The month of love

I’m not generally a big Valentine’s Day fan. It’s too commercial and I’d much rather get flowers on a random day than anytime around a holiday.  Sure, Robyn and I have some traditions for V-day, like buying a new specialty box of chocolate each year to enjoy together and going into Boston to get Burdick’s hot chocolate, but that is the extent of our V-day celebrations.  However, when you have a child, you are always looking for a way to make them feel special (year round) and I found something that happens to fit in well with the month of February.

I’m not sure where I found this, probably Pinterest, but I remembered that I saw something where someone cut out hearts in different colors and wrote down compliments for their child and then put one on their door each day for the month of February, so when they woke up, there was a new message for them to read. Since February is “the month of love” and also Ashton’s birthday month, I thought this was a really cute idea to do with Ashton to let him know how much he is loved and appreciated by Robyn and I.  It also tied in nicely with his preschool and their “kindness curriculum” the past two months.

So, I got to cutting out 29 hearts in pink, red and white and wrote things on them like  “You are kind,” “You are smart,”  “You have great ideas,” “We believe in you,” and “We love you.”

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I have loved hanging his hearts on his bedroom door each night after he has gone to bed and hearing about them when I pick him up from school in the evening.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to be woken up to a new surprise each day that let them know all the great things others feel about them? What a great way to start each morning, right?

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In a day and age where things are so busy, so structured, everyone is so pressed for time, people don’t take the time to let those in their lives know how they feel, it’s important to me that Ashton always knows how much Robyn and I love and appreciate him, and that while we have very small family, he always has him Mama and Dad to be there to support him.  This was just a small, fun way to do that and for us to celebrate the month of love at the same time!

 

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Question of the day

Do you celebrate Valentine’s day?  How do you let the ones you love know you care outside of “commercial” holidays?

A fun night at the park {in pictures}

Hi guys–I know I’ve been MIA lately…I’m sorry and I miss you all terribly.  I am in my busy(est) season of work right now and most days I barely have time to eat, so blogging has really taken a back seat, but I just had to share with you some new pics of my little monster.

I am lucky to have a great friend of mine, Michelle, who is also a professional photographer and she offered to take some pics of Ashton for me, so one night late in August we headed out for a fun night at the park and this was the end result. I am absolutely in love with these pics.  I know I say it a lot, but I cannot believe I now have a 3.5 year old preschooler! This boy just melts my heart.

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I can’t even pick a favorite, I just love them all for different reasons. She was able to capture this silly boy perfectly.  Thanks Michelle, you are the best! <3

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Question of the day

What is new in your life?

One Sentence per picture

Happy Friday my friends.  How are you all doing?  I am REALLY excited for the weekend and counting down the hours.  I have 20 minutes before my next series of meetings starts so I thought it was just enough time to check in and say hi.  I think today is a one sentence per picture kind of day, don’t you think?  I thought I’d share with you the last 10 pics I have on my phone and give you a little snap shot into my life lately, since I have been so great at posting 😉

              Pretending to ride a bear is actually pretty fun!

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Ending our weekend away on the best note possible!

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Meanest Mama award goes to me for not letting him play with electronics!

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This hasn’t happened since he was a newborn!

 

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A fun day at the park!

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The cure for a lazy summer day is a sand box and toys.

 

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We have a gnome living in our backyard tree.

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With this delivery,we now have every published Dr. Seuss book for Ashton!

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“Mama, you can’t catch me!”

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We break the rules and get the lollipop first!

 

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Well, that’s it for this edition of One Sentence per picture!  Have a great weekend!

 

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Question of the day

Tell me one good thing that happened to you this week!

Our night at the Ice Hotel

Happy Friday my friends, today I have a long post for you, so grab a drink and sit back and relax! 🙂 So, last week I posted about a little getaway we took. A few months ago there was a Groupon for a deal we couldn’t pass up. It was for a night at the Hotel de Glace (which means hotel of ice) in Quebec. It was designed in similar fashion to the original ice hotel in Sweden, which we saw a documentary about many years ago.

Robyn and I have talked about wanted to go to an ice hotel ever since seeing that documentary.  The Hotel de Glace is the the only of it’s kind in North America, so it was much more convenient for us than hopping over to Sweden. However, it is also pretty pricey (usually $350+ per night), which always dissuaded us from going. However, this deal made it super affordable. I texted Robyn about the deal, asking if he wanted to go, fully expecting him to say no, mainly because we have never left Ashton before, but surprisingly he said yes. I immediately called my Mom to see if she would be free to travel to us and watch Ashton overnight. We knew that leaving him for the first time was going to be hard (for us) and we thought it would be easier for him to be in our house. My Mom of course agreed and we started planning our trip.

On Monday morning after Ashton had his breakfast, we headed out. We knew it was going to take us around 7 hours so we got comfy! The drive was pretty uneventful, the roads were fine and most of the time we were the only car on the road, I don’t think we saw more than a dozen or so cars for the first five or so hours of the trip. We made a stop for gas and lunch on Vermont before we crossed the border. I drove the first 5 ½ hours and then turned it over to Robyn to take us the last 1 ½ hours and I took a quick cat nap.

We arrived just before 5 p.m., checked in and made it just in time to get in on the last English tour of the night. Our tour guide Pierre was AWESOME and he talked about the history of the hotel, which was created in 2000, and each year the hotel changes its theme. In 2015, in celebration of the 15th anniversary, the theme was traveling through space and time. You could see this theme pulled through in every aspect of the hotel from the lobbies to the themed suites.

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Pierre then went on to tell us how the hotel is constructed every year. First, they have to wait until temps are in the 20’s for two days in a row, which happened on Nov 15th this year. Then, the teams assemble metal forms for the walls that act as molds for the rooms that are filled with snow. Eventually the snow is packed tight and form walls that are 4 ft thick. They make the ceilings and various archways out of snow bricks. Each of the rooms, which include the bar, a two story ice slide, chapel (lots of marriages happen here each year–see below,) ice sculptures and the sleeping rooms are the created by artists and ice carvers.

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He then went on to tell us about all the lighting in the hotel, which is mainly done via LED lights that don’t emit heat but provide great mood lighting.

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The whole process of building the hotel occurs 24 hours a day for about 6-8 weeks and is a huge undertaking by everyone involved–but it is sure worth the effort as it was spectacular to see the details.

Inside the hotel, the temp is around 20 degrees. As we were walking around, everyone is bundled up. I have to say, it was warmer inside the hotel than it was outside. Let me tell you, we may have WAY more snow in MA than Quebec, but the temps in Quebec were in the negatives and it literally took your breath away. Now, I will admit that I am not the best judge of temperature because once the temps drop below 70 you can bet that the phrase “I’m so cold” comes out of my mouth at least twice a day, but in the 10 years I have been with Robyn, I have heard him say he was cold twice, yes only TWICE-and one of those times was during this trip. He is that guy that doesn’t wear a jacket in the Winter because he is never cold, so for him to say it was freezing, you know it was no joke! Thank goodness I had all winter running tops, hat and gloves on so I stayed pretty warm (see–all that money we spend on running gear can be used at other times!!)

After our tour, we were able to walk around all the grounds, which are left open to the public all day (including the sleeping rooms) until 8 p.m. when the staff prepare the sleeping rooms for the overnight guests. We took advantage of this and went into all the rooms taking over 100 pictures.  Don’t worry I won’t share them all, just a few so you get the gist.
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After that we had to attend a mandatory training on how to prepare for the night in the ice hotel. They went over all of our gear, how to prep our sleeping bag, how to get in and out of it, things we should do prior to going to bed, like soaking in the hot tubs to get really warm and then completely drying off in the saunas and using the heated indoors facilities to get our clothes ready for the evening.

After our training was complete, Robyn and I decided to head into Quebec for dinner before coming back to the hotel for the evening festivities. We landed at a cool brew pub that makes their own beers and we both had a good meal (and Robyn ordered an awesome Maple dessert) before we headed back to the Ice Hotel.

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Once we got back to the hotel, there was an ice carver outside preforming his magic!

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As part of our package, we got a complementary drink in an ice glass in the Quartz bar. You better believe we took them up on this! I got some fruity drink (mine was great) and Robyn ordered some special of the day (it was terrible) but it was really fun to drink from an ice glass–a first for both of us! Warning: the drinks we REALLY pricey, especially since you only get 2-4 sips.  Mine was normally $9 and Robyn’s was $12–those are expensive even by Boston standards!

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This bar was such a cool spot with little nooks all over the place for people to sit and enjoy their drinks. They even have a DJ playing music and people can dance on the dance floor.

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If you were to stay more than one night, you could also go snowshoeing, sign up for an ice workshop; have fresh maple syrup candy from their Sugar shack or go dog sledding among other things. Since we were only there for a short period of time, we didn’t partake in any of those activities.

If you don’t want to hang out in the hotel, wander the grounds or have a drink in the bar, you can head into the heated Celsius Pavilion where they have fires, board games and free Wi-Fi, along with popcorn, warm drinks and snacks.

After we had our drinks, we headed back inside to start preparing to go to sleep. We made sure we were completely dry, got all of our necessities and headed to our room where our sleeping packs were delivered and waiting for us. It was quite comical to get into the sleeping bags, Robyn made sure to document my attempts.

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I have to say, I was a bit skeptical about being able to stay warm in the sleeping bag since I am always so cold, but I was toasty warm. I followed all the directions the hotel gave us on what to pack, what layers to use, etc and it all worked perfectly. Sadly, I did not sleep well though, but that is of no fault of the hotel, I just cannot sleep well unless I am on my stomach with my hands over my head and clearly in the currently sleeping set up, that wasn’t happening! Robyn however slept like a baby!

We both ended up waking up just before 6 am and decided to quickly make a run for the Pavilion to get washed up (they have showers, hair dryers, etc) and then we had breakfast and checked out, anxious to get started on the long trek back home to see our little monster! We hit some traffic and had to stop for food because we both were getting HANGRY around 2 p.m., so it took us close to 9 hours to get home, but we both agreed this was an incredible experience that we would highly recommend to others who like adventure and off the beaten path kind of experiences!!

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Question of the day

Have you ever been to the ice hotel? Would you want to go? What is the coolest/most unique hotel experience you have ever had?

Three

Yesterday was Ashton’s 3rd birthday.  Three years.  While sometimes it feels like those years went by literally in the blink of an eye, there are other times that it feels like a lifetime.  He has changed our family so drastically that I almost forget what life was like before him.  When Ashton was born, I spent the first year writing down little everything and every month I would write him a letter with all the things he/we did together, the changes he went through, milestones, etc.  I would also write him a letter on his birthday with the hopes that one day he will sit and read what his mama had to say.

His second year I did the same thing with the monthly letters, but going into this year, I stopped the monthly letters mainly because a lot of it was repetitive and he isn’t changing as drastically week to week as he was from 0-2.  I still keep up with documenting important things like when he first used the potty (yes, theses are things that have gotten us really excited!) but I will always write him his yearly birthday letter.  So, I thought I would share with you his letter this year. But first, let’s look at him through the years! These are from 1 week old to 1, 2 and now 3 years! He has changed so much from the tiny little baby!

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My little monster,

Today you are three! I can’t believe I just wrote that number.  Three years ago I couldn’t imagine getting to this day, it just seemed so far off.  The day you were born, coming into this world a month early and not by your own choice, was a shock and whirlwind of events.  The weeks following were filled with so much awe and love, but your Daddy and I were in pure survival mode, literally living in 3 hour time intervals, hoping we would make it to your next feeding, diaper change, nap.  We hoped we would get to a day when we would know what feeling well rested felt like again and that we wouldn’t mess up too much along the way….and here we are now three years later and life looks a lot different.

You have changed a lot in this past year, but they weren’t as much physical changes, although you are growing taller at an alarming rate, but more internal.  You have become your own little person with a great deal of personality and spunk.  You have very clear likes and dislikes (which sometime change by the day) and love to voice your feelings to us about these things. Your intellect amazes me daily and I love to listen to you talk. You count to 30, you know your ABCs, and you speak with such clarity and vocabulary that strangers often ask how old you are.  Where did you learn all these words?

You have never met a stranger, you try to befriend everyone you encounter by saying hi, telling them your name, which varies from just Ashton to Super Ashton, and how old you are, which is so ridiculously cute to watch.  Where did this chatterbox come from?  Neither your Daddy nor I would ever be labeled as chatty, but we love listening to your view of the world, what you see, how you are now making up stories and improvising with us,  and the way you relate to the world is incredible.  You have full on conversations with us and sometimes I sit back and wonder when all this happened. When did you become such a big boy?

You are incredibly perceptive to those around you, feeling when someone is sad or upset and you ask “Mama are you happy?”  And if I am sad, you try to make me laugh with a funny face or a hug and kiss.  You are most definitely a comedian, which both makes me laugh but worries me for the future. I already see you trying to get out of doing things with humor and you and your Dad are already ganging up on me, which means I am in for a long road with the two of you 😉  But you are also incredible sweet and loving, when you turn to me out of the blue and tell me you missed me today or that you love me and want me and follow it with a hug and a kiss and I melt.

You have a love of books, a hunger I hope you carry throughout your life.  You choose your own books and often recite the words while we are reading them, your favorite being pretty much anything by Dr. Seuss.  You can hold the phone and know how to call Gramma or your cousins to video chat and you will play with your trucks and trains for hours.  You love music and hearing your sweet voice singing in the back seat when we drive home from daycare fills me with such joy.  You also have some pretty sweet moves, which make me laugh when out of the blue you start dancing.

Over the past few weeks, you have honed your skills on how to throw an epic tantrum, which has both impressed, shocked and made us laugh.  Your face twists and turns red, your tears rolls down your face and you squeeze your eyes so tight.  I know that you are learning through your emotions, but it is terrible to see you struggle, even for the briefest of moments.  You constantly keep reminding me that you are a “big boy” now, but you are still so little to me. I secretly love that you still want to be carried often, even though I joke that within the next two years, you will be as tall as me.  I happily pick you up and carry you, knowing that far too soon; you will not want to be held by me. I cherish these sweet times because you can be incredibly challenging. You have brought me to tears with this part of your personality.  You have a strong will and that can frustrate me to no end, especially since you rarely are this way with Daddy. I know it’s not really your fault; it is ingrained in who you are because you inherited it from me.  It’s the fiery Irish and Italian in you.  I just hope as you grow and mature that you will put that fire into something worthwhile and positive.

You are totally a Daddy’s boy.  Daddy can do no wrong in your eyes and you would rather be with him over anyone else.  While this makes me sad sometimes, I understand it.  Daddy is so much more fun than I am and I hope as you grow, you take all the very best parts of him and make them a part of you.  I know my time will come.  I am still the one you cry for when you are sick or hurt, so that gives me a bit of hope for the future.

My sweet, sweet boy, you have made me a stronger, more forgiving and patient person and I thank you for all you teach me each and everyday because I certainly would not be me that I am right now without these past three years of you.  I love you Ashton Liam…to the moon and back!

Love,

Mama

I will leave you with a picture of Ashton that I took last night when he got his very first bike! Sorry the lighting isn’t the greatest, we moved our cars out of the garage so he could test it out!  He was a VERY happy boy!

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Question of the day

Tell me something good about your week–or just anything at all you want to share!

Holiday Photo Shoot

Hey friends, how’s it going?  We’ve made it to the half way point in the week, thank goodness!  It’s pretty dreary here in Boston today, cold and raining, but I am heading to Buffalo for work tomorrow morning, where I am sure it will be much colder, so I am trying to be positive about the weather today!!  It’s all about perspective right?  Anyways, a few weeks ago, my beautiful and talented friend Danielle texted asking if I would bring Ashton in for a holiday mini-photo shoot.  She has a very busy and successful photography business and had a last minute cancellation for one of her famous holiday mini sessions so I was thrilled that she offered to take some shots of Ashton.  I didn’t have a Christmas outfit lined up for him so we improvised with only a few hours of notice and while I was worried, I think it turned out okay.  Ashton had a blast during the photo shoot, playing with the props and being a general goof. Well, I just got the proofs back and I LOVE them!  He is such a little ham!

He loved the snowballs…thankfully we kept him from throwing them!!

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Ashton also loved the reindeer, he kept saying, “Mama, I like reindeer!” and kept petting it like a dog!  The Winter set Danielle handmade was beautiful!  She is so talented.

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This is his new thing, ask him to smile and he gives this scrunched up face and then starts cracking up!  This picture captures him perfectly!

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A more serious picture, is it me or does his hair always look reddish in pictures?  And he clearly inherited my pasty white skin..poor kid, I guess he got more of my genes than I thought!

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I think this one my be my most favorite, I think I am going to have it put on a large canvas for our house!

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Here’s that funny face again!

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And to top it off…last week we got our pics done with Santa…so this is the 2014 edition!  There were no tears this year and he got on Santa’s lap and had a nice conversation with him about blue trains, so I’m calling it a win!

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Have a great day friends!!!

 

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Question of the day

How is your week going?  What’s the weather like where you are right now?  Anyone live in Buffalo?

A funny email and my husband thinks I’m a hoarder

Hey friends!  We are half way through the week, isn’t that amazing?? I am now counting down the days until vacation…SO close!!  Anyways, let’s get to chatting shall we?  So, I know I was telling you all how last week was pretty crappy in the workout department but when I got this email from the DailyMile on Monday afternoon I had to laugh, I mean, come on…it was 4 hours from my last workout…how often do they think I should be working out?

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I think they need to take a look at their email marketing–I mean, I’d love to be able to work out a few times a day, but it just isn’t feasible!  Anyways…on to more important topics, like how my husband thinks I’m a hoarder.  Seriously, he threw that word around multiple times in reference to me this week.  Let me back up so you get the full picture.

So, on Monday night I was sitting in my closet with clothes strewn all about and I made the mistake of calling my husband into the bedroom to ask him a question.  My question was simple, we have been in our “new” house for just over a year now, and I really want us to put in a closet system like we had in our last house.  You know, those beautiful closet systems with lots of shelves, drawers and sections to hang different kinds of clothing?

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Yeah, we had a system in our last house and it was great.  Right now, we have a big walk in closet with one bar on each side and a shelf above (that I can JUST barely reach) each side that runs the length of the closet.  I am not showing you a picture because it truly is a mess.  So, while I am sweating and frustrated from not being able to find the workout top I wanted to run in the next morning, I called to Robyn and told him I wanted to start discussing our closet design.  He looked at me and broke out in laughter telling me that I have a “ton” (his words, not mine) of  space in this walk in closet and he asked why I just can’t stay organized?  I, of course, answered while frantically waving my arms around like a lunatic saying it was because I don’t have any shelves or room to spread my stuff out.  My clothes do not fit in the current layout, they just don’t.  This is where the conversation took a turn.

Robyn started going through all the stuff on my side of the closet telling me what I should throw out.  He has offered many times to organize my closet, but I know that would mean coming home to half of my clothes gone.  I proceeded to justify what was in my closet and then he got me ( a few times).  He reached up overhead and pulled out a pair of roller blades I haven’t used since I was in college, but I just haven’t thrown them away.  I’ve always kept them in case we decided to start rollerblading–it always sounded like a good idea.   I’ll now admit that it sounds ridiculous as I’m typing this and while I never admit it 100% to Robyn,  he’s right.  I have a really, really hard time getting rid of old things. I mean I’m still wearing my instructional soccer t-shirts from when I was five years old!  Oops.  BUT, I have to clarify for you all, I don’t have a lot of stuff,  it’s just I don’t throw the things I do have out. For example, I only have two boxes in our storage area that are from when I was growing up–pictures, etc.  In addition to those two boxes, I have all the clothes in my closet and maybe two other boxes throughout the house of other random things. That’s it!  It’s really not a ton of stuff by any means. The problem is that most of those random things I actually don’t REALLY need,  I’m just holding onto them just in case for some reason I do have a need for them in the future. You know, like that one sweater you’ve never worn but you hold on to just in case there is a day when you need it and you would kick yourself if you got rid of it–please tell me you know what I am talking about!

Anyways, after a Google search over my rollerblades (they aren’t even made anymore,) a lot of laughing and a long conversation of all the things I could get rid of that I never use to make more space in my closet so I could be more organized, we made a deal.  Basically, the deal is that if I can keep my closet as it is currently set up,  organized for one month, Robyn will start discussing the design for the closet I want and put that system in.  For most people, this would sound like a good deal.  However, I’m going to be honest, I always have these grand intentions of cleaning out my closet and keeping it that way.  I do clean it out and re-hang stuff and organize it every few months, but it usually only last a week or so. Usually because I get home from work, I am exhausted and I don’t hang things up properly or  I sloppily throw them somewhere with the intention of doing it later and I never get to it.  This is also why all my workout clothes are piled all over and I keep re-wearing the same things because I wash them and they stay at the top of the pile.

This further proves Robyn’s point that I don’t wear half of my clothes, mainly because I keep re-wearing the stuff that’s clean and on top because it’s easier to find and grab quickly.  However, I am going to try to win this battle of keeping my closet clean and organized for one month.  This means that next week while I’m on vacation, I’m doing a total closet clean out and I’m really going to make an effort to clean out all the things I really haven’t worn the last couple of years and see if I can stick to keeping it all organized for a month so that I can design the closet I want and have him put it in for me.  What do you think, can I do it?

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Question of the day

Does anyone else have a hard time getting rid of things?  Ideas for keeping things organized?

A first time for everything–some unproud moments

Over the past 24 hours I have done two things I have never done before, neither I am extremely proud of.  Let’s start with last night.  I had a tough day.  Hell, if I am being honest, I have had a tough few weeks.  I love my new job but it’s freaking killing me right now.  I am drained when I get home.  I spend the days running from one meeting to the next, half the time straining to follow along and then working after Ashton goes to bed because how do you get anything done when you sit in meetings for 8 hours a day?  It all happens at night after 8 p.m.  So, the one part of my day I look forward to all night is picking up Ashton at daycare. I don’t get to see him in the morning so the evening is my time with him.  Robyn does the cooking and dinner clean up so I can play with him, give him  a bath, brush his teeth and then Robyn reads to him while I sit with them.  It’s great and even when I am tired, I look forward to it.

Well, I picked Ashton up from daycare last night and he wanted nothing to do with me.  He told me he didn’t want to go home and after coaxing him out of daycare and getting him in his car seat, he told me he didn’t want me to pick him up from daycare anymore, that he wanted Daddy to pick him up.  When I asked him why, he said “Because I don’t like you Mommy.”  GULP.  I was already frustrated with my day, my long commute and my welcome from him and this shocked me. I took a deep breath and said I am sorry you feel that way but I love you.  We got settled in the car and I asked him if he wanted his book (He likes to listen to Dr. Seuss audio books on the way home) and he said yes, so I put one on and started to drive home.  I tried to ask him about his day like we do every evening and he turned his head away from me, held his hand up to me and told me to stop talking.  Who the heck is this child and where is my sweet boy?  Then out of the blue he said, “Mama, I don’t love you.”  I didn’t think I heard him correctly so I asked him what he said.  He repeated it confidently and then said, “I love Daddy, not you!”  Thankfully it was pitch black outside and in the car because the tears started.  Before I knew it, I was sobbing.  I told him that made me really sad that he felt that way but I loved him.  I couldn’t speak to him for the rest of the ride home–a first for me.  I didn’t want him to see me crying in the front so I turned up his audio book and he proceeded to recite Fox in Sox for me while I drove.  I know this is a phase.  I know a lot of my friends with kids the same age go through similar things, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt like hell.  I should have handled it differently last night, I shouldn’t have shut down. I should of brushed it off, but I just couldn’t.  I am not proud of the fact that I stayed silent and stewed in the car feeling angry and sorry for myself instead of trying to engage with Ashton, but I just couldn’t. I suppose it’s better than me yelling at him or showing him how upset I was, but I need to get a better handle on this because I am pretty certain this isn’t going to be a one time thing. A true #mommyfail on my part.

love is not proud

Fast forward to this morning and I was looking forward to my spin class. I have talked before about how much I love my Wednesday morning class and instructor Erin.  She is AWESOME and I look forward to her class every week.  Well, she was away this week on vacation and we had a sub.  Now, I will preface this with saying that I know as an instructor myself how hard it is to come into another instructors class, especially with an established group of regular participants and teach.  It’s freaking hard, I get that so I always try to be sensitive to that when a sub walks into one of the classes I take.  Well, this morning the sub walked in to teach spin and I smiled, said hello and after she got her music queued up, she began.  This is where things started going downhill for me.  She blasted her music and didn’t mic up, so you could barely hear her, it didn’t help that she kept her head down too so we couldn’t see her mouth.  Then, she was off beat with the music, so the cadence was off and it felt all wrong.  Her music was terrible (however, this I will give a pass for since everyone has different music tastes) and she didn’t warm us up/stretch us at all.  She kept us at a level 4 for the first few songs and when the music was getting faster which would indicate we should speed up or power through a hill, she had us sit and recover.  Recover from what?  We were all at a really low-level and I hadn’t even broken a sweat.  I told myself to give her more time to find her groove but by the 20 minute mark I was done.  I mentally was fighting with myself to stay through the class but I just couldn’t do it.  I unclipped from my bike, wiped it down and walked out.  I have never walked out of a group fitness class before.  I guess there really is a first time for everything.

I was beyond annoyed.  I was mad that Erin was on vacation (irrational I know) I was mad that our gym had this terrible sub, I mean don’t they test their subs before allowing them to teach?  I am pretty sure that being able to follow a beat is a bare minimum requirement to teach a class with music.  I was mad at the instructor who ruined my favorite class for me, I was mad at myself for not bringing anything other than my spin shoes to the gym with me which meant I couldn’t really get in any other cardio today and I was mad at myself for walking out of this instructors class.  I started my day off on the wrong foot and I was just plain disappointed.  After I got ready for work and had time to cool down I gave myself a little pep talk and told myself that I could let this ruin the rest of my day or I could let it go and start again.  So, I dropped my gym back off at my car, walked to the Starbucks in our building, ordered myself a tall, skinny mocha and vowed to make today a great day.

stabucks

I have to learn to let things go, something I am not great at but am working really hard to change about myself and this was the first step to doing just that.  So, here’s to making today a better day and being a better, more patient person!

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Question of the day

Have you ever walked out of a group fitness class?  How do you deal with frustrating situations?

 

The Great Pumpkin Fest

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!  I’ve said it many times before, but Halloween is my most favorite holiday so any excuse to celebrate it and I’m in!  The Ecotarium hosts an annual Great Pumpkin festival that we attended this past Saturday.  They open the museum for special hours from 2-9 p.m. and it is an afternoon and evening full of  family friendly Halloween fun! They have more than a thousand of carved pumpkins that are on display and lit up when it gets dark, they have trick-or-treating, they have vendors, crafts, you name it, it was there.

pumpkin fest 2

As part of the admission price you also get full access to the Ecotarium including a free planetarium show.  While normally we would love this, there was way too much going on outside that we cruised right through the Ecotarium and spent all of our time outside.  We saw a fire breather which I thought was pretty cool but Ashton saw her and the fire and said, “Mama, I don’t like this much!”  This kid kills me so we moved on to something we knew he would like..BUBBLES!

bubble lady

They also had face painting for the kids (the line was SUPER long so we didn’t do it) and they had this great area where the kids could look for frogs hidden in the hay and take home 2 that they found!  Ashton loved this!  Notice he didn’t wear his costume…he got up from nap was wasn’t feeling his costume at the time but he wore this monster sweatshirt.  Win some, lose some!

frog hunting

They also had tee-pees set up with pots, pans, etc inside.

ash teepee 2

Ashton also loved playing in there with some of the older kids.

ash in teepee

The Ecotarium recently set up a really awesome park about a month or two ago but it was PACKED so we didn’t get to play much on it, but I can’t wait to take Ashton here in the Spring to explore it more, I have a feeling we could spend quite a few hours there!

After getting some candy from a few of the stations set up along the grounds, Ashton saw someone with an ice cream cone and that is all he could focus on.  We went to find where we could get ice cream and noticed there were a ton of vendors selling sandwiches, chili, hot dogs, chips, cookies, popcorn, cotton candy and ice cream.  We got Ashton his ice cream and he was on cloud nine and Robyn got a cotton candy as a  little pre-dinner treat.  I’m telling you, I have two kids, one is just much bigger than the other 😉

We at the Ecotarium for quite a few hours and it was getting late so we headed out to get some dinner before getting Ashton to bed.  On the way back to the car, it was so awesome to see all the jack o lanterns lit up, we probably took half an hour just walking back to the car pointing out the awesome carvings.

pumpkin fest

I just love this time of year so much!  I cannot wait to go trick or treating tonight and see the joy on all the kids faces, it really is so priceless!  I hope whatever you do tonight, whether it’s passing out candy, hanging with friends or taking your little ones trick or treating that you enjoy it!

On a random note, I am going to get my hair cut tomorrow and am thinking of changing things up since I’ve had the same hair style for a few years now..I am still not sure what I am going to do, but if you have an thoughts, let me know in the comments!! I’ll let you know how it goes next week (or if you follow me on IG…you will likely see it there first!)

Have an awesome weekend!

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Question of the day

Do you like Halloween?  What are you plans for tonight?

What should I do to my hair?

 

Apple Picking 2014

Hey, hey–it’s Friday!!  I don’t know about where you live, but it is literally PERFECT outside today.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again, there is truly no place in the world I would rather be than in New England in the Fall.  The temps are perfect for running, hiking and generally just hanging out outside.  There is a smell in the air that I call Halloween, you may look at me like I’m crazy, but if you have ever lived here or spent any amount of time in NE in the Fall, you know what I am talking about.  THIS is why I endure the brutal winters, to enjoy this short period of time in the Fall when everything screams of happiness and comfort for me.  With the Fall comes one of my favorite family traditions, apple picking.  Robyn and I started apple picking together in 2005 when we started dating and have gone every year since with a group of our friends.   Our group of 6 has now expanded to 9 and I look forward to our apple picking adventures each and every year.

On Saturday we met up with our friends at a new place (to us), Bolton Spring Farms.  In previous years we have gone to the same place, but it’s grown from a family run, fun, laid back place to a commercial operation and given our experience there last year, we all decided we were up for a change.  I think we found a winner and will definitely be back!  We got our bags and started the trek up a ginormous hill.  Poor Robyn pulled out our Radio Flyer wagon and the two little guys (Ashton and Rylen) both hopped in, so Robyn pulled 60 lbs up a steep hill, poor guy was huffing and puffing when he reached the top!

all in the wagon

Thankfully when we reached the top, we were greeted with this gorgeous view!

landscape

The leaves just started to change while I was in Spain and while you can’t really tell in the picture, off in the distance you could really see the changes in the leaves, it was gorgeous!  We all started picking apples when we hit the top.  The younger guys were so cute!

boys picking apples collage

My two even found themselves in the trees at different points in the day!!

boys in the trees

Ashton must have consumed at least 6 apples while we were out in the orchard (in addition to the 2 cider donuts he scarfed down post picking!!)

ashton apple eating collage

He must have worked up an appetite, you know, climbing on rocks, learning about bugs and general guy talk!

boys playing

Not to mention jumping over streams!

jumping over stream

We took a great hayride to the pumpkin patch where Ashton picked out a pretty great pumpkin and was proud of himself!  We didn’t get it though because it’s too early to get our pumpkins, we made that mistake last year and they were all rotted by time Halloween came 🙁

ashton pumpkins

We also took some pics of the two of us together since I am usually always the one snapping pics of our excursions so we don’t get a lot of pics, just the two of use!  Ash always asked to take “seffies”–who can say no to that?  (and Yes, Ashton is wearing two different colored Converse shoes (grey and red), he likes to mix and match his shoes?!)

ash and I collage

After we finished up picking apples and running around the pumpkin patch we went across the street to the Country Store and Bakery and grabbed a picnic table for a little snack.  I don’t have any pictures because we were all too busy stuffing our faces with homemade hot apple dumplings and apple cider donuts straight out of the oven.  Everything was so tasty and it was the most perfect way to spend a gorgeous Fall day and finish off our weekend!

Okay friends, whatever you do this weekend, have fun, be safe and if you are racing…kick some butt!!  See you on Monday!

 

***Don’t forget to enter my Young Living Panaway Giveaway!!***

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Question of the day

Do you go apple picking?  Have any Fall traditions in your family?  If you don’t live in a place where you go apple picking, you are invited to my house next year and I will take you, okay??  It’s something everyone has to do at least once!