the sunshine state.

Mmm. Long time, no blog, huh?

Life has been busy—but in a very good way! I thought I’d sit down and get caught up with pictures and stories and the latest on what’s been going on with the Seitlers!

Well, in early December, we moved into our new place in Florida! We are renting a home—and this place simply could not be more perfect. It’s such a blessing! We had hoped that we could find a place that was within our budget where the kids had plenty of space to run and play and the adults had plenty of space to work… and that we could all have some breathing room. Well, we certainly found it! To give you an idea of the size of our living room and kitchen, here’s a picture from when we first moved in (boxes and all!):

moving-in

To the left of the Christmas tree there is a sliding glass door and then our loveseat set against three windows. To the right of the tree and behind it (in what should really be the dining room) there is a little desk where I work. I have a large window where I can gaze out at the side yard—and also watch the kiddos when they go out to play! Our kitchen is so large that we can easily fit our dining room table and high chair in the breakfast nook (which also serves as the schoolroom, since we have this tall wall of cabinets lining the left side). You can’t see the nook from this angle, but you can see the light streaming in from the windows that are over there.

Here’s a snapshot of the front of the house and our car port:

house-front

And here is the back of the house:

house-back

We had a wonderful little Christmas morning at home and then dinner at my mom’s house with my cousin Liz and her husband, Rob. And for New Year’s, we did nothing—which I LOVED! I’m not a fan of forcing myself to stay up late for New Year’s “just because it’s New Year’s” (unless there’s a party to go to!). It was nice to stay home and start the new year off on a mellow note, especially since I was so very happy to say “GOODBYE!” to 2009.

Here’s a snapshot of the kiddos in the backyard on New Year’s Day:

new-years

Well, so far this new year has been even better than I could have imagined in so many tiny little ways. The most noticeable difference was, of course, the weather… here’s a picture from early December when we went to go check out the beach:

beach

Penny was not so sure about it yet…

beach2

We had a very cold Winter for Florida, but to us it just felt like the end of Fall! So, we enjoyed it more than the natives and Snowbirds. The best thing of all is that the clouds are gone… I just love is waking up in the morning to a beautiful sunny sky and starting the day off with some coffee and breakfast while watching the sun stream through all the windows. Ah! I spend so much time just gazing out on the yard and sighing a happy sigh because this little neighborhood is so pretty with all it’s oak and pine and palm trees! Green—everywhere. I love it!

Travis’ work has been going so well! He’s been very busy working for clients and freelancing with a buddy he knows who lives nearby. And things are going great with my work as well! But I’ve found that lately I’ve been too busy managing several little side projects… and I’m sad to find that I let my first love—designing—fall by the wayside. It’s so easy to let work run over your life when you work from home. I’ve found myself feeling guilty for thinking about running to the library or the grocery store! So, Travis and I have been working to organize our schedules so that we are the ones in charge of our time… and time doesn’t get away from us and turn things upside down on us. This week I’m taking a “Spring Break” of my own and I’m excited to be using this time to regroup and plan out the things I want to be creating over the next few months! And I’m taking the time to go outside and play with the kids. Just yesterday we got out the kiddie pool and I sat in the sunshine while the kids had a blast.

What else have we been up to? Well, we’ve been spending a lot of time with family and friends. Here are some snapshots from the last few months. Some of the girls from the Digichick met up at Disney at the end of January. We spent the day meeting everyone and having a good time with the kids at Downtown Disney (which for them was close to being as good as going to Disney!). Katie and Joshua with Sleeping Beauty:

disney

We loved hanging out around the Lego Store. Here’s me, telling Travis and the kids all about the Parisian things I saw in real life (when I went to France with my mom in 1999):

lego

And here’s a great snapshot of all the Digichick girls together:

meetup

I feel brave for sharing that… I see myself there in that picture—and I’m glad to see that I’m laughing—but all I can think of is “Geez, you need to loose weight, Chica.” And yeah. I know that… Columbus was very hard on me. Not only did I have a baby last year (which always packs on the pounds for me; and nursing never helps melt anything away!), but I also ate a bunch of junk, too. Hey—when your life is depressing, sometimes Junior Mints are all that you have to look forward to. LOL! Well, I’m trying to work on that… it’s not easy when I’m already maxed out with work and homeschooling and keeping up with the housework to try to add in time for exercising, but I’m trying because I know it’s important. And I need it. Ack! I did go out a walk/run this week. Yay!

Here’s a snapshot from when we went to my Dad’s in early February. He has a hot tub attached to his pool, which was a hit with the kids on this windy (and still chilly) day:

hottub

We got to have dinner at my great-aunt’s house (which, for me, is just like going home to “Grandma’s House” because I got to spend so much time over there when I was in high school.). Here’s a snapshot of Katie and my great-aunt. Auntie is introducing Katie to one of her birds:

auntie

And then in March, we got to go out for the first time on the boat with Grammy. Look at Penny—she’s a natural!

sailing

And now, for a little Penny Goodness. Here is Miss Penny in her high chair (which goes so well with our crazy orange kitchen, wouldn’t you say?):

penny

Yum!

She is almost 10 months now. She has a few little words that she likes to say that include: MaaMa, PppaPppa, DaDa, ByeBye/NyeNye (which also includes a little wave of the hand) and “Yeah”—which is by far the cutest thing to hear a baby say. She’ll go “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” but it’s all very quiet and whispery. Just adorable!

Miss Penny has also been on the go, especially in the last week…

penny-crawling

Notice the “Who? Me?! Um, I didn’t do that” look on her face… she’s a little stinker! She likes to crawl into the hallway and the kitchen and away from the play-places we’ve made for her. We tried building a barrier across the doorway with some furniture and her folded up play pen, but just this morning she crossed over it, so I guess that’s over now and we’ll have to come up with something new. She LOVES to get in to trouble, especially now that she’s up on her hands and knees and can cross the room fast. So, we try to give her things that she can get into, but are really “Mommy Approved” (like the drawer of wooden train toys in the coffee table). She’ll sit there with an inquisitive look on her face, saying “Um. Am I going to hear you say ‘No’ to me?” while she happily chews on the toys for a good 15 minutes. Too cute.

She also can pull herself up now! She’ll be standing up in her crib when I come in to get her (and she likes to pull the mat of the changing table, too—sigh). And she will go around the living room, pulling herself up at the coffee table, the bookshelf and the kid’s table. I think with an older brother and sister who are always going from room to room, she’s eager to get going. I bet her first steps are around the corner!

I have a few pictures from Katie’s birthday to get off the camera. I’m going to go run and do that now so that I can share them, too. And I’ll try to be a better blogger and keep up with things now that this first post is out of the way. I miss it! But keeping all my daily duties in order is a challenge and it seems like blogging is always the first thing to go—LOL!

Until next time…

11 Responses to “the sunshine state.”

  1. Tammy Luna Says:

    Nicole, I am SO HAPPY FOR YOU GUYS!!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Praise God for all these blessings… your post just made me smile. And I’ll bet after your year in Columbus, you appreciate these blessings 10x more!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love you!!

  2. Tammy Luna Says:

    P.S. Can I please come and be your neighbor?! Your house is SO CUTE!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Kelleigh @ Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs Says:

    I love this update!! I agree that your house is wonderful, your children are gorgeous, and you are lookin’ good, too!! SO happy to hear that you are enjoying your new home!!

  4. jaye Says:

    Nicole it is wonderful to hear how happy you are.

  5. Melissa Says:

    So so glad to hear that you are going so well! ๐Ÿ™‚ So happy for you Nicole!

  6. Jessica Says:

    You sound so much happier Nicole! ๐Ÿ™‚ Your house looks so spacious and light-filled and Miss Penny is too cute. I know you must be enjoying your “spring break,” and your kiddos must be enjoying having more time with mommy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Amy Hoogstad Says:

    I love learning more about you and your family, Nicole! Thanks SO much for updating your blog:) Thoroughly enjoyed it!

  8. Elise Says:

    Whee! Blogging! Sunshine! Laughing! This is all so fabulous!!

  9. Heather Prins Says:

    wow that is a great house. i so wish we lived near the ocean, what a way to spend the day!!

  10. Jacinda Says:

    Nicole your photos are awesome. So clear. I’m really glad you’ve had a nice break from the chaos of work too.

  11. Jeryn Carlisi Says:

    Glad Florida is treating you well! I LOVE how big your living room is! I wish my living room was that big; however, it would mean more space to clean! Yuck. LOL

    Sounds like you are rejuvenated after Spring Break. That’s great you were able to reorganize and come together on something that will work around you. That’s important!

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