resolutions

I've never been one for New Years resolutions, per se. I've always been one to really make my goals on the fly and adapt as I go. This year will be different though, as I embark on my 9 month journey as a single mom while Ryan is deployed. I feel like this year will be a real test of me - my merit, my toughness and my resolve, and I'm determined to impress myself, as well as my husband.


1. Make running (and fitness, in general) a priority. I received an entry into the 2017 Chicago Marathon, and I'm so excited! This means that I have some serious training to do, and I need to overcome my fear of running with my boys. A little backstory...when Spence was about 7 months old, I went on a 5-mile run with him, and he literally screamed the entire time. The looks I got and the guilt I felt was enough to convince me I couldn't do it. Without Ryan around on weekends, I'm going to have to suck it up and do it. I'm thinking of investing in one of those double running shaded tent strollers so the boys can enjoy the long runs together. Thoughts?

2. Read more & watch less. I love my Netflix on a solo evening, but I think that it's time to sharpen my mind again. I have such amazing books on my reading pile, and I think it's time to start again. First up? Grace, Not Perfection by Emily Ley.

3. Lose the weight once and for all - and love myself. I am not massively overweight, but I am nowhere near where I want to be. I'm so looking forward to buckling down with training, losing these last 30 lbs, getting in real shape and loving myself again. A leaner, healthier, more productive life is my goal, and I can't wait to share this with my boys.

4. Build Black River Boutique. I have so many goals and wants for my little shop, not the least of which is adding newer products, more range and a lot of functionality. I need to figure out how to budget and better manage my shop finances, too, so I'm looking to incorporate in the new year, as well. Has anyone done this? Tips or tricks?

5. DIY home projects. Before we rent out our house and we PCS, there are some pretty big home projects we'd like to tackle, and it will be falling to me to do them while Ryan is deployed. The biggest ones are converting the space above our basement stairs into a pantry, painting our cupboards in the kitchen white to better contrast the dark granite and cherry floors and adding a backsplash. I'm both looking forward to and dreading these tasks.

6. Blog more. My goal this year was to match or better my posts from last year. This post will make me one shy of 2015. Can I make it? We'll see! I think I'll have more time - and more incentive - to blog next year, as Ryan can read this blog as a journal of life through our time apart. 

7. Get family pictures done. Le sigh. Seriously? We haven't had real family pictures since our wedding day. We tried last year in Canada, but a screaming baby made it next to impossible. Maybe, just maybe we can get some pictures before we leave Fort Drum for good?!''

I think seven goals is enough, especially because those are some big goals. I think I'll do my monthly goal-getter posts to keep myself on track, but I really think the overarching goals are important, too. Here's to an amazing (albeit very different) 2017!

christmas 2016

Can you believe that Christmas has already come and gone? It feels like the whole season was just rushed all the way through, but we had the most perfect day, so I can't complain. Spencer, at two years old, doesn't really comprehend Santa, but he has started to understand the magic of the day - the presents, the scripture reading, the family time - the lot of it. The magic has become so real again with a little boy in the house.




Ryan and I decided that we gifted each other enough things prior to Christmas, so we just did stockings for each other. We bought a new dining table, entry bench, and I got a phone for him last week, so those were the big items. We gifted little things like running shirts, nail gift cards(!!!), planners and more to keep going through the new year. 

We've been pretty awful at budgeting lately, too, so we really wanted to try and reign in the mindless expenses. Christmas is about the spirit of the season, and our kids, rather than those big ticket items we'd all love to have. My boys were so happy with their new toys, and they just loved unwrapping the presents with Daddy, spending time with friends and having dinner with Nana Jo and Grandpa Mike (the best neighbors ever).



I feel like I should also do a post about our Christmas cards because up until about 2 weeks ago, I was pretty sure we weren't going to do any. I wanted to have family pictures done, but our photographer flaked, and then we just ran out of time. We decided that the boys were the most important part of the card though, so I staged a little photoshoot, snagged a few gems, headed over to vistaprint and ordered some cards - expedited!

That last picture above is the winning shot, and I'm so glad I staged the little shoot. Spencer had a blast, Porter tolerated it, and we got our cards out - just in the nick of time! 

I truly hope all your Christmases were as blessed as ours. We're heading to NH this coming weekend to do our family Christmas, so we get to celebrate again, and I can't wait. It's like two Christmases rolled into one great year. Now it's onto resolutions....

a look back on 2016

I know there are still a few days left of the year, but I also know how crazy life gets around the holidays, as well as how little "free" time we mamas have when our kiddos are home. I really wanted to sit down and reflect on 2016 because it's been quite the year. It's been great, busy, hectic and one of constant change.

I think that might be the theme of motherhood and parenting, no matter what, but it's definitely been one for the record books. I know that when my kiddos are big and grown, I'm going to want to look back at these words and know that my children were little once, and that we took advantage of all the times we had together. So, without too much ado...here's a little look back on 2016.

Ryan and I celebrated our second anniversary on January 4, 2016. Marriage is a ride, friends. It's fun, it's chaotic, it's work (don't let anyone tell you otherwise), and it's the best thing ever. I'm so blessed to be married to this man.


I bit the bullet in February, braced my nerves and started an Etsy shop called Black River Boutique. It's grown bigger than I imagined, and I have high hopes for the future...fingers crossed!

We worked hard to explore the North country this past year, and we visited quite a few local attractions including Yancey's Sugarbush for maple syrup and the Burrville Cider Mill for local cider. We also visited Alexandria Bay and took a little boat ride around Boldt Castle.


In June, our second biscuit, Porter Dean, was born. He's made our family so much fuller and more fun (and busy!) We sure do love him.

In August, I made the crazy decision to swim a 2.5k open water race at Lake George. Despite the worst hotel stay known to man, no sleep, barely any training and a family trip that was nuts, I did really well!

In September, we traveled again to Pennsylvania for my little sister's wedding. It was (again) a chaotic trip, but it was wonderful to dress up, have some fun with adults and really spend some quality family time.

^^^ photo courtesy of Brianna Wilbur Photography

And, this month, our sweet Spencer Bruce turned two. It seems impossible that over two years ago, we welcomed this boy into our lives, and there's been no looking back. We love him to the moon and back.

Besides the obvious impending deployment, I'm really excited to see what 2017 might bring. I have so many goals and resolutions that I'll have to do a post on those alone. Thanks for following along for another crazy year, sweet friends!

what's happening wednesday: life lately

Is it just me, or are the weeks (and days) leading up to Christmas just utter chaos? We're not even really doing anything big for Christmas this year, but we're still in this maddening dash to get things done. I keep meaning to sit down and write a proper blog, but I rarely have a second to collect my thoughts!


// Porter is now sitting, scooting and rocking and feeding himself with his own bottle. He's also learned he has a lot more that he can do with his voice. I forgot about this fun, silly little phase, and I'm having a blast listening to him "talk."

// I was the best wife ever yesterday and bought Ryan a new phone for Christmas. He's been sucking it up with an old iPhone 5 to save money and be smart, but it's been so hit or miss lately. So, I went without his knowledge and got him a new one yesterday. #happyhusband

// Remember how I said I entered a lottery for a race? Well, I got in! I'll be running in the 2017 Chicago Marathon! Commence training...

// Ryan and I have been really committed to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle, so I spent a couple hours last weekend cleaning out our fridge and purging the crap. We joined the Holiday Hustle Kickstarter on Diet Bet and, along with Weight Watchers, we're losing weight and feeling hungry great!

// Spencer has been discovering all the words lately! He's putting things together, picking things up and declaring what they are and really just rocking the talking thing. Yesterday at daycare, he correctly named all his colors correctly! Such a big boy...he also managed to mostly potty train himself. It's like a unicorn!

// Pre-deployment crazy is in full swing. Ryan's OIC (in charge) over Christmas/block leave, so he's on call for all the soldiers in his unit. Keep your fingers crossed, please, that they don't do anything silly that makes him work over the holiday.

// My shop is now offering dresses and leggings! So many fun new products are coming, and I'm loving being able to sew some new stuff!

// I did 70 posts in 2015...can I beat that (barely) in 2017?! We'll see...

real life


Real life lately is a little bit crazy, a lot hectic and a whole lot of special. My normal has so vastly changed since having Spencer and Porter that sometimes it makes my head spin. I was sitting down to reflect on what life is like now vs. then, and I realized that real life isn't bad...it's just different. Life has always had its challenges. Now, they're just more pronounced.

// Real life is waking up at 5:30 to get some work done before getting the boys up for the day, sitting in bed with the dog and waiting for the wifi to reach the upstairs of our house. Truth.

// Real life is walking the dog in subzero temperatures with two little boys - one strapped to my chest, the other bundled in his snowsuit, driving his birthday convertible. 

// Real life is finding 30 minutes to squeeze in a proper workout and making eggs qualify as a breakfast and a lunch.

// Real life is wishing there were actually 30+ hours in a day, if only to get things done.

// Real life is losing your military ID. Twice. (Luckily the people are very understanding, and I needed a new ID for Ryan's new rank this time anyway).

// Real life is wondering if there's actually such a thing as peeing with the door closed. Or privacy. Or a bubble bath before 10 PM.

// Real life is discussing baby poo with everyone you meet and trying to figure out why your son hasn't pooped in 11 days.

// Real life is diapers, wipes, formula, goat's milk, bibs, messes, spitup, toys on the floor, fingerprints on the wall, skinned knees, tripping over stairs and toddler meltdowns.

// Real life is utter chaos, but it's perfect and fulfilling.

Challenge accepted. :)

weekending

It was a beautiful weekend here in northern NY! As always, it seems like our weekends are absurdly fast though, and we never really have a moment to spare. We got a lot done though, and that's what's most important right now. First things first, we savored the beautiful snow, and we remembered why we decided Drum was the right station for us, at least for now.




Then it was full-speed ahead. Ryan's unit ball was on Friday night, and we had so much fun! I was really worried about what to wear for a while, but I settled on a black ball skirt, and I sewed a lacy top on and made it a dress. It was a bit tighter than I'd anticipated, but I loved it, and I got a lot of compliments. I made the whole thing for less than $50, so I decided to get my hair done, and called it a night.

On Saturday, after enjoying the snow, I took the boys to the Sensory Nook in Watertown, and they had a blast. It's Montessori-based, so the kiddos can basically do whatever they want. They're allowed to play entirely hands-on, and there is everything from a water table, to a balance beam, guitar and beyond.

After nap time, we got our Christmas tree, decorated it once the boys went to bed and called it a night. It was a fun, very productive and busy day. 





It was basically a perfect weekend. Busy, hectic, crazy, maddening, hilarious - all of it - because I got to spend it with my favorite people. I also managed to do the boys' Christmas photos on Sunday, so I can't wait to show how that went. I'll be sharing those pictures, along with our finished Christmas cards, this week. I'm pretty proud.

I hope all your weekends were as wonderful and productive as ours! Here's to the last couple weeks before Christmas!

5 on friday: 15 days till christmas

But seriously...how are there only 15 more days until Christmas?! I haven't even started my Christmas shopping. I should probably get on that. Life has been moving at warp speed the past couple weeks, and I feel like we don't really have a moment to breathe. I think part of it is the impending deployment, part is the holiday season, part is the fact that my little boys are all go, go go, 24/7, and I feel like a I can't catch up. So, here's a small piece of life lately for five on Friday. Today I'm linking up with A. Liz Adventures and Meet @ the Barre.

1 //  We had a proper snow squall yesterday, which afforded Ryan is first delayed report (and, perhaps, his last before his deployment). It was so fun to bundle up my boys and take Danny for a morning walk. Spencer loves the snow. He never wanted to go inside! His new thing is to just sit staring at the window chanting "outside! outside! outside!"


2 // Porter is 6 months old today! The little man is not so little at 16 lbs and 27 inches long. He's wearing 9 month clothing to fit his long legs, and he's learned to sit up and do a sort of bear crawl in the past week. He scoots backwards, too, so it's crazy to watch how fast he's learning.


3 // Ryan's unit's dining out is tonight at the Hilton in Watertown. These things were a lot more fun before I was the FRG leader and actually had to work with the soldiers to plan them. I'm sure it will be a blast, but right now, all I can think of is the hassle it took to get it in the books...and the cost...and the number of times the quotes were messed up! But I made my dress, so here's hoping I can do a fun recap of that (and it will turn out well) on Monday!

4 // We're finally getting our Christmas tree this weekend! I can't wait to decorate it and finally have my house look like the season is upon us. Because life has been moving so fast lately, all I can do is catch my breath and hope things find some balance soon. A look back at last year's tree...our first together since we're always moving...


5 // I'm making a tree skirt for our Christmas tree today, too! I'm pretty excited to put my stamp on this tree and decorating because I've learned a lot about design and how things are made through my shop, I'll be sure to share some details and a how-to once it's done, in case people want to make their own!

I hope you all are ready for lovely weekends, too!

goal-getter: december

I wanted to put my goals down again because they actually lingered in my mind in November, so I guess that's progress! I also want to take a look back at those November goals, see how did, and see how I can get better going forward. In November, I committed to do the following:

1. Lose 3 lbs - I did this - healthily! :)
2. Finish the DIY shoe rack - fail
3. Run 14 times - fail - but I did run 10 times, which was better than October
4. Get Ryan to do a blog again - I asked him...does that count?
5. Plan Spencer's 2nd birthday party - I did this! We celebrated yesterday, and I'll recap soon.
6. Schedule our temple sealing - We did this! We were sealed on Saturday, December 3rd in the Palmyra NY temple. 

^^^ image via

So, looking back, I think I accomplished the big things last month! Now it's onto the December goals:

1. Lose 4 lbs - I'm doing weight watchers weekly, and it feels great to have the accountability! I'm by no means fat, but I'm doing this for fitness, to show my boys the value of really taking care of oneself. No more junk food...preparation is key.

2. Finish the DIY shoe rack - Maybe December is the month?! I really want it done before the real snow comes because it will be such a lifesaver when we're putting wet, soggy shoes away.

3. Run 14 times and make 1.5 miles my short run - I think it's time I retired the "one for time" bit that I've been resting on lately. I can make time for a 1.5 mile run, and I did it today in the freezing cold. It's time to get my act together and start loving running again! I did enter a lottery for a race, so I'll know soon if I got in...if I did, I'll share!

4. DIY Christmas presents - I really want to do some DIY gifts this year. I've done a few before like this glitter state for my brother-in-law's sister, and I'd love to have some on hand for friends and neighbors.

5. Get our family photos - Le sigh. We have them scheduled for Saturday, so we'll see if they actually happen?! If they do, we'll finally have pictures for very last minute Christmas cards!

6. Create a deployment wall - Spencer is just old enough to understand that Daddy is leaving for a long time, and I want to make something that offers both of us a visual reminder of his return. I think it will help!

Do you guys write goals down on or off the blog? Do you think that it helps you?

today you are two



Dear Spencer, 

I'm writing this on the eve of your second birthday, and though I promised myself I wouldn't get at all teary when I wrote this out, I find that I'm tearing up. Two years ago, you blessed both me and your daddy by coming into this world screaming and making your presence known.

Since that day, it's been an adventure with you...a whirlwind that I look back on both in awe and amazement, love and happiness. You, my sweet boy, are my world. You're my firstborn; my baby boy. You made me a mama, and for that I am forever grateful. 

At two years old, you're strong-willed and fiercely independent. You have a fiery ambitious streak that I both love and envy because I am certain you will go places with that spirit. You know what you want, and you're determined to get it. You're goofy, funny, sweet, silly, kind and absolutely ridiculous. You indulge your mama's every whim, and you are a charming little man - destined to be a heartbreaker. You always kiss your mama goodnight, you meow at the kitties, and you dutifully hold the bottle for your bother.

Baby boy, on your second birthday, I want you to know that my wish for you is everything. I want you to have it all - love, happiness, friendship, family, adventure. I want you to experience the good and the bad because it's through the hard times that we learn just how strong we are, and you, my little man, are a warrior. No matter what curveballs life may throw you, know that Mama and Daddy are always here, standing right beside you - your strongest advocates.

Today is all for you, Spencer Bruce, and I hope it's the perfect day.

All the love in the world, my baby boy,

Mama.

welcome december

I can hardly believe that November (and Thanksgiving, for that matter) have come and gone! November was a whirlwind month, and I don't doubt that December is going to be much the same. We're less than two months from Ryan's deployment now, and there's so much happening that I'm afraid I'm going to miss something! 

I meant to blog over Thanksgiving, then I meant to blog the last few days, but I just couldn't seem to find the right words to accurately describe the holidays. So, I'd like to share a few things that have wrapped up in November and what's to come.

1. We did the Turkey Trot trail race in NH, and it was cold this year! Poor Auntie Nini couldn't run because she hurt her knees during the Marine Corps Marathon, so she held Porter while we did the race.


^^^ both images courtesy of Joe Viger Photography

2. I got a new sewing machine! Mine was slipping every 10th stitch, and I was losing my mind with trying to do orders well. So, we bit the bullet and bought a Husqvarna Viking Emerald 116. I love it.

3. We switched the boys into the same room yesterday. Well, I did, actually! I had a burst of determination and got it done. I'll take some pictures to show you soon. I wanted to do a nautical room, but I decided to go simpler with black and white & Wild West. 

4. Black River Boutique had a record month last night, and I had a blast fulfilling all the fabulous orders that came in. I have some exciting plans for the New Year...can't wait till they come to fruition!


5. Spencer turns two on Sunday, and I can't believe it. Time has flown by so fast. I can't believe my little ginger boy is going to be two. We had our first celebration in NH last week, and seeing the wonder in his eyes was one of the greatest mama moments ever. We're having a birthday party for him, and I can't wait to share how things go!


6. Ryan's parents arrive late tonight to visit with us before Ryan deploys. We're also finally having our temple sealing (we're Mormon, if I haven't shared that before). It should be a beautiful time, as I've never actually been to the temple.

silence + noise

Yesterday, Ryan and I braved the trip from NY to NH with two under two and a dog. In the Highlander. All. Day. Long. I drove about three hours of the trip, and I had a lot of time to think about life and be introspective - something that doesn't happy too much with a baby and a toddler. Truly, our lives are madness. I have a full time job in marketing, a part time job with my little shop and my husband is about to embark on 9 months of being a geo-bachelor. 

^^^ the noisemaker


Around 1 PM or so, we had crossed the ferry from NY through to VT, and our boys settled down for their naps, leaving us with some silence in the car, again - rare. 

I love my life. I love the chaos, but I also love the silence. Before Spencer was born, I loved to drive in my little Civic, blaring my music and going [slightly] above the speed limit. Since having children, any time I can have absolute silence in my car, I take it. The same goes for my house, for that matter. Once the kids are asleep and the house is silent, I can take a breath and find my center again.

And then I realize I'm old! I've become my mother! I love my quiet, simple moments, and that's okay. 

This isn't an exciting post, or anything really that important, really, but it was something that really stood out for me during the drive. And, this evening, when I was able to get my little babies in bed again, I felt like I had to write it - if only to come back and reflect upon it later.

goal-getter: november

I've seen these posts floating around some of my favorite blogs lately, and I think it's a fantastic idea! I have so many goals, that I really want to put them out into the universe - if only to hold myself accountable. I think I'm going to do these monthly. It's my hope that by doing so, I can look at them on paper (or the screen), and see them daily - reminding myself of what I'd like to accomplish. So, without further ado, I have a few goals for the remainder of November.

^^^ image via

1. Lose 3 lbs - I've been on Weight Watchers since Porter was born, and I've been slacking. It's time to buckle down and really work at it again. I lost 20+ lbs after Spencer, and I want to do so again - healthily.

2. Finish the DIY shoe rack - This has been on my list for almost a year. It looks like we're going to have some decent weather the next few days, so here's hoping I can get it done and off my plate (finally.) And yes, I'll share pictures.

3. Run 14 times - My running has been sporadic at best the past few months. Since our daycare closed, we've had only part-time care, and it's been hard to find a new routine. I need to make running a priority again.

4. Get Ryan to do a blog again - I always beg that poor husband of mine to blog here, but I think it's fun to see his perspective, and with his deployment coming, we have some fun ideas of deployment diaries here, so I'd like to give him some face time on here again.

5. Plan Spencer's second birthday party - We didn't really do a real birthday party for Spencer last year, and we're not doing anything huge this year, but I'd like to do something with Color Crew from Baby First TV - if only asking a dear friend to help make a cake!

6. Schedule our temple sealing - For those friends who are Mormon, you'll understand the importance of this. Ryan and I are hoping to finally be sealed before he deploys, and it's about darn time. Here's hoping we can get this in the books!

I think that's enough for now, but I'm hoping I can accomplish some of these by the end of the month. Fingers crossed! What goals do you have for the latter half of this month?

the age of separateness

Spencer is nearly two years old, guys. 

I'm not quite sure how or when we got here, but here we are - less than a month from his second birthday. Lately, his little red-headed temper has been rearing its crazy little head and sending both Ryan and myself reeling. It hasn't been easy at all and, in fact, it's been downright difficult to get through to him. It seems these past few days we've made some strides into better understanding, but it's going to be quite the journey, I'm sure. 

There's a book that Mr. Rogers (our hero) wrote called "Mister Rogers Talks with Parents," and it details a lot of his thoughts about childhood and discipline. I think this book and this video have really helped me get through the last few weeks because it emphasized the fact that Spencer is not trying to be bad. He's trying to become his own little person.


I think it's so healthy for Spencer to express himself, but it's my job as a parent to set the limits, nurture the good and channel the bad into better outlets. He's doing the best to exert his own will, and I need to find ways for him to express it in a good way.

One of the main things I've learned the past few weeks is that Spencer really requires structure and normalcy. He does well with a pattern, and he likes to be heard. I've been doing my best to stick to a good routine full of ways for him to get energy out and really be creative. I've learned that he loves building blocks, playing with crayons and markers (thank God for washable ones), and I'v been learning to relax the rules a little and let him make noise, bang on things and jump around.


He needs to move his body, flex his muscles (and his will), and I need to be okay with that. Limits are good, and I need to set healthy, reasonable limits and not limit his creativity or stifle his wonder at the world around him. Mr. Rogers makes it very clear that children thrive when they know there are limits, so they can bump up against them and really learn where they are.

Parenting is no joke, friends! It's hard work, but I sure do love that little red-headed man. 

What sort of things have you learned about your child/toddler? Do they do well with routine? What sort of discipline works for you?

thank you

^^^ image via

I don't have a lot to say today, but I want to say this to our veterans today: thank you. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to live the lives we lead today. Thank you for bravely taking your sacrifices in stride and for serving dutifully and faithfully. Thank you for your tireless commitment to keeping our liberties at the forefront of your minds. Thank you so very, very much for your service.

Our country has disappointed me the past couple days in the wake of this election - less about the outcome and more about our collective reaction. To those burning flags in protest of our president-elect: I implore you to, instead, thank a veteran for giving you the freedom to do so.

Regardless of who you voted for, or your own personal convictions, the outcome has been determined, and it's our duty as Americans to stand strong, as ever. Make the changes you wish to see in the world around you and effect your own changes. That is how you can honor your military members.

And so, veterans - and to my own husband, my favorite veteran of all, thank you. Thank you for all you do, and please know how grateful I am for all of your service, dedication and hard work.

what's happening wednesday

I absolutely refuse to post anything political because it is so very, very volatile, but I want to say that I believe in America, Americans and the chance for us to rebuild our nation again. And with that, I'm mostly just glad this darn election is over! But onto important things, really…Today, I'm linking up over at Jessi's Design for What's Hap"pinning" Wednesday to share what's new with the Moores!


Porter Dean is 5 months old today! This little boy is not really all that little. He's 25.5 inches long, 15 lbs and wears 6-9 month clothing easily. He was sleeping through the night, but he's started pooing in the middle of the night, which has started a wakeup a night again. He's a quiet, mellow little man who's really only vocal when hungry or tired. He thinks his brother is the greatest thing since sliced bread, loves to be held or worn and plays for hours on end in the exersaucer. He's done so well with sleep training that I'm a really proud mama. Also, he's completely weaned - which has turned out to be a  great blessing for both my mental health and his physical health.


Spencer Bruce is less than a month from 2 years old. He's entered what Mr. Rogers called "the age of separateness," and it's been a trying month or so around here. He's such a good boy, but he has such a strong will, and while that's a good thing, the tantrums are not. Disciplining him has been hard, and he needs 100% consistency, which is even harder because Army life is not consistent at all. 


Ryan's deployment orders are in. I can't say exactly when or where he's going because of OPSEC rules, but he is going, and he's leaving pretty soon. My heart hurts thinking about it, but I want to make him proud and know that I will do everything in my power to hold down this little fort of ours. Winter will be the hard part, but I'll make sure our last summer here at Fort Drum is one for the books, if it's the last thing I do!


Black River Boutique is doing quite well, and I just love sewing my new holiday prints! My very first show is this weekend in Chaumont, so I'm hoping to just have a fun, exciting day sharing my goods with the locals. Here's hoping it goes well!

What's new with you?

5 on friday: fall back

Daylight savings sucks. I think I can firmly say that, having grown up on the East coast. I forgot how much I hated it while I lived in Arizona. Now that we're lose every ounce of daylight at 4 PM starting this weekend, I remember why I loathed it so much. Plus, it's hard to keep kiddos indoors and entertained because it looks like midnight outside. I digress. I'm linking up with A. Liz Adventures and Meet @ the Barre to discuss things I don't actually hate.

1. Boys - Spencer is all boy lately. His daycare provider, Jenny, sent me a picture of him yesterday just oogling over a worm that emerged because of all the rain. It made me laugh myself silly because it's just so him. Bugs, creepy-crawlies, spider (shudder)...all of it. He loves it. In fact, Ryan ended a tantrum the other day by pointing out a wayward bug on our ceiling. Best husband ever.



2. Black River Boutique - Guys, I entered my first craft fair/show! It's next Saturday, November 12, and it's a benefit for the Chaumont Fire Department, so I'm pretty excited. It's the first time I'll ever have my Black River Boutique goods on hand in public to sell. Am I nervous? Heck yes. But with pretty prints like these on hand, I'll have fun showing them off! As an aside, I'm having a little sale right now with 15% off your total purchase using code: GIVEALITTLE


3. Meal Planning - Ryan and I were doing so well with both dieting and our budget before Porter was born. Then it went to chaos, and all we wanted was to eat and buy all the things. This week, I buckled down on meal planning to get our grocery bill under control, and I'm excited! I followed this plan right here, and there are some tasty options!

4. The Crown - It's on Netflix today! I can't wait to start this series with Ryan. I've been waiting for this forever, and we've been in a show hole too long.

^^^ image via

5. Oma's Visit - Where do I even start with this one? Oma visited last weekend, and she was the most welcome addition to our home in ages! I need to do a full post because Oma has a special bond with Spencer, and the two of them were thick as thieves. I'm so grateful I'll have her and my father while Ryan's deployed. There will be lots of trips in NH.

halloween 2016

I'm a few days late here...so what? Happy November, friends! I can't believe how quickly time is flying right now, and I can only assume it's because I actually want it to slow down. Halloween this year was so special for us though because this was the first time that Spencer went trick or treating! You may remember that I said I was going to make my boys' costumes this year. With the sudden onset of being sick, I didn't, and I readily bought their costumes instead. New philosophy: when my kids can tell me what they want to be, I'll make their costumes :)

And so, this year, Spencer was a tiger, and Porter was a pumpkin. And it was awesome.




Our sweet neighbor kindly took that first photo of Spencer and I at our first house, where he proudly walked up the front steps and gently rapped on the door saying "kick kick, kick kick." Translation: knock knock. When she answered, he very seriously and without the hint of a smile said "tick or teat." Proudest mama moment ever. 

We went up and down the street together, and he roared at the passer-bys who all swooned because, well, he's adorable, and we got him a whole bag of candy. I let him pick a piece for along the way, and he picked a lollipop, which he enjoyed all night long. 

We discovered we live in Halloween mecca, and we had almost 200 trick or treaters, went through 8 lbs of candy, and we actually had to give most of Spencer's haul away, too, before we turned off our lights and called it quits for the day. (Don't worry - we saved him some of the good stuff.)

Basically, it was perfect. Porter stayed home with Ryan and answered the door with him and Danny in his pumpkin costume, and we loved every second of it. It's like the seasons have come full circle now, and it's so special to experience them from the adult side now.

burrville cider mill

Before I even start this post, I just want to say that I thought these pictures were lost for good, and my heart was broken. We went a few weeks ago in the beginning of October, and when I went to upload my pictures, my computer crashed - after I'd deleted the memory card on my camera - because I thought they were safe on my comp. Today, they miraculously appeared in the cloud, even though I didn't save them there, and I'm so, so excited to have them back because they're such precious memories.

The Burrville Cider Mill is a staple here in Northern NY, and it only sells local apples from the North country. Their homemade cider and cider donuts are amazing, and they have the most beautiful waterfall right behind the shop, which makes it the perfect family outing for pictures! Plus, they press cider two days a week, and it's so fun for the kiddos to watch.








It's become so very real to me the last few weeks that this is our second to last fall here in New York, and while I don't love New York, I absolutely love this season here. There's something so amazing about the leaves turning, the smell of fall and the change in the weather to the crisp, cool air. It's really incomparable. Ryan will be coming back from his deployment near fall-ish time next year, and I hope we can get one more family trip to the Burrville Cider Mill because these are memories I hold so dear.

Also, you really can't beat the cider donuts. Go here. Go twice. Keep eating :)