Monday, June 30, 2014

Sweet Strawberries

Last summer, we started a new tradition that has become one of my favorite activities...strawberry picking. There is nothing like the taste of fresh strawberries!

The weather wasn't ideal for the day, {nor is it ever anymore it seems} but Stef, Tracy, Amber and I decided we were going anyway! So, a drizzly day with lots of mud, and off we headed to the strawberry field at a local orchard.  Soergel's is a place we've all been for a variety of different activities and events, but not for strawberry picking until this year.  I know I talk about this often, but we are blessed with a wonderful group of friends and so fortunate that our children all get along and are friends, as well.

Andrew was in Tennessee, Violet and Liam were in carriers, Dylan and Audrey were doing other things that day, and Amy and her girls were out of town on vacation, so 7 more kids are missing from this group!

We rode out to the field in a little trailer, stepped off into the mud and the kids were ready to go!

The Lilys found their perfect place to get started and stayed together almost the entire time.

Violet didn't want to be set down, so there were a lot of tears from her when I did put her down to try to take some pictures. 

Lily came over to sing "You are my sunshine" to make Violet feel better.

This was another first for Violet and Liam that they got to share together!

The babies were pretty interested in the straw. :)

You never know what you're going to get with these two girls.  I think they ate their weight in strawberries while we were picking them and then found themselves underneath an apple tree to take care of their business.

After we were done at the farm, we all headed to eat lunch together.  Strawberry picking is hard work. 

What a bunch of lucky kids to grow up creating incredible memories! 

Can't wait until next year! 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Five: But First, Let Me...

When I opened to read blogs this morning and saw one of my best friends, Stef, had linked up with EmmyMom's Friday Five, I hit "save" on the post I was working on.  I haven't done a link-up in a long time and thought this one was right up my alley!  I've followed EmmyMom on instagram for awhile, but duh, never added her blog until now.  Instagram is my fave!

5 Thoughts:
1~  Laundry is my nemesis.  That being said, I have to pack myself and 3 kids for 3 weeks time. That is a lot of laundry. Though heading to Arizona is the prize and I'm excited about that!  It's been 5 years since I've been there--I can't wait to visit and have the girls meet their cousins and uncles and aunts!

2~ I have been binge watching tv at night after the kids have been in bed and my husband at work. Sidenote: shiftwork, sucks. Having gotten rid of cable last year, we've kept Netflix and we stream shows as well. I don't know that we'll ever pay all that money for cable again. Anywho... I obsessively watched Scandal! I have NO idea why I never watched it before. It is sooooooooooo good! I finished it a few weeks ago and have been thinking about it nonstop! The other show I finished was Orange is the New Black.  I liked it, but didn't love it! It kept making me mad.  And I know for sure, I'd never survive in prison!

3~Lily is without a doubt a product of her parents.--she has a definite musical ear.  When her Daddy is playing guitar, she wants to pick along with him or grabs the microphone and sings something along side. When Violet is crying, she sings "You Are My Sunshine" and says, "That will make her feel better, Mommy."  She is typically singing all the time. Sometimes it's actual songs, sometimes it's humming along to the music, sometimes it's made up songs.  Could be songs from a movie or show she's watched, could be something she heard in Andrew's room, could be Taylor Swift, or could be something she's just made up.  It's just always something.  I love this about her!

4~ Next month, we celebrate our 4th anniversary, George's 40th birthday, and Lily's 4th birthday...all in one week!  It's a busy one! I'm excited!

5~ I have to get this blog design completed and update the information, pictures! It's driving me ca-razy!

5 pictures:
My love and I recently celebrated 7 years together from the day we met in person! What a crazy journey it has been!

Some days this is what life looks like.  No nap, exhausted girls. Real life.

And there are also moments like these. ♥   

We walked into Target the other day and Lily started singing, "But first. Let me get an icee." to the tune of that ridiculous Let Me Take a Selfie song.

Andrew's home after his first summer trip to visit his Dad.  He went to Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summertime is Finally Here...1st Stop: Cincy

I'm working a little bit backwards here, but I want to get some events and activities up, so here we are. Not in real time, but rather recent time.

It's that time of year again.

We survived the perpetual winter of the polar vortex and being trapped inside because it was too cold to be outside for very long. 20 minutes of layering on clothes for 10 minutes of outside time doesn't seem hardly worth it.  Spring seemed to miss us almost entirely with only a handful of nice days.  May brings the crazy end of the school year schedules and activities and before we know it, BOOM, summer is here!

What that means in my house is a complete change of schedule for 3 months. Reagan no longer lives with us all week, every week with no weekends.  Her schedule becomes one week with us and one week with her mom every Friday to Friday. So she starts the summer off with a week at her mom's.

Andrew becomes domestic traveler and is home only a couple weeks all summer.  The routine for my girls is of course the same, minus Lily's questions.  She's used to Reagan leaving each week, but not Andrew, so that takes a little adjusting.  The first few mornings, she goes into his room looking for him and then coming to ask me where he is. Periodically, she just say out of the blue, "I miss Bubby."  Me too, kid. Me too.

This year, my kids and I have some other vacation plans, so the girls and I didn't go to Nashville for a few days at the beginning of the summer like we typically do.  I just couldn't make it work and am pretty disappointed about it. Maybe a quick trip in August will be in order, if we can make that work!

When it came time for Andrew to head to his dad's this summer, we had to make some changes from our original plan to not miss Lily's recital, but still have Andrew with his dad for Father's Day.

Last Friday, the kids and I loaded up with plenty of snacks, blankies for the girls, movies for Andrew and Lily, and tunes for me.

Andrew likes to sit all the way in the back so he can lay and sleep if he wants as well as watch movies.

 Lily was happy watching movies with headphones!

Violet had a blowout...of course which required a clothing change.

After a missed turn that took us 20 minutes out of the way, 2 potty stops for Lily, and a diaper blowout for Violet, we finally made it to Cincinnati! We stopped to get some gas when I found a station that was only $3.52! {gas has been $3.90 in Pittsburgh} We had to make a Target stop which took longer than necessary and then we finally met up with Andrew's dad for lunch and later to part ways.

After lunch, we took our pictures that we take everytime of Andrew with his dad and one with Andrew and myself.  Eventually, I will make him a book of how he's grown up in these pictures. That's been my plan all along. :)

Soon, Andrew and his dad were off to Nashville while we stayed in the parking lot for me to finish nursing Violet before heading back to Pittsburgh.  After all our stops along the way and nursing time, we left Cincy about 2 hours later than we typically do.  I had hoped for an easy trip home and thankfully all the stars aligned and I got just that.  Both the girls slept a good bit on the way home.
I talked on the phone...bluetooth is my favorite!  Aunt Pam the Great says many of her nieces and nephews call her when they're on the road too.  I always call her on this trip. :)  I like being able to catch up without 8 billion distractions.

Violet did fantastic on her 1st trip to Cincinnati!  She only got fussy about the last half hour or so and even so she wasn't terribly unhappy! Just ready to eat.

We stopped at that same $3.52 gas station on the way home...8 hours later it was $3.85!!!!

When we got home, we ate supper, kissed daddy goodbye for work and the girls and I crashed! What is it about riding in a car that makes you so tired?

Andrew is enjoying his first summer visit to his dad's and this coming weekend, they're off to South Carolina and Florida before coming back home to get ready for summer band, then our vacation, then back to Tennessee and South Carolina then home again for band camp!  Busy kid.  Those who think babies and toddlers are busy, wait until your kids are older and rest for the weary!

Happy start to summer!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tiny Dancer

The preschool Lily attended this year was a performing arts preschool where dance, music, gymnastics and theater are built into the curriculum in addition to academics.  The 3 year olds all have turned 4 except for Lily. She's still about 6 weeks away from 4.

The school year culminated with a variety of activities. One of them, a dance recital.

The girls practiced before the school year ended on their designated dance day, Lily practiced some moves at home, and last week, they had an evening rehearsal since school has ended.

I had no idea what the music was or what the dances would look like. Her teacher kept it all top secret for the moms to get the reveal on recital day.

We bought our tickets and in excitedly awaited the day!

I gave Lily a soft makeup brush and a little sparkly face powder to put on after I finished fixing her hair. She was thrilled to put on her own "makeup."  I loved watching her and relished in the moment that this was my little girl.

After she was ready, we went outside for a few pictures before heading to the venue. 

When the girls came out, they all looked so adorable and so big!  I sobbed through the entire number! I laughed at some moments too, just knowing their personalities.   It was simply the sweetest thing.   
And. Totally. Worth. The. Wait.

My tiny dancer.
{Lily is 2nd from the left}

I love this picture! She cracks me up! So serious and still looking for us. :)

The final bow!

Andrew missed it because he was already off to visit his dad in Tennessee, but we lucked out that Reagan was with us this day ~ even though she closed her eyes in every picture. ;)  Violet was so good throughout the entire recital and only started to get restless near the end.  Lucky!

Lily we are so, so proud of you!