Lake of the Woods 2015

August 20th, 2015

My parents lake house/future retirement house is pretty awesome. I mean, it’s no beach mansion, but it does have boats, a swim platform AND grandparents, which completely makes up for the lake of bathrooms. Not that there are NO bathrooms. There just aren’t 9 bathrooms. But it’s ok, since we taught the kids they can just pee in the lake.

Please don’t judge me for, well, any of this. Lincoln loves everything about the water, he was always in a life jacket when he was on boats/tubes and we didn’t go fast if we were towing him. We’ll wait until he’s at least 3 before we make him try water skiing.

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Fun Stuff To Do: Cirque Eloize iD at Foxwoods

August 19th, 2015

I was lucky enough to be invited to a blogger workshop with the Cirque Eloize iD cast as well as an evening at Foxwoods to see the show. All opinions are my own and they didn’t make me promise to write nice stuff (or anything at all, actually). 

We live really, really close to Foxwoods which happens to be the biggest casino in the whole country. It’s less than 20 minutes from our door to their’s and less than 10 minutes from that lake where we have the summer membership, although it feels like it’s on a different planet. It means we get a lot of cool shows and concerts only a few minutes from our house rather than having to drive an hour to a “real” city. They also have a California Pizza Kitchen, an arcade and they do fun stuff like set up an ice skating rink in the winter, so even with kids we go to Foxwoods pretty regularly.

Last Friday, E and I left the kids with some very helpful friends and went to the Fox Theater for what I was told was a “blogger workshop” with the cast of Cirque Eloize. It turns out by “blogger workshop” they meant “get right up there on the stage” and “take as many pictures as you want!” and “do you want me to balance on that chair again so you can get a better video?” and even “sure, come jump on our high-powered trampoline!”

I kept wondering if I had forgotten to sign a liability waiver at some point, because surely they don’t just let people do stuff like this?

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This was one of my fellow bloggers who made the mistake of saying she wanted to volunteer:

And THIS is the CEO of Foxwoods, who came down to welcome us and said he had personally asked Cirque to come after seeing their show in Canada.


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The show is called Cirque Eloize iD and it’s a combination of contemporary circus meets b-boy hip-hop (so very So You Think You Can Dance) meets West Side Story. That doesn’t sound like it makes much sense, but it absolutely does.

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I cannot believe I just posted pictures of myself jumping on a trampoline on the internet, but how often in real life do you get to jump on a super high-powered trampoline? It was so much fun. I’ve definitely added “trampoline” to my list of things in my dream home.

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Their trampoline tricks were just SLIGHTLY more impressive than ours:


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In theory I know how to juggle, because I read Juggling For Dummies as a teenager. But juggling bean bags in my basement 16 years ago didn’t do much to prepare me for the stage. I think I did better than most people though (and by most people I mean my husband). Embarrassing video evidence:

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The cast couldn’t have been nicer or more friendly to all of us. Considering they do 8 incredibly hard, physically demanding shows a week I was so impressed they were willing to take time out of their schedule to hang out with us and tolerate our questions. Did you know there’s a huge kid circus program in Minnesota? The only American in the cast was from St. Paul and said he got started just by going to a circus camp when he was seven. Most of the rest of the cast member we met were either French or French Canadian. Did you know you can go to circus college and get an actual four-year degree in circus? I’m pretty sure if I knew that was an option I would have signed up immediately – although the guy who did the bike tricks told us he actually has a degree in marketing.

After the workshop, E and I actually had time to pick up the kids and leave them with a second babysitter (because 3 kids is a lot of kids to leave with someone for 8 hours) and then come back for the BEST sushi we’ve ever had. Every single thing at Red Lantern was delicious, but if you go I forbid you to leave without trying the lobster rangoon and the ronin sushi roll.

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Pirate Punch OBVIOUSLY comes in a pirate themed cup.

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Mine was a sake sangria, because I can’t have sushi without sake but I am a 33 year old mother of 3 and doing straight sake shots is just a really poor choice.

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Dessert was a caramel banana bread pudding. E told me we couldn’t have dessert or we would be late for the show, but how can you not order caramel banana bread pudding? He fully admits he was incorrect and it would have been a crime not to eat this.

There’s a no photography rule during the actual performance (and my photos would have been incredibly inadequate anyway) but here are some of the professional stills Foxwoods sent me so you can see how totally different that boring gray set looks during the actual show.



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The show was amazing. Super amazing. I am kicking myself for not bringing Evan and Caroline, because even though it was 2 hours long the time completely flew by and I am positive they would have LOVED everything about it. Besides the bike thing and the trampolines and the juggling there was all the other stuff you think of when you think of Cirque, including a contortionist and a girl who hung by her toes from a spinning hoop. I’m a little sad they didn’t let us try any of that during the workshop (because in my head I’m incredibly graceful and flexible and would be a total natural at hanging from scarves or hoops). Which is probably exactly why they didn’t let us try it.

If you’re anywhere in the area – I mean area very loosely, since Foxwoods is a resort with plenty of hotel rooms and plus if you come to Connecticut you can come over for dinner – I highly recommend the show. Cirque Eloize iD is playing at the Fox Theater from now until August 30th, and you can follow that link to see showtimes and buy tickets. Thank you again to Foxwoods and Cirque Eloize for inviting us!

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My Week(250) in iPhone Photos

August 17th, 2015

Can you believe I’ve done this nonsense for 250 weeks? Caroline wasn’t even BORN when I did the first one. So I suppose I can’t even think about quitting, despite the fact that I can barely remember to do them. This one is late and I had to check my dates three times because it’s so hard to believe a week ago we were still on vacation. Real life happens SO FAST.



Evan is doubtful that 3 people in a one person kayak is wise.


Linc loves vacation


Caroline is ALWAYS ready for more pictures



If you look hard enough, you can almost see New York down the river


I liked the reflection in the back of that tanker


Linc is happy to see all his stuff again



Caroline is writing a song


Grumpy pants needed a walk to get ready for bed


I really, really love this front porch.



The zoo was so fun.


I will never get tired of these photos.


I had three ladies tell me they liked my hair and none of them even notice I was nursing a baby.



Lunch at Quincy Market should always involve a lobster roll


Boston Children’s Museum


Linc was over Boston (and I was over my poor choice of shirt on a 90 degree day)





I was really good at juggling, if my really good you mean terrible


Red Lantern at Foxwoods = ORDER ALL THE SUSHI



They must have bought those water bottles at Target. Poor confused children.




What? I’m hungry.

I forgot I had Virginia vacation photos to post, plus I have the post about our fun date at Foxwoods, so as long as I don’t die of heatstroke (we’re on day 5 or 6 of 90 degrees plus) I’ll have more new blog stuff up soon.

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Southwick’s Zoo

August 13th, 2015

I lived in Massachusetts for a few years in elementary and middle school, which is one of the reasons I like living in New England so much – it reminds me of all the fun stuff I did as a kid. My parents/school/church youth group loved Doing Stuff so I Did A Lot Of Stuff between the ages of 9 and 14. We went to amusement parks and museums and cities and zoos, and one of the places I have vague memories of is Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, Mass. This week we went up to check it out during the day trip portion of our summer vacation, since it’s only about 75 minutes away.

What I didn’t remember is that it’s a private zoo (I’m not sure I even knew that was still a thing?) and that it’s in the middle of nowhere. Our GPS took us down what I swear was a 3 mile driveway to a grass field…that turned out to be the parking lot. But the inauspicious entrance didn’t mean the zoo was a disappointment – in terms of animals they had more variety than our much-beloved Roger Williams Park Zoo. Plus they had the deer forest. I love the deer forest. We all love the deer forest, even E, although after I discovered how much he loved the baby goat farm I’m not sure why I’m surprised.

Southwick’s Zoo had a really nice military discount too (E was free, the rest of us were half-price) so it is definitely worth the drive for us. My tips: show up right at 10 am, park close to the entrance, and pack a picnic lunch in your car so you don’t have to buy zoo food. Let your kid pick ONE ride each (Evan picked the Skyfari, Caroline took a pony ride) and don’t waste money on the other tourist trap stuff. Bring lots of quarters for deer food. There are a ton of hills and it’s surprisingly big (my Fitbit said we walked 4.87 miles) so wear comfortable shoes. Wearing Linc was definitely a better choice than pushing a stroller up the huge hill at the end of the day would have been.

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The tiger had a huge enclosure but was hanging out RIGHT next to the building. It must have been feeding time.

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She saw an ape swinging from some ropes and was AMAZED.

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It was clear they’ve done (and are doing) a lot of improvements/updates to the zoo, which were really nice. Zoos sometimes make me a little sad, but conservation and awareness seemed to be a big part of their program (for the record, this isn’t sponsored or endorsed, I just liked it).

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Not tall enough for anything. Yet.

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You’re not allowed to put the corn in a plastic bag, so we used the hat Lincoln refused to wear.

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We couldn’t give Linc the corn to feed the deer because he kept eating it.

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IS THAT NOT THE FAKEST-LOOKING DEER YOU’VE EVER SEEN IN YOUR LIFE? I’ve seen taxidermied deer that look less animatronic.

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Charleston Photos 2015

August 12th, 2015

I went to the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. When I was looking at colleges, I picked out ones with strong marine biology programs because I was 1000% sure I wanted to be a marine biologist when I grew up. And look how that worked out! Here I am, an extremely successful marine biolo- what? I’m not actually a marine biologist, because sometimes the thing you decided you wanted to be when you were 7 years old isn’t a thing you are actually good at? I never would have believed you when I was 17.

When I was 16 I learned to scuba dive and went on a 3 week dive trip in the British Virgin Islands, which made me even more sure I wanted to be a biologist. One of my instructors/adult supervisors was named Will and he was a professor at the College of Charleston. He also drove a motorcycle and had a huge scar on his leg from where he was bitten by a nurse shark once. I figured if C of C was cool enough to have him as a professor, then I should definitely go there.

After I narrowed my college choices down to a handful, my mom and I drove south for 8 hours to visit the schools I was thinking about. We drove down I-95, took the exit for I-26 and followed that directly into downtown Charleston. I hadn’t even gotten out of the car before I decided that was where I was going. During the campus tour I barely paid attention because it didn’t matter – I was moving to Charleston. My mom suggested I apply to some of my other schools at back ups, which I did, but only because they didn’t require essays. There was no point. I was so in love with Charleston I would have moved there even if I hadn’t gotten in.

You can tell I really love my husband because I was willing to leave my favorite city to be with him, although I did insist my entire family, all my friends, his entire family, most of his friends, plus my husband himself (who had been transferred to San Diego) all come back to Charleston for the wedding.

It’s just a perfect coincidence that Kiawah, the site of our borrowed beach house, is just outside Charleston. This year my college roommate (who feels the same way about Charleston as I do, at least I’m pretty sure) had the good idea to stay an extra night in the city before the beach, so we could eat there and walk there and take pictures there without dragging all the kids back in from the beach. I think we’ll make it a tradition, so I can get a picture of my kids in this alley every year for the rest of their lives.

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Our hotel is that one right behind Evan. I’ve alway wanted to stay there, and not just because I love that fountain.

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That restaurant is where my college roommate and her husband got married, so obviously we all had to go there.

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That pink house is the narrowest house in the city, less than 15 feet. I would live in it in a second.

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