Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Life Lately

Gosh it has been so long since I have posted to the blog.  Quite honestly it had just became too much, our lives were too hectic and I was struggling to find the right words to even pretend.  However after a much needed end of the school year and summer break I have found myself really missing "this place".  Most importantly I have missed documenting the journeys and experiences for the boys.  So I am going to back up a bit and cover a few of our summer highlights.

First up, our trip to the Adirondacks in July....

The past few summers we have tried to take a trip to visit Gregg's family.  We feel incredibly lucky that visiting them bring us to what we think of as a secret treasure, The Adirondack Park.  This year proved to be a little more challenging, as there were two escaped prisoners on the lose for the first half of summer and ,yep, they were somewhere in the Park (They ended up being found about 20 miles from the family camp).  Once they were found, planning was in full swing.

I remember reading another blog which said that vacations are made up of three parts - the planning, the actual vacation, and the reminiscing afterwards.  We couldn't agree more!  

The boys were so excited to talk and plan all the things we would see and do.  Reece knew "the first thing I am going to do when I get there is the rope swing".  While Graham was most concerned about bringing his ski boots "to the mountains" and if he was going to see groomers. He couldn't quite understand that this mountain trip there wouldn't be snow:)

So we were off.  We decided to travel through Canada as it had been years since we last travelled this route. (A.K.A long enough to forget why we stopped traveling that way! ) The occasional new sights were quickly bypassed by our lack of cell service or any GPS services which could be helpful when looking for food an hour after the kids are starving, or finding a hotel when everyones exhausted, or the $5.00 a gallon of gas, or better yet the lack of an ability to contact our bank when our credit card is declined for possible fraudulent charges because we failed mention we were traveling.  However, after about seven hours we decided to go OLD SCHOOL and purchase a map.  I forgot how much I enjoy map reading.  I even got Reece on board, at least for a short while.  We were able to plan our next few get aways - Niagara Falls, and baseball in Toronto.  But oh yeah, we won't ever be going through Canada again;)! 
Let me get back on track!!


 After one day and about nine hours we were beyond excited to cross back over to the United States, finally in New York.


We decided to stop for lunch in the cute little town of Canton, just before entering the Adirondack Park.


Note to Self: Don't stop so close to our final destination because the bad news was that we still had another hour in half until we reached camp.  Everyone was exhausted with a short fussed patience level.  However, once we arrived we were quickly reminded  how special this place is - the mountain air, the views of lakes and mountains around every corner, the loons, boat houses, the quiet sound of peace.  It is truly one of our most favorite places!






 And just as we have planned for weeks, we filled our cooler and headed to the rope swing.  Let me be honest while this looks and sounds like an awesome idea from afar, it is hard as heck and a bathing suit losing swing.  
However, Reece was a year older and stronger.  Much like everything he does , he and Gregg took to the swing like they had been practicing all summer.  Of course this leads Mom to a visual confidence boost that I could do it also. 



Just be thankful mine wasn't documented because yep it wasn't pretty!

Reece really wanted to golf while we were there so Gregg got us set up at a course in Lake Placid. It turned out to be such a fun day! The views weren't too bad either;)







We woke up with no real plans on our third day.  We, the parents, were hoping to lay low around camp and enjoy the lake.  Yet we also have learned that the boys go a bit stir crazy and definitely tend to disturb the peace and quiet of camp.  Gregg's parents suggested we head into Tupper Lake to visit a relatively new nature center called, The Wild.   Despite the humidity and fairly cranky and tired toddler, we loved it.  What an amazing center! 

The Wild Walk was probably our favorite highlight




Up in the bald eagles nest

Reece in the spider web



 It took some convincing but we hiked down to the Raquette River.  So glad we did!



Sunday was Graham's third birthday (will post more later).
And clearly because it was his birthday, he knew that he could act anyway he chose.  Let's just say a 12 hour drive followed by no naps each day afterward = HOT MESS!  
Yet we managed a few smiles for his "Happy Day"


We ended the day with a similar routine, out on the water.  Reece and I had canoed a few nights before.  However, much like everything in life, after a little practice we had this canoeing thing down!   So we were off for another nightly canoe ride.

Time is fleeting, the days are hectic, however much like we did this whole trip we took some deep breaths, and sunk it - just Reece and I.  It has been a long time since him and I spent an hour alone with nowhere to be, no outside distractions, just us talking about life, dreams, fears, and just being together.  It was more than amazing!!


The hardest part about vacation is when it comes to an end.  We had all found peace in the quiet, enjoyed having no connection to the outside world except for the occasional news clips or text messages when traveling in and out of towns where we would pick up cell service.  Reece knew exactly how to spot and call loons.  Graham grew accustomed to napping in the car.  Gregg knew exactly where to pull over for pictures before I even had to ask.  Five days in and our hearts were beyond full.  

So while the best laid plans are just that, we opted for spontaneity and pulling off the road to visit one more beach, or play on one more playground on our drive home.  We are so glad we did!







Vacations fill our soul.  They remind us to slow down and live in the moment.  The remind us how incredibly blessed we are.  They remind us how special family is.  And we know that after the planning and the actual trip may be over, reminiscing about all the amazing memories we experienced have us ready to do it all again!  Until next time Rainbow....


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Two and A Half!

It's hard to believe that Graham turned two in a half years old today.  It seems like it was just yesterday when he was born and other moments I look at him feeling like he has been that perfect puzzle piece in our family forever.  
Graham has definitely changed and grown up a lot in the past six month.  He went from speaking single words to now having a vocabulary we cannot keep up with.  One of his favorites is asking "why?" Be for warned no answer is good enough and he will keep asking until his focus shifts to a passing digger:)!


 His personality has also exploded.  He is outgoing, sassy, passionate, and beyond funny.  The minute he knows he has our attention, he 'commands the floor'.  All the while in new situations he wants to still be held and needs a little bit of time to warm up before leaving his mark.  Graham is a climber, jumper, runner, and all boy.  At the same time, he is incredibly sensitive especially when someone gets mad/upset.  His immediate reaction is to throw something, ekkkkkk (something we are working on)



(Graham's first time skiing.  Much like everything he does he jumped right in and didn't want to stop!)

 Graham loves his big brother, Beccie, like something fierce.  Graham thinks he is also eight years old and can run, jump, and play any sport just like Reece.  However, he also is strong willed and wants to be left alone to figure things out on his own!  Watching their relationship blossom makes my heart skip a beat every time!  




Graham is a great eater and very rarely complains about food.  We have eliminated all dye from his diet.  He now even understands when we tell him he cannot eat something and responds "why?, has dye".  
While this was a bit of a transition at first, we have really noticed a huge difference in Graham.  He sleeps great and is much more level with his personality. Gregg and I can tell within hours if he has eaten something he isn't suppose to because he become defiant, angry, and very aggressive, not to mention he will wake up in the middle of the night uncontrollably crying.  So dye free we are!  
Some of his favorite food are fruit bars, blackberries, cheeseburgers, lettuce (yes lettuce!!), donuts, and yogurt with Kashi (granola).  


Graham loves to read, play with any and all transportation equipment, look at pictures, and dance.  Boy does he have some moves.  The minute he hears a song he likes, he is shouting "Turn it up, turn it up"!

video

Graham has no interest in potty training.  He wants to wear 'underpants' and even says he will get a chocolate but when it comes down to it he won't sit or even stand at the potty.  So this will be a bridge we will keep working on crossing.  We are also working on getting rid of his binki.  I know I just need to cut the cord, but gosh it is a hard thing to do because it offers him so much comfort.  So keep working we will...


I couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate our little man then spending the entire day with him today because of the MLK holiday.  As a full time working parent, I often feel like time is fleeting as the boys grow up faster and faster.  We had such a blast just the three of us today, while Daddy is out of town.  We ended the day by celebrating with our best friends complete with ice cream and candles to blow out.  Definitely feeling extra blessed after today!






So while Graham is growing and changing before our eyes, I know with all certainty  that this little man has stolen our entire heart in his short two in half years!  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Our Girlie

Pressley 
April 15, 2002 - December 26, 2014


 I have struggled so much with the words to say which is probably why it has taken me almost three weeks to even begin to express our heartbreak.  Presley was the first member of our family.  I remember picking her up prior to marrying Gregg and it was at a time when I completely unsure of our future.  From that first moment she curled on my lap on our car ride home her gentle, kind, and loyal spirit became irreplaceable.  Sadly she is now "with Jesus" (Graham)


Pressley was the one constant in all the chaos of our growing home.  She had a true smile on our face ever time we returned home after the few times we had to leave her.  She never said no.  She knew when I was putting on my running clothes and she was ready.  She was at the door the minute we started to back a boat bag or heard Gregg pick up his keys at 5 am to head to the golf course.  She was the first one up to alert us that one of the boys was up in the middle of the night.  She helped us take out the garbage, she loved dropping the boys off at school, or just hang around as we did yard work, knowing exactly when we needed a break to throw her the tennis ball;)!


She loved to chase the tennis ball, or any squirrel within her sight ( she even caught one once and gently put it down as not to kill it)  She would stand on the edge of the greens and wait for Gregg as to not damage any soft turf.  She would be up in the back of the car before we could even tell her she could or couldn't come with us.  She waited for permission to jump up on the couch or the bed, all when knowing exactly when to nudge my hand to remind us that she had yet to be fed.  She loved nothing more than just to be with us!



After 13 years , we often spoke about that someday Pressley might no longer be here, but I never imagined what life would be like without her.  Pressley was never the dog who made her presence well know, yet at the same time was always there and made each memory that much sweeter with her loyalty.  
When we spoke to her, we just knew that she understood.  From the first moment I became so sick when pregnant with Graham, she never left my side.  All the while Pressley was making sure to never be in the way. She had no problem taking a back seat as we became parents to Reece and Graham, but was their first line of defense as she was being the protective big sister.


 Pressley loved the boys like I could have only wished and they loved her !  It really was a magical relationship to witness.  She was beyond special and we miss her tremendously!!



It is hard to imagine life without Pressley and sometimes I still feel like I am going to walk in the door to her greeting us!  So while we are on a new  bumpy path of dealing with explaining loss and grief to Graham and Reece, I hope that someday our tears will be replaced with smiles when we talk about her!  


 Until then, I cherish every picture I have which offers a small glimpse into her heart!
She sure was something remarkable and I feel so blessed that God blessed us with her for thirteen short years.
Thank you so much for teaching us the meaning of unconditional love Girlie, we will forever miss you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas

This holiday season has been different than years past.  In part because we both are working full time but more importantly because Gregg and I made the decision to focus more on others and the spirit of the holidays than simply overwhelming the boys with gifts.  
Last night, we did something we have been wanting to do for several years now, visit the Huckleberry Railroad and village.  It sells out quickly so while we wanted to go several weekends ago, we decided two days before Christmas would be perfect.
It proved to be beyond that!  Reece asked me several times what was my favorite part.  It took me a few tries from spending time together just the four of us, to watching the boys on the train, and finally landing on the fact that Christmas is so much better when we are experiencing it through the eyes of Graham and Reece.  Their eyes glistened as they ran around the village, to seeing Santa and the solider on the train ride.  It really was the most magical experience!













So tonight we celebrate the birth of baby Jesus as Reece plays the very special role in Mass of Joseph.  We anticipate watching him with the same awe as the boys experienced last night. We have been incredibly blessed this year and look forward to a very Merry Christmas celebrating it all!

From our family to your - a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!