Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What we've been up to

I've fallen behind on blogging, so brace yourself for a post that's basically just filled with random happenings and pictures.  You're welcome! :)

After years of tagging along to many, many birthday parties (a benefit of being the 2nd child, I suppose)  Liam is starting to have his own little social life at birthday parties.  This was a recent one for one of his besties, Maya...with an appearance by Ariel!!

Painting seashells-look how sweaty his head is, he had just come out of the bouncy house!

As I posted before, Liam has pretty much moved away from weekend naps.  It's fine for the most part, and sometimes if we're home, I have both of them take a rest in the afternoon to recharge....sometimes they read or do something quiet, sometimes I put on a movie and pop some popcorn:

And sometimes, after an especially tiring weekend, this is what happens around 5pm:



We had a low key Father's Day celebration, which was very welcome after a few busy weekends in a row.  My parents came up and the rain held off so we were able to have a family wiffleball tournament, followed by a trip to Bruster's and burgers on the grill later in the evening :)  Happy belated Father's Day!

Me and my dad, circa 1984

Brian and his dad, 2006

Brian and the boys, 2011

Nothing like seeing a picture of your newborn to make you realize how quickly the time passes.  *sniff, sniff*  Is someone chopping onions in here?!?

Anyway--this past weekend was pretty much a total wash.  Saturday was storm-tastic.  There were maybe 3 breaks in the rain with tiny amounts of sun, but that would be followed by a full blown storm with sideways rain. We did the usual rainy day activities for most of the morning....coloring, board games, etc.

We gave up on the day by lunch time and went to "Inside Out":

I promise Jake was having fun, I'm not sure what is going on in that picture, haha!!  It was a good movie...not my favorite Pixar movie, but good. It made me cry, though I'm pretty sure there hasn't been a Pixar movie produced that hasn't resulted in tears for me! 

Sunday was a bit better in that there was no rain by late-morning, but temperature wise it felt more like fall.  I could nearly taste the pumpkin spice latte!!  We made it to church in the morning...I have to tell you a little more about this picture.  It's rare these days that Jake wears anything other than "comfy" shorts (aka-athletic shorts) so when he does venture out of them, I like to document it.  They were both looking handsome and my impatiens are the BOMB this year (if I do say so myself) so I wanted to snap a picture of them in front of the beautiful flowers.  That's not asking so much, is it? 

Well, according to my 7 going on 17 year old it was.  His exact response when I told him to stand still so I could get his picture was, "Mom, are you seriously going to take my picture?  These church clothes are embarrassing" Well, excuuuuuuuuse me. 

Also, when did I become "mom"???

The rest of the day ended up being a nice balance of work and play....Brian was able to get some treehouse work done (I promise to post an update soon!), I was able to clean out 2 closets that looked like they were going to explode at any minute, and we were able to play in between that stuff.  At one point we were all wizards and sorcerers:

And later in the day, we headed outside to play baseball. 

In case you were wondering, my cue for that picture was "smile boys!"  NAILED IT.

So that's it for right now; it's hard to believe that it's almost JULY! 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Welcome to the world, Luke!

The other great thing that happened while we were in San Diego was that our new nephew was born!!  Nate and his wife, Katie, were expecting their first child and Luke made his grand entrance earlier this month! 

Adorable, right??

I couldn't wait to meet him, so I took a day off of work, loaded up the boys in the car and set off to get my hands on those squishy little cheeks.  The boys were so excited, but confused when we walked in to find him sleeping in the pack and play.

After nearly dying of anticipation, Luke woke up and the boys were able to hold their new cousin for the first time:

Be still my heart! 

Jake was interested in him, but quickly became more interested in the fact that Uncle Nate and Aunt Katie have Netflix :)  He quickly became engrossed in a show we don't have access to at our house, but Liam continued to obsess over Luke.

Toward the end of our visit, Liam asked if we could take him home and really didn't seem to understand why that couldn't happen :)  It was very sweet, and they have both talked about him since then.  Over the weekend, they found a huge piece of cardboard in the garage and asked if they could bring it to the playroom to color.  I said sure, and they proceeded to decorate it then told me that it was a playmat for baby Luke, that way when he comes to visit they can lay him on it and give him some toys :)  it's the thought that counts!  

Welcome to the world, Luke!  We are so happy to have you here.

Kid Staycation

I posted all about our few days in San Diego, but what about the kiddos?  Well, they were having their very own type of vacation with Nana and Poppop! 

I'm sure they might have missed us a tiny bit, but they were too busy having so much fun to dwell on it.  In the few days we were gone, they went mini golfing, bowling, had lunch at McDonald's, went swimming in our backyard, and went fishing (twice!)   On their first try fishing, Liam caught the biggest fish and Jake caught the most fish, so happy kids all around:

 Even after our long and slightly disasterous flight home, we were so happy to see these two goofballs in the morning.  I was so happy to see them, I even bent my rules and let them jump on the bed (dressed as pirates and cowboys.  obviously.)


On Friday night, we went out to dinner at the Over the Bar Bicycle Cafe (in North Park, for all of my fellow Pittsburghers)....I highly recommend this place if you haven't been yet!  Fun atmosphere (right on the lake...they have outdoor seating, but we quickly had to relocate inside when a storm blew through!), yummy food, and kid friendly (their food is served on frisbees!) 

Playing bingo with Nana to pass the time

You can't take us anywhere.

That last shot is blurry, but I love it because it's so....us. 

Thank you again to Nana and Poppop for making our kid-free trip possible...the kids had a blast and were exhausted, the sign of a good time!

Monday, June 15, 2015

San Diego 2015: Days 3 & 4

We got slapped in the face by reality on Monday since we both had to go do work-related activities. Up until that morning, I had kind of been in denial that that's what we were both there for.  After another leisurely morning of not having to get anyone ready but ourselves, we parted ways and Brian went to his office and I headed to my conference.  The conference was fine, and Brian picked me up there around 4:30.  Another night to ourselves, woohoo!!  We decided to head to the downtown part of La Jolla, which was just a few minutes drive away from our hotel. 

First up....MEXICAN DINNER!!  We went to a restaurant called Puesto, based on a recommendation from someone at the hotel....it did not disappoint!  I am not a huge fan of guac but I could have downed the entire bowl that we ordered.  I also had a really yummy white sangria and tacos.  Puesto for the win!

After that, we headed down to the beach to catch the sunset:

Once the sun went down, we walked a bit further down the beach and stumbled upon some seals just hanging out on the beach!  It was pretty amazing to see them up close.  We also decided that they all looked like they loved sleeping so much, Gracie would blend right in if she were there.

Look how close we were!

We decided to call it a night after that, pretty hard to top the sunset and seal spotting!! View walking back to the car:

On Tuesday after completing our work obligations, we went to the Mission Beach area of San Diego and walked around the boardwalk for awhile.  It was interesting to see such a contrast to the La Jolla area, which is more....I don't know, tropical?  Tropical is not the best word, but more remote feeling, I guess with the giant cliffs everywhere.  Mission Beach felt more Jersey Shore, and I mean that in a loving way since that is where we vacationed for years!! I felt right at home.  After a quick dinner and drink at a brewery, we headed to check out the ritzy Hotel Del Coronado .  This is what happens when you try to take me somewhere fancy:

The hotel itself was gorgeous, inside and out and it was fun to walk around. 

We headed back to the hotel after walking around the Coronado area for awhile, then had to say goodbye to San Diego the next morning.  It was the trip from hell on the way back home, including a canceled flight, numerous flight delays on the new flight, sitting on the plane for almost an hour before taking off, not landing in Pittsburgh until 3:15am only to find that our luggage was lost, and then getting home around 4:30am.  (thankfully, our luggage was delivered to our house the next morning)  However, it was all worth it.

This trip was great for us.  I don't post about Brian's job too often on here, but like many husbands out there, he works really hard for our family (yes, I work outside of the home too, but I can say with certainty that his job is much more demanding than mine).  His days are often booked with clients nonstop from the second he gets into the office until the minute he leaves, and I know there are many days he doesn't even have time for lunch and comes home looking exhausted and starving.  On top of that, he's been building this treehouse for the boys and serving as the head coach for Jake's baseball team....he loves doing those things, but I know it's been tiring for him.  I appreciate everything he does for us and how much he strives to succeed at work to provide for our family.

That being said, sometimes everything we have going on between work, social commitments, sports, the kids, and the house tends to overshadow what we have as a couple.  I've talked about this with a few fellow moms at a recent gathering, and it's not something anyone is purposely letting slip through the cracks, but when it comes down to it, it's easy to put it on the backburner almost by default.  We talked about how days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, and the next thing you know, you're realizing that it's been 6 months since you've been out with your husband with no kids.  It's just easy to do....time goes so quickly that you don't even know it's passing. 

Brian and I talked on our trip about how we both agree it's important to carve out time for each other and we need to focus on making it a priority. It doesn't have to be a fancy date night out or a trip away....something as simple as putting the kids to bed then sitting on the patio with a glass of wine and good conversation is a great place to start.  It's so simple, yet it's also so easy to just go through the motions of the day, put the kids to bed, then collapse on the couch.  Why not collapse on the patio instead? :-) 

So, my overall review of our trip was that I loved San Diego, I loved spending time with Brian, and I loved coming home to see these sweet faces waiting for us.  A huge thank you to Nana and PopPop for making this trip possible by watching the kiddos for us!! 

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