Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Looking at new houses is exhausting–skipping through lovely rooms imagining your life in them (with newer, cooler furnishings, of course), walking down 900 foot piers and seeing your boat at the end…

In all seriousness, though, it’s been a whirlwind four days, and I don’t think G or I have been able to process any of it properly.  We have seen five houses–all in the same general area, all waterfront.  But aside from those two things, these houses could not have been more different from one another.

We saw…

a cedar contemporary, a Victorian, a sprawling ranch, a cottage, and a neo-German design.

Or you could say we saw…

three on a river, one on a creek, and one at the mouth of the bay.

You could also categorize them by size…

from 2200 sq ft to 4300 sq ft

…or by lot…

from .16 acre to 26.6 acres.

Or you could think of them by each of their most unique features…

the wide view, the tree house setting, the unbelievable pier, the incredible charm, the perfect spot.

After all this, we’ve narrowed it down to two– two houses tempting enough to lure us away from our current home.  And while we’re far from decided–on the houses, on whether to sell, on whether all this (waves hands around in a wild circle) is worth it right now–it sure is fun to dream about life on the water.

As for the littlest monkey, her concerns were taken into serious consideration at each house.  But after eating out three (three!?!) nights in a row to accommodate our hectic schedule, she is not only exhausted, but she thinks life is pretty awesome these days.  She likes the nearby deliciousness of each of the houses.

Monday was Mexico–one of the top two houses in our running is just 3 miles away from Mexico.  Dangerous and delicious.

Tonight was Skippers.  Sadly, we really, really loved the home nearby (and thoughts of crab feasts surely danced in our heads), but this house was for a couple, and not a family.  There was not even space for a bathtub for Nell in either of the bathrooms.  Surprisingly, we were the first person (out of many, many showings) to mention that to the Realtor.

Disappointed that the house was a no-go and Skippers will not be on our everyday menu, but it sure was a nice treat tonight!


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Life is unexpected.  It’s spontaneous.

We’ve been tossing around a lot of ideas lately — ideas for the house here, ideas for the house in Pennsylvania.  Finally, in a spell of wonderful decisiveness, we decided to finish the backyard project and save the other stuff for another day.

On Saturday, the three of us piled into trucky and headed to a sod farm to get, well, sod.  We’ve given up on growing grass, folks.  After five years of bald spots and thin green pretenders, we decided to just buy the look of lawn.  We’re no strangers to sod–we used it at the last house, and it worked marvelously.

Nellie enjoyed watching the sod get loaded into the truck.

We’ve only gotten about half the yard done — we need one more truckload.  But it looks AMAZING.  I’ll post when it’s all done.  You can hardly recognize our yard — it looks so lush!

On the way home from the sod farm, as we crossed over the river, we passed a white sign, hand-painted with red paint.

“Waterfront. For sale by owner. Call …”


On Sunday, Nellie, G, and I started our weeklong celebration of Father’s Day with brunch at the resort.  After loading up on eggs, meats (<– mostly G), homemade donuts, and other deliciousness, we walked around the pier and enjoyed the sunshine.  It has changed so much since our wedding four years ago, but it was actually Nellie’s first time down there.

After walking around, we took a visit to see a waterfront property on the river.


I don’t know what the next couple days or weeks or months might bring.  After seeing the property on Sunday, we took a look at listings in the area, and picked a few more that caught our eye.  We saw one today, and we will see one more each on Tuesday and Wednesday.  And that’s all we have planned.  We might find our next dream home — the waterfront we can’t pass up — in that time; or we might decide we love this house too much to even consider moving.

Either way, this week has been an unexpected diversion this summer–a path we didn’t expect to take.

But, that’s usually what happens when you turn off the road at a hand-painted sign.

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Guess who’s big enough to go grocery shopping like a big girl?

This girl.

I think grocery shopping is her new favorite thing ever.  After shopping at Nordstrom, of course.

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It’s popping up everywhere around here — evidence of sunshine and long days and lazy, happy afternoons.

It’s appearing in the form of swimming pools catching afternoon warmth on the front stones…

(And I don’t think this is actually a spot for beer bottles, but it does seem like this pool was kinda made with Mama in mind, too, no?)

…and dogs spread out in the sunshine, imagining they’re best friends so long as the deck is hot

…and pink swings hanging from the bottom deck, catching the afternoon shade that the pool is ignoring.

Even our meals are embracing summer, as tomatoes from the top deck find their way into roasted eggplant and lamb and mint meatballs.

(Kid LOVES lamb meatballs.)

Last summer was incredibly special — I was pregnant, and we were counting down the weeks before Nellie’s arrival.  This summer, magically, means even more.  It hasn’t officially begun, and already it’s spreading its warm charm around our house.

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Goodbye to May

Before I launch full-speed into summer, I need to close out May with my final set of pictures from our trip to Florida.  These aren’t in any particular order, nor is there a theme, but several of these are trip favorites, and none of them could be left out.

Nellie discovered her love of little scooters. No matter where you set her down, she would find her way to this toy and wait for you to get her on board and push her in circles around the living room.

(As you can see, dogs in Florida love Nell just as much as dogs in Maryland.)

This kid is going to be a roller coaster dynamo. She loved being pushed around the living room in super fast loops, and in the water, she loved nothing more than to be flung around the pool in her float in fast, whipping circles. Luckily, her daddy was more than happy to play the role of water ride operator.

This is pure baby delight:

Nellie thinks squeaky toys on pools are awesome.  G agrees.

Life can’t be scooter rides and water sports all the time, however. Sometimes a baby just has to relax with her Gramma.

I’ve never seen Nellie so tired as she was after her trips around the pool.  She would fall asleep in my arms just minutes after being scooped up and wrapped in a towel.

Happy family.

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June bug

In California, we have june bugs–metallic green scarab beetles that emerge every summer and feast on fresh fruit.  Blissfully, in Maryland, we have no such thing.  But we do have Nellie–a messy little monkey who goes through just about as much fruit as the beetles.

It’s June, and the sun has responded with a nod to summer this weekend.  The weather on Saturday was perfect for the annual lab rescue dog walk.  Lucy was in her element, and Nellie breathed in the fresh air and the sea air and slept for the entire walk (but thoroughly enjoyed hanging out beforehand, and eating out afterwards).

We arrived early, as we always do, and set up camp under one of the tents that was vendorless at the time.  To our delight, that particular vendor never showed, so we had a private cabana on the park.  It was a lucky thing, too; while G, Nellie, and I were happy to sit in the sunshine and enjoy things like goldfish crackers and fruits, Lucy tugged her leash just long enough to find a spot in the shade.

G and I took the afternoon off and let Nellie dogsit, which was nice.

Lucy, as per usual, liked the pool portion of the walk way better than the walk portion of the walk. You’d expect all the labs would jump into the water, but no–just Lucy.  She claimed the pink pool.  She subsequently claimed the blue pool.

I’m not sure whether it was the walk, the swim, or just being an only dog for the day, but Lucy was one happy pup.

Nellie was…still asleep in her stroller.

We spent some time by the water before finding a spot for lunch (that accommodated babies and dogs–not an easy feat!).

Lucy approved of the day. And then she rode home in the front seat of trucky, ready to brag to the other two.

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This was actually going to be the last post in my Florida vacay series.  It was the last evening of the trip, as well as the last set of pictures I took on the trip, and also I think that everything is better when it ends with cake.

But it’s Friday (and Fridays go well with cake), and more importantly, it’s K’s birthday.  And since we can’t be in NY tonight to eat cake with her, I thought I would send pictures of babies eating cake and maybe that would be just as good.

The cake we were eating was actually in honor of Mikhail’s ONE YEAR BIRTHDAY.  (I think that means our babies are getting old…sigh…)  His birthday is just one week away, and Gramma and Pappa celebrated on our last night in Florida with a surprise smash cake–his first!

And since Mikhail is a generous boy (and the cake was larger than anticipated), it was a dueling smash cake festivus with each baby facing off in a who-can-smash-better cake contest.

It’s a good time to note that Nellie lost.  Badly.  She gave a small taste to the frosting, but wasn’t too impressed.  She didn’t even get any frosting on her pretty new outfit.  On the other side of the deliciousness spectrum, Mikhail eventually was so covered in frosting that he resembled the Hulk.

It’s fortunate that Nellie has two months left to practice before her real smash cake experience–this was a poor showing by the monkey.

But the entire event, which G caught on video, was hilarious.  Cake not only makes everything better–but it makes kids even cuter.

As you can see, Nellie thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  She just didn’t find it nearly as delicious as her cousin did.

~ Day 5 of posts from our trip to Florida. They might go in order, they might not.  They might be themed, they might not. They will all be adorable. ~

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