Friday, July 31, 2015

My Kids, the Dragon Slayers (courtesy of Netflix)

We rely heavily on Netflix during the summer months, with all of the travel and staying at locations without Disney Jr.  (how dare they!).  We've (I've) ODed on Caillou, Octonauts, and Curious George, so we've (I've) been looking for some other shows for the boys.  So when we received some swag from Netflix for their new show, Dragons: Race to the Edge, the boys were super excited.  And so was I.  (Have I mentioned how much I hate Caillou?).

The show features Hiccup and Toothless from the How to Train Your Dragon movies.  My kids haven't seen the movies, but they didn't seem to mind.  Dragons?  Yes, please.

They've been racing around the house with their knight gear, swords, and navigating the map of the dragon world (also courtesy of Netflix).

They love the swag, and they also love the show!  It is a bit darker and scarier than say, Caillou, but my older kids (4 and 6) are ready for something a bit older.  So far they've watched 6 of the 13 episodes, and I'm hoping to get the last 7 in before school starts.  Because me thinks I'm going to have to institute some screen time rules once vacation is over...


Friday, July 24, 2015

My Happy Place

I'm a big believer that happiness comes from within - that external factors - surroundings, circumstance, money - should only have so much bearing.  But I have to say, there's something about just being in Cape Cod that lifts my spirits to new heights.

I mean, how can you not be joyful when you're surrounded by this:

Cahoon Hollow Beach

Cahoon Hollow Beach

Wellfleet Town Harbor

Gull Pond

I've been here to Wellfleet, a small town on the Outer Cape, every year of my whole life.  That would make this trip my 37th.  And yet, every time I come - even more so the older I get - I am awestruck by the beauty.

I've been extremely fortunate to have travelled to many absolutely beautiful places.  I've snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, I've taken a cruise through the Norwegian Fjords and the Nile in Egypt, I've seen fluorescent blue water in the Blue Grotto in Capri, I've paraglided in the Swiss Alps, I've hiked mountains in Scotland, I've jumped off cliffs in Wales, I've toured historic walled cities in France, I've seen ancient temples in Cambodia,  I've trekked through caves in Vietnam, I've stared at the Taj Mahal, I've biked past fields of tulips in the Netherlands, and I've relaxed on the sand of amazing beaches in Thailand, Malaysia, Hawaii, Greece, and throughout the Caribbean.

(God, my life used to be way more exciting).

But nothing holds a candle to the tiny town of Wellfleet in Cape Cod.  This is my happy place.

I've been here for five days so far and I'm completely settled in.  I've gone to almost all of my favorite restaurants, I discovered a cute little fitness studio where I've been doing pilates, I've finished one book (One Summer: America, 1927, by Bill Bryson which I highly recommend), I've tried out stand up paddle boarding, and I've managed to keep all three children alive.  (We have had one ER visit, but no stitches required.).  I haven't used a hair dryer once, and I've taken every shower outdoors (despite it being unenclosed - I am once again risking flashing neighbors and passerby's).

I really don't care much what the weather is like when I'm here, but so far each day has been phenomenal.  Barely a cloud in the sky and hovering right around 80 degrees.  Needless to say, we've been having fun.

Here's wishing you a happy summer from the Cape!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My Living Proof

Whenever I look back at the pictures taken immediately upon all of my childrens' birth, I am in disbelief that it actually happened.  Was that really me?  Was that baby really in my stomach, and I actually got it out?  And is that teeny little baby really my son - the one that talks and walks and climbs in my bed every morning?  For each of my three children, someone (my husband?  a nurse? who knows?) captured that initial meeting - the look on my face when I looked at them for the first time.  My expression is authentic and true - pure joy and amazement.  Each of those three moments are the most incredible of my life, and I'm so thankful to have the photos to look at.  Because in my memory, it's hard to believe that it was actually real.

Braden - 2008

Casey - 2010

Colin - 2013
In this day and age, people don't really print out pictures anymore, but I do.  I print out a hard copy of every single photo taken on my iPhone and camera, and then I put them in an old school photo album.  Our living room built-ins contain these albums, all arranged in date order.  I don't look at them very often, but I feel incredible peace at having them.  And I treasure them.  I always tell my husband that in case of a fire, that's what we have to go for, and I'm serious.  On the rare occasion that I have lost photos (usually on an I-phone or through some computer glitch), a depression hits. All those hard copy memories - gone, and lost.

But of course, photographs can't capture everything.  And I've learned that I shouldn't waste the moment taking photos.  There's a fine line between living in the now and restoring it for posterity. I've backed off a bit as the years have gone by, so of course, as expected, child number 3 has the fewest photos of anyone.  But I still am vigilant about picture taking (made all the easier with the advent of the I-phone), and picture printing.  To be sure, I'm no photographer, but it doesn't matter.  What matters is who is in the pictures - not the lighting or the positioning or the depth of field.  Me, my kids, my husband, my family.  Now.

I've wondered lately why I am so obsessed with taking and keeping photos, and who exactly I am keeping them for.  Are these my memories?  Or my children's?  Or both?

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