Tag Archives: outings

Winter beach day

Last night I was on a mission. I was going to find our church.

I spent quite a good bit of time online comparing websites of local churches. Church doctrines and mission statements. I also spent a good deal of time researching the different denominations, trying to see what church would best suit my beliefs and our family. Ultimately, I know we just have to go out and try a few different churches to see what feels right. But part of me hoped to find one online, fall in love with it, and feel at home before we even stepped foot into the building. If I’m going to be brutally honest, I asked God to leave me a note on my kitchen counter to tell me where to go…

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But neither of those things happened. I now have a few in mind to try, starting next weekend, but I’m still not sure. And I think that’s ok. It’s a process.

But last night, I had worked myself into a frenzy of finding the church. It seemed so necessary, and so urgent.

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This morning, it didn’t seem so urgent. This morning what seemed urgent was all of us getting outside to breathe some fresh air. Salt air. I woke up remembering words and pictures that friends have recently posted about waves, rocks, salt air breezes and gusts. I had mentioned a few days ago to Lucas that I wanted to take the kids to the beach. {I’m omitting the part where he looked at me like I had three heads and thought I was a lunatic for wanting to brave the beach with the kids in the winter…} There’s one near us that’s a little protected from the elements, and there is nothing better for the soul than a walk on the beach. In any season.

So we went.

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We walked, picked up rocks and seashells, smelled the salt air and felt the sand crunch under our winter boots. We took deep breaths and held hands. We walked together, separately, then together again when Fynn called hey, wait up! or wait for me! Paige rode on her daddy’s shoulders, pointed at seagulls and directed where his feet took them. It was one of those beautiful chilly Sunday mornings that you can’t anticipate. They just happen.

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Years and years ago I attended a Congregational church with my father. I sang in the choir {shocking… my kids will one day laugh their heads off if they find out!} There was one church member, I think her name was Marion, but I can’t be sure. I forget how the topic came up, but I remember this vividly. We were standing in the basement meeting room, dawning our red choir robes that smelled of moth balls and whoever wore it the previous week, when she touched my arm and asked me to remember something. God hears you no matter where you pray, no matter where you worship.

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That’s the key. My search for a church, for a community to worship in, will happen. And I’m guessing it will be fruitful. But ultimately, He hears me. Whether it’s on a beach, in our little two bedroom apartment, or in a gigantic church. He hears me.

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Enjoying the scenery, with sniffles

Yesterday was the first day in… days… we could get outside and enjoy the fresh air. The kids were bouncing off the walls, Fynn was begging to go outside. We promised several times.

And then someone woke up with a sore throat. And that someone got sicker with every minute. But he still came out with us for our hike, because fresh air does a body good (and unless you have a fever, in this house, you go outside when you can. Now, when I’m the one who’s sick I like to stay in bed and have soup and cocoa brought to me while I hide with books and movies… but I appreciate a push to get fresh air because it helps. Really. Remind me in another day that I said that)

We like this specific walk because we see the commuter rail, even on Sundays. Fynn loves seeing just the train tracks, so you can imagine his delight when we actually see trains (forgive me if I’ve said that before about this hike… my brain… not so good…)

On said walk, we pass by a farm, and they are already getting into the spirit of Christmas. The small touches bring such joy to my heart. Nothing is prettier than red berries nestled in with greens.

Festive, merry, full of spirit.

And those festive thoughts will help to get us through the next few days. Because as of about 5pm yesterday afternoon, we all have sore throats and sniffles… heads that are clouded over in nothingness. All of us seem a little zomby’ish, even the ones with normally endless amounts of energy.

Though you would never have guessed that we were all coming down with stinky colds during our walk. It was a beautiful day, even when the day ends with stuffy heads, days full of fresh air are always close to perfect.


***Special note… today marks the last day of November, which means the last day of NaBloPoMo! I made it… and am proud to say that I posted {at least} once a day for 30 days. While I can’t say I was ever at a loss for inspiration, there were days when posting on here wasn’t on the top of my fun things to do list. It was a great exercise to keep the words flowing, even on days where I just didn’t feel it.  Congrats to all who participated, the month is over! 🙂

*****Other note. I wrote this post last night, for today. And now, we are definitely all sick. Snot flying, laying on the floor doing nothing kind of sick. Blah. And really, I don’t know why I feel like I need to share that. Expect to inform you to keep your expectations for this blog low for the week….


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Waldo’s Pond

As we arrived Fynn tried to reiterate our destination. “We’re going to Waldo’s Pond! I’ll find Waldo!” it broke our hearts a tiny bit to tell him that it was actually Walden Pond, and we would  not be searching for a man wearing white and red stripes, or the tell tale beanie.

The chill in the air was perfect, invigorating and got us through a fairly lengthy hike around the pond (for toddler legs in any case…)

The last few November leaves set the mood, brilliant and in need of adoration.

The serenity was interrupted a few times with confused exclamations from Fynn… “I can’t find him! Where’s Waldo??”

But we kept on walking, moving to the side to let faster walkers pass, enjoying the view.

You could feel it in the air. See it in the oh so clear water. This area is safe from outside influences. You can just be, with your thoughts and the land. It’s no wonder it was full of inspiration for the likes of Emerson and Thoreau.

And lucky for us, it’s practically right in our backyard. Worth the 20 minute drive, the struggles over winter hats and the distraction of occasional crazies taking dips in the pond, coming out into the blissfully chilled November air.

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

~Henry David Thoreau, from Walden


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Getting out the door

Getting ready is the hard part. Getting ready for breakfast, getting ready to leave for an outing, getting ready to go for a walk, getting ready for bed…

It tests our patience. They test our patience. Getting them dressed makes my head spin. On the weekends it’s not so bad, as there’s usually two of us to wrangle them in,  but on weekdays, they test my patience. Not necessarily on purpose. But they do.

With Paige, as soon as I get one article of clothing on her she shrieks in amusement and runs around the living room. Sometimes she runs back into my lap to get her pants on, sometimes she thinks it’s fun to climb onto the couch and wait for me to get her. Often times she’ll try to race to the door after putting on just one sneaker, tripping over herself and her giggles the whole way.

Then there’s Fynn. My darling Fynn. He loves to go out and about, loves our outings. He’s always filled with such excitement that he cannot contain himself. He needs to run around and collect things to take with us. Or, he decides that the very second he has his shirt over his head, and one arm halfway in, he needs to tell me how much he loves his truck puzzle. Proving his love for the puzzle means finding it and all of it’s twenty pieces. It’s necessary.

Then it’s the clock.
“Look mommy! A clock! I love clocks!”
“Yes, Fynn, it’s a beautiful clock. Come back for your pants.”
“Look mommy! My birthday balloon!”
“Yes Fynn, the balloon. Now really, let’s get your pants on”
“Mommy look! The chair! I love chairs!”
“Fynn. It’s a chair. Please. Your pants!”
“The clock! I love clocks!!”
“Fynn. Pants. Please.”

And it continues.

It’s a miracle we actually leave. Last week we didn’t because it was too much. For me. I don’t like looking back and realizing that. But this week, I’m feeling it’s all part of the journey. And even with the distracted little boy, we’ve managed to make it out for hiking trips or to the playground by 9:30.

This week, we’ve been in much better moods. And I haven’t called Lucas at all asking if we could send the kids away to military school, or to just tell him that they’re crazy and I’m going to lock myself in the closet. Always a good sign.

Getting out the door is the hard part. But it always ends up being worth all the effort. We breath a little easier outside. Sigh more contentedly.  Spontaneously hold hands and gaze at each other. Yes, it’s always worth the effort.


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November winds

After hopping out of bed this morning with a slight spring in my step, I vowed that things were going to change. Last week was a downer week, and this week, would not be.

The air was filled with warmth, so we sailed on the breezes. Over to a brand new park, where trains wooshed by and the older wooden playground still stood in the background.

This handsome guy might be the cutest little boy in the world (thankfully my second was a girl, so I can say those sorts of things without guilt).

The fresh air did wonders for all of us. The kids played together. Which anyone with multiple children will tell you…. is cause for celebration.

We of course ended up on the older playground. Plastic play structures will never be able to replace the simplicity of wooden jungle gyms and steel diggers.

This photo called out to for sepia tones. Behind the swings were tall trees, miles of harmless ivy wrapping around them, as well as hints of poison ivy. There were shiny new swings just a few feet away, but my little girl was drawn to the ones that showed their years.

A Monday filled with tire swings and sweater weather is a good start to the week. The rest of the day was spent smiling, playing, going on walks… and we hardly yelled at each other. The winds of November are bringing change. Peaceful days with a calmer spirit.


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Vulnerability and Sweetness

I’m having a rough day. Really rough. Didn’t sleep well last night, we made the decision to stay where we are another year (and that along has me feeling a roller coaster of emotions… happy to not be moving, but definitely a tad bit depressed to be staying someplace without a yard and with barely enough space for us), the kids are at each others throats and it’s not even nine, Fynn got up too early and didn’t make it to the potty in time… it’s just been a messy morning all around. Messy with emotions running ramped, messy with pee, messy with juice spills.

I’ve been reading a lot of Anne Lamott recently, because her honesty really attracts me – and she seems grounded in her faith even with confusion and chaos all around. To this confused woman surrounded with chaos, that’s a huge source of inspiration.

Anyway, in her essay Red Cords, Lamott says ” I don’t know why we have to become so vulnerable before we can connect with God, and even sometimes with ourselves.”

Isn’t that the truth.

Today I’m going to take the kids out for some fresh air (it’s in the 60’s after all!! In November!!!), say a few more prayers than normal, remind my husband to bring home a bottle of wine (cheap, since the next year or so is all about seeing how frugal we can be and if we can scrape together a down payment for someplace our own……..) and probably get a little weepy reading more of Lamott’s essays tonight. And sometimes that’s necessary. It’s not self pity, I’m thankful for all that we have – we are lucky in so many ways, but it’s becoming vulnerable.

In the meantime, here’s some total sweetness from yesterday. We had another great outside day… just gorgeous.

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Hitting the historical paths…

This morning we spent some time wondering around the historic Minute Man trails. We had gone last year when the kids were smaller, and it was so gorgeous we wanted to try again this year. The leaves were breathtaking, and it was the perfect temperature to hit the trails.

As you can see… I’m not above looking like I have pj’s on while out of the house these days. To my credit, they’re yoga pants (wide leg ones, absolutely wonderful!), not pj bottoms. They’re meant for exercise. That’s what I tell myself. And that thing around my waist? The Ergo. It looks funny, but it’s easier to wrap it around than carry it by hand when it’s not in use, no matter how many funny looks I got. But Paige looks super cute, as always.

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Gorgeous gorgeous scenery. Don’t ask why we didn’t get any pictures of some of the remains of the old houses. It’s so amazing to think of all the history that surrounded us.

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Fynn was just enthralled with the map. The only problem he ran into was the map dropped into his daddy’s vision a few times… the boy was a wee bit tired…

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And what could possibly be more endearing than a kids pom pom topped hat sticking out of your husbands back pocket? Seriously. I love the man for little things like this.

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Does it get old?

As we drove through town after town to get to our destination, the leaves kept calling out to me. I’ve been posting fall pictures for weeks now, and really, I don’t think they get old. The leaves scream out with their yellows, oranges, and reds warning of the upcoming frigid months and snowfall. After being worn out from summer (as much as I love summer… the beach… sundresses on little girls…) I’ll take the warnings to slow down and enjoy this season. To get outside while we still can without freezing our buns off. To sip hot lattes and bask in the autumn sun. To watch as the kids run and jump in perfect fitting jeans and sweaters. It never gets old for me.

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Yesterday, for the umpteenth time, we headed to our orchard. It’s heaven. Gorgeous, full of character and colors, sandboxes and old trucks to play with. Animals galore, much to Paige’s amusement as she’s just learned a new vocabulary full of animal noises. We met up with friends who we need to see more often. It was one of those perfect days.

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We’ve had a lot of them recently. Perfect days. We’ve been so lucky this fall. Hardly any plans except ones to be outside and enjoy each other and good friends. Communing with nature. I like to think we’re nature people…

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… except when we come across an old tractor that needs some tinkering…

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But for the most part we’re nature people. Especially the kids. They love every minute of it. Being outside, running free. They can never get enough sunshine, enough fresh air. They’re at their best with it – who isn’t?

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Last fall we were hurried. I don’t really know why. Maybe it was all the mommy group activities we were involved in, maybe it was trying to rush around for naps and nursing, maybe it’s just where we live (don’t get me started on living in Eastern Mass… I kept thinking while driving around yesterday “would you follow your wife this closely???” Ugh…). I don’t do well with being rushed. I get agitated, cranky, frustrated. So this fall, it’s been especially nice to just be. With the kids, with good friends, with no agenda.

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Chatting, or being quiet. Being at peace with so much. All is right with the world when the cautionary leaves of autumn start dancing around us. I can’t help but stop, be thankful, and enjoy every minute of it. And of course keep posting the colorful photos…
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(and for those of you (aka MOM!) who have tried with no luck to click on photos to enlarge them…. try it again! Lucas, who has the patience of a saint, gave me a lesson tonight on html and all that good stuff. So you should be able to click on the photo and a new tab will open with the enlarged photo… I hope anyway…)

(and one last thing… I don’t normally dress the kids in black. Kids are supposed to wear colors and fun prints! But, I was taking some pumpkin pictures ~ wait ’til Halloween! They’re so cute! ~ and wanted their festive skeleton/candy corn shirts on. Hence the black!)


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Enjoying autumn

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.

~George Eliot

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Perfect way to celebrate another year

I slept in

we laughed

and picked pumpkins and apples

took a bazillion photos

smiled in the sun

ran through the orchard

breathed in fresh autumn air

ate the saltiest yummiest reubens

napped with my baby

drank good wine

ate delicious pumpkin cake

felt truly loved and blessed

it was a perfect day

possibly the best birthday yet

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