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 :)

5 on friday: almost halloween

I can't believe we're already almost at the end of October. This month has been flying - probably because we've been non-stop busy around here. Between Ryan being stuck at Mountain Peak, the boys being sick for the past couple weeks and work and my shop blowing up, it's been madness. I wish I could say it will settle down soon, but I know it won't with the deployment coming up. So, it's time for another Friday five, and I'm linking up with A. Liz Adventures and Meet @ the Barre.

1. Halloween Costumes - I haven't finished the boys' costumes yet, but I promise I'll take lots of pictures! My mom is coming this evening, and I expect we'll have them finished by late tonight for the battalion Trunk or Treat event on the airfield. I've been waiting to DIY Halloween costumes for my kids forever…here's hoping they turn out as well as I want them to!

2. Winter is Coming - Yesterday. the boys and I took our early morning walk around Black River with Danny, and it was evident that winter is coming. There's a definite chill in the air, and before I knew it, we had snow coming down mid-afternoon! It's all gone now, but if that's a sign of things to come, we're in for a treat this year.

3. Holiday Goods for the Shop - My premium prints for the holidays came in this past week, and I gave a little sneak peek of what's to come for Black River Boutique! I'll be featuring everything from kinky-backed organic throw pillows, to pom bibs, to snowflake/cloud plushies and more. Everything is releasing on November 4th (next Friday!)

4. Nike + Training Club - Now that my kiddos are [mostly] better, I was able to finally get a few workouts in this week. I try to get at least 2-3 runs in a week, but for those days like today where time is limited, I've found this app is my go-to. I love that there are different workouts for everything from strength, to core, to cardio and beyond.

^^^ image via

5. Family Time - It's such a precious commodity these days. I talk about it all the time, but Ryan's deploying soon, and our new normal will have to kick in. I'm not looking forward to it, but it's the reality of Army life. So, we're doing our best to plan family time, trips around these parts and more. And, we have Spencer's second birthday party to plan! Ahhh!

little germ bags

Pardon the severe lack of posts the last few days, friends. My sweet little boys, aka the germ bags, managed to get all the sicknesses they could possibly get...all at once...while Ryan is off for Mountain Peak. Last week, I got a call on Friday that Spencer had a high fever at daycare, so I went and picked him up to take him to urgent care. His fever was hovering right around 106, so they immediately packed him in ice and did a throat culture. Diagnosis? Strep throat. They prescribed amoxicillin, and we went on our merry way.

That night, Spencer's temperature peaked again around 104, and this mama took her two boys to the ER. They gave Spencer fluid and motrin, got his temperature under control, and we got to go home.

Then, on Saturday, Porter's already painful-looking diaper rash went from bad to worse. He, too, had a little fever, and his rash had started bleeding. We'd been treating it with prescription Nystatin for a yeast infection, but it was only getting worse. So, back to urgent care we went. Turns out that his yeast diaper rash was now a strep infection on his bum. Who knew? They gave us oral amoxicillin and a new diaper rash cream. 

On Sunday Porter woke with a full-body rash...back to urgent care. Porter's allergic to penicillin. So, they immediately stop amoxicillin and give us a strong steroid cream for his butt...to the tune of $600. Thank God for health insurance, even though the copay was still $50. But, he was getting better, and that was that. Right? 


Sunday afternoon, Spencer woke up after nap time with deep, bruise-like circles under his eyes. Honestly, it looked like he was abused. I gave him some Benadryl on the recommendation of our nurse neighbor and my brother-in-law, and it looked a little better. Both boys went right to sleep, and this mama was singing the praises of her ability to fight her kids' illnesses.

Until yesterday. Spencer woke up with super swollen eyes. Off to the doctor we went, yet again. The doctor's answer was simple...he had no clue. He told us to "stay the course" with his meds and take a urine sample to bring in today. And, miraculously, Spencer woke with zero swelling today. Miracle cure? I don't know, but I'm taking it.

Through it all though, both my boys were champions, managing smiles through their discomfort, and I'm so grateful for that. Mostly though, I'm grateful my little germ bags are finally feeling better. :)

10 elements of crazy

The past couple weeks have been harder than usual…probably just because of the sheer anticipating of Mountain Peak here at Fort Drum. For those wondering what it is, check out the Fort Drum Facebook page. For Army Aviation, it's a massive air assault training/combined training exercise (CTE) for all the soldiers on the airfield. It's designed to simulate the stress of deployment, and for the spouse's part, I think it pretty much does. 

^^^ doggy play dates and spencer's happy place

Two kids under two years old is no joke, people! The top ten highlights of the craziness are as follows:

1 // Porter developed the world's worst rash this weekend. I didn't know little boys could get yeast infections…now I do.

2 // Danny has had a few little slip-ups, and she's still super nervous. I can only imagine the hell she went through before finding home here. She needs routine doggy playdates, too.

3 // The weather is bipolar. Last week it was in the 50's. Today it's supposed to reach 76.

4 // Spencer now goes poo on the potty, but you have to read his signs. He tells us without telling us…namely by whining. Try to differentiate toddler whines from toddler poopy whines.

5 // If you forget your husband has unhooked the air conditioning vent from the window (they're portable because it's an old house) and you run it, the room will overheat drastically.

6 // Babies will poop in towels if left unattended for more than two minutes to grab more diapers.

7 // It is entirely possible to go to Target for diaper remedies and leave with $200+ worth of stuff. (Sorry, Ryan!)

8 // Sometimes eating comes second, and by the time you realize you haven't eaten, it's 7:45, the kids are asleep, and you don't want to cook…so you make popcorn and eat ice cream.

9 // Sidebar…eating ice cream and popcorn will not make you feel better about anything in the long run. Weight Watchers commenced again yesterday.

10 // All the crazy is worth it. Even my own.

On the plus side of all of this is that the bad luck we seemed to be experiencing turned. In one week, my toddler painted with poop, my laptop died, our garage door broke and our freezer/fridge was on the fritz. I cleaned the room, my laptop was repaired for less than anticipated, our garage door was fixed, and our freezer repaired itself. So, despite seriously melting down then, I'm feeling moderately more sane.

That doesn't mean I'm not ready for Ryan to come home from CTE :)

here we go...

Just like that big, lonely leaf up there, today marks day one of two weeks without Ryan. 

It sounds silly because, in the grand scheme of things, it's just two weeks. But, with his deployment looming about 3 months away, plus the business of the season to come, the reality of it all is just sinking in. Ryan has something called CTE, or Mountain Peak, the next two weeks. He'll be on the airfield, but they won't be allowed to come home. It's meant to simulate the stress of deployment, but it's a little silly, if you ask me.

Since taking over the FRG leader bit, I've been working hard to make sure we do right by our soldiers, mostly because I know the deployment will be hard. I want to be involved and get things done, and mostly, I want to be as involved as possible to stay closer to Ryan.

We're bringing them meals throughout CTE, but it won't be the same. Our bed is big and lonely. After the kiddos go to sleep, there's no fun conversation with my best friend. It's crappy, frankly, but I'm so proud of him. I know how exhausted he is, and I know that this is so hard on him, and yet he takes it in stride.

So, here we go…two weeks without Ryan, alone with two littles. I have lots of fall activities planned with the kiddos, and I'm hoping that, at the very least, I can show myself I can do this. Let's get this done!

weekends in ny

On Saturday, we did something crazy. We skipped nap time. I know…we're crazy. Actually, we were pretty much regretting it last night on the way home from our day trip, but it was such a fun reason! We decided to go with our neighbors to see the Clarkson women's hockey team play against St. Lawrence University in Potsdam, NY. It's about an hour from where we live, and we all decided to make a day of it, leaving around 11, doing lunch, then the game, then home. 

I'm a really big fan of hockey (go Flyers), so I though this would be a fun outing for the whole family, and it really was! Spencer was a champ through the whole game until we got to the car. He crashed, and he crashed hard, but he woke up about a half hour from home, as did Porter, and the two of them wailed the rest of the drive back. Regardless, I'm reflecting on the good moments because they really were good!

It was a rainy day, so it was nice to get out of the house. We haven't really ventured out too much in NY yet, and it was really fun to see Potsdam and the little college town that it is up close and personal. Ryan's deployment is about 3 months away now, so we're trying to cram in all the excitement and adventure before that. Once he's back, we'll have orders to our next station, so we might as well enjoy NY while we can!

Having two children and attempting to still have a life outside of the home isn't easy. It's not for the weak, and I'm so grateful to have Ryan with me through it - even when we're both losing it together. And, truthfully, going to the game was worth all the crazy, all the tears and all the madness on the way home because these are the little moments with my family that I'm going to remember.

five on a much-needed friday

I've never been more excited for a Friday in my whole life. Friends, it's been a week. Truly and honestly, this week has tested me in every single way possible. I sound like such a mopey person when I say that, but truly, everything has been very overwhelming this week. I'm prone to anxiety and depression, and all those waves of emotion flooded me in every way possible this week. I'm so grateful for all your sweet words and encouragement on my last post though. Today, I'm linking up with A. Liz Adventures and Meet @ the Barre.

I'm thrilled to have a Friday and a four-day weekend with Ryan, and I'm really working to turn my perspective on this trying season around. So, in the spirit of keeping myself sane and remembering the good, rather than the crazy, I'm posting five things that are making me happy and keeping me going this week.

1. From the Ground Up by Dan + Shay - This song brought me to tears this week reminding me that, yes, there are going to be some really, really hard weeks, but we're in this together. Through it all.

2. This Boy - Spencer is such a toddler these days, and it seems like he's going full speed ahead 99% of the time. That other 1% though is reserved for sweet moments with mama, and when he takes the time to stop and give me a hug, you'd better believe I cherish it.

3. Danny-Dog - I'm such a contradictory person. Danny is simultaneously the sweetest and most annoying little blessing in our lives right now. She's wonderful. She has the absolute best disposition, and I'm so glad we have her. I've found myself frustrated by the love she's needed from me, as well as the reassurance, but I'm reminding myself that sweet animals return that love tenfold.

4. Crap TV - Ryan's schedule has been garbage lately, and while it's been awful missing him and knowing how hard he's working, I've been getting some really good TV binges in. Up now? The Originals. Up next? The Returned.

^^^image via

5. DIY Halloween Decor - I'm ambitious, but I'd like to tackle some Halloween decor for our front door this year. There's something about it that just feeds that creative need I have. I'm thinking along the lines simple, clean and chic.

^^^image via

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! We're heading to Potsdam for a hockey game with some friends this weekend, so here's hoping for some fun and relaxation.

today I may very well lose my mind

I often find that blogs are painted in beautiful rainbow hues. We show the pretty, but we don't always share the nitty gritty. Today (and this week, for that matter), my life is chaos, and I'm pretty sure I'm losing it. This is how my day started.

6:00 AM - Wake up, start working from my laptop from bed.
6:50 AM - Walk Danny for the first time - get her to pee, neighbor's dogs escape and start running towards us, so we head home.
7:05 AM - Go to wake Spencer, and smell the stench of poo before I open the door.
7:06 AM - Open to door to find my son covered in dry poo, as well as his bed sheets, the wall, the crib...everything.
7:08 AM - Put Spencer in the shower and let him soak the actual sh*t off his body.
7:09 AM - Leave Spencer in the shower and go wake Porter, who has also pooped himself.
7:10 AM - Clean Porter and change him for the day.
7:12 AM - Fish Spencer out of the shower (commence screaming), dry him, change him and give him breakfast downstairs in front of the TV because I'm a great mom.
7:15 AM - Finish stripping Spencer's bed, start the washer and head back downstairs to find a forlorn dog on the couch, cheerios all over the rug and a happy toddler.
7:20 AM - Hear beeping in the kitchen and go to investigate. 
7:21 AM - Discover the fridge and freezer aren't working. Attempts to remedy the situation fail.
7:25 AM - First big cry of the day. Panic. Poop, broken appliances, dust bunnies, no workouts, and a sad dog are too much.
7:45 AM - Realize we don't have formula in the house. Bundle the kids to take to their new sitter since ours was fired two weeks ago, and head out to get formula early.
8:00 AM - Put an even sadder dog back in her crate as we head to the store to buy both a dog run and formula...because our poor dog can't be trusted off a leash and she needs more time outside, and I have no more hands.
8:30 AM - Finish getting the goods at the store and take the kids to their sitter.
8:45 AM - Finally head home to clean the rest of the poop, shower and have another good cry.

My life is such madness right now that I'm having a hard time finding my center. Ryan's barely home because of work and the impending deployment, and they start 24 hour ops next week, so he'll literally be gone an entire two weeks then, too.

Honestly, it all seems a little bit too much right now, I haven't worked out in a week, and I'm basically losing my ever-loving mind. I know that this season of life is difficult right now, but it really seems like an insurmountable task, too. I'm just hoping that we find some sense of balance sooner than later because it's a little bit too much. 

call us crazy

We decided recently that our lives weren't busy enough, so we've been in the market to add a dog to our family. Our conditions were simple...sweet dog, medium to large size, mutt, rescue and great with children and cats. We also knew we didn't want a puppy. We searched for a couple months and visited our favorite rescue, Helping Hounds in Syracuse several times to no avail.

But this past weekend we visited NJ and family to celebrate Rosh Hashanah (no, we aren't Jewish), and we decided to stop through just one more time before taking a break from the search. It was love at first sight.

This is Danny Moore, and we love her to pieces. More to come soon :)