Friday, September 5, 2014

The Art of Fielding

My book club has done it once again! One of the members picked Chad Harbach's novel The Art of Fielding, which is a book that I would have normally walked right by without a second glance. College baseball set in the mid-west is not a plot that speaks to me yet I really loved this book. And in fact it might have been one of my most favorite book club discussion!

Goodreads says: At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

Henry’s fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry’s gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooners’ team captain and Henry’ best friend, realizes he has guided Henry’s career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert’s daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life.

As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. In the process they forge new bonds, and help one another find their true paths. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment—to oneself and to others.

No matter what your plans are for the weekend, I hope you all have a little bit of time to read and relax!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First Day Of School 2014

I not sure how we got here so fast but we did. Another summer in the books and a new school year has already started!

This is a year of many "first's". B starts her first year as a middle schooler. Personally I have never seen a child more excited to start middle school. All I can say is that I hope she is this happy for all three years. Our other "first" is that L is starting kindergarten this year! He is just over the moon that he will "finally" be in the same school as M.

May all of their days this year be filled with smiles!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Not The Way I Wanted To Say Goodbye To Summer

Ever since we got back from the Cape, I feel as though I have taking on a full time job. This "job" has been the task of making sure that our youngest child to start kindergarten and have us feel that he had a good allergy plan in place. (If you have been reading for awhile you know that he needs one!) Unfortunately, I am getting no where fast!! And I will do a post on all the details soon...promise!

So I am sure that I would hear me when I said that I needed more summer. More time to just hang out with my kiddos and feel like everything was ok because we were all together. I need more time in control. (Yes, I know I need to work on "letting go".)

All of that stress aside, I am happy to report that all we did this past weekend was be together with a nice date night too. I took this weekend as my chance to hold on to family as much as I could and I don't even care that mother nature wasn't going to work with me. I didn't let any thunder storm get in my way!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cape Cod {Brew Run}

If you knew Hubby in real life you would know that he loves to run. So much so that a few years ago he decided that he needed to find a race while he was on vacation. Something about not slacking just because we were on vacay...yada, yada, yada!

Honestly, it is hard being married to someone so fit. But as luck would have it, Hubby found a race perfect for runners and spectators alike! 

The Brewster Brew Run is a 5.2 mile run in scenic Brewster, MA that has been held for the past 36 years. I think its popularity might have to do with the fact that The Woodshed, a local watering hole, provides cold beers for all after the race.

The weather was perfect for the race this year. Only the top finishers get free race t-shirts, so Hubby was in it to win it! And I am happy (plus proud) to report that Hubby once again finished in the top ten.

After he ran that hard, I was more than happy to be the DD and let him enjoy the party. Maybe I need to find a 5K that hands out wine at the end of the race?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Cape Cod {Paddle Board}

I had really hoped for an easy transition when we returned from the Cape but that was not to be. When we got back home I really needed to hit the ground running! But now that things have settled down a little bit I finally had time to go through all of our pictures from vacation and I thought I would share some with you.

Two summers ago my mother and brother rented paddle boards for a day and when they were done my brother took the kids out for a short "ride". Well fast forward to this summer and they are still talking about how awesome it was to ride a paddle board with Uncle Tom. So we rented one for the day. I may or may not have done it simple because I feared a revolt if we don't!

After L had a couple of "rides" with Hubby, the older two tried it for themselves this year. While it was a beautiful day there was a strong breeze that I thought was cause them to fall a ton. But they did a great job and were clearly proud of themselves.

B might have already started talking about asking Santa for a paddle board. Personally I am ok with renting again next summer. Do any of you own a paddle board? If so, is it worth it?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Back To Reality

I am totally surrounded by laundry. I have way too much school paper work to fill out. There is no food in our fridge. But fear not I will persevere!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sand Between My Toes

I might be in need of a pedicure but I think spending time at the beach with my kiddos is a much better use of me time.

Don't you agree?

Friday, August 8, 2014


The sun is finally working with us and we plan to make the most of it!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Disney Junior Field Hockey Tournament {Part 2}

I think it is normal for players to be nervous before a big tournament but is it normal for parents to be too? I might be abnormal but mad was I stressed. It had nothing to do with how B and her fellow teammates would play. It had ever thing to do with the "unknown"! So I thought I would share with you some lessons learn on our first Disney Tournament.*

The first lesson that I learned was that while ESPN's Wide World of Sports is a Disney park, it is not easy to get to if you are using Disney's complimentary resort transportation. Especial if your child is playing in one of the first games of the day! I can not tell you how happy I was that I made the last minute decision to rent a car.

The second lesson I learned was the importance of water breaks for parents too. As a mother of three active kiddos I always am reminding my little athletes to drink plenty of water but I don't think about my need for water. Well all I can say is that water on a super hot July day in Florida is not just your friend but a totally necessity!!! I know understand why there are stories of parents being sent to the hospital from this tournament. 

ESPN Wide World of Sports will let all who enter their park bring in a water bottle. All I can say is do it! If you don't take care of yourself, how can you take care of your child!?!

I already knew this but it is such a joy to watch your child play a sport that does nothing but make them smile. But when they play at Disney their personal joy is just over the top! B's team was treated like super-star athlete and they played like them too.

And the last lesson is kind of sad one....the only thing that is wrong with children's sports is the adults. I was heartbroken over the way some coaches yelled at their player. I have yet to find an example of when it is ok to belittle a child in public. My own daughter walked off the field more than once filled with worry for the opposing team due to the way their coach treated them; not the score of the game. I think that is saying something.

So the take away for me is that it does not matter what place B's team came in. What mattered the most is that B's coach did nothing but her best to help these girls play their best and have fun. If B stops playing field hockey tomorrow she will still have a love for the game thanks to her coach. And for that I am forever grateful!!!

***I am totally not a Disney Sports expert as this was our first time there but hopefully not the last!***

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rainy Day On Vacay

Rainy day do happen on the Cape. Hard to believe I know but have no fear the kiddos and I are making the most of them!

I hope you are all making the most of any rainy summer days that head your way too!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Long Ride Up

Finally the sports teams that had ruled our lives have ended. Mom and I had packed the car and the kiddos and head out on the open road.

We all tried our best to keep our sense of humor. But L did start asking "are we there yet" before we had even left Virginia. Poor boy keep asking the same question the whole trip. Meaning we hear him ask the same question through seven states.

It was a long trip but I would do it ten times over. Nothing could keep me from the Cape!!!!

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Week Of Projects

My sweet mother has been coming down to Virginia in July to help me out with home projects for at least the last seven years. No project is off the table! We have painted. We have sewn. (Ok, mom has done most of the sewing.) We have going shopping for furniture and always found a deal or too. Really, my mom has been a godsend when it comes to having someone to bounce ideas off! And when I say I have a goal for the week, I know it will get done. 

This year was a little bit different since my mom came down more to watch the boys than complete projects due to B's tournament. However my mom would not be my mom if she did do something! So thank you mom for helping hang the kiddos bathroom hooks!!!

You can also find me at A Stroll Thur Life

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Disney Junior Field Hockey Tournament {Part 1}

As you might remember, if you are a long-time reader, B was picked to be a part of her field hockey club's "elite" team back in early spring. Even since making this team, B and her teammates have been working non-stop to improve their game for the last tournament of the season. Why were they working so hard - because their finally tournament was the Disney Junior Field Hockey Classic

So last Thursday B and I got up at an ungodly hour and got on a flight to Orlando. (If you knew me in real life you would understand that getting up before 5am was partially a miracle for me!) We had a nice flight down and got to our hotel before lunch. Which was great since I wanted to get B settled in before her big day on Friday. 

This was the first tournament that B has ever been in that had three days of "play". Three games on Friday and Saturday then Sunday was a "sudden death" round. If you ask me the fact that this was the longest tournament at the nicest facility these girls have ever played at means there was a lot of pressure put on these U12 girls. Luckily B and all of her teammates rose to the challenge!

They had a great first day; 2 wins and 1 loss. Due to how well the girls played the first day they were placed in a higher pool the next day. An honor and challenge rolled into one!

The second day was definitely harder with 1 tie and 2 losses. But since the girls kept all of the losses close they finished in the upper half of all teams combined.

I would be lying if I said that I was not stressed about the last day. The first game was close but they won! Unfortunately they did not win their second game but they played so well. The fact they never gave up was wonderful to watch as a parent!

B is such a competitive girl that she has definitely been bitten by the "Disney Tournament" bug due to its higher level of play. So I have a feeling this is not our last time at Disney Field Hockey Tournament!  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wiped Out!

B and I are finally back from her tournament at the ESPN's Wide World of Sports. We had a wonderful time. The girls played their hearts out and it was a joy to watch them.

I sure you are not surprised to hear that B is wiped out from three solid days of games under the Florida sun. What I am counting on is that you also understand that I am wiped out too! Please give me a day to get back to normal (plus go through over 250 pictures) and then I will tell you all about the tournament.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Night At The Fair

How did you spend your Thursday summer night? Well my family spent theirs at a county fair while B and I were away! I hope you enjoy Amy's, my SIL, guest post.....

I'm so happy to be guest posting on my beloved sister-in-law's blog. During the school year I teach kindergarten, but in the summertime I get to do things with my own kids I wouldn't normally have time a rodeo! The clouds cleared away just in time to enjoy a beautiful night with my daughter and nephews. The kids had so much fun looking at all the prize-winning pigs and chickens, but the best part was the professional bull riders.

One look at those massive animals and you could not PAY me to ride one! I think I'll leave it to the cowboys! The stands were packed, but we managed to sneak the kids to the front. It was pretty amazing to hear that one of the cowboys had received ten stitches in his jaw the night before, but would still be riding this evening. Ouch!

Of course, after spending money on admission, the favorite activity of the night was good old-fashioned tag and hanging out by the tractors. You can't beat a beautiful night at the fair with family!

Happy Summer to all you Lobster Meets Peach readers! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Southern Welcome

Hello Lobster Meets Peach readers!  I’m Amie (aka “Former Blogger A”)... a daughter, wife, mother of two, former blogger, and lucky local friend of our dear Eileen.

Ei recently asked me if I would write a guest post for her lovely blog, and I couldn’t be happier to oblige.  Since this is my first entry to Lobster Meets Peach, I first want to say a big Thank You for welcoming me to this beautiful little corner of the internet.  It might be a virtual one, but it’s a neighborhood all the same and I am honored to be a part of it! 

To carry on the welcome theme, I thought I’d share how our family recently welcomed our new next door neighbors to the community. I always love taking fresh baked goods to families who are just getting settled in their new homes.  This time though, we took a different route.  We still included sweets, but they were provided by our favorite local shop, Joy’s Dream Bakery.  Joy makes the freshest, yummiest confections.  We picked her white chocolate raspberry and tiramisu cupcakes. 

My sweet almost nine year old son made handmade a card, which my sassy little six year old daughter decorated with a picture inside. 

We capped off the gift with fresh wildflowers from our backyard garden, placed in a mason jar that we filled with stones to anchor the delicate flower stems.  Truly, is there anything a mason jar can’t do?!

What’s your favorite way to welcome someone to the neighborhood?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Wonderful World of Disney

B and I are off to the wonderful world of Disney but not for a vacation. We will not go on a single ride. We will not see a single show. We are going for one reason only - field hockey. When B made her travel team back in March we knew that they would be attended a national tournament at the very end of the season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports

Our bags are packed and we are ready for this big event. B and her teammates are all so excited, as they should be! They have all worked so hard and I really hope no matter what happens, win or lose, they enjoy this tournament.

View of an entrance sign that reads 'ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex'

While B and I are away I have some wonderful friends who will be guest blogging for me. Then I will be back on Tuesday to fill you in with all of the details. 

Go Rapids!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"One Plus One"

Our library does a pretty good job of keeping up with bestsellers from the New York Times. Being the clever people that they are, they knew that everyone wants to read "it books". So they started the "Hot Seven" category which is so genius. If  book is new and a bestseller it can only be checked out for seven day and may not be renewed. In other words, if you want to read this book you better read fast!

When I saw Jojo Moyes' latest book on the "Hot Seven" shelf I knew I had to pick it up. I had never read any of her previous books but I have heard nothing but praise for her works. 

According to Goodreads:

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.
 One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again.

If you are like me you read what Goodreads had to say and are still not sure. I mean it does sound a little out there and it is, but this book is so worth your time! It is a fast read because you will really come to love all of the characters, faults and all. By the end of the book you will have laughed and cried. And if you are anything like me you will love this novel since the main character is always optimistic. 

At the end of the day if we all kept our chin up the world world be a better place!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Plain Jane Ice Cream

My sweet mother-in-law bought me a lovely ice-cream maker for my birthday maybe seven or eight years ago but I am ashamed to admit that it was not used for years. I wanted to use it but I was letting our food "issues" get in the way. B was allergic to dairy until after her sixth birthday. Plus she was allergic to eggs and when she outgrew her egg allergy we found out that little L was highly allergic to eggs. 

Most chefs will tell you that you need cream and eggs to make a proper ice cream so my poor ice cream maker just sat and sat for years. Then I just went for it! Maybe it is because I am an "allergy mom" or even just a mom that I decided that I could care less about "proper ice cream" and more about home-made ice cream. It might not be fancy ice cream, in fact it is just plain vanilla, but it is good!

Plain Jane Vanilla Ice Cream

1 cup whipping cream
2 cups half & half
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extra

Combine the whipping cream, half & half, sugar and salt in a sauce pan. Heat the sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until all of the sugar has dissolved. 

Take the sauce pan off the heat and stir in vanilla.

Place mixture into a seal-able container and place in the refrigerator. It is best if mixture can sit over night to chill.

Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and follow its instructions. (I left my machine running for about 35 minutes but each machine is different.) Then freeze your ice cream until hard, at least two hours.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Anniversary Get-Away {Part 2}

After our lovely afternoon, we got dressed for our night out on the town. But before we got to our first stop I made Hubby take a little detour. We acted like many other tourists that night and headed up to the White House.

And being the sweet wife that I am, I forced Hubby to take a selfie with me. I promised not to post this picture to Instagram but I never said anything about the blog!

Our first stop was at the P.O.V. bar. P.O.V. is a roof-top terrace and bar at the top of the W Hotel. We had heard from family and friends that P.O.V. had the best views in DC. And I have to agree with them!

After we enjoy a drink and the beautiful view, we were ready for dinner. Since this was a "wing-it" kind of a get away we had not made and reservations. I must say at first things were not looking good. The first restaurant that we tried had an hour and a half wait. Luckily our second try, BLT Steak, was much better - no wait at all! 

So here is will you will have to forgive me. I have no pictures from dinner. Hubby was so over me taking pics with my phone and in all fairness he was right. I happily put my phone away since I was on a date with Hubby and not with other bloggers. We enjoyed a lovely meal and were reminded that we really like hanging out together. Not too bad if you ask me!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fun In The Sun

The kiddos and I have been really enjoying all of this beautiful summer weather. We are just simply trying to make the most of it.

I hope you are too!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Anniversary Get-Away {Part 1}

Hubby and I were able to get-away this past Saturday due to the fact that I have wonderful and kind in-laws who offered to watch our kiddos for the night. It was a totally last minute trip that just came together perfectly. We didn't even have a hotel reservation until last Friday morning and that was it. Yet some how the stars aligned for us!

We spent the night at the DC St Regis and it did not disappoint! This hotel has it all; location, decor and over the top service. The only downside was that I was not able to fit their gorgeous chandelier in my bag on the way home. 

My sweet mother-in-law mentioned that the National Portrait Gallery had a a new Civil War exhibit, "Grant & Lee" and with that we had our plans for the afternoon. Normally Hubby is not an art museum kind of a guy but the promise of an exhibit based on history was all he needed to agree to head over. I even got him to wander through a couple of other exhibits.

After we walked back from the museum we had a surprise waiting for us in our room. A very thoughtful friend of my family had a bottle of champagne sent up to help us celebrate our anniversary. I am not going to lye to you...sipping champagne while getting ready for dinner is not bad at all!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Lucky Number 13!

Thirteen years ago today Hubby and I got married. Without a doubt that was the smartest thing I have ever done in my life!

So far spending my life with my best friend has been such a joy and I know it will only get better!

Friday, July 11, 2014


The weatherman lied! The sky did not stay sunny and a thunderstorm chased us from the pool. But if that is the worst thing that happened to us, I would have to say it was still a great day!

Hope you are loving summer as much as we are!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"The Tao of Martha"

I believe the first time I heard about author Jen Lancaster was from the blog Summer is a Verb which is totally fitting because Jen Lancaster started out as a blogger herself. Jen has turned the art of blogging into a wonder career as a New York Times bestselling author. (I may or may not be a little bit jealous.) So when I saw her latest memoir at my library I knew I had to check it out.

According to Goodreads:

One would think that with Jen Lancaster’s impressive list of bestselling self-improvement memoirs—"Bitter Is the New Black"; "Bright Lights, Big Ass"; "Such a Pretty Fat"; "Pretty in Plaid"; "My Fair Lazy"; and "Jeneration X"—that she would have it all together by now.

One would be wrong. 

Jen’s still a little rough around the edges. Suffice it to say, she’s no Martha Stewart. And that is exactly why Jen is going to Martha up and live her life according to the advice of America’s overachieving older sister—the woman who turns lemons into lavender-infused lemonade.

"The Tao of Martha" is a great summer read. My own home is far from "Martha Organized" but I am trying so I found it quite humorous to rad alone as Jen takes one year to get her home perfectly organized. I also truly loved reading all about Jen's beloved dog, Maisy and the little life lessons one can learn from their pets. 

I am be bias since Jen is a former Jersey-girl, like myself but if you are in the market for a good read I would have to recommend this one!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Perfect Summer Salad

There was a time when my girl friends and I would get together and try and have conversations while chasing our toddlers. We all said "this will be so much easier when they are older". Um what were we thinking!?! Between the worst winter and all of our children's different sports teams we have not seen each other in forever. Honestly I would pay good money to run after a wee-one if it meant I could have a chat with my friends in person more other. We really didn't know how good we had it!

So when a friend sent out a text saying lets have a little happy hour before the 4th, we were all in! All we had to do was bring something to share and something to sip. So simple yet so perfect. I will admit that I just brought some cupcakes, nothing worth blogging about. But Former Blogger A brought a salad that was so good I asked for the recipe. Being the wonderful friend that she is she said I could past the recipe along to you!

Asparagus, Tomato & Cumber Salad (from Prevention Magazine)

8 ounces asparagus, trimmed and roughly chopped into bit sized pieces
2 cups sliced english cucumbers
1 large tomato, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place the asparagus in a pot with a steam basket. Steam for about 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Immediately plunge the asparagus into a bowl of cold water, drain, and lightly pat dry.

Place in a large bowl. Stir in the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and feta.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oregano, oil, mustard, and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss well.

Trust me, you need to try this salad!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Small Town 4th

We might have been teased by a family member or two when we moved out to the western part of our county but on days like the 4th of July I say tease all you want! The 4th of July parade is one of the awesome perks of small town living. Main Street is always lined with neighbors and friends and the parade is also filled with friends and neighbors. It really is a whos-whos of small town living!

While I might love the 4th for its small town charm, my kiddos love it for the candy! All of the floats in the parade throw candy at the spectators.  What child would not love that!?!

It really was a wonderful way to celebrate America. And B must have felt the same way since she even took a picture with me. She might have even let me hug her in public. That is what I call "winning" when your daughter is a tween!!!

I hope you and your family had a safe and wonderful 4th! God Bless America!!!!
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