Marina Grace turned two-years-old on Monday. My goodness. Ya’ll already know how I feel about my babies growing up and time passing too quickly, so I’m not going to get into it… again. Instead I’ll share these photographs that I snapped at the aquarium the other day.
Instead of a traditional birthday party, we decided to spend the day at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden. It’s a bit of a ride, two hours each way, but it was a lot of fun. I’ve been obsessed with aquariums and zoos for as long as I can remember. Visiting them has always been a favorite pastime and I’ve visited lots of them all over the country during my travels. However, because my babies weren’t always the easiest to take out and about, it’s been over four years since I’ve gone! Far too long.
This day was very special for me and for the littles, as well. Marina was more than willing to share her special day with the whole family and we had a blast. Best of all, they were both so well-behaved. Proving that, indeed, they are finally ready to start exploring the world beyond our usual routine. What a joy for this Mama’s adventurous heart!
Happy Birthday, my sweet Marina Grace. You are funny and loving and wild. You have the most-determined little spirit I’ve ever come across. I know that it will serve you well. Stay strong and fierce, my beautiful girl. I love you always and always and all ways. xo
Travel has always been an integral piece of my happiness puzzle. Exploring new places, meeting new people, and having adventures make my soul come alive. My greatest travel adventures happened when I was alone–flying across the country to Seattle when I was in college; studying abroad in Kenya; and spending a week alone in Paris.
I loved traveling alone. There’s something wonderful about answering only to your own desires and not having to worry about anyone else. I know that one day, in a distant future, I will travel alone again. But now, as a mother with two little ones, most of my adventures involve my babies and I’m just fine with that.
It’s been a road getting here, as is the case for many mother’s, my children’s infant-hoods were riddled with challenges. And yet, here we are, Marina is just days away from turning two and Roman is a full-blown little boy, not really a toddler anymore at all.
It’s been well over a year since we’ve traveled at all, and I’m just itching to plan a getaway. Money is tight right now, as tight as it’s ever been, so budgeting will be the name of the game. For me that just adds to the fun of it. The process of trip-planning is just as enjoyable to me as the trip itself. Planning itineraries, researching the best places to eat, and the most wonderful things to do fill me with delight.
As I embark on planning my first “big (actually little!) trip” with my children, I’m giddy with excitement. Up until this point, they’ve only been exposed to such a small piece of our great big world. I am so excited to break them out of this little bubble that they know and show them all of the magic that is waiting for them beyond the familiar.
A few weeks ago, we took a little trip to the New York Renaissance Faire. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, then you know it’s one of my favorite places in the world. I’ve been attending the fair each year for as long as I can remember.
On this day, the babies were being a bit *ahem* high maintenance, so I didn’t get too many photographs. Still in all, it was the most gorgeous autumn afternoon and we had such a wonderful time. Watching Roman’s expressions on the dragon ride (see also: PURE ELATION) was one of the greatest experiences of my life to date. I seriously was smiling so hard I thought that my face was going to break. Goodness, I love motherhood.
As usual, the day was full of magic, adventure, good food, and incredible talent on the parts of the actors & artisans. Enjoy the snaps from our day. xo
Just for fun, here’s a look back at past Renaissance Faires:
The county fair has been one of my favorite summertime traditions since forever. There is something absolutely magical about it. From the delicious food, to the adorable animals, to the fun shows — I love it all.
Yesterday we made the annual drive out to the fairgrounds and it was such a nice day. Roman got to ride on a “Monster Truck” — a longtime dream-come-true for him. We ate (far too much), played games, rode the feris wheel, and watched a dog show & pig race. What more can you ask for?
We left the fairgrounds with full hearts, and fuller bellies.
You can see a couple of my past visits to the fair here and here.
I had been trying to plan a trip to the museum for ages. Even though we live less than an hour outside of New York City, it’s still quite a challenge to get there these days. I used to go in often, at least every few months. There is so much to see and do.
I love nature. I live in a very suburban section of New Jersey and we are a very short drive from rural countryside. I spend most of my time in the country, in nature, in the woods. It’s my preference. But that is not to say that I don’t have a deep passion for the city, because I really do. There is something certainly magic about the hustle of city life. The city is rich with life and culture and diversity and grit. It makes my heart beat a little bit faster. I’m so grateful that I grew up getting to experience the extremes at both end of the culture spectrum.
Roman was so excited about our impending trip to the city and the museum. I wanted to test the limits of his little memory so I asked him, “Who works at the museum?” And sure enough he replied, “Professor Wiseman.” Any of you out there who have watched as much Curious George as I have will greatly appreciate his response, I’m sure.
The long awaited trip was almost cancelled that very morning when Marina woke up covered in little red spots. A quick detour to the pediatrician told us that she had an “amoxicillin reaction” to the antibiotics that had been treating her double-ear infection. But, it didn’t seem to bother her whatsoever and we were given the green light to move ahead with our plans.
Roman was absolutely enamored with the magic of the museum, the dinosaur bones were his favorite, and the beautiful light in that room rendered me helpless against snapping several pictures of him enjoying the scene. The museum with two toddlers is certainly a feat, and not one I plan to attempt again anytime soon, but it was a dream come true for me and a memory that Roman will cherish for a long time to come.
^^^ Way to keep it gully, kid. ^^^
^^^ My little polka-spotted girl. She isn’t at all thrilled with being in the stroller and it was damn-near impossible to snap a picture of her that day. ^^^