These Are The Days

Smart ~ Writer ~ Mom

Category: Family adventures (page 1 of 8)

The Best Day, In 100 Words

This is part of Microblog Monday, thanks to Lori Holden, and also a post in response to a 100-word challenge from two blogger friends, and Ashley. Brevity isn’t my strong suit; I was pleased to see this was exactly 100 words. Well, you know, except for this disclaimer. Omg. 

The best day is the one when we don’t do much of anything.

Lounging, lazily.

Snoozing intermittently.

Play-wrestling.

Cuddling warmly.

Building Lego towers skillfully.

Snuggling after a bubble bath.

I love to watch him teach the girls.

I love to hear her sing the ABCs with her little lisp.

I love to watch her grown-up hands color masterpieces with new crayons.

I love cooking dinner for them, even though the chicken may be dry.

A walk in the neighborhood. A swim at the pool. A bedtime story. A kiss goodnight.

My husband and my girls.

These are the best days.

And So It Begins

A lot has happened since last I wrote!

  • The building of our house was completed!
  • We packed and moved to a new state!
  • We celebrated Christmas!
  • Enjoyed a visit from my folks and my sister-in-law!
  • Our girls started new schools!
  • A small snowfall shut the state down (basically) but the BONE CHILLING cold and winds are the worst I’ve ever experienced! (this includes 18 years growing up in New England, 18 months living in Chicago, and 8 years living in Syracuse – THE. WORST!)
  • I discovered a new appreciation for the exclamation point!

So much to tell and pictures to go with it all, I promise.

But for now, let me just say that we’ve settled into a new home and new routines and our girls are adjusting beautifully. So grateful for that.

In fact, today was my 10-year old’s second day of school and she invited two girls from our neighborhood over for a playdate. Did I have snacks? No. Did they care? No!

Again with the exclamation points.

New schools and new friends and playdates…and so it begins 🙂

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Ringing in the New Year!

Where We’ve Been. Where We’re Going.

For the last few months, my family and I have been singularly focused on where we’re going. My husband was transferred and for us that means less travel for him and the chance to build a new home.

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We signed the cornerstone of our house 🙂

And so, we found a lovely small town in Delaware to build. We’ve been tracking the progress of the house. From the groundbreaking to the framing to the walls and the shingles and now the floors, carpet, and appliances. Yes, it’s all coming together. We’re within three weeks of moving in and we’re so excited.

But.

With any new beginning, there has to be an ending.

When we moved to New Jersey nearly three years ago, I never dreamed we’d grow to love this place. After all, we’d lived in the suburbs of Syracuse for the past eight years – the only home our now 10-year old daughter had ever known – and we were heartbroken to leave.

The friends we’d made had become like family.

Beak and Skiff apple orchard, 2008

Beak and Skiff apple orchard, 2008

We went to the same farm every year and rode the tractor out to the orchard to pick apples.

For eight years we ate fried dough, eagerly awaited the unveiling of the butter sculpture, and rode elephants at the Great New York State Fair.

We drove the Lights on the Lake every year, including the time about ten minutes into the drive when we quickly discovered our daughter had the flu. Don’t ask.

My point is, we grew to love Syracuse. And much to our surprise, we’ve grown to love New Jersey, too. Why were we surprised? Because this was supposed to be a stop along the way. We’d only planned to be here for a few years, before finding a more permanent place to settle. We’re not living in a traditional neighborhood; we’re renting. We’re among transients and people navigating the in-between.

First day of school, 2013

First day of school, 2013

First day of preschool, 2013

First day of preschool, 2013

And yet, community is what we found. We found friendships and unexpected kindnesses among the neighbors in our rental community in the days following SuperStorm Sandy when, like hundreds of thousands of Jerseyans, we were left without power. We found it at the bus stop where we met new friends, confronted the neighborhood bully (an eight-year old!), and waved good-bye as our little ones headed off on their first day of school. We found it at two elementary schools, two preschools, one dancing recital, two years of cheerleading, three years of Girl Scouts, mommy-and-me swim lessons, Zumba classes, library storytimes, and numerous choral concerts and school plays.

The common denominator in all of these experiences? People.

Every experience we’ve had in New Jersey has been a good one. And it’s because of the people we’ve met.

Right now, we’re filled with a weird combination of nervousness-excitement-anxiety-anticipation.

Delaware looks promising. The schools our girls will attend look terrific. Our neighborhood seems great so far.

Delaware means the end of what has largely been a nomadic lifestyle for us: my husband is from Texas; I’m from Massachusetts. We’ve both lived in Florida and Illinois. Our older daughter was born in Massachusetts; our younger daughter was born in upstate New York. And we’ve lived in northern New Jersey for the last three years.

In about 18 days, we’ll leave Jersey and drive two hours south to our new home. And we’ll take with us three years of special memories. It’s become another home in our journey as a family.

Thank you, Garden State 🙂

Wet

We left early this morning and drove three hours to Connecticut for the UCF – UConn game. Rain, high winds and cold temps were in the forecast so we dressed appropriately: layer upon layer of shirts and sweaters; tights for the girls, long underwear for the husband; heavy socks, snow boots, gloves, hats, winter coats and a rain poncho to keep us dry.

We looked awesome.

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UCF did well, but ultimately lost.

We fought the good fight and stayed as long as the girls could stand it. Little one didn’t mind being cold and wet.

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She carefully climbed down the stands and then waved to us.

But our older daughter did. While she didn’t complain, she was clearly shivering and uncomfortable. 

We decided to leave at the half and in the warmth of our heated car we followed the rest of the game on Twitter.

And we decided that our next game will be at UCF’s Brighthouse Stadium in Orlando 🙂

52 Weeks of Sisterhood: The Girls of Fall (These ‘Tonights’ Are Going By Fast)

I watched from the window as my husband taught our 10-year old how to throw a football.

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She got the hang of it and even put her own little spin on her toss.

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My youngest was just happy to be there…and was clearly more interested in kicking around her pink soccer ball.

My husband played football in high school. I, of course, did not. But I sort of always wanted to be a cheerleader. And I could have, too, if I hadn’t misspelled the word “success” while auditioning for the squad. For the record there is only one “U” in success. OMG EMBARRASSING.

Anyway.

FALL! It’s awesome, isn’t it? I love pretty much everything about it and judging from my Twitter feed being flooded with all things pumpkin, spice, and colorful leaves, it’s safe to say I’m not alone.

So as I was enjoying watching my family play, I started thinking about football games. Professional, college, and high school. And then I thought of this picture.

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My husband, around age 11. OMG.

How adorable is this kid?

So I took lots of pictures of them playing on the grass as the sun was setting. Early fall is a great backdrop for time outside.

And then because I’m sentimental and mushy and I love relating life moments to music, I thought of my very favorite Kenny Chesney song. I’ve included it below for your listening pleasure 🙂

Among the many coaches and players shown in the video’s introduction is one coach who’s giving a pre-game speech to his team. He’s reminiscing about his time on the field some twenty plus years earlier and he’s trying to instill in them a sense of appreciation. Enjoy this moment. Enjoy this game. He says, “You’ve got plenty of time for tomorrow. But these ‘tonights’? They’re going by fast.”

Oh my goodness yes they are.

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