Thursday, September 19, 2013

Who Needs a Summer Vacation? Planning the Perfect Fall Family Getaway

Fall is coming up and you know what that means?!?  Vacation time!!  Haha, who am I kidding...It is ALWAYS vacation time!  My husband once asked me if I would rather live in a fancy house and drive a fancy car or go on lots of vacations.  Well, thats a are always going to win!  I love seeing other places, states, countries, beaches and seeing how other people live and the culture that surrounds them.  But most of all, I love love love the memories and the bonding experience that vacation entails.  Some of my most favorite memories and most treasured photographs are when I have been on vacation with my husband and now my little girl. 

I think the important thing to remember is that you don't have to spend a lot of money to go on vacation and have a great time.  Memories can be made sleeping in a tent by the river, or a van if you are so inclined. 

I was recently approached by Kendra.  She lives in the fabulous city of Chicago and is a mother of 3.  Before getting the privilege of being a full time mom, she was the former Orbitz Director of Communications.  This job allowed her to travel a great deal.  She loves to write about travel trends and tips and wanted to share some tips on the perfect fall family getaway with my lucky readers!  Enjoy!

As much fun as you have spending time together during the summer, you probably think that you need to leave that behind you in the fall. However, even though the kids go back to school, you can still take a break together. By picking the kids up at the end of the school day on Friday, your family has the chance to have some fun together and still make it back in time for the kids to get a good night of sleep before school on Monday. Columbus Day offers even more chances for family fun. With most schools closed on Columbus Day, you have the opportunity to get away for an extended weekend. Pack the car with some healthy snacks and a few travel games, and a spirited game of license plate bingo can help the kids have fun until arriving at your destination.  

Choosing a place to stay is the first step in planning any weekend getaway. When the weather is still nice, staying at a campground can be a wonderful experience for all. State parks offer a number of free activities and things to do, and some private campgrounds are great options as well (and are very fair in pricing). If you don't have access to a tent or a camper, you can rent a cabin or stay in a lodge. If the outdoor scene is not for you, a big city like Chicago can be a weekend vacation hotspot. When staying at a hotel in a big city for just a weekend, many will offer great weekend deals and have fair pricing. Use a hotel-booking site like Gogobot to find a hotel with competitive pricing and user reviews about the best places to stay in Chicago. The city has hundreds of things to see and do, so make sure that you do some research before you settle on any hotel. Picking one in the wrong location or one with dirty rooms and broken furniture can ruin your entire trip.

Your family faces dozens of distractions every day. You and your spouse worry about work, your kids worry about school and everyone can get so busy with their own lives that they forget to think about spending time together as a family. Getting away from those distractions lets you work on improving your relationships. Telling stories around the campfire, taking funny pictures in the heart of the city and cooking meals together can foster these great connections for you to share.

Whether the kids have a three-day weekend away from school, or you decide to just take a fun trip in the middle of the fall, a getaway is the perfect excuse to have some fun together. Staying in a campground or right in the heart of the city lets you focus on making memories that you will all treasure for a lifetime.

Midweek Randoms

I have got to get better at blogging!  The days have been crazy lately and our poor little Lolo has been sick again with a bad ear infection and is on her second round of antibiotics...poor thing.  Along with that, my poor dog Macy was really sick too!  She has an appointment with the doggy cardiologist soon.

I am in denial that Lolo's one year birthday is coming up!  I just can not believe how fast a year has flown by.  I'm trying to get her party planned, but it's so hard to get everything done AND work a full time job.  How do other working moms do it?!  I wish I could pay someone to take care of it all for me.  Praying for good weather that day!

Our house is coming along nicely!  The sheet rock is up and the outside is almost done with the stone.  I have started counting down the days!  I.CANNOT.WAIT!

We are going to Disney World next month!  I am so excited to take Lo!  She loves her 10 minutes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse everyday and I think she will just love it!  Hoping my husband will fall in love with the place this time too...then maybe I can talk him into that time share ;)

My husband makes me breakfast AND lunch everyday.  I am so super lucky!  I probably don't tell him enough how much I appreciate him and what he does for me.  I gotta get better at that!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Macy Girl

My first baby, my dog Macy, is sick.  She has been losing weight, seems frail, and has recently started throwing up.  We thought she was losing weight because we switched her dog food and she was refusing to eat.  She is known for her stubbornness, but now that we switched back I am not so sure.  She has a heart problem, as those closest to us know, and she has bad teeth that look infected.  I am hoping that is all it is...however, I have a feeling there is more to it.  Macy will be 14 in a couple of months, on November 24th.  She has been by my side since I was a senior in highschool.  Sounds silly, but she has taught me so many things about life, one of the most important being how to really love.  Before Lo and minus my husband, this dog was my complete world.  Thankfully I married a man that got that about me.  Those that really know me, know that I LOVE this dog so very much. 

Seeing her sick, makes me so sad.  I can't imagine my life without her, I am not ready to do that yet.  I am really hoping and praying that God will let me hang on to her for a few more years at least.  She could use prayers...lots of prayers.   

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lolo - 11 Months!

Lolo, my sweet girl, you are 11 months old (September 5).  In one month we will be celebrating your one year birthday!  How is this already possible?!?  It seems like I just had you.  You were such a tiny little thing and now you are our chunky, cuddly, sweet little girl.  It seems like you have just been a little sponge this month.  You are learning new things every day.  You are doing baby sign language ALL.THE.TIME!  A little demanding? Nah...just a girl that knows what she wants :)

You sign the words more, eat, all done, milk, water, and dog.  It is so cute!  I love seeing you look at me with you big beautiful eyes and sign to me what you want, or think you want. 

It also seems like you are starting to try to talk.  When you sign dog and we repeat the word you sometimes say, "da" and you do the same for ball, all done, hi, and mama, and dada.  I know its a little early, but I know that is what you are trying to say. 

You love your 10 minutes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with daddy in the morning.  You especially love the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song and the Hot Dog Song!  You get the biggest grin on your face everytime it comes on. 

You love to eat!  You love yogurt and yogurt melts, you eat pretty much any fruit I give you, are pretty good wtih veggies, but still love your broccoli, and cheese, you can't get enough.  Oh and bread, boy do you LOVE bread.  And don't dare try to take your bread away from you, you will scream!  You also just got two new teeth, your two top front teeth, and are working on a couple more teeth! 

You are still sleeping so well, two naps and sleeping all night! must have your blankie.

You weigh 21 pounds are are about 28 inches long.  Still our chunky little monkey.  You are still wearing 6-12 month clothes.

You love books are will sit and look at a book by yourself for quite some time.  You also crawl in my lap and like to be read to.  I love it when you do this.

You love stacking things and love cups and putting objects in them.  It will amuse you for a long time.

You are a very content little girl and so so sweet.  You just smile and wave to almost everyone. 


You are a very loved little girl.  My heart just swells with love for you.  You love your daddy so much and when I get you up in the morning to feed you, as soon as you see him you get a huge grin on your face and start waving.  Its too cute!

You are the most beautiful little blessing Lolo girl.  Your daddy and I love you so very much!  I am still so much in awe of you and all that you have brought to our life and our little family.  Your little personality is just so cute and sweet.  You are such a determined little girl.  Very head strong.  You are so happy and smiling all the time and just light up a room with your grins and squeals.  I love you to the moon and back my sweet little girl.