Find Good In Every Day

One mom's attempt at finding good in every day of this chaotic world.

Chocolate World vs. Renaissance World September 30, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:41 pm

It’s amazing how time flies.  I started this post (as in, I entered the title) over a week ago.  But here I am writing about the crazy weekend of Hershey Park and the Renaissance Fair, already feeling like it was ages ago.  It has been just 10 days, but in our life that’s a lifetime!  Nonetheless, here I go…

We certainly know how to pack it in.  Our weekend was BOOKED!  Our plans included visiting Hershey Park with our friends, the Cramers, on Saturday.  Then we had plans to celebrate Nana’s 60th (!!) birthday on Sunday by visiting the Renaissance Fair near Annapolis, MD with the Lake clan.  It was an exhausting weekend, but we had so much fun!  The memories are priceless.  Here are some pictures that show just a tiny bit of the action packed weekend.

We started off small and slow at Hershey. Had to get our feet wet...

The kids became fast friends bonding over rides.

Mason and Allie loved the thrill rides! Jason too!

It was the Frog Hopper that topped it all, though! Yes, Jeremy fit - and squealed like a girl!

Cooper tried to keep up on the big rides, but just couldn't hack it mostly. The train was his favorite, especially because a snake squirted Mommy with water.

Off to Chocolate World to finally get some chocolate!

The final picture before the sugar rush and subsequent meltdown after a long day.

Renaissance Fair - Prepare Thyself for Merriment!

It was Irish Weekend, so the music was great!

But swords are way cooler.

Turkey legs, Steak on a Stake, Fried Oreos and Twinkies... A day of gluttony.

The main event - jousting.


And thus ended our jam packed weekend of fun!  A big thank you to the Cramers for yet another successful adventure.  A very happy birthday to Nana!    And cheers to all the great memories!


“Me Time” = Blog Time

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 1:46 pm

I mentioned yesterday that I don’t get much “me time.”  I realized, though, that every morning when I get to work I have time to myself.  For the first 30 minutes of my day, I sit at my desk and read through my Google Reader.  I subscribe to 27 blogs, and most mornings, there will be at least 15 new posts to read through.  You can see some of my favorites in the blogroll to the right, but that is not up to date on all the blogs that I follow.  (Note to self – update blogroll!)

Most of the blogs I read are either parenting/family related or food related – more specifically, baking.    I love finding new recipes to try.  I have a long list of “likes” in my Reader just waiting for me to try.  Since I find such joy in these blogs, I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you.  I will warn you that some of them are not food or baking related, but they have made me smile, and that is what counts.

The Traveling Circus – Thanks for the reminders Mary (Christie is great at reminding me why it’s awesome to be a mom.)

Picky Palate – Chocolate Fudge Butterfinger Cookies (I made these cookies for my 2009 Cookie Swap and loved them.   Jenny comes up with some very interesting recipes.)

Bakerella – Pillow Cookies (This recipe, by no means, does Bakerella justice, but it just looks so good.  The combination of brownie and chocolate chip cookie is awesome!)

17 and Baking – Tall, Soft Biscuits (A young talent!  I love her stories and how she relates her creations to the stories.)

The Pioneer Woman – Spinach with Garlic Chips (Ok, this is just a peek into PW’s arsenal.  Her blog is the blog of all blogs – recipes, home stuff, confessions, photography, homeschooling, etc.  The woman does it all!  I wanted to include this one to let you know I don’t always eat sweets – I eat veggies sometimes too!)

The Meanest Mom – Shopping Carts (Jana is hilarious!  You might love her or hate her, but I love her candid viewpoint of life as a mother.)

Confessions of  a Young Married Couple – We Play. We Laugh. We Eat Leaves. (Katie does a great job writing about family life, motherhood, marriage, etc.  I especially love when she showcases a pretend conversation through photos of her son.)

The Lettered Cottage – Coastal-Style, Distressed Wood Flag Tutorial (I think in a past life I lived near water.  Or maybe it’s just that I have a huge dream to live near water and decorate my house like a cute beach cottage.  I just love that style, and this blog is all about it.  I salivate with envy every time I see what project they are working on.)

I hope you enjoy these blogs as much as I do.  And if you have any others you want to share, please do so!  More blogs to read = more “me time.”


Chic Flick Club (CFC) September 29, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 4:35 pm

When I was in middle school, my friends and I started a club.  We called it BONS.  It was “snob” backwards, and yes, we were horrible snobs.  We would only let certain people in, and to get in, you had to have pink Reeboks.  If you didn’t have them or even had the knock-offs, you were not allowed to join BONS.  The things girls do to each other.  I can’t believe I was ever that exclusive and selective and snobby and, well…  bitchy.  It was no wonder a neighbor of mine that I did not get along with coined the term “Snobbin’ Robin” and would sing it to me all the way home from the bus stop.

I’m often embarrassed to remember how I was back then.  I’m often nervous of what Mason is going to go through.  Will she be the snobby, exclusive one or will she be the shunned one?  Can you be both?  You would think I have years before I really have to worry about this since she is only 5, but it’s naive to think that girly issues aren’t already rearing their ugly heads – even in preschool.

But I digress…  That is not the point of this post.  I got off track with the club thing, then the snobby thing, then the girly issues thing, but I’m back!  Where was I?  Oh yeah!

The club I want to start today is much different than the BONS club of middle school.  It’s a movie club.  More specifically, a chic flick club.  CFC for short.

I love chic flicks!  LOVE THEM!  I’m sure I’ve mentioned here before that I am a sap and often always cry during chic flicks, no matter how lame they are.  They just make me feel good.  I leave with a smile.  I leave with a full heart.  Another thing that has me leaving with a full heart and a smile is hanging out with my girlfriends.  I don’t get much “me” time, so when I do, I love to combine the two – hanging out with girlfriends and watching a chic flick.  Can’t get much better than that!

That is what started this idea of the CFC.  I’m not a book club person.  As an English major in college, I’ve had enough of reading books and then discussing them in depth ad nauseam.  And while I know that many book clubs are just an excuse to get together with your girlfriends, I would never have the time to even pretend to read the assigned book to then pretend to feign interest in discussing it.  Just not my thing.   What is my thing is watching movies.  It takes no advance work, no pressuring timeline.  It’s a time where I can let go and immerse myself into the story, no matter how cheesy it is.

To get CFC started, I want a bunch of girlfriends to express interest and commitment to keep it going.  The idea is to meet before (or after depending on timing) for drinks and dessert and then go to the movies together.  No requirement to discuss the movie afterward except for the common “That was cute” or “Wasn’t he so hot in this movie?”  Then we go on our way, back to our busy lives, desperately looking forward to the next month when we get to do it all over again.

I know that I’m already desperately looking forward to the first meeting of the CFC.  Perhaps “Life As We Know It” will be the first “assignment.”  Or “Secretariat.”  (I know I cry just for the preview of that one.)  I’m already smiling just thinking of the possibilities of this.  CFC 4 EVER!


Is This My Fault? September 25, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 1:57 pm

Cheese is taken off pizza and pushed to the side.

Mason loves pizza.  Mason loves ice cream.  So why is it that lately she has turned down offers of ice cream and has started to scrape the cheese off her pizza?  The answer?  Genetics.

The first sign of a problem was when Mason was 3.  We were in Annapolis enjoying a beautiful day and wanted to finish it off with a trip to the ice cream shop.  Mason chose strawberry ice cream because it was pink.  All was going great until….  Well, let’s just say I’m glad we were alone in this ice cream shop.  And let’s just say that I’ll never get the image of processed pink ice cream on the black and white tile floor out of my mind.

After this incident, I got weary when Mason would eat ice cream.  I became a little more aware and a little more scared!  Ok, I hovered; I would ask her over and over if her belly hurt.  Jeremy would get annoyed.  It wasn’t pretty.  But I think my persistence paid off because we finally realized, at age 4, that Mason was lactose intolerant.  After a particularly big serving of ice cream at Dutch Wonderland, Mason was keeled over in pain.  Being lactose intolerant myself, I could feel her pain.  I knew what the keeling over meant.  Luckily Papa told us she could take Lactaid pills, so she got the chewable vanilla flavored ones, and life was uninterrupted for a while.  She would take her Lactaid and then eat her ice cream.  Perfect.

Until now…  Mason has a serious aversion to the Lactaid.  She refuses to take it.  We have told her that she cannot have ice cream without it.   Her response is to not eat ice cream.  We have told her she cannot eat pizza without it.  Her response is to scrape the cheese off her pizza (an act she has learned from me, no doubt!)  Knowing all the ridicule I have gotten over the years for taking the cheese off my pizza or being embarrassed when I can’t eat pizza without a fork and plate, I’m a bit worried for her.  I hope this aversion to Lactaid is only a phase, and that she is just trying to have control over the situation.  I can’t imagine a life without ice cream or pizza with cheese (Yes, I do eat some pizza with cheese because it is just so worth it.  For instance, Scott’s pizza is totally worth taking Lactaid for – it’s just not the same without the cheese and toppings!)  I hope she learns that not taking Lactaid is just not worth it when ice cream is on the line.

Gosh darn genetics!


Backseat Confessions September 16, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 4:41 pm

Mason: I got mad at my brain today, Mommy.

Me: Why did you get mad at your brain?

Mason:  It said yes to biting my nails.

Me:  How many nails did you bite?

Mason:  Just one nail, but I was still mad.


Retail Therapy September 15, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 1:22 pm

I love shopping.  LOVE IT!  I hate feeling guilty about spending money, though.  It’s hard to balance the joy of retail therapy with the guilt of spending money.  More often than not, I buy stuff for the kids to get my “fix” and then tell myself (and Jeremy) that what I bought was needed for them to keep on living their lives.  Ok, so that is usually not the case, but it helps me sleep at night!

Sadly, I have realized that a lot of my current clothes either do not fit or are so old that I can’t bring myself to wear them.  Even though I usually buy classic pieces that should survive the test of time and fashion, it’s depressing when I put on a shirt I’ve worn 123 times (trust me, I did the math!)  I want fresh!  I want pizazz!  I need to go shopping!

I recently went through my closet and drawers and pulled out anything I had not worn in the last year or knew I would not wear over the next year.  Then I took it a step further by actually trying on some of my favorite fall/winter clothes to make sure they would last me through another season.  Yeah, that’s where the truth came out.  A lot of stuff didn’t fit.  I had to give up on two pairs of my favorite jeans.  One pair used to be my “dress-up” jeans; the ones I could wear with a cute pair of boots and a nice top.  Well, the effects of washing these jeans every other week for the past 5 years have shrunk them enough to be too short for boots and too tight for comfort.  And the other pair have been my favorite  “weekend” jeans since I had my daughter almost 5 years ago.  I bought them from an online maternity shop that touted them as the “transition” jeans because they could stretch enough to cover up those last unwanted pounds of pregnancy weight.  (Before you judge, they did not have an elastic waist band or stretchy maternity fabric at the waist.  They had real buttons!  No one would ever know differently!)  But they just can’t stretch enough anymore to make them comfortable.  It’s a sad reality in my life.

I’m sensing a common theme here, though.  Comfort!  It’s what I crave (in addition to freshness and pizazz!)  I’m not talking “mom jean” comfort here.  I’m talking “hide what you want to hide and still eat that second brownie” comfort.  There is a very distinct difference!

So in my sad state of having to give up on clothes that I love and keep clothes that I am bored with just because of fit, I am in need of retail therapy.  But how can I get through the guilt?  It’s probably easier than I think.  I have a feeling the guilt will be gone the minute I put on an awesome outfit that is comfortable and “fresh.”  The trickier part will be getting Jeremy to believe that it was all needed for me too keep on living my life.  That is always the kicker – NEED vs. WANT.  Maybe if I buy him some new clothes too…?  Or send him out for a day of retail therapy.  Guys need it too, right?


I Love Fall! September 13, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 12:34 pm

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I love the onset of colors, the beginning of football, the crispness in the air, and the smell of comfort food.  (The crockpot becomes my best friend in the fall!)  While it is not “officially” fall yet, I still consider the beginning of the school year and football to be the beginning of fall.  And we had the perfect early fall weather this past weekend to truly enjoy it.

We started it off with a trip to our local farmer’s market.  I got inspiration for my weekly menu from all the fresh veggies and delicious honey crisp apples.  And, of course, I could not leave without a bouquet of fresh flowers.

Then it was time for the big college football matchup of the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Miami Hurricanes.  We got to watch the game with a friend (and Buckeye fan) and our respective families.  To mark the occasion, I made some dueling cake pops.

Can you tell who Jeremy is rooting for?

On Sunday, we went out to Meema’s for a yummy crockpot-created lunch and to pick apples at her friend’s orchard.  In the past, I have always waited too long to do our apple-picking excursion and then we have a hard time finding the good apple varieties left on the trees.  But this year, I was going to be ahead of the game!  There were several trees of golden delicious apples saved for us to pick from, so we had our “pick” (pardon the pun!) of lots of great apples.

The apple of my eye...

Good thing I have two eyes.

In the end, after sharing some with Meema, we came home with about 28 apples.  For a family of four, that would keep the doctor away for 7 days.  Not bad, but I need to make some comfort food out of these apples.  I’ve never done my own apple pie, so I may attempt that this week.  And if all else fails, I’ll just go back to my good old standby apple crisp.  Oh, I’m hungry just thinking about it.

After our apple-picking adventure, we trekked home to watch some more football.  (Side note: Jeremy is participating in a fantasy football league for the first time, so every game has meaning now, which means lots more football is watched at our house!)

It was a great fall weekend in my opinion!  These are the kind of weekends I wish we could just put on “repeat” to enjoy over and over.  Sadly fall is usually our busiest season.  Everyone comes out of their air conditioned cocoon and wants to hang out before it gets cold and we retreat back to our heated cocoons.  Not that I don’t love getting to socialize all season!  I just wish we had more time to make more of these great family memories.


I love fall!

Next adventure: Hershey Park with friends and the Renaissance Fair with Nana, Papa, and Kristin.  Better get some rest while we can!


For The Girls September 12, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 5:37 pm

It was my third year participating in the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler.  It was our second year going as a team of amazing women.  This year, my sister’s mother-in-law, Judy, joined and made us a team of five.

The Team: Judy, Jan, Me, Jen, Meema

I always look forward to this weekend, and this year did not disappoint.  It was yet another beautiful early fall morning, so we could really enjoy our surroundings as we walked the four miles with 3500 other women.  We even had our own cheering squad!

Ok, well we had a bit of competition in Hayes. He got a lot of the spotlight - and rightly so!

It really is amazing to walk with all these women for a great cause.  I am inspired by them all – especially my sister!  We participate in this race for her and for other women like her who are fighting breast cancer daily.  We join other dedicated women to raise money to support and help “cure” others like my sister.  It truly is awe-inspiring to watch women in all stages of life (from young girls to older women to women so clearly fighting the disease).  You can’t help but feel proud and blessed when you cross that finish line.  I look forward to participating in this race every year with my family, friends, and everyone else who goes out to support the cause!  It’s “for the girls!”

Five women, four miles, for the girls! Way to go, girls!

P.S.  The Women’s Four Miler will be accepting donations until September 17th.  If you would like to donate, please visit the donation page.  Your donation will help support the UVa Cancer Center’s Breast Care Program.


Halloween Preview September 6, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 7:54 pm


While you’ll have to wait until Halloween to see the rest of Cooper’s costume, I couldn’t stand not showing you what made us all laugh and laugh this afternoon.  Just add in a dash of Cooper’s clumsiness and a pinch of his love of tackling, and you’ll understand why this was the highlight of my day!


“I Hope No One Poops In the Pool Today” September 2, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 3:17 pm

With news of our trip to Nana and Papa’s pool over the weekend, Mason once again said, “I hope no one poops in the pool today.”  Such wise words from such a young girl.

Last month when Mason visited the pool with Nana during her “Camp Nana” week, they unfortunately only got to swim for a few minutes before someone pooped in the pool.  The rules dictated then that the pool would be closed for 5 hours while they treated it.  It left a mark on Mason (the experience, not the poop!)

Now when we mention going to a pool, she is quick to say that she hopes no one poops again.  When she said it recently, Jeremy and I realized that this statement holds true for life in general.  Let’s call it a metaphor for what we all hope for when we wake up each day.  (Would metaphor be the right term here?  My English degree is failing me at the moment.)  Just like someone pooping in the pool means you don’t get to do what you went to do – swim; in life, if someone does something they aren’t supposed to, it could ruin your plans for your day.

For example, an email is not responded to in the expected timeframe and therefore causes you to put all things on hold until you get this email with all the information you need.  Someone has “pooped in your pool.”

Another example:  Traffic caused by a disabled vehicle in the left lane is causing you to be late to an event, and you get steamed up and stressed about it.  Someone has “pooped in your pool.”  (And sadly, someone “pooped in the pool” of the person with the disabled vehicle!)

Are you catching on yet?  This is a bit complicated to explain, I realize.

No matter how you slice it, though, you don’t want anyone “pooping in your pool.”  Cheers to that!

No poop in the pool today!

My little daredevil!

Mason enjoys the "walk off" approach.

The irony? A lifeguard sent Cooper back to the baby pool in fear he would poop in the pool with only a swim diaper on.