Archive for Adventures

19 Dec 2012

Lucky Number 7

3 Comments Adventures, Holidays, Random, Tampa, Wordless Wednesday

I have never really thought of birthdays being special. They are for the kids, but for me, it’s work. The presents, the party, the friends…It’s another birthday that I have to make special for my kids. I love it (and them) but it’s a birthday and that means work for me.

But today, and from now on, I think birthdays are something so much more. They are magical…special and are so important.

Today we are celebrating my daughter’s birthday…her 7th birthday. Lucky number 7.

It’s a random year, not too big of a milestone, but a birthday none the less. And THAT, to any 6 year old turning 7, it means the world.

This year, the meaning of the age 7 has changed for me as well as many others.

My daughter will get to BE 7.

We will not only get to celebrate her 7th birthday but we will get to she her be 7 for another year. She will loose more teeth, she will ride her bike, play with dolls, get better at reading, spelling and math, she will excel in gymnastics, and run and play as free as any 7 year old would do.

She gets to BE 7 and I get to watch her be 7 every day.


I usually wake up in order to get a little silence in before the chaos starts. But the silence has not been broken yet this morning. It’s dark, it’s quiet. My house will soon be a buzz with the sounds of life. It can be overwhelming and I get frustrated. I tell (or yell) at them to BE QUIET! I want everyone to be quiet because the baby is sleeping. I want the peace and quiet. I want the crying baby to stop crying. I want my oldest two to stop arguing. I want my 3 year old to stop whining. They get louder. I get louder. But then the sweet sounds come too. They laugh. They giggle. They help each other out. Four kids make noise loud enough to resemble a 24 hour house party when given the chance.

But it’s the silence I crave and the silence I fear. I could not imagine the silence forever. I want to hear “row row row your boat” 4, 578 times…in a row. I want to hear them. I love their sweet little voices and couldn’t imagine not hearing them ever again.


So today the silence will break as it usually does. I will welcome it. I will welcome all that goes along with my 6 turning 7 year old, and the rest of the crew to celebrate this new day. Because today is a birthday! And day that she will run out of her room screaming “ITS MY BIRTHDAY!” ITS MY BIRTHDAY!” We will celebrate her 7th birthday like it’s 1999, and hug and kiss and smile like it is the best day in the whole world! Why? Because to any 6 year old turning 7, it is.

But for me, I will try to hold back the tears when my bouncing 7 year old enters the rooms and screams with pure joy. I will hug her and thank God that we are special enough to see this day. This is a celebration about a new year and what is to come. The 7th birthday has come for her and she will go on being 7 like she is supposed to. I will take her fresh age of 7 and cherish it as the greatest gift that anyone has given us. To all the parents of 6 year old little babies in Sandy Hook, that will not get to see theirs turing 7, I will think of them and what they will miss. It is not fair. In so many ways, it is just not fair. The memory of what happened will be with me each year I get to see my daughter turn another age.

I think the reason many of my friends and I have come to take this harder than some is because we see 6 and 7 year olds each day. Another Mom put it best when she wrote, we know what 6 is. Because we do.


Happy 7th birthday to the most amazing daughter…my first little girl, who’s taught me about all the joys that little girls bring to life. I am so excited to see what the next year brings.

15 Dec 2012

Funniest Christmas Card Ever

1 Comment Adventures, Everyday, Holidays, Tampa

I made this on Pic Minkey. Best photo editing software free on the web. Simple. Easy.

The card speaks the truth. Probally what we were all thinking!

21 Oct 2012

Just To See Her Smile…

No Comments Adventures

Just to see her smile…

Camping …The Bad, The Fun, The Menories

Today, I had to suck it up for memories.

Right now…

I am cold.

I am on a cot.

In the dark.

My nose hurts. Wait….It REALLY HURTS!

My toe is throbbing.

There is an airplane getting ready to land in my room (that would be the fan and why it is still on I’m not sure) .

I was stung by 2 wasps while trying to get a picture if our girls. I was bitten by fire ants while trying to make s’mores with our girls. These were the low parts of my day.

But now, after ice packs and benydral, I am looking back… and thinking I actually made memories for myself too…not just for Mia and her friends, but for my life as a Mom.

I got to hang out with some great new Moms that I usually only get to say ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ to at school. We now have lots of “next time” lists the next time we do something like this together.

I got to spend time with Mia. Just me and her. No one else. It’s actually so much harder to do now that she has 3 siblings…

I got to hear Mia laugh and experience her being a kid and enjoying what being a kid should be about: having fun.

I really didn’t want to come ( broken toe was not in the camping plan.)

And I kept trying to think of ways we could leave early… Trust me the wasp thing was my ticket home.

But… I sucked it up in the name of Memories. It’s not about me any more. It had t been for a long time. What I wouldn’t do to hear any one of my kids laugh.

If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at! Glad I came. I will come back… Slightly more prepared. I’ve got 1 year (going on 2) as a Girl Scout leader under my belt…

I’m sure I’ll have more memories than I know what to do with later on. And I’m sure that I’ll be glad I stayed to make them happen… Just to see her smile!

19 Sep 2012

Life is now a Full House

No Comments Adventures, Tampa

And then there were 4. It’s been 7 weeks and I am finally able to bring myself around to keeping up my blog as well as juggling all I have in my life. My full house is wonderful. This is the first picture taken with all 4 kids. Just can’t stop smiling!

08 Apr 2012

You win some. You lose some. Today, I lost.

3 Comments Adventures, Everyday

Do you see the picture above? It’s my OFFICIAL invite to the White House. Yes, I actually did get invited to the 134th Annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House.

Today was a very hard day for me. Yup. Among other things going so wonderful in my life, today, my balls dropped mid air, and I was the only one to blame.

I was so excited to have actually been invited to the White House for a #WHTweetUp. If you are not on Twitter, then you probaly don’t know that the White House actually invited people that “tweet” to the White House for events. I put my name in a hat and got the OFFICIAL invite a few days later.

I told EVERYBODY! Yup! The whole wide world knows that I was supposed to go to the White House. I like to do big things. Go big or GO HOME. Why not? If you aren’t going to dream big and try to get somewhere, then why work so hard for something you really want? I REALLY wanted this. The opportunity to go the the White House, MAYBE meet the President, take the kids around DC, do something most people don’t get the opportunity to do. Yup. That’s me. I take pride in my accomplishments. Always have. I’ve been tweeting, reading and following all the AMAZING people that would be at the event. It sounded SO amazing. A opportunity of a lifetime. Who does this? Me, I guess! My lucky day.

And for those who know about a project I launched a few years back, THIS was MY chance to be a part of an event that was exactly something I had been working on since Michele Obama launched Let’s Move in 2010. Fit Kids Playground would ACTUALLY be GOING to the White House! I could show everybody what we were doing in Tampa and how we were trying to make a difference.

To say, that I was excited was an understatement. I was going to actually be able to GO to the White House, take the kids and participate in a 130 year old tradition, the Easter Egg Roll on the White House Lawn. Wow. Yup. Pretty cool. So despite the fact that tickets cost a body part, and it was going to be a tight budget, with the help of my parents, we made it happen, or at least I thought I pulled it off until Friday…then again on Sunday morning at 5:30AM at the airport, with all kids in tow.

For those who know me well, yes, I AM busy. But organized. Yes, I feel like I have logistics in order for managing 3 kids, business obligations and more, but today, my “super powers” were gone today and I couldn’t pull out of a mistake that was made a few days ago. It really sucks. I don’t like not being able to fix things.

Because of logistical error that WAS (and I hate pointing fingers) my banks fault (admittedly). I thought that things were straightened out on Friday and we were set to fly out on Sunday…the 8th, not the 15th, as the new tickets stated. We were booked for an incorrect date…that I didn’t catch until it was too late. This is where it comes back to me. My fault that I didn’t check the date of the re-booked tickets. So getting to the airport at 5:30 THIS morning meant nothing as our tickets were for another day. I hate being wrong. I hate not being able to fix things. I hate this feeling. I don’t like letting people down, and I am the one who probaly let myself down the most today.

My kids…could honestly care less. They don’t judge. They don’t hold a grudge. They weren’t mad at me because I F*ed up. They are 6 and 7 and love me no matter what. As I am writing this, it makes me remember that life is full of lessons. Life goes on. The sun is still shining, and they still love their Mom, no matter what…even if I did mess up an opportunity of a lifetime. But maybe it wasn’t meant to be…maybe there is a reason…right…I hope so…Maybe I am the one to take the lesson home from this experience. Mistakes happen. Life goes on. Sometimes, it really sucks.

I tried. I tried so hard, but with out another $2000 to rebook AGAIN, I just couldn’t fix this HUGE mistake. I sat in the airport with 2 VERY patient kids while I waited to figure out what to do.

So here I am now, 3 hours later…at home…on Easter…with my family. (That doesn’t sound bad either, right.) I’ve spent the morning thinking about the events that just happened and how I would tell all my supportive friends and family about my f* up. I thought about lying and saying I got sick and going into hiding. Silly,right. Nope, just didn’t want to admit that it was my fault. Couldn’t do that either. Why should anyone else care what happened? But I do.

I love the support I receive from my friends and family. Yes, I know I am crazy with being pregnant and involved as I am with my projects, clients, family, and everything else under the sun. It your support means so much, you’ll never know. I think anyone supporting anyone else or a cause means so much. Thank you for the well wishes. I am so lucky to have friends and family that care as much as I do. I wish I had cool pictures and stories to talk about. It should have been REALLY fun. I guess I will watch it live tomorrow…from my couch.

Maybe I will get the opportunity to do this again at another event. Who knows. Yes, I VERY disappointed in the turn of events, but I still cannot change me getting to DC, short of a miracle. The Easter Egg Roll is tomorrow and there is no way we can afford to fix this. So I guess our airline credit will have to sit in the “bank” until later and maybe we can win the #WHTweetUp lottery again. My lesson learned.

So as I listen to the kids laughing and not even thinking about what I messed up today, I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. But I am. Just me. It’s not like I threw away a winning lottery ticket…well, kind of…I guess I should just go back to being Clark Kent for a while. I am getting ready to have a baby…another kind of lottery we have won 4 times.

So here’s our version of the White House #EasterEggRoll Not as fancy, but just fine for my kids.

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17 Mar 2012

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Tampa!

No Comments Adventures, Florida, Holidays, Tampa, Tampa Bay

Thanks to the wonderful City of Tampa and the Tampa Downtown Partnership, we now have a NEW tradition! The Hillsborough River will now be dyed GREEN and there will be a family friendly Mayor’s River O’ Green Fest that will take place at Curtis Hixon Park along the beautiful Tampa Riverwalk.
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17 Mar 2012

Florida Orchestra is back in 2012!

No Comments Adventures, Review, Tampa

My favorite things to do in Tampa with our kids is go to the Florida Orchestra concerts in the park. They used to split their time between Lowry Park in Central Tampa, Al Lopez Park and Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa. We had first went to a concert at Al Lopez park when the kids were 2. They loved the orchestra “petting zoo” and the music was amazing. It’s now tradition that we go each year. We love it. We bring food, friends and have such a great time with the kids. It’s so great to see more of Tampa embracing what other “larger” cities have been doing for years.

They will only be playing on May 3rd, 2012 at Curtis Hixon Park, so MARK YOUR CALENDAR!!!
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15 Oct 2011

My Adventure at Legoland Florida

1 Comment Adventures, Review

When I saw that Legoland Florida was opening in Lakeland a year ago, I knew that eventually we would end up taking a trip. We were in Chicago this past summer and went to Legoland Chicago. I was honestly not too impressed with it. (Sorry, honest opinion.) I had looked at the Legoland Chicago site and it was pretty impressive. I got the kids all excited and we went with my Mom, who was brave enough to help me with all 3 kids. We had a $20 off coupon, which was the only reason we really ventured to Shamburg in July. It made a big difference in how much we paid to get in with 3 kids and 2 adults (thanks Facebook for hosting the offer and Twitter for how I found out about it.) The Legoland Chicago was in a “Wiregrass Mall” type setting (for all of you who live in Tampa, this will make sense.) It was basically a BIG store with a few rides. In the summertime, they had “camps” and the place was FULL of kids with little supervision (let’s just say a ratio for 1 adult per 10 kids it looked like). The lines were super long and the rides were “kind baby” according to Jake. But we had fun, the kids liked building with the legos and eating over priced pizza and seeing what others had built with the leogs (Jake LOVED seeing all the cities built out of legos. But I wasn’t to impressed and really glad that I didn’t pay too much money to get in.

So on to Legoland Florida. After watching the You Tube video the night before and thanks to a very generous offer from WTSP News Channel 10, we found out we would be going on “press day” the day before the Grand Opening. From my perspective…THIS. WAS. AWESOME. For so many reasons. Few lines. Less people. Not crowded. Can you tell I’m not a “theme park mom”? We have Busch Gardens annual passes and we venture to other places here and there, but I am ALL for off days and little crowds. So here in my honest opinion is what I thought and why (I am not being paid by anyone and these thoughts are my own. I did get free tickets to the park from WTSPand you can see some of their pictures here. Just incase anyone is wondering…)

1. The price sounded kind of high…at first. I honestly looked at the price and had to do a double take. It was, in my opinion, kind of expensive ($75 for adults and $65 for kids… plus tax). But if you live close enough, and you will go 2, 3 or 4 times throughout the year, it’s totally worth it. I’m not a crammer. I like to enjoy the park and know that if we didn’t get to do it in one day, we will come back (gives me an excuse as to why we can’t do something when someone is melting down and we have to leave any park.) But after seeing what Legoland Florida had to offer, I do think that the price is worth paying and very worth the upgrade to an annual if you live close enough. And do yourself a favor, buy at least one person in your family the “plus” admission so you aren’t always obligated to pay for parking, another $10+ per visit if you go often. (If you are a grandparent, they do have Senior rates too!)

2. If your kid loves Legos, they will love this park. The park was beautiful. They incorporated Legos in to everything! If you have a Lego lover, they will be impressed. I was!

3. I think that there is a window when kids will not want to go anymore. I think that my kids ages 7, 5 and 2, will love this park for about another 4 years. I think after that they will have done it all and want more of a thrill. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I love that we will be able to take full advantage of this park because we are at the right age. Perfect. And hopefully they will remember how much fun they had there and will come back when they are older.

4. The rides were perfect for kids ages 5 to 10/11…12 might be pushing it. I loved the fact that my 1st grader could ride everything. 48″ was the magic number and the rides weren’t that scary for him. He rides most things at Busch Gardens, and had lots of fun on the coasters at Legoland. (I think that I screamed louder than him on a few, but we had a really good time. It’s nice to not have to say you can’t ride that. I liked that they geared the rides toward the early elementary schooler. Mia was a little more timid so she didn’t ride, but she did have the option and I liked that too!

5. It was a very clean park. The Red Rover App people would be proud. Clean bathrooms and changing tables. Cleanliness is important to me. I like things clean. (Hope it stays that way!)

6. There was alot to do and see for a fulls day worth of fun. With shows, 4D movies, things to build in the air conditioning and rides to ride, I would say that one could easily spend the ENTIRE day (much like most theme parks) and have a blast. I’m not big on “pushing the envelope” with my kids, but they were pooped by 3pm and I know that we will be back so we left with out doing everything. Now we have a reason to go back!

7. 48″ is the key number (36″ plus one parent is necessary) Because Jake was JUST tall enough, it made my afternoon much better to know that we could all ride the rides together- Jake by himself and myself with Mia. Jake was JUST barely tall enough. If not, I would have had a much harder time trying to figure out what to do with 2 kids needing me, the single adult on our trip, to ride a ride.

8. The food and drinks were not over priced! Yeah! I was impressed that everything there was not SO over priced. I paid $2 for a water, $3 for a hotdog and $6 for a slushie (with a take-home cup!) and $2 for an ice cream! NOT BAD! I don’t think coolers are allowed in the park and there were restaurants one could dine at. (The pizza in the media tent was pretty good too!) So thumbs up not having to spend a small fortune on food and beverages!

9. There’s actually alot to LEARN from Legos at Legoland. I didn’t feel AS bad about pulling Jake and Mia from school to go to Legoland, because I feel that when kids play with Legos, they are learning something. It’s imaginative play and some of the rides at Legoland Florida will actually give you a workout too! You can learn about gears, levers, pulleys, what makes buildings tall and more. I really like that they have learning experiences based on ages, so I do think that this place would be a great place for a field trip too! Here is where you can find out more about their field trip programs.

The You Tube video had done a great job of capturing what we would be seeing. It was all true. So bottom line, I like the park. I thought it was pretty neato. The kids had a great time and I know that we will come back and start back where we left off. I think it’s worth the trip and I am sure that everyone should keep an eye out for deals and specials. The Legoland Florida Facebook and Twitter pages are pretty active and might have specials. When you find one, jump on it! (I missed the AAA special and I think that there was a Florida teacher special too.) There is also an “unofficial” guide to the park here too.

And if you want someone else’s opinion, I know that some of my Twitter friends also came on Media Day and have reviews posted too: @ThemeParkMom, @WhoaMomma and @MinneMom So check them out too! (They are more seasoned reviewers than I, so you might want to check them out too!)

Nice job Legoland Florida. This Mama is glad you’re here!

20 Jul 2011

My Summer Adventure in Michigan

3 Comments Adventures

I haven’t been back to Michigan in 7 years.  My grandparents have yet to met Shelby.  I haven’t seen my California cousins in over 10. Read more

18 Feb 2011

Carnies and Fried Butter…I dare you!

2 Comments Adventures, Florida, Review

Updated for February 2015

So against my better thoughts and because they even give my kids a day off of school to go to it, I up and decided to take the kids to the Florida State Fair the other day.   It was kind of a last minute decision, but what the heck… Read more