no sleep till narvon!

There is a town east of here called Narvon. One I have never heard of nor have I ever been too. But once again there was that pesky article about some great places to go in Lancaster County? Yeah that one. This time to Money Rocks County Park. Apparently back in the day farmer's used to hide money in the rock outcroppings, hence the name. It also boasted nice views of the surrounding farmlands. And it was supposedly a short one mile there and back. Easy peasey.

Matt was still away on training of course but my sister-in-law Holly and her brand spanking new baby boy and her daughter Syd attempted this with us. I guess my brand of crazy might be wearing off on people. Naturally we missed the correct trail head and so instantly started off on the wrong foot. Had we paid better attention and say, looked around, we would have been there and back well before Sydney tired of walking but.... we did not pay attention. We did however see more toads than I can count... lots of beetles... and about a zillion and a half hanging inch worms. This greatly upset my kids. I walked in front with a large stick swinging it around to try and clear the way. Those inchworms leave web-like strings hanging everywhere. Just typing that I start to feel like I have something crawling on me. 

Holly decided to take Syd home once we discovered we were headed in fact in the opposite direction from the Money Rocks. But the kids and I pressed on. And we got there, quite quickly in fact once on the proper route. And we saw those rocks, why yes we did. And we climbed them. And we saw the farmland peeking through the trees, nothing stunning, but I imagine had the leaves not been there perhaps I could have seen more. 

And then we turned around and headed back to the car the long way around.... After David lost his proverbial mind when we came across a pheasant and her babies. Once back at the car I inspected every inch of my children for inchworms. Letty returned the favor... but missed one that was only discovered hours and hours later. And this is why Matt should always accompany us. He is a better inchworm finder than Letty.
Like how Letty took over camera duties then? Sometimes a girl just needs a job to do right? To get through the inchworms in life.


just like that, it's officially summer

And on this "official" kick off to summer day (happy Memorial Day all!), there is so much to look forward to in the coming months...
1 the watching of parades and fireworks  2 a beach weekend and boating 3 deck nights and bulb lights 4 strawberry/cherry/peach/raspberry/blueberry picking to hold us over all winter long 5 frequent visits to hersheypark and exploring their enormous water park 6 bbq's including Matt's grilled sweet corn and lots of mac and cheese 7 farmer's market visits 8 soaking in the pool with the kids and ice pops and white wine 9 ice cream shops near and far 10 fairs! 11 pedicures as often as I can get them 12 hiking and getting these kids out in the wilderness as often as possible 13 cape cod family vacation right on the atlantic ocean 14 fire pits and s'mores and cocktail wienies 15 sunsets and star gazing

The summer of 2016, you're gonna be a good one!


how I survived

For the past two weeks Matt has been away on business at a training about five some hours away. Which is nothing to stop the presses about if you're normal people but for me and mine it was a pretty big deal. When your husband and your dad work from home and has the option to be around so so much... when that person leaves well. Anarchy. 

So how does one survive when the very glue that holds your family together has a two week training? Besides wine and copious amounts of coffee....
My sister and my parents. They cooked for us/got take out quite a few times. All so I wasn't destined to have nothing but peanut butter sandwiches for dinner...

Planning. That's my life though yeah? Kid's clothes out for the following day the night before... Coffee prepped for morning, so on and so forth. As anyone with multiple little kids knows, the mornings are like DEFCON Five. I tried to do as much as I could the night before so that wouldn't be the case. And it really helped.

I got up at 5 am. Matt is always here in the mornings and available to help before 8 am. So normally I can run before then. Well when my partner isn't here and Dom is unreliable in his waking hour five am it was. I had to be done by 6 am. Just in case. Which I also learned I sort of like. I have my running and showering and getting ready done before any of the kids wake. Some mornings I even had a few moments of silence with my coffee. It was like magic!

FaceTime. Which thank GOD exists today. I can't imagine how people did this back in the day. Being unable to see your kids for two weeks? No thank you. David would eat his breakfast with Matt. Letty would carry him around and show him things... Dom would wave at it. Lifesaver.

Lots of deep breathing. 

In all honesty it wasn't that horrible. He came home last Friday night to Sunday afternoon to break it up and hug the kids a whole lot.... Letty isn't in school so we had nowhere to be and nothing we had to do really. Nothing with any strict time table anyways. That said though we kept ourselves quite busy through it all. But I am so glad that's over.


the guy behind the blog

Matt's been a bit sparse around these parts lately, more on that tomorrow.... So when I had him to myself last Saturday night I thought what better time to interview him? Riiiiight?

And Matt started this with ohhhhhhhh. I hate "would you rather" questions... 

Would you rather have to wear your swimsuit to work or have to carry around a large beach umbrella open all day at work?
Considering I work from home.... And I have worn my swimsuit at home.... I'd go with swimsuit. 

Would you rather play on an MLB team or get to tour with your favorite band all summer?
Definitely baseball team. Hands down. Uhm. You're serious? No. My favorite band. Thirty seconds to Mars is so weird now..... I listen to a lot of Chevelle and Breaking Benjamin now.  So probably one of them.

Would you rather go to the beach and forget your towel or go to the beach and forget your sunscreen?
Is there a can of Diet Coke somewhere? I used to tan with a Diet Coke. You need a towel. You don't need sunscreen. I beg to differ but alas, his answers, not mine.

Would you rather take a week-long vacation to anywhere in the world or take a month-long vacation but have to stay within 100 miles of home?
A hundred miles west sucks. A hundred miles north sucks. But a month in NYC? Can I get a map? What's south? [looked at a map, realized not much within a 100 mile radius] Wow, this is terrible. I'd probably take a just week and go anywhere. 

Would you rather get to have as much ice cream as you want this summer, but only be able to get vanilla or only get to have ice cream three times this summer, but you can have whatever flavors you want?
I would chose neither. And I would pick to go to Ritas. Okay fine. Any flavor I want and only if it's Duetto. Raspberry and vanilla mixed together. To which I query, isn't that eerily similar to just vanilla all the time? 

And that's where the question and answer portion ended.

 Thanks to Betsy and Laura Jean for hosting this fun link up!


a friday in hersheypark & thoughts on adolescence

Last week I met my sister and brother-in-law (for a short time) as well as my sister-in-law and her friend up at Hersheypark. It was a nice day in a string of not-so-nice days so we had to take advantage of what we thought would be a not-so-busy day. Being that it was work day prior to Memorial Day. We couldn't have been more incorrect in that sentiment. 

We learned from a security guard that there were 221 school buses full of kids there that day. Now I'm not a math wiz, but I did a quick google and figured since they were middle school/high school aged kids each bus would have approximately 48 kids (how accurate is my googling Steph?) and well carry the two that's something like 10,608 pre-teens and teens wandering around Hersheypark. Right. You can imagine my dismay. All of those hormones! All the short shorts with pockets hanging out the front! All the midriff revealing shirts! All the teenage angst! Seeing all the adolescents in bulk made me seriously terrified for my future. Why why why does adolescence need to be a thing? Can't we just skip that whole part of it? Or can I maybe just have really kind, responsible, rule followers for my teens? Ones that will not be afraid to stand out if means doing the right thing. And please for the love of God do not be boy crazy Letteria. I could ramble on and on for my fears of my future but I'll spare you all. 

Thankfully on this day my children are all still quite small and enjoy being with their mamas and are content in going on rides like the Granny Bugs and are absolutely clueless as to the ridiculousness of the teens running around them half dressed (I don't even care that I sound old. I'm a different generation, I get it. Bermuda shorts will make a come back, right?)... We hit up some of the kid's favorite rides, tried to avoid a few tantrums along the way, and got to witness the massive Tidal Force wave a few times.

As always thanks for the photos Ash!


things I miss about matt when he's away

Matt was away for work training last week and here and there and well when your husband is away you realize how much his absence affects you. And the kids. So what do I miss most about him? A satire?
I need to cook. Pssss.... I just cannot make a meal like the lovely homemade pizza pictured above. Unless it comes in a box?

I can't continue on with Game of Thrones. I shall be forever stuck in the beginning of season two until he returns... Or Detour for that matter. Or Caribbean Life. Or even Outlander, shockingly enough. I didn't realize he liked the show that much until I went to watch it without him. He was aghast. (That word always makes me think of Les Mis. Anyone else? Anyone have that movie that I can borrow for that matter??)

I need to refill my own water in the morning. See also make my own coffee. See also pour myself my own wine. I mean truly, this is such a travesty. What is a girl to do?


Working out at night alone reading my books in silence is getting old. Forty-five minutes in absolute silence? Who wants that?

The multiple loads of laundry/dishes/bags of trash that he creates whilst home. God love him, but that man makes himself quite a lot of mess.

The good cop. I'm the bad cop, always and forever the bad cop. And Matt well, no surprise here, is the good cop. I can try and play both roles but we all know that that will never end well. I'm a bad cop through and through. There's only so much good I can muster up.... Sometimes a second helping of whip cream is just not good for you, you know?

Rearranging my pillows nine hundred times a day. The man just loves to move around my throw pillows. And I just love them put back into place immediately upon exiting the couch. I believe this is called an impasse.

All joking aside, because that's pretty much my MO.... being without Matt is no picnic. He does so much for me and for the kids (as if that isn't abundantly clear) that his absence is felt.... immensely. Every day. All day. We miss him. Boo work training. Boo.


wildflower preserve! and more!

Here I am again with that darn article that was ran in our local paper a few weeks ago... I'm such a sucker! One of the top scenic destinations in Lancaster County includes the Shenk's Ferry Wildflower Preserve... And of course I had never been so I had to go. There's not a ton of information on the web regarding this trail, but I found this to be the most helpful. I felt prepared. The sun was shining, I was wearing closed toe shoes, I had directions and knew where to park and a trail map. Done! Except no one could go with me on last Thursday and I wanted to take advantage of the sun while it lasted.... so I did it solo. Just me. And the kids. Apparently I need other adventurous stay-at-home mom friends? Is there a support group of mentally unstable stay-at-home moms who take their three little children into the unknown woods just for the sake of possible flower peepage??? Is there? 

All that to say, I went anyways. Because I'm stubborn like that. And it all turned out just fine in the end now didn't it?  Minus the fact that based on my post-hike Instagram stalking we missed the majority of the flowers by a week or two. So next year? I must go in April. And also? Drive a different vehicle. Because see the mile long road leading to the trail head? Well it isn't paved. And it isn't really flat. It's all bumpy and muddy and full of ditches and yeah. It was only one lane... nowhere to go but forward, and the entire time I was praying and thanking the gods that I had AAA just in case the van got stuck. Which it didn't, of course. And then on the exiting journey I kept myself entertained by singing this.
After we somehow miraculously escaped I decided to reward the children for listening and not fighting the entire time, and in fact making the hike an actual enjoyable experience by getting them ice cream. I've driven by Pine View Dairy quite a few times but never stopped in... which let me say I will remedy by stopping by each and every time we pick fruit down at Cherry Hill Orchards, which is often. They have home made ice cream from milk the cows on property produce. If it's milking time the kids can watch that whole process and any old time they have baby cows you can pretty much pet. 
As if this wasn't enough I decided since I already had the kid's lunches packed we would go to a local park and eat there before playing on the playground. Then it was time to go home for Dom's nap and I got the water table out for the big kids. Hashtag fun parent. Right?