Friday, July 25, 2014

Life Lately - Parks and Hikes Aplenty

Summer is the perfect time for play dates at the park and hiking in the woods. The kids and I have been taking full advantage of the numerous parks and trails in the surrounding area and go at least twice a week, sometimes more.

This series of photos was from the other weekend when I had to go to a not so local wine store to pick up a few bottles of my favorite wine for some wedding gifts (had to get one for myself too!). Oh my goodness ya'll, find some of this wine!! It is hard to find, but if you can, you won't regret it. So. good.

Anyway, I didn't want the half hour trek to go to waste and after passing several hiking trails and seeing a sign for a free local concert, I knew what we would do. To pass the time before the concert started, we hit up a trail and ended up having such a good time! The trails were nice and wide and easy to walk. And bonus, there were wild blackberry bushes growing right alongside the trails! We snacked along the way and even Noah did a great job staying on track and walking a good portion of the way.

We then headed over to the park with 15 minutes to spare before the concert began. The kids played on the playground while I watched the band (they were a bluegrass group) and grabbed the free donuts and popcorn they were handing out.

Every Thursday, my sister and I meet up and head to the park with packed lunches and make a day of it. She babysits for a friend and also for our brother that day so there are plenty of kids to play together. With her kids, the kids she babysits, and my kids, we have 10 kids between the ages of 12 to 15 months!

What's it All For Anyway?

I stepped back from blogging for a couple of weeks. I tend to do that when I start feeling pressured to blog or like I have to always come up with meaningful blog posts that others will like and share. It stresses me out and I end up retreating and losing my motivation to blog altogether.

I didn't start this blog to have tons of followers or even to have a lot of people reading it. I like blogging and documenting our everyday life so I or my family have something to look back on. Scrapbooking was an epic fail and something I now realize is just something I would like to do but in reality never happens. Blogging was much simpler to do and keep up with.

But just like the Mommy Wars where we moms are always comparing and judging each other, I started to feel that the more time I spent reading and being out in the blog world. It didn't feel good and I was actually nervous about any post I put out there. Would people want to read it? Was it good enough? Do they really want to see what we did today?

That was when I knew something had to change or I would begin to hate blogging and that is not what I want. I want to be able to post what I want, it's my blog for goodness sakes!

So here I am, jumping back in and doing things my way. Ah, I can already feel a sense of relief. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Weekend Rewind - Over the 4th

Without a doubt, my favorite holiday weekend is the 4th of July. My hometown has an annual Ox Roast every year and it is always a great opportunity to see family and friends that I don't get to see very often all in one place.

My weekend started on Thursday. I took the kids out to see fireworks. I thought Noah would love it but after about 30 seconds, he was done and wanted to do nothing but run around. I spent the next 20 minutes chasing him... Hence, no firework pictures.

Friday, we headed out to the Ox Roast and the weather was just beautiful. It was probably the best 4th of July weather we've had in a very long time so people were out in droves. It was crowded, so crowded. But that's a great thing since this is how our local fire dept raises their money for the year! Besides visiting with friends and family, my second reason for going is lemonade. There is one stand there and it is SO good. We made a few laps and had several goodies, like ice cream. :) I'm fortunate to have an aunt and uncle that live right there so when we needed a break, we stopped by and the kids were able to run off some of their energy with cousins.

Someone had a good time and was wiped out.
I had to work (oh yeah, I got a job!) on Saturday afternoon and night so we didn't go to the Ox Roast and there are no pictures.

We went back for the Ox Roast's last day and another round of goodies on Sunday. Then we headed home and enjoyed the weather some more.

His first time ever wearing pj's.
The only thing that would have made it better would be having Gabe home with us, of course. I got to celebrate our 9th (how has it been NINE years already?!) wedding anniversary (July 8) alone for the first time ever. :( Excuse me a moment while I throw myself a mini pity party....

OK, I'm done. How did you spend your 4th of July weekend?

Monday, July 7, 2014


and the living is easy... Hah! Not when you're a mother of three kids out of school for the summer. With the high heat and humidity, park days have been replaced with trips to the splash pad and beach. This was Noah's first time at the water park/splash pad and I wasn't sure how he would do. But he LOVED it! He was the youngest and smallest one but he ran around just like the big kids.

With lakes aplenty around here, finding a beach isn't hard. We hit up a local beach on a particularly hot and sticky day. The sand was gorgeous and perfect for playing in but the water, not so much. It was warm but unfortunately very dirty and we didn't go in over our knees. The beach was empty and Noah didn't seem to notice the cleanliness of the water. The boy loved that he could wade up and down the whole thing in and out of the water.

And heaven help me, I tried getting a cute pic of the kids. Let me give you a sampling of the copious amounts of photos it took to get one good picture. There *may* have been some threats hissed along the lines of "You're going to sit there and smile until I get a good shot!"

Ah, that's better. :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Leaving The Nest

The other day as I was preparing to take a shower, Alena came darting into the house carrying something in her hands and speaking with such excitement that I couldn't understand her. It wasn't until she got close enough that I could see what it was. She had a baby robin in her hands!

There is a nest near the house and every since these birds were in the eggs, the kids would check on them daily. It has been a great learning opportunity. This day, the birds were leaving the nest for the first time and learning to fly!

Originally we had thought the bird had fallen out of the tree so once the kids each had a turn holding it, we put it back into the nest. But it hopped out again! That was when I realized what was going on. I put off the shower and the kids and I watched the little birds gain the confidence to take the leap and leave the nest. This is most likely a once in a lifetime chance and I'm so glad we got to experience it.

Isn't nature amazing? Have you ever experienced something similar?

In Fields of Green

Summer is in full swing around here. Gardens are flourishing, flowers are blooming, and fresh fruits and vegetables are easy to find. We live in farming country and many locals have strawberry fields where you can pick your own for much cheaper than it costs in the grocery store.

I took the kids last week just to test out how they would do and they loved it! Unfortunately, it had rained the previous three days so it was exceptionally muddy and we left covered in it! I attempted to keep Noah out of it but he is like a moth to a flame when it comes to mud and there was no keeping him clean. I did not get a picture of him because at the time I was just trying to limit the amount of mud he was accumulating.

We picked just a few pounds and it was gone within a couple of days so we will definitely be heading back there soon before the season is over.

How about you? Are local fruits and vegetables readily available for picking and buying where you are located?