Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cherry Blossoms and Wine

I recently put together a little east coast and DC area bucket list. It's one thing I usually do when we move to a new location so that when we eventually move I can say we saw it all. In Monterey it was the top 10 hiking spots. In DC it is definitely museums. But another thing DC is famous for: cherry blossoms. They are planted all around the tidal basin and as soon as the weather warms a bit it becomes a beautiful sea of white and pink flowers. We didn't make it into town for the festival (I didn't really want to fight the crowds and parking) but we drove up the next weekend and spent the afternoon in the city. We walked all the way around the basin and stopped for a picnic lunch. 

bahaha Charlotte is hilarious!

it was a tad windy.

And for comparison, here is the picture of Norah and me last year at the blossoms, and now this year. My baby is growing up too fast!!


And a few weeks ago I did something I haven't done in about 5 years: ran a 5k! When Matt was deployed back in 2011 I ran a few, and after he came back we ran a couple together. After Charlotte was born I never got back into it. I still exercised regularly but didn't participate in 5k's. When a friend of mine signed up for this I couldn't resist. I forgot to mention the main motivation: it was at a vineyard! I couldn't think of a more beautiful setting in Southern Maryland. Running Hare Vineyard is only 5 minutes from our house. I didn't even know it existed until I ran this race. After turning off the main street, we wound down a gravel road, pass vineyards, a lake and lush trees. We eventually arrived at the main house, where the tents were set up and participants were getting ready. After scoping things out a  bit I was a little nervous. The course looked a bit more challenging than I was expecting. Weaving in and out of the vines, up and down hills, mostly on trail, and a surprise I didn't discover until mid run (stairs!). Honestly I was expecting to do well on this run. I work out, I'm fit, a 5k seems easy. Boy was I in for a bit of a rude awakening. It was much harder than I expected. I finished at just over 30 minutes. MUCH slower than I had hoped. I do think the terrain had a bit to do with that. (That's my story anyways!)  

Thankfully I wasn't the only one who thought it was a tough run. And at the end of the day I had a blast and am super glad I did it. And that glass of wine post run sure tasted good! 

Here are a few fun photos from the race....
a group photo! 

all smiles....not realizing we had to climb that hill later 

photobombing Alexa

weaving in and out

up a hill. Serious business for me. haha

more weaving. lots of turns. lots.

almost done Carolyn

Libby means serious business. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Book review: The Secret Life Of A Military Kid: Destination Unknown

I recently had the opportunity to read a really great book. A book for pre-teens. A book for military kids. A book for all kids. The Secret Life Of A Military Kid: Destination Unknown by Terrica Joseph. It tells the story of a boy who is upset about another military move. He has to say goodbye to his friends, move to a new town, and try to fit in. The story is all too familiar to military families. In the 8.5 years Matt and I have been together we have moved 4 times. Is it tough? Yea. Do we manage? Yea, we eventually figure it out and settle in. But I hadn't really thought about moving and all the havoc it can wreak on kids. I (obviously) know that it does, but now that we have little ones of our own I realized they will soon be feeling the same things Jeremy does. I discovered how important it is for not only kids, but for parents, to read stories like this. How the parents reacted in this book, especially the open discussions they had as a family, are all really great ideas I may use someday. Even if your child is outgoing and easily makes friends, they will struggle with a move.

The book is ideal for kids 9-13 years old. I would also recommend it for the parents too. Perhaps even reading it as a family and discussing as you go along?! Even if you don't come from a military family you would enjoy this book. Every person and every family has their struggles. This book takes a peak into the struggles of a military kid. 

Thank you Terrica for allowing me to read this book! I can't wait to read it to my kiddos someday. If you are interested in purchasing this book you can find it on Amazon here