Our Summer Bucket List

So Evelyn and I decided we wanted to make a summer bucket list.  Ok, maybe I was a little more excited about the list than she was.  Since I decided to apply for a teaching position at work (and I got the job), I am going to be off for the summer and I am more than a little excited about it.  I have struggled with the work/stay at home debate ever since Evelyn was born.  I have done both and neither option felt 100% comfortable for me.  So now, I get to work while Evelyn is at school and be off when she is off.  It’s the perfect balance and I actually really love my job.

Aaaannyway, I could probably come up with a crazy-long list, but I decided to keep it sort of short, so that I don’t kick myself later if we don’t get it all accomplished. Evelyn did contribute a few ideas, but I had a hard time getting her to understand the concept of a bucket list.  When I asked her, “What do you really want to do this summer?” her response was, “Have a movie day!” So then I had to explain that we should put things on the list that we couldn’t do any other time of year.  We could have a movie day any time.  So then she came at me with…

Eat lunch at Odd FellasWell, we really can eat there any day, except for Sunday when they are closed, but she rationalized it with, “Well, we can’t eat lunch there any day because we have to eat lunch at school.” Ok, makes sense to me.  Lunch at Odd Fellas for the win.

Go camping: I already have 2 camping trips booked for this summer so, easy peasy.

Make a fairy garden: We spent quite a bit of time pinning ideas for this during the winter when we were home sick or on snow days.

Outdoor movie: I just got a flyer from Evelyn’s school about some free movies in the park this summer.  Now I just have to add the dates to my calendar so we don’t forget!

Paint Rocks: I really want to paint some story rocks to use in my classroom next year, and I think this will be fun for Evelyn too.

Go berry picking: We do this every year, so this one shouldn’t be a problem.

Have a paint day: Michael got me an easel and paints and brushes for Christmas, so I have been painting every now and then.  Evelyn likes to paint with me, so this will be a perfect rainy day activity.

Make popsicles: Because summer.

Swing painting: Saw this video circulating around Facebook.  We’ll have to drag our supplies to the park, but that won’t stop us!

I could probably come up with more, but I think I better quit while I am ahead.  Evelyn is doing a headstand on the couch, so I think she’s finished contributing to the list.

Black Moshannon


black moshannon

Back in February, when the winter still had a harsh grip on us, when I was still pregnant and sick, and when the whole family was in a deep funk, we decided that we needed to get the heck out of town for a few days.  Michael’s work schedule made it difficult to schedule anything very soon, so we reserved a cabin for a weekend in April.  Even though it was a few months away, we really just needed something to look forward to.

A few weeks ago, we finally had our getaway.  I have to admit, it was kind of weird at first, just the three of us with no electronic distractions. For a minute I was wondering what I had gotten myself into.

With the exception of an hour long scream fest when we made Evelyn take a nap one day, we had a calm, relaxing time. During the day, we hiked the trails, which were easy enough for Evelyn, and in the evenings we toasted marshmallows and played board games.

I don’t mind tent camping, but this time we decided on a modern cabin with heat and a bathroom, and I’m so glad we did.  It was still pretty cold at night, and I didn’t want to trek out into the night to a communal bathroom with a child who is just recently potty trained, especially with the clear warning about bears that was posted in our cabin.

Like many of Pennsylvania’s natural features, this watershed was named by Native Americans. According to local tradition, this area was called “Moss-Hanne,” meaning “moose stream.”  Appropriately, the “black” in the park name describes the tea-colored waters. The 250-acre Black Moshannon Lake is fed by clear springs and small streams which flow through the bogs that stretch in most directions from its shores. As the clear water flows through sphagnum moss and other wetland plants, it becomes colored by plant tannins. In a sense, the bog vegetation acts like a giant teabag to color the water (from the park website).

I’ll just let the pictures tell the rest of the story. 🙂


enjoy life


This is something that I have always struggled with.  Waiting.  Waiting for the next big thing.  I think I’ve gotten better about enjoying the moment instead of waiting for better days ahead (or what I perceive as better days).

For the longest time, I was tied up in waiting for a baby.  And even after that grand miracle occurred, the one I had waited so long for, I still find myself waiting for the next thing.  It can be as simple as waiting for Friday, so I can finally put the work week behind me.

I think we, as humans, are never content.  Happiness has a shelf life.  Once I get comfortable in the spot I’m in, I get bored and I’m ready for something new and exciting.  Even though I’ve been able to find contentment in my life, I still have to remind myself to enjoy the here and now and recognize that life is too short to wish it away.

How do you enjoy life and stay content in the right now?

10 songs I’ll listen to for the rest of my life


Ok, I ain’t gonna lie.  This posting every day thing is harder than I thought it would be…and I thought it would be hard.  Today I resorted to looking for prompts online.  Don’t judge me.

I generally hate prompts that ask you to write about your favorite anything.  Art, music, movies, food, books…I mean, really.  Who can choose a favorite?  I certainly can’t.  But 10…I can do 10.

I realized as I was choosing these songs, that the process became less about my favorites and more about the music that tells the story of my life.  Each of them take me to a different time and place and some of them represent people.

So, without further ado, the 10 songs I’ll listen to for the rest of my life:

1. You Are My Sunshine – one of the first songs I learned as a child, and I still love it.

2. Amazing Grace – this one speaks for itself. spiritual.

3.  Black Dog (Led Zeppelin) – skipping school and spending the day by the pool at my friend Kelly’s dad’s house.  Good times.

4. One (or any other U2 song) – see?  I can’t even pick a favorite U2 song.  This one takes me back to high school.

5.  Good Morning Heartache (Billie Holiday) – I was a weird teenager, listening to 1940s jazz tunes.

6.  Silent All These Years (Tori Amos) – ah, the college years.  the angry, man-hating college years.

7.  C’mon on Eileen (Dexy’s Midnight Runners) – fun!

8.  Je t’aimais, je t’aime et je t’aimerai (Francis Cabrel) – even if you don’t understand French, this is a beautiful song.  I never tire of it.

9.  Broken (Jack Johnson) – my love.

10.  Sweet Baby James (James Taylor) – this is Evelyn’s lullaby.  We have been singing it to her since she was a few days old.  Also, anything James Taylor reminds me of my mom.

Wow, that was harder than I thought it would be!  Ask me again tomorrow and you might get a different list.  Can you name 10?


holiday movie bucket list

This year I’m in the holiday mood a little early (though I’m still not ready for 24 hour Christmas music on the radio).  With Evelyn’s birthday quickly approaching and a million things to do at work, I know the next 6 weeks are going to fly, so I’m already thinking about when to decorate (next weekend) and what my weekends will look like throughout the holiday season.

I don’t have a big bucket list for the holidays like the ones I keep seeing on Pinterest.  I mainly want to just enjoy my daughter this year.  But I do have a list of movies that I have to watch to make my holidays complete.  Here they are, in no particular order…

The Holiday:  I don’t typically like sappy romantic comedies, but I love everything about this movie.  And two hours worth of Jude Law doesn’t hurt either.

While You Were Sleeping:  Ok, I’m not proud of this one.  Bill Pullman is not exactly a leading man to swoon over, but Sandra Bullock is charming and this one has just stuck with me.  But I’ll have to watch it when Michael’s not around because he just won’t tolerate it.

Love Actually:  Are you noticing a theme here?  I’m not sure why I’m so into the love stories around the holidays.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation:  Now for a change of pace.  This is one that I absolutely cannot miss.  It never loses its funny and inspires a barrage of silly and inappropriate quotes from my family. It’s the perfect combination of stupid and hilarious.  There’s nothing like a little sarcasm and profanity for the holidays!  If you haven’t seen this, crawl out from under that rock and watch it. Now. I’ll wait.

A Christmas Story:  A classic.  Ok, so I know they play it endlessly (for 24 hours) on Christmas day, and it’s probably been a little over-exposed, but I love it anyway.  I first discovered this movie by accident.  I think my mom brought it home from the video store (remember those?) and I was expecting it to be some lame, random Christmas movie.  I never expected it to be so funny.  Watching this movie is tradition.

I know, I know.  There aren’t really any kid’s movies on this list.  Well, of course when Evelyn gets older we will watch all the classics like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas, but I haven’t really watched those since I was a kid and I will be watching them for many years to come, I’m sure.  So for now, I’ll stick to my favorites.  Which holiday movies make the top of your list?

dear weekend

Where have you been?  I’m so glad to see you again.  You’ve been staying away for far too long.  I’m really hoping you’ll put up your feet and stay awhile.  No need to hurry off.  I’ve missed you so.



Pinterest: my latest time suck

Man, oh, man.  I have been a pinning fool lately.  Several months ago I discovered the appeal of Pinterest, but just recently, I have been scouring the internet for creative ideas and using Pinterest to create myself a little collection of visual bookmarks so that I can go back later and actually USE some of the stuff.  If you haven’t yet figured out what the buzz is all about, I can tell you that it’s addictive.  Crazy addictive.  Consider yourself warned.  Now, if you want to throw caution to the wind and you have no problem with passing hours at a time on the internet, carry on, my friend.  And don’t let me stop you.

So, you might ask, what are you looking at all that time?  Well, the things I pin most are probably recipes and DIY projects.  Most recently, I have been looking for inspiration for Evelyn’s first birthday.  I know, it’s still 5 months away, but you can never be too prepared, right?  And now that I have some ideas in mind, I can keep my eyes peeled when Michael and I are out thrifting.  I’m totally going to make some of these:

I like the idea of having winter themed decorations at the party, but I don’t want it to be Christmas-y in any way.  I don’t want Evelyn to have to share her birthday with Christmas.

I love this little crown:

I will definitely try my hand at a grain-free cake, but I think that the sugar is just going to be unavoidable.  I can’t imagine a cake frosting without sugar.  I doesn’t even sound good.

Oh my goodness, I had these cookies at a wedding recently and they were amazing!  I had never been even slightly interested in trying them.  I’m not a big fan of meringue on pies, so I couldn’t imagine liking them, but I was so wrong.  I can’t wait to try making them.

A few other little things I am planning to try in the near future:

So there you have it folks.  The reason why I haven’t been blogging:  pinning.