Thursday, November 24, 2011


Wishing everyone a blessed Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Year in Review {Part 2}

As promised, I am back with the second half of our whirlwind of a year in PA. You can check out the first half here.  I think that when we left off, it was February and we had just closed on our house. So on to March.

After painting a few rooms, moving in, and beginning to make the house into a home, I was feeling a little homesick. I hadn't seen my family since we moved (with the exception of my mom's visit in October) and a trip back home was just what the doctor ordered. And boy was he right! The hubby was busy planning the lenten season and was not able to come so the girls and I boarded a plane (all by ourselves!) and headed back home to see my parents.

Only it wasn't exactly home. You see my father is a state legislator and they were in session at the time.  So instead of flying home, we booked our tickets to fly into the capital to see my parents. And it just happened that my sister was there visiting at the same time so it was a double bonus to see them as well.

(sadly, this was the best picture I could get with all the girls)

Our trip was short, only a few days but it was jam packed.  We visited family...

and the girls got see my dad in action and visit him on the floor of the legislature!

We visited the top of the capitol... 

..and had lots of snuggles!

(sorry for the blurry iphone pic)

The trip was much too short and before we knew it we were back on the plane to come home and see daddy.  Just in time for Easter!

And fast forward a few more months and Addy celebrated her first friends birthday party. My baby girl is growing up so fast and in order to celebrate we threw her a Pancakes and Pajamas party for her and a bunch of her 6 year old friends. I originally found the idea here. What a blast! The girls all showed up in their pj's. They made cereal necklaces and decorated goodie bags for the pinata.

(that's me, helping tie on Addy's cereal necklace that she made)

We ate awesome pancakes... and had an all around good time. And I survived the milestone to tell the story. 

More importantly Addy had fun and that was what it was all about!

Fast forward to July and our house was turned into Grand Central Station. But I wouldn't have it any other way. My family came out to visit and we had good friends from back home drive out to spend a few days with us also. It was a good month. 

August brought more visitors as my mother-in-law came out to visit for a week with a good friend of hers. I would post pics from their trip but unfortunately I have been threatened to be disowned if I ever showed anyone those pictures. So in proper honor your mother-in-law fashion, I will have to refrain from posting them for the entire world to see. Just know that they had a great time and we loved having them. In fact the girls can't wait for them to come back. They have been practicing up on their drama skills and are anxious to put on another show for them.

So that about sums it up! One year in its entirety. I can't say it enough but it seems like the time has flown by. I am excited for what the next year will bring. I have faith that the next year will be just as good as the last. Maybe even better. Who knows? I guess you will need to stay tuned to find out!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I can hear myself think

As I type this I am sitting in a hotel room by myself in the middle of no where New York. Well it is not exactly the middle of no where but it was dark when I got here and I have no clue where I am. I am traveling for work and I have a big meeting scheduled for tomorrow however tonight I am hanging out in my hotel room By. My. Self. And its quite. Eerily quite.

I am often used to the constant pitter patter of little feet and and the non-stop chatter of my girls. But not tonight. Tonight I sit on this king size bed, watching Glee, typing away on my computer. It is so quiet I can hear myself think. And I'll admit it, I forgot what that was like!

But as much as I am enjoying the short break, it is actually kind of lonely. My hubby isn't here to talk about my day and to solve the worlds problems with. I ate dinner alone and there were no beautiful little faces to kiss goodnight. Tomorrow will be different as I meet up with co-workers but for now it is just me. In a strange place, with strange people, and no where to go. Plus they are talking that it might snow. So I am going to stay put and soak in the quiet. And think about how I miss my family and wish I was home.  Soon enough, I have to tell myself. Soon enough.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Christmas on the Brain...

Ugh! Seriously what is wrong with me? It all started last night in casual conversation with the hubby about where we would put our Christmas tree this year. And this morning all I could think about was Christmas decorations and trimming the tree and listening to Christmas carols, etc. etc. etc...  Do I need to remind you that it is not even Halloween yet? If I continue on this way it is going to be one looooong winter. Sigh!

And it doesn't help any when I stare at pretty magazine photos that look like this...

Engravable Simple Stocking Holder

What is a girl to do? And do I even need to mention that there is only 64 days till Christmas? Well at 
least it makes me feel like I am not completely jumping the gun.  Now if I can only start shopping for those presents... 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Year in Review

Its hard to believe that we have been out on the east coast for a year already. Seriously, where does the time go? A lot has happened in that year so I thought I would put together this little recap of what the past year has been like for us. So here we go...  Are you ready? It is a wild ride!

We started out the year by packing up all our stuff and loading it onto a really big moving truck. Yes, that thing was huuuuuge!

And we proceeded to drive across country with my in-laws to arrive at our temporary housing which looked a little something like this...

I am not even sure why I have this picture, but our apartment was on the first floor in the corner of this picture. You can even see the red of the moving van parked out front on the day it arrived.

It was here that I also sent my baby off to kindergarden. I won't go into details about how I sobbed like a baby kept my cool when I dropped her off the first day or putting her on the bus for the first time. But she was more than ready and couldn't wait to get on that big yellow bus.

(this picture was taken on her actual first day of kindergarden... which meant that I dropped her off at school. I was too much of a wimp to put her on the bus the first day. Don't ask me why Reese was so upset, I have no clue)

(and here she is all ready to go on the second day!)

It was also here that I cooked my very first Thanksgiving turkey. Just for the four of us. To be honest, I am not even sure how I was able to avoid this feat in the past, probably because we were always on the road for Thanksgiving, at least that is the excuse I am going with. That turkey weighed approximately 10lbs. Just a baby and delicious non-the-less, at least for my first turkey.

We had several visitors in the short time that we were there including my mom and uncle, and the in-laws came back out again for Christmas. Although Christmas was pretty low key since all of our decorations were in storage. In fact we didn't even have a tree. That was until our wonderful friends from back home took pitty on us and ordered us a mini tree that you can see in the background.

(The glass of wine on the counter was mine. I needed it after spending a week with my in-laws in such close quarters... Ha! Only kidding... Seriously, I have the best in-laws)

Fast forward to February when we purchased our home.  What a feeling to finally be out of that apartment and to have some space to spread out. 

This is what the house looked like on the day we closed. Apparently out here this is a lot of snow. Its more of a dusting if you ask me. But nobody does...  And it disappeared two days later. Anyways, the girls finally have their own bedrooms and of course they picked the ones farthest away from each other. Go figure! I honestly thought that they would have a hard time but they did great. After going through so much change they never cease to amaze me. 

So I think I will end it here as we are only half way through the year and this post is long enough for one day.  So stay tuned for the next half!

To be continued....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hurricanes and Honeybees

Please excuse the fact that this post was written several weeks ago. It just took me that long to add the photos so if it seems a little out of sequence, that is why. I just got around to adding them tonight and thought what they heck? I'll post it anyway. Note this post is picture heavy of the kiddos. This one's for you mom!

It is no secret that hurricane Irene made her presence known over the weekend. And as a rookie to this new phenomena (since we obviously don't have them back in the midwest) I would be lying if I told you I wasn't scared out of my mind worried about it. Now I might have to remind you that not even a week earlier, I had experienced my first earthquake. So I will admit it, I was stressed out. I worried that our power would go out and our basement would flood. I worried that a tree was going to go flying through our house. I worried that our windows wouldn't be able to stand the hurricane force winds and that they would blow out. I worried that my girls would be so scared that they would forever be afraid of storms.  Worry...Worry....Worry. There was enough of it to go around.

So we prepared and did everything that they said we should do and we hunkered down for the weekend waiting for Irene to arrive. And when she finally did, we were ready. Or as ready as we could be. And you know what? We didn't lose power and my basement didn't flood. Although the wind was strong, my house was spared from any flying trees and my windows stood their ground. And best of all, my babies slept through it all.

So in the end, all of that worrying was for nothing. But I am not going to sugar coat it. It was awful. That is not something I ever want to experience again. I truly believe that all of the media hype about it was worth it. It saved lives. People were prepared. End of story.

So once Irene passed, life quickly returned to normal. Monday morning arrived and it was Addy's first day of school. (So how's that for a transition? Yeah, my high school English teach would be proud!)

As a 1st grader she is in the big time now! With homework and everything! She was so excited to go back to school and see all of her friends. So excited in fact that she hopped right out of bed Monday morning all bright eyed and bushy tailed.

See what I mean?

I think this one is my favorite. Why? Because if you look closely you can see her sister in peaking in the window wondering what's going on. But don't worry it was her turn on Tuesday. That's right, the very next day was Reese's first day of preschool. Seriously how can you resist the cuteness? Admit it, you can't.

So here is to another successful school year, hurricane free.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


My heart aches today... I don't think I need to tell you why. The events that took place on this day 10 years ago will forever be etched in my mind. I try to teach my children about what happened on that day only to come up with no words. I keep telling myself they are young, they don't understand. After all, I was still in college when this had happened. They were not even born yet.

A year ago today we took our girls to the Garden of Reflection in Bucks County PA. Just when I think my girls are too young to understand, they surprise me. I am forever blessed by their innocence and love. We brought them to see this memorial in an effort to teach them something about this great nation. What I discovered was that they in fact, were teaching me so much more.

My prayer on this day is that we all take the time to remember, not just the horrific events of that day, but of the courage and love that arose from the ashes.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Operation Organization!

School officially starts here in one week! Yep, one week! And I am really not ready. In one short week our lives will once again be filled with crazy schedules of running here and going there. The lazy days of summer are quickly fading only to be replaced by a more strict schedule of buses, homework, gymnastics, church, bedtimes...well you get my point.

So in order to help combat some of the stress that comes along with the first week of school I have officially declared today Operation Organization! at our little hive. And the plan will look a little something like this...

clean out the girls closets (and ours too!)
organize and rearrange said closets to make them more useful for the kiddos
purchase lots of plastic bins to store old clothes and garage items
put together some shelving that has been sitting in our basement since we moved in 6 months ago
clean out old toys from the girls playroom and rearrange furniture in there to make it more of a playroom
(this may or may not involve a trip to Ikea... shhh don't tell my husband... he has a severe aversion to Ikea)
clean out the fridge and designate a space in the kitchen for making school lunches
possibly paint the girls toy chests in their bedrooms
paint the mirror hanging in Reese's bedroom

Lofty goals for one weekend?  Perhaps, but I am feeling ambitious and I say bring on the challenge.  I will be back on Monday to show you how we did.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Buzzing About {Homemade Brownies}

It's no secret that I am not Martha Stewart when it comes to the kitchen. Heck, who am I kidding... I am no Martha period! But that doesn't mean that I don't try. Sometimes it works out wonderfully, other times, Not. So. Much. If you would have asked me a year ago, I would have said that the majority of my cooking came out of a box. But then things changed (you can read about that here) and I decided that I needed to cook more from scratch.  And this is one of those times.

Yes folks, I give you a recipe for homemade brownies! I actually got the recipe from my sister who I think got it from a friend of hers.  Either way, it is divine! As in melt-in-your-mouth divine!  Here is what you will need:

-5oz. unsweetened baking chocolate (for best results use Ghiaradelli unsweetened baking chocolate)
-1 1/2 sticks butter
-1 TBSP pure vanilla extract
-2 1/4 C sugar
-4 eggs
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 1/3 C flour
-1 C. Walnuts (optional - I skipped them)

And here is what to do:
Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Add vanilla when melted. In separate bowl mix sugar, eggs and salt for a few minutes until well mixed. Combine the two mixtures together and add flour, baking powder and walnuts. Pour mixture into a 9x13 greased pan and bake at 375 for 21 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Sorry I don't have any pics of the baking process. Addy helped me make them tonight and it was sooo much fun that I forgot to take pics. Oops! But here is my hubby enjoying the end result. I hope you do too!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Staycation

So apparently giving the recent state of the economy, staycation is now officially a word.  Ask webster, he knows all.  So in classic bandwagon style, I made the jump and stayed home over the week of the 4th of July.

Now this was not your typical staycation as my house was full of family.  Fifteen family members to be exact.  And we were on the road just about every day.  So maybe that doesn't count as a staycation, but at least it didn't involve me getting on a plane and I got to sleep in my same bed every night so I am calling it one anyway.  And for the rest of my family??  Well, it was just a plain vacation for them.  And if you asked one of them, I am sure they love to tell you about the joys of flying with young children and what its like to sleep on an air mattress... but nonetheless I was glad they came and got a chance to see our house and where we now live.  Now all I have to do is convince them that we all need to buy a family beach house out here (hint, hint, Cape May was awesome!!)

But just to give you an idea of what our staycation looked like, here is a sneak peak!

Betsy Ross

Congress Hall (where they signed the Declaration of Independence for all you non history folk)


There were fireworks to light...

...water fights to be had...

...even Uncle Byron got in on the action!

There were gardens to explore...


 My awesome parents!

...and oceans to swim in!

There was Amish buggies to drive...

...and horses to meet!

Birthday's were celebrated...

...and giggles abound!

These was an intense game of tic tac toe...

...and when she figured out that Grandpa won!

If your still with me, you now know that it was not a relaxing kind of vacation since we were always on the move, but it was soooo worth it!  And I would do it again in a heart beat!  I miss my family ALOT!!  It is hard being so far away... harder than I ever expected.  And I don't know when we will all get together out here again but I am already counting down the days.  Maybe now a family beach house in Cape May doesn't sound so bad after all!

And so I will leave you with a pic of the whole group!  What a good lookin' bunch!

Ummm.... ok let's try that again...

Take 2
Wait...aren't we missing somebody??

Take 47 nephew's sentiments say it all!

Take 101, maybe?  Just keepin' it real folks!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

They make me Shutter!!

So we finally got the shutters installed yesterday on the windows in our master bath. And if I must say so myself it looks 100% better than I thought they would. Wait let me back up a bit...

When we moved into our house in February I ordered blinds for all the upstairs windows in the house, with the exception of the master bath. I knew we needed privacy but I didn't want to spend a fortune so I ordered the cheapest ones I could find. And they work great. But I also knew I wanted something different in our bathroom and I didn't want to spend even more money on blinds that I would take down shortly anyway. But the problem is, is that we live on the side of a hill. From looking out our bathroom window we look directly at the top of the hill where our neighbor's house is. And if they ever stepped out into their backyard, well let's just say they could get quite a show if we ever turned on the lights! To give you an idea, here is what it looked like on closing day.

That was back in February and yes there was snow on the ground. But you can see the back of our neighbors house so you know what I mean. Maybe this will give you a more accurate picture of what it looked like up until yesterday.

If you look really closely you can see another house on the top of the hill facing our window.  That house wasn't there in February.

So there has been lots of showers in the dark, thinking I was reaching for the shampoo and grabbing my husband shaving cream instead.  It was not fun and I had had enough! So out to Lowe's we went and I ordered beautiful plantation shutters for the window. The only problem... it will take 4-6 weeks for delivery. So we wait and continue to shower in the dark. And I continue to get more crabby and my hair is starting to smell like shaving cream. So after what seems like an eternity Lowe's called and they had my shutters! Oh!! Happy!! Day!! And yesterday they arrived and installed them. So now it looks like this...

Ta Da!!!

With the slats open!!! (excuse the darkness, my camera is not the best)

Open in all their glory!!

And closed!!  So much better!!

And once I figured out that I could turn the light back on!!  hehe

It kinda makes the window in the commode look a little sad. Maybe that is the next one to get the fabulous shutter treatment! I guess we will have to wait and see.... (wait, did I just blog about our commode to the entire world?? well, I guess I did). Anyways, in case you couldn't tell my all the exclamation points, I am pretty excited about this new turn of events. And my neighbors are thankful too!!