A Very Fun Fourth…

Yesterday was a lovely day. Waking up late, preparing a delicious breakfast, and lounging around with my little family is the best. We had promised Dylan that we’d go to the clubhouse pool so, at about 12pm, we drove over. We didn’t imagine that there would be so many people there. With no parking space in sight, and what seemed like thousands of cars driving around in search of one, we decided to go back home. Dylan’s disappointment was obvious. He looked out the window and began to cry. Stella wondered why we got ready for what she likes to call “Water Day”, drove around for 5 minutes, and returned home. Shaun and I hated to break a promise but we also realized how stressful it might be to be in such a crowd with two young children on such a holiday. There had to be something else we could do that was just as fun. I suggested we have our own “Water Day” in our backyard. Dylan perked up and Stella smiled. We got home and set up for some fun.

It turned out to be a very exciting time, I’m sure more fun than we would have had crowded like sardines in our clubhouse pool. Shaun and I forgot ourselves and became immersed in the moment with our kids. We blasted summer time music, set up our funny little octopus, and filled about 80 water balloons. The water balloons were my favorite. I purchased those easy to fill water balloon sets from Costco and they were so worth it. In 2 minutes we had 40 water balloons. We found fun ways to pop them and then we made more. Shaun especially loved throwing them up in the air and getting them to land on his head. Dylan and Stella thought that was the funniest thing ever.

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Later in the evening, we took our little $10 pack of fireworks outside and lit them up. We didn’t realize that each firework does essentially the same thing. Nonetheless, Dylan and Stella loved them. During this time, our neighbors, who must have spent hundreds on their fireworks, began to light up the sky with a beautiful display of colorful explosions. We ran to the field in front of our house to watch. It sounded like cannons being shot into the sky. It was exhilarating to watch.

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What a fun fourth of July ❤

Our Magical New Year’s Weekend

A few weeks ago I made the decision to seek out fun things to do in advance so that my family can make the most out of every weekend. I made this decision after several of those do nothing weekends that drive me crazy. They usually consist of Shaun and I trying to figure out something to do last minute and then just giving up and doing little things here and there…more like a weekend of running errands. I want to be more intentional with my free time and, more importantly, with my family time. One of the first commitments we signed on to was to spend New Year’s in Pompano Beach. We booked an ocean front hotel about a month in advance and anticipated the great time we’d have but we didn’t expect it to be as magical as it turned out to be.

We arrived at the hotel, checked in, and made our way to our room which we were thinking would just be a little room with an ocean view. It was not. It was a beautiful room with a great kitchen, spacious living room featuring a pull out couch, and a cozy bedroom. What was even more amazing was that it was on the first floor with a beautiful ocean view and it was just a few steps to get to the ocean.

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The view from our room.

We immediately went out to see the ocean which was overwhelmingly beautiful on that Saturday night. When you haven’t been to see the ocean in a few months and you visit it on a windy, wavy day it is breathtaking. The sound of the waves breaking, the wind in your face, and the smell of the ocean are enough to awaken your senses and form a vivid memory in your mind.

The next morning I woke at 5am. It was like my internal clock set itself so that Shaun and I could watch the sun rise. I quickly woke him up and somehow Stella woke as well so the three of us went out together. It was too cloudy to watch the sun rise but it was still a beautiful experience to feel the sun rise instead.

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Later, we all walked about a mile to the picturesque light house. We took our camera with us to document our little journey 🙂

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We invited my sister, her husband, and their two children to join us. They were able to spend the day with us so we enjoyed the beach, bowling, and just being together. My sister is an amazing photographer who always has her camera handy. She captured so many beautiful pictures while she was with us…

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We were so excited with this mini vacation that we immediately booked it again for the summer. It felt nice to plan something in advance and have it turn out to be so memorable.

Here Comes Halloween…

We had an amazing Halloween! Dylan and Stella spent the morning trick-or-treating around their school.

I loved watching Stella go from class to class, watching everything around her while hidden under her owl poncho.

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It must have been a very exciting and exhausting experience for Stella as she fell asleep before the group had finished collecting treats.

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I also loved watching Dylan and his friends go from class to class with their treat buckets. Dylan was so giddy as he went from class to class.

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Most of all, I felt grateful that I was able to participate in their school festivities. It is one of the most special aspects of working at my school and being a parent!

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Later, we met at my mom’s house for night time trick-or-treating. My mom and Stepdad, Ray were so smitten with Stella!

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My mom made a beautiful cat! She looked so pretty and excited in her costume. I think my sister should have dressed up as a cat as well…she is just like one.

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But she did make a cute ladybug. Look at that Minion…I love his expression!

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I like this special moment my mom captured.

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This was the first time that the kids have trick-or-treated through a neighborhood and the first time in years for Shaun and I. It was such an amazing experience. The kids were joyful as they ran from house to house, collecting treats, thanking the treat givers, and running to the next house.

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What a Happy Halloween!!!

 

A Dewy Morning Spent Pumpkin Carving

I really love the type of weather we’re having this morning. It is a little cooler and it had just rained so everything is enveloped by that wet, fragrant, dewiness of a morning after the rain.Our plants are so happy today…so lush and green. We decided to take advantage of the beautiful morning by carving a pumpkin to celebrate the season.

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Happy Fall!

 

Scarecrow Night at School

Yesterday was Scarecrow Night at my school. This is a really special event where families come together to create a unique scarecrow using whichever materials they’d like. This way, each scarecrow has it’s own look and serves to represent the family who made it. These unique and beautiful scarecrows line the outside of the school for the following several weeks. It’s so much fun to create a scarecrow and add it to the collection. It’s just as fun to marvel at everyone else’s special scarecrow. This is a wonderful annual event that I felt lucky to experience as a parent this year. Shaun, Dylan, Stella, and I worked together to create our scarecrow. What a wonderful way to celebrate fall. I’m so glad that I brought my camera along to capture this special event. I will treasure these memories forever.

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A Day at the Farm: Pinto’s Pumpkin Patch

We spent the afternoon at Pinto’s Farm today. Pinto’s Farm is a lovely farm that’s five minutes from our house. They offer lots of wholesome things to do with your family like paddle boating (even babies can ride!), pony rides, tractor rides, a petting zoo and more. This month they are featuring a pumpkin patch. I thought it would just be a simple change like a few pumpkins here and there but, to my surprise, they had gone all out in the most beautiful way! They hung pumpkins and ghosts from the trees, they had several spots set up to take beautiful holiday pictures, they had trick-or-treating, face painting, and they even had a hay maze! It was a lot of fun!

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