Friday Faves Edition 60


It’s Friday! Did ya’ll miss me last Friday? I missed all of you!

That Thursday was a full day of travel for us.

We arrived at the airport in Aruba early since we knew that U.S citizens go through customs at the airport in Aruba instead of when they land in the U.S.

Based on our time waiting in customs at the D.C. airport after our return from Europe last spring, I’d have to say this process was much quicker.

We also only took carry-ons (raise your hand if you audibly gasped). I’ll be sharing some things I learned about that in a future post. We had a direct flight down to Aruba but had a short layover in Boston on the return. After landing in D.C., we made our way to our vehicle for the 3 1/2 hour drive home. We collapsed into bed around 1 a.m. Friday.

Friday Faves.

Of course, I have so many Friday Faves to share.


We spent spring break in Aruba.

I did share some of our travels on my Instagram stories.

I’ve saved some of them to the Aruba recap on my Instagram highlights if you’re interested in seeing those.


We arrived in Aruba on the day before Easter.

That day we had a leisurely day.

Easter Sunday, we had a snorkeling excursion booked.

Just prior to our vacation, I read this post on Becoming Minimalist. It talks about jumping while you can. It resonated with me because this year for me is about pushing comfort zones even more. It is about learning to dare greatly.

And so I knew that I would attempt new things.


I have snorkeled before. I did not enjoy it. I always felt like I was struggling for air (which makes me feel claustrophobic). I swim, but would not consider myself a “strong” swimmer. However, when we went over the Antilla wreck, which is in 50-60 feet of water (well out of my comfort zone from a depth perspective) I decided to go in the water. I didn’t dive below the surface..and I didn’t stay in as long as everyone else

…but I jumped.

The second snorkeling spot was 10-12 feet deep and was my favorite of the three. The water was so clear and the fish were stunning. Miss Sunshine captured a video of me at this location.

Rope Swing.

At our third snorkel stop, which was about 14 ft deep, you had the option of swinging from the rope swing into the water.

I didn’t think that I was going to attempt it.

But then I remembered about wanting to push myself…I remembered how I was so fearless when I was younger

…and I jumped.

(yes, there is a video of that. no, I won’t be sharing it)

I plan to do a longer post about our snorkeling trip in the future (and here it is), but we absolutely loved it (minus the fact that I was the one person on the ship who got a bloody nose when jumping from the rope swing. (note to self: if you plan on holding your nose, take the nose ring out)


Safari Tour.

If you saw Wednesday’s post where I shared some photos from Aruba, the one above will look familiar. This was from our safari tour. I’ll be sharing more about that in the future, but it was an awesome day out as well.


Tube Ride.

Miss Sunshine had already convinced her dad and Big Mr. to go on a tube ride earlier in the week. We had loved our snorkeling tour so much that we had booked another one for the day before our departure. Unfortunately, they had some technical difficulties and had to cancel our trip. Miss Sunshine really wanted me to tube with her. I really didn’t want to tube

…but I decided to jump.

Even though I was petrified most of the time, I can say that I’m glad that I did it. The ride itself wasn’t scary…it was tons of fun. I was worried about flipping into the water (which had happened on their last tube ride).

We used to have a boat and a tube. I have a distinct memory of flying out of the tube and having the wind knocked out of me as I landed into the water.

I was in my early 30’s then…how much worse would it be at 40!

My secondary…yes secondary…fear was that a shark might be lurking below the surface. The last time I had fallen out of a tube was in Lake Placid (Florida) and my fear of alligators is stronger than that of sharks.

I held on for dear life on this tube ride. So tightly, that my biceps hurt for the next two days and I’m still sporting a friction burn on one of my knuckles.

…but I jumped (metaphorically).




While I absolutely loved the sunshine and the salt air, one of my favorite parts of the trip is that we made so many memories.

I cherish these moments with my children. Big Mr. heads off to college after this summer. Mr. D is only a year behind. Miss Sunshine is around a little longer, but I know that it too will pass quickly.

These are fleeting moments with all my children still living at home and I am searing them into my brain.



Sunshine and Salt Air.

But I’m not gonna lie, the sunshine and salt air did make the memories a little sweeter.

These photos of my teens were taken at Baby Beach. I wish we’d have spent more time there, but it wasn’t in the cards that day.



While this week has mostly been playing catch up on emails, reflecting on last month’s challenge, going to soccer games, taking care of household stuff, and finishing up some loose ends for my trip to London and Scotland next month, I did give myself a gift.

If you saw Tuesday’s post, then you already know that day was my 19th wedding anniversary.

Your Instagram bio is supposed to be important for people deciding whether or not they are interested in following you. I’ve always struggled with exactly what I’d like it to say. You only have so much space.

Not long ago, I took out the section that stated where I had lived to add the lines with #travel and #nature and the wannabe photographer and wordsmith. The hubby thought I should take out the word “wannabe”. While I did agree to some level, I also left it there to keep my fear of failure satisfied. If I said “wannabe”, I was acknowledging that I have a long way to go.

…but I also wasn’t giving myself credit for how far I’ve come.

Or giving my dreams the fair shot that they deserved.

So, on my anniversary, I gifted myself with the removal of that word. In doing so, I felt that I gave myself permission to keep growing and granted my soul a belief in myself.

Do you have dreams that you want to pursue, but you let fear hold you back?


This week I’ve chosen a song by Sleeping at Last. I love his music and had a hard time choosing which song. I chose this song because it reminds me of the commitment that I made when I chose to have children. Those commitments have been at the forefront of my thoughts this week.

I hope that you have a soul-filling weekend and smooth sailing throughout next week.


Let your light shine!


13 thoughts on “Friday Faves Edition 60

  1. Good stuff! I think your kids are definitely the right age to make the most of this trip and it looks like y’all had a swell time! 🙂
    I liked snorkeling, but not scuba. I did the parasailing, but wouldn’t do the bungee. I liked skiing and tubing when I was younger. Now I’d probably only do the snorkeling. And let’s face it, I don’t really wanna be in the clear water places now. I do think though, like anything else, it’s an experience one should have at least once!

    1. I think the kids were a great age for the trip and we did have a lot of fun! 🙂
      I haven’t tried snorkeling. Miss Sunshine and the hubby were going to do the parasailing, but it was a long wait for a short ride. That was when she convinced me to come along on a tube ride! We used to have skis along with the tube. I never loved it.
      I’m really more of a float in the water or read a book on the sand while admiring the pretty colors, but I’m glad I tried so many things. And I’d definitely snorkel some more!

  2. Wow. What an exhausting summary. I am glad you are back. Was wierd not having a Friday fave to comment on. Although I must admit that since I was in NYC last weekend, it didn’t cross me mind until about 2am. I know I’ve said it before but searing those memories in is something I kind of regret, although I am making as many as I can with Miss Independent before she heads out West this summer. It was the oldest birthday today. He is in Denver and turned 22. 22? You have to be kidding me. And then Mr Ivy put his deposit down for Spain last week for his year abroad so not only will the 3 be our but they will also be away. Like really away and that really is difficult. But my one piece of real good news is that my theatre kids were selected to go to Edinburg August of 19 to perform in the Fringe festival. And what is even better is that I get to go this August for orientation. I thought it would be cool to share with you as your pictures raced through my head. In any case, welcome back! I love snorkeling and I’ll be looking for your video on one of those viral video sites lol. Your kids won’t be able to keep from sharing! Well at least mine wouldn’t. Sorry so long a message. Guess 2 weeks needed to be made up!

    1. I hope that you had a great time in NYC. I haven’t been there yet, but now that we have a train that goes there, we are adding it to our future list.
      It is crazy how fast the time with our children seems to go. Happy belated birthday to your oldest. I’m sure I will turn around and mine will be 22. The oldest has chosen a college not too far from home. I think it’ll help me ease into the transition. lol.
      That’s so exciting that they’ll be in the Fringe Festival! I haven’t been in Edinburgh at that time of year, but I’ve heard it’s wonderful. I guess you’ll get an idea of what’ll be like when you attend the orientation! I head over to Scotland in a little over 3 weeks and I’m so excited!!
      I really did love snorkeling. I need to try to get out and do it more often. 🙂

  3. I completely agree with removing the word “wannabe”. You write wonderfully, and your photos make many other so-called bloggers look very ordinary indeed.

    1. Thank you Jonathan. That is very kind of you to say. I’m learning to keep creating even when that inner critic starts making me question my work. It’s a process. 🙂

  4. So glad you decided to “jump” so many times!!! WAY TO LIVE😊
    I also struggled with removing the “wannabe” from my bio, but had to make room for the brand ambassador tag line-only reason it had to go, still don’t think of myself as a photographer!💕

    1. Thanks DeeDee!!!
      I think the problem is the “comparison trap”. There were always be better photographers than me. I should just admire their work instead of thinking that means that mine is less than. It’s a work in progress. 🙂
      Congrats on the brand ambassadorship!!

  5. Aruba sounds absolutely INCREDIBLE! My best friend went there for a honeymoon and it sounds soo good. Annnnd I was one of the ones who audibly gasped. Good for you! I don’t think I could do that though?! I need to follow you on Insta!!! Ok done! I feel much better now, haha. How exciting with the snorkeling! Good for you for facing your discomfort & fears (especially with the jumping too!)!

    I just adore how you are focusing on treasuring every moment <3

    This post was amazing & such a fun read. Thank you for sharing your adventures, Amy!!!

    1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post. Aruba was so awesome! I loved snorkeling and will definitely be doing more of that in the future. I’m loving to learn how to push outside of my comfort zones and to treasure moments much more. <3

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