Category Archives: life stuff

HyggyhgghMIA, sort of…

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I have been missing in action lately, but for good reason…

I have finally made the switch from PC to MAC!!

I am the proud owner of a shiny new MacBook. So…I am in the process of figuring this transition out. I will eventually be migrating to a new format, so stay tuned!

I haven’t even begun editing pictures yet, but I do have many good ones to share…and stories, and even more fun stuff in mind for the future of this little blog baby of mine, all for the sake of my lovely reading audience.

Bear with me & I’ll be back soon!!!

p.s. I am always posting on Instagram, so follow my feed in the meantime!!

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Take a Hike.

lead the way.

Jack in the Pack

HAPPY

nature makes us happy

Fun in the Woods

be green

There are so many reasons why the fall is my favorite time of year, but one of my most loved adventures when the weather gets chilly, and the trees put on their show, is going out into the woods and taking it all in. Maybe it’s because this is the time of year when Mike and I started dating (fourteen years ago, thank you very much!). Maybe it’s because our first date away was to Vermont, where we hiked snow covered trails and walked on huge frozen lakes. Outside makes me feel so refreshed inside. It wakes me up and I feel like I can think more clearly.

I love that we have to bundle and layer. I love that the ground is covered in color. The air is crispy and fresh. And when the sun shines through a particularly bright bit of foliage? Nothing better, friends…Nothing. It’s like natures version of stained glass.

Saturday was stellar. We took the baby-carrying backpack down from the attic and hit the woods in search of “Lost Lake.” This was Jack’s first time and he LOVED it! I even got him to wear that super-adorable hat that I have been trying to get him to keep on for more than five seconds…maybe it was because he couldn’t reach his head to throw it off?
Despite the parked cars at the trail head, we only came across a few people (and two beautifully muddy and excited golden retrievers) along the way.
There were some real treasures to be found, and love was everywhere…as captured in these photos:

Tree of Love

 Love

heart
Finn had a great time scavenging, and running and climbing on the huge rocks. He found a cool “hook” that he carried and had such a good time poking at patches of moss, empty stumps, grabbing tree branches… And I couldn’t stop taking pictures. In all honestly, I could have stayed there, semi-lost, carefree and one with nature, all darn day. But Jack got heavy on Mike’s back, and the boys got tired, and hungry and…as boys do. But the short time inhaling the forest was enough euphoria to last all weekend long…

Get outside.  Take a hike.  And always follow the trails less traveled. 

(linking up with Annapolis & Company and Casey Leigh Wiegand)

xo

love

Paths

A Quick Catch Up – In Pictures

waterfall

tree hugger

roots

Trail Treasures

me and my bud

Jack in the leaves

Buried in Leaves

Pumpkins

pumpkin patch

Me and Roo

Pumpkin Head Antics

Pumpkin Head Outhouse

Where do I even begin??

It feels like it’s been so long since I’ve posted and we’ve done so many fun things over the past few weeks.

A few Fridays ago, I surprised Finn by picking him up about 10 minutes before school ended. It was a beautiful fall day and the foliage was at its absolute PEAK! We went hiking on some local trails that I haven’t visited in many years. I brought a little bag for him to collect some nature treasures. We came across a babbling brook and it took me a long time to pry him away from throwing rocks and sticks and leaves into the river. He loved watching them float away and wash down the mini waterfall. Boys. We saw some huge roots from fallen trees that shrunk my tall boy to a miniature version of himself. As we got toward the end of the trail, we happened upon a fire truck and some firefighters in the middle of the woods – turns out there was a brush fire they were trying to put out, so that was pretty exciting as well. It was SO great spending time with him by myself, something that doesn’t happen as often as it used to.

Although there are still plenty of leaves left on our trees, our yard is COVERED in fading reds, oranges and yellows – I love crunching through them, and the boys LOVE jumping in them. Mike and I haven’t begun bagging anything yet, and our raking has consisted of one pile that is continuously scattered again and again. Trucks are driven through it. Kids are buried in it. It’s been fun!! There are still many, many leaves to fall, so the piles will only grow…I’m sure we’re not alone.

My sister has officially moved away. Feelings are bittersweet. She previously lived in Manhattan, just a short train ride away. She and her husband have relocated to Denver, Colorado. While I thank her for moving to city that I envision as a really awesome place to visit, we’ll all miss having her so close by. It won’t be forever, (right Kristen??) but a lot of life will be lived in four to five years that we’ll have to share on-line. Thank GOD for social media!!! BUT – new chapters are ALWAYS exciting, and I know she (they) will do great things in the meantime.

We finally made it back to the pumpkin patch and took our annual hayride where “Pumpkin Head” hides throughout the woods, to be delightedly spotted by a bunch of giggling kids. He is one mischievous character. Proof is in the pictures above… (What is he doing in that outhouse you ask? “Pooping” according to Finn). The pumpkins were slim pickins, but we picked a nice, big, lumpy one – which we carved tonight, just in time for Halloween!

So that pretty much brings us up to date! Tomorrow is the BIG day. One of Finn’s favorite holidays. He has been counting down on his calendar for weeks. I told him only 3 pieces of candy tomorrow night… Is that parental cruelty? Wishful thinking? We’ll see how it goes…

And when the boys go to bed, I’m sure I’ll raid his stash for a few pieces myself. What? We can’t possibly have chocolate in the house and have it be ignored… besides, it’s bad for their teeth…Jack is too little…there are flavors they just don’t like. (Is anyone buying this???)

Happy Halloween Eve!!!

Do a deed of simple kindness; though its end you may not see…

Sparrow

Image via crushculdesac.tumblr.com

Do a deed of simple kindness; though its end you may not see, it may reach, like widening ripples, down a long eternity. ~ Joseph Norris

Every so often, there is a story that is heard, or read, or stumbled upon that just won’t leave a heart or mind without leaving a mark. Last night as I browsed my Bloglovin’ feed, a post about a 3 year old girl, Sparrow Song, who is undergoing her third (and final) heart surgery, stayed with me and has prompted me to spread the message of this brave, little soul.

I do not know this family. I do not even know the sweet mama whose post brought this to my attention, though I do follow her blog, boho baby bump, where the original post can be found.  Please take a moment to read it and be inspired by a small baby girl who has more courage than most grown-ups.

What I do know, is that through blogging, there is a community and friendships can exist between strangers, no matter the distance or the differences in each other’s lives.
I try to put myself in the position of this family. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to watch your baby go into surgery. To see her hooked up to monitors, and tubes, and have to sit and wait while putting every ounce of trust and faith in the hands of surgeons who are hopefully working miracles. Put yourself in those shoes. And then imagine if millions of strangers were uplifting your baby with the power of positive thinking and the power of prayers. I am calling attention to this family’s story because it somehow spoke to me, and I want to call attention to Sparrow, and to let her sweet “Song” reach the pages of other strangers, who if nothing else will keep her and her family in their thoughts, and prayers, or send a card, or a care package if so inclined.

It doesn’t take much to send a message of strength, unity, and optimism to those who need to feel some rays of sunshine in their lives…and an army of people doing it together will certainly make a huge difference for those on the receiving end.

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.”
~ Sally Koch

Spread kindness, be peaceful and share the love. xo

It Is What It Is…

DIY-ing with this guy-my helper!

DIY-ing with this guy-my helper!

I’m back.

It’s been a crazy, hard, chaotic month.  I am sad that I haven’t been writing more, but coming home from a job that has been stealing ALL of my mental energy is not exactly motivating.  Besides the fact that I could barely keep my eyes open past nine o’clock, and Roo went through two solid weeks of 18 month old sleep regression, mixed in with a few night terrors just for fun.  Yeah…it’s been that kind of month.

So, my feelings about this j-o-b thing…it’s taken some processing.  That comes in the form of over-thinking, over-analyzing, and second-guessing.  I wasn’t even sure I should post anything about it because things are still so up in the air, and no one knows what will be happening at the end of this month.  But then again, this is MY space, and I am not going to feel as if I can’t spill my guts about things that won’t leave my mind alone.  Writing about anything else would feel fake right now, though Mike is so supportive and the boys are great (other than that freak sleep thing – hope that’s over for good!!)

There have been lay-offs, and my boss was one of them.  Though she isn’t leaving until the end of the year, the rest of our team’s fate will be decided by October 28th.  A colleague and I just spent the last four weeks conducting numerous training sessions for a new system and new business process that a lot of people don’t agree with or like…and of course, the messengers (us) always bear the brunt of the aggression (them).  All of that happened while doing the rest of my normal job functions which already keep me busy on a normal day and…blah, blah, blah…so it goes.  My head has been spinning.

I remember talking about careers and jobs in my philosophy class in college.  Many people say that they don’t want their job to “define” them, but career is a big part of who we are.  Since this is the case, I want that something, the thing I have to do 40 hours a week (sometimes more), the place where I spend more time than with my sweet family, to be productive, inspiring, and fulfilling. 

Maybe this is an opportunity?  The fate of my job has already been decided.  It is out of my control – it is just a waiting game.  There are days when I feel like I can see where the senior Directors might fit me, but the more days that go by, and the whispers among our team take place, and questions from others are asked…the more I have let doubt creep in.  The fact is – no one knows.  Any of us can go.

But here is what I do know. 

I am smarter than my current job.  I am educated.  I am a creative, a thinker and a doer and I want much more of that to be my day-to-day.  So, as I have been repeating to myself again and again…It is what it is.  Whatever shall be shall be.  I’ve been seeking new roads, and maybe there is a plan in all of this that is out if my hands, but good things will come. 

In the meantime…I hope to be around this space a lot more.  This is my refuge and if I could swing it – THIS would be my day-to-day.  Maybe someday it will be!!!  (Hello, DREAM JOB.)  Props to the amazing bloggers that do it so well – photographers, crafters, foodies, fashionistas…you are all my hero’s and my inspiration (Casey Leigh, Annapolis & Co., Dear Baby blog, Under the Sycamore..to name only a few!).  Reading these blogs on particularly hard days and nights has been encouraging and has driven me to keep up my own posts, I’ll make it happen as successfully as they do someday too….and that alone makes me feel better.  So I will leave with a few October “heart swell” pictures…because this is after all, my happy place, and these are my happy peeps.

Watching Roo sleep while I get ready for work.   I heart them both.

Watching Roo sleep while I get ready for work.
I heart them both.

Playful spirit!

Playful spirit!

My Peeps. Building with Legos.

Flying.

Flying.

More to come … soon.  XO.

Navigating…

First Day of K!

So it’s been over a week, and among other things, I owe a first day of kindergarten update! We made it – and with big excited smiles to boot! Maybe I should re-phrase that – I made it, with tear ducts intact. I kept a brave face. Partly because there was no bus ride involved. For a few different reasons, we abandoned the bus and enrolled Red in a before and after school program that gives him time to play and socialize and get out some of his energy. It is a benefit for all of us.

The day before school, we met his teacher, and toured his classroom and met his classmates. He sat in his chair and checked out his new supplies. He was not nervous, but was quietly taking it all in. The next day, he woke up early and was ready to get out the door waaaaayyy ahead of schedule. Why can’t every day be like that???

He came home gushing about the day and his favorite part – recess, and how he saw some of his old pre-school buds, and played “poison ball,” which from what I can gather is just a cool way of renaming the classic game of dodge ball…yea, I’d say it was a good day of fun.

Never a dull moment with this guy:

goofball

So now, I am navigating the world of organized routines, guiding homework assignments, and trying to pack a healthy lunch that he will actually eat, that isn’t the same every day. Any and all suggestions are welcome to help with this one!! A few hints…he doesn’t like sandwich condiments, I tried pinwheels to no avail, we are in a nut-free classroom, and he has already said no to my novel snack idea of baby carrots with ranch dressing, but it’s not as if I haven’t tried to get creative.

Second day of K!

Second day of K!

Schedules are only going to get busier in the comings months. I have signed Red up for Lil Kicks soccer which takes place on Saturdays. He hasn’t really been exposed to organized sports, but only because we haven’t enrolled him until now, since he never expressed an interest.  It was on a whim that I signed him up.  I figured it’s just another way to meet new kids (and for me, parents), get some exercise and learn something new.  I can’t wait to be on those sidelines on Saturday mornings, hot coffee in hand, cheering for Red to “kick the ball!” and laughing at the hilarity of cleated kids racing back and forth with no attention to competition or teams, or even where their field ends and another game field begins…

Red also begins Sunday school this weekend. It was something I was putting off and procrastinating for whatever the reasons…I actually have no excuses that are very good. I have been wanting to get back to church myself, and after reading a few inspiring blog posts from some other amazing mamas, specifically this one from Natalie Falls (who has such an amazingly sweet family, and a way with words that is almost poetic, yet relateable), I realized that I needed to reach out and get it done, for both Red and myself. I was very honest in my email to the Sunday school teacher. Both of my boys were baptized at our church, but I sheepishly admitted that is the last time we attended (which was February!) I also explained that having an active 17 month old made it hard and suggested a “crying room” would make it so much easier for moms with littles. Lastly, I had to be very honest in my intentions, and explained that we (I) couldn’t always commit to attending the service / Sunday school every week, but that at least a few times a month we would be there. That was the biggest part of my hesitation, because would that be acceptable and ok???  To my relief, my message was met with understanding and support. So we’ll see how it goes and will hopefully try make it on a regular basis. 

In the meantime, we had a great Labor Day weekend and did not labor a bit…well, except for a day of cleaning and grocery shopping and cooking on Monday. But it paid off well – nothing like a nice clean home and a delicious meal to brighten an otherwise grey and gloomy day.  A colleague of mine had given me some fresh beets from her CSA (community-supported agriculture), as well as a huge head of butter lettuce, peppers, and green tomatoes. YUM!

So I bring you my roasted beet salad. I roasted with garlic, kosher salt and pepper at 450 for an hour.  I then topped mixed greens with the beets cut into chunks, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and balsamic vinaigrette.  I took inspiration from this recipe, courtesy of the blog Susan Nye – Around the Table, which I found by chance on Pinterest (of course) but her blog is pretty darn lovely, and I strongly suggest you giving roasted beets a try – your taste buds will thank you. 

Fresh

beets

beets

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese & Walnuts

And just in case you were thinking it – much as I would love to – I don’t think I could choose this as a healthy option in Red’s lunch…  🙂

Summer has been oh so good – but I look forward to navigating all of the “new” we are approaching in the coming months, as well as fairs, fall harvests and any recipe that involves pumpkin as an ingredient!  Bring on the golden rays of “Indian summer” and say goodbye to the humidity – that I can certainly do without.

p.s.  linking up with Annapolis & Company

Just because…

So, my bestie over at Kate’s Full Plate inspired me with her most recent post (above), and because I believe in this idea wholeheartedly, I wanted to share it.
It is my hope that it will prompt people to take the time to connect in a more intimate way (not thru social media) with the friends and loved ones that may have lost touch, and give the relationships that mean the most a little TLC in a sort of “Pay it Forward” kind of way…

I already have my special person in mind. Who will yours be?

katesfullplate

I’ve been reminded this week that it truly is a blessing to wake up each day.  I keep thinking about the fact that if today were my last day, I’d have a mountain of regrets. At first I considered all the things I never would’ve crossed off my bucket list – the places I hoped to visit or adventures I’d be proud to say I braved. But in the end, it doesn’t matter how many planes you’ve jumped out of or the number of countries you’ve travelled. Our lives are really summed up by the people we touch. Those that we leave behind are the only way to keep our memory alive.

Keeping in touch with people has never been my strong suit. I’m not good about calling just to say hi or reaching out to get together with friends. I have taken many relationships for granted and not tended to them like I should. I have…

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