Category Archives: Family

The Best Day!

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The Best Day!

Hi! Although Johnny and I had a rough bout with side effects from the Moderna vaccine this past weekend, it was still a great one because my brother, sister in law, and their son traveled from Georgia for a visit. My family is fully vaccinated and it was such an amazing gift for all of us to be together for the first time since our family trip to Kentucky last summer. When my nausea subsided enough on Saturday, Johnny and I enjoyed a quick trip to the park with our nephew and it was so fun watching him run around and play. However, Sunday was the best day I have had in forever.

On Sunday, my entire family: Mom, dad, sister, brother, brother, brother in law, sister in law, niece, nephew, and fiance went to the Akron Zoo together. To visit the zoo according to their COVID standards, you purchase tickets for a time slot and a limited amount of people are allowed in the park. We got to view the Akron Zoo on a beautiful day and it wasn’t as crowded, which was really nice.

Of course, I love going to the zoo any time any day but it was the absolute best to be there with my whole family and see my little niece and nephew have fun. They both loved riding the carousal, seeing the Grizzly bears swim around in their exhibit, and each getting a stuffed bear from their TT at the gift shop. My only regret is how quickly our two hour time slot went by because I could have stayed there for hours with everyone if we could!

After our outing at the zoo, we had dinner on the patio of one of my family’s favorite Mexican restaurants, El Campesino. This was such a treat for me because Johnny and I haven’t been to a restaurant since the pandemic began. It was so special to share a big meal with every single one of us at the table and it was also so special to me to have my first Margarita in over a year lol! The food was delicious and just like our trip to the zoo, I was sad when it was over because I wish we could do family days like that all of the time.

Being surrounded by all of my loved ones on Sunday is a memory that I am going to cherish for forever. It was just awesome to see my brother, his wife, and my adorable nephew for the first time in so long and also a small miracle that we found a day that worked with everyone’s hectic schedule. I cannot wait for our next family event which can now happen more frequently since we are vaccinated and, until then, I’ll be replaying our joyous day on repeat in my head! ❤

What is your family’s favorite restaurant? What is your favorite family memory? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pansy Party

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Pansy Party

Hi! My dad is an avid and exceptional gardener but, unfortunately, broke his arm and dislocated his shoulder about a month ago. Needless to say, his injury put a huge damper on his plans for his flower and vegetable garden this spring and summer so everyone in my family has stepped in to help make it happen anyways. This past week, I spent some time outside with my dad planting pansies while he oversaw the process and we are both very pleased with the outcome of our first project! Check it out:

I used to love helping my dad in the garden when I was younger and our afternoon planting flowers brought me back to those happy times in the sunshine with him. He was so sweet to provide gardening gloves for me to protect my talons with and it felt really good to metaphorically get my hands dirty and make something beautiful grow. Our pansy patch was a team effort and my dad and I planned the layout together and I dug the holes while he removed the flowers from their containers.

I absolutely love pansies because I remember helping my dad plant them back in the day and my grandma used to have them growing outside of her funeral home. I feel so proud every time I see our completed project in my parent’s yard and it immediately brings me back to the time I spent with my dad making it happen.

We gardened on the most glorious spring day and it was a blast to enjoy the weather and talk and laugh about anything and everything. In fact, it was so warm out that day that I was wearing shorts and my legs got pretty filthy. Just like in my youth, my dad helped me hose off all of the dirt once the flowers were planted and it was the perfect way to end our Pansy Party. I can’t wait to start our spring veggie garden next!

What is your favorite outdoor activity? What do you plan on growing in your garden this year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Happy Birthday, Sister!!

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Happy Birthday, Sister!!

Hello!! The birthdays in my family just keep coming because today is my beautiful sister, Kristen’s, big day! My sister is my absolute best friend and I cannot even put into words how proud I am of her. She is a legit wonder woman and I am constantly amazed by her motherhood journey. Her and my brother in law’s daughter, Valerie, is a huge light for me and I have seriously never met a happier, more loved little girl in my life.

Not only is Kristen an incredible mom to her daughter but she is a pet parent and advocate, as well. She has two dogs and two cats and her newest passion is fostering senior dogs from One Of A Kind Pets, the shelter that she works at. Her empathy and love truly knows no bounds and she is so dedicated to giving the best life to the animals who haven’t had it easy. In fact, her most recent senior foster named Baby just got adopted into her Furever Home!

Kristen inspires everyone that she meets – myself especially. As my big sister, I have looked up to her my whole life and that is still the case to this day as twenty-somethings. A sister is a built in best friend and Kristen is always there for me whether I need a laugh, girl time, or to vent. Everything we do together is like an adventure to me – whether it be going to concerts, Taco Bell dates, or taking her daughter to the park to play. I am, honestly, the luckiest girl in the world to be able to not only call her my big sis but my BFF. 

Happy Birthday, Kristen!!

I love you!!!!!!!!! ❤

Happy Birthday, Dad!

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Happy Birthday, Dad!

Hello! As soon as March hits, it becomes a birthday extravaganza in my family. By June 7th, we will have celebrated seven birthdays and each one is extremely special. In fact, today is a very happy wonderful day because it is my dad’s birthday! I am a huge daddy’s girl and can always count on my dad when I need a laugh, advice, or some good company. CHARLES is a man of many talents and I feel so lucky to have spent my life enjoying his beautiful gardens, incredible vacations, and infamous laugh attacks.

Despite my dad’s injury this past month of a broken arm and dislocated shoulder, he still takes care of his animal friends outside every day by filling their feeders. My dad’s appreciation for the outdoors has instilled a “stop and smell the roses” attitude in me and whenever I see spring flowers or hear birdsong, I always think about him and smile.

I love watching my dad be a grandpa to my niece and nephew and, even as an adult, I can still come to him with all of my problems knowing that he will help me. My dad inspires me, humors me, and encourages me and I simply cannot wait for him to walk me down the aisle when Johnny and I get married. I am so proud to be his daughter and it is an honor for him to be proud of me too. ❤

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

I love you!!!! ❤

A Super Happy Day

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A Super Happy Day

Hi! This is a very exciting time for Lil Red because of my upcoming wedding. Johnny and I are going to be having a very small ceremony with only immediate family but that doesn’t mean that we still don’t have a lot to do. While there are a bunch of odds and ends to tend to, our primary concern was what we were going to wear! Lol, as soon as we announced our engagement, the resounding theme of so many of our friends was how excited they were to see our weddingwear and, judging by what Johnny and I selected, I think we are going to deliver!

This past Monday, my mom went with me to a local tailor to get my measurements for the dress that I planned on ordering. Despite it being a literal less than five minute visit at the shop, I was still very excited to have that time with my mom because there will be no huge wedding to plan. I never really dreamed of a big wedding, rather, I was more looking forward to the time I would spend with my mom during the preparations.

To get my measurements, I was actually wearing one of my mom’s tops because I only had a hoodie on that day and wanted the numbers to be precise. While waiting for her to arrive in the parking lot, I just had to snap a few selfies, even with no makeup, because I was feeling so happy! I can definitely tell in these pictures:

Once I returned home from my outing with my mom and Johnny got home from work, we both ordered our weddingwear and I can’t wait for both of our outfits to arrive. I can’t tell you guys anything about it because the looks are a surprise but, just know, it will be far from traditional! I wouldn’t want it any other way. ❤

What did you wear for your wedding? What was your ceremony/reception like? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

A Sunshiney Day

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A Sunshiney Day

Hi! I had a random day off this past week and it just so happened to be on the most glorious spring day with weather in the seventies. The only thing on my agenda other than writing was dropping off some laundry to my sister and, instead of going to her house, she suggested we meet at the park so my niece, Valerie, could play. This sounded like the perfect plan to me and I was counting down the hours until our meeting because I knew it would be fun!

In the greater Akron area in Ohio, there are countless places to enjoy the weather when it’s nice out like Metro Parks for hiking, lakes for swimming, and playgrounds for the little ones. My sister, Kristen, and I actually ended up taking Val Gal to one of the parks that we used to play at all the time when we were kids and it hit right in the nostalgia. With Valerie and Kristen’s senior foster dog, Baby, in tow we spent over an hour at the park running around, swinging, sliding, and teeter-tottering.

Being an aunt is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I treasure any time that I get to spend with my lil niece. I love watching my sister be the amazing mom that I knew she would be and we are both constantly in stitches together over Val and her “goofball” ways, as Kristen always says.

Just one hour in the park and sunshine with my sis, Val, and Baby put me in the best mood and it was such an awesome way to welcome the beautiful weather. Whenever I am feeling blue, I always remember that Val can say “Hi, TT” to me now and it instantly makes everything better. My sister and her daughter are my number one BFFs (And my mom, of course!) and I am so lucky to have them and am so thankful for the wonderful time we spent together at the park! ❤

How do you enjoy the outdoors in your area? What was your favorite thing on the playground when you were little? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Projects To Work On As A Family

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Projects To Work On As A Family

A project that you work on as a family is a wonderful bonding experience that encourages team work and improving communication skills. Projects can bring siblings closer together and help teach new things to your children. In this post, we are going to look at a few projects both big and small that will create lasting memories with your loved ones. Let’s get started:

Make Something Grow:

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about a family gardening project. It will get you out into the sunshine after a long winter indoors and you will get to enjoy the fruits (and veggies!) of your labor all spring and summer long. If you can’t all agree on what should get planted or not, each family member could be assigned with their own plot of the garden to grow what they would like.

Build A Home:

One of the ultimate family projects would have to be building a home. It is not only an exciting project but will be a great exercise in learning how to compromise when planning out each room because everyone is going to have an opinion. When you have a solid idea of what you want your build to turn out like, consult with Toronto home builders or the experts in your area to turn your dream home into a reality.

Plan A Trip:

When it’s safer to travel again, a vacation or weekend getaway will be like the light at the end of the tunnel of this pandemic for your family. Once you agree on a location, things like restaurants and activities will have to be determined. Have each of your family members plan their ideal vacation day and enjoy some well deserved time off.

Art Projects:

You don’t have to be good at art to have fun doing it and a family paint or craft night will help get you in touch with your creative sides. Paint along with Bob Ross or look for inspiration for canvas art on Pinterest. Or, maybe you could all learn a skill together like macrame, woodworking, or pottery. Creating some artwork as a family could even turn into a home decorating project next!

Learn A New Language:

Learning a different language is so beneficial and it’s a cool project to work on as a family because you will always have someone to practice with. Sign up for some classes at the library or your local community center. You can also practice on Duolingo together. Foreign film movie nights and trying to cook some of the food that is traditional to the language you are learning is a must too.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet and the ideas above will give you something exciting and meaningful to do together as a family. Have fun!

Seahorses, Butterflies, & Toucans – Oh My!

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Seahorses, Butterflies, & Toucans – Oh My!

Howdy! Having a little niece and nephew is so fun and I love spoiling them both for birthdays and Christmas. My niece, Valerie, just turned two this past week and I had a blast online shopping with TJMaxx to purchase her prezzies. Among a Paw Patrol gardening kit and a sand castle table, I couldn’t resist buying my lil future fashionista some new summer dresses. Not only were the prices for these frocks cheaper than Target or Carter’s but they are, quite possibly, the cutest things that I have ever seen and I couldn’t not share them! Check it out:

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All I have to say when I clothes shop for Val Gal is “where was all of this stuff when I was a baby?!” because you know I stayed rockin that Osh Kosh B’Gosh twenty something years ago lol. I thought all of these dresses were so summery and sweet and Val loves animals big and small so the patterns will go over perfectly with her! In fact, one of her favorite things in the summer time is butterfly watching with her grandpa. 🙂

The denim blue butterfly dress by Nula Bug absolutely melted my heart when I saw it during my online shopping. The pink butterfly buttons?! Stop it! I also didn’t notice in the pictures of the dress online that it has pockets so my heart melted again as soon as it arrived in the mail.

I would never pay an extravagant price for clothes for my ever growing niece and nephew and felt comfortable with what I spent at TJs. Especially because I did all of this shopping during their winter clearance sale! Shopping during the transition of seasons is a sure fire way to save some money and TJMaxx updates their sale items frequently. This is always a good thing to keep in mind if you like to do birthday or holiday shopping early, like me.

Being an aunt is the best thing ever and the past two years have been so much brighter for me because of my niece and nephew. I sure wish time would slow down, though, it feels like just yesterday when they were both born! ❤

Which stores have the best seasonal clearance? Who is your favorite person to shop for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Cheer Up, Charles!

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Cheer Up, Charles!

Hello! My dad, CHARLES, is always spreading joy in the home with his beautiful bouquets and I look forward to seeing what arrangement is going to be on the kitchen table every time I stop by. This is his latest work:

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My dad is the best, funniest, most wonderful man I have ever known and, unfortunately, he broke his arm and dislocated his shoulder this past week. 😦 It makes me so sad and we are all hoping for a speedy recovery for him and are extremely thankful that he’s okay.

I wanted to make a call to action for Operation: Cheer Up, Charles and would love it if all of you could please comment with your favorite flowers and any well wishes. It will be like my readers are sending him a virtual bouquet! It would be so very appreciated and will be sure to make his day.

Thanks in advance to all and get well soon, Dad. I love you! ❤

Rebuilding A Relationship With An Estranged Family Member

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Rebuilding A Relationship With An Estranged Family Member

Families can be difficult and, sometimes, you’re going to argue. Usually, disagreements get forgotten and things go back to normal but that isn’t always the case as some families might end up splitting apart and not speaking, potentially for years. Dealing with estranged family members can be incredibly difficult and many people feel as though they want to keep things as they are and not speak to those people ever again.

However, even though you feel like that in the heat of the moment, it’s something that you could come to regret later on. Many people find that when they become parents and they start thinking about the importance of family, they want to rebuild those relationships before it’s too late. If you have an estranged family member and you want to reconnect with them, here are some important things to keep in mind:

Forgive Them For The Past:

If you are searching for an estranged family member because you feel like you’ve got a score to settle, things are never going to work out. It’s important that you forgive them for the past before you reconnect with them so you are going into this process with a positive mindset. Many people are estranged from loved ones that have been in legal trouble, for example. If this is the case, you need to deal with the practical elements, like how to search for an inmate and set up a visit, but you also need to find a way to forgive them for the mistakes they made in the first place. If you are not ready to put the past behind you, meeting up with estranged family members will only make things worse for both of you.

Establish Clear Boundaries:

Putting clear boundaries in place will help you rebuild the relationship slowly and avoid conflict. You should make your boundaries clear from the beginning and what those boundaries are depends on the relationship and the reason for it breaking down. To start, you may tell them that you won’t tolerate lying if that was a big issue before. Sometimes, you may also need practical boundaries in place about what time they can call you or how often you will see one another. The whole process will be much easier if everybody has clear expectations from the beginning.

Maintain Other Family Relationships:

When you rekindle a relationship with a family member that you haven’t spoken to for years, it feels like you have to make up for a lot of lost time. It’s common for people to throw themselves into that relationship and neglect other family members without even realizing it. It’s important that you are aware of this and you take the time to do fun activities with the family and spend quality time with your partner so they don’t feel like this new relationship has taken over everything else. 

These are all important things to consider but the main thing you need to remember is that you must be patient. Healing old wounds takes time, but as long as you don’t push it, your relationship can mend.

Featured Image By: Pexels