Friday, February 28, 2014

In Other News (January/February Style)

Despite the blistering cold and steady snow, January and February kept us a great mix of busy and relaxed by the fire.  We brought in the New Year with a relaxing evening at home, played more Innebandy - Swedish floor hockey - the next day, built and raced Pinewood Derby cars.  Wyatt did awesome and will be going to Districts.  We did a ritualistic sock burning.  Don't even ask.  Basically Kody had a hard time parting with his favorite but well worn, many holes socks.  We had a celebration, set them on fire and said goodbye.  I went with my friend to a Brantley Gilbert-country music- concert.  As a Cub Scout Pack we toured the local news station.  Just weeks after the roof collapsed in on part of the building because of too much snow.  Glad we weren't there then.  I got to babysit my friend's baby.  It was sweet having a baby in the house after so many years without one.  We participated in the kid's Valentine's Day parties after our own breakfast of heart pancakes.    We also learned at said party that Kody's New Year's resolution is to save more money. That's my kid - proud Mama moment.  And we tried to channel our inner spring by making a fruit pizza.  If the news report is anything to go by it didn't work.  Never a dull moment around here. 




Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Winter, Winter...Where are you?

Pennsylvania can be a mixed bag when it comes to winter. 
 You never know what you will get and when you will get it.
 But this year hasn't disappointed.
 Since December we have had a reasonable snow fall pretty much every week. 
And every couple weeks a substantial snowfall.
Enough to burrow, sled, build and play for hours on end.
I haven't heard a single person ask, "Winter, where are you?"

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Dear Dad,
It's interesting how sometimes things work out in ways you couldn't have anticipated.  I guess no one really ever imagines that their parents will get divorced when they are young, that they will grow up virtually not knowing their father and wondering what their relationship would have been like had things been different. 
It's interesting to find old pictures of you when you were younger and see you as a man and not my father.  I can't help but wonder what you were like and wishing I would have known you then and wishing I could know you now.
But I guess that's the bittersweet thing about time.  It keeps moving on and marching forward.  It may be finite in this life but I know that after it will continue on.  And this tenuous and fragile relationship we are building now, filled with the hope of continued forgiveness, it can continue to grow.  And it will.  Because we matter to each other.
I hope that on this, your 80th birthday, you realize that despite the distance that we may still be bridging, I love you with the deepest love a daughter can have for her dad.
Love, Mary

P.S.  Look at those guns.  I guess it is inevitable that your kids are freakishly strong with genetics like that.

Friday, February 14, 2014


My boys turned 10, only two days apart at the end of January. 
So there was a lot of celebrating there for a couple days
and I was good and done with sweet treats after
the chocolate peanut butter cake and ice cream cake. 
And they both love sweets a lot, but after that the similarities end. 
But each boy is amazing in his own way. 
Wyatt is kind and smart and quick with a hug. 
Jay is enthusiastic and funny and hard working. 
They each make me happy beyond belief and
fill me with lots of smiles and giggles with the things they say and do. 
Love you boys!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Turks and Caicos

We went to Grand Turk.  The island is 1.5 miles by 7 miles.  Travis and I covered most of it, half walking for several hours and the other part via "cab".  The beautiful beaches will speak for themselves just wait for the pictures.  And the water was the clearest and bluest - hands down.  The many reefs and visible corals and fish were awesome.  Along the beaches are natural sponges, shells and sea life galore.  The resort area of Margaritaville is paradise for tourists.  That being said, I'm not your typical tourist. 

I like to get in it and see the people and how they live.  The people are poor and the homes are run down mostly by too many tropical storms and hurricanes.  Staying fixed up is too expensive and too often of a recurring experience., that they don't even try anymore.  Real estate is cheap, but apparently next to impossible to off load if and when the time ever comes.  The island is so small and most of it not meant for American consumerism.  That being said there are wild horses and apparently if you can catch them, you own them.  Proof was when we saw a man selling tours to couples to ride the horses through the surf.  Not a single one of the three of them: husband, wife, or tour guide seemed to have a bit of horse handling experience among them.  It was very comical for Travis and I to watch though. 

My best advice is if you are a resort vacationer, definitely give it a try.  The beaches are well worth it and the big resorts are amazing.  If you are a wanderer, there are better place to go explore.
I hope you had as much fun reading about our vacation as I did reliving it by writing it down.  If not that's okay too, because I had enough fun actually going on it for all of us! 

Love you, Travis.  Thanks for working so hard and taking me. Happy Birthday and Anniversary combined.  To more years of us!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

USA, USA, USA - Puerto Rico

So suffice it to say my favorite stops on our cruise were American affiliated if not owned locations.  And by far the best stop was Puerto Rico.  I love, loved it.  No words to describe how amazing, even though I have tried to think of many.  I already have plans to return, I know a week will hardly be enough.  I can't wait to take the kids.  So what was so great about it...well I'm glad you asked, because I could spend quite a bit of time, but here are the highlights....some of which I saw and some I didn't.
  • Only national rainforest in the US is in Puerto Rico - El Yunque
  • Many state rainforests/jungles
  • Awesome beaches
  • Bioluminescent Bays
  • Large cities like San Juan with all your normal city stuff including theaters, museams, restaurants, parks, etc...
  • Great architecture and colorful buildings
  • Amazing history to the island - basically the first island where fresh water was found in the Carribean (lots fought over the land)
  • Historic San Juan with its forts, stone walls, and spikes
  • the people
  • American amenities
  • Tons of awesome tours, Seriously tons...
  • Basically the juxtaposition between the old and new, poor and wealthy, city and country, foreign and familiar-it has a little bit of everything for everyone.
So I'll leave you to the pictures and your own opinions...A-MAZ-ING