sun protection for bikes

We love riding bikes; one of our favorite features of the house is that the back yard opens onto theĀ Cady Way Trail. But our bikes don’t like the Florida sun. Even kept in our covered porch, enough sunlight gets through the screen to do quite a bit of damage, especially this time of year with the sun so low in the sky. Additionally, while the screen keeps out some dirt, the porch is still a pretty dirty place. Yesterday, I set out to address these issues.

Inspired by this post, I designed a shelter to store all our wheeled toys. The whole thing is made up of three independent structures, each designed so I can move it out of the porch if needed and each only as tall as it needed to be. I didn’t want to completely block our view of the back yard with this project.

The dimensions of the three structures are approximately (depth x height x width)

  • 6′ x 5′ x 4′
  • 6′ x 4′ x 4′
  • 4′ x 3′ x 3′

The first stores full-size bikes, the second stores mid-sized bikes and our two-person bike trailer and the smallest stores plasma cars and tricycles.

I drew up my plans at 9AM, Charlie and I went to the Home Depot to get supplies (in only one trip!) and I spent the rest of the day assembling. I didn’t work uninterrupted (meals, school pick-up, baths, etc.) but I finished the job the same day, at 11PM

Eventually, we’ll add a tarp or drop cloth to the front to keep out the rest of the dirt, but for now, I’m calling it done!

jay and charlie testing the frame

a view from the outside

bikes in the rack

view from the porch door

happy new year

2015 hasn’t been an easy year for our family. However, regardless of the difficulties there has always been joy. Our three boys bring smiles to our faces and laughter to our house on a daily basis and for that we are always grateful. Regardless of what 2016 brings I hope that we can always focus on what really matters, our family. Happy New Year everyone, here’s to a wonderful 2016.

2015 a year in review…

We celebrated Luc’s 1/2 birthday, Jay’s 5th Birthday, he requested a “Blue Heart cake with Flames on it”.
Lucas half birthday
Jay- 5 years old
his cake

We read books, we built a ridiculous amount of things with duplo, enjoyed the cooler weather outside and it even got cold enough one night to freeze water outside. The boys set up an “experiment” and were thrilled that some of the water froze.
duplo building
concentration tongue
our experiment

We played outside in the pool and also in the rain, we raced cars and Kristen finished her first queen sized quilt.
playing in the pool
playing in the rain
queen sized quilt

April was a crazy month. We hosted the annual Shrimp Boil which also served as George’s retirement party, Jamie got a new standing desk, we rearranged most of the office after getting the desk and created a lego area for Jamie and a sewing area for Kristen, we celebrated Easter and decorated a bunch of eggs, did a heck of a lot of lego building and Kristen finished another quilt.
George's Shrimp Boil Retirement Party
testing out Daddy's desk
Jamie's new desk
the lego area
Charlie building away
Easter Eggs
Luc decorating too

We built a bunch more lego, we swam in the pool for the first time in 2015, finished up a the school year at MSEE, Charlie got a new bike, Jay started riding a bike without training wheels and Luc got his first haircut.
playing lego
all of the boys in the pool
more swimming
Jay Bird flying fish
Charlie's new bike
Luc's first haircut

We spent a lot of time in the pool and we spent the week on Anna Maria Island with Jamie’s family.
all four boys on the beach
our boys on the beach
the whole family

We spent the week at the beach with my Mom, celebrated Luc’s 2nd Birthday, Jay’s half birthday and our 9th Wedding Anniversary.
boogie boarding with Dad
boogie boarding
enjoying a evening walk on the beach
Luc enjoying the waterI am 2!
he's 2!!

We enjoyed some time with cousins visiting from Canada, swam in the pool a WHOLE lot, Charlie started a 3 day 3’s program at MSEE and Jay started Kindergarten at Brookshire Elementary School.
pool fun with cousins
a family walk before school started
pool fun
pool fun!!
Charlie's meet the teacher
first day of school
walking to school with Dad

We adjusted to our new school schedule, took a trip to Terra Ceia and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
hanging out
three boys in a tree

We played outside a whole lot, dressed up in both Halloween costumes and a ton of dress up clothes and we took Jay and Charlie to Disney for the first time.
playing outside
playing outside
3 Peter Pans
Peter Pan!!
frist trip to Disney
Halloween 2015

We had to say goodbye to our sweet kitty, Bella, and we celebrated Charlie’s 4th Birthday for which he requested a “mouth cake”.
saying goodbye
Charlie is 4!!
Charlie is 4!

We prepared and decorated with the Holidays, Charlie learned to ride a bike without training wheels, we took a trip to Jacksonville to celebrate Memere’s birthday and got to see a lot of family and we celebrated Christmas.
boys in PJ's
listening to Daddy play
celebrating Memere's birthday

tree elves the 2015 edition

We tree elved (yes I just made that noun into a verb) it again this year. Every year I look forward to going and picking out our tree. Having a tree up in the house (a real tree- sorry all of you fake tree supporters) is probably one of my most favorite parts of the season. I could literally sit by it for hours and just enjoy the glow of the lights.

I didn’t get many photos this year, the boys were too busy running around like mad, so it’s just the one traditional tailgate photo. Also, I dug up all of the other tailgate photos that I could find because it’s fun to look back!!

Daddy and Jay
Mommy and Jay
2011 Tree Elfing
Jay with the trees
helping with Trees
Charlie helping
Jay helping
annual tailgate photo
Momma and her boys
2014 Tree Elves
Luc and the Trees
Tree Elves 2015

Happy Halloween 2015

I am a sucker for kiddos in Halloween costumes, that’s a fact. So it’s no surprise that my favorite part of this holiday is dreaming up costume ideas for our boys and then seeing them come to life. I adore taking photos of them all dressed up and love how every year the costumes end up in the dress up box after Halloween for hours of endless fun!! Big thanks to Mimi for making the pirate costumes (I like to sew but garment sewing is really, really not my thing!) they are fabulous! So here’s an overload of Halloween photos for you to enjoy ;)

Happy Halloween!!

our three

Halloween trio

pirate Luc

pirate Luc

be very afraid!


pirate Jay


my talker

shake your tail feather

flying parrot

not to be left out- flying pirate

flying into battle

this just cracks me up

flying Jay

never gets old

battle time

excited pirate

tiny pirate

perfect perch


parrot perch



Jay Bird

parrot happenings


Jay Bird

Luc Luc


I know I have been terrible at posting things lately but I do still take photos aside from iPhone photos and instagram posts. And since I actually took the time to take a look at them today I thought that I would share. Jay started Kindergarten at Brookshire Elementary today. It’s a day that I have been looking forward to and dreading all at the same time. Jay is SO ready to learn, be in school and soak up any and all information that is thrown at him. Being home with his brothers all summer has had its advantages, they play really well most of the time, but it’s also been hard since they are together all of the time too and have endless hours to push each others’ buttons. So for those reasons I was ready and he was ready to go. However, I don’t ever think any Momma bird is really ever ready to send their little one to kindergarten all day long and for that reason today was tough. I managed to keep it together all of the way to school and up until we had to leave him in the classroom. There were Momma tears on the way home, randomly throughout the day and while waiting to pick him up outside of school (I was 30 min early) when friends asked how I managed throughout the day. I was so thrilled to see him and even more thrilled to hear his excited stories about school. He talked all the way home about his day and then some. Man it is hard to watch my sweet Jay Bird spread his wings and fly but it is also so, so wonderful! I couldn’t be more proud of him than I am right now.

Here’s a few photos (actually more than just a few but it’s my blog and I can do whatever I want), the first from meet the Teacher and the later (with the backpack) from this morning.

Meet the teacher- Jay

meet the teacher- Jay

meet the teacher- Jay

First day of school- Jay

First day of school- Jay

First day of school- Jay

first day of school- Jay

First day of school- Jay

First day of school- Jay

first day of school- Jay

first day of school

walking to school- Jay

walking to school- Jay

walking to school- Jay

lots of kids!!

all ready to go in his classroom!

Things have been crazy with Jamie in grad school and working a ton, the boys being home all summer- TOGETHER- and well, just life. I have a ton of photos that I would love to share at some point. Fingers crossed I will get to that soon. Like I always say, my older self is bound to thank me for whatever I get the chance to post…


Jay has enjoyed coloring for a while now. Often when things get quiet you can find him at the table, markers everywhere going though a stack of paper. Just recently, Luc has taken an interest in coloring as well. On this particular day Luc started coloring and Jay simply (and mostly without words) just joined him at the table and they colored together.




coloring together