Find Good In Every Day

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

Culinary Weekend July 30, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 9:19 pm

Living in Silver Spring for 8 years, we definitely had our favorite restaurants.  When we craved a burger, we knew our favorite options.  When it was Friday Pizza night, we had our “usuals.”  And when we wanted chocolate chip pancakes, there was only one option.  It was nice to have our usual haunts.  We even got to know the wait staff at our favorite places.

We knew that part of the moving adventure would mean finding our new go-to places to eat.  We didn’t think it would be so hard, though.  Providence is kind of a foodie town, which is good and bad.  The good is that there are a lot of restaurants.  The bad is that we’re not foodies, so the menus don’t always appeal to our appetites.  But the hunt had to start.

Our first night here, we ate at our local Irish Pub where we ordered their Irish Nachos.  Basically they are nachos using potato chips rather than tortilla chips.  Jeremy still talks about them and asks when we will go back.  That seemed to be a lucky find, though.  The next few weeks brought a lot of disappointment.  From ho-hum pizza to awful scones to the lack of Mexican restaurants in our area…  We were getting worried.

Thankfully this past weekend gave us hope.  First we tried the famous grilled pizza at Bob and Timmy’s in Federal Hill.  The kids got the regular oven-baked pizza, and we tried two variations of the grilled.  We were pleased with both.  Good chewy crust on the oven-baked and crisp thin crust on the grilled.   I was really getting worried about our pizza choices, especially since Jeremy has started questioning his love of Dominos, so this discovery was needed.

Saturday morning, our quest for the great simple breakfast place ended.  We tried a local institution, T’s, in Cranston, and everyone left happy and stuffed!  It was delicious.  At first, Mason got upset when we thought they didn’t have chocolate chip pancakes, but we found the chips offered as a topping.  Mason decided to do a waffle with chocolate chips, and I have never seen her eat something so fast!  She gobbled them up happily.  Cooper had a kid’s combo plate with eggs, a pancake, bacon and rye toast.  He nibbled on it all and seemed happy.  I snuck a few bites of his rye toast and was in heaven!  Jeremy’s mom ordered the famous Rose Window Waffle and was definitely pleased with her choice.  Jeremy and I ordered combo plates – mine with French toast and his with pancakes.  Everything was wonderful – from the home fries to the eggs to the bacon and sausage.  Wow!  And I have to mention that the grilled cinnamon roll puts every other cinnamon roll to shame.  Halfway through the meal, Jeremy said that our search for “our” breakfast place started and ended at T’s.

To top off our culinary weekend, we took a chance and tried Nacho Mamma’s in Bristol after a quick stop at the Bristol playground and a stroll through town.  It did not disappoint!  In Silver Spring, we had about 6 Mexican restaurants within 2 miles of our house, so there was never a lack of choice.  But here, we’ve been struggling.  Jeremy has been frequenting Cilantro, which is almost like a local Chipotle, but the kids didn’t like the options there, so it is not a family go-to place.  Unfortunately Nacho Mamma’s is a bit far for us to make it a regular thing, but it certainly makes the list of special treats to go out of our way for every once in a while.

So after a month of being Rhodies, we’re finding our new culinary haunts and enjoying the adventure of the search!

On the steps in Providence before enjoying a yummy burger at Luxe Burger Bar.


The Aftermath July 26, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 9:07 pm

We’re coming up on 4 weeks in Rhode Island.  I can’t believe how fast time is flying.  Today we found some Disney World pictures and commented on how that was just in March.  It feels like over a year ago!  So much has happened since March, and that was only 4 months ago.  Imagine what we’ll feel like come November!

I have been keeping busy with the kids.  Between keeping them entertained and peaceful to each other, getting the final touches on the house in order, becoming official Rhode Island residents with the DMV (and getting through all 3 books of Fifty Shades), it’s been a little hectic.  And I can finally start to see the aftermath of the move.  Here are some clues:

  • My back finally gave out.  I’ve been in pain for about 2 weeks, which is way too long for me.  I hope to stand upright without too much difficulty by the time August comes around next week.  (Fingers crossed!)
  • Cooper is whining about EVERYTHING!  Seriously.  Every time I ask him to do something, he throws a fit.  The combination of age four and a half and wanting attention and needing routine is a nightmare right now.
  • I’m lonely.  Luckily this week starts the incoming of visitors.  Nana is here now, my mom comes next week, and then my sister, Scott and Hayes.  I’m excited to have some adult interaction and some help with the kids!  And I love getting to show people around this new state of ours.
  • Jeremy is exhausted.  He’s working so hard – his routine has definitely set in.  He gets up at 6am now to catch a 7:20 bus and doesn’t get home until 6pm or 6:30pm.  That’s a long day!  He’s doing a great job at work, though, and I’m really proud of him.
  • Mason has matured (but still has her moments.)  She has become my little helper, and I have appreciated it greatly.  She’s my BFF here.  She still has moments of being 6, though, and then…  Watch out!
  • It’s time to start the job search.  I actually interviewed and was offered a job last week, but it just wasn’t the right fit or the right time.  I hope that is the beginning of a fruitful job search, though.  I’m going to really focus on telecommuting work, which should hopefully give us the flexibility we need (and I strongly desire!)

All in all, we’re doing well.  Heck, I get to walk/run along the water in the mornings with the sailboats gently floating in the harbor.  We can get to some cool beaches in under 45 minutes.  It’s under 100 degrees.  We go to playgrounds and evening concerts on the waterfront.  We can walk to the ice cream shop…  Life is pretty good despite the aftermath of moving setting in.  I think we’re going to be just fine.


The Moving Chronicles Part 4 July 19, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 5:35 pm

It’s time for the final installment of The Moving Chronicles.  In Part 3, we had finally made it to Providence after a stressful few days.  We were excited to be here and to see the house again.  When we looked for houses in the area, we weren’t finding much in which we would be willing to live.  But when we got to this one, it was so normal and decorated in our style that we just breezed through it saying, “Yes, this is the one.  This will do.”  We were in the house for about 10 minutes before we left, hurrying back to the hotel to fill out the application.  So we were very eager to get back inside and see what we had gotten ourselves into.

Unfortunately, like many people have experienced, seeing a house you liked full of furniture is not the same as when it is empty.  (We’re pretty sure the buyer of our house felt the same way, especially since he kept asking if he could buy our furniture!)  An empty house shows flaws.  Every little thing was glaring at us.  Cracks in doors, missing radiator covers, holes in the walls, dirty bathrooms, missing outlet covers…  The list went on and on.  But we kept reminding ourselves that every other house we had seen had been much worse, and once we got our furniture in, it would be fine.  Thankfully the moms didn’t give us too much of a hard time except for one exclamation of how small it was.  They set about cleaning right away while we waited for our unloading crew to come and Jeremy and I walked the house to figure out where everything would go.

Our unloading crew consisted of two young, thin guys.  Not what you would expect for moving heavy furniture.  But they arrived on time, spoke English and were great listeners.  (Such a relief!) We had the first truck (Baby Duck) unloaded in about 30 minutes.  Then we moved onto Mama Duck.  Her load was deceiving since all the furniture was at the back to be unloaded first.  You think you’re getting somewhere and then you hit a wall a boxes about 4 rows deep.  But our crew trudged on without complaint.  Even when a very scary thunderstorm rolled in with lots of rain, they forged ahead.  By that point, we had everyone’s help just so we could get it done and get them on the way to their next job.  I was on the truck, moving boxes from the back to the front and directing where each box should go.  Jeremy, Meema, Nana, Mason and the unloaders were then taking everything inside.

After all was said and done, we were left to make some sense of it.

Where to begin?

A hallway of books (98% of which are architecture books)

There were some definite disappointments throughout it all.  The extra couch we had planned to be in the kids’ playroom did not fit up the stairs.  We ended up getting it in our very large master bedroom, which actually turned out to be a great fit.  Even worse was that the daybed frame we had planned to put in the playroom (for visitors to sleep on) also didn’t fit up the narrow stairs.  It was left on the curb to get rained on.  (Jeremy has since broken it down into pieces, but we still need to take it all to the dump.)  But after we got over those issues, we started arranging and re-arranging.  You can only do so much tired and hungry, though.  After the long day, we treated ourselves and our moms to the local Irish pub and ice cream on the bridge.  A great way to end the day.

After more cleaning, unpacking and re-arranging the next day, we did manage to give the moms a tour a Providence (College Hill, Salter’s Grove Park, and, of course, the local Starbucks!)  Soon it was time to say goodbye, though.  It was sad to see them go, but we were ready to test this new adventure on our own.  (Thank you Meema and Nana for all your help!  We couldn’t have done it without you!)

Southwest’s new Frequent Flyer Club

Since the moms left, we have gotten a lot done.  Here are some pics of our “finished” rooms.  (Note that some things came with the house, including a large “hutch” in the dining room, a dresser up in the kids playroom and most curtains.)

Living Room

Dining Room

The kitchen – one side

The kitchen – the other side

Entryway and office nook

Kids’ bedroom

Kids’ playroom (and guest room!)

Master bedroom

The backyard – perfect for playing in the sprinkler on hot days.

So there you have it.  We’ve finally settled in.  We’re exploring our area and enjoying the summer.  (Adventures to be shared in upcoming blogs!)  We miss all our Maryland/Virginia family and friends dearly, but look forward to a few weeks of visitors that starts next week.  And if you haven’t booked your stay yet, there’s still time.  We hear New England is glorious in the fall!


The Moving Chronicles Part 3 July 13, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 2:11 pm

When you last left us (before the sentimental break), you were wondering if we would all make it through the move without going crazy.  For anyone that knows me at all, you probably guessed that the crazy train pulled into the station right around the time we had to get the second truck.  And you’d be right.  Tempers started flaring around then.  Jeremy and I were both so exhausted from the week of packing, the goodbyes, and the moving stress that our emotions were running thin.  We just kept telling each other we had to keep pushing and get to the finish line.  We had known it wasn’t going to be easy.  And honestly with as easy and quick as our house sold and we found a place to live, I was kind of expecting our luck to run out eventually.  But that doesn’t mean I was ready for it emotionally.

We finally got on the road after both trucks and both cars were packed up.  Luckily I had booked two hotel rooms – one in Connecticut and one in Providence – unsure of how far we would make it on Saturday.  Since we didn’t leave Baltimore until after 4pm, it was clear we were only going to get to Connecticut.  So there we were driving up 95 with Momma Duck in the lead, the two cars behind, and then Baby Duck (me) bringing up the rear.  We were good about sticking together, even at the toll booths when some of us had EZPass and some didn’t.  Traffic was never awful, but there were a few slow spots for sure.  I had picked a hotel off Merritt Parkway in Connecticut because that is the way we prefer to go.  The Tappan Zee Bridge is easier and less stressful than the GW Bridge in NYC, and there is better scenery along the parkways in Connecticut than along 95.  Unfortunately Google Maps doesn’t give you any warnings about the parkways only carrying passenger cars.  That was the first sign of trouble.

Side note:  Now I could go into a very detailed account of the next 2 hours after seeing the first “Passenger Cars Only” sign about 45 minutes from our expected exit, but there might more blame and tension in my voice than I ever care to share on this ol’ blog.  So you will get the short and sweet version.  That’ll be enough to get the drift.

Because Merritt Parkways is such an old road with historic LOW stone bridges going over it, only passenger cars are allowed on it.  Would have been good to remember when we were planning our route.  Thankfully we got off the parkway on the last exit before one of those low bridges.  But that detour caused us to have to go through a small town with our big trucks and get back to a 95, which was out of the way of our hotel.  After a couple of unexpected extra hours, we finally made it to the hotel.  After roaming the parking lot in our big trucks several times around, we parked and got our rooms.  Honestly, I was the conductor of the aforementioned crazy train at this point.  My tone was loud, annoyed and tired.  A good night’s sleep was just what I needed.  Oh wait!  I had to sleep with Mason – the good night’s sleep would have to wait.  (Both my kids are horrible to sleep with, so it’s not like Jeremy got a good night’s rest either!)

A bit more fresh and awake the next day, we were ready to tackle the final trek to Providence.  We got a delicious breakfast (best hotel breakfast ever at Hilton Garden Inn in Norwalk, CT!), and got the caravan ready to roll again.

After a relatively quick drive, we were here!

The best pic I could get…

The Moving Crew!

We had made it.  It is not the end of our story, though!  We still had to figure out where everything would go in this smaller house.  There was cleaning and lots of unpacking to do.  And we had to treat our moms to a little fun before they left.  In our final chapter of The Moving Chronicles, we’ll get down and dirty with the new house and even show you some progress pictures of how we’ve made the house work for us… for now…  Stay tuned!


Speaking of… July 12, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 7:53 am

Speaking of divine providence…  In searching through pictures yesterday for the one of Benefit and Angell Streets, I came across some other pictures from that same New England trip we took two years ago.   We had stopped in Providence on our way to Boston for a weekend getaway.  We were just tooling around, looking at towns and neighborhoods around Providence.  It was sort of a scouting trip at the time, wondering if we could ever just up and move to New England without a new job to take us there.  I remember thinking after that trip that we were happy just where we were in Maryland.  We loved this little town on the water we had found, but other than that, it was just ok compared to what we had closer to family.

Well, lo and behold, that “little town on the water” is exactly where we live now!  It’s amazing what a difference 2 and a half years make!

Check out what enticed us about this town below in our pictures from Fall 2010.

View from the Pawtuxet Bridge

The small waterfront park.

We loved the view of the boats in the cove.

Us in the gazebo at the park.

And now we live here!  Seriously, how crazy is that?

“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”  ~Christopher Columbus


Divine Providence July 11, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 1:40 pm

I’m taking a break from The Moving Chronicles (Parts 1 and 2) to get a little sentimental.  Today is a special day in our house, and I’m excited to celebrate it.

10 years ago today, Jeremy proposed to me.  The crazy thing about it all is that he proposed right here in Providence.  Who would have thought that 10 years later we would be able to celebrate the occasion having just moved to the very city where our lives became officially entwined?

10 years ago, Jeremy and I started off on a 2-week New England adventure.  I had finished up work at a school and was preparing to move to Charlottesville to complete my Master’s Degree.  Jeremy had not taken a lot of vacation time, and had plenty saved up.  So we decided to test our relationship with a road trip, exploring our shared love of New England.  Our first stop was Providence, Rhode Island.  We arrived in the city mid-afternoon and set right out on foot to explore.  We walked all over the city, and by around 4:30, I was exhausted and hungry.  I had been following Jeremy around as he took picture after picture of buildings, houses, churches…  If it had any sort of architectural interest, he would take a picture of it.  (A peak into our future travels together.)  He finally stopped at the corner of Benefit Street and Angell Street.  Thank goodness, I thought, as I scanned the area for any place that sold food and drinks.  No luck.  I wanted to keep moving.  It was then that I realized Jeremy had been talking to me and had gotten all serious.  He was nervous and fumbling with words.  Something about divine providence bringing us here together on the corner of Benefit and Angell Streets.  Something about how I was his angel and I was such a benefit to his life.  Sadly, I don’t remember the whole speech since I was famished and confused.  I finally realized what was happening when he got down on one knee and pulled out a ring.  He asked me to be his wife, and of course I said yes!

What a way to start off a vacation!  And what a way to start off our lives together.  Now here we are back in Providence with our two kids, starting a new adventure…  a new chapter in our lives.  Is this divine providence that brought us back here?  Something makes me think that this is where we are supposed to be right now.  It’s crazy how life works.

Tonight, we’re going to take the kids to the corner of Benefit and Angell streets.  We’ll get Mason to take our picture (since she is learning from her daddy), and we’ll celebrate by going to the same restaurant we went to 10 years ago to celebrate our engagement.  We’re at a different stage in our life than we were back then, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  The past 10 years have been the most “beneficial” to my heart and soul, and I can’t wait to see where this “providence” leads us next.


The Moving Chronicles Part 2 July 10, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 7:16 am

We last left off wondering whether everything we owned would fit inside this 26 foot truck…

If you guessed no, you’d be right!  It was a rough afternoon of moving.  We started the day off early picking up the truck before going to sign papers for selling our house.  After a final Potbelly lunch, we settled in waiting for the movers to come.  While we had rented our own truck, we did hire loaders and unloaders on each end to make our lives a bit easier.  The unloaders definitely helped (which I’ll get to in a later part of the Chronicles), but our loaders were awful.  We were expecting them between 1pm and 3pm, but they didn’t show up until 5pm.  Only one of them spoke English, and they really didn’t pay attention to our instructions.  We had rented 4 dozen furniture pads – they used 3.  Not 3 dozen.  Three pads!  Everything was packed in.  They didn’t even use any tie downs.  While it was all wedged in there in a very pack-worthy way, we were concerned about everything making it in once piece.  But by the time they finished at 7:30pm, we were more worried about other things.  Specifically, how we were going to get the rest of our stuff to Rhode Island.

What didn’t make it onto the truck were mostly our outdoor pieces – furniture, tools, ladders, bikes, Vespa, grill, and two armchairs from inside.  I started calling around for more trucks before they even finished loading the first one knowing that it would not all fit.  Unfortunately the July 1st weekend is one of the busiest moving weekends of the entire year.  There was not a truck to be found with any rental company.  I even looked into minivan rentals with car rental companies.  No dice.  We started plotting how we would do it.  One option was to take the big truck (we later dubbed her Momma Duck) to Jeremy’s parents, unload half of it, come back to load the rest of the stuff, take it back to his parents again, unload that and reload with the most essential items.  Then Jeremy would fly down later in the week to rent another truck and drive it to Rhode Island.  That was the best we could come up with. But then I decided to call Penske one more time and have them search around Baltimore and Charles Town.  I figured Charles Town would be the best option because I couldn’t imagine the magnitude of moving in West Virginia to be the same as a metropolitan city.  Luckily I was right.  I had the best Penske experience during this whole move and would recommend them to anyone looking to rent a truck.  The Penske rep looked all over the DC/Baltimore metro area for me.  We finally found one in Charles Town, WV.  After lots of back and forth, the plan was hatched.  Jeremy and I would drive up to his parents Friday night as planned.  We would then get up really early Saturday to drive out to West Virginia to pick up the truck.  My mom would meet us there and drive back to Silver Spring to help us with the final bits and pieces, including cleaning.  Then we would all drive back to Towson to the Lakes, get the kids and Sue and take off for Rhode Island from there with 2 trucks, 2 cars, 2 kids, and 4 drivers.

Then the storm happened.

It was quite the storm.  Luckily the Lakes didn’t lose power, so our morning plan wasn’t too hindered.  By the time we got back to Silver Spring, though, it was apparent that there was going to be some damage.  No power and lots of downed trees.  Our backyard was covered in branches, big and small.  Our Japanese Maple in the front was split in half.  All said and done, we were very lucky.  Cars got crushed.  Roofs got torn open from trees and winds.  People we were without power for days.  We were getting out just in time.

The wee 12 footer was dubbed Baby Duck.

With Jeremy’s master packing skills, we were able to fit everything into the only other truck we could find – a 12 footer.  Well, almost everything.  We had to say goodbye to our beloved front yard bench after trying to wedge it in too many times proved to be its demise.  And a cart that goes to our backyard furniture didn’t make it in, but we put it in my mom’s car to get it to the Lakes and then were able to get it onto the larger truck.

By 3:30pm, we finally had both trucks packed to the gills, a canoe loaded onto our Mazda 5, and the kids loaded into the Elantra.  It was time to hit the road with Momma Duck leading the way.

Next on The Moving Chronicles…  Can the Lake family make it to Rhode Island without any more drama?  Will everything and every ONE stay in tact physically and mentally?  Stay tuned to find out!


The Moving Chronicles Part 1 July 9, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 1:54 pm

Honestly, I have been dreading writing these posts.  The further away from the move we get, the smoother it all seemed to go in my mind.  The reality was that it was a very painful move.  We had several unexpected issues come up that made the whole thing something we quickly wanted to forget.

Let’s start at the beginning…  Oh wait, we’ve done that.  We’ll start at packing.

Jeremy and I had a schedule in place for what to pack when.  While we didn’t exactly follow the plan, it was good to have it all written down.  There were some long days in there.  Jeremy took off the last week before the move, and the grandmothers took turns watching the kids, so we had several days to focus only on packing.  Thank goodness for that.  We had so much  more stuff than we thought!  I guess 8 years in a house means you acquire a lot of stuff.  Just packing our basement storage room spanned over several days.

By Friday, we had filled up the basement den and our second bedroom with boxes and stuff.  Add into that all the furniture we had all over the house, and I was starting to get worried.

Of course, the last couple of weeks weren’t all packing related.  We made time to see some friends and go to some of our favorite spots.

Golfing at Meema’s

Celebrating Hayes’ 2nd Birthday

Dutch Wonderland with the Niles

Wheaton Park with Jen and Hayes

National Zoo with the Harris kids

A grownup dinner with Megan and Roger

A last meal at Urban BBQ

Ok, so it looks like we didn’t have any time to pack with all the socializing, right?  ha!  These were our sanity breaks – excuses to take a shower and see our friends and family.  And it was all worth it.  Everyone kept asking me why I wasn’t so stressed.  At the beginning, I was more concerned about seeing friends and family than I was about packing.  I didn’t want to have everything packed and wonder why I didn’t spend more time with the people I love.  I would have rather stayed up late every night for a week to get it all done than to actually get sleep knowing I had my packing done but hadn’t been socializing.  It was all worth it!

Especially given that on move day, we had to somehow figure out how to fit everything we had into this truck.

The 26 Footer – the largest residential truck you can rent.

So the question is…  did it all fit?  You’ll have to wait for Part 2 to find out!


Settling In July 4, 2012

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 7:44 am

The “move” is officially over, but we’re still wading through boxes and trying to figure out where everything goes in our new house.  Space is a little tighter here, but we’ll make it work.  And once we get everything put away and pictures on the wall, I’m sure we’ll start to really feel at home.

The move itself was an epic event, so I’m going to have to break it down into several posts.  Now that we have internet at home, though, I’ll be able to post more frequently…  you know, in between unloading boxes, exploring and playing with the kids.  We have managed to do several firsts in the few days we’ve been here…  First trip to Target.  First trip to IKEA.  First trip to the liquor store…  ha!  Last night was great because I managed to cook our first meal (instead of going out to eat yet again!), and we joined the crowds in Warwick for fireworks on the beach  (before Cooper got too upset and we had to leave.)  I’ll leave you with some pictures from last night.  (Please excuse the iPhone quality.)

Stay tuned for The Moving Chronicles!

Mason lost her second tooth in a week last night!

Cooper spent the entire night with his fingers in his ears… even before the fireworks actually started.

I think they’re adjusting well considering all the mayhem. The beach certainly helps!