Last week, Jon and his wife, Erika were here for a visit, and so while the week was not busy with work (purposefully scheduled so as not to interfere), we were certainly busy, as we always are when they come.  It never fails that when company comes, life turns into a mini vacation or sorts, and so even though the wife was still working and Jon and I both had work to get done during their visit, we certainly had our fare share of vacation activities…

…starting with our day in St. Pete.  I’ve mentioned multiples times how much I love our time in this city.  We still have yet to venture anywhere off Central Avenue, but when you can have gourmet grilled cheese at Central Melt and fantastic coffee at Brew D Licious and cap it all off with enticing popsicles at Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops, why go anywhere else?  Of course, while we were in St. Pete, I couldn’t resists taking the kid’s daily portraits against the graffiti walls.  I tried to convince the girls to get more colorful popsicles, but my youngest daughter refuses to eat anything that isn’t chocolate (seriously, not any other flavor and no interesting chocolates, either…just straight, plain, boring chocolate), and I can’t really blame my eldest for wanting the horchata dipped in chocolate.  Alas, the walls were vibrant enough to create some great portraits, and when all else fails, give it an interesting crop!

One thing that was nice while Jon was here is that he was able to help me with portraits.  Doing these every day, sometimes they get overwhelming and dealing with the kids isn’t always the easiest (yes, so many have commented on Instagram about how well behaved and cooperative my kids are for these, and they are…mostly…but the finished result doesn’t always show what goes into it), and so having an extra pair of hands around made the idea of trying something new easier.  Like, having someone to hold my rickety ladder steady so I could actually stand near the tip top to get some nice areal shots of the kids, or someone to hold branches out of the way so my son could climb between trees and I could still get a clear shot of him from above.

Oh, if only he could be here every day…

Another thing that Jon is always good for is getting us to try something new.  In fact, no sooner did he arrive than so did a package he had delivered to our house containing Miracle Berry Tablets, made from Miracle Fruit, a fruit known to turn sour flavors sweet.  So, after dissolving tablets on all tongues, we ate lemons and limes and sour cream and it was crazy how sweet these things became.  No puckering allowed, when the limes create the best limeade I’ve ever had, and sour cream straight up tastes like cheesecake.  They wore off rather quickly, but the effect was undeniable.  It was a fun thing to try for an evening with friends, and I totally recommend it, especially with kids because what kid doesn’t love something sweet!

And, of course, we spent a lot of time outside.  It’s Florida, and it’s summer (of wait, I think that’s reason to stay inside), and so we definitely made time to head to the park with the kids and head to the beach for sunset, even if we had to dodge rain in the process.

As always, their visit feels too short.  Granted, I talk to Jon every day, but when he leaves I’m always a little sad that he hasn’t just moved here already (yes, we’re working on him).  Alas, until next time…

Song of the Week: So Sad So Sexy

 

This week was all about Swedish singer, Lykke Li.  I’ve been a fan of hers for a while, and loved many of the singles she was dropping this year, but I wasn’t prepared for the impact her album’s title track, so sad so sexy, would have on me.  Such a powerful piece of music, so soft and intimate yet laced with such incredible drama.  You can see every emotion.  This is how a ballad should sound, and it may very well be my current favorite song of the year.

Sabrina Carpenter, possibly the best thing to come out of The Disney Chanel since the early years when Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake were Disney stars, has announced to the world that she is released her third studio album at year’s end, and her first single is Almost Love, which is a pitch perfect club banger and shows that she is maturing in the same way that other pop sirens have.  I truly hope she doesn’t start getting too mature, though, and fall into the pattern set by Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato.  This isn’t because I think they should be muzzled, and I’ll be the first to admit that Demi and Miley both are created genuinely interesting and polished work (well, Miley’s latest was a mess, but we’ll forget that was ever dropped), but my daughter has already had to stop listening to Lovato (who she was a massive fan of) since her sexuality and use of particular words have overtaken her music, and so I really hope that Sabrina continues to mature musically without producing ‘mature’ music that I have to ban from my daughter’s Spotify.

Also, thank you James Blake for putting out another single, which I hope means that you’ll be releasing an album this year.  Don’t Miss It is a gem.

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