Tuesday, May 19, 2015

our first family camping trip.

I grew up camping.  

When each of us - myself and three siblings - turned three we had officially "come of age" to be ripped from my mother's arms and be carried off by my father to go on overnight camping trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northern Minnesota.  Here we would get nestled into the middle of canoes, amongst the gear and coolers, drag our tiny hands in the water, attempt to paddle with kid-sized oars, dip mini-fishing poles in, watch the big people set up camp, sip hot chocolate under tarps in the rain, watch my dad and his twin brother chase off black bears, listen to the loons sing, sing campfire songs, and praise God together under a million stars.

My dad taught me, from that tender age of three, the spirituality of the wilderness.

Finola is not three yet.  (She turns two today!)

I don't think I could let her be whisked away to the wild.

But I do want her to start young.

So instead of a birthday party this year, we went camping.

Just for one night.  Just a tiny taste.

It went by quickly and was a lot of fun!  Except the part where, at 10pm, waaaaay past their bedtime, the kids were expected to go to sleep in the tent.  Cormac only fought it a little, but lil miss Fin ran around the tent, chattering, giggling and poking me in the face.  Finally I heard a yawn, she asked for her blanket, which she had been tossing around, and she conked out.

Then Hubby and I had a beer by the fire and congratulated ourselves on a successful first attempt at tent camping with the kiddos.

We can't wait to go again!
fire-making with dada
checking out the sights
child with hot poker in the fire - this looks totally safe, right???
mama hovering around the fire, afraid of blond locks going ablaze.
contemplating nature and life
eyeing her mama's beer
while not super primitive, it was very peaceful
these two...the conversations they have!
I kept saying, "Run wild, my child!" which she did, while repeating that.
Colbie liked relaxing, too.
A lot.
going in and out of the tent was a favorite activity.  I'm surprised we didn't sleep with a million bugs.
campfires are magnets for kiddos. just sayin'.
face smush.
we did the whole "stick the bean can right in the fire" thing - turned out well...and less dishes!
Hubby makes a s'more.
We got a little wet from the morning rain!
"The humidity does wonders for my curls!"
birthday girl 
"Here Finola - have a marshmallow!  I have a whole bag!"

"Fine, I'll eat them all myself."
Breakfast of champions!
packing up...a little earlier than expected, due to rain!
While he wasn't too helpful packing up, he did build this contraption in the trunk.

I am pretty sure one night is all Finola could handle (while we were stuck in the tent during a morning rain shower she shouted repeatedly, "GO HOME NOW!") Cormac, however, was asking if we could stay "five more days."

Three, man.  I'm telling you.  My Dad was right - that is the "magic camping age."

Or simply when we were potty-trained and he could hold us over the side of the canoe to pee-pee.


Friday, May 15, 2015

to the moms...

To the moms with seemingly endless energy.  To the moms who are tired - nay exhausted.  To the moms who stay home with their kiddos full-time.  To the moms who work full-time or part-time outside the home.  To the moms who add on another job or project besides their full-time job and motherhood. To the moms who fight for a cause they are passionate about.  To the moms who feel like they are a lost cause, barely hanging on.   To the moms who keep beautiful homes for their babes.  To the moms who ignore their messy, disorganized house to spend quality times with their babes.   To the moms who work out every day for their mental and physical heath.  To the moms who model healthy eating habits, even when they want to inhale an entire carton of ice cream. To the moms who inhale an entire carton of ice cream...but forgive themselves and start fresh the next day.  To the moms who are unafraid to show their weaknesses.  To the moms who try desperately to appear strong.

To every mom.

Look in the mirror and tell yourself : I am enough.  As I am.  

Because your kids love you - as you are.

+ + + + + +

A few photos from Mother's Day weekend...

I am grateful to be a mom, to have a mom, and to be surrounded by so many inspiring mothers.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

roomie reunion 2015!!!

how do I know these ladies?  read this post!
Our 3rd Roommate Reunion is in the books!
Way back in 2010 we were all kid-less (well, one barely pregnant) and we hung out in Destin, FL for a few days.
Then a bunch of babies were born and we didn't do another trip until 2014, when we met in Vegas for three crazy days of fun.
This year: Kentucky.  I hosted the ladies, and I'd have to say we had just as good of time as in any fancy locale.  We chose my home due to having a lot of issues choosing a weekend that worked for all of us.  My only conflict was that it was the weekend of my first full marathon, but then the girls said they would run the half-marathon, and it became a "Running Roomie Reunion!" 

When they flew in Thursday morning it was a beautiful day and I'd say we were all pretty pumped for hanging out and catching up.  We got settled in back at the house, I made a baked brie platter, we popped the tops on some adult beverages, and started catching up immediately.

Then it was time to get ready for our big night on the town (Cincy!) 
We figured if we were going to go out and consume alcohol it had to be the first night, 
considering the marathon looming on the horizon.
(In hindsight, drinking any alcohol the week of a marathon should be discouraged...yeeeah.)
at bar #1
We cabbed it over to a part of town with plenty of cool bars and restaurants in close proximity, and then, after all having a dirty martini at the first bar, we decided we were on a "roomie reunion bar crawl."  We headed to a nearby wine bar, each had a red flight, and hung out for a while there, catching up even more.  
that is a lot of wine glasses to set before three women.
After all that delicious red wine we decided food was necessary!  
At the sushi restaurant we, of course, ordered a carafe of sake, an array of delicious sushi rolls and other Japanese fare.
This is prooooobably where we should have stopped.
onto to the next bar, where Kristina was smart and ordered a root beer while Beth and I went with the real deal.  Then came a bottle of red, and then, honestly, I lost track.
(When reflecting on the amount of alcohol consumed - keep in mind I rarely drink besides my regular nightly glass of red - I am both horrified and proud of my 4:03 marathon finish time only two days later.) 

Anyway, at some point Kristina noticed a person sitting at a table behind me that looked like Martin Sheen.  Well, it was actually his son, Emilio Estevez.  Which I found, in my alcohol-induced state, extremely exciting!  A star!  
(I will state here I am the worst person, whether drunk or sober, to see a famous person with.)

I immediately was starstruck and began loudly giggling and making many references to Emilio movies, all the while turning around and making eye contact with Emilio, who was probably wishing at that point he still had a bodyguard.

So, after quite a bit of "OMG he was in the The Breakfast Club.  The Breakfast Club, people!!!!!!" and chanting "Ducks! Ducks! Ducks!" at what I personally thought was a quiet volume but was actually probably really loud...
...we did get to meet Emilio.  
He promised me a picture before he left, and he very kindly made good on his promise.
forming the Flying V!
The next morning, despite being quite hung over, we made it to 8:30am yoga class.  Beth just barely did, but she rallied!
happy, hung-over yogis
After getting through yoga without throwing up, we walked around the local farmer's market, ate breakfast there, drove the race course, went home to rest, went to get massages, then to the marathon expo to get our bibs/packets for the race.
at the expo
I honestly felt really sick all day.  And REALLY nervous about my race.

We ended the day with GIANT burgers, fries, and, of course, wine.   Perfect.

Saturday we had another busy day planned - heading to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby
We did not have a selfie-stick, sadly...but managed to all take car selfies on the way there:

I had been to the Derby a couple other times, but it was the first time for Beth and Kristina so we did it up right.  We had decided long ago to all coordinate with polka dot dresses.  Here we are, all fancy!
Beth and I have exactly the same legs.

The experience was really fun!  We each drank an obligatory Mint Julep, walked around the infield, sat in our grandstand seats like ladies do and watched the races.  
We were repeatedly referred to as "The Polka Dot Girls" and asked to pose in photos.

I totally killed my feet in my heels.
But, again, worth it!

Memories and fun with two dear friends that we'll have forever.

We actually had to leave Churchill Downs before the actual "Kentucky Derby" race.  We all wanted to get home in plenty of time to make dinner, hydrate, and get to bed early.

So we drove home, picked up some groceries, made spaghetti and baked baguette (carbs!!!!) watched the movie Wild (good movie, great book) and headed to bed.
carbing up, pre-marathon!  (yes, yes I do look creepy eating spaghetti...)
The next day was the race!  You can read all about that experience in this post.

After we ran our hearts out, we met some of my good friends for brunch, then went back to shower, pack and veg out with some pizza before the girls had to head to the airport later that afternoon.

What a fun-filled weekend, with two friends I sincerely wish would move to KY.
But since that will probably never happen, we'll just have to keep planning a yearly adventure, and keep in touch as much as we can.
Until we are old ladies living in a retirement community in Florida.
Keep these dresses, ladies!  They will still look cute when we are 80 and on Reunion #48 :)