Monday, April 27, 2015

Ready, Set....Go!

The next two weeks are going to be a blurr. Our house is essentially becoming a bed and breakfast.

Right now, our very good friend, Mark, who happens to be Casey's godfather, is visiting for the weekend. We all love seeing him and spending time catching up, but it is especially sweet to watch he and Casey play catch in the yard. The timing of his visit, which was sort of last minute, worked out great because Luke and I had an event to attend on campus and were able to cancel our babysitter and Mark got quality time with the kiddos!

Tomorrow morning he leaves....(must wash sheets and put back on the bed.)

On Thursday, my little sister is coming for a visit!! I am so excited!! Friday, we have another event (phew, end of the school year is hectic), we have to go at the seminary, and afterwards Luke and I are leaving town for a little one night overnight. I can't wait!! The last time we did one was two years ago. I don't know where we are going yet, probably somewhere in Gettysburg, which is always awesome.

We will come back Saturday morning and then spend the day getting ready for the country hoedown! It's the huge end of the year focus event and we hosted it at our house last year. It was our last event before we left staff, so it was a little bittersweet. We have still had a lot of contact with the focus missionaries throughout this year, they are practically family, so we were thrilled when they asked if they could host the same event at our place again this year. It was a major sucess, there were about 150 people line dancing in our hay strewn driveway, beneath twinkly christmas lights It's going to be a blast.

Sunday, Maureen is going to pick up her boyfriend in VA and bring him back to our house. (Pull out some clean sheets for him to crash Sunday night on the couch) I am so excited to spend time with the two of them together. Her bf happens to be a focus mish that we are good friends with which is super fun. They actually met by chance, and not because we set them up. But we have done a lot of encouraging since they got together :) :)

Monday morning (early early), Maureen will take her boy to the airport, then come back here. (That morning, must wash guest room sheets and put back on bed) Later that afternoon, I will drive Maureen to the airport to catch her flight, and while I'm there, pick up our friend Brian and bring him back to our house!!!!

Tuesday Luke will take Brian to DC for the work conference he came out here to attend, and have a seminary donor meeting while he is down there. (Wash sheets for the last time and put away)

Tuesday afternoon, I have a 2-3 hour allergy appointment. (Can't forget to find a sitter, yikes).

Wednesday afternoon, I have my annual physical, hiphiphorray.

Thursday, take the boys to the naturopath for a check up and get new round of allergy drop treatment.

And Friday, Luke leaves for a weekend business trip in Cali.

If I am still walking, talking, smiling and laughing on Monday, May 11th, it might be a small miracle. I think it'll all be ok, one day at a time, keep meals simple, keep expectations low. And it's going to be insane amounts of fun too :)

I just need to go buy more toilet paper.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Easter in NYC

This year we decided we wanted to do something fun for Easter so on Good Friday we headed up to New York City. We had no set agenda, we simply planned to enjoy each other and the city. Which is exactly what we did :)

Hailey comes alive when we travel. She loves an adventure. She assumes this role of being extra caring of her brothers (putting Owen in the stroller, helping Casey put his shoes on, reminding him to wash his hands after going potty and getting their clothes out in the morning to get dressed) She typically does most of these things at home, but when we are on vacation, she majorly takes it up a notch. This picture is how she arranged the bottom dresser drawer in our hotel room with all their little belongings they brought along. Too precious. 

After we got settled into our hotel room, we walked up to St. Patrick's (only 7 minute walk!), for Good Friday services. We missed the 3:30pm service, but we were there for the Stations of the Cross and afterwards they were still allowing people to come up and venerate the cross. 

Sweet Casey in line to kiss Jesus on the cross.

Taken outside the Cathedral...I was so excited to be spending the Tridium at St. Pat's. Despite all the scaffolding, it was still very peaceful and beautiful to be there.

We then took a stroll down 5th Avenue and went into F.A.O. Schwartz, this huge toy store (the movie "Big", starring Tom Hanks, was filmed there), to just look around for fun. They had this life size Lego tin soldier which was so cool.

As we were leaving, we realized we were across the street from the Plaza Hotel! (Eloise started playing in my head, obviously)

Saturday morning we wanted to take a ferry boat ride to see the Statue of Liberty, as well as stop by the 911 memorial. Since we would have to take the subway to get there, we really didn't want to take the clunky double stroller with us as it can be quite cumbersome. But I realized I had forgotten to bring the Ergo!! Which meant I had to get creative with my scarf! It actually worked out great. I knotted it at my hip, and it was almost like a sling. But the way I positioned Owen in it, it practically felt like the Ergo! 

I was way happier than I look in this picture, (I have to concentrate so hard when I take selfies, you would think with my long fingers I can manage to hold the phone and press the button, but I always find it nearly impossible to do! I really was super happy :)

Look how we could cuddle all day!! awwww!! Mutual devotion, let me tell you...

These two were so amazing all day. They handled everything exceptionally well. They had their lunches in their back packs, and it was fun to see them experiencing new things.

Waiting for the subway. (Mommy repeated telling them, hands on your knees, not on the floor! Otherwise, I was really chill. Honest, I was. I do not lie.)

Lulled to sleep on the subway, such a love.

On the ferry boat, taking in the skyline.

There she is, hasn't aged a bit ;)

Passing under the Brooklyn Bridge which was really cool to see it up close.

Mid day refueling with the most delicious cappuccino from a coffee truck on the side of the road. 

911 memorial. Luke's first time seeing it. 

On the way home, we stopped in Grand Central Terminal to get some food to cook for our Easter Sunday dinner the next day. There was the awesome market with all kinds of fresh food. I took the kids to the potty while Luke picked out the food. 

When we got back to the hotel, we had a simple meal of food I had brought from home, gave the kids showers and put them to bed. 

Sunday morning Easter baskets!!! I even brought the eggs they dyed at home on Holy Thursday. And nadda one cracked. Hurray! The coloring books and cards were from their Grandma Tricia.

We went to 8:45am mass at St. Patrick's which was still very crowded, even though it was the 10:15 mass that was being said by Cardinal Dolan. You needed tickets for it, hence why we went to the earlier one. 

I wish I had attempted our Easter picture before mass....this is what happened when we got home...

Poor Owen...

Not having it....

I think this is the keeper.

It's over.

I liked my Easter attire and wanted to document it ;) 

After we all changed clothes we headed out again! This time to Rockefeller Center, Times Square and Central Park, all within walking distance.

Casey begging me to take the "train" again.

Before hitting up Central Park, we were on a mission to get New York pizza. It was worth the extra blocks. Yum! And we saw some pretty side streets while we were at it.

Hailey, sees a squirrel, "hello squirrel, it's me, Hailey."

Chasing the squirrel, let to a game of peek a boo with Mommy around the tree.

Love them!! They ate that snow cone the whole way back to the hotel. 

I had to get a picture of us in Central Park because although both of us have been to the city a couple of times, neither one of us had EVER been to Central Park. Crazy!!! So it was pretty cool to get to go for the first time, together. 

We got back to the hotel and were totally spent. Luke's pedometer on his phone said we walked 8 miles. Phew. We fed the kids, put them to bed, then Luke made us our Easter dinner. It was very cute and romantic and all that jazz :)

Goodbye New York! I couldn't get Owen to look, but Monday, the 6th, was his half birthday! 18 months old!!

On the way home, we stopped at a park off the highway to meet up with an old friend from college, Nat!! It was SO wonderful to see her and Jer and meet their kids. 

My heart was so full coming back home. There is so much in my life to be thankful for. Don't you just love Easter?

Jesus is risen! Alleluia!