11.28.2016

A Holiday Recap

Trav's parents came into town on Wednesday night, and our first stop was some dinner at Steuben's, then we were off to a hockey game.


We had a great time, but were out very late, so consequently got a sleepy start on Thanksgiving. Trav got up and started getting things ready for me in the kitchen, letting me sleep a little. Then it was my turn.


Trav's parents came over around lunch time, with the turkey roasting away. We ate around 4:30, and I have to say, I was pretty pleased with how everything turned out. I'm always a little nervous, that I'm going to mess up timing, so it was nice how everything turned out!


They headed home a little after Gwen went to sleep, when the pie had been eaten, and the turkey tiredness had made them ready for their comfy hotel bed.


After the slightly sad and lonely Thanksgiving we had last year, it was so nice to have family around to celebrate with. It was a beautiful day, and I hope your holiday was a beautiful one too!

[Trav's parents stayed until Saturday. I'll write about our fun the next day a little later.]

11.25.2016

Taking Stock

[Found this on Making It Lovely, and thought it was fun... I totally trimmed a few, it was too long.]

Making: Merry! Now that Thanksgiving is over, its time to think about the Christmas decorations!

Cooking: All the turkey meals! We love turkey sandwiches, but we need other things to do with these leftovers! I'll make turkey soup today, and probably a turkey shepherds pie later this week.

Drinking: We broke into our bottles from our 10 year Cali trip yesterday to share with Trav's parent's. I will gladly finish off the one bottle we didn't last night.

Reading: His Mother's Son, on lone from a friend; then the Fantastic Beasts screenplay! I preordered it months ago and finally got it last week.

Trawling: Etsy, looking for the last of the Christmas presents I need to pick out.

Wanting: Travel Money! Five trips planned or hoped for next year, so all I want for Christmas is help getting to those places!

Looking: At my family, full and happy and relaxed... sprawled around the apartment. Love the post-Thanksgiving contentedness.

Deciding: If I even want to get out of my PJs today!

Wishing:  Gwen were old enough for X-files. Ha. Its my favorite lazy day at home binge watch.

Enjoying: How much slower November was. There were some busy times of course, but I love how much down time/family time I was able to enjoy! It was all I hoped for after a frantic summer and a frantic October.

Waiting: For another doula client to come my way! I just need one more to be certified, so I'm feeling impatient.

Liking: A few days off from school, and this whole week off from swim lessons. I love how Gwen has taken to swim, but it was very nice for all of us to have a down week.

Wondering: What all December will bring?!

Loving: All the holiday love spreading across my social media. Also, leftover pie.  :-)



Buying: Nothing! For myself at least, other then food stuffs, until after Christmas.

Watching: We just saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them earlier this week and loved it! Today though, we'll break out our first Christmas movies to watch. I have a no Christmas before Thanksgiving rule in our house, but now all bets are off!!


Marveling: At my jobs... still! I've taken on a regular subbing position for someone out on maternity leave, and its so amazing to me still that I have this yoga class that is MY class! I have regular students, and they are wonderful. I wonder if this will ever stop being so amazing to me.

Pondering: Yoga classes. I want to write a few out so I have a few to pick from when I start back up with my regular Monday class in December.


Needing: To figure out what I'm going to do the three days coming up that Gwen is out of school and I have yoga classes to teach. Ack.

Smelling: The lingering smells of Thanksgiving, and Stinky Yogi's Holiday Blend.

Wearing: PJs. Definitely not going to take them off.

Following: The political happenings of late with some trepidation and disbelief. Breathe, breathe, breathe.

Noticing: Some of these are really hard to fill out!


Thinking: How crazy it is that there's only a month left in 2016! What?! 


Opening: Wrapping paper... its time to start getting presents under the tree! (Well, first I have to get up the tree, but that happens this weekend! Ha!)

Giggling: Forget giggling, I'm all out gaffing at this:



Feeling: Happy and full-hearted.

Celebrating: That I think I'm finally over all my sicknesses. Right before I went on my girl's trip at the beginning on November I got a horrible stomach bug that was going around (5 hours straight of puking every 25 minutes! oh the fun!). That left me wiped, but just as I was starting to recover I got hit with a cold... that lingered until earlier this week. And last weekend, the final bits of my cold decided to team up with a lack of sleep and not enough water consumption to hit me with a horrible, nausea inducing headache. I slept 12 hours that night, after taking a 2 hour nap that afternoon (unheard of for me!), and I think it finally helped me kick the last of it. Now to stay well!

Pretending:  The kitchen will clean itself.

Embracing: The magic of the season. Fully. For so long (probably because of the unseasonably warm weather), it didn't feel like the holiday season. But now I'm running with it fully, and I can't wait to enjoy it all.

11.23.2016

Semi-Wordless Wednesday {Time for Turkey}

Tomorrow is Turkey Day!


We are more then a little excited in the New Day household.
Though I'm also a little torn. I love this day of food and family and gratitude, but this year is the first year that we are also really addressing the real history of Thanksgiving with Gwen. Couple that with the things currently happening to our Native peoples while they try to protect their lands from the DAPL, and my feelings are much more conflicted this year.


This year I will take this day to truly be grateful for all the beauty in my life, and for all our blessings. But I'm also going to take the time to send out love to those fighting for those blessings as well.

I hope that your celebration, big or small, is beautiful and full of love.
Happy Thanksgiving!

11.21.2016

Weekend Snaps

Um, so time got away from me here, and for the first time in a LONG time I'm late with my post! Last week I felt like I never had quite as much time in the day to get things done. But let's get to it now! Random snapshots for life right now: 

Last weekend I attended my second doula birth. I'm not going to blog about all of them, but I just had to mention it as it was such a wonderful experience. So different from my first birth. Both were so fulfilling in their own ways. I love sweet babies! And I love my job(s)!! 

This past weekend was the big Lehigh-Lafayette football game. Its obviously way different celebrating out here vs. actually heading up to campus, but we thought we'd make it a bit more of a celebration by actually heading out to our local telecast party.


It was a lot of fun to be with other Lehigh fans, and I didn't realize how many of them there are out here! Plus, we won... so that is always a bonus!

Sunday I headed out with a friend to attend a candlelit sing-in to spread a little love to the world. It was a beautiful evening and I'm so glad we went.


It was nice to be with other people looking to spread love with everything going on right now.

On another note Weather: it has been ridiculously hot here, ridiculously late. I mentioned that Trav couldn't wear his Wookie costume on Halloween, because it was still in the 70s/80s at that point! I had originally been nervous about our early November trip to St. Louis, thinking we might encounter snow. Instead I was packing t-shirts! Finally now, in late November, its cooling down, though it is still long sleeved t-shirt weather for most of the day. We did get a random day of snow... literally a day. It was 80 the day before, then this happened: 


Then the next day it was back up to 50s, then 60s, and today I think we might hit the 70s again! This weather is so nuts. Tomorrow its dropping again and we might get more flurries... but the rest of the week is back into the 50s! Colorado is a little crazy.

11.18.2016

No Rest for the Weary, Time to March On

So I had avoided getting political here leading up to the election (my personal facebook page was another thing entirely!), but can't help unloading here a bit now the the votes have been tallied and the dust has settled. I won't say that things are calm, but at least "the people have spoken?" (Sort of, don't get me started about popular vote vs. electoral college... grrrr.)

I'm pretty sure without even saying anything, you can fancy a guess at who I was voting for?! At first, I was definitely a Bernie girl, but when Bernie conceded, I didn't feel torn about putting my energies and support behind the nasty woman! It must be pretty obvious then that the results hurt.

[Here's where I'm going to let a little frustration out. A little disclaimer, I know that not all Trump voters are racist or misogynistic or homophobic... ] I'm not going to lie when I say that this feels like a step back. It feels like a giant f*ck you to anyone who is not a straight, white, rich male. While not all of his voters are any of the things I mentioned above, an all too vocal some of them are. And more importantly, he very clearly is, and so a vote for him was - intentionally or not - also a vote for all of the hateful things he said. And his appointments so far, have only driven those beliefs home.



Maybe it was just me and my own hyped up emotions this time around, maybe it was getting older and being aware of it all, or maybe its that 4 years is just long enough to block it all from my mind, but this race seemed angrier, more explosive, more divisive then any that I had personally gone through. I'm sad and scared. I woke up the morning after the election feeling like I didn't know or understand my country anymore. This is not the country I thought I lived it, one that still had its issues with race and religion to work through, but was generally moving in the right direction.

I'm still struggling with finding hope in the situation, but from the ground up, we will continue to work for positive change, to fight for what is right. [I greatly appreciated Elizabeth Warren's thoughts on this.] I will continue to teach Gwen that LOVE is the way. I will continue to model inclusiveness, tolerance, and respect to her. I will teach her that she can do anything; that having a vagina doesn't change that. I will teach her that a person's value is not determined by their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, country of origin, or the number of zeros at the end of their paycheck.

I will fight to make this country the country that Gwen deserves, and I hope you will too.

It is my wish that with all of the ugliness of the race behind us we can hit the ground running, start some very conscientious dialog, and really hear what each other are saying. We all have our own hopes and fears: for me I feel our country needs to be striding towards equality in all forms. I'm afraid we're going to lose strides in equality, that we're going to forget our open, inviting roots, and that we're going to take major steps back in our care of the environment. I know that a lot of Trump votes were ones for economic policies that people hope will help them support their families better. I also fear though, that a all too real amount of people were voting for Trump because of a fear of the loss of some "good ole days" that we as an evolved people don't actually want to return to. Growth and change can be hard and scary, and when you've had certain rights for a long time, then equality can feel like giving up something. When you've struggled in your own life it can sometimes feel like helping those that don't look like you means less for you. But helping someone doesn't have to mean less for you, and when we lift each other up, then we all benefit.

I think that's what it needs to come down to; we all stand up to those who are aiming to promote hate, no matter their political party alignment, and we all try to work to make this country one that allows the average family to find economic stability.

I'd love to hear your constructive comments. I'd love to hear your hopes and concerns and fears. I want to start this dialog.



In the meantime, I have found some comfort by doing what I can: reaching out to my Reps and Senators to oppose the appointment of Stephen Bannon; donations (one time or monthly) to Planned Parenthood, the Trevor Project, Free Syria Foundation, HIAS, ACC, and a renewal of my Sierra Club membership. I donated to Feeding America as well, because I hear those fears and they matter to me too. I'm also looking for local organizations I can support through volunteer hours, in addition to the volunteer doula program that I'm already a part of.

I encourage you to take action as well. Whether you voted for Trump or not, now is the time to band together and make sure we are acting out of love.

11.16.2016

How to Travel with Your Kids, Without Losing Your Mind! {Guest Post}

Interrupting our normal Wordless Wednesday, to let you know that you can find me today talking about travel over on Kara Carrero's blog, Extremely Good Parenting!

Travel is in my blood. A home base keeps me sane, but regularly leaving that home base and striking out into the unknown makes my heart happy, and keeps my wanderlust in check. I want to see everything there is to see in this world, and while I'd be fine with doing it on my own, that wouldn't work for my family. Having a kid that's willing to go with me, and a supportive husband, makes it not only doable but I'd say more exciting.

[...] If travel is in your blood, but you’re not sure how to get your kids on board, here are a few tips and tricks to make it more enjoyable for everyone.

Read the rest here, and let me know what you think!

11.14.2016

St. Louis - A Girls Roadtrip {2016 Roadtrip #6}

A few months ago, one of my fellow Yoga Teacher Training girls moved with her family to St. Louis. A week and a half ago, another girl from our training and I drove our to visit with her. I have to say, we had talked about this briefly for maybe 6 weeks, but it wasn't until about 3 weeks out that it was really decided. I was definitely excited to get another road trip in this year!

Thursday morning I dropped Gwen off at school, then off we went! It was a long, long day. Its about 11.5 hours from Denver to St. Louis, with a good part of that spent crossing boring Kansas. Our butts were sore, but the trip went surprisingly quickly, and around 11:30 that night we were pulling up at her house. We were in bed not long after that, but the next day it was time to get the fun started!


We started off with brunch, then headed down to see the Arch. It was the only thing I really hoped to do while we were there!


Its so impressively large! We headed to the top, taking these cramped little egg cars up (up up! 650 feet!), where we got to experience a very impressive view. It was a little vertigo inspiring, honestly!


Alex took us to see some pretty amazing graffiti after that...





Before heading over to the City Museum. I don't even know how to begin to describe this place... its like a Children's Please Touch museum meets Urban Art meets an all-ages playground...


Honestly and simply, it was one of the most unique places I've been in a long time!


We had the best time running around, sliding the slides, climbing and exploring! It was like being a kid again, so obviously after that we were exhausted. Ha! (Olds... hahaha). We had some dinner, then headed back to Alex's place to just relax and watch a movie together.

King Louie kept me company!

The next day we started things off with a classic St. Louis food item... Gooey Butter Cake! It was sweet, decadent, gooey, and a real treat.


After that we checked out Alex's neighborhood, before grabbing some lunch at a local brewery.


We relaxed at her place a bit after that before heading out for dinner and drinks. We checked out two fun areas (The Grove and The Loop) before heading back to her neighborhood to check out its two bars.


One had some great graffiti, one had swings at the bar... both were winners! We made some new friends for Alex, a really fun night.

The next morning, Sunday, it was time to quickly pack up and get back on the road. The trip home was thankfully just as smooth, though also just as long! I dropped Hanny off, then it was home just in time to squeeze my girl for a little before putting her to bed.

A really fun, fabulous weekend! I'm so glad we headed out there.
And with that, my 2016 travel is really over! (I think!)

11.11.2016

While We Were Away...

I imagined starting this post with the words, "While we were away, how Gwenie did play!" You know what they say about the best laid plans? The days leading up to Trav and my trip to California were a bit of a comedy of errors!

My parents were amazing enough to fly into town to take care of Gwen and Daisy for the whole week that we were gone. It made the week that much better, knowing that they were in safe hands... especially since the night before my parent's arrival Daisy swallowed a chicken bone (first time ever!), and then the day my parent's arrived Gwen started getting sick. Add to that a kitchen light that suddenly decided to go on the fritz, and a balcony door that was suddenly almost impossible to lock, well I was suddenly feeling like the universe was playing a joke on us.


Leading up to our trip I started to put together a list of fun things to do with addresses, and gathering any tickets we had for free entry to places. I also put together a list of all of Gwen's doctors, our insurance, and any other in case of emergency info they would hopefully not need! 

Guess which page they needed? 
Ugh. I'm so grateful for my parents being here. There is no other way that Trav and I could have left and been able to relax, knowing that Gwen was well taken care of. Especially once they found out what it was... 

Strep!! (Wahh)


So their week of big fun suddenly became a lot more low-key. Movies and slow walks outside became the name of the game.

Thankfully the antibiotic got her feeling much better very quickly.

Still it was not what any of us had in mind when we envisioned a week with Nonnie and Papa visiting!

11.07.2016

Daisy

Yesterday was Daisy's birthday. Our sweet girl is 8 years old now, with the grey beard to prove it. She celebrated with a walk, some extra nums, and lots of of belly rubs.


A few weeks ago, Gwen, Daisy, and I headed out for a walk to collect leaves for a school project of Gwen's. It was such a beautiful day, cool and comfortable, sunny with a lovely breeze. I sniffed at the air enjoying the smell of leaves, while Daisy sniffed everything else she could get her nose near.

Her energy and joy on that walk was wonderful to see. The night before we'd had a scare, waking up to Daisy getting sick in the middle of the night, and she'd started the day seeming tired. She clearly was back up to snuff, her tummy troubles the result of something she'd eaten during her last walk before bed.


We stopped by this pretty tree so Gwen could collect all the fallen leaves around it, and Daisy took that opportunity to snuggle into me. She's my shadow so much lately, since I'm home more during the day then anyone else.

I'm so glad that she's still so young at heart, and in attitude. The hallmark of a Lab! She runs and jumps and plays, and greets everyone with exuberant joy. Her love is a palpable thing.


The average age for a black lab to live to is about 10 - 12, though some can live to 13, 14, or even 15. I hope Daisy sticks around to the tail end of range! I hope she keeps her energy, and her love of life and family, for years and years to come. I don't know what I would do without this crazy beast.

Happy Birthday to my sweet pup!

11.04.2016

Back to Cali - the 10 year Redux

My Mom and Dad flew into town two Saturday's ago, and the next day Trav and I flew out! Our 10th wedding anniversary seemed like a big enough occasion for some travel, just the two of us (when the heck did that last happen?!). So we packed up and headed back to Sonoma County, California, the same area as our honeymoon 10 years earlier! I have a girlfriend who rents out a gorgeous place there, so we went a little "bigger" then we might have otherwise. It was worth it!

We packed books and magazines. We planned one special tasting. Otherwise, we had a wide open 5 days ahead of us!

We did start things off at a meal with my girlfriend at the Beach Chalet, a yummy place with the most gorgeous view of the ocean. I didn't get a picture of the view, but did get one of us.


Then it was time to head North, over a little bridge, and on to our home away from home.


Monday we slept in a bit, then got up and headed out to the area of our tasting. We had some amazing BBQ for lunch, visited with some goats at a little fall fest, then headed to Caldwell for their wine tasting in a cave.



Here's one thing I love about travel, you never know who you're going to meet. On this particular journey, we met 4 folks from our tiny Pennsylvania town! What are the odds?!


We hit a few more wineries on the way home that day. There are so many beautiful ones! Gorgeous caves, hobbit-hole style ones on top of hills, tucked into valleys, and of course, among the vines!



The next day we headed out again, heading to Westside Rd to check out some of the smaller wineries set along there. It was a pretty drive, and some good wine!
Its not a vacation until there's wine soaked yoga!

The next few days were completely lazy and low-key! We watched movies and read books. We soaked in the hot tub, and spent plenty of time listening to the rain. There was lots of that! The one thing I didn't get to do was yoga on the beautiful back deck of theirs, it never really dried out enough.


That said, I didn't feel like I was missing out! I needed a lot of sleep, and lots of relaxing, and I got all that. Plus, Trav and I definitely enjoyed the time to ourselves, to just be Trav and Meg instead of Daddy and Mommy.


A note about my friends place: It was absolutely amazing, inside and out. The perfect combo of in the middle of the woods, but still modern. I love woods, period, but these redwoods were just so damn impressive. There is something about this type of forest that makes you feel like it could be 5000 years ago and these forest would look exactly the same. I find that incredibly grounding.


Overall, it was a wonderful, relaxing week! Such a great way to celebrate together.

11.02.2016

Semi-Wordless Wednesday {Halloween}

 

My little Headless Horseman 
(which she kept accidentally calling the Headless Whore... OMG).


Skeleton. A departure from Hermione!

I wish I had a picture of Trav as the Wookie...
but he only wore it once for a few moments because its been so hot here! 

Oh well, two out of three (I didn't subject Daisy this year!).