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Long Time Gone

January 29, 2014 by Britton_Riley

Yes, it has been a while. I can’t believe the last time I blogged was June 8th.

That’s about 8 1/2 months! A lot has changed for us over the last 8 1/2 months, so this post will simply be full of  ”get you up to speed” type of information. That’s right, I am going to attempt to pack        8 1/2 months worth of highlights into this one post…..

We sold our house and officially live in Florida now! We listed it in March and closed in mid September, which actually wasn’t too bad but seemed like an eternity. My mister’s new company moved us into “temporary housing” in June, which was so nice. They have been so good to us and although the transition & all the waiting has been tough, I know this was the right move for us….and Sir Higgins would agree. See, here’s one of the final days in the house and he is giving his Schnauzer look of approval! Handsome, huh!

Our temporary housing arrangement has been in an apartment complex, which hasn’t been ideal but worked while we were waiting for the house to sell. We were careful to find a place that the boys would be happy, with as little “stimulation” as possible so they wouldn’t drive the town crazy with barking. They have had a dog nanny named Ms. Betty, who they absolutely love. Ms. Betty comes when I work or if we are out for the day on the weekend. She takes the boys to the “bark park”, plays frisbee or ball with them, and gives them lots of love. It has been great and Ms. Betty has been such a huge blessing to us! When Ms. Betty tripped over one of her four legged “clients” and hurt her arm, her husband, Mr. Mark started helping her (because Fletcher is always VERY excited to get to the park and tends to walk the human who is supposed to be walking him) so Higgins and Fletcher got double the love from them! AND we get daily progress reports! It is so cute! It tells us if they walked, played at the park, who peed, who pooped, if someone seemed to be feeling a little glum, if they gave lots of kisses to Ms. Betty & Mr. Mark, if they needed a refresher on their water bowl….SO full service! Ms. Betty is AWESOME!!!

On August 2nd, our grandson, Kayden William, was so we are now “Grammy B & Paps” (as in Pabst Blue Ribbon….ohhh my mister….he came up with that one. Gotta love the guy!) We are definitely partial, but I do believe this is the cutest baby that ever was!

(Hi Kayden, what are you dreaming about, sweet boy?? Oh, snuggling with Grammie B…okay! Hehehe!)

Yes, I am the world’s youngest grandma at 33 years of age! (Remember, we don’t use the word “step” in our family…I am our son’s “other mother” because let’s face it, I love that kid as if I’d birthed him myself…which would have probably made me the world’s youngest mother as well…at the age of 10, so luckily I’m his “other mother” :) )

We celebrated 2 years of wedded bliss in October… the Bahamas!! Yup, another cruise! What can I say, we’re some cruisin’ fools. This time we cruised on Royal Caribbean, which was SO much nicer than Carnival….and the food was SO much better too! The cruise took us back to Nassau (our 3rd time there), but then the second day we were on an island called Coco Cay! It was so nice!! That was the highlight of this trip! (Besides the towel animals…I LOVE the towel animals! See the cute little elephant they put my sunglasses on?)

 October also brought my favorite holiday….Halloween and guess what my mister dressed up as for their work costume party…..

Larry the Crash Test Dummy! Clever, huh…especially since he works for a car dealership and all….but he didn’t win the contest. Oh well, maybe next year.

Our first Thanksgiving in Florida was a success as well. Since we typically host that particular holiday, everyone came to our apartment and we ate down at our clubhouse…poolside! What a beautiful day it was! The food was delicious, the weather was perfect, and it was so nice to have family together for the day.

Do you see my mother in law, relaxing in the sun? She never minds not having to be responsible for cooking :)

Speaking of cooking, this year we did something different…I wanted to do a little bit of a re-vamp for Thanksgiving since the weather certainly didn’t feel like the typical Thanksgiving that we have been used to so I asked my brother in law if he would please SMOKE our turkey this year and he was totally up for the challenge! (He has a huge smoker….I kept telling everyone that it was so big, it could fit a small child in it…just because I constantly got the question “will your 26 pound turkey fit in his smoker?”. It did occur to me just how wrong that analogy was to explain the size of the smoker….but it did get my point across that it’s a BIG stinkin’ smoker!)

While we “owned” that turkey, he traveled over 100 miles total. First from the grocery store to our place in Tampa, where I handed it off to my mother in law, who so graciously delivered it to my brother and sister in law’s house (don’t worry, we set him in the back seat of her car and even buckled him into his seatbelt! We certainly didn’t want anything to happen to our turkey before his big debut on the center of the Thanksgiving table), then on Thanksgiving day they brought him back to our place in Tampa all cooked and beautiful!

My mom kept calling him “Tommy the Turkey”….not sure why, as my dad’s name is Tom which makes it a little weird and creepy that she came up with that name for the bird but I digress….

He tasted even better than he looked, if you can believe that! Oh, and as luck would have it, my dad (Tom) is standing behind “Tommy the Turkey” in this picture, preparing to carve him up to be served.

Then in December, we went on another cruise! We have been on TWO cruises in just a short period of time. We live near a port now, so it is pretty convenient just to hop on a ship for a weekend and sail to someplace tropical and beautiful! I LOVE living here!!!

This time we went to Cozumel to celebrate my mister’s birthday. We had a blast!


My mister doesn’t know any Spanish and I know a little (po-kee-to ….that’s how you say “a little”, in Spanish!) so he asked me if there was anything he needed to know before we got to the port in Cozumel. This was perfect because all morning I had been trying to think of a cute phrase I could make him say in anticipation of the people in the market who would surely spot all these American tourists getting off this cruise ship, and try to get us to buy something. The phrase I taught him was….(now you have to say this in a sing-songy way with a bit of a southern twang…because that’s how I talk)…..are you ready?? It’s pretty creative and catchy…you may want to use this one for your next trip to Mexico….

Lo siento, No dinero! :)  

Translation: I’m sorry, I have no money.

Now you need to know that it’s all in the execution. It must be said in a cute, very innocent way, with a friendly smile on your face! You have to say it nice, like you are trying out the only spanish words you know. So they know you are trying out their language, but also getting your message out there. The last thing you want to do is offend them. So, what do you think? Cute, huh!

My mister sure liked it!

My laptop died…which is a big part of my absence from blogging. The geniuses at Apple told me that it is old and has bugs. (To me, that description fits an elderly dog, rather than a computer, but yet again, I digress….) And now I am told that the display is out. It’s definitely a sad Mac.

While people in other parts of the country are battling the bad weather these days, the high for today was 81 degrees here! Although I am enjoying all the beautiful pictures of snow that I am seeing, I really really love Tampa and wouldn’t trade my flip flops in for my Uggs any day!!

Remember Stacy, my best friend in Tennessee? Well she sent me this…her view on her way home from work today….

To which I replied “Eww” and then this picture of my view on my way home from a job interview….

And then when she got home, she sent the view of her front yard….which was beautiful by the way….

I am so glad she made it home safely in that muck!

….And needless to say, she and our other BFF Andrea will be flying into Tampa in just a few short weeks and I can’t wait!!!!


  1. belinda says:

    Your post made me rethink a cruise. I know you and Mom are such smart shoppers. If you ever find great places…either because they are unique or the price point is good please share. Enjoy you blog!

  2. Ruby says:

    I don’t know if you remember me..
    But I posted a comment back in October. I had questions over exercising with a scram on. I just wanted to let you know that I get my scram off in two weeks! I am so excited to finally be able to take a bubble bath!! Yippie! God bless, hope everything is well on your end. I plan to continue to live a sober life once I get my monitor removed. Getting a scram vs probation was the best decision I made. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have stopped drinking.

    • Britton_Riley says:

      Ruby, I sure do remember you! I am so happy to know that you are almost finished with your Scram. It wasn’t too bad, was it? I admire your choice to continue with sobriety after your Scram comes off. What a wonderful choice! I have found great support at a website called “In The Rooms”. You may want to check it out. They have online meetings and a great fellowship for staying sober. I am “scramgal”, so if you do decide to join, you should friend me! (It works similar to Facebook) Best of luck to you and please stay in touch!

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