5 on friday: farewell september

You guys! It's the final Friday of September! That means this weekend starts Ryan's homecoming month! As I've mentioned before, I can't share actual dates or times because of OPSEC, but the countdown is finally really on! I know that's a whole lot of exclamation points, but I swear that's how I feel right now. Today, I'm linking up for 5 on Friday with Smidge of This.

1 // My neighbors are moving, and I'm heartbroken. There's officially a "sale pending" sign on their lawn, and I winced a little when I saw it. Jo Ann and Mike have been surrogate parents to us since moving to Fort Drum, and though they're just moving an hour and a half away to Lake Oneida, it won't be the same! On the flip side though, Nana (that's what Spence calls her) has been smothering the boys with love lately, and they just eat it up. That's Spence up there on the tractor the other day with Nana - his happy place.

2 // I made myself a magnolia wreath the other day! You may remember I made some fall wreaths the other day, and I've really wanted a magnolia wreath for the house for a while. Mission accomplished! Now I just need to make some more! If you're interested in buying something similar, look here.

3 // The cooler weather finally hit NNY! It's been averaging about 62 during the day here right now, and last night hit 39. I'm relishing the cooler weather, and I love the fall breeze that's finally in the air. Bring on all the warm drinks!

4 // We have a brigade spouse's Dining In on October 12th, and I have no idea what to wear. I'm thinking of renting from Rent the Runway again, since the theme is Little Black Dress with a touch of witch and wizard's attire. What do you think? Yay or nay?

5 // I updated my freelance website the other day, and I'm pretty pleased with myself! It looks quite spiffy, and I'm hoping it will pull in some more work because, while I have a great career, I'm so desperate for new writing projects! PSA - if you know of anyone looking for a contract copywriter or editor! Let them know I'm free ;)

Have a great weekend, wonderful friends!

thoughts on volunteerism

The past few weeks have been super busy. And tiring. And stressful. Honestly, they've worn me down a little bit, and it was a little disappointing. Some backstory...I volunteered to be the FRG leader for my husband's unit, as the commander is unmarried, and he asked if I'd be willing to do so. Nobody else stepped up, so I finally agreed with one condition - I have a coleader. Luckily, I have the most amazing coleader imaginable, who has helped me through the ups and downs of this deployment time and again. She's literally the best.

A few weeks ago though, I got a text from one of the wives saying that "it's about time I step up and do the position I volunteered for." After taking a breath, I politely informed her that I was doing the best I could, I have been there for every family who has asked for help, and that if she had any complaints, to please meet me in person. She said I misunderstood her text, and I brushed it off. All was well...until she asked to meet for coffee. Perhaps I'm an idiot because I didn't think anything of it until she railroaded me in person with all of our "failures," telling me that she's never met someone who had more excuses than I, or someone who played the victim as much. I walked out. I found out later that it was being posted to Facebook.

Deciding enough was enough, I spoke to my husband and the commander and said I wanted to step down. Both said I was more than welcome to do so, but that they didn't think it was necessary. Upon urging from the commander, I gave him the name of the spouse in question, and I don't know the end result, but I learned that a lot of the spouses actually do care, and people have come out of the woodwork to support my coleader and my efforts. Honestly, the whole thing has been so trying, and I'm mentally burned out of the FRG, but I'll finish out this deployment and never volunteer for this position again.

Needless to say though, that's why I've been absent. I've been trying to wrap my head around just why so many women feel the need to tear other women down. We should be building each other up! Especially as military spouses, we should be there for each other without any need for recognition of our efforts. Ugh. Anyhoo. Rant over.

In good news, there's this:

T-minus 10 days until race day...more on that tomorrow :) 

brunching with the best of them

This post is a hot minute overdue, but let's be honest. When my kids got sick and everything went haywire, life took precedent, and rightfully so. But today, I wanted to highlight my new favorite brunch spot here in northern NY because I swear I'm having dreams about those dishes, and I seriously can't wait to go back and bring Ryan.

The weekend of the 18.12 Challenge, my mother came to town to watch the boys, and we headed out to Sackets Harbor for race packet pickup. We knew it would be a busy morning getting our packets at 11 AM, so we decided to try out one of the more renown brunch hotspots here in the Fort Drum area, Tin Pan Galley. I'd heard that the wait times could be excessive, so we decided to leave home around 8:45, guaranteeing we'd be there shortly after it opened - and we were. The wait time was already 45 minutes though, so we took a peek around (read: we walked for 45 minutes to make room for all the foods.)

You guys, it was totally worth the wait. Now, you might remember that I recently said my favorite brunch was at Tug Hill Vineyards, and I'll admit, their Bloody Mary was bomb. This one though? It totally trumped it (minus the blue cheese olive...I missed that.) The food was delicious and well worth the wait. Both boys at blueberry pancakes, and I got their BLT Benedict special with avocado, and it was divine. Also, I'm picky about my coffee, and theirs was great, and they weren't shy on the refills, which was perfect. 

If you're ever in northern NY and looking for a spot to brunch, seriously, Tin Pan Galley doesn't disappoint. Be ready to wait, but trust me when I say that the goods are well worth every salivating second of that wait.

once upon a weekend

The days are ticking away quickly now, and though we're in an impossible heat wave, we're doing our best to enjoy these dog days of...fall? But seriously. I'm less than 3 weeks out from the Chicago Marathon, we're less than two months until Ryan comes home (I won't be advertising exact dates), and we are going to be busy, busy, busy these coming weeks. So, this weekend, we did our best to enjoy what we have around us here in NNY, starting with a day at the Theresa Fall Festival, and our very last Blizzard Barn treats of the season!

These little men have been having a bit of a hard time lately. There have been a lot of feelings in the Moore household, and I think it might be, in large part, because they're confused about Daddy's absence. I've made a point throughout this deployment to avoid too much talk about Daddy being gone because Spencer seems to dwell on it, and he gets really confused. He's told me more than once that Daddy lives at "Daddy's house" now, and that's "very far away." 

Now that we're getting closer to the end of this deployment though, we've been able to Facetime Ryan a bit more, and I think it's confusing Spencer a little bit. He was really upset both yesterday morning and this morning when Daddy couldn't talk on the phone, and dropping him off at daycare was especially awful today. Deployments with little ones are no joke, friends. These kiddos bear the brunt of it.

But, I digress. We did our best to remain distracted this weekend, so Sunday we went back to Old McDonald's Farm in Sackets Harbor, and the boys had a blast again. Despite the fact that it was 85 degrees yesterday, we did our best to get out there and soak up the sun because the next few weekends are going to be fast! We'll be in NJ next weekend, then we're just two weeks from Chicago!
It's about to get crazy around here very quickly! I hope you all had wonderful weekends :)

I'm linking up today with B Loved Boston for Weekending.

i'm feeling fall

Is the title of this blog accurate? Yes and no. I'm starting to finally feel a bit more in the fall kind of mood, but this weather certainly isn't! It's almost 80 again here today, so the fall vibe is not strong here in the North Country. Regardless, the deeper we descend into the season, the more I crave the fall feeling, and I've been seriously getting my craft on lately.

I've always been the type of person that absolutely needs a creative outlet. That's why I started Black River Boutique. However, I closed my little mama & baby shop for quite a few reasons - not the least of which is how heavily the baby goods market is regulated. I loved the products and the goods, but it's something I'd rather simply gift to friends than try to sell. It's very daunting otherwise.

I mentioned last week that I desperately wanted to make a wreath, but that my craft gene was eluding me. Well, I finally succeeded, and I made a little wreath for our back door. And then the craziest thing happened...I realized I wasn't absolutely awful at making wreaths...(I know...insert shocked emoji here).

And, what's more, I found that it was seriously relieving my stress taking the time to clip faux florals, arrange them around grapevines and make something new from nothing each time. Honestly, I've had a lot of fun doing it. Some are better than others, but I find myself challenging myself more and more. And now, scary enough, I'm pondering selling my creations, or attempting to do so. But I'm not sure whether I dare.

I have about six floating around my house with no home though right now, so maybe I should...

Do you love to do crafts, as well, to relieve stress? What sort of crafts do you do?

appledale orchards

This past weekend actually felt like fall. The days didn't get out of the mid-60s, and the boys and I were ready to soak up some of the last sun of the season after being so sick lately. On Saturday, we decided to head down to Appledale Orchards in Mexico, NY in search of the first apples of the season, and it was heaven! It's about an hour drive from us, so I knew that the boys would likely be doing nap time in the car on the way home. Planning on that, we left home around 9:30 and got there before the crowds.

Available for picking this past weekend were both Macintosh and Gala apples - neither of which are my favorites - but will make for some great applesauce (more on that later this week). Spencer was a little more interested in picking the apples than Porter, but both had a blast sampling mama's apples and placing them in my bag. We made our way down quite a few rows and picked some juice red ones, as well as some slightly green ones because they're more tart. Am I the only person that only loves the tart ones?

We left with a whole bushel-full, and we made our way over to the market next door where we bought some apple wine, some gummies for the boys, and we shared a fresh cider donut. There's something about fresh cider donuts that just screams fall (and delicious).

On Sunday, the boys and I took advantage of our zoo membership to Thompson Park Zoo again and got to see the animals bright and early. The boys could have spent all day watching the otters play, and frankly, I could have, too! It was a blast.

I was talking to Ryan about it this weekend, and I realized that as hard as this deployment has been, the boys and I have seen more of northern NY this past summer than we have in our entire 3 years here. It's not that it's really any easier packing the boys up to go on an excursion. It's just that it's worth it. We feel better when we get out and do stuff together, and that makes all the difference.

I'm linking up today with B Loved Boston for Weekending.

mini memos [3]

It's Thursday again, which means it's time for some more mini memos! Throughout any given day, I think of these little letters to myself and things around me, and I finally started putting them down on paper. And thus - "mini memos" was born. This is a little ode to life lately over here, and it's fun to look back and see those fleeting moments that flash through my mind.

Dear crafting...why do you elude me so? I'm doing my best to be crafty with all these fun ideas I have, but I swear that the crafting gene just didn't quite stick with me.

Dear Spencer...we've turned a corner with potty training (via bribery), and I literally have no shame about it. If you want a few skittles for peeing on the pot. Have at it, my boy. I shall give you ALL the skittles.

Dear crockpot...why is it that I fall in love with you again every fall? Between hot ciders, pot roasts, pulled pork and more, we're destined to a busy duo this fall and winter.

Dear Bitmoji...I finally caved and made my own bitmoji because carpe diem and all that. Now I don't know why I did it or what to do with it.

Dear running...thank you for giving me an outlet for all my crazy deployment rage. I just wish you'd let up on my hip a little. This marathon is coming up fast.

Dear cold sunsets...you remind me that summer is coming to a close, and while you're beautiful, you kind of make me sad.

Dear Ryan...I can't wait until you're finally at the South site again! I need me some wifi and face time with my husband again!


And now it's your turn...
Link up your own mini memos here!

currently: the end-of-summer edition

^^^ the view from my kayak this past weekend in Forestport, NY

I have mixed things about fall here this year. Don't get me wrong...fall will always be my favorite season, but it's just that it never really felt like much of a summer here. Plus, I have this feeling that winter this year is going to be brutal, so I'm not quite itching for the leaves to fall just yet. That said, we've definitely started feeling that definitive chill in the air, and with it getting darker earlier than ever, I know summer is coming to a close.

But, that also means we're almost ready for Ryan to come home, and that makes it all worth it! For now though, the Moore family is currently....

Loving: Cooler evenings means more fun playing outside, blowing bubbles and racing around the backyard together.

Watching: I'm still finishing The Vampire Diaries. I'm on season 7, and I must finish it soon! I'm also watching The Last Ship, which is finally back on. For the boys, they now love Mickey Mouse and Puppy Dog Pals.

Reading: I'm actually reading The Total Money Makeover (again), and gearing up for some serious getting-down-to-business budgeting when Ryan comes home.

Hoping: That our soldiers come home sooner than anticipated, but not too soon...I have to finish my marathon first!

Savoring: We have our mulling spices hot cider simmering in the crockpot, and I can't wait to take that first sip of fall. 

Attempting: To get better at writing down my to-do lists first thing in the morning. Right now, I wait too long, and then I'm all flustered by the time I do it.

Feeling: Excited for the Chicago Marathon - just barely over a month away! All my hard work has led to this, and I can't wait to officially be a marathoner.

Planning: Honestly, all my planning is going into the FRG right now. I can't wait until I'm no longer the FRG leader, but for now, we're planning the Dining Out, plus the homecoming, plus gift baskets and more. Yikes.


Just a reminder that tomorrow is a mini memos linkup! If you'd like to participate, we'd love to have you!

let's catch up

Last week started like any other week. My mom (Oma) was heading out of town, and I was ready to tackle a week of training after the 18.12 Challenge. But Spencer hadn't been feeling well all weekend, and he seemed worse than ever on Monday morning, so I took him to the doctor. Within a couple hours, Spencer was admitted to Samaritan in Watertown - not at all what I'd expected to happen. When we got to the doctor, his pulse ox was dangerously low - 81 - and after a dose of prednisone and two nebulizer treatments, they could only get it up to 86. And so, we were sent to the hospital.

We spent two days and nights there, and we left with the knowledge that Spencer now has asthma, and any time he has a cold, or the weather changes, he's prone to an asthma attack. We have a rescue inhaler, a nebulizer and prednisone to combat these things, but yikes. What an ordeal. Oh, and while Spencer was in the hospital in Watertown, Porter had to go to the hospital in Syracuse for further testing. 

It was a really awful week. I kept trying to find time to blog, but computers were the last thing on my mind when my babies were unwell, obviously.

^^^ picture one was at the doctor...picture two was the second day in the hospital

But now, we're all home and healthy, and now we get to play catchup since it's officially September...what?! I finished my 18.12 Challenge right before life went crazy last week, and it's seriously one of my biggest accomplishments to date! I felt amazing during it. Emily and I went out slow - around an 11:09 pace - but right at about mile 9, I started feeling the urge to move a bit faster, so I decided to listen to my body and did it. I ran the entire thing. That's a feat in and of itself.

The biggest feat though is that I did it in 3:16:27 - a whole 16 minutes faster than my 18-mile training run. It was a fantastic course, and there were aid stations every 1.5 miles, which made it even more bearable. The weather was great, though it started getting hot at the end, and I'm thrilled that I had the chance to do this race in NY. If you're a runner, and you're ever around for the event...do it! You won't be disappointed.

And, though my sweet Spence looks so sick in this picture, I have to share it because he was so excited to see me cross the finish line. He'd been having issues all weekend before his hospital stay - including his eyes swelling shut - but my gosh, I sure do love my boys, and I love that they get to watch mama run! I love that I get to teach them by example.