Friday, July 30, 2010

Maine

My mom's family is from Maine, which is where I was born. Every year we'd vacation there. My grandfather had a small camp on Norway Lake. Our living arrangements for those 2 weeks changed (ahem, progressed) throughout the years...tents, pop-up camper, massive RV. It was something we all looked forward to each summer. We lived in our bathing suits; my favorite things to do were lay out, read books, swim, take naps on the boat. It was the ultimate relaxing vacation. There is just nothing like Maine in the summer. Getting away from Virginia's heat and humidity was the half of it; it was so fun to go tubing, water skiing, eating out every night. Our neighbors at camp were a blast and my Grandpa hung up swings from the trees just for us. We loved playing in the A-frame, climbing the rocks, and we'd rush to the shore with our tubes and boogie boards when a boat sped by (wicked waves!) We'd visit our favorite places; Bailey's Island, Naples, Freeport, Portland. I always loved going to Maine and appreciated it more and more each year.

As we all got older and started working, we'd try to make it up there for at least one week. I'd fly up to meet my family and drive back with them, or vice-versa. It got more difficult to get everyone together but it always seemed to work out. Chris came with us one year and proposed to me on the lake and a few short years later I was 20 weeks pregnant, laying on the boat, feeling Audrey move for the first time.

Needles to say, Maine is incredibly special to me. I was so happy to share it with Audrey. Even though she's too young to remember any of it, she'll have so many pictures to look back on. And I'll definitely cherish our first mother-daughter trip. Photos to come soon!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I miss

Christopher. Home. Routine. Naps. Everything. We'll be home tomorrow and I can't wait! We had an awesome vaca but like Dorothy said, "There's no place like home!" I have tons of great pictures to post and stories to tell. I am so glad we went. It was a teriffic adventure!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blogging on the road!

Oooooh, this is new! Praise the iPod Touch and WiFi :) Chris dropped Audrey and me off at my dad's bright and early but we didn't get on the road until 10:00. The car trip was great! Scott is wonderful- he downloaded an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on his iPod (once again- praise iPod!) She napped for about an hour and a half. We arrived in NY around 4:00 and had delicious pizza waiting for us. Audrey loved exploring and even got in the hot tub! Don't worry moms! It was turned way low, cooler than her bath water! She was a little restless at bedtime and so after our routine I let her read in her pack and play until she fell asleep. Tomorrow the plan is to leave bright and early and head to Maine. I'm hoping for another great trip, although it will be much longer. Hope the hotel has WiFi!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Impromptu Vacation

For those who know me IRL, I am a PLANNER. I love to plan. So when my little brother Scott called me on Tuesday night, asking us to go to Maine on THURSDAY, I was in frenzy mode. Of course I wanted to go! But such short notice!! As soon as we got off the phone I typed up my packing list (2 pages for Audrey and myself.) Then I tossed and turned all night debating whether we should go or not. I would convince myself that the long car ride and being away from our cozy home and convenient schedule was CRAZY TALK, especially for an 18-month old. Then I'd turn around and decide that we should just go for it...the pictures of her in one of my most favorite places in the world would be reason enough to go. Not to mention the "wicked good food" (lobstah!) It took some heavy convincing from my dad and Scott, but I finally decided to go. I spent most of today packing and cleaning. We're stopping in NY to visit family tomorrow (and spending the night.) Then it's off to Maine for the rest of the week. I'm hoping for great weather.

Since I'll be gone for the next week, here are some super cute photos of Audrey Cate to tie everyone over:







She will be 19 months on Saturday and she is just so darn cute I could SQUUUEEEEEEZE her!!! Her new favorite word is "bubbles" and it melts our hearts every time she says it. She is uh-mazing at following directions ("Go get mama's shoes!" "Put that in your toy box!") She is absolutely fearless and kills with her smile. At Target an older couple refused to move to another check-out line just so they could talk to her. She's definitely a people-person. Her personality shines through more and more each day...when we dropped Zoe off at the groomer's she got all teary and upset (a quick trip to the bird aisle helped cheer her right up!) She's counting to 3, mimicking the ABCs, and will show you her teeth if you ask. She likes to tickle you to get your attention. She loves to dance so much that if there's no music she'll pick up some kind of noise making toy and shake it while she dances. Her current favorite song is "California Girls." She ONLY says "Mama" when she wants me to pick her up or if she's hurt/upset. I love everything about that girl (ok, EXCEPT her eating habits...I'm over it!) I look at her and feel like my heart could explode.

Ask me if I feel the same after our vacation :) Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

NEW CAR!!

I didn't believe in love at first sight until I saw the New Beetle concept car. I was 15 and saw a picture of it in USA Today. I cut the picture out and hung it in my room. I knew that one day that car would be mine. One of the best days of my life was November 13th, 1999. I had graduated high school, was attending college full-time AND working full-time. My parents woke me up on a Saturday morning and told me that it was time to check out my dream car. Of course I was ELATED! First we went to my bank where my dad co-signed on a loan. Then we went to the VW dealership, which was car HEAVEN. So many beautiful Bugs in one place! I knew that I wanted yellow, and they had the perfect car- leather interior, sunroof, 6-disc changer, power everything. I was on cloud nine. I hardly slept that night, I kept looking out the window to make sure it was still in the driveway. I truly loved that car and knew I'd have it for years to come.

10 1/2 years and 187,000 miles later we had to say good-bye. Time to trade up for more space. I became interested in the Ford Fiesta because 1) it was a 4-door 2) the gas mileage was uh-mazing (I drive 80 miles a day!) and 3) it looked pretty cute. We decided to take a look and we were NOT impressed. It was really tiny...like clown-car size. Barely any trunk space and the sales guy couldn't fit in the passenger seat (he was 6'5, but still...what if my next husband is really tall?) I test drove it but knew it wasn't right for us. When I returned to the dealership, Christopher was standing next to a beautiful red car. I liked it right away and it had everything we needed...4-door, HUGE trunk, roomy interior, automatic, sleek & shiny. Chris test-drove it first and I really loved the way it looked in motion. When I drove it, I was amazed...it didn't feel much bigger than the Beetle. It was a very smooth ride mixed with the right amount of power. I pulled into a parking lot and played with the controls. Then I looked in the rearview mirror and envisioned our kids...singing, fighting, sleeping, reading in the back seat. It looked about right.

The numbers worked out and before I knew it Chris was transferring everything from the Beetle to the Fusion. I was happy but sad at the same time. Happy to finally be getting a new car, sad to be leaving behind a huge part of my younger, carefree life. I like to think that one day, when our kids are in college, I'll own another Beetle (a convertible this time!) Yellow, of course.


Bye-bye Beetle, we had a great run!!

New car- 2010 Ford Fusion









Fits the Stokke with room to spare? SOLD!

Special thanks to my hubby for doing all the negotiating and husbandly car-buying duties. Now let's start filling her up with kids and car seats!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rainy Day

As much as I love the hot, sunny weather, I equally love rainy, dreary days. It's the greatest excuse to stay in your PJs and lounge around the house. I was up pretty early this morning, so as soon as Audrey was awake and fed, we headed out to Target. As we were getting in the car to leave, she pointed outside where it was lightly raining. So I let her go stand in the driveway...she loved it!














Trying to put the flower back on!


"Sorry, Dad!"

Later in the day the sun came out and it was pretty nice. We took a short walk but it was kind of muggy. Our photographer posted another sneak peek on FB...hopefully our gallery is finished tonight!



Hope everyone had a great weekend!

I freaking LOVE summer!

I love not waking up to the annoying alarm clock. Instead I either get a good-bye kiss from Chris, or a very happy Audrey bouncing on my bed. I love taking our time in the mornings; there's no rushing around to get ready. Instead Audrey leisurely plays while I fix her breakfast. The dishes and a shower can wait until we've played for awhile. I love that Audrey still likes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (which makes getting things done SO much easier! I love that I can lose track of what day it is. Instead of worrying about creating a week's worth of lesson plans, I can merely check out my favorite education blogs/sites and peruse the Lakeshore catalog. No report cards, grading, or preparing for Child Study meetings on my weekends! I love that I can stay up late. Instead of crashing into my bed at 8:30, I can stay up long into the hours of the night, long after sweet Audrey has fallen asleep. I can watch fun summer tv (most of which I turned Chris onto;)) or read in bed. I love that I can read for pleasure! Instead of going straight to sleep I can read several chapters of a riveting book (and thanks to my friend Laura, I have a huge stack of James Patterson books waiting for me.) I love that I can take Audrey out and about in the middle of the day where there's not much traffic, not many people. Instead of doing our grocery shopping on Saturday morning, we can go any time! Instead of trying to cram our weekend full of household chores, it can all be spread out.

There are so many things I love about summer. I am very grateful that my job allows me to be off this time of the year. I think every profession should have some kind of extended R&R period...it's good for the mind and body!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Wonderful Wedding Weekend!

Cousin Stephanie and her fiancé TJ were married on Saturday and it was a blast! Stephanie did an amazing job planning her wedding. She was super organized, the location was gorgeous, the food & music were fantastic. But what impressed me the most was how genuinely in love she and TJ are. She has been so excited about her wedding, absolutely glowing since becoming engaged. They are such a great couple, always smiling and having fun together. Marriage is going to be wonderful for them! I took a ton of pics for the big day:


Dad and Audrey, walking to the ceremony spot


She loved playing with the chairs while we were waiting for everyone to be seated.


Favorite!




The kiss!


Mr. & Mrs!


Audrey & Isabella


















Having fun with Aunt Sarah


So, we realized just how much Audrey loves to dance. She wanted to be on the dance floor the whole time. She'd stop dancing, run to the edge of the dance floor, wave at us, then go back to dancing. Towards the end of the night people would circle her and she'd dance in the middle without a care in the world. She was so much fun. She danced until it was time to go home (11:30!!)




Towards the end of the reception there was a beautiful fireworks display. It was really spectacular, but Audrey was quite frightened. She kept looking up to see the pretty lights, but hated the sounds.

What a fun wedding! We had the best time. Congrats to Stephanie & TJ!!