Welcome to my world

I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend.
I've learned that who you have in your life matters more than what you have.
Thank you for stepping in to my world!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My vacation top 10 list...er... lists

Top Ten Things I Will Miss About Being on vacation:
  1. My mom
  2. My dad
  3. My brother
  4. The beach
  5. Playing a lot of golf
  6. New York pizza
  7. Not having to clean my house
  8. Jolly Cow ice cream
  9. Hanging out with my BFF and her kids
  10. Brushing my teeth with COLD water!
Top Ten Things I Missed While On Vacation:
  1. My hubby
  2. My swimming pool
  3. My hubby
  4. My own bed (sleeping on the floor is more fun when you are a kid!)
  5. My hubby
  6. Chips & salsa
  7. My hubby
  8. My cats
  9. My hubby
  10. My friends
We have had a very eventful summer.  I drove 5040 miles over four weeks and three days.  We saw sunshine and drenching rain.  Dolphins and fireworks.  Old friends and even older friends.  I learned you can never have too much New York pizza, and I did my best to prove that!  My  71-year-old dad is the least "crotchety old man" I know.  He laughs, he preaches at his church, he takes his grandkids fishing and he still kicks butt at golf (although I can claim victory rights ONCE this summer).  My mom drives 40 miles back & forth to work each day, makes time for her friends and even more time for her family.  She makes her home our home and my kids and I were so comfortable there.  My daughter absolutely loved her Grammie's yard.  She would be outside from morning to night:  blowing bubbles, looking for worms, calling out for the neighbor's dog.  My son, as we were driving around one day, said, "Paradise!"  I asked him what, and he said, "This town."  He has good taste, as Saugerties was named one of the top ten coolest small towns in America. 

My daughter has had quite a few firsts lately.  She caught her first firefly, taught herself to swim underwater, found her first seashell and dug up some sand crabs.  She also lost her first tooth and got stung by a bee for the first time ever.  Five years old is turning out to be a busy age for her!

As much fun as we had (and we had a LOT), it is so very good to be back home.  I missed my hubby and my kids missed their daddy.  I know he missed us a lot, and I am so grateful and thankful that he allows me this trip every summer.  My kids and I enjoy it so much, and I know my parents cherish the time with us.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Free-speaking Friday

I know it has been nearly two weeks since I've written in my blog, and I realize it is Thursday, but I'm on vacation so I'm entitled to bend the rules a bit!

*I wish I could play golf for a living.  I have played five times over the last seven days (72 holes total) and have loved every minute of it.  I'd be ready to hit the links again tomorrow!

*I'm not a fan of 100 degrees.  It's no fun in west Texas and it's no fun in upstate New York. 

*I love seeing how much my children love my parents (and vice versa). 

*My big brother is one of my best friends (and if you were a girl who went through the teenage years with a big brother, you know how rare that is).  He's a good guy and a great uncle!

*Four weeks is a long, long time to be away from home (and more importantly, my hubby!)! 

*Online banking, credit cards and texting makes being away from home for four weeks a little easier.

*My son is a natural at kayaking.  Who knew?

*If you grew up in New York but no longer live in New York, you can never get enough New York pizza when you come back!

*I'm very thankful that my children are having a slumber party tonight (J is bunking in the living room with Uncle D and K is bunking with Grammie).  My 38-year-old bones will appreciate not sleeping on the floor!

*I find it amusing that I'll be going back to Texas with a better tan than I left with!

*No matter how long my visit is, it's never long enough to see everyone and do everything!


Friday, July 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Today is my husband's birthday.  Birthdays are always a celebratory day, aren't they?  Everyone loves a party (and everyone certainly loves cake...or at least the frosting, if you are my children).  Everyone loves to get presents.  Everyone secretly loves to have a fuss made over them.  For us, though, thanks to our annual New York trip, hubby's birthday is a bittersweet day.  It's sweet because a) he's a sweet man and b) it's his birthday, but it's bitter because we are almost never with him on his special day.

Since we knew we would be gone for his birthday, we had a special celebration before we left.  Thankfully hubby is pretty laid-back about things like that and doesn't mind celebrating weeks ahead of time.  In fact, he probably wouldn't mind not celebrating at all, but we can't let him get away with that!

So today I am thinking about Hubby, wishing he could be with us, wishing we weren't apart for his birthday.  Forty-nine years ago today, a baby was born who would turn into the strong, caring, funny man I am lucky enough to call my best friend and husband. 

Happy Birthday Hubby!  I love you more every day.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Are you ever too old for fireworks?

Even though I moved away fifteen years ago, I still try to make it "home" every year for July 4th.  If you grew up in a town that didn't have a special celebration you probably wouldn't understand.  But everyone from Saugerties, New York (one of the top ten "coolest small towns in America" knows that nobody does "the fourth" like Saugerties. 

If you think of your typical small-town America patriotic holiday, what do you think of?  Parades and cookouts and fireworks.  Saugerties has the biggest and best parade around (especially if you have a particular fondness for firetrucks).  There are trucks and tractors and horses and bagpipes, and of course, the kids especially love the floats where the people are tossing out candy!  Along the parade route there is a house that has pretty much become "party central" for the parade.  The biggest crowd gathers there, there is loud music, freely-flowing drinks and they even have a P.A. system (which they mostly use to heckle the parade marchers).  They play the Star Spangled Banner when they see the start of the parade heading their way, and in the lulls between floats, they play the music for the Chicken Dance and everyone gathers in the street to dance.  They also have a "theme" every year.  Two years ago when I was here, much to Jared's delight, the theme was Star Wars.  They had Darth Vader and Storm Troopers.  You never know who might show up.  This year the theme was Christmas in July, so there was Christmas music and Santa hats.  Watching the parade from any other street just wouldn't be the same!

For a small town (20,000 people), Saugerties puts on an incredible fireworks display.  The crowd gathers for HOURS, there are booths selling lemonade and fried dough (no lousy funnel cakes here!) and the kids run around with patriotic-colored glow sticks.  The fireworks last night began right on time (hallelujah!) at 9:45 and lasted for more than 30 minutes, with a grand finale that had the crowd cheering and clapping.

Happy Birthday America!
(and well done, Saugerties, well done)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Things we learned about croquet

We don't really know the correct way to set up the "course".

Playing at 7pm invites WAY too many insects to the game.

Golfers make better croquet players (as evidenced by the fact that I won and J came in second!).

K is much happier "smashing mushrooms" and wandering around than actually participating in the game.

The mallets are not very effective when used to hammer the stakes into the ground.

A backyard full of roots does not make for a smooth croquet playing area!

A nine-year-old would rather aim for someone else's ball than the gate you're supposed to hit the ball through!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Life is a highway

but I don't want to drive it all night long!!!

Give me 10 hours of driving in the rain on Interstate 40 across Tennessee over 2 hours of stop & go bumper-to-bumper traffic on Rte 17 in northern New Jersey.  Can I just say THAT SUCKED!?!?!?!?

We have safely arrived at Grammie's house and are unpacked and settled in for the next couple of weeks.  Woohoo!!!  We sooooooooooooooooooo enjoyed the beach and hated to leave, but at least we still have this part of our vacation to look forward to.

p.s. My kids earned back their best traveler awards today!