears w/ cottage cheese and cinnamon on top….these cravings appear when they will!

    hope you’re feeling well, you look great! 

    p.s  we’re a big croc family…so comfy.  i too declared i would not wear them “out and about”, but i found a pair on crocs.com, a ballet type style of shoe and they are just darling…in soft pink nonetheless….it’s worth a peek and i do believe it’s the only thing i’ve bought full price in well over 5 years!!! 

  • zoe is gorgeous… as is her mother… i think you’re the most beautiful pregnant woman ever to live… i almost get tears, so far away from you on the other side of the world. but they’re happy tears, too, because i’ll come home and tell you everything and promise zoe that one day she and auntie ervina shall travel together. check your e-mail for a little update from korea. all my love.

  • Have you seen the flip flops that Crocs have?  They are much more lovlier than the original ones and are just as comfortable.  I found a pink/gray pair for 1/2 off at Sports Authority and love wearing them to do my shopping; they also help soften the blow of walking on tile all day. 

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