Good. Not So Good.

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– Randomly, from the backseat one day Kingston said, “I’m so filled with joy!”

– The day Anderson got a job offer from his new company, one of our favorite couples called and said they wanted to take us out to celebrate. So they did. And we had THE BEST time! Then a few days later the wife half of that couple taught Kingston to swim! We had been really working on it all summer, and she helped him finally “get” it. We were at their pool one day and she nonchalantly told me that she used to teach swim lessons and asked if I cared if she worked with Kingston a little. And boom. He’s a fish now! This is just part of why they are some of my favorite people!

– My Mom is a get things done kind of person. I’m not. Okay. That’s not true. I am about a lot of things, but it’s hard for me to get motivated about some stuff. So my Mom and I have a lot of conversations around my house like this — Mom: “Lyndsay I’m dying to trim the branches off those trees in your front yard.” Me: “Well I’m not, so…” Enter my mom bringing her clippers with her the next time she comes over. This is how a lot of stuff gets done at my house.

– We’re headed to Michigan to visit Anderson’s brothers! Both of their wives had babies last month, so we’re going to pinch cheeks and sniff baby heads!


– Kingston in Target, “I grew up here, Mom. Didn’t I?”

– Have I mentioned just how much Kingston loves cars? He knows the make and model of every car we pass on the rode. And his latest thing is picking up the free car sales booklets from the front of the grocery store. He gets so excited every time we get a new one. What he doesn’t get excited about is eating dinner. So one night I read an Auto Trader to him while he ate dinner. It was ridiculous. “First we have a 2006 Chevy Impala with leather seats! For only $2,999!”

– I want a mini-pig. Basically, you can take the girl out of the country… Think about it though, how cute would it be to have a little pig? We could take it for walks around the neighborhood! And I could name it something ridiculous! But if I want a legit mini-pig (teacup pig?) it’s going to cost around $900. Is it just me, or is that insane? The other option is to buy one that’s advertised on Craigslist for $250 then find out later that it’s not so mini after all and be stuck with a 200lb pig in our house.

– Every time one of our pastors uses an American football analogy during a sermon, Anderson leans over to me with a confused/slightly annoyed look and asks, “Is this a football thing?”

– You know how I told y’all about filming a video with Kingston the other day? (Click here to catch up.) Well, there’s more to that story. On the last Sunday of the series, the pastor we were working with asked us if we would bring Kingston to their church, so he could get on stage and do the 10 Commandments live. We asked him. This was his response: “I’m gonna be grumpy that day and cry, and knock the microphone off the stage on to the people.” We declined.

– This has happened twice: the doorbell rings in the middle of the day, and I answer it (with Kingston right behind me) to find two really nice Jehovah’s Witness ladies. They ask me if anyone in our house speaks Spanish. I tell her no. One of them frowns and looks down at a paper (I’m guessing it has our name on it) then looks at me again. She’s skeptical now and obviously thinks I’m lying. “Are you sure?” she asks. “No Spanish speakers?” I tell her I’m sure and I hope they have a good day then start closing the door just as Kingston excitedly yells out, “Si! Si! No Spanish here!” It’s the only Spanish he knows.

August 27, 2015 - 7:32 pm

Lyndsay Hyatt- Almeida - :) So true!!

August 27, 2015 - 7:32 pm

Lyndsay Hyatt- Almeida - Ha!! Yes he is! :))

August 27, 2015 - 6:04 pm

Peggy Hyatt - laughter is how we cope with life! I love it oink oink

August 27, 2015 - 5:09 pm

Danielle Thomas - That child is a HOOT! Keep 'em comin' so we can laugh!

August 27, 2015 - 3:45 pm

Lyndsay Hyatt- Almeida - He's so you. I mean me. But also you.

August 27, 2015 - 11:44 am

pinkcoffeephoto - Ha! We get lots of Spanish mail too! Well, I’m just glad you dropped the “De.” It’s hard enough for people to say Almeida by itself. :)

August 27, 2015 - 11:40 am

Milton Almeida - Truly interesting, delightfully funny!
Oh, some Americans (especially the JW kind) think that any surname that does not sound Anglo is automatically Spanish, including, without limiting, Asian last names.
The truth is that Almeida is very much a Iberic name, from the Iberic Peninsula, comprised of Portugal and Spain, except that most Spanish Almeyda… you guessed, are spelled with a “y” and the Portuguese (thank God!) Almeida is spelled with an “i”.
Almeida is a “table” – geographically speaking – city on North Eastern Portugal, borderline with Spain and it is so high that it was an observation point for Napoleon. As per my research most of our relatives come from that region and for those obsessed by ancestry, usually our surnames is 1/3 Moor, 1/3 Jew, 1/3 European, although specifically our ancestry may not be any of it, but just some people from the town “of Almeida”, since originally our last names is “from the house OF Almeida” (de Almeida). When I came to the USA I removed the De because it was being attributed as my last name. Then I named all my sons Almeida, without the archaic (but charmy) “De”, meaning “from the house of”.
I just thought every Almeida would know these facts! Fascinating facts about our names! Oh, BTW, it comes from the Arab “Al maida” meaning “top, or a geographical table”.

August 27, 2015 - 3:06 pm

Anderson Almeida - hahaha, you are so funny!!!! thanks for the laugh Lyndsay Hyatt- Almeida

Top 10 Summer – The 10 Commandments Sermon Series

While Anderson and I were both freelancing this summer, we had the opportunity to work on a fun project together!

A local church, The Crossing Church, asked us to do the graphics and video for their summer teaching series. They were studying the 10 Commandments but wanted the graphic pieces to have a summer feel. The series title was “Top 10 Summer,” and they had a lot of fun with top 10 lists and games each week. I thought they did a great job making a really heavy subject engaging, relatable, and even fun. I mean, as fun as studying the law and realizing how completely inadequate we are to keep it, can be. (Thank you Jesus for grace!!)

Anderson used our in-house talent for the video. And at the end we dramatically declared, once again, that we will never ever use Kingston Rock for a video again. EVER. His demands are worse than Maria Carey’s. “I’ll do this for skittles. No. I don’t want all the skittles. Just the green ones.” Jeez. You’ll notice his mouth is full of something during parts of the video (green skittles). Never again. Ever.

But guess what? We all know the 10 Commandments now, and I don’t think we’ll ever forget them! :)

top 10 summer - instagram

Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

PS – Anderson and I think it’s so important for us to learn these truths and teach them to Kingston. Not so we can try to be perfect; none of us can keep the 10 commandments! But to remind us how much we need a Savior! (Our pastor talked about this last Sunday. Listen from around 8:00 – 11:00. Or just listen to the whole sermon!)

And if you live in the Julington Creek area, check out The Crossing Church! We think you’ll like it. :)

August 27, 2015 - 7:32 pm

Lyndsay Hyatt- Almeida - You're not old!!

August 26, 2015 - 2:52 pm

Peggy Hyatt - well all I can say is YES! that is my grandson! and he is precious. Proud of his mom and dad for hiding Gods word in his heart!! Bible verses I learned as a child I still know and I am old :)

August 25, 2015 - 7:10 pm

Anderson Almeida - yeah, i had to remove the greenscreen but his mouth was also green do to the skittles, he didn't stay under the lights, yikes! this kid is a true diva!

The Palms Retro Hotel

I love social media for so many reasons! But one of the biggest is the way it allows us to find out about and connect with other businesses, like the Palms Retro. The owners of the retro-inspired hotel reached out to us recently (thanks to Instagram!) and invited us to enjoy a little stay-cation in our own backyard. So last week we packed our bags and headed a few miles east for a relaxing stay in Atlantic Beach, one of our favorite areas of Jacksonville. The Palm Retro is a motor court style hotel that was built in 1947 and renovated in 2009. Back in the 40’s and 50’s, motor court inns dotted the beach area, but now the Palms Retro is one of only two hotels that have maintained the historical integrity of the era. I love all things retro, so staying at the character-infused hotel was a treat!

One of my favorite features of the hotel is the beautiful lush courtyard. It’s very “old-Florida” and feels like a step back in time. It’s the perfect spot to relax in the evenings or enjoy breakfast first thing in the morning. I also loved the kitschy, themed rooms. Each of the hotel’s 10 rooms are different and decked out with unique touches. (Our room “The Tube” featured a giant photo of Barney Fife!) There’s also a diner-themed common area where they serve breakfast and coffee each morning. Kingston loved all the decorations! And the building itself is painted in my favorite colors, so I took more than a few pictures of the exterior!

The hotel is located just a few blocks from the busy Beaches Town Center, so we opted to walk to dinner (then later to dessert!) but also drove to some shops and the beach a couple of times too! If Kingston hadn’t been with us we would have taken advantage of the hotel’s bike rentals. Anderson kind of made me promise to do this with him soon, even though I can’t really ride a bike-ha!! The Palms Retro’s mission is to connect guests with the local culture, so they established co-branding partnerships with a few businesses in the area: Mezza Restaurant and Bar (one of my favorite restaurants at the beach), Drift | Modern Boutique, and Yoga Mix. Guests receive a discount by showing their room key at these spots. And speaking of room keys… I don’t remember the last time we stayed in a hotel that required actual keys to get in the rooms!

We loved our stay at the Palm Retro, and I’m excited that we now have a fun, local place to suggest to friends and family who visit from out-of-town. Staying here will make them feel like they’ve really experienced the area, and that’s one of my favorite parts of travel… living like the locals! I also think it would make the perfect spot for a girls’ trip or family event. How much fun would it be to rent our the whole place for a wedding or family reunion?!

Thanks to the Palms Retro team for making our stay so enjoyable! We will definitely be back!



August 27, 2015 - 7:33 pm

Lyndsay Hyatt- Almeida - Thank you!!

August 26, 2015 - 2:56 pm

Peggy Hyatt - too cute! glad yall had fun!

August 21, 2015 - 5:37 pm

Lyndsay Hyatt- Almeida - Yes! I can totally see you in the Marilyn Monroe room. :))

August 21, 2015 - 4:25 pm

Jessica Thornton - SWOON! I really want to stay here!

Local Love – Hope’s Closet

We had only been attending our church (Eleven22) for about a month, when one Sunday morning, they announced plans to open a thrift store this fall. Yes. A THRIFT STORE! What? I looked at Anderson and reverently whispered, “It’s a sign.” I mean, we already knew this was the church for us, but that just sealed the deal. I heard angels singing a cleaned up version of “Thrift Shop.” It was a big moment.

The thrift store, Hope’s Closet, is part of the first phase of Eleven22’s Community Transformation Center. The 15,000 square-foot retail store will offer gently used clothing and home goods as well as new items from the church’s ministry partners Okoa Refuge, Rethreaded, McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation, The Carry Cross, and Alfies Clothing.

One of the things I often think about while thrifting (other than “Why don’t we own a pickup truck, so I can buy this amazing armoire?” and “There has to be a better way to flip through these sleeveless shirts than touching all of them right on the armpits!”) is how hard it would be if I had to shop for my family exclusively at thrift stores. It’s one thing to do it for fun. But I can’t imagine how it feels to not have any other options. When I start thinking from that perspective, most thrift stores suddenly look dark, dirty, and even depressing. That’s why I love the mission of Hope’s Closet: “Our mission is to glorify God by providing affordable merchandise in a dignified retail setting that will allow us to disciple people, fund the Transformation Center’s programs, and promote and support our ministry partners.” I love that word – dignity! A sense of pride and self-worth makes so much difference in people’s lives.

The big Hope’s Closet grand opening is this Friday, and Kingston and I got to tour the (beautiful!) space earlier this week. I’m excited to share a little sneak peek with all of you! If you’re a seasoned thrifter, you won’t believe this store. It is not your typical thrift store! The thought that went into every detail is so obvious from the moment you walk through the doors, and the small army of volunteers were still working hard on all the final touches while we were there.

If you’re local, I hope we’ll see you at the grand opening Friday morning. And if thrifting scares you to death, this really is the store for you. Read this post I wrote last year with “10 Tips for Thrift Store Shopping” and come out to the big event! There’s even a fashion show at 10:30am! I planned to be part of it, because A FASHION SHOW IN A THRIFT STORE is basically my dream come true. (I need emojis on this site. This is where I’d put the weird one eye open with the tongue out smiley! Just imagine it.) But then I remembered we have preschool open house at the same time. And you know, mom first. But we will be there some time that morning to show our support, and to fight you for some of the things we spied during our tour!


When we got there Monday morning, they were putting up the sign. And since my side-kick is 4-years-old, we had to stop and watch for a while.


A prayer tree – where people can write down requests and attach them. And someone will actually pray for each one!


I loved all the signage… and of course the chandeliers!


I want to give you a really clear description, but it’s hard when you’re thinking in terms of thrift stores.
So think more Altar’d State meets the cute baby that Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters would have. That helps, right?!
The merchandise looks/feels more like a high-end consignment shop with prices that are pretty consistent with a chain thrift store. More helpful?
If not, you just need to come check it out!


And yes, I found a tacky John Travolta picture. Because no thrift store is complete without one.
And let’s be honest, that’s just the kind of treasure some of us are looking for. I mean, not me obviously…


The jeans display!!! Seriously though.


Ironically, if there’s one item of men’s clothing I loathe, it’s the pique polo. I seem to have been enjoying this particular one though. :)


I thought about rolling this up, putting it in my purse, and leaving the money tucked under the corner of that basket. Someone please hold this for me!


I honestly couldn’t believe all the displays around the store. Look at the tables the items are sitting on! They nailed the “dignified retail setting.”


I don’t think this rug is for sale (not that I broke a sweat looking under every inch of it for a price tag), but I will be inquiring!


The clothing is organized by size. Yes! In a thrift store!


Are you excited? Hope to see a bunch of you Friday morning!

August 24, 2015 - 1:10 am

Lyndsay Hyatt- Almeida - It is in Jax!

August 22, 2015 - 11:05 pm

Marilou WhoDat-DeVille Horton - Is this in Jacksonville? Gosh, I was hoping it was in Mandeville! Looks like an incredible place…love the prayer tree. I really miss seeing you, Kim!

August 21, 2015 - 4:32 pm

Patricia Frost - I would love to come there, what is next to your store? I am so happy for your store! God Bless!

Patricia Frost

August 21, 2015 - 7:35 pm

Jim Harkey - Gail, this is Jacksonville and very close to me.

August 21, 2015 - 7:16 pm

Gail Jones Howland - What town is this located in?

August 20, 2015 - 8:22 pm

Lyndsay Hyatt- Almeida - Me too, Jennifer!

August 20, 2015 - 8:22 pm

Lyndsay Hyatt- Almeida - They really have done a beautiful job!

August 20, 2015 - 8:21 pm

Lyndsay Hyatt- Almeida - Ha!!! You show come with us!

August 20, 2015 - 10:05 am

Evelyn Odom - Where is this located, didn’t see an address?

August 19, 2015 - 9:38 pm

Ginger - Thanks fr the tour. I love that rug as well as the pallet wall. The displays are very creative. A nice place for a good cause.

August 19, 2015 - 9:05 pm

Jennifer Fender-Pierce - Wowie wow wow. Jaw dropped.

August 19, 2015 - 7:13 pm

Peggy Hyatt - I cant wait to go!! someone buy that towel for Lyndsay so she can give it to me LOL

August 19, 2015 - 2:42 pm

Pam Naumann - I am super excited about this thrift store! Love that it will benefit those in need!

August 19, 2015 - 5:42 pm

Laura Brown - Wow…what a great job setting this up! Looks amazing, and you've thought of everything. Well done! Can't wait to come in!

August 19, 2015 - 5:25 pm

Lyndsay Hyatt- Almeida - Yes! Me too!

August 19, 2015 - 2:18 pm

Jennifer Grantz Pearce - Can't wait to visit, and I love having a great place to donate to!

Happy Birthday, Jack!

Jack’s birthday was this week, so we had a little party for him last night.

It seemed like the right thing to do since he’s been with us for about two years.

Jack is Kingston’s imaginary friend.

Yeah. We’re delusional enablers.

Sometimes I’m completely aware that parenting has led me to do some of the weirdest things, but for some reason, when Kingston informed us that Jack’s birthday was coming up and he thought we should have a party, it seemed like a completely logical idea. We agreed that YES we should have a party. (Kingston acknowledges that Jack is pretend and he really doesn’t talk about him much anymore, so it seems that the kid just wanted an excuse for a party which is really just an excuse for treats.)

We were in Target discussing what kind of cake Jack wanted but Kingston thought he would probably like cookies better. And that’s when I saw my opening, I suggested that Jack would probably like Milk Bar cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow cookies (one of MY favorites). I mean, listen, if we’re using Jack to get what we want, then let’s go all out here. As we were telling Anderson about our cookies purchase I started thinking that maybe we’re all seriously nuts. I mean who does this? I’ve never read a parenting book, but this seems like the type of thing that might be frowned upon? I guess he can just add it to the long list of things he’ll be seeing a therapist about one day.

But then on the day of the party I went to lunch with my two of my best girlfriends and told them about the big event. And they didn’t look at me like they were concerned. Maybe it was because I brought them some of the delicious cookies, but they just laughed and said to make sure I wished Jack a happy birthday for them. Then later that night, after our big sugar high, my mom left a voicemail on my phone singing happy birthday to Jack and saying she had a present for him. To which Kingston replied, “Well, he’ll need someone to help him open it… and play with it.”

I don’t know y’all. I think he’s onto something.

jack birthday9blogjack birthday2blogjack birthday3blogjack birthday4blogjack birthday1blog

PS- You need to buy some of these cookies. Throw a party if you need an excuse. Any party. A hot wheels wedding? I don’t know.

August 7, 2015 - 11:48 pm

Ginger Hardwick Holliday - LOL Brilliant!

August 7, 2015 - 7:03 pm

Peggy Hyatt - Life is too short!! I am so glad yall are having fun !! love the decorations…

August 7, 2015 - 6:55 pm

Ferrell DeWitt Long - Happy Birthday, Jack!!! Our oldest son, Brad, had his imaginary friend, Casper, but I don't remember any birthday party for him. He usually stayed on the ceiling and would eat Brad's food when he wasn't looking! :)

August 7, 2015 - 5:30 pm

Brenda McCollum - I think he outsmarted his parents and played you like a well tuned instrument. Way to go Kingston! Ha!

August 7, 2015 - 5:13 pm

Melissa Ginkel Hollister - You two are pretty much at the tippy top of my "rad parent" list. You are amazing in so many ways. Props to you both for being part of his world and not putting all the pressure on him to be just part of yours ??????

August 7, 2015 - 10:57 am

Danielle Thomas - You go , little Mama!

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