I think this video gives us all something to think about.
There were countless breathtaking fjords.
The weather was anywhere from -5 degrees to 75 degrees throughout our trip– but my packing strategy went off without a hitch!
We were in the land of the midnight sun.. This rainbow appeared at midnight!
I bought this selfie stick, which came in quite handy!
We passed the Arctic Circle and visited some breathtaking glaciers.E took this picture unknowingly with the selfie stick– I think that kid has a future in photography!
That was E’s favorite part of the trip.
I was motivated to work out on the track of the ship- world’s most beautiful backdrop!
After two weeks on the ship, we spent another week with family in Hvasser. I could live here. We truly had the trip of a lifetime. Of course, only half of our family was there- so as you can imagine, after three weeks I was happy to get back to Lou and Michael (and the furry girls.)
Oh, how I missed that smiling face!
A couple of weeks ago, our little Lou turned seven. She wanted a mermaid party inspired by her last Halloween costume. It was so much fun designing the details.
Melissa custom-made these invitations for us. Lou was so excited for the day of her party to finally arrive.Luckily, her theme matched our porch. 😉Mint is Lou’s favorite color, so it made things very easy.
Etsy is my place for all things fabulous. How fantastic are these tablecloths?
However, I had the brilliant idea of surprising the girls with goldfish thinking that they could double as centerpieces. (I know, I am a maniac.) I figured it was a great lesson in responsibility. Much to my chagrin, my girls are far more responsible than I thought… I also learned that these goldfish can live up to 40 years. Yowsa.But they love them. Lou named hers Sparkles, and E named hers Lucky.Just two more animals on this crazy farm… but back to the decorations…
We made the caramel starfish cupcake toppers out of a mold that I bought at Michael’s.And were able to use a ton of beachy decorations that we already had.Naturally, all of the food resembled some sort of sea creature.Phish Food is Lou’s absolute favorite ice cream. The girls had fun making their own drinks with candy fish swimming in them.
The party favors were my favorite element of the party. I bought these bags, had them embroidered with each girls’ name and glued on these crocheted starfish.We filled them with these wands and flower necklaces that we made with trim from our local fabric store.
The birthday girl had such a great time.. I love her little face so much!
Photography- Afton Photography
Invitations + Tags- Made on Eastern Avenue
Table Clothes- Candy Crush Events
Favor Bags- Amazon
Starfish- Knelly Bean
Wands- Little Crafts 01
Ombre Tassel Banner- 3 Kids and Colors
Cupcake Wrappers- Mooses Creations
Whether it’s bing 38, lack of sleep or genetics (or a combination of the three) the dark circles under my eyes have really been bothering me as of late. So, I did extensive research, tried out more than I can even imagine and have my round up of the best on the market. Bye-Bye bags!
Today would have been my Mom’s 70th birthday. It’s hard to beleive she’s been gone almost 10 years. I’m often sad to think of how much my girls are missing out on by not knowing her ridiculously loud voice, her abundant charisma and her loving spirit. And just then, magically, one of them will tell one of the many “Grandma” stories that they have heard through the years while trying to imitate her in their best New York accent.
My mom lost her 16 year battle with Thyroid Cancer two weeks before the birth of my first daughter (and her first grandchild.) Something she so badly wanted to be there for. My sister was also pregnant with her first child and was due two months after me. The emotional pain of knowing what she would be missing seemed to wear on her so much more than the physical.
It took me a reaaaaaallly long time to move on. But the fact is that I had a new family and a job and a lot of responsibility. I didn’t have a choice. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I instinctively picked up the phone to call her when my newborn was sick, or something great happened in my life- only to hear that her number had been disconnected. Over the past 10 years I would have given anything to ask my mom questions about family medical history, how I was as a child, or even get a simple recipe that I loved growing up. But that was no longer an option.
Unfortunately, the real world is not an ideal place to grieve. Our schedules don’t allow for it. You take your bereavement leave, bury your loved ones and pick yourself up and dust yourself off and move on as best you can. Picking up the pieces as you go.
But the pain of losing a parent doesn’t go away. A piece of your heart is missing. No one will ever love you like a parent. That person that you’ve strived your entire life to make proud isn’t there for any of your future accomplishments. The one who picked you up and loved you when you were at your lowest is no longer there to tell you everything is going to be ok. One half of who you are and where you came from is gone forever.
It’s now up to you to keep their memory alive. Not just for your children, but for yourself. And slowly that hole in your heart becomes a little smaller day by day. It will never completely go away, but it changes, for the better. I am so lucky to have an amazing father and two wonderful siblings. I am so proud of how close we have kept our growing family and how well we have kept her spirit alive. Now, 10 Grandchildren later, we make family time a priority. Because that’s how we were raised. I think Mom would’ve been proud.