Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Just Beachy

We just came home from our mini-vacation to the beach Saturday, and despite the gloomy forecast, we had perfect sunny, 80 degree weather for the two of the three days we were down by the bay. It was cloudy when we arrived, but after an hour or so on the beach, the sun came out to play!  We had a bit of rain one night, and when we woke up to a comfy dry, bed in our cabin I must say, we were glad not to be camping for sure! 

We stayed at First Landing State Park on the Chesapeake Bay. My parents have taken me there camping since I was a little girl, and my mom's parents used to take her there since she was a baby as well. So its the place we call "the beach" and its beautiful to make new memories with our children, as we rekindle memories from many trips before.

We spent one afternoon at the Norfolk Botanical Garden where they have an amazing children's garden with a water play area.  Kieran was not at all sure about the fountains everywhere but we all enjoyed feeding turtles in the pond and watching a mother and baby geese. 

Its always beautiful to watch children at the beach.  The girls were like little mermaids in the water while Kieran enjoyed playing with his sand toys.  He finally warmed up to the cool bay water during our last hour or so on the beach and then we couldn't get him out of it! 

We spent one evening at sunset on the bay catching ghost crabs, which the girls loved!  There were hundreds of tiny little crabs running along the beach in the dark, and Anastasia quickly became an expert baby-ghost crab hunter. :)  What fun!

Sometimes I think it would be nice to live at the beach, and let the tide wash away all my cares, but I fear that I might become too relaxed sitting by the seashore that I would never do anything productive ever again!  Unless productivity included knitting and reading chick lit. Of course I would love to take up surfing and kite-surfing in my spare time... between knitting sweaters and hats... and heck, bathing suits! LOL  So I live in the mountains and relax at the beach a few days out of the year and life is good and productive. usually.

We also went at Busch Gardens on Friday for the day! We are completely spoiled!  Nick and I rode a few coasters and water rides together... which was beyond fun!  We have yet to tackle the Verbolten which looks like SO MUCH FUN! Maybe next time around!  Anastasia and Isabel both rode the kiddie coaster twice! Isabel is just tall enough to ride!  And she LOVED it!  Both of them wanted to ride over and over and over again!  I am so glad they are way braver than I was as a kid! :)  It means more fun when they get older!  And we also watched the Celtic Fyre show, which was really amazing!  I think I am an Irish dancer at heart.  So overall we had an awesome little vacation with my parents down at the seaside.  Sadly while we were away, our dog Leia attacked my parent's cat (who was pretty old and looking sick already) and they had to put him down yesterday. It put a little damper on our lovely vacation.  And our same, very bad dog ran away from my parents last night.  She ran down the street from them and jumped in someone's Jeep as they were getting ready to go somewhere! haha.  She may be bad, but she is pretty smart.  Sooo she was bailed out from the SPCA this morning, and is coming back to live with us. That dog.  That wonderful, terrible furball of a dog. 

and on that note, I leave you with a picture and a piece of my favorite Poe poem..

"As I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
-Edgar Allan Poe

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Packed and waiting...

I am all packed and ready, made some yummy juice and bean salad, have little bags of goodies lined up for the kids, DVD player is fixed so we are ready for a little trip to the beach this week!  Sadly, "scattered showers and thunderstorms" are in the forecast for the whole trip, which is why we are not camping. Instead we are staying in a little cabin with my parents for a couple nights! I am praying for good weather.  Now I am up waiting for my toenails to dry... I ALMOST FORGOT TO PAINT MY NAILS!!! Isn't that like automatic beach bad luck? I think the real bad luck will come in the morning when the girls see my sparkly red nails and are beside themselves that we won't have time to paint theirs. Oh well.  I am sure they will forget their woes as soon as we put on "Totoro" and head off towards the (hopefully) sunny seaside!

Do you like the retro feel of this post?  I have really enjoyed watching movies from the 50s and 60s.  Lately I have been really into Marilyn Monroe movies.... and just her style. All the styles, and the feel of a bygone era, so fashionable and innocent. Annnnd I found the perfect swimsuit to match:

 What is so great about this swimsuit is that it is very retro, and doesn't look HORRIBLE on me. So that is a plus. It is from Mod Cloth and is amazing like everything they sell (look at THESE). So next time you need a Christmas gift for me, just go on their website and buy anything and I will love it. :) hehe.

And another quick item that I LOVE are theses shovels and pails for the kiddos: 
 They are from Green toys and the most durable and ever lasting sand toys I have ever seen. Plus they are made from plastic milk jugs.  They are also great for observing turtles and carrying home frog eggs as we learned last week! And our little eggs are slowly hatching! Hooray! Hopefully when we get back we will have a whole bunch of baby tadpoles! 

Anyway, these items are all packed up, my toenails are dry, so I better get some sleep before the looooong drive! :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Weekend thoughts

 I can't express how much I need to remember these words of wisdom. Some days, our house is too small, my children are too whiny, everything is a mess, I don't have enough money for all the little things I wish to buy, we have too much stuff, I have "nothing to wear" in my closet of clothes, and the list of ungrateful thoughts go on. Oh how they go on. We silly, whiny middle-class American's have no clue how rich we truly are.

Ungratefulness is only afforded by those who already have too much.

And now my babies are finally asleep in their cute little beds and my craft room beckons me... its pull is much greater than that of the laundry piled on the dryer right now.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Day at the park...

As if I haven't been spoiled enough lately, my mom and dad bought us season passes to Busch Gardens.  We went for the first time last Friday and it was a blast!  The girls couldn't believe we could go on as many rides as we wanted... unlike at the mall! haha. And Kieran rode his very first ride and many others.  I was soooo happy they allowed him on so many rides at 18 months.  Everyone had a total blast.

I didn't bring my nice camera, and let me tell you, my Craigslist Elixim worked, but I really missed my Nikon. I was happy to get a few decent pictures from the day. I missed getting one of Anastasia by her FIRST ROLLERCOASTER EVER!! There were no lines and no time to think about riding the coaster so we hopped right on.  Isabel was sad that she was too little.  Let me tell you, it was a rough ride and Anastasia's face was one of sheer surprise and terror!  I was totally taken back to when I was a kid, terrified of coasters.  I was still completely proud of how brave she was, though it might be a long time before she ever rides one again!  Isabel on the other hand... she will probably be my Coaster buddy. She is such a little daredevil!

 Also, I think it should be mentioned (because if you call the park they don't "offer the information") that preschoolers (5 and under) who are Virginia residents can get in for free.  Both girls and Kieran (who is also free) got free passes for the year (after my mom had a few friendly discussions with customer service after already purchasing passes for them... ha.).  You just have to bring their birth certificate... or a copy of it.
 So they have this Sesame Forest at Busch Gardens which was the highlight for the kids.  It is a bit amusing because my kids don't really care for Sesame Street... or they didn't until they met the characters! :) Now its all over! At Target yesterday they had to have Elmo bubble bath... which they picked over the PRINCESS BUBBLEBATH. That my friends is a miracle in itself. I think they were perplexed though that the bubble bath didn't come out looking like Elmo... or turning the water red. Marketing to children can be soooo dissapointing.
  Overall we had a perfect day with little crowds and no lines. We watched the show "Entwined" and it was really fun! All the kids LOVED it!  It was a musical involving storybook characters... Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Hansel and Gretel and they had the most adorable acrobats dressed up as gnomes!! Right up my alley for sure! And the kids too of course.   I also rode Appollo's Chariot... the first roller coaster I have been on in over 10 years. Oh my was it scary going up that 200 foot hill.  But then it was sooooo much fuuuun!  I guess I still can stomach those things.

And in case you haven't seen them yet... I put some new "Little Red Riding Hood" skirts in my shop! They are made from the same fabric line as the fox/big bad wolf pants and would make sweet sibling outfits. :)  They have been my most complimented clothing on my girls, as well as their most worn skirts! Anyway, enjoy your week!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


 Its so strange how the years go by, at such an unrelenting pace.  You are 18 and carefree one moment, and you one day you wake up a husband and 3 kids later and you are 28 years old. What happened? Has it really been 10 years since my 18th birthday? And who are these tiny little people who drive me crazy and bring such joy all in the same moment? Oh yes. It has been 10 very good years.  Part of me is a bit weirded out that I am 2 short years from turning 30, and my 20's will be behind me. I feel like I need a "before I'm 30" bucket list or something.  The other part of me is grateful that I have made it so far with such a beautiful life.  Not everyone is so blessed in that way. May I live to 30, and beyond.
 Yesterday I was totally and completely pampered and spoiled.  My dear friend and neighbor Sharon broght me a jar of peonies, new earrings and some super yummy smelling body oil she made.  She really is the best neighbor EVER! :)  And my mom came over and brought lunch AND dinner. Not to mention a vase of flowers from her garden and some lovely gifts.  AND she took me shopping.
 After we had a very quick, yet productive shopping trip, we went to the Gardens at the Shenandoah Valley Museum.  It took forever to get accross town because of the Apple Blossom parade.  We did however meet the Apple Blossom Queen, who happened to be named Jasmine, and my daughters were truley beside themselves.
 I probably took 150 pictures of the garden. It was so perfect in beauty.  I loved the dragon breathing pansies.
 All was fine and dandy until the Garden Natzi came by. He yelled at me because Kieran put his foot in a tiny pool of water about 3 inches deep. "GET THAT KID OUT OF THE WATER!" oh. my. word. It was so sad that someone could have nothing better to do than yell at children enjoying nature. And we also were scolded for eating granola bars. Oops.  Anyway, it would have been a much nicer experience if he wasn't following us around waiting for us to break some other unposted rule.
 Other than that, my day was perfect.

And my sweet husband made his first cake.  I taught him how to make a cheesecake. It has raspberry swirls and turned out so delicious!  And even though my dad didn't come over, he sent along some trick candles for me to blow out. Thanks Dad! Nick gave me a bag of bath goodies and chocolate so I had a very long, hot (QUIET!!!) bubble bath at the end of the day. So yes I was totally spoiled with a very nice day spent with the ones I love most. :)