Monday, August 18, 2014

Family Vacation in Review

Hello again....
what was it I said about posting more regularly?
I have an excuse, but will share my excuse in another post a little later.

Meanwhile...this is what I have been up to...
our first family vacation....to Hawaii!!!
Here we are heading for the airport...
preparing for our 10 1/2 hour flight to Honolulu...
yes, we happened to travel on the same day the hurricane hit

we made it....rough landing...but it was all good!
Aloha!
 our first stop on day one was the beach...
 started out as a cloudy day....leftover from the hurricane
 that did not deter Collin from sand castle building...
 the kids found a coconut on the beach, which we kept as a "pet" for the duration of our trip....
by the time we got to Bellows Beach, the sun was out...

and the water was so warm!
 stopped at the scenic overlook on the way back to Waikiki Beach

 visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial on day two...
the Arizona Memorial was amazing...
day three brought a hike to the top of Diamond Head...


 almost there....

woohoo....I made it...
one hot and sweaty group...
it was much easier on the way down...
chillaxing with our shaved ice after the hike...

we spent our afternoons by the pool...
as well as playing at the beach...
 family dinner at Duke's...
 my one true love...
Caroline, Grace, and Katherine...

world's largest Hawaiian shirt....of course the kids had to get inside it... 
most of the kids.....
 day four hiking Manoa Falls....
 the hike was beautiful....
 one more hot and sweaty crew....
 drove over to the blow hole after our hike...
 at the lookout...
 all the kids snorkeling at Hanauma Bay....

a highlight of the trip was attending a luau on the night before we left...
everyone enjoyed their fruity drinks with umbrellas...Teddy sporting his Aloha casual look...
 my beautiful step-daughters Laura and Grace...
 Katherine and Jack...
 my one true love....he made this entire trip possible for our family
Katherine and Laura...
 yes...that is Katherine on stage dancing...lol
 
Grace and Caroline....precious...

Our trip could not have been more perfect!
We are truly blessed to have a such a beautifully blended family,
where we laugh and love and truly have fun together!

here we are heading home....life is so good!
We are blessed...
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mad for Madras!

It's no secret that I love plaid,
and there are LOTS of adorable summer Madras plaids to be had!
Here are my favorites for this season...

I have had to use extreme restraint to NOT purchase this Madras Tote from my favorite store Talbots.
Even I am beginning to feel like my tote bag collection is getting a little out of control.
It happens to be on SALE right now though....
This LL Bean dress could not be cuter..and the price is right!
I had to add it to my summer dress collection,
and wore it with a navy cardigan over my shoulders on Father's Day.
And here is how I styled my dress!

If you love Madras, then hopefully you know about Just Madras...
they are the makers of this cute cosmetic bag, but they have skirts, dresses, ties, and bags too!

the perfect accessory for the preppy girl!
  
Loving this Madras Shep shirt from Vineyard Vines!

There you have my current favorites!
Are you mad for Madras?

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I've Been Up To...

Well...I have been on an unplanned blog-cation
due to life just happening.
Here's what I've been up to the last couple of months....

Caroline arrived home from college in mid-May...
She bought her first car with a little help from the 'rents and is stepping farther into the "grown up"
world with a small car payment and a newly rented apartment for the school year.
She is working two jobs this summer and I am so happy to have her home...when she IS home!
She joined the Volvo family....D walked her through the entire process of car buying and applying for a loan,
and she has a new appreciation for the importance of budgeting!

Katherine has been busy with college visits, the SAT, and ACT,
as well as her job, cheering, and her social life.
She made the Varsity Sideline Cheering Squad again,
which will be fun for her in her senior year next year...trying to avoid thinking about that right now!
 Katherine went to the prom this year...
 her date was an adorable young man who is a dear friend of hers...
sisters!

The twins.....it's been tough.
They are not in a fun stage....13 years old....need I say more?
We were tied up with travel baseball almost every weekend in May and June for Jack,
and the boys both started swim team the end of May,
with daily practices and meets every Wednesday.

 Pre-game pic....I can't believe I got him to smile.
Thank goodness they have an hour of swimming every day to burn off some energy!
Hanging out with friends at a swim meet...
Here they are waiting for their event with BFF Evan...
I hate it when the twins swim in the same heat because it's hard to cheer for them both
when they are swimming against each other!

We also joined our church!
So happy to be members of the River Road Presbyterian Church Family.
We only had 2/5 of the family present when we joined due to our crazy schedule, 
but we decided if we waited for all ten of us to be present, we would never join.
They triplets will start confirmation in the fall and we are looking forward to getting involved!

Work has been not great...same old....love my job, don't love being a working mom...
D and I have been spending more time apart than together on the weekends due to our schedules...
and there is never enough time in a day.
I went up to Annapolis with D one weekend in late May,
 and we had a fabulous dinner with his cousin and his fiancee.
Many thanks to my Virginia parents who make these much needed weekends away possible!
We have also made two trips to Delaware....
One for D's 30th high school class reunion,
and one to visit his sister and get the cousins together!
At the reunion in Dover, Delaware with one of D's best friends from high school,
 who married one of his best friends from the USNA!
We drove down to Fenwick Island, DE to visit D's mother and spend Father's Day
with D's children after the reunion.
D with his children...Kimo is working in Boston this summer so we missed him!
Back to Fenwick to visit D's mom and his sister and her son in July...
we missed her husband and daughter as they were coming out later in the week.

The cousins putt putt golfing...
Watching the moon rise over the ocean....

And I am currently spending a glorious week visiting my Michigan parents
up in Northern Michigan.
This is one of my favorite places to be on Earth.
This is the back yard of my Michigan parents' home....need I say more?
A week in paradise!

Everyone is just as busy as I am ....we all have crazy schedules and demands on our time.
My life is no more hectic than everyone else's...
Sometimes I still struggle to find the blessings in every day...
but I know they are there.

 I would like to thank my best girlfriends,
Kim, Leslie, Stacy, Shelley, and our new BFF Julie,
who keep me sane and bring me smiles when I am feeling overwhelmed.
Love you girls!

Looking forward to getting back to blogging...
I've missed y'all!
Some of you have kept up with me on Instagram....
click on the button to follow me!






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