a fall home tour part i

I do have to say that my house has been decorated for a few weeks now but I decided to hold out a tiny bit on the blog. I wave my crazy flag when and if I feel like it. This was the number one item on "my kids are back to school so what will you do with your life" to do list. Right above go to the dentist and schedule routine bloodwork. Adulting is fun.

Dom finds this process most exciting. Which is most surprising for me. He got really in to it and I had to keep telling him to pump the brakes a bit. He really enjoys all the new books that come out too so once they were unearthed out of the box he happily sat paging through them. 

Anyway so here we are. Part Uno. Walking into my foyer...



the zoo with cousins

If I waited around for a time to make it to the zoo when the bigger kids would go well then, I'd never go. Which is a shame because it is included with our Hersheypark season passes so we should take advantage of it. And it only takes like, forty-five minutes to walk through and that's even with the littlest of legs. 

So last week we headed up to see what we could see at Zoo America.

dominic's first day of pre-k!

This week was Dom's first week of school. Technically Monday, although he didn't leave my presence. He totally knows the drill, the building, the bathrooms and even the fish. He knows about half the class from last year so that helps immensely. Not to mention that his teacher this year was David's teacher years ago and well, he's been waiting for her ever since. 

a morning of all the fall things

And if that blog title makes you start singing Blink 182 well then, you're welcome.

Last Thursday on a day that was quite chilly for early September (notice the differences in how my sister and I dress our children) we all headed to Masonic Villages for some apple picking! Will drive far distances for such an experience! As much as I miss my elder two of course, it is quite refreshing to only have to worry about one other soul at a place such as this. Watching my sister and sister-in-law checking for their two each made me almost feel like I was on a vacation. Just me and my buddy Dom. Although I do feel sad that they missed out on this fall activity, but I'm sure we will go back, because that is just what we do!

our labor day weekend

A week out and I'm finally getting around to our Labor Day Weekend... typically I have these holiday weekends booked to the very minute but this one I just had... nothing. I was waiting on some info about baseball but other than that I have no excuse. I was just, taking it easy, I guess. But even with that said we still had quite the busy and wonderful weekend to wrap up our summer!

Friday night we had Chinese at my parent's house with all the cousins and sprinklers and popsicles galore!

a neighborhood partay

When we were first looking to move back to my hometown we had visited this very development we currently live in. On Labor Day Weekend. The very same day that they were having this quite large and in charge party by the park. We drove through the development and looked at the crowds of people and the colorful bounce houses and thought oh... how fun! 

Fast forward five years and we have never been to said Labor Day party. We know they have it each and every year... and we know a few people who go... but we never went. Well this year, we went. Finally. 

They had a whole pig (!), a dunk tank, lots of food, a petting zoo and a wagon ride over to the farm across the street complete with a barrel train. My brother-in-law and his family joined us for a bit as well! Mingling with friends new and old and the kids just tearing around being kids with neighbors! I let my eldest do a few things I normally wouldn't but I guess she is nine so I best let her have a little bit of space right? Like tiny baby infant space yes?

the vineyard at hershey

This past weekend friends of ours and the kids headed over to the Vineyard at Hershey for some live music and some libations. It was a gorgeous Saturday and we just jumped on it! We (Janelle) brought  a lot of snacks and we just settled in for some good tunes and some wine or beer, depending on your fancy.

The kids were mostly entertained by a new barnyard kitty, a random helicopter almost landing, and lots of little small stones. See also open lawn space for running and making up games with friends. We were even able to keep the screens away from them till the very end. 

nonna’s pumpkin patch

Last week while visiting with my parents Dom and I had the opportunity to check out Nonna's Pumpkin Patch... Otherwise known as an area where last year's pumpkins have decided to grow legs and create new little baby pumpkins. My niece and nephew and Dom climbed into Pop's little vehicle and headed over to see what they could harvest.... So many cute pumpkins were had! I think we will definitely have to check back and again and again this season!

the final day of summer

I need to distract myself the day before the kids go back to school... I made sure to get all the things done in the morning so I wouldn't have to think of them again that day... Clothes were chosen, backpacks packed, lunches done, etc. But as to the rest of the day? That is a day that I need to be kept quite busy. I did this last year and it worked out rather nicely. I invited whoever from my family could make it and we had ourselves a pool day! Even though it was actually quite chilly and most fall-like. Rude! The sun was still nice and warm though! We spent the entire day outside, even dinner! Matt grilled all the things and we had all the snacks and all the seltzers... as one does. 

an air show

I know this happened before the kids went back to school but I wanted to share these photos just the same.... a local airport here has these Aviation Days every other year or so and normally I drag my brood in to the actual airport (here and here) but Letty had been at a sleepover the night before and so she was naturally just a hair past exhausted and Matt wasn't really in to it so we decided not to go in.... longest sentence ever just to say we parked our van and watched the air show portion of the day from the corner right by our bank. It was such a gorgeous day and we had quite a good spot to watch the planes. And without any of the crowds!

a day in the life

I wanted to do one of these for myself to remember what a typical summer day was like before my kids went back to school in the great year of our Lord 2019... this was the final Friday before school started...

7:30 a.m.Dom came padding in to my room around 7 because he wanted cuddles. He asked all about my night before (I had gone out for dinner and drinks with some other moms) and what I had to eat and if it was any good. He can be so sweet when it’s just him. Eventually I make the bed and we go downstairs and Matt is working on the pool which is his favorite morning activity. I fold the laundry and pool towels and sheets leftover from the day before while my coffee cools a bit. Dom has a pancake and I refilled all the soap dispensers and watered my plants before heading down to the treadmill for my run. I’m watching Poldark right now and I think I’m a fan!


a summer sleepover

Last week my sister-in-law and brother invited us down to their house (a whopping thirty minutes south) for a summer night of sleepover fun! The original goal being to set up the telescope and check out the moon which unfortunately la luna had other plans and didn't want to come out till we were fast asleep... Rude. 

But even if we didn't see the moon we had such a night of fun! The kids swam and they had ice cream cones and s'mores and a fire and popcorn and all the fun time with their cousin! Audrey missed most of it because sleep is a priority with that one. They were quite the hosts and we were quite spoiled! Thanks for such a fun night guys! Just getting in all the summer fun whilst we could right? Who needs sleep!

Of course as always so many of these photos are my sister-in-law's. Having a professional photographer around sure is nice!

baseball, america's favorite past time

A week or so ago we hit up a definite summer must-do and went to see a baseball game! We got these tickets through Letty's tutoring center which I mean how nice is that! It was a hot night but not unbearable and there really weren't very many people there. It was great to see how much more knowledge David has gained now that he's gone to all these baseball camps and read all these baseball books and such. He is such a fan!

Of course Matt and I got ourselves beers because that just goes with baseball yes? I packed about a zillion snacks and waters for the kids because apparently going anywhere outside of my house means that they are going to die from starvation and/or thirst. We stayed till we were sure the Barnstormer's were going to win, basically the top of the seventh and then we headed home. All to a gorgeous sky!

an epic pool party

We all know what today is... and I'm just going to ignore that and relieve our second-to-last weekend of summer, when this family of mine (along with my parents and sister and her family) all picked up and drove in the incessant traffic to Long Island. For a pool party. But what a party it was!!

My parents rented a twelve passenger van which was just so very fun! We love to be together that much! I drove on the way there and as it tends to happen as soon as we crossed into New York the traffic just hit us. For something like two hours. I don't know how anyone can live there and not have a high blood pressure problem. I felt almost claustrophobic sitting in traffic like that. I needed to be freeeeee! Anyways we got to the hotel and changed into our suits and then headed over to my aunt and uncle's house. They have some house let me tell you! Last time we were there it was fall so to see that pool in all it's glory gave me serious pool envy!

the final hersheypark visit of the summer

And I stand by that statement. I wanted to get a final visit in before the water park closes for the year and before the kids all head back to school... My sister-in-law came along for the ride as well. We had ourselves an early quick bite at Wendy's (the summer of food, I know) and then headed right to the water park. Which I thought was open until eight but actually it closed at six. So we had maybe a half hour in there. At least we can say we did it! Matt took the bigger two down one of the bigger slides so... trying to find that silver lining.

let’s bowl!

This was on my list all the summer long, to go bowling! We are just so very terrible at it but it's still a fun time! One must laugh at one's self no? The whole family got together and off we went! I had the most horrifically ugly shoes and if anyone can guess what Matt's name for me on the board means than I guess we are friends! Side eye Matt. I don't even know who won what games but I have a feeling it was probably Letty. Ashley and Colton might as well just play on their own team and leave the lot of us to just laugh at ourselves... All while my father stands on the sidelines and judges us. 

a moon gazing night!

In an effort to get everything done that I want to get done before school rears it's ugly (give me a break here on that) head we had ourselves a little fun night last week! We brought out Matt's telescope.... We had a fire and s'mores and a night swim! The kids were all about looking at the moon and whatever planets they could see. We even saw rings! They brought out their space books and of course Dom's ever present spider, Jaxson. Things nightmares are made of. And he chose that name because that is his best friend's name from school. So I guess he misses him, or something. 



some summer moments

We are just soaking up every last second of summer around here! This is our final week and I'm sure you can imagine just how that is making me feel... Stay forever please! 

So as of late we have had ourselves some summer storms and some rainbows... Lots of time with cousins and some time with friends and play dates galore. We have eaten far too much delicious food courtesy of that husband of mine. And of course lots and lots of pool days! Our old neighbors joined our gym and we all just could not be happier about it! I've watched my nieces and nephew a few times lately and you know baby snuggles are a favorite of mine! I took the kids to see Aladdin and I loooved it! And I've also welcomed the change from The Descendants 3 soundtrack with the Aladdin one. Variety is the spice of life!


my lena girl turned five!

My sister and her family moved recently and so little Lena's big day was sort of lost a bit in translation during that process. So about a week later we all gathered and their new house to ring in five years with that precious little lady! And do not worry, my sister only moved like, six minutes further away from me and still in the same district so we can breathe! She didn't leave us!

an afternoon sight seeing in nyc

We left the history portion of our morning and arrived back in Battery Park. I had seen earlier that there was something called a Sea Glass Carousel and was like uhm hello! Four little ladies would love this and for $5 a girl I consider that a bargain. It was so fun and different! And the ride was actually pretty long so it felt more worth it....

lady liberty and ellis island

Some may think us crazy to attempt a Statue of Liberty visit during a single day trip to NYC.... and not just a day but we wanted to squeeze it into a morning. And that is just what we did. We had tickets to enter security after 9 a.m. and we were there a few minutes early with bells on! On that ferry! Heading to visit the Lady herself!

a foggy morning at the wtc

Way back in the long ago month of June two friends of mine (Toniel and Janelle) were on our back deck discussing the upcoming summer (you know, that summer that seemed to stretch beautiful and endless in front of us but is now coming to a halting end?) and we cooked up this plan to head to NYC in August with our girls (Baylee, Sylvie, Letty and Sydney), no boys allowed! The main event for those little ladies was to come but for the rest of the day the adults called the shots.  

peaches and pineview!

Last week my mom and I took the my kids and my niece and nephew down to Cherry Hill Orchards to pick us some peaches. Because it is August and that is what we do the first week of August. I'm still going to pretend it's the beginning of the month and not the middle of the month okay yes?

a tiny town birthday for syd!

Two of my nieces have birthdays the beginning of August... and one of them happened to have herself a birthday party at Tiny Town! I have been taking Dom here in December (here and here) because its always decorated so festive and what not for the holidays. But those bigger kids? Well they are just busy learning at school I'm sure and so they have not had the privilege. Dom felt like quite the big man explaining what they could expect and the older two couldn't wait to check it out!

We had the place to ourselves, just Syd's little friends and their parents. The theme was a fairy garden and Tiny Town had their party room decorated so cutely! The kids tore around the place and played so hard until it was time for a parade to dinner (I didn't get a photo of her but the birthday girl looked just like Slash with her long curly hair and top hat as she led the parade!)! We sang to Syd and then they had pizza and cupcakes before it was present time! And then of course more playing! All ending with a dance party and bubbles. I know that a nine year old and a seven year old are not their target audience, but they both had so much fun! It really is just the cutest little place! The staff even made sure to get an entire group photo and so they are speaking my love language....

a family birthday party for letty

Party party party around here. Always always always during the beginning of August. On my actual birthday we hosted our families for Letty's family party. Some swimming, some eating, lots of presents and cake and singing and then we ended the evening giving all my nieces and nephews balloons and annoying our siblings with said gift. The joy of a child with a balloon I will tell you what! And to know that they all leave with them!

She had chosen mermaids as her theme if yesterday's post didn't give that away... Which was basically a lot of me taking Letty's shell and sea glass collection and sprinkling them everywhere. She wanted hot dogs and my mac and cheese as the meal (yes I make like, one thing) and we supplemented that with a delicious summer salad and burgers. And of course her beautiful cake! I had her birthday dvd that took me hours to make on repeat too, as per the usual. And poppop even swam! And and and the rain held off until we were all inside and there was a rainbow! Birthday miracles!

We also had to recreate the annual photo of the four mamas who gave birth to four babes five (!) years ago! I love me photo recreation!

a friend birthday party for letty

I am so glad that when it comes time for the kid's birthdays and they ask for a party that I can just  nod my head enthusiastically and say yes, sure! A pool party! Because of all the birthday craziness that the first few days of August entails we decided to host the party on her actual birthday... just her and a bunch of her lady friends. I didn't cap her this year... not sure why, it just didn't occur to me. I think she invited something like twelve girls and with those pesky summer vacations we were down to a total of eight ladies! So we partied on with snacks and presents and rock painting and of course cupcakes! Letty chose this design herself, straight from Pinterest of course!

All these beautiful girls with their constant goggles headwear is something else is it not? I'm fairly certain that Letty's hair will never lose the bend in it from where the strap lands...

a hot morning at hersheypark

We haven't gone to Hersheypark nearly as much as we have in prior years... and I'm not sure why that is... tutoring maybe, or day trips, or the fact that we  have a pool.... But either way my sister and I deemed it was time to get up there and take advantage of the extra Sweet Start Hour and get some rides under our belt.
And to the kid's greatest joy, Letty and Dominic both moved up a height category! On to bigger and better rides we come! Dom took right off and wanted to ride the Comet and the Super Dooper Looper. No fear of roller coasters for that boy! We got a few decent thrill rides in for the bigger kids and then more tame rides in for the younger three... all with a side of a few character sightings! That extra hour really is great for getting a lot done! Not all rides were open of course but still, to beat the heat and the crowds it is key! 



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our final day at the beach

It feels like forever ago already that we were at the beach but I still have one day left to recap, as it were! Our final day started off as my days do, with a run. This time with my dear friend Janelle as it was her birthday! We ran a little and then we had ourselves some drinks and some beignets. I just ate all the things this weekend. Anything not nailed down. 

who letty is at nine years

What is your favorite age? For your kids, I mean, obviously. I look at these photos of Letty over the past nine years and I think, this! This was my favorite! And then I see the next and I go no no no! This was it! And then her sweet curls at age three I  mean that must be the best time! And basically I guess they are all my favorite times. I won't pretend that we are all sunshine and roses because anyone around us knows that  her and I are oil and water. I'm the water. She's the oil. But I love her more than I could even begin to describe. And now my most favorite little lady on the earth is turning nine. Today. Nine years ago today she made me the happiest woman on the planet by joining us earth side. Three years after Matt and I decided we wanted a baby here she finally was! And she was perfect! 

a beach day!

Beach days require such a lot of schlepping. Just call me Sherpa Laurie at that point. The amount of crap necessary is just beyond words. Whatever happened to a towel and a book? Maybe a pair of sunglasses?? We were up with the sun, as we do, so we packed up and hit the beach by 9. The rest of the family eventually joined too and we did our best to save the best real estate for them. 

horse island. but no horse sightings.

Last Friday we woke up and loaded up the boat with all the accouterments needed for six adults and five kids to survive an afternoon on Assateague... Of course that happened after coffee on the bay and a quick three miler (by me) and a bagel run. Must have those bagels! While I was running the kids were feeding the ducks or playing with their iPads while Matt's brother freshly squeezed a bushel of oranges for a morning drink... He takes great pride in his work what can I say?

the start of an olsen beach vacation weekend

We are coming down from a weekend at the shore these days... the laundry is done and everything is unpacked but I'm pretty sure there are tons and tons of sand still in our car... but a weekend with Matt's aunt and uncle and his brother and his brood are worth all the sand! If you ask me. We have been doing this since long before kids were involved and I'm so glad that we are still able to keep it up!

We headed down there right after Letty's last tutoring session, getting in shortly after three or so. We unpacked and swam while waiting for the rest of Olsens to arrive... My brother and his wife let us use their hatch thing that enabled us to not take the van.... amazing how much crap can fit in that thing! Also? I constantly forget that the end of July is crepe myrtle central down there. Those blooming trees everywhere just makes my day!

summer camps take two!!

So my parents wanted to treat the kids to their summer camps this year! Aren't we so lucky! Luckily our gym had camps for my two boys running the same week and same time and then Lena was able to join too! David did a baseball camp and the younger ones did a Preschool All Sports camp. We were excited!

a twisted sister visit

My very dear friend Janelle has herself an ice cream shop, Twisted Sister. It's not local to us but it is also not that far away that we can't like make an afternoon of it. This was a line item on my summer bucket list as well, I mean, all the ice cream! Some other mom friends and their brood decided to join forces and head up there for a little hike and a lot of ice cream last week! Four adults and eight kids (one was home sick poor kid)! We mean business!

The hike was a little rough due to the heat and things not being open to the public and so one and so forth. We did see some pretty wild flowers and the river and then we took the kids to a park. Mind, it was about a zillion degrees and disgusting out so I pity the girl working at the shop when we all came barreling in...

my my, here we go again

Letty found out that The Fulton was playing Mamma Mia this summer and she immediately wanted to go... However, money. I know lady friend if only money just grew from the birch tree in our back yard. But alas... It does not. So she decided that she would rather go see the show as her one and only birthday present. Talk about a shining moment am I right? So I made sure she was certain and off the boys and I went during one of her tutoring sessions to get those tickets!

A little background? Letty has loved the Mamma Mia movie since she was probably a year and a half old. I have these videos of her just standing in front of the tv in our old house bouncing along to the music.... Those were the days! It was always on in the living room as background noise and she constantly loved to dance to all that Abba music. I cannot even tell you how many times I have seen that movie she is and always has been so obsessed! And then the sequel! I know the content may be a bit adult but I assure you it flies right on over her head. She is like, a number one Mamma Mia fan! So to see it live?! I mean, a dream!

another week of summer moments

How how how!?!? I counted how many full weeks we have left until school starts (because I am a glutton) and it is five. Only five weeks left of this summer that really must get a speeding ticket or some such thing... so collecting these summer moments are really just giving me life at the moment. Well that, and coffee!

//Sunsets! I've seen a few! There can never be too many though!//Playdates with friends that turns into night dates//Slushees before 10 a.m.//Followed the next day by a Tropical Smoothie date (girl was living the dream during the boy's camps last week)//A quick visit with my brother and the Sadie after however many weeks abroad before they turn around and head out west.//Swim dates over the weekend with not one but two special families//And another sunset!//