Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This past weekend my husband and I celebrated our 11th anniversary. Last year we took a mini-vacation.  It was the first time in 10 years that we had gone somewhere by ourselves. Long overdue. Very long.  We realized last year that we needed to do that more often.  So this year for our anniversary we kept it simple and went to a state park. I know far too many couples who think the only way to have an alone weekend is to go on some extravagant trip like a cruise, Caribbean island, etc.  I see only a few requirements: being alone away from those close to us, being away from the house, and being someplace both of us would enjoy.

Staying at a lodge in one of our state parks is quiet and serene.  We don't have to drive around a lot. We thoroughly enjoy going on hikes and taking in all nature has to offer.  Our only damper this year was my husband's relentless cold.  We didn't do as many trails as we had hoped or see as many sites.  However, that is not the point for us.  The point is to rest and just be together.

One of the other aspects I love about state parks are the photo opportunities.  The parks are a perfect spot for my amateur photography. Here is a sampling from our trip.

                                 The pioneer village had civil war encampments and a reenactment

 Pioneer Village with tents from the encampments in the background

Beautiful waterfall on the lake
 I was so happy to be able to catch the sun ray coming through the trees

Again, a beautiful morning hike around the lake 

As we took the morning hike around the lake we saw lots of turtles resting on logs

We hope to visit more state parks close to us this summer so that we can take our daughter along.  She would have loved seeing all that this past weekend had to offer. My husband and I are already thinking about where our next weekend alone will be. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Summer bucket list

Honestly, I have no idea where the school year went.  My daughter's Kindergarten year went by in a blur and although it makes me sad she will be starting 1st grade already, I am happy her first year went so smoothly.  I still won't forget the first day of Kindergarten. As we pulled up to the front steps, I was explaining to her where she needed to go.  She somewhat yells at me, "I know what I am doing mom!" Okaaayy. Great. She doesn't need me. As I say "I love you", she just simply slams the door in my face and runs up the front steps. I am happy I have such an independent girl, but sometimes she is just too grown up.  However, I also know that sometimes she puts on a front because she doesn't like to have people see her upset or cry. She HATES that.  So, as her mom, I know she was quite nervous. Here we are...only two weeks left of school.

With summer comes a double edge sword. I love that I will have time with her, we can sleep in, we can do fun activities.  However, it also means less of a schedule, not getting many chores done around the house, and trying to keep her occupied and my sanity intact.  So, ever since she started preschool I have come up with a summer bucket list.  The check marks on this year's list might not be as abundant as last year since the summer is now shortened, we may end up moving mid-summer, or I may find a job. Maybe my blog readers can use some of these ideas as well.

I can't say we will accomplish this entire list. Usually summer goes by so fast that it is over before I realize it.  With the new balanced calendar, the summer is now only 8 weeks long.

Along with this list we plan on spending a week at my mom and dad's house in June. We are hoping to take the train into Chicago, go to the Dunes National Lakeshore, and Amish country. In July we also hope to spend a few days at my parent's lake house.  Nothing like fishing, relaxing and spending time out on the boat.

As long as I have a plan the summer is not as chaotic as it could be.  It helps me keep calm and have structure-- which I desperately need.  Here's to another great summer ahead! I will survive!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Apologies to my mom

Mother's Day is just around the corner.  Every year I send my own mom a card.  This year, I think I will send her an apology tucked into that card. My daughter has brought so much joy to our lives, but she has also made me realize that the antics I put my mother through as a child must have worn on her nerves. I know--kids are kids.  We have all been there.  No matter what my daughter does I love her more than life itself and my own mom would say the same for me.  Most mother's say to their child at some point, "I hope you grow up to have a child just like you!"  Well, I have.  Although my daughter is more of
my husband's clone, I do see her do all the things I did as a kid.  So, to my mother this Mother's Day...I apologize for all those quirks, antics, behaviors, and screw-ups. 

I am sorry for:
  • Interrupting you when you were on the phone or talking to other people.
  • Any and all temper tantrums that I threw. 
  • Not keeping my room clean and/or when I did clean, shoving everything in my closet and under my bed.
  • Feeling it necessary to draw/write on anything but paper.  
  • Tying string around my Cabbage Patch dolls necks and hanging them out of my second story bedroom window and making them dance on the driveway below.  My dolls were never the same after that. (My daughter has yet to do this, but I am certain it could happen if she is anything like me).
  • Taking scissors and chopping off my bangs- which my own daughter does about 25 years later.
  • Being a back-seat driver and scaring the crap out of you while driving.
  • Making you repeat everything 10 times before I would finally listen--50% of the time. 
  • Doing things you told me 30 seconds before NOT to do. That stubbornness is coming back to bite me in the butt.
  • Complaining about eating vegetables.
  • Complaining about being hot.
  • Complaining about going to school.
  • Complaining about having to take a bath.
  • Complaining about doing homework.
  • Complaining about....well, complaining about everything under the sun!
  • Destroying most items I got my hands on. 
  • Making you watch the same movies over and over and over and over again.
  • Not giving you hugs and kisses nearly enough.
  • Not saying 'thank you' enough or being appreciative enough for everything you did for me. 
 I could make this list go on for awhile. These came to mind off the top of my head.  I hope we all pay homage to our mother's this Mother's Day with something a little better than just a card.  There are a million things I could apologize for, but just as many that make me say 'thank you'.  If I start now, maybe I will have all my 'thank you's' written down by next May.