Monday, August 18, 2014

The Day I Turned 31.

The day after my parents arrived it was my BIRTHDAY! Wooo hooo!  Husby had to work, and I wanted it to be a super fun day, so I decided we would go to the zoo! :)

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We hadn't been to the zoo here yet, and heard really great things about it so what better day to check it out than my birthday?  The boys were beyond excited!

The first thing we did was ride the train.  It was a gorgeous ride!
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It was just the sweetest little zoo!  It was small, but that made it super easy to navigate and make our way through.  It is set down below and it made for BEAUTIFUL scenery.  Every time we rounded a corner we couldn't believe how pretty everything was.  So quaint, and so gorgeous.  I love this zoo!

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We came face to face with many an animal, but the goat seemed to connect with me more than any other animal.  I brought my phone up to take a selfie with it and he kept posing!  At one point, he laid his head on my shoulder and it was the sweetest thing.  Next thing I knew, the goat next to him jumped up on the gate and tried to get in the selfie shot, too.  I was dying laughing and then the zookeeper yelled, "look out or he'll eat you'll shirt!"  That is when I snapped this picture and why it's blurry. :)

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I couldn't believe how up close and personal we could get with the kangaroos!  Crazy!  I find those creatures so fascinating.

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See how beautiful everything is?  It felt like we were in a mini Butchart Garden.

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When we left the zoo and Husby got off work, we met up with him for supper at the most beautiful little eatery in town!  It's right on the lake and dripping in greenery.  So pretty!

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We dined on the patio and the cool breeze made for such a gorgeous evening.

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We came home and cut into the Carnegie Deli Cheesecake that my parents had sent to me straight from the famous NYC delicatessen.  Oh, my lanta.  It was just as amazing as the year before!! (Carnegie Deli Cheesecake is a birthday tradition!)

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I am so lucky that I got to spend my birthday with my beautiful family.  What a blessing!!!

It was the best day I've had in a long time! :)





Sunday, August 17, 2014

Love Captured.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this one is a novel. 



Glam*mama and Papapa came to town for my birthday, so I'll spend this week catching up on all the fun we had!! 

Them being here was the best birthday gift I ever could've had. ❤️


Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Little Story I Won't Forget.

My boys. Oh, my boys. 

This dishwasher has a mind of it's own and pops open whenever it feels like it, making the kitchen a danger zone of sorts. 

I was whipping up some banana nut bread with our 3 browning bananas and as I carried an armful of various items, I merely shuffled to the right to set them down on the counter when .... CRASH! The dishwasher reared it's ugly head and I went flying across the kitchen. Quite literally. 

Landing several feet from where I started, I fell on my side and my armful of items bounced around every which way, creating quite the ruckus ... along with my wailing. 

The boys came running around the corner to see what the commotion was and Levi screamed in tears, "are you okay, Mommy!?" as he came face to face with my backside sprawled across the floor and an array of items strewn up, down, and all around. 

I laid there for a moment, trying to decipher if I had broken anything. I assured them I was okay, and Levi immediately began gathering up the utensils and bowls and Ezra ran straight for me and tried lifting me up with his teeny little arms. I sat up and he took his baby hands and swooped my hair from out of my face and gave me a kiss on the forehead. He said, "you're okay, mommy. You're okay." 

Oh, my BOYS! What would I do without my boys? They are gifts from God and such a blessing to my heart. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Adjustments.

I'm still playing catch up here, and I wanted to write about the adjustment since so many people are asking - specifically for the boys.

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We are all definitely a little homesick, but knowing that we are only here for a year helps tremendously.  As you can probably tell (especially if you follow my instagram), we are cramming as much into the year as humanly possible, so all of the adventures keep us excited and positive about living in a new place.  I'm so happy we are in a place where so many great things are at our fingertips to explore, rather than somewhere in the middle of nowhere.  That would be immensely more difficult!

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(A beautiful area we discovered a mile from our house.)

The boys have their moments where they want to go "home".  Levi has cried several times, saying that he wants to move back into our house and how much he misses everything there.  It is hard for a Mommy to hear those things, and it hurts my heart, but on the flip side, I know we are doing exactly what God has led us to do, and sometimes those things are hard.  It's been a strange balance for me trying to grasp the peace I have that we are in His will and the longing I have to have the boys where everything is familiar and comfortable -- home.  It's hard to explain, but it's been rough on the Mommy heart.  Levi has been so brave during this transition and has truly embraced the change with such grace.  He is such a smart little thing, that he knows why we are here and can understand that it is only for a time.  That helps.

I wasn't worried about Ezra in the least when we came here.  I thought that for him, at two years old, that home is where Mommy, Daddy, and Bubby are.  And that's certainly true, but lately he has been telling us that he wants to go home.  HEARTBREAK.  I have overheard him time after time telling Levi that he wants to go home now and Levi gently tells him that we are home.  He says, "no we are not.  I'm going HOME!"  Bless him!  I thought it would be easiest for him, but I know that he is confused.  A part of me is happy (not sure that's the right word...) though, that he remembers his first house and loves it.

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Continue to pray for my babies, please.

Don't get me wrong - they are happy and healthy and the excited and energetic boys that they have always have been, but there are moments where it is hard.

We are about to get in more of a routine, and I think that will help.  These dog days of summer have been amazing, but I also know children thrive on routine and scheduled activity, so I'm looking forward to the fall.

I will be homeschooling Levi again this year (Kindergarten!  Yay!!), and he is so excited to get started. As am I.  We had such an amazing experience last year with Pre-K, and I know this year will be wonderful.  He will start AWANA up at church next month and will also start Karate, which he is THRILLED about.  He can not wait for those two things to begin, and I know he will enjoy them so much.

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Our first day of church here in town, Levi made an instant friend - an adorable little boy named Brooks.  The sweet little boy welcomed him with open arms (literally, they wouldn't stop hugging), and Levi instantly loves our new church, thanks to his new friend.  So sweet.  An answer to prayer, for sure.

Ezra loves his class at church too, and hasn't shed a tear or even looked back once since we've been here.  I was worried that all the change would result in him wanting to stick by Mommy, but that hasn't been the case.  He's been such a brave little one!  Both of the boys are such social little creatures and that makes change so much easier... on all of us! :)

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The other two Fellows in Husby's program are great!  He really enjoys both of them and they all have a lot in common - another answer to prayer.  He's working with some really great guys and their wives are super sweet, too. :)  The women's ministries at church start up next month, so I hope to get plugged into a Bible study and connect with some of the ladies there, too.  And a family friend in town has really reached out to us and got me connected to some other young moms here that I'll be doing a once a month book study with, so I'm excited about that!

So, there's a quick update on all of us.  We are here in Erie, Pa., and certainly doing our best to make the most of it.  This will without a doubt be the most interesting year of our lives to date, and certainly the most exciting!  I am learning so much this year - about myself, about my children and husband, about life ... and I think one of the biggest things I'll take away is that adventure is everywhere - no matter where you are.  So embrace it, explore it, enjoy it!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pittsburgh.

A couple of weekends ago, we set out on a day trip to Pittsburgh.  We have never been there and it is such a great city!  I would have loved to explored it more, but we crammed a lot in our day there and took a tour so that we got the layout of the city and hit the highlights.  I always love taking tours of new cities so that we don't miss anything important!

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Our little Ezzers got sick on the ride up and we had to whip in to an REI and grab him something quickly before the tour started.  The kids selection was terrible and they had exactly one shirt and one pair of pants that would fit that baby.  We grabbed them and threw them on him, bless his heart.

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We had such an interesting tour guide.  We were sitting on a bench waiting to board the bus and he came up to Husby and I and started telling us all the Jewish spots to hit up.  Confused, we thanked him for the info, and he said, "Gentiles like myself are happy to help!"

Um.

Okay .... ?

I guess there's a first time for everything, but never in my life have I been mistaken for a Jew. Haha!

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The tour was great.  The weather was beautiful - the warmest I think it has been since we moved here and we had a great time.  The highlight of the trip for the boys was the Duquesne Incline.

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Two little box cars take a ride up the steep Mt. Washington.  So much fun!

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Once at the top, the views of the city are spectacular!!  Seriously, such a gorgeous town!

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LOVE!

After our several hour tour, we headed down to the Strip to check out all the fantastic street food we saw when we drove through there on the bus.  There were so many treats Levi and I spotted that we wanted to go back and grab, but ... we got there too late and everything was packed up and gone!  So, we headed to Primanti Bro's for supper.  Mmmm!

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Every sandwich is topped with coleslaw and french fries and it's pretty ridiculous.  Ridiculously awesome, that is!

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And you guys didn't think I would go to Pittsburgh without scouting out the ALDC, did you???

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Sadly enough, they were closed, or else I totally would have gone in.  There was a car in the parking lot though and I am convinced Abby Lee was in there.  I was petrified she was going to come out and yell at me when I was freaking out in the parking lot and taking pictures left and right.

Hahaha!

We ended our day with the best little bakery I have ever been to, and loaded up on so many sweets.  It was delicious!  I would make a trip back to Pitts simply to go back to this bakery.  Haha!

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It was a fun day with my fun people, exploring new territory.  Love it!

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Great Lake Days.

I'm like three weeks behind in things I want to blog about, so bear with me as I play catch up.

I'm pretty sure our favorite thing about Erie is the lake.  I've told you before, but you guys, it is absolutely beautiful!  We get out to the beaches as often as we can and like to plan our weekend activities around being outside, whether it be on a boat, on the beach, or exploring around Presque Isle.  Presque Isle is where all the beaches are (11 of them!), and the boys and I spend a lot of our days out there while Daddy is at work.  They beg to go and absolutely love it!

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Here's an ariel view of PI, that obviously I didn't take, but just so you get an idea of what it's like.

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See the sandy beaches the entire way around?  That's where we go.  We pick a new beach each time to try to find our favorite.  Levi likes Beach 8.  :)

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Isn't it beautiful?

Anyway, we spend a lot of time out there.  (And I have more freckles than I think I've had in my life. Haha!)  It is a state park and there are tons of bike trails, hiking trails boat rides in the lagoons and several other fun things we have yet to do, but can't wait to get out there and explore.  We better do it before winter comes....!

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I'm not sure how we didn't know about Presque Isle before moving here, but we didn't!  Also, I had ZERO idea that I would be as obsessed with this Great Lake as I am.  It's seriously like we're at an ocean when we're out there.  So FUN!

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Early into our time here, we took a 90 minute boat ride out into the lake and learned a lot about the waters and the area.  For instance, there is an island we drove by that people aren't allowed on because of all of the endangered birds that live there.  It was gorgeous!

And we also learned that Lake Erie is 125 times more dangerous than the Bermuda Triangle in terms of boats lost.  YIKES!!

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This is us on the boat ride.  Nothing better than blowing through the fresh water with the breeze in our hair!  So fun.

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I'm so grateful to have this beautiful area at our fingertips this year.  It's giving us so many fun summer days and such great memories!




Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Long Weekend.

A couple weeks ago, only two weeks in to our time here, Husby had to up and abandon me for almost five days!  Ugh!  It was torture.  He had an event to work out of town and we were left here alone, so we set out to make the most of it.

We did things like go to Chuck E Cheese, the movies (Planes: Fire & Rescue), we went to the lake and out to eat at some of our favorites.  But one day we set out for adventure.  Just me and my babies.

We went to a local farm to pick berries and when I got there I asked what I needed to do to pick.

"Do you want to pick strawberries or corn?", the lady asked.

"Strawberries."

"We don't have strawberries ready."

*Crickets.  Crickets.*

"Okay thanks, catch ya later!"

I mean, what on earth?!

From there I googled the best place to pick berries.  And next thing you know I was in No Mans Land, NY.  To this day I still don't know where we were.  But boy did we find us a marvelous little blueberry farm!  It was so charming and the couple who ran it were wonderful.  We had such a good time and the weather was gorgeous - we could have stayed all day!

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I reiterated to the boys to pick the biggest and bluest berries to find, and to leave the little green ones on the bushes.  Levi picked a whole bucket full of the prettiest berries there.  And Ezra?  Well, he picked a lot of green ones.

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And they both ate the fresh berries along the way - claiming that they were the best blueberries they had ever tasted!

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After we finished up, we checked out a local ski resort and then stopped for ice cream.  At a desolate, lone, store that sold pizza, ice cream, and homemade fudge.  I ordered us three hot fudge sundaes and  we waited.

It was taking an unusually long time so I peeked behind the counter to check things out.  I saw this girl microwaving something and attempting to stir it with her spoon.  It looked like mud ... but not runny mud.  Thick, ugly, chunky mud.

And next thing you know, our sundaes were ready! ....

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Oh my gracious sakes, you guys.  I can't even explain it.  It was CHEWY and tasted like Baker's chocolate.  It was a disaster.  We trashed them and headed home!

Actually, we headed to the beach and the terrible hot fudge sundaes were long forgotten. :)

A beautiful day with my beautiful babies!

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