Evening Shadows

We took a walk around the neighborhood yesterday evening. The sun was out, casting long shadows everywhere. It was so nice to not have our huge jackets on, trudging through snow and fighting to keep our faces from the wind. No, last night was none of that. Just light sweaters and our faces in the sunshine. All of us are happiest when we're outside. We crave fresh air and nature and open spaces. I know one day we'll live on a farm or near an ocean.  But for now, we're enjoying our time in a city. It's nice to have a playground nearby with a cafe on the way. Last night, Tim and I both forgot our wallets and the guy at the cafe said, "No worries, just pay next time you're around. Oh, and here's a brownie for your son." I love that about our community...people knowing each other's faces and saying hello. We've found a rare gem in this east coast city - a neighborhood that feels like a small town.

Tonight's agenda consists of ice cream and (finally) watching Arrival. Hooray for quiet evenings spent with the ones you love.


Flying With A Toddler

So. You've decided to embark on a journey with your toddler. You're probably a bit stressed out and thinking "Am I crazy?!" No. No you are not crazy. You are adventurous. You are giving your children the opportunity to meet new people and see beautiful places with you! What a gift to bring them on adventures with us, right?! Yep. Just keep telling yourself that. Here are some tips and tricks for traveling with your littles in tow:

1. SKIP THE LINE & PACK LIGHT. While this might not be possible if you're going on a longer trip, I like to pack as lightly as possible. Not only does this alleviate the ticket/baggage line, it also saves you time once you get to your destination. We're always desperate to get out of the airport, so it's amazing to not have to wait for our bags! So, if possible, only pack carry-ons. I have a backpack and a Burton rolling bag that I swear by.

2. STOCK UP ON NEW ENTERTAINMENT. I read that you should have a new something for your child to play with for every 15 minutes of the flight. I thought this was ridiculous, but it proved to be true! Some things will entertain your kids longer than others (i.e. Paw Patrol=live saver). It's always better to be over prepared when it comes to entertainment. Here's a list of my favorite in-flight activities: 

-Mess-free drawing
-Activity binder - just google "toddler activity binder" and you'll find a ton of great ideas
-Snacks! Make sure you have a mess-free cup they can hold. My boy loves holding his own snacks!
-New iPad games and videos. Make sure you load some favorite TV shows (I usually just purchase a few episodes of Paw Patrol, Curious George, etc in case my plane doesn't have wifi. Make sure you have entertainment that will work without wifi!) 
*Don't forget toddler headphones. Max doesn't love wearing his, but it was nice to have the option.

3. RELAX! This is a tough one. Of course you're going to have some nerves and anxiety about being in a confined space with total strangers and your rambunctious kid. But I've learned that most people are extremely patient. A lot of people have been in the same position and are more than willing to lend a helping hand when you (inevitably) drop something out of your way-too-full hands.

Anybody else have good tricks for traveling with kiddos? Any new activities/ideas are more than welcome!


Life Lately

Here are some grainy little snippets of what life has been like lately. We've been very busy since the holidays, traveling to Nashville and Indiana, then jumping straight back into work in January. I feel like we're just starting to slow down again. Last year, we were really mindful of taking photos every week together. We're doing the same this year, but also trying to record more videos of Max. I feel like he is changing so rapidly...I don't want to forget these days when he repeats every word we say to the best of his ability (even when he can't quite pronounce most letters, bless his sweet heart).

We're also aiming to go on at least one outing together a weekend. Tim stays home with Max during the week while I work full-time at Free People's home office in the Navy Yard. Needless to say, Tim is very ready for some extra help on the weekends. And I am eager to spend as much time with Max as possible. We've recently made the Please Touch Museum a regular activity of ours, and I can't recommend it enough if you're local to Philly! It's very fun, but probably geared more toward the 6 and under crowd ;) We also love Kids at Play, Smith Playground and NEST. We've met some wonderful families at these spots, which makes Philly feel a little more like home. Hooray that it's almost the weekend again! 


Tree Hunt

Yesterday we drove out of the city to get our Christmas tree. We usually cut our own down, but we ended up having a slight problem...a cash-only farm and no cash! So we walked around with this little red tree cart that Max was obsessed with. After snapping some photos we ended up at a pre-cut tree lot. We picked a little 6' Douglas Fir that fits in our living room perfectly. We spent the evening listening to Christmas music and making sure Max didn't break any of the ornaments! Holidays sure are a blast with him in tow.


Thanksgiving Day

Our second Thanksgiving as a family of three has proven to be wonderful. This is our 2nd year living in Philadelphia, away from family. As tough as it is to be away on holidays like this, it's always so special spending the day with my boys. I had a half day of work yesterday and a day off today...nothing more I could ask for than some quality family time! We cooked a small meal, watched a cheesy Christmas movie, and took a nap while Max napped (TOTAL WIN). Now we're having dinner round 2 with wine and dessert. Feeling ever-thankful for this life. 


A Perfect Sunday Afternoon

We took a walk around a little area called Manayunk this morning. It's a short drive from our place and such a cute part of Philly! There are lots of shops, cafes, and pretty brick walls to take photos in front of ;) After we snapped a few photos, we grabbed coffee and headed to church. Max is usually really good about playing in kids church with some of his buddies. He definitely cries when we drop him off, but is always running around having a blast when we come to pick him up. He's equal parts shy and outgoing. I kind of love the way he clings to us when we're around new people anyway! He's such a little joy - always making us smile and see the beauty in everyday. Oh, and he won't let go of this little school bus I bought him when I was in Indiana. I made a big deal of giving it to him when I got home, and he's been obsessed ever since. It's soooo cute...he even brings it to bed with him

Now can this weekend just last forever, please?!


Totally forgot to post these photos from last week! Whoops! Well, here ya go. Some words from last weekend:

We met up with some friends at our local orchard last weekend, and it was such a blast! We went earlier in the day so the air still had that slight chill. This is my favorite season, especially with my little boy in tow. He makes everything a little more magical. We're spending our weekend cleaning our apartment with the windows open and Sam Cooke blasting. Hope you're all having an equally perfect day!