Find Good In Every Day

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

Free Fun! November 30, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 9:40 am

You can’t beat free fun.  And that is exactly what we got on Sunday with our trip to the US Botanic Garden.  Because we had Jeremy’s grandmother with us who has a hard time walking long distances, we decided to drive down.  We were unsure of what we would find down there, guessing that many people would have chosen to go downtown with family and friends visiting from out of town.  Luckily, we were able to park right in front of the Garden.  It was a good start.

If you’ve never been to the Botanic Garden, you might not be aware of just how close to the Capitol Building it is.  Basically, in its shadow.  It would be a great day trip to couple the Garden with a visit to the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.  We didn’t have time for it on Sunday, but Jeremy and I plan to take the kids back soon.

Our view before entering the Botanic Garden.

Inside the foyer was decorated for the holidays with a beautiful Christmas tree right as you enter.  As you can probably imagine, there were many people waiting to get their pictures taken in front of this tree.  Several families were dressed up like they were getting their official Christmas card picture.  It was fun to watch.  Then as you meander through the entry hall, there were iconic DC buildings and monuments made entirely out of natural materials.  They were quite impressive.

Museum of the American Indian

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

U.S. Supreme Court with the Capitol in the background

After enjoying the discovery of all these beautifully crafted buildings, we heard about the train exhibit and knew we had to take a look.  It was an entire room that displayed trains going around several architectural wonders of the world. The train exhibit has its own entrance (from the outside), and once you go through it, you end up inside one of the Garden’s year-round exhibits, and you are not allowed to re-enter without going back outside to the main train entrance.  This was a bit upsetting to Cooper as he kept asking to see his favorite trains again.

Thomas and Percy even made an appearance!

After the train fun, we toured the rest of the indoor gardens.  I think the Jungle area was the biggest hit because of the catwalk that lets you walk among the tall trees.  We spent about an hour and a half total at the Botanic Garden, and by the time we went back outside, this was our view of the Capitol.

Ok, now I’m sure you are all wondering whether this is a paid advertisement for the US Botanic Garden.  No, it is not.  (Wouldn’t that be cool, though?)  Basically I just wanted to show off how much fun we had during our visit Sunday, and how awesome it was that it was all free!  Now, I’ll get to the good stuff – pictures of actual people you know and love.

The Big and L'il Lakes with Granny M and Uncle Tim.

I'm making an effort to get more pictures of Jeremy and me as I realized it is usually always just one of us with the kids.

Mason and Cooper in front of the Botanic Garden Christmas Tree.

Everyone loves kids in footie pajamas - here are Mason and Cooper dancing in front of our own Christmas tree.

The holiday season has started!  We are looking forward to celebrating with our family and friends!


Giving Thanks November 25, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 6:22 am

I woke up this morning at 5am hearing the rain outside, and I gave my first thanks of Thanksgiving for not having to fit in to our busy morning getting our huge pile of leaves from the backyard to the driveway in preparation for tomorrow’s pick up.  Of course, this means we’ll have to bag this huge pile of leaves, but this morning that doesn’t sound so bad.  Ask me again on Sunday when we have filled 20 bags of leaves!

Or we could just leave it awhile. I'm sure Cooper wouldn't mind.

Once I was up, I couldn’t get back to sleep as I fretted over everything we need to get done and whether I was going to bake tomorrow’s breakfast this morning or not and even what that breakfast was going to be – scones or cobble cake?  Oh, the decisions.  Once I got over all that, I started to think about what I am truly thankful for today (and all days).

I am thankful for my family – those near and far.  I have such a wonderful support system and a lot of people who love me and Jeremy and the kids.  I feel so blessed to be able to create wonderful memories with everyone and having my kids have the chance to get to know great uncles and aunts, first and second cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents.

Obviously this is only a small portion of our large family, but I am thankful for even getting this shot!

I am thankful for my house.  Even though it is riddled with water issues right now and there are some cosmetic things I want to get done, like, yesterday, I still love coming home every day.  I have had some issues with mentally getting over the fact that we have been in our “starter house” for 7 years with no sight of moving for another few years.  But I’m finally starting to believe Jeremy when he says that our “starter house” was already a step up.  We stretched to get it before, and we’ve made it even better since.  We’re very lucky.

A backyard shot of the house because right now our backyard has never looked better. I can't wait for spring to start using it again.

I am thankful for Jeremy – my partner in everything.  He reminds me every single day why I fell in love with him 10 years ago and why I can’t imagine living without him.

I am thankful for my kids.  No matter how stressful daily life gets (and often because of them), they bring me so much more joy than I ever could have imagined.  The memories I have of them that are not even captured on camera will live in my heart forever.  They can’t be described…  they are just pure joy – that’s the best way to describe it.

I am thankful for my friends.  Old friends, new friends…  The friends who have been there to listen to me, laugh with me, cry with me, trust in me, help me, and accept me for me.  Those kind of friends are hard to find, and I am grateful for having found them and getting to share my life with them.

I am thankful for the feast we will have today at Nana and Papa’s.  I am thankful for the second feast we will get to have with Meema on Saturday.  (Although I’m sad to miss my sister’s feast today mostly because I miss her…  and Hayes… and Scott.)  I am thankful that we get to put up our Christmas decorations tomorrow.  Boy do I love Christmas time!

There is so much more I could write about being thankful for – trivial things, silly things, grand things – but the kids just woke up, so I’m going to spend time with them while they are cuddly and cute.  (Before the whining starts.)  I need that pure joy to start my day off on the right foot.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


My Good For The Day November 23, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 6:43 pm

The past few weeks have been pretty horrible (except for our mini getaway).  Sickness has abounded!  I think it started with a sore throat for Mason, then colds for both kids, then the constipation issue for Cooper, and ended with the stomach flu for Mason.  Mix in a few days of Jeremy and I feeling under the weather, and you’ve got a complete sick house!

It was hard to find the good each day (except that the kids were going to bed at 6:30pm every night for a week!), but then I was reminded again that it was the little things that can bring great joy.  Whether it is watching Mason dance to High School Musical after a week of illness or chatting with a great friend or raking leaves on a beautiful fall day, there is good.

This helps quite a bit. He was definitely my "good."

Oh, and these were pretty darn good too (if I do say so myself!)


Stress Fluctuation November 18, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 11:00 am

It was so great to get away this past weekend.  Jeremy and I had an awesome time, although the beginning and end was a bit stressful.  Here is a recap of our mini-vacay as seen through my stress fluctuation.  The scale is from 1-10 with 1 being no stress and 10 being high stress.

Wednesday PM – My birthday…  looking forward to a nice family dinner out to celebrate.  Unfortunately Jeremy was not feeling well, and Cooper started his constipated-related screaming and crying in the afternoon and didn’t stop until the middle of the night.  Needless to say, I didn’t get my family dinner.  Our drive to Nana and Papa’s house was horrible with traffic and a screaming boy.  Stress level = 10

Thursday AM – Departure.  Cooper was feeling a bit better.  The kids did not seem to mind that we were leaving them.  Jeremy was still not feeling great, but pushing through.  Stress level = 7

Thursday afternoon – Traveling up 95 and into Rhode Island.  Our drive up 95 was great.  No traffic, we were listening to grown-up music, we stopped when we wanted, etc.  After getting through NYC, it was time for lunch so we stopped in Rye, New York and found a great restaurant for lunch.  We then got to walk around and peak in the upscale shops before heading back on the road again.  Then a bit further up the road, we got off 95 to drive on Route 1 closer to the coast.  In Connecticut, we peeled off and found a quaint seaside town that we just drooled over.  Who wouldn’t want to live here?  Stress level = 2

My idea of heaven.

I could have stood out there for hours.

Thursday PM – We got to our hotel just south of Providence and decided to head out and find some dinner.  After a long day of driving, we were somewhat tired and unsure of what we would find.  We thought the small town of Wickford Village would offer a variety of cute restaurants, but we could only find one or two.  Otherwise we saw a ton of “bar and grills” on our drive, but we weren’t up for grill food since we had had it for lunch.  In the end, we stopped at a small Mexican restaurant.  Just after our food came, there was a knock on the window next to us.  The only two people we know in Rhode Island were standing there.  It was a high school friend of Jeremy’s and his wife…  needless to say, they were shocked to see us there.  They joined us for dinner, and we had a great time catching up.  Stress level = 2

Friday AM – We couldn’t visit Providence without a visit to the spot where Jeremy proposed 8 years ago.  Stress level = 1

The corner of Benefit and Angell streets right near RISD's campus.

Friday afternoon – We continued to travel through Rhode Island checking out small towns along the way.  Loved Warren and Barrington.  Not so much Bristol and Tiverton. Lots of driving, a bit of disappointment.  We couldn’t even find a good place for lunch and ended up eating at a mall’s food court.  Stress level = 4

Another picturesque town that I wouldn't mind living in.

Yet another self-portrait.

Friday PM – We finally made it into Massachusetts and went straight to Hingham.  This is honestly the perfect town.  It is on the water, has a quaint downtown area, the houses are beautiful, nice people, etc.  And to make it even better, some of my favorite family friends live there.  After doing some shopping, we went to our friends’ house.  Seeing them is like coming home for me as they were my surrogate family when my mom and I moved to Oregon my junior year of high school.  We even got my favorite dinner – steak tips, mashed potatoes, salad, and brownies…  and a vodka tonic too!  Stress level = 1

Saturday AM – Besides a delicious bagel sandwich breakfast, what better way to start a Saturday than with a brewery tour?  We drove to the Sam Adams Brewery and luckily got a tour time for only 10 minutes after we arrived.  (This was very lucky because when we left an hour later, the place was packed, and I think tour waits were over an hour!)  While this is certainly not Miller so there was little to see, our tour guide was great, and the beer tasting was delicious.  Stress level = 1

Sad to leave, especially after trying their Boston Brick Red. Who knew?

Saturday PM – We checked into our hotel and then set out for a walking tour of Boston.  We walked all over the city, and it was a beautiful day.  From Quincy Market to Boston Commons to Newbury Street to the Boston Public Library.  It was awesome!

Gorgeous day!!

Jeremy said these were the best nachos he had ever eaten! Meanwhile I discovered Raspberry Stoli and tonic... yum...

More self-portraits - made easier with the iPhone 4 reverse camera!

By the end of the day, we were exhausted, so we took a little break before going to see comedian Jim Gaffigan.  We had never been to a live comedy show, and this was great.  He is hilarious, and made better by the no cussing, family-friendly jokes.  To end the day, we got some dessert.  Um… peanut butter whoopie pies anyone?  Wow!  Also, one of the better chocolate chip cookies I’ve eaten.  Both from Finale in Boston.  Stress level = 1

Sunday AM – While the drive home was uneventful and a bit faster than we expected, we were stressed thinking about Cooper ailing at home and the decisions we would have to make on some monetary issues in the coming weeks.  Stress level = 8

Sunday PM – We were so grateful to have had the chance to get away.  Grateful to our parents for watching the kids!  While we love getting away and decompressing for a bit, nothing can beat the hugs you get as soon as you step out of the car.  Stress level = 5  (In the end, I netted a 5 point stress decrease!  Pretty good for 4 days away.)

Mason gives wonderful hugs! (2010 Halloween pic since I didn't get a Halloween post up)

And this one... well, let's just say I hugged him pretty darn tight!


The Need To Get Away November 8, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 10:03 pm

For some reason, it has worked out over the past three years that Jeremy and I get away for a long weekend in early November.  I think it always worked out to be me tagging along with Jeremy for a work trip, which is nice, but not a full “getaway” since Jeremy would still need to be concerned about work.

This November, it is a bit different.  Jeremy does not have a work thing.  In fact, he is taking a week long vacation with our getaway right in the middle.  That means he has a day to relax before we start our vacation, and 2 days to relax after our vacation.  He will not be stressed having just worked a long night before we hit the road, and he will not be stressed about having to go right back to work when we get home.  (That will be up to me!)

To say I am excited about this getaway is an understatement.  It’s been a rough few weeks in our house due to illnesses, long nights at work, kids not wanting to listen, etc.  I desperately need to get away.  But besides just wanting to abandon all my daily responsibilities for a few days, I also look forward to spending uninterrupted time with my hubby.  It is so important to have these moments with each other, especially having kids.   And none of it would be possible if we didn’t have such great parents.  The fact that both Jeremy’s parents and my mom are splitting up the weekend taking care of the kids is awesome.  I am so grateful to have them close by to be able to do this.  Yes, they do one-night sleepovers sometimes too, but the long weekend away, which involves weekdays, is tougher to manage, so we’re very lucky to get it to work out.

This weekend, we’re heading up north to New England.  We’re doing a driving tour of Rhode Island, visiting a few small towns that look enticing.  Then we’re heading towards Massachusetts where we’ll visit some family friends that I miss dearly.  And then into Boston on Saturday, hoping to get a tour of the Samuel Adams brewery, visiting a college friend of Jeremy’s (and hopefully his brand spankin’ new baby), and then a comedy show with Jim Gaffigan.  Sunday, we’ll wake up in the city, walk around a bit before getting back in the car to drive straight home to get all the missed hugs from our kids.  Busy weekend, but we’re playing it by ear, and that is the relaxing part.  We’ll just take it as it comes and have lots of fun doing it.

So beware of a post next week with lots of self-portraits.  We’re getting quite good at them, I think.


1 second November 1, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 12:27 pm

Time in the eyes of little kids is cute.  We don’t do them any favors by saying “I’ll help you in a second.”  Or “Let me just finish washing these dishes.  I’ll be there in a minute.”  Washing dishes does not take a minute or a second.  More like 10 minutes.

So it is no surprise that Cooper is now asking to do things for “just one second” thinking he will get a lot longer than a true second.

“Mommy, can I play football outside just one second?”

“Mommy, we play hockey downstairs just one second?”

“I want to eat breakfast in just one second.”  (Ok, maybe that one is accurate since he is hungry the second he wakes up!)

If I truly listened to him and gave him one second of what he was asking for, we wouldn’t even have time to throw one football or do one hockey face-off.

Lesson learned:  I need to use realistic time frames when explaining things to my children.

Hopefully I haven’t scarred them for life.