What We’re Doing/Reading/Watching

 

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So I realized this week that I had let my word of the year, “balance,” escape me this spring, but I think I am living it out right now. After a very busy spring with amazing travel and lots of activities, we’ve decided to make this a low-key summer. We have a few getaways here and there to make it fun, but we’re not going to be keeping up the hectic pace we’ve become familiar with in recent months and years. I couldn’t be more excited!

A low-key summer for me means lots of reading, watching movies, hanging at the park and pool, and letting some boredom even enter the picture. The kids seem really receptive to a slower pace, and I am welcoming it too. I haven’t had a poky summer in some time, so it almost feels like a novelty.

We did enjoy a quick trip to New York City a few weekends ago on a VERY humid day. Steve and I looked forward to spending some time together when the kids went to the Frozen musical with their grandma, but a leisurely stroll in Central Park was not going to happen. We popped into the Morgan Library to enjoy a quiet atmosphere and some central air. I’d been there before, but it was still fun to see J. P. Morgan’s old book collection again and check out the exhibit of Wayne Theibaud (pictures of cakes and pies are always a treat to look at in my opinion!).

What We’re Doing

  • Wrapping up the school year, ballet year, piano year, and soccer and baseball seasons
  • Swimming at the pool (a bit–it’s still open only on weekends until school lets out June 15)
  • Playing tennis
  • Sewing some 12 Days ornaments
  • Enjoying our farm share (lots of greens right now!)
  • Cutting out some American Girl Molly paper dolls
  • Hanging with friends at the park
  • Going axe throwing (just the adults!)
  • Playing a new Lego Marvel video game

What We’re Reading

  • The Molly American Girl Doll series
  • Ivy and Bean
  • Captain Underpants (so much CU!)
  • Dragonfly in Amber (just finished the second Outlander book)
  • Mo Willems books
  • Dr. Suess books

What We’re Watching

  • Outlander (just subscribed to Starz via Amazon)
  • Lady Bird
  • I, Tonya
  • Black Panther
  • The Phantom Thread
  • Kit Kittridge movie
  • Gnomeo and Juliet

 

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What We’re Doing/Reading/Watching

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Yes, my Anglophile self was very excited about the royal wedding.

How April and May have flown by! We expected the craziness, of course, when we signed both kids up for team sports earlier in the year, but actually going through the motions always presents some surprises in stamina. Yesterday I passed out at 4 p.m. from sheer exhaustion — I was so tired even though the rain cancelled several things we had lined up last week and the schedule had been lighter than expected. Nonetheless, we’re having a lot of fun this spring.

One personal milestone I am marking this month is my five-year anniversary of changing things up in the professional realm to be home more with the kids. Looking back, that’s definitely the best decision I ever made. I have had such a great ride with them in their early childhood, and I have built a home-based freelancing business up to the equivalent of true part-time work. It’s a struggle to manage it all in the summer, but overall this life is definitely for me. I would encourage anyone struggling with work-life balance to be brave enough to make some serious life changes. It will work out in the end, I promise.

As a side note, I’ve debated whether I want to keep updating this ten-year-old blog at this point but decided I’ll try to check in once in a blue moon as it’s one of the only places I have right now for documenting my life with kids. I am going to do less and less in the picture realm only because I’ve had a load of spam subscriptions lately and want to avoid overexposing the kiddos.

What We’re Doing

  • Either playing or watching baseball and soccer
  • Playing at the park
  • Attending the Fun Fair (a neighborhood old-timey fair held for two weeks in early May)
  • Participating in neighborhood and school activities like the art show, local fun run, and more
  • Training to be a Brownie leader (I am psyched!)
  • Serving on some different committees and boards in our community
  • Celebrating the royal wedding with friends
  • Hosting my parents (did that for a week in early May)
  • Going to the Barnes Museum in downtown Philadelphia
  • Trying to get around to making photo books of early spring adventures to Disney World and New Orleans
  • Getting the calendar and my brain ready for summer (it’s only a month away!)

What We’re Reading

  • The Outlander series (first and second books–such fun!)
  • The Dr. Kitty Cat, Owl Diaries, Miss Maisy series for the first-grade reader
  • The Captain Underpants series for the kindergarten reader
  • Comic books

What We’re Watching

  • Little Women miniseries on PBS
  • YouTube videos of Chloe’s American Girl doll channel
  • The Greatest Showman
  • The Simpsons
  • Doc McStuffins (having a resurgence in the house since we signed up for Hulu)

We’ll keep things rolling along in the next few weeks with a quick day trip to NYC, a dance recital, a piano recital, and time at the pool, which opens this weekend.

Spring Break Recap

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Spring break ends today. I am preparing to get my eldest on the school bus this morning, but it was such fun to explore our area with my kids last week. We went into Philadelphia, visited New York City, explored a nearby arboretum, attended a Phillies game, played at our playground and creek, practiced and played baseball, watched Boss Baby, orchestrated an Easter egg hunt for the neighborhood, and more. There’s never a dull moment with these two!

What a week! Looking forward to more adventures this summer.

March Fun

 

March has sure been a crazy month for our family. The kids had two breaks — for conferences and spring break. It’s been nonstop fun for them, but they both seemed pretty happy to get back to the school routine today. I am also relieved to have a few months with no major disruptions. My workload is definitely part- to full-time these days.

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This month included some St. Paddy’s celebrations, a trip to our college town, and around town fun, including crafting, mini golfing, trampolining, and more. Nora is Shopkins-obsessed, so we made these ones out of air-dry clay. A fun project to kick off spring break!

 

We loved visiting Ithaca again. Eating at Moosewood was a highlight for this nearly lifelong vegetarian as was seeing the beautiful gorges. Watching the kids enjoy nature and the little things made my heart so happy too. We love theme parks and museums, of course, but there is something to be said about taking your kids to a simpler place to really get away from it all.

Oh, and did I mention that I coordinated two Easter egg hunts? It was rewarding to be involved with these activities, but I sure am excited to have less on my to-do list now that Easter is over! Both went off pretty seamlessly; the weather cooperated for both, which is the most important part of the whole activity.

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And we’ve been baking, cooking, drinking, and enjoying life. The Pioneer Woman came to the rescue for our last-minute Easter meal. This carrot cake was divine, with or without the pecans.

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I love my kids at this age. Seriously, it’s so much fun.

 

Sunshine

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There’s nothing like a clear, sunny, 70-degree day without plans. I sit here basking in our first truly beautiful day of 2015, watching the kids play in the backyard. Nora pushes the Sit and Stand stroller, pretending to mother her brother. Carson plays along–until he’s had enough and then finds a stick to use for his ninja moves.

I see buds on the trees. Irises poke out of the soil in our front yard. Spring is here, at last.

School reopens tomorrow after a weeklong spring break. How I’ve loved this time to go on adventures with my little ones. We’ve logged some miles in the car, stayed up past our bedtimes, and eaten a lot of Easter candy.

These days are good.

Early Taste of Spring

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How does one prepare for spring when the ground is covered in snow and the temperatures are not even flirting with the freezing mark? Well, if you are in Philadelphia, you travel to the Flower Show for an instant pick-me-up!

This more than hundred-year tradition is one of the best-timed events. In our area, the seasons stick to the calendar for the most part. This means that it snows in March (still winter) and is blazing hot in September (still summer). As much as we’re ready to move into the next season during these transitional months, Mother Nature insists we wait it out until those equinoxes arrive!

This year’s Flower Show focused on the movies, which was a perfect them for a four-year-old and a two-and-a-half-year-old. We enjoyed the beautiful displays while trying to guess the movies.

Here are some of the highlights:

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What magnificent floral displays!

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Themed after Cinderella’s wedding.

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Here’s Elsa’s castle.

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From Ratatouille. (Love the tomatoes in the floral basket!)

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Peter Pan.

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An Up doghouse.

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Winnie-the-Pooh, of course!

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Merida’s archery skills displayed.

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And some other beautiful displays!

A Touch of Easter

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Lost in the shuffle of moving (aside from Nora’s soccer socks–anyone have a clue where those are?!) are the spring holidays and the fun crafts and recipes that can be planned around them. While I am usually capable of enjoying both Easter and Passover, this season has left me dead in my tracks. I am starting to worry about when I’ll get out to find some Easter basket goodies for the kids.

Nonetheless, Nora and I decorated our new mantel for the holiday and have made matzo bark and decorated construction paper Easter eggs to get into the festivities a bit. While it will be a scaled-back affair, the spring decor has me in a cheerier mood. And we have a few things on the wall now, as you can see above the Easter display.

SAHM Thoughts

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It’s been several months since I’ve felt in my groove as a stay-at-home mom. Summer and fall flew by as I transitioned to my new role, but between winter and our moving endeavor, I’ve felt less than adequate in my full-time job at home with the kids.

However, on this first full day of spring, I feel like I am back. Maybe it’s the official change of season or the fact that our home showings have really slowed down and our day-to-day pace has become more normal again, but I feel inspired and re-engergized. Soon, I’ll be unpacking boxes in our new house, planning messy projects for the kids, cooking my favorite and new recipes, and settling into a new routine.

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What else is on my agenda these days? Figuring out a good balance of activities for the kids, crunching numbers in our budget for the new house, working on lining up new paid-work gigs, and dreaming of my brother’s summer wedding!

Spring, I’m happy to see you!

Four-Day Weekend Ahead!

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Even though I am no longer in the workforce, this upcoming holiday weekend has me excited! Steve is off Friday and Monday, so we’ll have an extra-special long weekend to share together. On the to-do list? Constructing some toys, cleaning Nora’s closet, going on a date, hosting a small BBQ with friends, and baby-proofing the house (currently watching Carson stare up the stairs).

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I am trying to figure out how to carve out some me-time with our new routine, but I’ve been keeping the kids busy with lots of activities, and really wearing myself our in the process. Between outdoor adventures, regular park trips, meal fixing, project creating, and house managing, we’re exhausted at the end of the day.

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The kids and I are off today to collect supplies for our exciting weekend ahead. I hope you all enjoy your long holiday weekends too!