Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to School-isms

The night before Kindergarten...
Me: " Charlie how are you feeling about starting Kindergarten tomorrow?"
Charlie: "I'm a little worried." (a word he has NEVER used)
Me: "Worried?"
Charlie" Well, nervous." (another word he never uses)
Me: " What are you nervous about?"
Charlie: "Going on stage." (his eyes welling up with tears)
Me: "Why are you going on stage?"
Charlie: "For the talent show.  I really want to do it but I'm just not ready for it yet, not tomorrow."

Apparently, he thought there was a first day (or daily) Talent Show.  Bless his little heart.  Though it made for a good laugh (to myself, I took his concerns very seriously).  Which I needed, because my Mama heart broke a little this morning sending him off to all day kindergarten.   He, of course, loved it, and joy of all joys, he discovered they sell Cheetos in the cafeteria, both Baked and Regular varieties apparently, all is right in his world.  Terrific! ;)

Honestly, I'm so grateful he will be spending his days in a bright and cheerful classroom, with good friends, and the sweetest teacher one could ever hope to have for their first year in elementary school.   I'm sad to say good bye to the stage of life where I went about my days with a little shadow alongside me.  It was far too quiet in the house today and the clock ticked slower than it ever has before.  It made me so happy to see smiling faces from both my boys at pick up and to listen to their non stop chatter on our walk home.  Andrew's start to 6th grade was also a success! Yay!  Here's to good beginnings, even those that tug at the heart strings a bit!!

^^This will be the only year they attend the same school.  So grateful that Andrew is there to watch over his little brother! ^^

^^ Happy to have a good friend by his side on the first day!^^

^^ Couldn't wait to be the first one in!^^

^^ I had to take this shot after school.  Payton is in Jr. High this year.  They'll be back together again next year.  I can't get over how grown up they look here. ^^

^^After school.  C was itching to get that collared shirt off his body.  He changed the second he walked in the door.  Into his "sporty" clothes. ^^

^^Nana came for first day pick up. Still can't get over how old Andrew looks!!^^

^^Looking for his Mama! :) ^^

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Inspiration | Pretty Hampton's Home

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon exploring a fabulous new playground in the sweltering heat and humidity we are experiencing this week in an attempt to squeeze in a few more summertime activities before the boys head off to school tomorrow.   While Andrew was conquering climbing a rope tower and C was off playing Power Rangers with a group of new friends, I took a peek at my phone and just about squealed at the sight of this wonderful, cozy, and fresh Hampton's vacation home.  I think it actually cooled me down for a hot second!   I couldn't wait to pull it up later on my computer and get a better look.

It has been AGES since I've seen a home in a magazine where I'm compelled to pin pretty much every single shot so when I stumbled on this Sag Harbor home I got very excited.   I'm saving the images for that day when we are able to buy and decorate our vacation home in New England.  ;)

The home was featured in the latest issue of Lonny.  You can read all about it here. Enjoy.

^^ the wood table, counters and beams look so good against all the creamy white ^^

^^ I love the way crisp white walls and trim look in photos, but I think the only way I could make that work for us is in a coastal home.  Blue and white always works. ^^

^^Nautical painting, antique table, basket + topiary = perfect styling!^^

Check out the entire article here, all 21 images are gorgeous!  My minions are stirring so it's time to shut the laptop for the day for me.  Back soon.  Lots more consistent blogging (plans at least) in the near future! :)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Happy 12th Birthday, Andrew!

On the 9th we celebrated Andrew's 12th birthday!  We started the day off eating crepes with lemon and sugar for breakfast followed by a bike ride with just him and I.  The afternoon was spent canoeing with Jimmy and we ended the day with a simple family party (with my parents) with Mama burgers and chocolate cake (birthday boys request) for dinner.

Twelve.  The last year before he is a teenager.  Don't even get me started.  I'm a string of cliches about how time has disappeared right before my eyes, that just yesterday I was watching him walk for the first time, all wobbly legged with a look of pure disbelief on his face.  While I would love to have just one day back with my chubby cheeked little boy, in his elaborate dress up clothes, playing in his make believe world, I'm really loving this age more than any other with him.  He's mature enough to have great conversations about pretty much any topic, he has intelligent observations of the world and makes me see things differently, often for the better.  He genuinely seems to not just love his parents but like us and he willingly chooses our company (I'm sure this won't always be the case).  I'm often struck with pride when I observe the ease of which he interacts with other adults in conversation and the manners he displays.  Something I've realized isn't a given at this age.  Now, he is a 12 year old boy, so he can be ridiculous and act immature at times too, I don't want to give the wrong impression, but more often than not he is pretty darn remarkable.  I love the young man he is becoming.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Day Trip To Nantucket

One of my favorite days of vacation was a day trip to Nantucket.  I had been once before but it was years ago, when Andrew was 14 months old and it was Autumn at the time.  I remember finding it very charming but we were there only a few hours and didn't really know how to make the most of our time so after walking around the town for a bit, Andrew fell asleep in his stroller and we felt sort of at a loss of what to do with ourselves.  This time however, we spent a whole day there (early ferry to go, late ferry return) and we had some ideas of that to expect and what we hoped to do.  This time I fell completely in love with the island.  So much so, we are thinking that next summer we might want to spend a whole week there.

^^ Our plan was to escape the crowds in the main town after we got off the ferry.  It is a bit chaotic when you first arrive off the ferry, with everyone cramming into the same tiny shops at the same time.  We hopped on rental bikes and peddled across the island to Siasconset (or 'Sconset as the locals say).  It was about a 7 mile, mostly flat, ride.^^

  ^^As for Sconset...It was love at first sight for me.  A town full of small, unpretentious, rose covered cottages.  Row after row of perfectly clipped hedges and crushed shell driveways.   Most of the cottages had dutch doors with the top half left open during the day.  It was so charming it made my heart hurt a little. ^^

^^ This is the BACK of the cottage!^^

^^This was my very favorite and please note the house number (as pointed out by Andrew) no.16, one of my lucky numbers.  It was meant for me!  The front is clapboard and the sides and back are weathered gray shingles.^^

^^We had a delicious lunch outside at the Summer House Bistro on the beach. ^^

^^Back in the main town, I couldn't resist popping in Peter Beaton's Hat Studio on Federal Street.  I wanted every hat I tried on.  I did treat myself to one.  Choosing a ribbon was tough.  I played it safe and went with ivory. ^^

^^I have an idea!  Let's just move to ACK!^^

^^ Looking like a local. :) On the ferry back to Cape Cod. ^^

Absolutely a perfect day. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Cape Cod Vacation | Part One + A Little Film

We have just returned from  another happy week in Cape Cod.  Filled with morning walks to feed the sea gulls, afternoons beaching or biking, picnic dinners, family board game competitions, daily ice cream breaks, bubbly afternoon cocktails and a bevy of spectacular sunsets.  As much as I want to discover new places and experience new things, I feel such a draw every summer to return to that little corner of Massachusetts that holds such special memories for our family.  If you've read my blog for a while you know my love affair with New England runs long and deep.  We always manage to discover new beaches, restaurants and activities with each visit, as well as frequent all our favorites.  It makes me happy that our boys love it as much as we do and I hope they carry the memories made here in their hearts throughout their lives.

You can read about lasts year's vacation here.  This summer was much of the same except this time there was more biking and a visit to Nantucket. We skipped the day camp for Andrew this year and I think he missed it, but I was happy to have him with us all day instead.  We did a lot of biking both on Cape Cod and Nantucket and the boys did amazing.  So impressed!! We walked many miles too and there were very few grumbles, if any, about it.  I was feeling like we were quite the sporty family (except I biked in dresses and skirts, so not all that sporty after all! :) )  We took so many photos and iPhone video that I'm going to break up it up into two posts (Can you say over documentation?!!).  Narrowing down which of my 258 favorites (out of 589) to share was tough, so tag along if you like, or tune back in when it's back to recipes and house stuff and less rambling blog posts.

^^ Our mornings began with thick slices of buttered toast and fresh fruit from Satucket Farm (they sell bread from Pain D'Avignon which is the BEST bread on the Cape, possibly in Massachusetts.) Afterwards we walked to the beach, armed with any left over stale bread from the day before to feed the sea gulls.  Sometimes it was just me and the kiddos, once just Jimmy and I (with an almost 12 year old we have a built in babysitter for very short, close to home jaunts.  It's nice!!) and sometimes all 4 of us.  As we walked past pine trees and cranberry bogs, the boys would stop to pick me wildflowers. ^^

^^ The bay side beaches are my favorite when the tide is out because you can walk for miles and explore so much sea life in the tide pools.^^

^^ A little corner of my cutting garden for the week! ^^

^^ We enforced a strict no iPads after 9:30 AM rule (and even that was just so Jimmy and I could sleep in a little now and then).  It's amazing what happens when there are no electronics at their disposal.  I'll admit though, when I saw them way up high in a tree I worried for a sec if maybe screens were safer.  Haha!^^

^^Our garden had apple and pear trees, my climbers picked these for me. :) ^^

^^ Biking the Rail Trail in Cape Cod on an overcast day.  We did get stuck in a 5 minute downpour, it was the only time we saw rain all week, so we could hardly complain.  Such a fun day! ^^

^^Cahoon Hollow Beach, Wellfleet.  One of my favorite things about Cape Cod is the variety of beaches.  When we plan to spend an entire day at the beach we prefer those on the Outer Cape, along the National Seashore.  The waves are big, the dunes are enormous, everything is very dramatic and breath taking.  They are more challenging for young swimmers though, so we tend spend more time playing tag with the waves rather than swimming in them. ^^

^^They challenged the waves with their boogie boards and the waves won.  Uh-oh.^^

^^ This one is a beach l-o-v-e-r, just like his Mama.  He could easily spend 10 hours a day in the sun and surf.^^

^^Occasionally he attempted a snuggle and snooze.  Never lasted for long though! (think I sprayed my lens with sunscreen, sorry a few pics are a bit blurry)^^

^^ Lots of loving from my boys. Lots of squinty eyes too.  Someone get this family some shades! :) ^^

^^ Coffee Oreo from Sundae School - my fave!^^
^^ As close as he gets to shell fish.^^

^^Jimmy and I on the other hand, can't get enough...^^

With each visit it becomes a little harder to return home.  I see us moving back to the northeast one day, it just needs to be the right opportunity for Jimmy and in the best interest of our family.  Till then, I'm grateful for our annual visits where I try to bottle up enough memories to tie me over till we return!

Here is a little 4 min video that captures a few highlights (Nantucket pictures coming tomorrow!).  Thanks to Jimmy, he was the primary videographer on this trip.  I hadn't planned on doing another film but now I'm so glad he encouraged me to.  Amazing to look back and see how much the boys have grown since last summer!  Thanks for reading and letting me share!!