Monday, January 30, 2012

Project Life 2011: Week 25 (7/24-7/30)


Another wonderful week. This was part of my week in the life project and I chose to continue to capture the everyday in my PL while getting a whole lot more detail into my WITL.


Got this cute little gift card holder when Summer and I went to Five Guys for a burger. I thought it would be a good idea to reference my Week In The Life binder inside this project so everyone would know where to go for more juicy details.

Totally loving my sharpie right now for making titles a la Ali Edwards.

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Week in the Life 2011 – See binder for more details from this week.

Summer’s ear infection, 1st time to get blood drawn. Patchy & Bryce to movies. Treat @ Rita’s. Taco’s 4 dinner. Finish Eric’s baby book. Blog about Camp Ellie.

Summer still in a lot of pain. Dropped boys at Game haven for the day. Worked at Beltone for the afternoon. Sat in on meeting with Jill re: marketing. Mom & Karen like Camp Ellie blog post. Watched movie with Summer. Picked boys ups at 11pm.

Dropped Bryce, Pat & Mark at KD. Working with Jill on Beltone marketing. Target for school shopping with Summer. Lunch at Five Guys. Summer and I went to Cars2 in 3D. Reschedule riding. Pick up at KD.


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Drove from VA to NY to bring Patrick home after spending Bryce’s birthday with us. Stayed at Babs’ for dinner & Twister :-). Boys watched Veggie Tales videos the whole way with Bryce narrating, so funny!

Summer finally slept thru the night. Went swimming with Danielle & Eric. Dropped Durango off for transmission service. Took Bryce to get his airsoft gun fixed but they were closed. Played Farkle, were very silly with place cards. Chilled with Mom & Dad

Went to pick up car – sticker shock - $800 because I needed brakes too :(. Strathmore for bagels – yummy. Waiting for Babs & fam to come over. Can’t believe I have to leave tomorrow already.

h – Week in the Life – 2011

Love that shot of the Verrazzano Bridge – it means I’m almost ‘home’.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Project Life 2011: Week 24 (7/17-23)

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OW! OW! BOO-HOO! 7.18

Poor Summer got an ear infection while on vacation and was down for the count for two days. Two doctor visits, three prescriptions and two sleepless nights later she is finally feeling much better and pain free. Thank goodness for codeine!

So glad Danielle & Eric got to stay a few extra days. We played lots of games while he slept. Farkle, Uno & Rummikub were big hits. We also invented Uber Farkle. We even squeezed in water polo!

Any day is *GAME DAY*. We had a ton of fun playing Farkle togeher. When that got boring we made up new rules to make it more interesting…

Farkle, Uber Farkle, Uber Scruber Farkle & Uber Scruber Stupid Farkle :-)

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I’m so thankful that my parents are willing to open up their home for us to invade for weeks at a time. Now that we no longer live close by it’s nice to experience the everyday-ness with them each summer. I get to re-charge and we all have a wonderful time. July 2011

7.24.11 While Patrick was here for the week. I took the boys to Chesapeake to Ballahack for airsoft. Summer & I went to the beach and visited the Munsons in Va. Beach. Good to catch up with *FRIENDS*

Up & Down the Coast


Whew, busy few weeks going back and forth. We all had a great time seeing family and friends but it’ll be nice to stay put for a bit.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Project Life: Week 23 (7/10-7/16)

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Happy 1st Birthday Eric!
Although adorable Eric celebrated his 1st birthday on May 20th, some family members weren’t able to be in NY. Today we had a huge party at my parents’ house with the Stopeks. Both of Mark’s sisters and their families were present as well as 3 Happy Harringtons. I think the balloons were a hit!

Second generation of family dinners around this table. Jimmy and I used to be the kids at this table. It’s funny now that we sit at this same table at my parents’ home with our own children the fun continues! 7*11*2011

Wed 7-13 to Sat 7-16
Bryce & Patrick had a great time while he was here for a few days. The airsoft store, xbox, movies on Netflix, ice cream, swimming and a trip to Dave & Buster’s with my parents. They sure know how to spoil their grandkids.

Perpetual Playdates 7-13-11
Patrick arrived last night so Bryce has been pleasantly occupied. Summer got to go to Sami’s lesson today and then the girls went swimming. I got to spend time chatting with Terry reminiscing as usual :-)

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I’m so lucky to have such a great family. My parents open their home to us for weeks at a time and let everyone visit us there and enjoy the “resort” that is their backyard. So glad my kids will always have these wonderful MEMORIES!

After spending the night at the Prendergast’s we spent the majority of the day with them as well both there and in the pool. It’s so good to see that the little ones get along almost as well as Jimmy & I do. We were a good distraction to keep the sadness at bay since Heather’s parents moved.

Saturday, July 16th
A Play & A Playdate. Sami got to spend the day here with Summer. My Mom surprised us by taking all of us to see the CM play Aladdin. It was hysterical. Her neighbor was the lead. The Genie was our favorite. The girls giggled the whole day.

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This was also the week that I played along with Ali Edwards’ Week in the Life project. I’ll post those pages soon and come back and add links here :-)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Project Life: Week 22 (7/3-7/9)

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Crab Fest 2011
We all got together for a Crab Fest at Katherine’s. A bushel of crabs, delicious guacamole & a bucket of beer kept everyone happy. The die hards even stayed out in the rain picking crabs!

(Stacey, Katherine & Julie)

Bryce’s 14th Bday
Trenton, Bryce, Mark, Tyler
A casual get together turned into an all out party with nearly every kid on the block here. Chips, dips, soda, cupcakes were all part of the festivities. The best part: when the boys decided to WEAR the ice cream cake! (click here to see the resulting layout)

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Our ride up to NY via Amtrak was fortunately uneventful. We arrived right on time-yippee. Thankfully the kids got along the whole trip which was a miracle in itself! The best part?…running off the train for the first hug of the trip.

Trip Recuperation
Spent the day by the pool soaking up the sun and watching the kids swim. Aaagh – days like this… {heart}.

Summer & Ellie had a fun filled two day sleepover. It was nice to see Aunt Barbara & Aunt Linda & Megan. We had fun playing a bluffing game called Balderdash with Bryce, Heather, Barbara , Megan & Danielle. I {heart} GAMES

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Project Life: Week 21 (6/26-7/2)

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Bryce loves all things military. So it’s no surprise when Gram & Fossil gave him money for his birthday we immediately went to the military surplus store. He got outfitted in Marpat head to toe. He also bought dog tags & MREs.

Katherine’s 33rd
We celebrated her birthday in style at two opposite ends of the spectrum. Her husband hired a pole dancing instructor so we danced the night away Vegas style. The next day was more reserved as we took her to High Tea at the Thomas Jefferson hotel in Richmond and to the Maymont.

2012 01 13_ProjectLife_7309F is for FUN at Fleeton
We love going to Fleeton whenever we can. We were lucky enough to celebrate the 4th of July there this year with Keith’s family. It was hot and sticky but worth it. Great fireworks show!


Love the sunset photo off the dock, I must have about a hundred of them because I can’t resist snapping one each time another beautiful sunset happens!

This week saw another visit to Kings Dominion, the girls had a great time riding rollercoasters and smiling for photos with the characters.

I love, love, love this photo of Summer with Hope, she is so happy when she is near these beautiful creatures.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Project Life: Week 20 (6/19-6/25)




We had a nice Father’s Day celebration at Win & Carla’s with her parents as well. We also got to meet Jill’s new puppy, Croix. He is adorable! All the Dads: L-R Win, Mr. Young, Frankie, Baldwin, Keith & Peter

She’s OK!
We had a little scare with our sweet Ladybug on Monday. She must’ve gotten a stomach bug and got very sick and dehydrated. Luckily we have a wonderful vet and after some IV fluids & meds she’s doing just fine. Thank God!  

The Doll House
My Dad put this doll house together piece by piece for Summer. I love how she still plays with it almost everyday. Taking the people on car rides and putting them to sleep before she leaves or goes to bed. I {heart} my little girl.


Any day is a good day for a sleepover (or under :-). Summer & Ashley have been having a great time having play dates and sleepovers practically every day . I’m glad they enjoy each other so much. (Side note: As I post this 7 months later, Summer & Ashley are still having a great time, Summer has been staying at her house since yesterday afternoon and then the girls are due to come here tonight. I love that they are still good friends.)

Below is a Father’s Day card I made for my hubby, the pilot.

father's dayfather's day copy

{By Bryce}
I just got back from my second boy scout summer camp and I must say it was a much better experience than the first. Not to mention the fact I earned six merit badges. Plus, I even signed up for an extra merit badge: finger printing. along with my rowing, reptile & amphibian, Emergency preparedness, leather work, first aid and wood carving. Overall I had a pretty grand time.

The house was very quiet with him gone. We really missed him and we’re glad he’s home safe.

At lessons I got to canter for the first time in my life. It was very fun cantering but it was very bouncy. I love horseback riding so much. {By Summer}


Still jazzed with this project and new way of keeping up with the day to day of our lives. I am definitely planning on keeping this going!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On being ‘caught up’…

Is there really such a thing? I spent hours this weekend washing, folding and putting away laundry, but the elusive ‘caught up’ still seems to be escaping me. Just when I think I’m caught up, another wrench is thrown in the works and I’m behind again. So I’ve decided, I’m just going to be where I am, not ahead, not behind, just here. And that will have to do.

Friday, January 20, 2012

2012: My word of the year is…

Ever since I heard about the idea of having one little word follow you throughout the year, there was a word I know I SHOULD choose. But like everything else instead of choosing what I SHOULD, I chose what I WANTED. This word has haunted and taunted me, and each time I thought about choosing it for my word of the year, quite frankly it scared me because I was (and still am) afraid that I would fail to live up to the expectations. The expectations the word itself holds, the expectations I would attach to it – just so many feelings of what if, and can I really do it have swirled through my head. I fought this word for years, convincing myself that I’m a free spirit, I thrive not having a particular schedule or structure to my life, but I suppose I’ve been fooling myself for far too long and it’s rearing it’s ugly head in too many areas of my life right now.
In recent weeks I’ve been leaning towards the word TRANSFORMATION. It' sounds so motivating, so powerful, so full of possibilities. In all honesty, without some other underlying successes, the transformation is just not going to happen. I am excited and scared to death to commit to this word this year. For some, this may seem overly dramatic. C’mon, your saying, just spit out the darn word already! You are a 43 year old smart, independent and strong woman, you didn’t get where you are today by not being able to achieve your goals! So I’m saying, I hear you and I thank you for believing in me. This was the very first word that popped into my head when I chose my word CONNECT for 2010. When I was getting ready to choose my word for 2011 it popped into my head again, but instead I chose STRENGHTHEN and said I would do it next year. Both of those words have served me very well. Again this year I almost pushed this word to the side. Like many others out there, I think this year my word chose me. There have been several signs, conversations, and various other things that have shown me that it is finally time.
My word this year is CONSISTENCY.
See, now you’re saying, that wasn’t so hard was it? I suppose you are right. Ok, world, it’s out there. So far in my life, I’ve been consistently inconsistent, so this is a big one. Certainly some areas are easier than others. So I’m going on the assumption that if I can remember to do certain things each day/week/month, then I have the ability to do it. I suppose now I need to work on the motivation behind why I have or haven’t been doing these things. I have some great opportunities to make changes, and I just have to be consistent.
My first order of business was to install an app called Habit Streak. I put in some basic things I should be doing each day and at the end of each night I have to check off the ones that I’ve done. I’ve only been doing it for two days and both nights I found myself running downstairs to finish something so I could get my beloved check marks. I have a list of all the things I should be doing to make a positive impact on my own life as well of the lives of my family members and friends. I’m trying to be smart about this so I didn’t add everything in there just yet. But as I’m getting into a routine and consistently doing what I’ve set out to do, I’ll add another thing here and there. It’s all about babysteps this time. I don’t want the crash and burn syndrome that I’ve done before.
So here’s to CONSISTENCY – bring it on 2012!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

One Little Word

How does one little word make a difference in your life? I heard about Ali Edwards’ idea to pick a word for the year (OLW)  back in the middle of 2010. I figured why not jump in even though it wasn’t something I did on a more traditional day like January 1st. The word I chose was CONNECT. I really wanted to be closer to the wonderful people I was already lucky to have in my life, like my siblings, parents and my immediate family. Additionally, after being laid off from a second job within two years, both of which had me working in my home office, I realized that outside of my far away colleagues that I really didn’t have any friends in close proximity. I did have one wonderful friend locally, my friend Stef. However, she is a single Mom that worked full time crazy hours and her daughter was very active in extra curriculars so we didn’t see as much of each other as she liked. And, to boot, she was planning on moving to Ohio a few months later. At the time, both my husband and I had home offices so I couldn’t even rely on him having any work friends either. I’m the social one of us and that left us essentially friendless.

Since I had so much time on my hands, I picked up the phone. Instead of wondering whether or not one of my siblings would be busy, I just picked up the phone and called. I’d send emails more often just to say I was thinking about them and I really do feel a bit closer. Then, I started just getting out more around the neighborhood and talking to people at our neighborhood pool and that certainly helped. Fortunately, one of my neighbors then invited me to a brunch at her house on the first day of school. There I met my wonderful friend Julie for the first time and we’ve been practically inseparable ever since. Shortly thereafter, Julie had a party and invited her neighbor Katherine, and two became the three musketeers. We have done countless things together, breakfasts, brunches, lunches, dinners, parties, working out, dancing, playing games, birthday kidnappings – it’s been awesome. So thank you to my 2010 word of the year for getting me to connect better with the important people in my life and getting me out there to meet these fabulous gals! I have affectionately named us Annie Gooth (Annie because we all have ‘ann’ in our middle names, and G.O.O.T.H. for Get Out Of The House because we like to do just that!)

In 2011, I choose the word STRENGHTHEN for a variety of reasons. Probably the reason that was the most motivating was the desire to feel stronger in general. I decided to start working out again and join a gym. I’m realistic enough to know that I’ll probably never have a six pack or arms like Angelina Jolie, but I really just wanted to feel stronger at the core. I’ve had back and knee problems for years and I know it’s good for me to keep them strong as well as the rest of me. Fortunately, my two buddies that I made in 2010 were up for the challenge as well. I’m happy to report that over the course of a year I was able to remove (not lose, which implies I want to find it again) 15 pounds and keep them off! I walk taller, I creak less and overall I feel stronger in so many ways. The obvious way is physical, but to be able to set a great example for my kids and let them see me love exercising and doing good things for my body certainly makes me proud.

Now to choose my word for 2012 – or perhaps have it choose me. I’m tossing around a few and can’t seem to settle on one just yet. I’m toying with PURPOSEFUL, FREE, BREAKTHROUGH, NOURISH, STRETCH, and TRANSFORMATION.

Some of the things I’m planning on doing this year are: start meal planning, pay off debt, remove more weight, strengthen my body, balance my time (just started working full time again), be in the moment (leave work at work), keep up with my FLY Lady cleaning routines.

So at the end of the year if I can see a big dent in my debt as well as my @ss that would be awesome. Additionally I don’t want my relationships with my kids nor my husband to suffer because I’ve gone back to work. I’ve been enjoying a house that is mostly 15 minutes away from being ‘company clean’ and I would like to keep it that way because it makes me happy.

To that end dear blog readers, please chime in with some advice on picking my word for the year!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011, I bid you adieu

Here’s a recap of our year in photos. My thought originally was to put captions on each, however realistically that would’ve meant this slideshow wouldn’t have been finished until closer to 2013. So here we go with some of the highlights of our year.

Summer riding horses.

Bryce swimming

The VA earthquake

Summer’s 9th Birthday (and layout)

Bryce’s 14th Birthday (layout)

Keith’s birthday dinner

My awesome birthday adventure

Our trip to NY with fun times in Gram & Fossil’s pool

My sister moving back to the US

Visiting my brother in PA

My other sister visiting us here

Enjoy! (I know we did !)