Friday, August 31, 2012


Sometimes chances need to be taken, risks to be calculated. To succeed in something starts with actually attempting. Taking those first chances, making a little change. It starts with a beginning and an ending. An ending of a past behavior or routine.

My husband and I are a good team. We are a fairly creative and resourceful pair.  But our ideas don't always work and sometimes don't even come to fruition. I don't know if our big ideas can be too much because each starting place seems so small. So we've done something huge. We have changed our daily routine in hopes of capturing some big picture dreams. Through a series of exciting possibilities and lots of consideration this change was decided: I did not return to teaching as a full time Kindergarten teacher this school year.  

This means the beginning of a new home routine. Everyday having tasks of making our lives, our home, our relationships stronger. Dedicating time to what we see as the best for us and our loved ones. We are opening ourselves up to possibility and taking the time to accomplish goals that have always been priority but never quite obtainable. We are starting change. 

It is exciting and liberating and intimidating. So much to dedicate ourselves to.  Many goals and hopefully having a little more time will assist us in accomplishing them.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Family Ties: A Special Visitor

Oh the joys of summer - school is out and nieces come to play! One of the best weeks happened while our oldest niece, H, came to visit our home in July.

I love spending time with our nieces and nephews. To me, having an experience, making a memory with a child is so important for both children and adults. It is important to for all relationships of a family unit, making strong connections and creating feelings of responsibility and joy for the family. I have significant memories from my childhood visits with loved ones, and I hope to create even more now that I am in an adult role.

Our house was total summertime favorites for a week! We always have a good time with H by providing responsible, realistic, and fun activities for her to choose from (and often several preplanned surprises). We typically try to make sure a few of those are things that she can't easily do at home (living on the family farm has so many unique experiences and freedoms to explore, but coming to visit our little town provides easy access to different types of enriching activities for children).

Some highlights from the week...


Bedtime Stories

H's first sewing project: headband

Games and Ice Cream 

Rainy day fort building
Unfortunately I did not get a good photo of H on the bike path, which she loved biking (everyday of her visit). This summer she started riding her two-wheeler and thought the paved path to get us to and from town was just the bee's knees!

At the end of the week, we had a lovely (rainy) afternoon visit to the Dayton Art Institute. I enjoy going to art museums with others or alone but especially on days with extreme weather. If you can't go out and appreciate the beauty outdoors, why not see something beautiful inside?!

Before we got ready to have our afternoon out, I shared with H the fun of wearing "something that makes you feel beautiful while you see so many beautiful things". Her eyes lit up during the blown glass exhibit- hand in hand with her uncle while wearing her favorite dress.

Of course we spent lots of time in the children's area of the museum! H is one busy lady! So it is best to have interesting ideas for her not only to think about, but also do with her hands.

We truly loved our days together. Can't believe this little miss started First Grade yesterday! I suppose next summer will be here in no time and she can come for a lengthy visit with new adventures!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Florida 2012: A Visit to the Sarasota Brewing Company

We recently traveled to sunny Florida to visit some family - and enjoy some beach time.

When scheduling our trip we had heard that the first (and only) microbrewery of Sarasota County was close to one of our favorite beaches. I visited their website prior to our trip and we made plans to head over for a lunch date. While visiting the nearby Siesta Key Beach for an awesomely lazy day on a cabana (talk about luxury) we knew it was the perfect time to order something tasty from Sarasota Brewing Company!

First impression: Interested. We pulled up to the general area of the bar and parked down the street near a few little shops and many other restaurants and bars. Upon entering the bar we noticed several college football team flags - most of which were colleges from Ohio!

Service: Just fine. We chose to sit in the dining area. We were even able to watch a soccer game on a large screen. Our waitress was attentive but quiet. She eventually warmed up to us by the end of our meal.

Food: We had an order of fish and chips and a reuben. The food was warm, tasty and perfect after a morning on the beach!

Prices & Other Notes: Affordable prices on both food and beer ($5.50 for a pint). Since we went during lunch time we did not get a good feel for a dinner or late night crowd. The website states that the bar is family friendly and has a children's menu. 

As for the beer: Since it was only lunch time we decided to order the flight of samples to taste all of their current brews on tap. (Only $4.75 for the flight)

The Sarasota Brewing Company mentioned many times (on website and on location) that their selection is often changing. During our experience this is what was on tap:

Sarasota Gold - Light golden easy drinking beer

Sequoia Amber Lager - Mild sweet amber lager

Honeymeade Ale - Sweetest of the flight. The honey was evident and was my favorite!

Maibok - Medium bodied, mildly hoppy, German lager

Sarasota India Pale Ale - Pretty tasty IPA (which are not typically my favorite)

Midnight Pass Porter - Full bodied, dark porter (received my husband's approval)

If you are ever in the area and want to visit the first and only microbrewery of Sarasota County it will be a drink or meal worth consumed! And after you visit feel free to add a comment about your experience. I hope to go back again to see what else is on tap!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

An Exceptional First Anniversary

At the end of July we had our first wedding anniversary! It was awesome. A day that will be special for years to come. We decided that if a first anniversary is on a Monday then a two part date is in order :) A couple cannot fit everything into one night after work hours!

Last Sunday we went to brunch at one of our favorite restaurants - the same restaurant where we hosted our rehearsal dinner just last year and then to a movie.


Monday we ate our year old cake - surprisingly very good for having been frozen for an entire year! We hiked the same trail that we hiked on our wedding day (for our "first look" and photos before the ceremony). It was fun to hike it together instead of meeting each other in the middle. After our hike we had a lovely dinner at another favorite restaurant in our little town.

One of my goals for our first anniversary was to figure out a way to document the day that we will value as a couple for years to come. Let me just say, I love documenting life. I was a scrap-booker during my teens and then as I became a teacher I found that charting student growth should be much more than just tests and final scores. I have kept portfolios displaying work and images of children to see their many aspects of growth during one school year. I also try to incorporate the idea of documentation into useful items or representations in other places of our lives, such as our home or special traditions in our family.We decided that taking a photograph each year would be a wonderful way to remember how much we've grown together each year and would be a vital part of our documentation piece. This is why I decided to create "anniversary bunting". On Monday, I trimmed and sewed little flags and left spaces for a photo from our upcoming anniversaries too (We already added a wedding photo to the beginning of the bunting and took several photos on Monday during our evening to add for our first year's celebration). It is a work in progress, sort of like a sweet little timeline to see how we age over the many upcoming anniversaries we are to celebrate. I cannot wait to choose a photo to print and add to our anniversary bunting to represent our first year of marriage!

Making bunting for our anniversary timeline