Last Day of School - First Grade / Preschool

Madeleine is officially done with first grade!
I love seeing how much they grow in a year. She's wearing the same shorts in both these pictures. How funny!

And speaking of growing...
Seamus went from baby boy to well...just boy during his first preschool year. He grew up a lot in other ways too, and I'm so proud of how far he's come.


2017 Father's Day Gift Guide

Father's Day will be here before you know it. If you're stumped on what to get your husband, boyfriend, or dad this year, I put together a few things he may enjoy. Happy shopping!

Every guy I know seems to love Deadpool ($11.79), so chances are yours will too. It's the superhero movie they wish they could have watched when they were a kid, but is totally inappropriate for their own kids. It'll appeal to their inner child, while reminding them how good it is to be the grown-up.

A quality knife, like this Wüsthof Santoku Knife ($169.95), will have him chopping away in the kitchen in no time. We've had this exact knife over 8 years, and it has held up amazing.

This Golfers BBQ Set ($26) is practical, fun, and a great combination of two of his favorite past times - golf and grilling!

He'll love a portable DoubleNest Hammock ($69.95). It fold up super small, and he can take it anywhere - camping, the beach, or even just to the backyard.

Simple, quality, and extremely economical, Harry's ($15) has reinvented the razor game. Get your favorite dad a starter gift set, then sign him up for their affordable subscription service to deliver new blades straight to his door when needed.

Do you have any go-to or great ideas for Father's Day gifts? What are you planning on getting, or what would you love to get?


Let's Go To The Movies - Rough Night

Some girlfriends and I went to a special screening of the new Scarlett Johansson movie, Rough Night.

Five old friends head to Miami for a Bachelorette party weekend where things quickly go from bad to worse in a high jinks filled adventure they'll never forget.

I was pretty excited to see another female driven comedy and was hoping Rough Night would be up to the caliber of Bridesmaids, but alas, it fell quite short. It was much darker than I was expecting and entirely unbelievable. Still, I can't say I didn't laugh. Kate McKinnon was the standout of the bunch. Listening to her do an Australian accent for the duration of the film was worth the price of admission alone (full disclosure - I didn't pay anything to see this, but still, you get my meaning). Scarlett Johansson, was an unexpected choice for this style of comedy, and while she had her moments, I'd say raunchy comedies are definitely not her genre. Overall, Rough Night is somewhat amusing, but it will be equally as good from the comfort of your living room when it hits DVD. No need to rush out to the theater for this one.
I did have fun being out with friends though. The marketing company went all out with games, a photo booth, and prizes to promote the film. I remember having quite a few "rough nights" with these lovely ladies back in the day. Good times.


Madeleine's First...Piano Recital

I have another Madeleine related post coming at you. She recently had her first piano recital!
She started taking piano lessons in January of this year. I'm not quite sure if she even likes it or not yet, but for now, she's learning. It's a struggle getting her to practice sometimes, but once she gets a song, she'll play it all day long. 

I surprisingly got her into a dress for the performance too, as she put it, "It's the mature thing to do."
Another "first" in the book for her. So proud of this girl!


Pancakes à la Madeleine

Bill recently taught Madeleine a new skill - making pancakes!! She can't wait until the weekends now, and loves making herself breakfast.
I sometimes forget how capable kids can be if you let them. Sure, I could make the pancakes faster (and neater), but she's so proud of herself and loves being self-sufficient.
What surprising things can your kids do by themselves already? At what age did you let them near the stove or oven? We haven't gotten that far yet. I'm good with her staying at the griddle under supervision stage for awhile longer yet.


Let's Go To The Movies - Snatched

A friend and I went to see the new Amy Schumer/Goldie Hawn comedy, Snatched recently.

Dumped by her boyfriend days before they were set to vacation in Equador, Emily (Amy Schumer) convinces her homebody mother, Linda (Goldie Hawn) to accompany her on the trip instead. When things don't go as planned, the two, despite their differences, must work together to save themselves from their nightmare jungle adventure.

It's been ages since I've seen a good comedy at the theaters, and I'm happy to say that Snatched didn't disappoint. It was consistently funny and outrageous throughout. Amy Schumer does her thing, and it was delightful to see Goldie Hawn on screen again. She's amazing! The story was darker than I thought it would be, but they fully committed, so it ended up working for me once I realigned my expectations. Snatched is a great female driven comedy, a great mother/daughter comedy, and just a straight up great comedy. If you're in need of a good laugh, this is your movie.

What movies are you looking forward to seeing this summer?


Whale Watching & A Half Marathon

We recently popped over to California for a quick visit with my father-in-law and to watch Bill run another half marathon.

We drove Friday night, and rolled into Costa Mesa well past the kids' bedtime. The next morning we were up bright and early to go whale watching. Bill got tickets from Groupon to Davey's Locker.
We set out on the first tour of the day, which was nice because there was hardly anyone on the boat. Probably because it was a chilly morning and the threat of rain was looming.
We were all smiles as the boat headed out towards Newport Landing.
The kids loved being on the boat. Me? Not so much. The weather made for a very choppy ride. We didn't see any whales this trip, but did run into a pod of dolphins which was fun. They were jumping out of the water like crazy, but I wasn't able to get any good pictures. We also saw a pile of sea lions hanging out on a big buoy.
I made it through watching the dolphins, but shortly thereafter my lovely seasickness kicked in; and I was pretty much done. Luckily Bill does not get seasick, and apparently neither do the kids. They were having a blast with the bumpy ride and getting sprayed by the occasional wave.
I try not to let the potential of getting sick stop me from doing things like this. If I get sick, like this trip, than I do. No big deal. I've gone on many a boat/plane/car ride where I'm totally fine, so it's a risk I'm always willing to take in search of a good time.
The next day, Bill ran The OC Half Marathon for the second time. It was a cold and rainy day, but Bill was undeterred. We don't get cold and rainy in Phoenix much, so I don't think he minded the conditions at all.
My father-in-law, the kids, and I got up and out a little later and found a nice spot to watch for a bit.
We were all excited to see Bill when he ran by, and he was so excited to see us too! I think it helps break up the monotony to see a few friendly faces during a long run. Hopefully it gave him a little boost of motivation to keep going and finish the 13.1 run.
We went to breakfast after that, and by the time we were finished, so was Bill. Another successful race in the books for him.
We stuck around for lunch, but then it was right back in the car for the 6 hour trek back to Phoenix. It was definitely too quick a trip for how much driving we did, but the kids were troopers, and I'd pretty much do anything to support Bill. So proud of this handsome guy!

What have you guys been up to? Have you ever traveled a long way for a short visit? Bill and I once drove from Milwaukee to South Dakota for a weekend. We were just in the mood to see Mount Rushmore, so we thought, why not?