for him or for herr, it's a good tour.

People fall in to two categories in life. Those that find factory tours informative and, dare I say, fun. And those that find the idea right alongside say, a root canal. We fall into the first group. And our Fitzs do as well. Last summer Kerri and I took the kids to Utz. And this summer it is on to Herr's! The facility is about an hour away from us through Amish country and over hill and dale. And free of course! Yay! 

We planned ahead and registered for a tour slot, and ended up being in the Jalepeno group. Ole! We watched a short video about the company's history (corny but still kinda cool) and then we toured the factory. We saw where the potatoes come in, how corn chips were made, and got to taste chips HOT off the line. Literally. They have got quite the production there. And those chips on the floor scattered all over? They get ground up and fed to cows down the road. How about it!?

The tour ended with two free bags of chips each and a little wander through their shop. We now have far too many chips in our pantry than my waistline prefers. But so tasty!!

I'm already plotting our next tour!




Dominic, aged 7 months: He has taken to attempting to climb the step up from our living room. He ends up standing at the step and screaming at it. I'm talking full out in pain and I am furious kind of screaming. Don't let that smile up there fool you, the scream came shortly after. 

David, aged 3 years: Three has hit him so so so (three so's) hard. Leave me alone! Neber!! I can do it!!! All I hear all day long. Mr. Independent wanting to do everything on his own at a glacial pace. And as a sidenote what is the limit here on daily iPad screen time? Anyone? He has learned so much from it I'm a bit hesitant to take it away but how much is toooo much?

Letteria, aged 4 years: This is the face of a little girl who just had her fifth birthday party. She is rocking the "I was up three hours past my bedtime" look. And rocking it well. She partied hard. But didn't sleep in one tiny bit. There was Elsa's Lego ice castle to construct after all. 

Past weekly shots here.



my favorite instagrammers

I love Instagram. It is by far my most favorite form of social media. Ever. Some of these accounts I know in real life, others I just wish I did! Some of these accounts are bloggers and some are not. Some I have been following since the beginning and some are very recent finds. Apparently I have a thing for babies and pretty images but I mean, who doesn't? This isn't a comprehensive list and it is ever-evolving but as of today? Today, these are my favorites.

//jlgarvin I love her blog, love her photos, love her chalkboards, you name it. //camp_patton I have said it a hundred times, but I love her blog. And her feed has the same hilarity and relatability as the blog.//beebeebrittany has such a charmed little fairy tale life and her images are just as charming.//itsahuntlife from around boston but about to head to italy for three months so I'll be living vicariously through her. //jc_trovato I'm a bit partial to this account as anyone who knows me gets but his photos and captions are on point. //tissespieces She lives on a lake. Has a bus. Raises chickens. //hannnahbeth A photographer who travels, I discovered her before I learned she was originally from this area. //mama_2thelittleones They live in the alps. Enough said. //dearestdaughters I want my feed to be like hers when it grows up. //jessica_kesti I like her kitchen. Among other things. //xomrsmeasom Some people just have the cutest bump. She is one of those peoples. //chasingmyhalo I've only been following her for a short while but it's been a good follow. //breehurst I know her, I really do. And she has a cute pet! //kelsey_pardonmf She's living in Alaska, she's stylish, and she's a super mom. //decorotation Where I get a hit of interior design. //bethanymenzel Beautiful images, lately laced with such a sad story that I find myself telling everyone about her as if I know her personally.//

So what are some of your favorite Instagram feeds? I'm always in the market...



how i do it "all"

I don't mean with coffee and wine, although those help.

 I get comments quite often about how I "get it all done" or how I "do it all" and while that most certainly is not true, there is always more I want to be doing; I feel as though I am in control of my life and do get most things "done". 

So... how? There are a lot of words below that ramble on and on about what boils down to just these three things: priorities, organization and Matt

Since no one else has a Matt I will elaborate on that first. He is an extremely hands on father. Changing diapers, giving tubbies, putting the kids to bed, getting them dressed, getting their dietary needs met, the list goes on and on. Pretty damn special is he and quite lucky am I. As an added bonus, as if there could be more, he works from home. This doesn't mean that he is at my or the kid's beck and call all day long, but it does mean there is flexibility. He can arrange his day if he wants in such a way that he can assist with preschool drop offs or pick ups, swim lessons, getting the kids dressed for the day, my work out time, shower freedom, etc. He is the number one reason why I am able to function in any sort of capacity. That said, he isn't always available or around. Some days he has the life of a regular working dad and he leaves at 7:30 and returns past 5. Sometimes he leaves for two weeks at a time (okay once a year, max). During these times this ship does not sink. It survives and sails right along. Just with a wee bit more anxiety and maybe more yelling. 

Which leads me to my other two excuses for excess. I prioritize. And I organize. 

What are my priorities? What is important to me on a daily basis? 
- My kid's needs being met of course. They are dressed with teeth brushed, hair done and are fed multiple times a day (sometimes it feels like all they do is eat). They are safe. They aren't plopped in front of a tv all day long. They get a tubby every other day unless extra dirty. They are in bed by 8 p.m.
- Working out. For forty-five minutes.
- I am showered and dressed. 
- My house is clean.
- Laundry is done and away. 
- I blog five times a week. 

These are things that are always taken care of first. Before I would run out to a park or to DW or a play date or hell, even running to my mother's house, they are all done. I make sure to be up at whatever hour I need to be up so I can work out, whether that is 5 am or 6:45 am; I do it. Before I jump in the shower I make sure all kids are safe and occupied and that the baby is fed and clean and someplace no one can mess with him. Should he start to scream whilst I am covered in shampoo well he can just go on screaming because I'll be right out, and I know his basic needs have been met. 

Now I have never turned down an opportunity to do something because let's say, my laundry isn't done. Which leads me to how I can function so quickly, which is that I am organized.

- Monday through Thursday I have a specific house chore I do. For example Wednesday's I wash all the bedding in the house. That's all I do that day house wise (minus dishes or toy clean up). Broken into small pieces it doesn't take long at all. I try and include the kids whenever I can. Letty helps gather towels and put them in the washer. She helps clean door knobs and light switches. David likes to put anything into the dryer. Both kids clean up toys, although David isn't the best at that.
- All house chores are done with lightening speed. Think: cardio. I'm not here to take a vacation I mean business. Normally by the time the bathrooms are done I am sweating. But they are done!
- The diaper bag is always fully stocked and ready to go. Snacks. Extra pair of clothes per kid. Diapers. Wipes. SPF. You name it. The first thing I do whenever I get home is restock so it's always ready to go the next morning.
- The DW bag is also always ready to go. With our season passes we go there multiple times a week, sometimes with very little notice other than a quick text from our old neighbors. Having the bag packed already means why yes I can most certainly meet you there and I'll be leaving in 5. Bathing suits, swim diapers, snacks, towels, soda refill cup, etc is all waiting right by the door. Every day. All summer long. 
- When the kids are in the tubby and after I have washed them I don't sit in the bathroom with them. I pop in and out and keep an ear out for sure but I multi-task. I go grab their jammies. I prep their room for bedtime. I pick their outfits for the next day. I don't spare a moment.

And that's it. All the above is how I do what I do day to day. How I'm able to be out the door so quickly, how I'm never late. For anyone who may wonder....And we mostly have Matt to thank let's be honest.



another day another hike

Communing with nature.... Being out in the woods. Walking through countless spiderwebs with mosquitos buzzing in my ear.... Not my favorite things. No, most certainly not. But you know what are some of my favorite things? My children. And they need to learn to suck it up and stop being pansies about The Great Outdoors. After our first foray into hiking we learned a few things about our children. They don't like mud. They don't like getting dirty (bless) and they don't get nearly enough exposure to it all. 

Enter hike two. One I found on some trail database site based off a search that included: easy, for children, a few hours, good to great scenery, within 75 miles of our location. A handful of hikes came back on the search, one being twenty minutes away. Naturally, this was tried first. 

The trail was warned as buggy and muddy. And uhm yes to the buggy. We weren't sure where to park but the trail was supposed to be a loop? No. It wasn't. Matt ended up hoofing it back to the van with David on his shoulders while Letty and Dom and I hung out by a guardrail (which if you are of the Snapchat variety you may have seen? Username: lolsen883, shameless plug.)

The trail was supposed to be two miles and while that sounds about right it was probably slightly too much for the kids. Oh and did I mention that the brochure from Middle Creek said Elder Run (the trail we went on) was "lengthy and rigorous"? We did find the ruins which were pretty cool as far as ruins go. Letty seems to be a natural other than the poison ivy she ran through... and probably her choice of glittery pink footwear?  David gave up on saying ew by the time we reached the halfway point so I figure that in and of itself is a victory. Every bridge we crossed he would yell: shakey shakey bridge like his very favorite YouTuber which was a welcome respite from him singing Blaze and the Monster Machines song. Dom said not a word, and I even nursed him in the wrap whilst hiking so I mean. Where is my super suit!?

What did we learn? We crazy parents?
- park in the proper area and ensure it is in fact, a loop
- take a halfway break for refreshments 
- don't forget beverages for the adults (I'm talking water here, although wine isn't a half bad idea). 
- more deodorant. More bug spray. 

Until next time...


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