Tag Archives: Em and D

Motivational Monday

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Happy lucky ’13 everyone! I’m starting this first Monday of the new year with an inspirational quote by Helen Keller:

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.” 

I think it’s pretty fitting to begin the new year (albeit 7 days late) with a new message. After a very tough year, I want to be more optimistic in life, start believing in myself, knowing that it will all turn out well.  

I rang in the new year in style – at my sister’s winter wonderland wedding! We had a great group of friends, lots of pairs of boots, and an exorbitant amount of beer to help us end 2012. I couldn’t be happier to welcome this shmo into my family, although he pretty much already has been his whole life! That’s right folks, their story is almost too cute to tell, so I’m going to sum it up but saying “they started sleeping together when they were 2” 🙂

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ImageImageImageThanks Meg for some of the pics!! Love you mean it

 

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Maine – the way life should be

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Please excuse my three week hiatus. I beat off 4 assassins from a dashing young Australian man on the beach and they dragged me into solving a mystery in the depth of an African desert that would bring the world to a devastating end – a French conman was corrupting the Earth’s oceans with poison that would kill us all within days. You’re welcome. I needed every minute of those three weeks (especially those last few days at the end to run away with that same Australian to his villa in the Maldives to celebrate…obviously).

Wait, I’m confusing my life with Dirk Pitt. Happens more often then you’d think.

Anywho, we have so much to catch up on! The next two posts are going to include the things that made me happy in the last 3 weeks, but this one is going to be strictly about my vacation. Since this is my first summer as a “real person”, I treasure my vacations as if they were the aforementioned Aussie. Needless to say, I was excited. Every year, my family travels to a small town in Maine to spend July 4th on the beach. It’s like walking back into  time – there is one small store that sells everything from squeaky toy lobsters to salmon and couscous salads. There’s a marina, a nunnery, and a country club. And lots of beach 🙂

Tide pools appear at low tide – kids love them! Who wants to make a drippy castle?

They call this “Big Beach”. I wonder why.

One day, my godfather, an old friend of my dad’s, took us all on a sail on his boat. It was amazing! I enjoyed the scenery by sitting on the netting in between the boat hulls and ducking when the boom came in my direction (am I even making sense?). He was in charge of the sailing. I took so many pictures this day – the weather was perfect! – so I’ll show you some of my favorites:

Our faithful water and sailboat guide.

The happy couple on the nets.

I even had a Titanic moment with myself.

What? I’m supposed to be looking towards to far off sunset on the horizon and in the arms of a cute American on his way back home? Yea, well he missed the boat. Those dreams sank in the middle of the Atlantic, if you will.

Back to the vaca…Every Fourth of July, the town has a parade where people dress up their bikes, boats, fancy old cars, and dogs and parade down main street. Every year, we grab some coffee and bring it to the end of our driveway to cheer on the paraders. They throw candy to us onlookers- my favorites are banana Laffy Taffys. I’m pretty sure I’m going to love this tradition until the day I die. It’s so American 🙂

Later that day on the beach, D and I made a stellar sand castle, carrying on our 2nd annual tradition of making every kid on the beach jealous. Behold:

Complete with 4 chambers, 5 towers, a moat, and 2 bridges. Excellent views of the beach. Movie theater and recording studio in the basement. Offer ends at high tide.

Our last night, we celebrated by getting fresh Maine lobstas (wicked good) and eating them on the beach. There is nothing quite like cracking a lobster shell with a rock on the beach and then throwing the shells to the sea gulls. The gulls gotta eat.

Looks like the perfect table to me!

The sunsets here are out of this world! Boats and lighthouse provide a backdrop that even Winslow Homer couldn’t dream up.

“The Great Pond”…I guess they were lazy the day they named things here.

Those colors are electric!

It was a much needed week with a lot of time spent with friends and family. I’m glad we could all make it for the whole week. This is a very special place to all that went, and it definitely meant a lot – this year especially. Stay tuned for the next post about last week – here’s a little hint: it includes a real dashing Australian man 😉

Say goodbye, Lois the Lobster! She had a good life until everything boiled over and she cracked.

Delish!

Weekend Re-CAPE!

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Welcome to the last week of June! Wait….how did this happen? It feels like just yesterday I was packing up my wonderful car Blanche with my entire life to move to Boston. A looot has happened since then – where did the time go, friends? It’s been a really trying year to say the least, and even though we may want to at times, it’s obvious that we can never stop this train. Just keep going. All the more reason to focus on the good spots in life 🙂

She’s all set for an adventure! The night before I drove to Boston…

1. I’m grateful for the whole weekend at the Cape. It was my first time to Cape Cod (did anyone else like my clever play on words in the title???). It seems like a right-of-passage for every Bostonian to go to the Cape at least once and I don’t blame them – it’s beautiful! Em and D were a bit late in getting here, so we didn’t get on the road until almost 9pm. There wasn’t any traffic at that time though, so we made it there easily. After some hugs hello, we hung out at the house drinking Sam Adams’ Summer Ale with the fans at full blast (still roasty toasty up here).  We woke up on Saturday morning not to an alarm clock, but to the kiddos jumping on the bed. After a delicious fruit and yogurt smoothy for breakfast, we all hit the beach for a nice long morning walk. The clouds hadn’t quite cleared, but this beach was gorgeous! The houses around it were unbelievable! I’m sure they have some awesome views!

I wonder what the taxes on that house must be…

So many shells, so little tree!

We came across a tree towards the end of our walk covered in shells. It has become a tradition to string a shell onto one of the branches of this old tree – maybe for good luck? It would be riCONCHulous if I didn’t MUSSEL up the strength to adorn this tree with another one! What SHELL I wish for? 😉

We went back to the house for lunch and changed into our suits for the beach again! It was my first time in the swim suit this summer, so I was pretty stoked to get some good sun time. The girls and D stayed on the beach with the little ones. They are so fun to be around – and very eager to get into the water. “Will you go in yet?”, “Has it been 5 minutes?”, or “How about now?” was reiterated a few times….but we did go in with them! At the end of the afternoon, they’d been in the chilly water so much, their little teeth were chattering!!! Time to rinse off at home…

They built a lot of sand castles, but their favorite part was wrecking it!

I know I know, I’m really tan. It’s a tough job, ya know?

Saturday night, we all went out to dinner as a family 🙂 I love being able to call them “Family” now because my sister is marrying D. We’ve known them forever and now it’s finally becoming official! This may have been my favorite part of the trip – just a simple seafood dinner chatting and cheersing away the night. A few of us decided to grab a drink at a local bar afterwards (in walking distance from the house). It seemed like everyone knew everyone – such a small town! I loved it.

I left Sunday morning because I had to be back in Boston to work. And I was really bitter about it because it was such a GORGEOUS day!! Oh well, I have another vaca coming up in a week so I can’t complain 🙂

2. Nutritious and delicious meals. Today, after work, I had time to go to the grocery store. I worked out in the morning today because I got to bed early enough that I wasn’t still unconscious at 6:30am. It wasn’t too bad…maybe I’ll retract my statement from before about morning workouts?
I bought all the essentials I needed to make this quinoa and black bean salad:

yummmm

  • quinoa and black beans obvi…
  • red pepper
  • corn
  • green onions
  • cilantro
  • lime juice
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

It’s so simple to make – just throw all the ingredients together! I made enough to last me a few days in lunches at work. I think I should do this every Monday. I like feeling prepared for the week ahead because I hate scrambling for random food to eat during the day when I’m running out the door in the morning. I especially like this meal because it’s so healthy and full of protein. Quinoa is a super grain and it’s packed with all kinds of healthy vitamins and minerals that are so beneficial to your health. I’ve been trying to eat more protein in my diet because I can’t seem to stay full for very long, and quinoa is a really good way to incorporate good protein and fiber. Thanks quinoa!!!

3. I had a fresh mango for dessert. I wish I had taken a picture of it, but I was reeeally eager to eat it, and it was really messy (and I was watching the Bachelorette so I couldn’t leave the room to get my camera). Fruit in the summer time is hands down, bar none, most definitely, unerroneously the best thing ever. Pass me the berries, the nanners, and the watermelon, the pineapples and the cherries. I like them all! Such a good dessert too.

It’s going to be a busy week!! Happy trails 🙂