Monday, August 31, 2015

Myrtle Beach 2015: Days 1 to 3

Normally, I'd do a weekend recap today, but my weekend consisted of riding in a car all day Saturday then cleaning, unpacking, doing laundry, and just generally pulling it together to go back to school all day Sunday! So instead, I thought I'd dive into a recap of this year's trip to Myrtle Beach. 

If you're new here, we go on this trip every year with my family & it's my favorite week of the year. I love spending time with my whole family and this year was extra special because we took my Grandma with us & she got to spend a ton of time with Olivia as she took on the role of official baby whisperer. 

Day 1: Road Trip!

Ella rode with my parents this trip, so it was just Liv, Eric & I riding in our car. Because of that, we completely based our schedule around Liv's feedings. We left at 3 a.m., right after she ate, then stopped for gas and food whenever she was hungry. Without stops, the trip is about 13 1/2 hours from our house, but with Liv it took us 16 hours on the way down. We knew that she was going to need about 30 to 45 minutes at each stop, so we left in the middle of the night to still arrive by dinner.

Olivia completely surpassed my expectations for this trip! I sat in the back with her while Eric drove the entire way down (thank you 5 Hour Energy!) and she was happy as could be 85% of the time!

We arrived at the beach house just before 6:30. Ella was already in the pool, mom & Britt had already gotten groceries, and the pizza was already ordered for dinner. It was actually a pretty sweet deal for me :)

Day 2: Pool Day

Sunday was a really laid back, relaxed pool day for us. The whole family floated around the pool & just enjoyed the sunshine. I did make an excursion to pick up some supplies & grab an iced tea, but other than that, I was in my swimsuit on the pool deck. 

Sunday was also Eric & my night to cook dinner for everyone. We made chicken fajitas that were quite delicious - completely thanks to Eric's cooking - all I did was chop. After dinner, the ladies all piled into my mom's van & headed out to Sonic for some ice cream :) I of course had my favorite Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Blast, but ate it so fast that I didn't get to take a picture!

Day 3: Beach Fun & Drunken Jack's 

Eric took off to golf with my dad on Monday morning and my mom offered to wrangle the girls for a bit so that I could get a run in. This was my first run post-baby & it was slow, but it felt good! I was glad that I started at 6:45 though, because the heat & humidity were already insane. Overall, I did over 2 miles without stopping & was pretty darn pleased with myself! 

Once I got back to the house, I got Ella dressed & we headed down to the pool to swim until lunch time. Then, once naps were over & Eric was home from golfing, we headed to the beach! 

And Monday night, we went out to dinner at my mom's favorite restaurant - Drunken Jack's. They have a huge salad bar & serve hush puppies instead of rolls - she could eat those two things alone & be happy. But they also have amazing seafood & steak - which is what I had. 

Excuse my hair in this pic, the humidity had a field day with me this year!

Another cool thing about Drunken Jack's is that they have goats on an island. I know that is totally random, but kids love to watch the goats from the boardwalk surrounding the restaurant! 

And just a little snapshot of my sweet family with the goat island behind us!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Summer Bucket List 2015 Update

Even as I'm enjoying the sunshine & salty air in Myrtle Beach this week, I'm facing the harsh reality that summer is coming to a close. The girls go back to Miss Jennie's on Monday & I start school again on Tuesday. So really, once we cross the New York state line & vacation ends, so does our summer vacation. #boo #wenttoofast 

I keep trying to remind myself how much fun we've squeezed into our summer though, so I thought it'd be a good time to recap Ella's Summer Bucket List & let you all know how we did! Spoiler Alert: We killed it! 

1 - Story Time at the Library 

We went to the library the first week of summer vacation on a very rainy day & combined this with #6 - having a playdate with Addy! The two girls absolutely loved our trip & I loved getting to see them play together! 

2 - Feed the Ducks 

I had every intention of going to the canal with Ella, but I totally underestimated how much work it is to take 2 kids out for even the simplest outing! 

3 - Splash Pad! 

Miss Jennie made this one happen & took Ella and Addy to a local splash pad on Ella's birthday! 

4 - Visit the Lake 

My sister's in-law's rented a place on Canandaigua Lake in July & we took full advantage of their hospitality! Ella was the only one who swam because the water was COLD - but we all enjoyed cruising the lake on the boat. 

5 - Bubbles! 

We did lots & lots of bubbles - especially after Olivia arrived - since it was something fun that we could do in the backyard! Ella got a bubble lawnmower for her birthday too, so that's been getting a workout as well. 

6 - Playdate with Addy (see #1) 

7 - Zoo Trip 

We took our cousin Ethan to the zoo in July & we had a great time! Ella's new favorite part is the "fossil dig" which is a glorified sandbox that causes a huge mess. But if it gets me out of having a sandbox in my own yard I'll gladly let her play in it! 

8 - Museum of Play 

This just didn't happen. I put it off, then when I finally got a day planned, we decided to go back to the trampoline park again instead. 

9 -  Playdate with Ethan (see #7)

10 - Blueberry Picking 

We didn't get to go Blueberry Picking, but we did pick blackberries & raspberries on my parents' property at the country house! 

11 - Road Trip!! 

We're here in Myrtle Beach as we speak! 

12 - Have a Sleepover at Aunt Britt's 

Ella had a couple sleepovers at her Aunt Britt's house! The most notable of her sleepovers was probably the night that I went into labor & she got dropped off in the middle of the night though. 

13 - Sidewalk Chalk 

All day, every day. Ella loves her chalk. 

14 - Bake on a Rainy Day

Nope. Didn't happen. Maybe next year...

15 - Do a Craft

We didn't do a lot of crafts (it's just not my strong suit), but we did manage to create firecrackers for the 4th of July! 

16 - Have a Picnic with Daddy at Work

Never got to this one. I don't think Eric is too upset about it either. We're kind of a handful these days... 

17 - Go Running 

I just had my first run on Monday morning & I am SORE. It's going to take me awhile to get back into it, but it feels good to be back, no matter how slowly I'm going. 

18 -Turn 3! 

You can read about Ella's Birthday Party here

19 - Get Tacos

This was an easy one! 

20 - Become a Big Sister! 

You can read about Olivia's arrival here

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What's Up Wednesday - August Edition

1. What we're eating this week...

We're doing a lot of eating out this week because we're on vacation! Monday night we ate at one of our favorite restaurants - Drunken Jack's! It has an amazing salad bar, melt in your mouth steaks, and hushpuppies that my mom dreams about all year long! And last night we had Chick-fil-a for the first time. Loved it! 

2. What I'm reminiscing about...

I'm not really sure how this was 6 weeks ago... 

And I'm really not sure how this was 3 years ago... 

Yes, that's Ella not Liv, I know they look like twins. And that was Ella's first day at Miss Jennie's back in 2012! Liv's first day is Monday & is so excited about it!  

3. What I'm loving...

Vacation! Salty air, sunshine, & swimsuits. This is always my favorite week of the year! 

4. What we've been up to...

Last week was the start of cheer season! (My assistant is running the show while I'm gone this week. Thanks Dani!) Ella absolutely loves "her girls" as she calls them & is so excited to be getting some attention again, you know, since I never play with her anymore. 

5. What I'm dreading...

Well, after our drive here on Saturday with a screaming newborn, I'm kind of dreading our drive back to New York on Saturday. Oh, and I go back to work in less than a week... how the heck did that sneak up on me? We'll be fine once we settle into a routine, but I have a bad feeling the first couple weeks might be a little rough. 

6. What I'm working on...

I spent a whole lot of time last week working in my classroom. Physically, it's completely ready to go, but I still have some planning & copying to finish up for our first week. The girls are going to daycare on Monday, even though I technically don't start until Tuesday, so I should be able to get things finished up for our first few days before the kids arrive on Wednesday. 

7. What I'm excited about...

As I mentioned earlier, it's officially cheer season! That means I get to spend time with my girls every day! I seriously love these girls and cannot wait to see all that they accomplish this season :) 

And... I'm officially running again! It kind of sucks right now because I'm really out of shape & it's wicked humid here. But I'm just so grateful to have the go ahead to work out & get back into shape! 

stats from my first run. slow but steady. 

8. What I'm watching/reading...

I just read the new Sarah Dessen book, Saint Anything, on our drive here. So good! I always love her work! And I just started Big Little Lies this morning. My sister said it was great, so I'm looking forward to it. 

9. What I'm listening to...

Eric & I took turns controlling the radio on the trip down, but it alternated between Road Trip Radio and The Highway on SiriusXM & some Dave Matthews Band Pandora. We're an eclectic pair... 

10. What I'm wearing...

My swimsuit. I was really stressed about putting one on so soon after having Liv, but I'm surprisingly comfortable in it. My family doesn't care that my belly is a little softer than normal & I'm not looking for whistles on the beach these days! 

I'm also wearing a whole lot of tank tops because I have to be able to feed Liv at the drop of a hat. I didn't realize how much that would affect my outfit choices every day! 

11. What I'm doing this weekend...

Unfortunately, I'll be driving back to New York on Saturday. Then, I'll be doing laundry & getting us all set up for our first week of school on Sunday. Hopefully I'll fit in a few runs and  a nap too. 

12. What I'm looking forward to next month...

Apple Everything. I know most people love pumpkin, but apple is my favorite part of fall and I really do love fall. I'm ready to sit in the crisp air at football games wearing a scarf, go apple picking, and get back into our daily routine. 

13. What else is new...

Olivia is growing up way too fast. The girl is freakishly strong & holds her head up like a pro. She's such a wiggle worm & has almost rolled herself over (totally on accident) a few times already. I just love watching her change day to day. This week has been especially awesome because I've gotten to see her interacting with my whole family & they're just as in love with her as I am. 

Linking up for... 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

At the Beach...

So... I had zero intentions of falling off the face of the Earth last week, but that's exactly what happened. I swear I blinked & it was Friday. Somehow I managed to get us all packed, loaded, & on our way by 3 am Saturday morning and now we're at the beach! 

Liv was a champ in the car, and even though our stops were longer than usual so she could eat, we made it to Myrtle by 6:30 last night. 

Ella was happy to see us & now we're enjoying family time with my parents, Aunt Britt, Uncle Matt & Grandma Gigi! 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Fall Favorites from Athleta

Since I head back to school next week, I suppose I should face the reality that fall is coming. I really do love fall, it's just that summer is never long enough in Upstate NY. If summer & winter could just switch places, then I'd be a happy camper. One thing that's easing the blow of the impending cooler weather is fall fashion & I literally squealed with delight when the Fall Athlete catalog arrived at my house a few weeks ago. I'm loving all of the deep hues & stripes! Here are my absolute favorite pieces for fall... 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 
1 - Wherever Bra - I think this is the perfect bra to wear for a gym workout & immediately transition to errands! If we're being honest, I'd probably wear it for errands without a trip to the gym too... 

2 - Shine Stripe Chi Tank - Loving the racerback on this tank & the deep navy color! 

3 - Highrise Chaturanga Tight - I love highrise leggings because my midsection is my trouble area & they really suck it all in! The fact that these come in navy is a major bonus because I always struggle to find navy leggings & our school colors are navy & gold! 

4 - Striper Tee - This looks like the perfect casual tee for fall weekends! It'd go perfectly with leggings or skinnies & could easily be paired with a cardigan as it gets chillier! 

5 - Full Focus Bra - Love the straps & the color! 

6 - Sentry Hoodie - Eric would tell you that I already have too many hoodies but a) I felt this one in the store & it's really soft and b) it has a funnel neck which is perfect for fall because you can burrow down into it on chilly nights! 

7 - Stripes Chaturanga Capri - I've wanted a pair of striped leggings since I saw this pin & I think these could make my dreams come true. 

8 - Stretch In Skort - I already own this skort in grey & black, so I obviously need it in maroon too ;) 
Monday, August 17, 2015

A Weekend At Home...

This weekend was our first weekend all summer long in which we were both at home & had no company. Generally, I love our busy lives, but I have to tell you... this weekend was exactly what we needed!

Eric spent Friday night at the Bills preseason game with my uncle, so Ella, Liv & I hung out with Aunt Britt! We had some dinner at Panera then went to Dick's Sporting Goods to pick up birthday presents for my dad! (We may have snagged a few things for ourselves too.) And Ella rode in the car like this the entire time... 

And Liv rode like this while we shopped...

Then, my sister won Sister of the Year by offering to take Ella overnight! She sent me this picture of her all tucked in for bed. I later found out she didn't actually go to sleep for another two hours...

Saturday morning I had a fundraiser to attend for cheer, so it was an early one for Liv & I. But once we got home, we had some time to relax before Aunt Britt picked us up for a lunch date at Sonic!

It should be noted that we walked 3 miles before we went to Sonic! Plus, Liv & I came home to do some ab work on the floor...

Sunday was all about walks, playing outside, & hot dogs on the grill! Super low key, just what we needed!

And today is the first day of cheerleading! We're back at it in a big way, with coaches meetings & tryouts. I have so many bags packed for the 3 of us that people would think I'm headed to the airport, but I know if I'm not prepared disaster will strike. Oh... and it's going to be 90 degrees today so that's a fun bonus. Wish me luck as I embark on a 10 hour day of coaching with both of my kids in tow! 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Favorites from Our Crazy Week

This week has been an absolute whirlwind! Normally, Ella goes to daycare on Wednesdays in the summer & since Olivia has been born, she's also spent at least one extra day with her grandparents. This week, Miss Jennie was on vacation & I'm too proud to call and ask beg for help from Eric's parents. So... it was all me, all the time. 

Add to that the fact that I taught a Middle School Prep class on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights.... leaving Eric on his own with both girls for the first time, we're all a little frazzled. Despite that, we've managed to have a lot of fun together! Here are my favorite moments from the week... 

Ella with my parents at Mom's Birthday BBQ
On Monday, one of our favorite people in the world turned 50! (And since my mom was married on her birthday, her & my dad celebrated their 30 year wedding anniversary too!) We didn't get to see her on her actual birthday, but we had a BBQ last Sunday to celebrate with all of our favorite people! 

my sister & my cousin Megan - two of my favorites since childhood

Eric works from home on Tuesdays, making it my favorite day of the week in the summer!  

Liv doesn't always know what to think of these two... 

On Wednesday, we went to my classroom to do some set up! I know it's crazy that this little space is one of my favorite places, since it is work after all, but it's one place that I have complete creative control of the layout & decor, so I really embrace it! I still have more to do, but will have time to finish up next week before we leave on vacation. 

watching Sofia the First while I worked

On Thursday, we headed to one of our favorite summer play spots with one of our favorite aunts! Eric's sister came to help me wrangle Ella at the trampoline park. She lasted for about an hour and a half before we had to go. Jumping is a lot of hard work! 

playing chase

jumping in the foam pit together!
And, my favorite peanut turned 1 month old yesterday! 

This weekend we have zero travel plans & zero company coming to visit. That's a first for the summer, so we're planning to catch up on a bunch of cleaning & errands that we've been too busy to get done. Nothing too exciting, but I know I'll feel better leaving for the beach next week when it's all done! 

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