Last year, we spent a week at the beach with friends in the Outer Banks. Nine adults, seven children, a lot of sun, water, sand, food, beer, and fun. Everyone had a really great time. It was perfection.

Understandably, we wanted to replicate that experience this summer, but alas, our friends are not on board with us for various reasons. Building houses, other vacations, family obligations. Not cool, friends. NOT COOL. I’m hoping we can all get the stars to align again for next summer instead. But in the meantime, Michael and I have been trying to figure out what we should do this summer, with our little family of 4.

Honestly, we’ve struggled a bit with the idea of going on a vacation all by ourselves. Maybe that sounds bad. When we went to Disney in November, it was just us, but there was a vacation agenda. We were on the go, all of the time, with things to do and things to see for the kids. They were occupied all of the time. And when we went to the beach last year, the kids were all buddies. When we weren’t at the beach or in the pool, they were running around the house together playing games and engaging in pretend play. We didn’t have to worry about them and there was very little complaining about being bored, wanting us to play with them, etc. They were busy, and the adults were left to enjoy ourselves and each other’s company.

So what do we do on a more laid-back vacation (read: NOT Disney) when it’s just the four of us? Where will we go? What will we do? And how long should we stay?

When we were trying to coordinate a trip with our friends for this summer, we were actually looking at Michigan. We’ve never been before, and I hear it’s beautiful and family friendly, with a ton of cute little “beach towns” to enjoy. Plus, it had affordable house rentals for our big group of people. But now that we’re left with just the four of us, it opens it up more. Should we still look at Michigan, or somewhere else?

The Cape? Delaware? Ocean City? Stay closer to home and just go to the Adirondacks? The possibilities—and the details in them, like exactly where to stay—are overwhelming. Any suggestions? Places that you’ve loved with kids? We’re hoping to go in either mid-July or mid-August, and we would like it to be within 6-8ish hours at the most for driving. Someplace beachy is preferred, but I wouldn’t completely rule out other places if there are alternative activities to keep the kids happy.

And then, we need to decide how long to stay. Typically, a whole week is nice, but for such a “non-scheduled” vacation—and without friends to help occupy them—we think 4-5 days/nights might be our maximum. Then we’ll come home and have a few extra days of a “staycation” to cap it off. So then the question is, can we even find house/condo rentals during the summer that will allow for such a thing? I know most places prefer to rent weeks at a time. If not, we’ll be stuck in a hotel, which isn’t the worst thing ever, but certainly not best case scenario.

Help me plan, people. Please. Where have you been that you’ve loved? Where else have you considered going? What have you heard?

Fun times await. Summer is almost here. Now we just need to square away our travel plans!

 

A few weeks ago, I hurt myself during CrossFit. I don’t like telling people this, because a lot of non-CrossFitters shake their heads and sigh about how dangerous CrossFit is, and how they hear about so many injuries as a result of it. The thing is—there are common injuries associated with nearly every sport out there. Soccer, football, gymnastics, RUNNING. Things that people do every damn day. CrossFit is no different. And here’s the thing: as “dangerous” as CrossFit is…

…I’m pretty sure I hurt myself getting up off of the damn floor.

That’s when I felt the first shooting pain go through the inside of my knee. It was in the middle of a WOD (workout of the day), and I had been doing an abdominal exercise on the floor. I went to get up, pushing myself off of the floor with both my hands and feet (like in a “crab walk” position at first, I guess, before leaning forward to get up), and boom. Ouch.

So I don’t even have a good story. I wasn’t back squatting 200 lbs. or doing 100 thrusters. Nope. Just getting up off the floor, just as I would if I was playing with my kids.

Anyway, I felt the shooting pain in my knee but it never bothered me to bear weight on it. I was able to finish the workout, despite feeling a little pain in the knee if I twisted/rotated my knee a certain way. And I went on with my day, occasionally noticing the pain again when I tried to sit or move a certain way, or whatever. I thought that I had just tweaked something and that it would work itself out. No big deal. This was on a Wednesday.

On Friday, I went back to CrossFit as usual and did the WOD (for fellow CrossFitters, it was the CFG Open 15.5). I didn’t have any problems with anything in the warm-up or even during the WOD—which DID involve thrusters (which involves squatting down with a barbell and then thrusting it high over your head as you stand up). I felt good except for a few little tweaks here and there. But I “rest” on the weekends, and I noticed that even with rest, I was feeling it. By Sunday, it was hurting more than it had, and I was finding it a little difficult to walk—not because of the weight-bearing, but because of the walking motion itself. It was hurting me to straighten my knee.

So what did I do? I went back to CrossFit on Monday. The WOD was an EMOM, squat cleans. Actually a really FUN one! In hindsight, that probably wasn’t my best idea. Oops. But honestly, I still wasn’t hurting during workouts. In fact, it was bothering me LESS during the workout than it was during everyday life. Growing up, in sports and whatever, I was always that kid who didn’t tell her coach about any little twinges, aches or pains because I didn’t want to be pulled out of the game. And it’s the same now: I JUST WANT TO KEEP PLAYING.

However, I’m also an adult now, with a fairly level head, and I’m smart enough to know that it’s better to take it easy for the short term so that I don’t completely screw myself for the long term. So when I started hurting—actually up further, more in my hamstring—on Monday night, I knew I needed to do something different. I contacted an old friend from high school who happens to be an orthopedic physician assistant. She doesn’t practice locally, but I described to her my issue via Facebook message and asked her to diagnose me. (Not really. But I did want her advice.) She said that it could be anything, most likely a sprain, but that the pain I was describing was also characteristic of a torn meniscus. She told me to lay off of all exercises involving legs.

Do you know how hard it is to workout without using your legs?

I went to CrossFit as scheduled on Wednesday, but did a completely modified workout (different from what everyone else was doing that day). “Rested” Thursday through Sunday for the holiday weekend—as much as a mom of two little ones can rest—but was in pain the whole time. My freaking hamstring was bothering me more than anything now, although I was still experiencing pain on the inside of the knee when moving it certain ways. The ache has been so bad that it sometimes keeps me up at bedtime. I’ve been using essential oils on my knee and Deep Blue Rub (also from doTERRA) on my hamstring to help the pain.

Sunday night, I messaged my old friend again and said that it was still bothering me really badly. She said to get myself to an ortho. This past Monday morning, I called and totally lucked out—they had a cancellation for Tuesday (yesterday). I had heard it could take 3-4 weeks to get in for an appointment, but I only had to wait a day!

I went yesterday. They took x-rays, then I was examined by the PA. She manipulated my knee and leg a lot of different ways but it didn’t hurt that badly, to be honest. The doctor came in and talked to me about my symptoms, the “cause” of the injury (I demonstrated for him how I got up off of the floor that day), and then did some of the same manipulations that the PA had done. But then he asked me to turn over on my stomach. He started pushing on different areas at my knee and in my hamstring and my response was “AH! OW! EE!” He had found the source of the pain. And guess what? It’s not even a knee injury.

It’s my hamstring.

There is a tendon that apparently runs from your hamstring down to the inside of your knee. He suspects I did something to that tendon and/or the hamstring muscle—a strain. But because of that hamstring tendon connecting to the knee, that’s why initially, I felt pain in the knee. It radiated up to the back of my hamstring as the injury progressed because “fluid” (swelling) progressed up that way. Now, if you are an ortho or have ortho experience, I apologize if what I explained is wrong or I sound like an idiot, but this was my understanding of the issue.

Now? Physical therapy. And continued modifications for all of my CrossFit workouts. And time.

I started PT this morning and can I just say that it sucks? I hate it. It hurts. It feels like there is no way that these activities could possibly make my hamstring feel better. I’m only going to PT once a week but I have “homework exercises” that I’m supposed to do every day and I don’t even want to. I will, of course, but I don’t wanna.

It’s funny because all of these medical professionals keep asking me to rate my pain, 1 being not bad at all to 10 being the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. I have not rated this injury above a 4. My PT this morning was like, “Only a 3-4?” I laughed a little and responded, “Well, I’ve done two unmedicated births and a busted appendix. After that, everything else seems trivial.” She said that you can always tell the women who’ve had babies because their ratings for their pain are much lower! :)

The ortho said it could be a few months before my hamstring feels normal again. The PT said that tissue healing typically takes 4-6 weeks and then you have to ease yourself back into your normal activities.

I’m so, so relieved that it doesn’t appear to be anything torn in the knee, but it’s still a bummer to be injured, especially when I was feeling so good about CrossFit, challenging myself and enjoying it. Hopefully PT and time do the trick so I can be back to my normal self sooner rather than later!

For now, I’m just wallowing in feeling old. Enjoy your young muscles and joints while you have them, kids! :)

 

I took a bit of a hiatus from blog posting, and therefore from working on my “Disney Digest” series. Planning a Disney World trip is somehow really intimidating unless you’ve done it before, so although I am not at all an expert, I figured I would share tidbits of information from our experience that may help others with theirs. As part of this effort, I’ve already shared some of our thinking behind our Disney World planning, as well as our experience with the travel.

Now? Let’s tackle a review of the resort. We stayed at Coronado Springs.

I mentioned very briefly in my planning post that we decided pretty early on to book our stay at one of the moderate level resorts. We’re pretty low maintenance people when it comes to hotels when we travel—we don’t need a ton of bells and whistles, just something clean and comfortable. I’ve heard pretty great things about the value level resorts, too, so I would consider it—although after perusing the resorts’ websites and Trip Advisor reviews, we did lean toward the moderate resorts. In choosing which resort within that category, I relied on experienced Disney friends. Coronado Springs and Port Orleans seemed to be the two recommended most often, and we somehow landed on Coronado Springs.

{Photo Credit: DisneyMeetings.com}

I will admit that when we were about two months out from our trip, I panicked a little bit about our Coronado Springs choice. After further reading reviews and experiences, I worried it was going to be too big, too annoying to get around, and I regretted not choosing Port Orleans instead. I actually called Disney Reservations to see if we could make a switch, but not surprisingly, there weren’t any rooms left with the Free Dining promo at either Port Orleans resort, so we stayed put at Coronado Springs. Looking back? I can’t say that we wouldn’t have liked Port Orleans better, since we’ve never been there and can’t compare, but Coronado Spring was FINE. More than fine. We had very few complaints.

My friend, Kim, recommended Coronado Springs because of its Mexican vibe, its great, HUGE pool (with a water slide!), and activities for the kids. She told me they do a “Waterfall Opening Ceremony” every morning with the kids, and that there are pool parties with games and activities. While we were there, we noticed that they had “campfires” in the evenings to make s’mores by the pool, and that they also hosted movie nights at the pool, too (Disney favorites, of course). Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my previous post(s), we did not have pool weather while we were there. And most nights, we were still at the parks during the s’mores and movies—but if our trip had gone according to plan, I’m sure we would’ve taken advantage. They also served breakfast by the pool every morning—complete with the famous Mickey waffles—but since we never ended up staying at the resort for a “rest day,” we didn’t experience that, either.

{Photo Credit: MickeysDreamVacations.com}

Our plan leading up to our trip had been to take a day or two to relax a bit and enjoy the pool and the resort, but given the weather, we chose to spend all six full days at the parks (with one evening in Downtown Disney) to keep ourselves occupied. Next time we go to Disney, I hope we do get to enjoy the resort a bit more!

We had a standard room, and within the resort, we were able to request certain preferences—close to transportation, close to lobby, close to pool, etc. We chose close to transportation so that we didn’t have to trek too far to catch a bus each morning when we headed out for the parks. We were in Ranchos 6A (here is a resort map, if you’re curious). As you can see, we had a bus stop right outside of our building so all we had to do each morning was roll out of our room with the stroller, take the elevator down, and cross a small parking lot to the bus stop. Very convenient for us.

Now, it WAS fairly far away from the lobby and the restaurants (labeled as areas A and C on that map I linked above). The restaurant thing was no problem—the times we ate on site at the resort (three times total, I think), we were fine to take the winding walk around the lake. The scenery is beautiful, it’s quiet… as long as you’re not in pouring rain, what’s not to like?

The only time our room location was a real disadvantage for us was on the morning we were leaving. It was disgustingly early (like 4:30 a.m.) and we had to drag all of our belongings—three suitcases, backpacks, stroller, still half-sleeping children, etc. what seemed like 5 miles. In the dark. And go figure, it was muggy and HOT that morning (after being in the 40s for most of the week we were there, ugh!). Still, even knowing this, I would’ve still made the same choice to be closest to transportation.

The room itself was nice and clean. Not tremendously outdated or anything, at least not in my opinion—except the tub/shower area could’ve used a little work. We had two double beds, one for Michael and myself and one for Nora to sleep in. We requested a crib for Vivienne and they brought a standard Graco Pack-n-Play (we always bring our own Pack-n-Play sheets from home since you never know what you’re going to get from the hotel).

We were worried leading up to the trip how we were going to handle all four of us sharing a room. We have done it numerous places—at my dad’s, in the Poconos, on our beach vacation last summer—but it was always in a house, where Michael and I had somewhere else to hang out in the evenings, after the girls were in bed. Here, we knew we would pretty much have to hang out super quietly, lights out, possibly in the complete dark, while the girls slept.

But, as it turned out, one nice “bonus” feature about our room was that there were two big wooden sliding doors that separated the “bedroom” from the bathroom vanity/closet (and then a regular door that separated the shower/tub/toilet from the bathroom vanity/closet). So naturally, we put Vivienne’s crib in the closet/vanity area so that we could put her to bed and shut the doors, keeping light and noise out from our conversation, TV, etc. It was really nice how that worked out! Plus, by the time we were back at the hotel and putting the girls to bed each night, they were so exhausted that it didn’t much matter. Nora generally didn’t have any problems passing out, even if we had the TV on (very quietly). The thing was, Michael and I were pretty beat from the full days as well, so we were falling asleep pretty early ourselves! We all got a lot of sleep on this trip.

{Not our photo, but this is exactly what our room looked like. Photo Credit: EasyWDW.com}

As far as amenities, the room had what you would probably expect. The mini fridge was definitely nice, for us to put our bottled water (as mentioned in a previous post, we ordered a case of bottled water with our stroller rental from Kingdom Strollers), as well as milk for Vivienne. Oh, and complimentary WiFi is always appreciated, of course.

Our room was always cleaned nicely while we were out for the day, and we always had fun towel shapes/animals to come back to, waiting for us on the beds. One day, the cleaning staff took some of Nora and Vivienne’s toys that had been lying around and incorporated them into the towel design. Nora got a huge kick out of it and left a “THANK YOU” note on the bed (that she wrote herself, so cute) the next day, but I don’t think we ever had that same cleaning person again because despite leaving the note every day, no one ever acknowledged it in any way (they probably had no idea what it was referring to!) and the toys were never involved or moved again.

Although we didn’t get to spend much time at it, the pool was really nice, and beautiful. The pool area is pretty enormous, and the pool itself is pretty huge, too. When we arrived on that Sunday afternoon, it was our one pool-worthy day—the temperature was in the 80s.

We tried to check into the hotel upon our arrival (which was maybe around 12:30-1:00?), but our room was not ready. We were told that we would get a phone call and/or text message on my cell phone when it was okay to head to our room. We dropped our suitcases at bell services, grabbing some shorts, bathing suits, and sandals out of our bags before handing them over. We first headed to lunch right at the resort, but then went and spent time at the pool.

Once I changed Nora into her bathing suit and put on one of the children’s life jackets (provided for free, a variety of sizes hanging right next to the pool! so nice!), she literally walked right into the giant pool and began swimming out into the middle of it. Michael didn’t even have his bathing suit on yet! Thankfully, there were lifeguards around to help if something had gone awry, but she managed to swim over to the other side and get back out until Michael was ready to take her swimming. Vivienne was not feeling well and we wanted her to nap, so I was sitting quietly with her and walking her around in circles in a calmer area of the pool to try to get her to doze off. During my travels with the stroller, I discovered a cute little toddler-sized pool area right nearby the main pool. Would’ve been great for Vivienne if we had ever had another chance to go back and use the pool again!

I think it was after 4:00 p.m. by the time I started saying “WTF?” about our room. I still had not received a phone call, nor text message that our room was ready, and it was getting kind of late. I posted something on Instagram and someone there mentioned that it definitely should’ve been ready by then. I called the front desk from my cell phone, still at the pool, to inquire about what was going on. Turns out our room was ready, we just did not get the call. :( So that was definitely disappointing. I had a sick baby (suspected ear infection) and it would’ve been great to get into our room earlier than that so I could’ve laid her down to nap instead of trying to make do with a stroller nap. Who knows how long it had been ready without us knowing. Although, I got to hang out in the sunshine by a pool for a few hours, so… hard to complain too much.

On that first day, we ate at Coronado Springs (specifically, Pepper Market, the quick-service restaurant on the property) for both lunch and dinner since we didn’t venture off resort property at all. I will go into more detail about our dining experiences in a post I am planning about dining, but for the sake of making this a complete review of Coronado Springs, I will say that we loved Pepper Market. It was one of our favorite quick-service restaurants of the whole trip, with a good variety of food to choose from. We ended up eating dinner there another day, so three times total and it was great every time.

{Pepper Market. Photo Credit: Walt Disney World}

There were a couple of nice little cabana bars on property, too. One right outside of the dining/lobby/front desk area—situated right on Lago Dorado (the resort’s lake)—and another (with a little quick-service dining, too) at the pool. We grabbed beers “to go” on our way back to our room a couple of times, but we didn’t get to enjoy them otherwise. First of all, we had tired kids at the end of each day, and secondly, it was always freezing once the sun went down so we did not partake. But if you’re going and you will have child care back at the room, or you’ll otherwise be able to occupy your children… the bars are nice! :)

Finally, transportation from Coronado Springs was great. If you look at a map of Disney World, you’ll find that Coronado Springs is closest to Animal Kingdom, but it’s also pretty close to Hollywood Studios and Epcot as well. Magic Kingdom is the furthest away, which may be a negative to some people, but I will say that the bus rides were not long, no matter where we were going. It may have taken 10-15 minutes to get to Magic Kingdom? I’m totally estimating, but it wasn’t bad at all. We rarely had to wait very long for buses to come to the stop outside of our building, either. One morning, we *just* missed an Animal Kingdom bus as we were walking out to the stop, and of course, we were heading to Animal Kingdom that morning AND we were already running a little late for a breakfast dining reservation. So, of course, that was the one time it took like 15-20 minutes for another Animal Kingdom bus to come. That’s just our luck, though!

{On the bus our first full day. Poor Vivi was still sick; look at her pathetic little face!}

I really enjoyed our stay on Disney property, which allowed us to take advantage of the dining plan (especially since it was FREE!), as well as the bus system that took us easily to and from the parks. I do recommend Coronado Springs to anyone looking for a moderate level resort. When we go back someday, we’ll probably opt for one of the Port Orleans resorts if we can, just to have a different experience and try something new, but I also wouldn’t hesitate to stay at Coronado Springs again.

Disney 2016? (Just kidding.)

 

We had a pretty great Easter weekend, and I hope all of you did as well.

I had off from work on Friday, so my weekend with the kids started a day early (Michael still had to work). We had awesome spring weather (finally!) on Thursday and Friday, which meant that we spent a lot of time outside. I left the office a little early on Thursday, ran a couple of quick errands, and then grabbed the kids from daycare a bit early and took them home to play!

Vivienne was hysterical because she was scared to walk around outside. She would stand in the same place or take teeny little steps on the driveway and grass, whining the whole way and giving me a look like, “Ohmygod, Mommy! Why am I standing out here? What are you doing to me?!” The fact is that she was just starting to learn how to walk last fall, and I guess after spending the ENTIRE winter indoors—which up here is about, oh, five months—she had forgotten how to play outside. Poor New Yorker baby! :) I’m confident she’ll get the hang of it in the coming weeks.

On Friday, it was cold in the morning but warmed up quickly as the day progressed. When I came downstairs from showering, Michael told me that Nora hadn’t eaten much breakfast (unusual for her), but we didn’t think much of it. He left for work and I played with the girls for a bit. I brought the bin of 18-24 months and 2T summer clothes up from the basement and brought the girls up to Vivienne’s room to play while I did some work in Viv’s closet. Half of the clothes in her closet were still 12 months, which haven’t fit her in a few months, so Nora helped me remove all of that stuff and pack it away. Then I went through the spring/summer clothes and got all of that organized. Hopefully we’ll be putting those on her very soon!

After this, Nora was being very whiny—also pretty unusual for her. She complained about wanting to “do something,” but was turning down every offer I had for playing games, coloring, etc. I texted Michael like, “OMG, she’s driving me crazy and it’s only 10:00.” He suggested she make Easter cards for the family and of course, she ate that right up.

I helped her with her cards for a while (wrote the names and such down for her to copy) and then I packed everyone up for a quick trip to Target to buy tights for the girls’ Easter dresses.

Once home, we didn’t even go back inside. It had warmed up considerably so I set the girls loose outdoors for a while. I tried Vivienne in the Power Wheels Jeep with Nora, seeing if she was strong/stable enough to sit up on the seat now (instead of sitting on the floor like we did in the fall, ha! I still can’t believe the thing doesn’t have a little seat belt!). I told Nora to stay in the “slow” mode and they did great. Vivienne loved it and Nora enjoyed herself, too.

Suddenly, though, Nora said she’d had enough. Again, kind of unusual for her (see the pattern yet?). It was time to go inside for lunch anyway, and once inside, Nora collapsed on the couch, bundled up under a big blanket, saying she was cold.

I fed Vivienne and took her upstairs for her nap, and came back down—all this time, Nora was just resting on the couch, doing nothing. No TV, no iPad, no books, etc. If my kid is happy just resting on the couch with no entertainment whatsoever, there’s probably something wrong. I finally had a chance to take her temperature and it was over 103 degrees. What.the.hell. She was just sick like this 2-3 weeks ago, and now it was hitting us again. While I made a little lunch for myself, Nora passed out sleeping on the couch.

I left her there to sleep while my mom and my brother came over with his kids. The kids played outside while both Nora and Vivienne slept, and I cleaned the interior of my car.

Eventually, Nora woke up, I gave her a fever reducer, and she came outside. At first, she wanted to just sit and watch, but then the fever must’ve come down because she was up and playing with Hunter. We played the rest of the day outside, until Michael came home from work and we went in for dinner.

Nora was restless through a lot of the night on Friday night, waking up frequently and calling out for us. After a few more doses of meds (alternating Tylenol and Motrin), she ended up coming into bed with us around 4:00 a.m., completely burning up. Thankfully, she passed out snuggling with me and slept through until around 7:00.

We were due to have Easter breakfast (a day early) at my mom’s at 9:00 a.m., and then celebrate with Michael’s side of the family at noon. Given that Nora had nothing more than cold symptoms, and the fever had broken—and this whole high fever thing has been her M.O. for cold viruses this winter—we decided to go on as scheduled. Nora rallied at my mom’s for breakfast and the Easter egg hunt.

We went directly from my mom’s to my in-laws’, where Nora was okay for a little bit but then went downhill quickly. She spent most of the afternoon on the couch watching Disney Junior, but it was nice to get a chance to catch up with everyone and celebrate the holiday together.

We headed home after 5:00 p.m. and planned to color Easter eggs before bed. We all got into pajamas/comfy clothes and settled in. Michael and Nora played a board game while the eggs were boiling, and then, while we waited for them to be done, I asked Nora if she wanted to snuggle with me on the couch for a bit. She climbed up with me and closed her eyes, while Michael and I just talked and Vivienne played. Next thing we know, Nora was sleeping soundly in my arms. Poor thing was burning up again.

After a little bit of reveling in the snuggles, I carried her upstairs and we tucked her into bed. I roused her long enough to get some more meds into her, and she drifted back off. We put Vivienne to bed and relaxed!

An hour or two after putting her to bed, we heard Nora crying on the monitor. We went up to check on her and she was communicating with us, but still half sleeping. She said that she was scared because “Sadie’s plates keep moving.” (Sadie is our niece, about the same age as Vivienne.) Does this happen to anyone else’s kids? They have super weird and vivid dreams when they are feverish? Because a few weeks ago, when Nora had a fever, I actually slept with her because I was worried about her. The whole night, she kept saying the most random stuff in her sleep. Anyway, when we asked Nora about the plates the next morning, she said that they had feet! LOL.

Nora made it through the whole night in her bed, and we woke Sunday to filled baskets from the Easter Bunny.

Nora definitely seemed to be doing a bit better, so we decided to attempt church. We all got dressed and ready for 11:00 a.m. Mass.

Church went well—both girls were good. Nora was really patient, and Vivienne was sufficiently distracted with snacks and by setting her loose to toddle in the aisle a bit (we were in the “overflow” room—actually a gym—so it was okay). And we didn’t run into any nasty witches in the parking lot, either. Side note: Reading through my post from last Easter weekend, it’s funny how similar it was to this weekend. All the way down to working on the closets and cleaning out the car! Ha! Except it was SNOWING when we got out of church yesterday, so we certainly weren’t enjoying 70 degrees again this year.

We went directly from church to Wegmans to do our weekly shopping since we didn’t have the chance to go Saturday. Once home, we all got into comfy clothes again and we laid low the rest of the day. I finished and filed our taxes (latest I’ve ever done it, oops!), watched Frozen, made dinner, did baths, then bed.

Despite the weather and Nora’s sickness, it was a really nice weekend—the four of us had plenty of time to spend together, and with extended family, and that’s all that matters, right?

Fingers crossed that Easter signifies the real beginning of SPRING! Bring it on, Mother Nature. Pretty please?

 

So, that was the longest blog drought ever. I’ve never gone a full month without posting, but somehow, that’s what has happened. I am in a serious rut with this blog, my little space on the world wide web. I’m honestly struggling with it. Over the past several weeks, I have—on more than one occasion—thought about writing one last “goodbye” post, or just letting the whole blog slip quietly into the shadows forever.

It’s strange that something that once felt like such a big part of my life—such a huge part of documenting it, of saving my thoughts and experiences for reflection in the future—has fallen so far down on my list of priorities. Already, Vivienne’s growth and development is far less documented than Nora’s was. I know that this phenomenon is completely normal, dating back decades into the past when parents would take far less photographs of each subsequent child, and would fill out far less of the baby books (if they even got around to buying one). So I try not to feel too guilty about that. Honestly, maybe she’s better off for it. I’ve never fully been able to understand whether this blog is a gift to my children (for someday), or whether it’s really just a gift for myself.

And Nora—well, she’s a real live person now, you guys. Of course, she has been for quite some time, but there is definitely a shift that has happened in the last year. I’ve felt it, the transition from toddler to GIRL. And with kindergarten approaching in the fall, we are entering a new stage of our lives—the school years. It is crazy to think that this stage will carry us through to high school graduations. I can’t even.

Anyway, there has obviously been some deep thinking going on around here. I would love to get back to the glory days of my blogging. Pick up the pace, gain new readers, document my world, explore my thoughts again. But I’ve struggled with how much effort I’m willing to give it. How much time can I spare in a day that already feels so full? And it’s full of mostly really wonderful things. LIFE. LIVING. LOVE. BREATHING.

Things are in a great groove right now. My marriage is good. My kids are awesome. I love my job. I feel good about myself and where I’m at with taking time for myself with CrossFit. We’ve been making time for friends and seeing them more (although there are still some others we need to re-establish regular connections with). I think I’m feeling more at peace with my life right at this moment than I have ever since we’ve started our family. I’ve found the balance that we as moms crave so deeply.

But damn it, that balance has not included blogging. I’ve found myself wondering why that is. Is the lack of blogging—one less thing to worry about—contributing to the better sense of balance? Or is the lack of blogging actually because I feel more balanced?

On another note, March was a crazy month. I traveled twice for work, I was subsequently busy at work, and we had a lot going on otherwise. Preschool events. Parties and get-togethers. More illness (ugh). So, April. I’m feeling really good about April. Even though the weather forecast is still pretty disgusting—68 degrees today, but then we struggle to get over 45 for the rest of the foreseeable future—spring is in the air. It’s a time of rebirth.

Maybe I can breathe new life into this blog.

Or maybe not. I honestly don’t know. Even when I think about blogging, there are many times when I don’t know what I would even write about. But I’m going to try to make a concerted effort this month, and see how things shake out. If it falls by the wayside again, maybe it is really time to let it go. We’ll see. I make no promises.

I can only try.