Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekend Recap - Bringing My Babies Home From Camp

Good Monday morning afternoon, friends! I can't complain about being back at work today since it's a 4-day work week for me... we leave Friday morning for vacation / Ryan's baseball tournament so I'm off from work all next week too and I'm pretty damn happy about that!

This past weekend got started early for me as I left Maine Thursday after work to go pick up Ryan at his baseball camp out in Pennsylvania. He goes to camp at Little League headquarters out in Williamsport where they have the Little League World Series. It's an absolutely beautiful place... long drive from here, but totally worth it once you get there! Ryan had actually called me Wednesday night to tell me that he'd made the camp's all-star team and asked if I could get there for the all-star game Thursday night. It broke my heart to tell him that I couldn't get there in time... I can probably count on one hand the number of 'things' I've missed so to not be there for this totally crushed me. Out of all the kids at camp, they select 2 teams to face off in an all-star game the last night of camp at one of the big stadiums with all the other campers and coaches watching from the stands. It was a big deal for him and he's still talking about it days later. Luckily, I have an old co-worker (from Disney World back in 1998!) whose son happened to be there the same week and she went to watch the all-star game and snapped a few pictures for me... thank God for Facebook!...
The 8-hour drive was actually good... the open road and some good music is always therapeutic for me so I didn't mind the drive one bit. I got to my hotel just after 1am and then was back up early to get to the complex for Ryan's Friday morning game. I love just sitting there with my coffee watching him play ball at these gorgeous facilities and knowing in that just a few short weeks there will be teams from all over the world there battling it out for the World Series. Not really a more perfect place if you're a fan of youth baseball... 
Ryan pitching
(Well, there may be one more perfect place... and we're headed there on Friday! More on that to come!)

After his game and after we toured the Little League museum, we hit the road to head home. Our 8-hour drive turned into an 11-hour drive with the traffic and a little detour we took but again, I didn't mind it one bit. 11 hours just sitting in the car and talking with Ryan was absolutely perfect... we talked about so much in those 11 hours, just simple moments but they were all so perfect. I was so happy to be back with my boy after a week apart!

Saturday morning I got to hit the road first thing to go pick up Emily at camp after being away from her for two weeks! These two weeks were definitely easier than last year's two weeks since she's been at camp before and I know how much she loves it. But two weeks are still two weeks and that's a long time to be away from one of your kids so I was more than ready to bring her home! Her, though? Not so much. I barely got a 'hi' when I pulled up to her cabin... she was just not ready to leave. Neither were a lot of the other girls. There were lots of tears all around camp and it broke my heart to see so many girls crying and just not ready to leave their friends for another 50 weeks.
Emily w/ her counselor
As tough as it is for these girls to leave, I know how incredibly lucky they are to have each other and to have such a special place that's so hard to leave.

Needless to say, I was so happy to have both of my babies home! We spent the rest of Saturday at baseball for Ryan and then at a friends house for a cookout and pool time. Throw in some unpacking from camp, chores around the house, and a couple of naps, and you have our weekend. These next few days will go by quick as we get ready to head out of town again!

How was your weekend... are you busy with lots of summer plans too?


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Giveaway - #TracktheTank

Image Map I'm sticking with the weight loss / health theme for my post again today and this time it's for a super fun giveaway! Candra and Tia came up with this great idea and a bunch of other bloggers joined in...

I wasn't kidding when I said it was a bunch! Candra and Tia purchased a workout tank and sent it off on a little adventure. All of the ladies listed above have their own healthy journey that they're working on (in some fashion) and we all want to help motivate YOU! We're each getting the tank shipped to us, signing it with an inspirational message, and taking a picture to track the journey. We're all taking different pictures of the tank.. some selfies, some pictures of our kids with it, some pictures showing the route, etc. I snapped a few pictures here on the Maine coast, where I live, so you could see how far east the tank traveled...
(Those spots on the tank are just raindrops!)
Once the tank has reached all of the ladies we'll give it away to one lucky winner, along with whatever other goodies we may have thrown in the bag! Something to keep you inspired, something that reminds you that you're not alone on this journey, and something that lets you know we're all here supporting you 100%!

To go along with the journey of the tank we want to know what motivates you. What's your reason to stay healthy, be in shape, and what makes you keep showing up and trying again even though you've failed over and over?

I could list a million reasons of why I want to lose weight and continue on this healthy path that I'm on right now. There are so many things I could tell you that go through my head as I'm prepping meals or reaching for my water bottle or stepping on my scale. But those millions of reasons all boil down to one thing...
This girl. Me. I want to be healthy and happy to live the life that this girl is supposed to, to be the type of mother that I want to be, to travel the world and see the sights, to be kind and happy everyday, and live my life the exact way that I want. Being overweight affects every single one of those things and so much more. So that's what motivates me. The little things, all of them, all add up to one single reason... to be the exact person that I'm supposed to be

Now that I'm done with the tank I've shipped it off to New Jersey! Keep up with the tank as it travels by visiting the ladies above and don't forget to enter after the tank is finished it's travels!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday - Guest Posting for Ash...

It's that time of the week again, friends... Weigh-In Wednesday with myself, Heather and Ash! Today I'm pulling double-duty... my Weigh-In Wednesday post is actually over at Ash's Right Direction since she's away on vacation up in my neck of the woods!

I'm actually pretty excited and motivated this week in my journey... I haven't been making the progress lately like I should be, but with my kids being away at summer camp right now I've had a few solid days to concentrate on myself. Crazy concept, right?! It's really helped get me back on track and I'm looking forward to the days / weeks / months ahead and getting rid of this extra weight!

I even actually weighed in this week... imagine that, I actually stepped on the scale for a 'Weigh-In' post?! Another crazy concept right there! That's something I hadn't done in almost a month but I'm happy to report that the scale was down 3.8 lbs. Is that a solid month's worth of hard work and eating clean? Of course not. But I'll certainly take it and I'm excited to see where I am at this time next week. And next month and the month after that.

Head on over to Ash's blog to read my actual post instead of just my rambling here... hopefully there are people out there who can relate and need the support just like I do!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday - Cooking for One

Next week I'm faced with something pretty new to me... cooking for one. I know that probably sounds silly but I'm so used to cooking for my family of three that I'm really not even sure how to scale back to cook for just myself. My kids will both be out of town at summer camp and this whole 'not needing to be in 1,000 places every single day' might be a shock to my system. I'll be able to focus on myself and truthfully, that's long overdue. As moms we always seem to focus on our kids and recently I haven't found that balance where I not only take care of them, but take care of myself too. So next week I'll be able to really just 'reboot' in that area and I'm looking forward to it.

I'll be working a lot but I'll also be focusing on my fitness and healthy eating, which I'm looking really forward to as well. I'm heading to the Farmer's Market in my town this weekend (thanks to Chrissy for reminding me!) to stock up on fresh, local fruits veggies which will give me plenty of options for cooking and snacking.

If you're used to cooking for one and have any tips to share, I'd love to hear them! Any recipes that you enjoy making and are simple to make a small batch of? Or do you cook one big meal and eat leftovers for days? I'm not sure what my best option will be so I'd love to hear your tips!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Camp Has Arrived!

Last year was Emily's first year going away to summer camp and now looking back I realize how brave she really was. It was easy(ish) for me to send her off to camp. Sure, I missed her like crazy, but I also knew what summer camp was all about, that it would be so good for her, that she'd make new lifelong friends, and that she'd be making some of the best memories of her childhood. But when I think back to last year from her perspective, going into that first summer camp experience looks totally different. Aside from seeing pictures online and me telling her what it would be like, she really had no idea what those two weeks would hold. She had just turned 9 years old, didn't know a single person at this new, strange place, yet she bravely took the leap anyways. I'm so proud of her for doing that and really glad that she lived by the motto that we always talk about... letting your faith be bigger than your fears. By doing that, Emily had two perfectly awesome weeks filled with exactly the things you imagine when you think of old school summer camp. In a nutshell, it was perfect.

Her time at camp may have only been 2 weeks out of the year but we both quickly learned that camp is much bigger than just those 2 weeks. Over the last year camp stories were never far from her mind, I'd often notice her on camp's website looking at pictures, every so often she'd dig out her camp songbook and start singing, and when we had a chance to head to camp for "Snow Day" she absolutely insisted that we make the trek. Camp just isn't about those 2 weeks in the summer anymore, it's simply a part of who she is. 

As camp got closer and closer this year, Emily's excitement level grew and grew. She did 90% of her own packing and was basically bouncing off the walls waiting for this past Saturday to get here. When the day arrived, it turned out to be all that we both could have hoped for.

We packed up the car and got ready to hit the road...
After dropping Ryan off at his game, we grabbed lunch and hit the road. Emily would have been at camp at the crack of dawn if it was allowed but since the first session was just ending that morning, check-in wasn't until the middle of the afternoon. Of course she wanted to be one of the first ones there so, after a drive of non-stop chatter and excitement, we got there just before 1:30. There were about 15 cars already lined up on the road waiting to get into the parking lot.
The hour between when they let you into the parking lot (1:30) and when they let you into camp (2:30) might just be my absolute favorite. That hour is full of so much excitement. Girls incredibly happy to be back at a place they love so much and then sheer joy when they spot a familiar face of one of their best friends who they haven't seen since they left camp 50 weeks ago. If you're wise enough as a parent to be still in that moment and just enjoy the sights and sounds, it's truly magical. I remember being in that exact same spot last year and watching all these girls scream when they see a favorite face and then almost knock their friends down from running so hard to greet them. I remember what a beautiful sight it was and I remember thinking 'next year that will be Emily'... and it was... 
One of Emily's best camp friends from last year found her almost immediately and they were so happy to see each other! As the hour passed, more and more camp friends found them and it was so nice to just sit back and watch them get reacquainted. Hugs and laughs and stories and the excitement of "hurry up and open the gates!"... it's all so special to sit back and soak in.

At 2:30 we got Emily's cabin assignment and drove up the hill and through the woods to her cabin. She met her counselor (also named Emily), drew her bunk #, and proceeded to unpack her stuff and make her bed. She was still floating from all the excitement... just truly happy to be back and basking in the excitement in the air. She chatted with her cabin mates as they all arrived, one by one, and then she and I went for a walk down to the waterfront.
As we headed back to her cabin she asked "when are you leaving?" in a tone that made it clear she was ready for me to go. Hearing those words made me so happy. To know that my girl was in a place where she felt safe and loved, where she was ready to be on her own and grow... it just made me really, really proud of her. We walked back to the cabin and as she and her friends grabbed their cameras to walk around and take pictures, she looked at me and said "you can go now"... and I knew she was absolutely fine. I knew she was ready get close to her new friends and closer to her old friends, I knew she was ready to look up to her counselor, and I knew that she was ready to make amazing memories of her childhood that will have her coming back to camp every summer. 

As I walked back to my car and drove out of camp, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. For this place that my daughter feels so safe and loved, that she considers to be a second home. For this place where she's free to be independent and grow, make her own decisions, and be exactly the person she wants to be. For the other girls making their own memories who are intertwined with Emily's memories and for the counselors who are amazing role models and give the young girls someone to look up to. And most importantly, for my baby girl who is so brave and so outgoing, and who completely gets what summer camp is all about. 


Monday, July 7, 2014

4th of July Weekend Recap

You're probably about to read the only post in all of blogland today that isn't covered in red, white, and blue photos from the weekend. It's not that I'm unpatriotic... I do love me some 4th of July... but this year it was full of rain for us so it turned into a quiet day at home instead of friends, the beach, and fireworks. And I'm ok with that.

Aside from watching TV, cleaning, napping, and last minute packing for Emily's camp, we had a "cook-in" since we couldn't have a cookout because of the weather. Because nothing says 4th of July like some hamburgers and hot dogs...
It was definitely not diet-friendly but who pays attention to their diet on 4th of July?! Not me.

Saturday we got the car all loaded up and brought Ryan to his baseball game before heading off to camp. His team was playing in their all-stars bracket championship so it was a huge game. If they won they would advance to the district championship, if they lost they would be done for the season. Spoiler alert: they won! (Tonight they play for the district championship.)
Since I had to get Emily to camp, I was only able to watch the boys warm-up but thankfully fellow moms kept me posted throughout the game.

Camp? Well that's an afternoon that deserves it's own blog post so you'll have to wait until tomorrow to read how drop-off went!

When I got back Saturday night there were two more baseball games to watch (friends, former teammates, and future opponents), and a late dinner with friends.
Chatting w/ a former coach whose team they'll face for the district championship
Sunday funday was in full effect this week! There was baseball practice, of course, and there was also a little education mixed in (we took the boys to tour replicas of the NiƱa and Pinta), lunch out on the water, some friends and some swimming... perfect summer day!
Fish tacos
Now it's Monday and back to work was especially tough since this is the only full week this month that I'll have to work. First world problems, I know. Next week I have Friday off because I'll be picking Ryan up from camp in Pennsylvania and the following Friday we begin our vacation! I can't wait... for the vacation itself and to unwind from life for a while. Much needed

I hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend!

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