5/22/2016

My First Time at Niagara Falls

Just last week Chris decided that we should go somewhere for our anniversary. I've never been to Niagara Falls and he's been wanting to take me since we got married. We quickly planned our last minute, one-night stay there and it was wonderful. My in-laws were gracious enough to keep our children for us, so the weekend was very romantic and relaxing. We splurged on a nice hotel overlooking the Falls that was just perfect. After taking a scenic walk, we took a ride on the Hornblower to get an up close and personal look of the Falls (and also get completely drenched). 











We drove out there through Canada, crossing over at Detroit. Passed lots of farmland until about 30 miles from Niagara, we hit Vineland, Ontario. Beautiful wineries were everywhere on the rolling countryside. We stopped at the Kacaba vineyard and learned so much about the winemaking process. 
After that we stopped at another winery (forget the name) and enjoyed their veranda and their wine. 










We took a walk around Horseshoe Falls and came across this beautiful old 1904 building - originally a Toronto power plant - before ending at these beautiful gardens full of ornate birdhouses, copious amounts of tulips, and flowering trees.



After enjoying Friday at Niagara, Saturday at Niagara and then in Cleveland on our way home to shop, we decided to spend Saturday out hiking with the kids and then out for ice cream. As long as we kept our pace up, the mosquitoes avoided us (that and we used lavender oil in vinegar) so the hike was a lot of fun.



More fun times to be had tomorrow to complete our four-day weekend anniversary fun!

11 years of wedded bliss - looking forward to many more!

5/19/2016

All About Me

I'm knee deep in flashcards, outlines, practice exams, and homeschooling. Exams are next month and I feel like I need a year to prepare for them. I get like this before every exam. Somehow I end up ok, but it feels like this time it won't be. I just haven't managed my time as well, and I keep saying "yes" to everything to everybody. Every time I finally get around to blocking off a few weeks, something comes up and I say yes again. The plan is to hibernate for the first three weeks of June and finally get somewhere with all of this. After finals, we're taking vacation, starting the day I start my last semester. My last semester should be the hardest yet. Four classes. Oy.

So while the flashcards sit, I'm just gonna look out the window for a moment, and then post all of these old iPhone photos I found to commemorate the last few months of my life here on the blog. Yes, the best thing about having a blog is it makes me feel like a celebrity. I'm convinced that blogger.com cries when I don't post, and is waiting with baited breath for just any glimpse of information or photo of me it can possibly get.

For my adoring blogger.com fan, here are some photos of what I've been wearing:

Aren't these blue pants so cool?

I like how my eyebrows have been turning out lately...

And the time that I was trying to make boyfriend jeans work on me and it's just not happening friends. Why can't I make them work?!!!

And then that time that my kids and hubby bought me the most amazing necklace for Mother's Day that went perfectly with the dress I had planned to wear!



Here is me with Cecily being so cute, and you can see how tired my eyes are in this photo...but I think my skin looks good peeps, so it is definitely post worthy.
 
OK - no more outfit photos - why can I never kill the vanity in me? ha!

And speaking of vanity...one of the most fun things I did recently was run a half marathon. I made good time (for me) - finished in 2:08. My friend and running buddy in the photo below finished in 1:50. Yes. She's amazing. 

I still run about 4 times a week - sometimes 5. I'm not shooting for any other races this year, I just love to run. I run 6-7 miles with my buddy in the photo below three days a week, and then either find another friend or run by myself for about 3-5 miles once or twice a week. Trying to get some yoga, pilates, and any other workout in here and there, too. Running or working out is my "me" time.

And then the kids and I recently finished out the school year for both of the co-ops we are in. Ended the one co-op with this awesome field trip at an organic farm with beautiful flowering apple trees.


And here is part of our class from the other co-op - recognize anyone there?

Cecily is just cute, so here she is again:


The boys went fishing on Mother's Day while I finished up my studying. They were pretty proud of their catch.

I took yoga for seven weeks and learned just how inflexible I really am. My instructor had me take pictures of myself getting in to the poses so I could see where my posture is wrong. So check this out...I actually took this photo myself! My apple watch is a remote for the camera on my phone, so I just laid the phone on the floor, and pushed the button on my watch. But um yeah, don't look at that form! I can't even remember what pose I was working on, but it was that one where you prop your knees up on the back of your elbows and then lift your feet balancing on just your hands. Oh yeah. I'm cool.

Just last week, Chris and I painted the old 70's wood paneling in the family room of our rental. Our landlord said he didn't mind, and I just couldn't handle how dark it was in there anymore.

I even got permission to update the lighting (ceiling lights and the sconces), so the room will look even better soon! Now I just need to convince him to get new carpet...or laminate flooring!

My parents came to visit for the first time since we moved to our new town. Loved having them and so did the kids!


I'm not a diehard oils fan, but I enjoy them, and recently started making my own hand sanitizers, lip balms, cleaners, air fresheners, and roller ball mixtures with them. The house smells so fresh all the time now, and we've had a pretty healthy year considering, so maybe they're working. Even if they're not, they look and smell pretty and the kids love them.





















Other than that, it's just studying and homeschooling all the time for me. No breaks until December 2016! I can't wait!

OK, back to flashcards...

Cecily's Dedication Day and her 10-Month Birthday

This dress is a special dress. My Great Aunt Marilyn bought it for my Mom for me to wear on the day I was baptized as an infant. After having me, my parents left the Catholic Church for Protestant Evangelical churches that did not believe in infant baptism, but still had special services for parents to dedicate their babies to the Lord, similar to what Hannah did for her son Samuel in the Old Testament (but not quite as drastic). I think my sisters wore it for their dedication days. And now, all three of my girls have worn it. 


Cecily Renee was dedicated to God at Archbold Evangelical Church on Mother's Day, May 8th, 2016. Always such a good reminder that our children are not ours - we just get to borrow them for a precious little while. 












Cecily's new little cousin, Gemma, also was dedicated the same day, in a little heirloom dress of her own. The sweet girl babies looked so adorable!




And then, just like that, two days after her dedication, Cecily turned 10 months old. Still no teeth, still not crawling, but as happy and content as can be - smiles for everyone, and constant happy baby cooes.