I just spent the past two weeks in Tampa and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Obviously I was planning on being there for Christmas, and then a trip fell through for New Year’s so I just decided to stay there for two weeks. It’s the longest stretch of time that I’ve been “at home” since I graduated college. Garrett and I broke up while I was down there and, while I’m not sure there is ever good timing for that, I was so thankful that I was a) home and b) home for awhile.
The best part of being there for an extended period of time was that I felt like I could get into a little bit of a routine. A vacation routine, but definitely a routine. I still lived out of a suitcase and had clothes all over my bed, room, and floor (haha), but it felt like the perfect escape.
Even though my sister was traveling quite a bit during my trip (Iceland and the Bahamas, rough life I tell ya), we had the best time catching up and doing sister things. I seriously cherish every minute that the four of us (Stacy, my mom, my dad, and me) spend together.
This is just going to be a photo round-up of sorts, but if you’ve been following along on social (Instagram and Snapchat here!) you know that my trip was filled with family, a new haircut, a puzzle that never ended, too many trips to Oxford Exchange, fun with my favorite babies, and the holidays! It was low-key in the best possible way. Some highlights:
One of my favorite parts of visiting my parents is crashing my mom’s lunches with her friends. Her best friend watches her grandkids throughout the week (all of our families are close) and I love getting all my baby snuggles in. Henry is a happy-go-lucky sweetheart who lets you hold him as long as you want. Completely content to just snuggle!
On Christmas Eve Eve (hehe) I went to see Love Actually with my friend and our moms. It was a fun little girls’ night out at the Tampa Theatre. I hope they do something similar next year because it really was fun. I’ve listened to the soundtrack to the movie a lot and I’ve seen bits and pieces of the movie over the years. For some reason though, I had never seen it all the way through in one sitting. What perfect way to get into the holiday spirit!
It’s hard to believe Christmas was the same trip. It feels like a lifetime ago in a way. I spent so much time wrapping presents, but I actually loved it. I set up shop at the kitchen table and took an entire afternoon to get everything wrapped. Not just what I got my family, but I was recruited to help wrap other people’s gifts as well, haha.
My mom and I had hot chocolate on Christmas Eve. We weren’t quite into the puzzle just yet. As soon as we got into it though, we spent every single night slaving away over the stupid pieces. We couldn’t stop and it started to drive us crazy.
Hannukah and Christmas overlapped this year and you better believe my family took advantage of it. My mom surprised us with these Vineyard Vines shirts and I honestly wore it every night to bed– so soft. Every night we get dark chocolate as our Hannukah gift. (Please note: it’s the same bar of chocolate and my mom keeps regifting it– a family joke that somehow never gets old.) On the first night, though, we all got Hamilton books!!! I can’t wait to dig into it.
This is little Anna Lynn. She started walking at 10 months old and now, at 11 months, she is running around. She is going to be giving everyone a run for their money. She’s kind of shy, but finally warmed up to me as I saw her a number of times between this recent trip and my Thanksgiving trip. It felt like a major win in my book!
Oh and I got to see my friend Ashley and her sister (who has been a long time TCP reader/commenter… like way back in the day!). They drove over from Orlando and we had lunch at Oxford Exchange. We didn’t plan it, but our outfit coordination was spot on. (I actually almost wore the same bow sweater and changed at the last minute.)
Then there’s this little munchkin! Emerson has grown up so much since the first time I met him four years ago! I always see him while I’m in Tampa, of course, and I swear he gets sweeter and sweeter every time. My mom’s friend had a birthday party at a bowling alley and it was SO MUCH FUN. (I came in second place the first round beating Emerson’s dad and losing to his uncle– Anna Lynn’s dad hahaha.) Emerson would give me a HUGE hug, jumping into my arms, every time I bowled even if I got a gutter ball.
Wearing: Floral Pants (c/o)
And a huge thing? I GOT MY HAIR CUT. A lot of it off. After I got my hair cut this summer, I wasn’t completely happy with one chunk of it. Instead of having a long bag, I had what I felt like a mullet… a super short section on one side of my head and long hair everywhere else. I finally had enough of it and got the courage to chop it off. I had been considering it for a year, since I saw The Intern and so far, I absolutely LOVE the new ‘do! Emerson’s mom is actually our hairdresser in addition to being our friend! Email me if you’re looking for an amazing hairstylist in South Tampa and I’ll pass along her information.
Ah, so overall it was a wonderful trip. I already miss it and will have to book another trip soon.