Wow, I can’t believe it’s been over 5 months since I wrote a blog post.  When I started this blog, I wrote every day.  I rarely missed a day.  Last December, I was tired of writing.  I was tired of feeling like I had to write everyday.  So, I took a day off.  It felt good.  I took another day off.  Then, I got extra busy and it was nice having a break.  I really thought I would only take a couple of weeks off, but the holidays were approaching and then my husband accepted a job – in Seattle!

Craziness ensued as we celebrated the holidays, shared our plans with family and friends, negotiated a start date, traveled on a house hunting trip, put our house up for sale, sold our house, bought a house, moved etc.

Now, 5 months later, we are somewhat settled and I have missed blogging.  So, I’m back.  I’m not going to pressure myself to write everyday, but suspect you’ll hear from me a few times a week.  I feel like I have some catching up to do and we are experiencing new fun things everyday.

Join Nick, Sally and I on our adventures in the northwest!  We’ve already scoped out u-pick farms and have joined a CSA.  I’m excited to share with all of you.

 Posted by at 7:34 PM

Sally turned three years old today.  It’s hard to believe.  As a family of four, we celebrated with ice cream after dinner.  Nick was super excited about giving Sally her gift.  Sally was excited about special birthday ice cream.


So, she ordered banana.  She orders banana every time.


We had just a couple of gifts.  In case you are wondering, when your almost five year old goes shopping with Stephen for a present, a pink guitar that makes noise comes home.  She also received a Richard Scarry book.


Stephen and I got her a felt mosaic pattern set.  She quickly got to work.  (Only because the guitar didn’t have batteries yet.)


We ended our trip with a noisy ride home.  Nick wanted Stephen to be a spaceship driver.  He talked about space stations, lights, and space all the way home.  Sally didn’t want to be left out.  Stephen was her horse driver.  It’s hard to parent in two different fantasy worlds at the same time.  But, we survived.

Both kids fell asleep quickly tonight.  I’m glad they had fun.  Stephen and I sure did.

 Posted by at 9:40 PM

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.  We have a large family and my grandparents were married Thanksgiving morning, many years ago.  Grandpa really liked the sweet potato dish that I started bringing to dinner a few years back.  I’ll always think of him throughout the year, but especially today, as I make sweet potato casserole.  Today, is our first Thanksgiving since Grandpa passed.  We’re sure going to miss him.  I’m glad to have this photo of my grandparents that I took last year on Thanksgiving at uncle Marty’s house.


I’m thankful for more than I can possibly mention.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

 Posted by at 6:10 AM

With Sandy this week, our Trick or Treat was postponed until this evening.  It worked out great for us since we had Stephen’s birthday party on Wednesday.

Our Halloween started with the kids enjoying It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown on TV.  It was taped earlier in the week.  Stephen was able to get home a bit early and brought us Chinese take out for dinner.  As soon as we ate, we got the kids ready.

Meet our shape monster and shape princess.


I’ll take 39 degrees and no precipitation for Halloween.



Besides deciding that a coat was in order, she also needed mittens.


Nick wanted to be a monster for Halloween.  I asked him what the monster looked like and he didn’t know.  I thought for a bit and they were learning about shapes at school.  I said, “I know, you can be a SHAPE MONSTER!!!!”.  He loved the idea.

My mom helped with Nick’s costume.  We started by looking at poncho and other costumes that could be made out of a sheet.  A bit of sewing later and he had a costume.  Then, we used foam pieces and cut out tons of shapes using cookie cutters.  I glued them with a hot glue gun.


Of course, he had to practice his roar.  He later decided that he didn’t want to be recognized, so the mustache was born.


If big brother was a shape monster, then Sally had to be a shape princess.  We had borrowed a princess dress from a friend.  Stephen worked on a tulle skirt for overtop of it.  Using foam, glue gun and cookie cutters, the skirt was turned into a shape skirt. (In the photos above, Sally has a heart on her nose. If brother has black on his face, I want it too.)


She was so excited.


Both kids loved their unique costumes.  I loved that they were the only ones dressed like that.  I can’t wait to see what next year brings.

 Posted by at 8:01 PM

Usually, October 31st means it’s Halloween and we celebrate an observed day at another time for Stephen’s birthday.  Since we had Superstorm Sandy and Trick or Treat was moved, we will have observed Halloween on Friday.  So, we had a birthday party!  It was just the 4 of us and we had a great time.

The kids and I hung some decorations.  We also bought 4 Mylar balloons.


We (the kids) set the table with fun birthday décor.


They greeted Stephen at the door with happy birthday signing.  We enjoyed dinner at home.  Then, the kids used teamwork to carry a gift over to him.


Nick wrapped and decorated this gift all by himself.  He even made a card and punched holes to attach it to the gift.


There was singing and silliness and then there was dessert.  Once a year, I make apple dumplings.


They are hard to photograph, but are extremely tasty.  We use lots of cinnamon.  Everyone loved them.

Happy Birthday Stephen!  It might be quite sometime before we can celebrate on Oct 31st again.

 Posted by at 8:52 PM

Today, Stephen took Sally and I took Nick.  We need to make sure that we both get some time with our kids solo.  I took Nick to see my mom and dad.  We worked on his Halloween costume.  After we enjoyed dinner at their house, we went to check out their community garden.  Nick enjoyed the letters on their new sign.  We walked around the garden plots and checked out what was left.  Quite a few people were all cleaned up for the winter while others still had parsley, potatoes and more.


As we were leaving, Nick spotted the pile of leaves.  Can I climb the leave pile?  Sure.



Grandpa told him he was king of the mountain.



Then, he wanted to jump.


Action shot.


I’m glad that he didn’t get hurt.  He sure enjoyed the leaves.  It was a perfect fall evening.

 Posted by at 9:06 PM

Saturday night, I took my mom to see The Zak Brown Band.  It’s ok if you’ve never heard of them.  They are a country band and they are great.

I hadn’t been to a concert (other than the orchestra) for some time.  Mom has a friend who works there.  She asked what we were allowed to bring.  The reply was something like blankets, low chairs, single bottle of factory sealed water, food in a clear Ziploc bag.

When I ordered the tickets, I paid extra for paved parking.  Between my knee issues and the weather, I didn’t want to park in the grass lots.  When the tickets came, the parking passes had “It is in your best interest to arrive by 5PM”.  I thought that 5PM was awfully early for an 8PM show, but then I realized that the show started at 7PM.

I had to leave my docent class early to be able to be there close to 5PM.  I made my way down to Akron, ate a quick sandwich and mom and I headed to Blossom.

When we arrived, we had no problem parking.  As soon as we parked, I was wishing for my camera.  The tailgating that was going on in the parking lot was AMAZING.  There was food, beer, chairs, etc. everywhere.

We made our way toward the gate.  Our bag was searched and we headed to the ticket collection area.  We had our tickets scanned and entered the grounds.

There were lots of booth set up with various groups and radio stations.  I took note that WGAR was going to have a Zak Brown Band takeover from the end of the concert until midnight.

We headed to the grass (the pavilion was sold out before we had decided to go to the concert).  The next thing we knew, there was a gate at the top of the hill.  We had to stand in line until they opened up the grass.  It was so surprising.  It’s 5:20PM and we are standing in line.  We ended up there until just after 6PM.  Remember that the concert starts at 7PM.

We found a good spot on the grass and waited for the show to start.  Meanwhile, there are plenty of people selling beer ($10), water ($5) and other beverages.  Lots of people around us were drinking multiple beers.  Many people had also rented chairs for $10.  They would receive $5 back from returning it at the end of the night.

At 7PM sharp, the first opening act started.  They were ok, but not great enough where I remembered their name.  I was amazed at all of the people smoking around us.  I’m not sure if it was allowed or not, but I’m not sure how you’d police it.  Next time, I’ll bring some allergy medicine.

After a few songs and a short break, the next act came on.  They reminded us of Lyntrd Skynrd.  They didn’t remind me of anything country.  They played a few songs.  Then, there was a long break before the main event.

The crew spent a lot of time putting up a screen and centering/focusing some video equipment.  Soon enough, it displayed the city and date and a count down.

The band arrived and the show was AWESOME.  I’m so glad that my mom and I were enjoying the show.  It’s fun to watch her smile.

At some point during the show, a beer was flung toward us.  We didn’t see where it came from, but the can hit my mom on her shoulder.  It was full and sprayed all over a bunch of us.  She was ok, but who throws a $10 beer.  It was just one crazy part of the evening.

The other thing was that everyone had chairs (some rented) and blankets, but once The Zak Brown Band started, no one sat down the entire concert.  The chairs and blankets became place holders that people weaved through during the evening as they traveled up and down the hill.

The show ended with Chicken Fried which is the song that put the band on the map.  It was great.

We headed to our car and headed back to mom’s.  We enjoyed the Zak Brown songs on the radio until exactly midnight.  Syndicated programming took over in the middle of a song.

After dropping off mom, I made it back home just before 1AM.  All in all, it was a successful night.

 Posted by at 1:59 PM

I had a wonderful time at the FitBloggin’ conference and will be sharing much more about it in the next few days.   Before heading home, I spent some time with my sister.  She’s lived in the Baltimore area for 10 years and I’ve visited many times.  But, until today, I never picked crabs.

Based on many recommendations, we visited Cantler’s.  We wanted to sit outside and was told it gets crowded.  Our plan to get there at their 11AM opening time worked great.


It was a perfect day for the patio.


We had a great view and even saw a few boats dock so passengers could come to the restaurant.


Knives, forks, plates, napkins, mallets and a brown paper “table cloth” were our supplies.


Soon, our crabs arrived.  We ordered 2 super and 4 large, so we each had 3 crabs.  They totally covered in Old Bay seasoning.  In Maryland, it’s assumed.  I’m sure that I consumed more Old Bay today, than in my entire life prior combined.


We had a great time.


Soon, I was off to the airport.  It’s nice to be home.


Stephen and I have been married for 6 years.  We had a great wedding with perfect weather.  We’ve had many adventures and travels.  We have 2 beautiful children.  Life is great.  I can’t imagine sharing it with anyone else. I love you Stephen.  I can’t wait to see what other adventures are in store for us.







 Posted by at 8:54 PM

Stephen and I had a date night this evening.  We attended a lecture at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History about bicycling by Jeff Mapes.  After the lecture, Clyde opened the observatory.  It’s always fun to see the sky through the 113 year old telescope.

After we finished up at the museum, we decided to try Sweetie Fry.  Many other bloggers that I read have talked about this restaurant.  They serve ice cream and fries.  It’s a strange combination.  Stephen got CHOC RASP MARM.  It was chocolate ice cream with a raspberry marmalade swirl.  I ordered the shoestring sweet potato fries with honey mustard dipping sauce.  I thought the fries were good.  They were cooked to order, so they were very hot.  I will say that they were very salty.  I would definitely order them without salt next time.

The place was fairly full of high school students.  There were a few college and other folks represented too.

I’m not sure we’d go back on a regular basis.  We really like Mitchell’s and find ourselves there the most often for ice cream.  Fries are such a treat, we really don’t have them often at all.

It was fun to have a night out.  It’s hard to believe we’re almost to our 6 year anniversary.  So much has happened since we met.  That’s a story for another day.