Thursday, August 15, 2013

Just beachy

Liam and I strolled on down to the lake today. We packed up the stroller with sand toys, bottles of water and snacks. We prefer going to our "secret beach" as we call it because there is barely ever anyone on the entire beach! You'll see an occasional dog walker or some middle school boys doing who-knows-what, but that's about it. It's hard to find a place to get onto this beach because it's surrounded by woods and a steep bluff rises above it, so it stays pretty secluded. But we've found our way to access it! When we get to the bluff with the stroller we bike-lock it to a fence and carry Liam/chairs/etc down a steep trail to the beach.

I cannot even describe how much Liam LOVED the beach today! From the second I set him down by the water it was go-go-go for him! The water isn't even that warm, but he didn't care. At one point he walked out into the water a little too far and a wave sucked him in and onto his tummy (yikes). But no worries...super mom came to the rescue :) He didn't even seem to mind! He just spit out the water and giggled a bit, and kept on keepin' on. What a trooper he is!

Looking at the ducks...

Picking up rocks and throwing them into the lake...
Picking up rocks and throwing them into the lake...
Picking up rocks get the picture!

More rock exploration...

Investigating the green slime stuff....luckily he didn't try to taste it :)

My cutie's sandy little feet...

Snack break!
"Would you like a little applesauce with your sand?"

Okay - here is MY favorite part of our beach day (other than my amazingly cute little boy splashing in the water of course) - beach glass!! I just love beach combing. And finding beach glass is like an added bonus! I found ten pieces, which I think is pretty good. I'm excited to add it to our beach glass collection (yeah, I know, totally dorky).

Liam got a nice warm bath the second he got home. He had sand in places I won't even mention....eek. He skipped lunch and went right down for a nap :) Mama likes the beach.

And one more quick photo.
The Italian Zucchini I harvested from our garden last night:

Things that made me smile last week:

Hung out with friends & kids at the park, and said goodbye to some great neighbors

Liam said "applesauce" - ha ha!

We had a campfire on the beach with a bunch of neighbors/friends

My mom, niece, Liam and I explored a park

Enjoyed an outdoor meal under the trees at our friends' house

I watched a chick flick, because Matt was out of town

I got to sneak in an hour long nap

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Blessed with books

Holy cow! (I bet you NEVER would have guessed I was a child of the 80's by the use of that expression). Liam has accumulated a ton of books in the past seventeen months.

As a mom I've realized that there IS such a thing as your kid(s) having too many toys. But, in my heart, I don't think a kid can ever have too many books :)

He's been given a bunch as gifts (when he was born, for his baptism, for his 1-year birthday). And I've found quite a few "cheapies" at rummage sales this summer (I love me some $0.25 books). And occasionally Matt and I will find one at a toy store or a book store that strikes a chord, so we'll by it.

But this week we were absolutely blessed with two huge boxes of lightly loved board books from our neighbors (thank you B&P!). Their kids are now school-aged and they're moving away, so they figured Liam would love them. And oh does he ever love them!

We've looked at each and every book already (within a 24 hour time period) and I think I've read half of them to him already. I think I'm losing my voice.

And today I made sure to put little "This Book Belongs To Liam" bookplates on all of the books that he already had. I just think it's cool and important that he knows which books were given to him as gifts by his grandparents, cousins, us, etc. My mom STILL has books at her house that have my name or my brothers' names written on the inside cover. It's fun to look back at them and remember reading them as a kid.

Here are the little woodland-animal-style bookplates I bought a while back at an awesome local home shop, Nest:

Gallison New York makes these
Aren't the little bunnies  and lady bugs cute?

Here are the new books, happily living with the books that Liam already had:

Some of Liam's faves from this stack:
The Napping House
Where's Spot
Is Your Mama A Llama

Faves from this stack:
All The World
Happy Pig Day
Skippy Jon Jones

Faves from this stack:
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See
Little Miss Spider Goes To School

Faves from this stack:
Are You My Mother
The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Okay, so I really want to know, what what was YOUR all-time favorite book when you were a kid? Mine was "Socks For Supper." Ever heard of it?

Monday, August 5, 2013


This past Friday night my family and I attended Relay For Life. This is our third time participating as a family (we also did in 2006 and in 2011) in memory of my dad, Joe. 

Our team "Team Joe" raised money leading up to the event. All of the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society. Then, on the night of the event, we camp out around a middle school track and one team member is supposed to be walking on the track at all times. The event went from 6:00pm on Friday until 8:00am on Saturday, so that was a lot of walking! My brother's girlfriend Chris gets the award for most miles - I think she walked about 11 miles throughout the night :)

My reason for coordinating Team Joe (as the team captain) can be found here:  My Reason To Relay

And here are just a few photos from the event!

My mom made these cute little t-shirts for Liam, Bella and Rylan
Liam, walking in memory of my dad :)

There were plenty of snacks to keep us fed throughout the night...
Each time one of us walked a lap we put in noodle in the "Laps Walked" jar.
I didn't count the noodles yet, but I'll let you know how many miles we walked once I count!
Liam loved the therapy dogs that were a few campsites away
My niece Caroline and my mom, keeping Liam out of trouble
My niece Bella sold $30 worth of glow in the dark necklaces!
Proceeds went to the American Cancer Society.
We purchased luminaries, which we dedicated in memory of my dad
The luminary walk at 10:00pm - my favorite part of the event.
The bags glow all night long, making it very peaceful while you walk.
We made it until morning! All of us slept in our tents a bit, except for my niece
and my brother Jason. Crazy night owls!
A photo of my dad, keeping us company until morning :)
The event raised over $50,000 for the ACS. And our team raised over $1,500 by itself!

Thanks for letting me share this with you :)


Things that made me smile last week:

Liam ran around in the grass barefoot

My brother came over and had dinner with us

I ran errands by myself :)

My niece and I worked on some craft projects together

My mother-in-law and I took Liam to a local children's garden

My family and I talked about some memories we have of my dad at Relay For Life

We went for two family bike rides :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Some jelly for the underbelly

Four quarts of local raspberries
(brought to our house by my mother-in-law)


2 quarts of currants 
(picked from the currant bush in our back yard)

an insane amount of sugar


homemade raspberry & currant jelly!

My mother-in-law has made this jelly at our house for the last three years. It's kind of becoming a tradition :) She provides the raspberries, and we provide the currants. 

I'm excited to see the look on Liam's face tomorrow morning when he tries it at breakfast time :)