Tag Archives: vacation

Hotel weekend

Last Christmas Tom won a two night stay at Aloft hotel in Ballentyne. In our usual fashion, we left the gift certificate sitting in a dresser drawer until two weeks before the expiration date.  I called Aloft and thankfully they let us extend the expiration date until we could go in January.  

We decided to take the kids with us to the hotel on Friday night and then Tom and I would stay without the kids on Saturday night. Aloft was a fabulous hotel with a pool and the friendliest and most helpful staff. We truly enjoyed our stay and the kids loved it. 

The kids swam in the pool Friday night, Saturday morning by 8:00am they were down there again, and then they retuned two more times that afternoon.  Well worth the stay. 

Friday night we took the kids out for dinner at Red Robin. There I realized that we never take the kids out for dinner, and the reason why. It cost us over $70 to feed five people dinner, dessert and two beers for Tom and I. We can’t afford to do that very often. It was a special treat.  

 Saturday night we sent the kids to my parents’ house for the night.  The first thing I did was take a nap (which was desperately needed) and then I went out for Indian food with Tom. 

The funniest part of our date night was when Tom and I were trying to decide what to do after dinner. We discussed whether we wanted to go out or go back to the hotel room to watch football, read and sleep…is was only at 9:00 at night. Our conversation went something like this….

Tom -what do you want to do now?

Me- I don’t know. I feel like we should do something fun. 

Tom -why?  The hotel can be fun 

Me – I don’t know. I feel like we should be out doing something fun and different just because we can….even though I really just want to go back to the hotel. 

Tom – you know, tonight I am just hoping to get some rest. 

Me – Should we each sleep in our own double bed? Lol 

Our priorities have changed over the years. We are no longer out to prove something or have the night of our lives.  We just want to relax, have a good meal and get a decent night’s sleep.  We ended up going to the hotel room, watching tv and I fell asleep by 10:00, even after having a two hour nap that afternoon….and I slept in one bed while tom slept in the other one. It was great!!  I can’t wait to have another “stay In a Charlotte hotel”  weekend. I realized that we don’t have to go out of town to get away, we just need a hotel with a pool and a babysitter.  

Here are the kids enjoying their hotel experience…


First day of Christmas Break

I have been looking forward to Christmas vacation ever since Thanksgiving break ended. I have two full weeks with no preschool, no lunches to pack and no 6:30am alarm. Very exciting!!   

My first day vacation was just as I had envisioned it….almost. I slept in until 7:30am (not bad).  Of course, I hadn’t imagined all five of us sleeping in the same bed together, which we did. It was a bit crowded but nice at the same time. 

I let the kids watch tv while I planned out what we were going to eat for the next week. I decided that Christmas break would be a great time to gather recipes and ditch some of the processed food that we have been eating. I even made muffins today. They were delicious (Except faith and wilson would not eat them, of course).

Then Faith and I had some quality girl time together painting our nails and doing my hair.  

 She even squeezed me into one of her bigger dresses. Haha. No picture of that one. 

I painted even painted with Miller and cleaned up a bit – all before 2:00pm.  A full day. The rest of the day was spent sitting in traffic and waiting in lines at Walmart and the post office. Yuck! That was a bit stressful and gave me anxiety. Tomorrow I think I will leave out the last minute shopping and just enjoy another quiet day at home. Ahhhh….vacation. 

Home again….

I would have to say that the hardest part about going on vacation is coming home.  The return home has been bitter sweet.  It is so good to be around the kids again and I can tell that they are very excited to be home.  It is also very obvious that Faith missed her brothers.  They have been playing together non-stop.  During the trip with Faith, Tom and I would look at each other and comment how easy it would be to have only one child (but not wishing that we only had one).  As soon as put all three kids in the car they started singing loudly and poking at each other.  We had to laugh, shake our heads,  and say, “I love having our three, loud kids.  This is our life.”  We wouldn’t trade having three kids for anything in the world.  They make us laugh daily and are so sweet to each other.

The bad part about being home is that life goes back to normal:  waking up early and making the kids breakfast, doing laundry, constantly cleaning up dirt and doing dishes.  There are so many mornings that I feel like the “Time to Make the Doughnuts” guy.  I probably look like him each morning as I drag myself into the kitchen to pour cereal into bowls and make chocolate milk in a Cars cup for Wilson.  Although life is redundant and laborious, I get to laugh and smile many times throughout the day and that it makes it all worth it.

Some recent laughs are:

Faith used her hair chalk to color Wilson’s hair green.  They were dressing up as fairies.  Unfortunately, she did it on his very wet hair which made his scalp also green.  Even after swimming in the pool for three hours yesterday it is still bright green.  He doesn’t seem to mind.

Then the kids sat out by the street having a lemonade stand.  There aren’t took my cars that pass our house. After about thirty minutes, the garbage truck drove by. The man hanging off the back had his buddy stop the truck. They both bought a glass of lemonade and a strawberry. Afterward the kids were so excited because they earned a dollar and talked to a real live garbage man (in a kid’s world that is very cool and exciting)!

Today they dressed up like a princess, Spider-Man and Miller was a cheerleader. Then they jumped on the couch and sang a song. I put the video on Facebook.

The life of a mom isn’t the most glamorous job, but it full of wonderful memories.  I am glad that I get to see the little things that the kids enjoy and make them laugh. I am also glad I have the privilege of staying home with them. Time is flying by faster than I want it to and I have to remind myself daily to enjoy all of these moments because before too long they will be gone. If I could freeze time and not let them grow up anymore I would.

Ocean Isle, NC

beach4 beach3 beach 2 At the last minute, we were very blessed to be offered a friend’s beach house for the weekend.  We decided to leave straight from Wilson’s birthday party on Saturday and not to come back until Monday night.  It was just what our family needed:  a little time together to relax and have some fun.

We arrived in Ocean Isle, NC around dinner time.  We convinced the kids to wait until the next morning to hit the beach.  Because it is October, the air was a little chilly and windy but the water was warm enough for the kids to splash around.  I, however, had no intention of getting in that chilly water!

The next morning the kids jumped right into the water.  They collected shells and played in the sand.  Miller wasn’t too fond of the water, but one of his favorite activities is playing in the sand.  It was great fun!  The kids finally got too cold and we headed back to the house to take baths.  This was a routine that we would do four times in two days:  Beach – play in the ocean – get cold- take a bath.

A few blocks from the house there was a great playground with a sandy bottom.  We visited it twice.  Once right before dusk, but there was a giant streetlight there that allowed us to stay after dark.  Once again…perfect!

We played at the beach, played at the playground, watched TV in bed, watched the boats go by from the deck of the house, and played with some of Wilson’s new birthday gifts.  Faith even got to eat her favorite meal:  shrimp.  I was able to read a little bit and watch one of my favorite shows since we had cable at the beach (and we don’t at home).  Tom worked most of the day Monday while we played, but at least he was near us and he got to watch an entire football game on Saturday which never happens at home.  All in all, a very successful and relaxing family vacation.



First day of my vacation

Today is the first day of my four day trip to Connecticut. I am flying there so that I can attend my friend, Kristen’s, 40th birthday party. She doesn’t live there currently but it is where she grew up. Her mom is throwing her the party. I have known Kristen since 1995. She and I worked together at our first jobs out of college….making peanuts (not literally). :)

Going on vacation away from the kids is always So bitter sweet. I am sad when I leave them, and they are sad when I leave. Faith had the hardest time separating this morning. After I leave them I feel guilty that I am going somewhere without them to have some fun. I then feel guilty because I am purposefully going somewhere to have fun without them. Then I wonder if I am being selfish and fear that something bad will happen while I am gone: either to me or to them. Arrgghhhhh! How am I supposed to relax and enjoy myself with all of that going on in my head?!? “Mommy Guilt” is a very real and powerful thing.

So far, I am only at the airport. I won’t reach my destination until 5:00pm. Kristen is picking me up at the White Plains, NY airport and we will drive another hour from there.

All guilt aside, I am enjoying myself. I have taken a nap, looked at some beautiful art in the Atlanta airport, and began reading a book that I hadn’t finished since my last vacation in February. So far, so good. The trip will get much more interesting In a few hours. I always say that you could put me in an airplane, fly around for a few hours, and then drop me back home and I would consider that a great vacation. :).

Colorado. Day 1

It is amazing how much I enjoy relaxing when I am forced to relax. I can’t relax at home. There is always too many things that I think need to be done: laundry, meals, cleaning, sleeping, etc. Today I was forced to sit on an airplane for almost five hours. I slept, started a book, read an entire DIY magazine, and began typing this blog post. I loved it! I was even blessed with an entire row to myself. I actually laid down across all three seats and took a nap. How fabulous it that?!?

Am now reading the book “Cutting For Stone” by Abraham Verghese. I have wanted to read this book for years but never bothered to get it. Now I have the perfect opportunity. Embarrassingly enough, I had to look up the definition of over five words within the first ten pages. I could have read it without the meaning of the word, but why not? I am on vacation! This just proves that I need to read more often and sharpen the brain daily. I feel smarter for just reading those ten pages. At this pace, I doubt I will finish it in five days. Hahahaha.

Kari’s flight was delayed two hours so I had to hang out in the airport another two ours. Originally this caused me major anxiety! I was ready to get the hell out of the airport! I decided that I needed food and a beer…..it helped.

I am actually still sitting here in the bar. The salad was mediocre at best, but the beer and the conversation with the random man next to me was entertaining.

The one lesson I learned today was this: get a direct flight!!