My little family!

My little family!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Layla turns 6.5!

My Sweet Girl....

I know they say don't blink - and maybe it's because you're my first or maybe it's because you've had a big year or maybe it's because you're a girl but OH MY, how much you have grown and changed and bloomed into this magical fairy that is full of life and personality and kindness and emotion. I can't believe you're 6 and a half. 

How you look... My sweet, teeny, tall girl. You are the most beautiful little thing I ever did see. You're quite tall for your age but still thin. Last week, you were very sick and lost 4 pounds - while this doesn't sound like much, it was shocking to see how little you became. I plan on plumping you up this week with ice cream and nutella ;) It's been a year since we chopped your hair - it's beautiful but growing quite slow. You have periodically asked for your "long hair back" which will happen, slowly. Your pale skin and blue eyes are magical and your little face is delicious. 

Your Schedule....Now that you're in 1st grade, it took some time to adjust to the schedule of school. You were TIREDDDDDDD in the beginning but now you've found your way. You go to bed between 7:30 - 8:30 PM every night and wake up between 6:30 - 7:30 every morning. You love your down time before bed watching TV or playing on the iPad. You also love a good rest on the weekend - just alone time (but with Benny by your side, always). You're a rockstar - you love having plans and you're great to go with the flow. 

Your Likes....Starting SSDC this past summer was huge - it opened your eyes to an assortment of activities you didn't know about. Your favorite things to do are yoga (you go every Monday after school), gymnastics, color, playdoh, dance and sing. You love playing with your brother. You adore your friends from school, your old friends from CSS, your friends from camp and mostly your cousins. You're a great traveler - you love our trips to Florida and NYC. You're amazing at math and reading. You are super good at soccer and riding your bike. You love helping with chores - feeding London is your specialty. You love walks in our neighborhood, rock climbing and Chick Fil A with your bestie, Avery. 

Your Dislikes: You continue to hate the top sheet, trying new foods, getting your nails cut, little dogs scare you. You HATE being alone - the thoughts of getting something from the basement by yourself is terrifying so you always manage to get Benny to join you. You hate being embarrassed - just this morning you didn't take Mr. Bear (Your favorite stuffed animal) to school because you didn't want anyone to see him. 

Your Food: the picky eater. Favorites include: Pork Roll, Matzoh Ball Soup from Ben & Irvs, Re-fried Beans from Las Margaritas, Kashi Cinnamon Crunch cereal, M&M Yogurt, Bananas, Cheese, Chicken Nuggets, French Fries, strawberries, apples & grapes. Nutella. Chocolate ice cream. Pirate's booty. You ate scrambled eggs twice but that ended quick.

Your Thoughts: I LOVE the way your brain works. You are really, really smart. Your specialty is math which is insanity because I'm awful. You & Dada work well together doing your homework and your quick to pick up new information. You're a beautiful reader and getting stronger everyday. You are a worrier by nature - I used to get nervous but I think it's good. You are cautious and plan out your actions rather then jumping right in. You defend your brother fiercely and you always worry for his well-being. You're VERY sensitive and emotional. You love your friends and always want to feel included.  

You've had a BIG 6 months.... you stopped going to CSS after 5 amazing years. You started a new camp and loved every single second. You became an awesome swimmer. You started a brand new school and knew NO ONE - but in time made wonderful friends. You take the bus like a total champ - even though the first day of school, you got off on the wrong stop and Dada had to track you down - you never worried. You are smart and kind and fierce. You are brave and beautiful and will do amazing things. We love you so, so, so much. 


(Here are a few pictures from the past 6 months...)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

OBX 2017!!!!!

Hi sweet friends!!!

I hope everyone is having the very best last few days of summer.

I'm sad to see this season end but so excited for a new school year!

Layla is getting ready to start 1st grade at our local elementary school - this means ALL new friends (literally - she doesn't know anyone) - taking the bus - homework - all the fun things that come along with a new year!

Benny is getting ready to start Pre-K at his new school as well! He started camp there in June so he's a little more used to it but it'll be a whole new ballgame for school. I'm confident we made the right choice switching from our beloved school to here - I miss CSS SO much but we needed something closer (his new school is about 3 minutes from our house) and he'll make new friends that will go on to be at the elementary school with him.

Lots of big changes! Josh is doing GREAT at his new job and each month is better then the next as he finds his footing - PLUS, he's working from home now so he's able to help with getting Layla on & off the bus, breakfast in the morning and homework at night. It'll be great to have his support.

I'm doing really well -- I'm loving Orange Theory SO much and work is amazinggggggggg. I'm still with my sister and we've hired two new amazing women to help us grow the business. It's all so exciting and fun.

Now onto the reason for my post -- our vacation last week to OBX! This was our 3rd time going and most certainly NOT our last. We started going in 2013 when Layla was 2 and Benny was 7 months old. It's all 20 of us (my parents, my siblings and their families and us!) - so that's 10 adults, 10 kids in ONE giant house on the beach in Corolla, North Carolina for one week. It's the absolute best time and this year was just as great as the others!!

Here's what we do.....

We start on Twiddy - this is the property management company. We personally like to stay on the 4x4 beach so when we choose our house, we filter by Corolla, then the 4x4 beach. This literally means you drive your car ON the beach and our house this time around was 7 miles up the beach. In order to drive on the beach, you need to have an all-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive car. Our first year, we rented and these past two trips, we have used Josh's Jeep Grand Cherokee. When you get to Twiddy, you let the air out of your tires to get the pressure to 18 -- and you keep it like this for the week.

Once you check in, you drive to your house! AND there you stay for a week!!! The town itself is lovely but quite small - there is a huge grocery store (Food Lion) so you can do all of your shopping once you get there (our first year we brought all of our groceries with us -- lesson learned, you don't need to do that!) There is a Dunkin Donuts, Dairy Queen, Mexican restaurants, pizza places, mini-golf, ice cream places and assorted other restaurants around but that's basically it.

This is the type of vacation for strictly family time and beach time!!! We spend the week doing the same things - wake up early, walks on the beach, breakfast, playing on the beach, swimming in the pool, dinner, hot tub and board games! It really forces you to disconnect and enjoy each other's company.

The houses themselves are magnificent - we have stayed in Bubba's Beach House, Dune Maker and most recently Southern Exposure 2. They are all incredible - HUGE, the best views, the coolest amenities. We personally like staying beach front (this past time, we were one row back and I'd much prefer to wake up with views of the ocean)

Please feel free to ask questions if this is a vacation you are considering -- I'm not an expert but I sure do love it. From Philadelphia, it's about 7.5 hours away by car (flying isn't really an option due to the airports distance) -- but we make the drive part of the fun!! Lots of cool Farmers Markets, etc. The kids do great -- I'd say its 80% fun, 20% annoying (haha) -- also, the road directly into Corolla can get quite traffic-filled so we prefer going Sunday-Sunday versus Saturday-Saturday (less traffic).

Happy vacationing friends!!

All my love,


Professional pictures by the amazing Danielle (my sister in law) of Bee Dee Blue Photography! 

OBX 2013

Our first family picture in OBX - 2013

Our family picture - OBX 2015

OBX 2015 group picture

This Year! OBX 2017

Family pic - OBX 2017

10 cousins jumping for joy!!

Shirts by talented sorority sister, Michelle of My Custom Shirts --cousins in birth order - ages 11-4 :)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Benny turns 4.5!!

My Baby Boy -- I'm sorry this is a 2 + weeks late. 

HOW ARE YOU 4 AND A HALF??? I can't believe another 6 months have passed since your awesome 4th birthday at Bounce U. 

Buddy -- there are no words to describe our love for you. Your zest for life, your love of fun and family and friends is contagious and your high-spitted (and tough) attitude is teaching ME kindness and patience and empathy. You are the best little buddy. You keep us on our toes with your energy and joy. 

How you look... You are SO HANDSOME!!! (And you constantly ask me if you look handsome) -- you really, really care about your looks. I don't know if this is good or bad but it's certainly a big part of YOU. You are TALL and getting SKINNY -- as a little babe, you were so chubby but now? You're just SOLID. Big brown eyes. Gorgeous light hair. Now that we are in the midst of summer, your tan lines are too cute. 

Your Schedule....You are doing OKAY in this area. You've quit napping a while back but you're going through  a period of FEAR. If it was up to you, you'd sleep in Layla's room (or she'd sleep in yours) every single night. You get very scared at bedtime and it takes you a bit to settle down -- BUT...overall, you're doing well. You go to sleep around 7:30 PM and wake up sometime between 6 AM - 7 AM. The rule is to wait for the green light to turn green at 6:55 AM (and read books if you wake up earlier) - you mostly follow this rule. You are adjusting to your new camp/school and it's been a tough few weeks for you... lots of tantrums, attitude, stress. BUT -- I'm hoping you'll get back to normal soon which will result in sleeping better, happier mornings and a better day overall. 

Your Likes....You love playing with your sister. You love wrestling. You love board games (Chutes & Ladders, Shopkins Go Shopping, Perfection). You love playing with ALL of your guys (Batman, Superman, all the villains). You love reading books. You love to lay with me on the sofa and cuddle up for a movie. You LOVE Brian. You love sucking your thumb. You love sleepovers at anyone's else who will take you (right now, you're at sleepover at Uncle Adam & Aunt Heather's house). You love when ALL of your cousins are together. You love go to Florida to see Grandma & Grandpa. You love dinners at Mom-Mom & Pop-Pop's house. You love the zoo, the Aquarium, the please touch museum. You love the library. YOU LOVE YOUR FRIENDS. SO SO much. Especially Brody. He's your main squeeze. You love swimming and you are finally jumping from the side on your own. 

Your Dislikes: You don't like getting dressed - you have a really hard time (STILL) choosing an outfit for the day. You don't like being alone. You don't like change. You don't like going to a store and not getting a toy. You don't like when Layla gets to do certain things and you don't. 

Your Food: You LOVE food!! Your favorites -- Chinese, Moes (burritos), pizza, brownies, cereal, strawberries, grapes, chocolate milk, lemonade. You really are willing to try anything and you're so much fun to dine with.

Your Thoughts: You are SO curious -- you slowly take in the world around you and ask the sweetest questions. You are are smart and silly and curious but content. 

Benjamin Sawyer.... you are the cutest, smartest, most lovely boy. Even when you're screaming at me "MEAN MAMA" and growling and hissing over who knows what? -- Once you calm down, you curl up on my lap and whisper over and over "I love you, Mama". You tell me every single day that I'm beautiful. You are full of love and I can't wait to watch you grow. Just not too fast, okay? 

We are excited for this upcoming school year..... Pre-K buddy!! A new school, all new friends.. and I think you'll be having a bowling party for your 5th birthday! Exciting stuff!!


**Some pictures from the past 6 months.....**

This is how I'll always picture you in my head <3