Find Good In Every Day

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

“Active” Vacation – Part 3 July 30, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 3:25 pm

Wow!  How did it get to be a week later, and I still haven’t finished my posts on vacation?  I guess something to do with work and camp and getting back into the grind.  But lo and behold, here it is – the final vacation post!

With all the activity, we were enjoying sleeping in. Well, as much "sleeping" as adults can do with stuck in a double bed with squirmy kids!

Our last full day in Maine was a busy one. We started with breakfast and a stroll on the beach in Kennebunkport.

Then off to Portland for a noon game with the Portland Sea Dogs.

It was hot, so after only three innings, some ice cream, and the purchase of a baseball hat, we were off.

Next up was Freeport – home of L.L. Bean.  Strangely enough we never even made it into the mother ship.  We were in awe of the new buildings there, hit up the Bean outlet and a few other stores, but were otherwise “over” Freeport.  Yes, it’s a good shopping destination, but nothing that we can’t get down here.  Oh yeah, except for the HUGE L.L. Bean complex (I think they have several buildings for different things now), which we didn’t even get into.  Tired, whiny kids can cut a lot of things short.

But we got a few things and then hopped in the car back to Portland for dinner.  We met up with the friends who had hosted the BBQ earlier in the week.  Yummy pizza, good conversation – great combination!  Finally, after our long day of activities, it was back to Ogunquit for our last night.

Chillaxing at the hotel. Why didn't we do this every night?

Mason had learned how to use the camera the day before, and she was loving taking pictures. And we loved watching her get into it. Jeremy now believes that our almost six-year-old knows just as much as we do about our DSLR!

Good night, Ogunquit!

The next morning included one last trip to the beach and then time to pack everything up for the ride home.  While we had originally thought we would split up the drive home like we had done on the way up, Jeremy and I knew we would appreciate it so much more if we could just get HOME!  So we were in for the long haul.  I mean, it was only going to be 9 hours – what could be bad about that?  Umm…  Yeah…  It took 12 hours!!  We left Ogunquit at 10:30am and pulled into our driveway at 10:30pm after hitting traffic for really bad accidents twice on the way home!  We were stopped on the Jersey turnpike for at least a half hour.  While the adults were clawing at the seats to get out, the kids did great.  I was pleasantly surprised with how well they did on this trip considering all the activities and car time.  It made for a truly “active” and memorable vacation!


“Active” Vacation – Part 2 July 24, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:35 am

If you may remember from Part 1, our goal for our second full day in Maine was to do everything without a car.  Luckily our hotel was very conveniently located to the town with shops and restaurants.  And there was a local trolley that took you up and down the main road, so we could get to places a bit further away if we so desired.  With all the car time we had had on the way up, and all the time we knew was coming the next day and on the trip home, we felt it was really important to focus on what was right in front of us.

I woke up early (as I did most mornings because I shared a bed with Mason, and she is quite the kicker!) and went for a run along Marginal Way, which I could access right in front of our hotel.  I decided to travel the direction we had yet to explore, and I’m so glad I did.  I found the Maine I was searching for – what I had been hoping to find on this trip!  Knowing what was just around the corner, I went back, woke everyone up, and got us out to the beach to enjoy the low tide.

Beach time!

This is where the term "vacation" got muddled. There was no time to sit on the beach reading the plethora of magazines we had packed. Nope - it was time to join the kids in the 57 degree water and play in the sand.

Because the tide changes are so drastic up north, all the sand we were on was wet because it never had the chance to dry between low and high tides. It made building sand castles that much easier!

The water was inching closer and closer as the morning went on, and we eventually had to jump ship and pack up. Off to the pool!

Marco! Polo! Where did they go?

Lunch at a local Mexican place and then off to Perkins Cove!

We have so many pictures from Perkins Cove, but I don't want to bore you. I honestly could dedicate an entire post of pictures to this place. This one is the most representative of the beauty of this small harbor.

Our treat for the day was candy from the local candy shop. As you can tell, it was still pretty warm - a chocolate covered pretzel didn't even make it over the footbridge before melting away in Mason's hand... and mouth...

While we had taken the trolley to Perkins Cove, we decided to walk on Marginal Way to get back to our hotel. The kids did really well despite the heat and the distance. I think our frequent "candy stops" helped, though.

When we finally made it back to the hotel, the kids were zonked. We took a break and then rode the trolley to dinner and back before settling in for a movie in our hotel room. We had succeeded in our "no car" goal!

I was hoping to get this trip done in two posts, but the sheer amount of pictures we took and things we did makes that hard to do.  As you can tell, this truly was an “active” vacation.  Of course we had to make sure we were working off all the extra calories from ice cream, chicken nuggets, more ice cream, chocolate covered pretzels….  We’re ready for a treat ban at our house after all the sugar we consumed last week.  But what good is a vacation if you don’t break the rules a little bit?  Stay tuned for Part 3 – the final edition!


“Active” Vacation – Part 1 July 23, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 2:14 pm

I don’t know how anyone could call a trip with young kids a vacation.  I erroneously called our most recent trip a “vacation” as we were leading up to it, and I realize now that I not only misled myself, but I misled Jeremy.  My friend, Megan, labeled it more accurately – an active vacation.  That’s a very nice way to put it.  As you hear many parents say, “I need a vacation after my vacation!”

No matter how active we were and how little true relaxation time we had, though, we had a wonderful time.  Here is a photographic account of our first few days.  The remaining days will come in the next post.

We started off after work on Friday and had a goal of getting to Connecticut that night before stopping at a hotel.  The first leg was easy.  The kids watched a movie on the iPad, we stopped for dinner, the kids fell asleep, and we got through NYC ok.  First leg – success!

We woke up Saturday to hit the road again after the obvious Dunkin Donut breakfast.  (The kids could not believe how many Dunkin Donuts we saw on this trip!  Gotta love New England!)

We made it to our friend’s house in Hingham, MA by lunchtime and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon swimming, playing baseball on their mini Fenway Park in the backyard, eating our traditional dinner of steak tips and mashed potatoes and drinking delicious low-calorie margaritas.  Loved it!

Unfortunately we had to hit the road again on Sunday, but at least it was only for a couple of hours to get to Portland, ME.  (If we hadn’t gotten a bit turned around in Boston, it would have been a much shorter ride!)  In Portland, we joined three of Jeremy’s college buddies and their families for an afternoon BBQ.  This was the first day that the heat was really showing itself, and the reality of my 75-degree week in Maine was seeming like a dream.  But we still had a blast catching up with old friends, meeting new babies and chatting.

After lunch, it was time for the real “active vacation” to start.  Back south we went to Ogunquit, ME to check into our hotel – Anchorage By The Sea.

Yes, thank you. I'll stay here forever.

First Family "Active Vacation" Photo - at a pizza place just up the road from our hotel.

The clouds are rolling in. We better get in the pool before it's too late!

The indoor pool was much warmer and more shallow so we spent most of the time there. Both kids are getting better and better in the water.

The silliness took over - as it always does.

The rain took over our first full day in Maine, but we saw Cars 2 then went to play mini golf once it cleared up. Definitely one of our favorite things!

The rainy day ended with dinner at the hotel cafe, a walk to get ice cream in town, then back to our room to rest up for the next day that was sure to be tons of fun.  We had a goal in mind – no car for the entire day!  We felt we could do it by enjoying what was within walking distance and by using the local trolley to get to places farther away.  It would definitely mean more “active” time, but we were all in at this point.  There was no time to rest since we only had 2 more full days in Maine.  Stay tuned for Part 2!


The Adventures Continue… July 16, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 7:05 am

Our next adventure is fast approaching.  Over the next week, there will be a little of this…

And a lot of this…

And hopefully none of this…

Don't worry! He's not really asleep at the wheel!


Can’t wait to share it all with you!


Work Hard, Play Hard July 14, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 10:05 pm

With my new job (sort of the same job just with our new parent company), I have been working hard.  Honestly, I can’t remember every working this hard in my life.  I think being the Head Counselor at an overnight enrichment camp was hard work, but it was also a lot of fun, so the hard work didn’t really count.  But now my hard work is counting.  I literally work every minute of my 8.5 hour day.  I’m used to having a little bit of time to scroll through the blogs I follow, email some friends, and take a breather.  But lately, it is non-stop action at work.  And it’s taking its toll, which is why I am relishing in my weekends…  Especially weekend getaways.  This past weekend was one such getaway.

We went to Deep Creek Lake with some great friends who had rented a house for the week to bring all of their family together.  We got lucky when they invited us to join them for a few nights.  I had only been to Deep Creek once before a few years ago with Jeremy’s family.  And while we stayed for just a few nights that time, I have since deemed it one of my favorite vacations.  It is just so peaceful there.  It is everything I want in a vacation.  Water, mountains, relaxation, adventure…  And this time did not disappoint!

Anna, Cooper, Mason and Jeremy heading towards the water to check out the sand box.


The sand box passed the test!


Cooper was ready to go swimming, though, so back to the house we went.


My little fish... Or as he calls himself - a jumping dolphin!


Mason has been learning to swim at camp this summer, and she is getting better every day. But sometimes you just need a break in the sand.


After playing hard all day, I got to hang with my BFF into the night.


The next day it was time for the slip n' slide. Cooper jumped right on!


The beach area was perfect for our little ones. Next time, we definitely need some canoes, though!


The girls got some time away from the pool-playing, beer-drinking boys.

Seriously, this was an amazing trip.  None of us wanted to leave after our 2 nights were up.  Deep Creek continues to hold up as an amazing retreat.  I hope we can make this an annual thing with our friends too – even if just for a weekend.  The kids all get along so well, and the adults have a darn good time together too.  In fact, I already miss them.  But we had to get back to work, school and camp before leaving on our next adventure!  More working hard this week, so we can play hard next week.



Yum! July 11, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 5:53 pm

The baking began and ended, and I was left with some delicious treats to share with our friends.  I was standing in the kitchen for about 4 hours on Friday night and then another 3 hours on Saturday morning.  I washed dozens of dishes.  I spilled a lot of flour and confectioners sugar.  I had to pull out all of my Tupperware to contain it all.  But it was all worth it.  It was all yum!

I pulled everything out first to make sure I wasn't missing any key ingredients. (I discovered the missing confectioners sugar at 7am on Saturday. Luckily Jeremy and I had time for a walk to the grocery store.)


Stir it up!


We're getting there. Cakes are done. Blondies are done (and snitched on!) Next was the doughnut holes.


The end result - my BFF's birthday cake! Not quite like my inspiration, but I was still pretty proud.


Unfortunately, I didn’t get any more pictures of the baking goodness.  It didn’t matter, though, because the best part of baking it all was sharing it all.  And it was all so delicious!  I think I’ve mastered my chocolate cake and buttercream icing.  I had to wait two whole days to even try it after I made it, but it was worth the wait.  The baked doughnut holes were awesome too.  They will definitely make it into my permanent recipe book.  I never got to the chocolate chip scones because I already had so much, and Jeremy didn’t want our friends to hate me for making them gain 5 pounds.  I’ll need my chocolate fix later this week, though, and they will be first on my list.  The whole weekend was great, and I am so glad I got to enjoy some baking time in the kitchen all by myself.  It really is a passion for me.  And to enjoy it all with the people I love…  Yum!


Let The Baking Begin! July 6, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 5:12 pm

We have the pleasure of enjoying a little downtime this coming weekend with some friends.  I can’t wait!  Downtime = Eating and Drinking in my book, and that’s what I plan to do (in between kayaking, boating, tennis playing, and just hanging out!)

Because of all the mouths to feed, I have some big plans.

Here is what I have on my list of things to bake before Saturday:

Baked Doughnut Holes (by Baking Junkie)

Chocolate Chip Scones (by Buns in My Oven)

Blondies (from The Dessert Bible by Christopher Kimball)

Aunt Blanche’s Blueberry Muffins (introduced to me by my sister)

My Aunt Patty’s Spaghetti Sauce (love coming home to spaghetti sauce cooked in the crockpot all day!)

And the final touch?

Well, that’s up to the birthday girl.  I’m still waiting to find out what kind of cake she wants, but I think the decoration might look a bit like this cake from i am baker.

I can’t wait to start it all.  And thankfully the grandmothers are taking the kids for the rest of the week, so I’ll have several hours to myself to get this all done.  I’ll just turn up my music and let the baking begin!


Happy 4th of July, Y’all! July 4, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 7:22 am

Thank goodness for three-day weekends.  Thank goodness for good weather (even if it is pretty darn hot!)  And thank goodness for Oregon Ridge!

After successfully doing local fireworks with the kids last year, we felt confident in attempting to try what used to be an annual tradition for Jeremy and I.  His family has gone to the fireworks at Oregon Ridge (in conjunction with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) pretty much every year.  Jeremy and I used to go, but since it’s a drive to get there, and it would mean keeping the kids up very late, we have not gone in a few years.  I’m so glad we tried it this year, and so glad it was successful!

We arrived around 6pm with Nana, Papa, and Kristin, and met up with some friends.  After picking our spot on the hill (it used to be an old ski slope) and setting up blankets, chairs, coolers, etc., we headed off to the park to get rid of some energy.  After running around, we settled down for our picnic dinner before the BSO started their show.  It’s a great experience!  Listening to the BSO play John Williams and American music that all leads up to the 1812 Overture before the fireworks start.  Definitely gets you in the American spirit!

Kristin and Mason in their red, white and blue.

Thankfully the rain held off. While still a bit hot, it was not nearly as bad as we expected. But not to worry! The cold canned beers kept us cool.

Mason had a blast the entire time. Glowsticks and cookies make any little girl happy.

Cooper, on the other hand, wanted to go home after the first "boom" of a canon during the 1812 Overture. He stayed in this position all while the fireworks exploded right over his head. We had one tired little boy on our hands.

At the end of the day, we were all exhausted and didn’t get home until about 11:30pm.  Jeremy, Mason and I, and the rest of the gang had a wonderful time and loved watching the fireworks over our heads.  (We were about 150 yards from where they were setting them off.)  Cooper was not into it, but I think it was because he was so tired.  He had been looking forward to the fireworks all week, so I’m bummed he didn’t get to see them.  We’ve got about 8 months until Disneyworld, though, so hopefully he’ll get over it enough to be able to enjoy the major fireworks show there!

We’re still enjoying our three-day weekend and have another one next week too, as well as our big vacation coming up soon so lots more fun to come this summer.

Here’s wishing you all a happy and safe 4th of July!


Lesson Learned… Twice! July 3, 2011

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 4:01 pm

Mason’s summer camp is reminiscent of the laid back, lack of structure camps we had as kids.  (Very unusual it seems these days!)  She ends up swimming 3 days a week, which is awesome because I know she is getting great experience and becoming more confident in the water everyday.  The downside of this is the effect all that swimming has had on her hair.

Her long, beautiful hair.

She comes home every day with so many knots.  Brushing her hair induces tears and a lot of screaming and whining.  I bought some leave-in conditioner, but before we could see how that would affect her hair, Jeremy decided she needed a haircut.   I was going to be out to brunch with some girlfriends so I gave him the instructions… “a few inches, but please cut in layers to give it some body.”  He asked if it would be ok if he took her to his barber shop since he needed a haircut too.  I was hesitant remembering the last time he had done that.  She had come back with what looked like someone had literally just cut straight across the bottom – almost like a bowl cut.  But I figured since I was giving such specific instructions, we’d give it another try.

Well, I (and Jeremy) have now learned my lesson twice.  Despite the barber shop having pictures of women and men all over the place, they have NO experience cutting women’s hair.  Jeremy said that he gave the man instructions, who then looked over at the owner (sitting to the side with his arm in a sling) with fear and a look of not knowing what in the world Jeremy had just requested.  In the end, the one-armed owner cut my daughter’s hair.  Even when she had been released from the chair and was over playing with toys while Jeremy finished getting his cut, the owner was attempting to straighten things out with scissors while she played. (And yes, Mason’s hair was cut in less time than it took to cut her dad’s very short  hair!)

One side is definitely longer than the other.

Seriously? And yes, we paid money for this!

So today my mission was to correct this blatant catastrophe.  Off to Cartoon Cuts we went in hopes of getting everything evened out.  When I told the woman what had happened, she just shook her head and treated Mason like she had been through some horrible experience.  (Honestly, Mason couldn’t care less.  I was trying not to make a big deal out of it so that she wouldn’t get self-conscious.)  Unfortunately, to fix what had happened, a lot more hair had to come off.

The "After" picture.

Definitely short!

Honestly, it’s a very “cute” cut.  I do like it, but she looks 100 times different from what she looked like 2 days ago.  She seems to really like it, and that is what matters.  And the best part is that hair grows back.

Heck, if I can recover from this…

Bowl cut extraordinaire!

Anything is possible!