Mountain Trip 2017

Whew!  We had a quite a fun-filled trip to the mountains of Virginia.  We have several family members who are in the Staunton area, so a long summer trip has been on my agenda for some time.  The kids and I were able to go a few days before the Mr.  We enjoyed staying with “Granny” and spending lots of time with Auntie Brookie plus other family favorites.  ❤

Our first excursion took us to the Explore More Discovery Center in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  I thought this was fun and very appealing especially to younger kids.  Both kids had a ball, but I think some of the stuff was a tad babyish for Holden.

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Our group had a delicious lunch at Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza.  Everything was delicious, and the service was great!  Holden and Helen also took their first pony ride that afternoon.  Both kids loved it!

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Our second day of exploring led us to Chiles Orchard.  Peach picking was very easy there.  Although I wish there had been a little more explanation about how to pick the best ones.  My head picker selected a few duds.  This was very fun though.  The peaches were great in a fruit crisp.

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I was so glad that Auntie Brookie decided to take off a few days from work and hang with us.  We had play time and a picnic at Mint Spring after our picking was complete.  This place was just in a beautiful setting.  I do love an ocean view, but these mountains were so lovely too.

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This is when Daddy joined us.  We were very happy to see him at our meet-up location, Monticello!

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I have to confess that we were a mess on this tour.  Little Miss is in the process of *trying* to drop her AM nap meaning we will be down to just a PM nap.  HOWEVER, she was particularly tired and very vocal about it during the house tour.  Perhaps this is why this wasn’t my most favorite historical stop.

We had lunch at Michie Tavern afterwards.  I have mixed feelings about it as it isn’t necessarily my favorite type of food, but I can’t say it wasn’t good food either.  I don’t think Holden was too taken away by the historic setting or the period clothing of the servers.  He would have been just as happy somewhere else!  But…there was an Armory & Artifacts Shop very nearby that he loved.  We’re talking old money, cannonballs, weapons, etc.  This was definitely a favorite of his!

I have no pictures of the boys’ trip to the county fair for a night event, but you can imagine I guess.  Demolition derby.  Need I say more???  Holden loved this!

Although I believe everyone was feeling the car woes (particularly Helen!  Girl hates the car 100%), we continued on with our last big excursion to Sherando Lake.  I’m so glad we did!  We did the short hike around the lake (lower one) and loved the views and easy terrain for little feet.

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There was little island in the lake that the Mr. and I swam to.  Gosh, I forget how even though you can be physically fit in one way you can be completely out-of-shape in another!  We were huffing and puffing on that little five minute or so swim!

We all summoned up our last bit of energy to see the sights at the county fair.  We saw tractors, all sorts of animals, and rides there!  Holden rode the Ferris wheel for the first time.

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He’s getting too big!

Our final day was spent in and around Staunton, Virginia.  We went to the local farmers’ market, played at the park, visited with family, and enjoyed yummy “zoodles” for the first time!  It was a very full and very fun week!  So thankful to have this time to spend with our loved ones!  We made lots of special memories and look forward to our next trip.

Natalie

 

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Over the hills…

Hi there!  Today totally feels like Monday to me, because we just got home from a weekend trip to Holden’s Granny’s house out in the western part of Virginia.  We left early (6:15!) Saturday morning to ensure a sleeping Helen.  She slept almost the whole way!  The early wake-up and rushing was completely worth that!  Once we arrived (after Holden asking 53,246 times if we were there yet), we unloaded our numerous bags and visited with Granny and Holden’s aunt and uncle.  We had lunch at Shenandoah Pizza and Taphouse.  Sadly, I can’t rave about the food as my veggie wrap was missing goat cheese.  😦  However, I take the heat for not asking for it to be added.  I just requested ranch dressing for dipping.  It was hard to focus on the food when we were enjoying the company so much!

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The afternoon meant naps for the kids and even a little work-out for me.  I love my mother-in-law’s spacious basement!  Perfect for working out during nap times!  The Mr.’s aunt and uncle joined us for lots of good summertime food that evening.  Miss Helen tried to stage a revolution with her cries for freedom from the constrains of naps and a schedule.  We prevailed (eventually), and she slept very well that night and the next day.

On Sunday, I was able to do about a 25 minute hilly run.  I’m so not used to this and just ran for time not distance.  It was beautiful views the whole time!  The decreased humidity was heavenly.  After my run, we loaded up for the Frontier Culture Museum.  I LOVE any type of educational/historical thing!  I’m the person who wants to read every sign/caption and take my time checking it all out.  I think this may have passed down to Holden.  🙂  We were peas-in-a-pod meandering through each “village” showing how life was in earlier centuries in different parts of the world.  The heat was a bit oppressive, and we had to wrap up our trip before noon.  The rest of the day was spent relaxing and enjoying the left-overs and family.

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Sadly, all good things come to an end.  We left early again (6:15 again!) on Monday to head back home.  What a great visit!  We are so thankful to have such a wonderful family only a car ride away!

I’ve got lots of other cute pics to share later this week.  I hope you all have a great week!

Natalie

Spring in Staunton

I hope this Sunday is treating you well!  I’m currently listening to lots of yard machinery busily working away.  It seems like everyone in our neighborhood is thrilled to have some outdoor chores.  Our son, Holden, was very upset to have to pause his outdoor play to take a nap.  His sad, little cry-cry voice was saying “I want to spray the ants!  Daddy and me were going to spray the ants!”  Good grief.  We got back around lunch time today from a few day stay in Staunton, Virginia.  The Mr.’s sister, aunt, and uncle live there, and we only get out there a couple times a year.  I try to time these trips around when I have a break from school to make the traveling easier.  We were blessed with pretty nice weather with the exception of some stray storms on Friday.

We arrived Thursday night after a busy day of packing, washing clothes, cleaning, and food prep.  Holden did some crafting, playing, and helping {a smudge} while I worked on getting ready for our trip!

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I’m loving the new organizational caddies that I got for our pantry.  Very good prices at Ross!  {i.e. so glad I didn’t go to Bed Bath & Beyond}

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Mr. Little Man helping with lots of errands including quite a grocery store trip this past Wednesday.

Friday – We rose and shone and headed down to Natural Bridge, Virginia {just south of Lexington}.

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He loved the long house!

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The waterfall that was at the end of our hike…

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Selfie!  🙂


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We loved being with Auntie Brookie!  Don’t let H’s face fool you!  He was getting a little sleepy from riding with Daddy.

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I just love this picture!

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There was a little inside play area that H really enjoyed.  In fact, we had to have a little time out there to help us remember that no matter how fun something is when Mommy says “let’s go!” we need to GO.  😉

After our big time at the Natural Bridge, we had a little picnic of chicken salad and other snackie items that I had packed up.  Our picnic was cut slightly short when a line of storms came through the area.  The rest of the day was spent relaxing and just enjoying each other’s company.

Saturday – We played at Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton.  We’ve visited this park a lot, and it is always so much fun.  It is also a very pretty park.

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We enjoyed lunch with the Mr.’s aunt and did more relaxing in the sunny weather that afternoon.  H’s aunt prepared a delicious dinner, and {best of all} I had a very minor role in it!  I chopped the broccoli!  Ha!  It was so nice to have someone cook for us.  Truly a sign of love!

We headed back home right after breakfast this morning, but we did stop to let H see the valley below at one scenic overlook near Charlottesville.

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I think the second picture looks like H is giving a “thumbs up!”

In regards to my crazy “to-dos” over this spring break, here’s how I did:

business

  • Pay bills 😦 – sort of did
  • Register for swimming lessons for H – found out I can’t do this yet!  ha!
  • Return to Gymboree & Old Navy – did it!
  • Wash and vacuum car  – so did NOT do this
  • Move rocks from front flower bed to backyard – getting ready to do this now
  • Clean house – DID IT!
  • Pick up new watch band for the Mr. from Fossil {the man is hard on his stuff!} – no new watch band for him 😦
  • Grocery shop – Check it off!
  • Make chicken salad – YES, a little too much garlic, but it was tasty!
  • Bag up any and all things I can get my hands on to take to Goodwill  – 3 big bags gone
  • Hair cut for H {I can’t believe he’s ready for one again!}
    – He is a shaggy dog!  This one will happen this week.

Fun

  • Work-out every day – I’m planning runs on Wed., Fri., and Sat.  I’m also planning a yoga DVD on Wed. and gym work-out on Thurs.  {Yes, I include this in “fun.”}. – didn’t do this – I did finally do the Pure Barre DVD workout that I’ve had for over a year!  I also worked out with my sis-in-law at her gym over the weekend.  🙂
  • Play date for H {waiting to see what friend of H can do this one!} – We had no takers on this.  Apparently, we are unpopular, or people are just as busy as we are.
  • Visit Color Me Mine or perhaps the trampoline park again – We went to Cloud 9 once, but we didn’t do another visit or the pottery place.
  • Park Visit – Visited park in Staunton!
  • Visiting Auntie Brookie and all the fun that entails! – Had so much fun and can’t wait to go back!
  • Walking Roscoe the Doggie-doo every day – Totally did NOT do this.  We had some rain a couple very busy days.  We did take a walk on Mon. and Tues.  He was outside with us practically all day yesterday.  He’s a well-loved doggie do.
  • Journaling daily – Yikes!  Didn’t happen.  Did manage about 3 days.
  • continuing to read American Wife {just started last night} – Read some on Friday while the Mr. and his sister were at a gun store – so not my thing.
  • Invite neighbors over for dinner {This one is easy!   It would be for the following week or weekend!} – Our neighbors were out of town, and I didn’t realize it!  This will be a “to do” for this week.

Whew!  What a busy break!  I must say I’m so ready for summer, and this break was a wonderful tease of what’s to come.  Summer to me means a more relaxed schedule, time to focus on home, travel to see family and friends, and more outside time.  Can’t wait!  9 weeks to go!

In regards to summer, what are you most excited about?

Any favorite “spring” activities?  I can’t wait to go strawberry picking!

Natalie

The Ever Changing Toddler Boy

Whew!  I, for one, am glad to say it’s Sunday night.  Typically, I’m bemoaning the end of another blissful weekend.  This weekend, although it had it’s moments of fun and family time, definitely stretched me a little thin.  Holden and I did a whirlwind grocery trip to Trader Joe’s and Petsmart on a nice and toasty Friday afternoon,  Then, we had to get all our items packed up to go to see family in Staunton, Virginia.  I absolutely love visiting with family (Jake and mine), but it does require preparation, flexibility, and patience.  I confess that I can handle the prep but the flexibility and patience are both challenges for me.  We left oh-so-bright-and-early on Saturday, and we were quickly reminded how our little baby is growing up into a big boy.  This big boy thinks it is absolutely a crazy idea to sleep AT ALL in the car on road trips despite the fact that we woke him up about an hour earlier than he would typically get up.  He chatted us up with statements and questions the whole way.  🙂  Once we arrived, it was all worth the prep to get to see those we don’t meet up with very often.  The sweet playground and duck pond were just icing on the cake!  I even got a run in on the “hilly” in my eyes land of Staunton with a rough estimate of 4.5 miles.  Fast forward to dinner, and you would see us trying to figure out why in the world our eat-anything-boy would not have a bite.  We quickly found out it was due to his upset tummy from a lingering stomach bug earlier in the week.  This whole event then became the up all night game.  We tried cuddling, rocking, letting him (gasp!) cry it out.  EVERYTHING!  He told us “go home in mommy’s car with dada.”  Our little man was homesick!  Then, he was just sick all together, and you can guess what came “up” next.  

Our little boy is changing.  He’s becoming more sensitive, more opinionated, more independent, more insistent, more stubborn/determined (depending on how you look at it!).  He’s still our little boy, just coming into his own and trying to figure out his place in this world.  

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Have a wonderful week!  I can feel spring in the air, just happens to be icy rain as well!

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