A Weekend in Marco Island!

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Last weekend, Stevie and I took a little trip down to Marco Island, Florida! We wanted to celebrate our 12-year wedding anniversary (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) and also get a little babymoon in before this little one arrives in a few months. 5 months is always a sweet time to travel because it’s not too uncomfortable yet, so we planned a fast 2-night getaway so we could connect, read, eat and talk without our other two cuties pulling on our time.


We had never been to Marco Island. We had heard about it and had some flight points, so we picked the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and just went for it. The resort is gorgeously situated on the water, has a seriously delicious buffet breakfast and a killer amazing spa. We weren’t expecting the food on the island to be so legendary, but it is basically all Italian and all INCREDIBLE. I’m not usually one for pasta and pizza on the beach because, I don’t know, I don’t want to feel carb-loaded when I’m in a bathing suit, but being pregnant has it’s perks. I’m always bloated! So we ate like we were in Italy! And it was magnificent. Really and truly.

If you’re visiting, we ate a fancy, celebratory meal at Sale e Pepe (incredible fresh pasta and fish!) which was a quick walk from our hotel and has the most beautiful views of the ocean. The pizza and salad at DaVinci almost made us cry and of course we had to indulge in gelato at Dolce Mare where they also home make chocolate truffles. Get the caramel sea salt. More incredible pizza at Joeys and we also loved brunch in Naples at The Cafe on 5th where they had the best juices and crepes ahhhh. I’m drooling just typing all this.

We took lots of pictures, and these are all from my iPhone!

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^ The view from our hotel! So lush and tropical.

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^My 5 month baby bumps vs. Stevie’s (below)

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A lot of the buildings lining the beach were actually condos and not hotels. This is a place for snow birds and we were actually visiting in the off-season! It was truly tropical weather. Like HOT and humid. Most of the snow birds hang out down there Jan.-May.

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Old Navy Suit (sold out in yellow, still in stock in black top and bottom)

^One morning we decided to split up and do whatever we wanted! I crave alone time SO much and Stevie always wants to play golf, so that’s what we did! I ate breakfast alone (SUCH a luxury), laid on the beach and read, and then went to the spa for a pedicure. It was seriously the most indulgent morning I’ve had in years.

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^My tan is so fake you guys. I normally don’t lay out in the sun but since I was only out for about an hour on this particular morning I went for it and ended up spending most of that time in the ocean because it was just SO hot. But I really love getting an organic spray tan at RAW Bronzing Studio and that’s how I look and feel tan without actually baking for hours in the sun ;)

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^Just having a mermaid moment

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JCrew suit (past season, similar here) Target Hat, Target Sunglasses

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Target Dress, Target Sandals

^It was so dark by the time we went to our dinner at Sale E Pepe, but it really is worth visiting! It’s styled like an Italian art museum, with frescos painted on the walls and arched walkways and fountains. It’s really special.

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^That dinner view. I meannnnn.

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^It was so tropical! I couldn’t get over the bird songs and the lush flowers and exotic plants.

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^Downtown Naples! We didn’t get to spend a lot of time here, but we want to plan another trip to explore more because it was SO stunning. I mean, look at this pink building! Is this real life?!

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^Pistachio and Hazelnut gelato. Glory be.

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ASOS dress (sold out, similar here), Target Sandals

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This trip was truly a dream. We ate SO well, we read on the beach, we even went to the spa together and got massages one morning! Stevie hadn’t had a massage in 10 years, so you could say he was due for a de-stressing morning. He was so funny when he came out of the massage room - we met up in the little spa garden and drank cucumber water and he was like, “I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW GOOD THAT WAS.

I don’t feel bad about getting some pampering before entering into another season of sleepless nights and busy baby days. Feeling very grateful for the time we got together, to dream and talk and laugh and wonder about what the future of our family will be like with 3 kids! I am so so grateful to my parents for taking over and watching the big boys while we got away. This was an extra special trip, just getting Stevie all to myself for a few days of fun and relaxation. Hurray for beaches and babies!

Spontaneous 2 Days in NYC!

Two weeks ago, I said to Stevie, "Hey, I made a dinner reservation for our anniversary. I know we haven't talked about it, but I went ahead and just picked a spot and a time."

His response was annoying. He was like, "Well, I made a reservation, too. Can you cancel yours?"

Um, no. I'm certain I picked a better restaurant than whatever Ted's Montana Grill location he chose.

He continued, "I made a reservation at Fig & Olive." And then he just smiled sweetly. Because Fig & Olive is my all-time favorite restaurant in NYC.

So of course I freaked and jumped around, especially as he explained that he had a few work things to do in the city, but my mom was going to watch Everett for the quick 2-day trip, so I could just enjoy my days there and see friends, and of course, EAT.

And that is exactly what I did.

This trip was the BEST.

Being kid-free was so liberating. I could shelf all my mom duties for a few days and just do what I wanted - I rode the subway to some of my favorite spots, met friends all over town for lunches and dinners, and even shopped a little. And doing all of this alone was so therapeutic - I'm not alone too much in my life, and I actually really need that kind of time to recharge. I spent a lot of time wandering and thinking. About my family. About my dreams. About this blog. Lots of thinking. And coffee drinking :)

I've been so excited to visit this new landmark, which feels like it was erected just to beckon me back to town. Located in Brooklyn Bridge Park, this Oy/Yo sculpture was constructed after we moved away. My sweet friend Crystal met me at the park and payed homage (and took this silly photo) with me. It rained on us a little bit and cooled off all the steaminess and it was just wonderful wonderful.

From the Manhattan side of the bridge, it reads YO. I love that.

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I'm pretty sure this guy was delivering a bunch of Amazon Now packages. How cool, huh?

One thing I wished I had gotten a picture of is something else I saw on the street with zillions of people walking. I saw a mom rollerblading with her baby in a stroller. Yes, rollerblading. And while she was blading, she was leaning over and feeding her baby kale chips. Only in New York, guys.

Okay, so let me just give a little recap on meeting my girl Amber Fillerup of Barefoot Blonde. (I like talking as if we are actual friends, because, well, I am a geek and its my blog and I can.) For those of you who don't know her, she's a mega huge blogger who shares fashion, beauty and family travels on her enormously famous blog. #goals

One of the days we were in the city, she posted something on Instagram about having a little meetup down in Soho, so I asked Stevie if he wouldn't mind joining me to try to meet her before our anniversary dinner. He was soooooo cool about it and joined, even though he was one of like, 3 guys at the entire event. We waited in line for a bit, but there were good appetizers and drinks, so at least he got to snack before our dinner. But what was really cool is that I actually got to meet with her and talk with her and her husband (who takes all her photos and videos.) I told her I was a blogger in Atlanta (shameless, I know), and she shared some blogging insights and advice with me (some of which included Stevie quitting his job to help me full-time! bahahaha) and we talked about our kids being the same ages and then we took some selfies together. AND I gave her my card. I know you guys, I am kind of the worst. But I was also on cloud 9 and thennnn while we were talking, Glamour Magazine came up and took our photo together and posted it on their Instagram! I thought they might have been doing that with everyone, but nope, it was just me and Amber. I died a little bit. When I finally got in the cab to go to dinner, my Instagram was blowing up and I was having a moment like, what just happened??? Meeting her was so so cool. And you guys, she was seriously the kindest.

I got to see what the big times looked like. It didn't look bad.

So then we went to dinner. I shared more of these outfit details here.

9 years of marriage with this love! I can't even believe it. After the craziness of that blogger event, we settled into the nicest table in the house at Fig & Olive (per Stevie's request), and before we even got a chance to order they were greeting us by name and bringing me a mocktail. Because they knew I was bumpin'. This place is ridiculously classy.

Stevie and I spent the meal recapping our favorite moments and challenges of the past nine years together. We have done so much growing up over the past nine years, and I am so grateful that he has given me the space to continue becoming who I am. We have both pursued so many dreams over these years together and we've experienced the rise and fall of some of those dreams. Some dreams we are in the middle of, like raising a family and building careers and throwing all our extra energy (ha) into developing our skills and gifts. And some are still looming far ahead. But they are out there, waiting for us to pull them close and bring them into fruition.

I love this man more than ever.

Haha this post is long, wordy, and mushy. Is anyone even still reading?? Sorry guys, but not that sorry.

Oh, and then there are these angelic humans. Meet our BFFS in NYC, Anthony and Jess. They are the kindest, most generous and obviously GORGEOUS people. A few years ago we all lived on the same block on the Upper West Side, and we started attending their Hillsong small group when we discovered that we would most definitely be life-long friends. On this particular trip, they wanted to celebrate our anniversary with us, and treated us to the fanciest dessert and drinks I've ever had, at the Michelin-star Gabriel Kreuther on Bryant Park. Anthony even arranged a kitchen tour, and I got to gawk at all the gorgeous French cookware. This experience was a big surprise and we were sorely under-dressed, but somehow the ritzy hostess let us in anyhow. Anthony and Jess are two people who are really going for their dreams, and they continue to inspire me and Stevie in our faith and our our pursuits. And they are just a ton of fun. It really hurts saying goodbye to them every time.

There are so many other stories I could share from this amazing trip, but I'll spare getting overly wordy here. I came away from the city feeling inspired, loaded down with new ideas for this blog and with a fresh perspective on my life. I am so thankful that I had the chance to get away and celebrate with my love and be alone and see friends and eat so well. Especially after the past three months of staying in bed and trudging through the first trimester of this pregnancy :)

If you're heading to NYC soon, check out my NYC page or search "New York City adventures" in the search bar over on the right.