Summers end…

Here in Upstate New York the air is already starting to get a bit cooler, school has started and a summer full of swimming, camping and vacations are over. Last night I was reliving all the fun we had this summer through the pictures on my phone, we were very lucky to go on so many fun trips! Each year we go camping and always come home with a new assortment of memories, this year was no different! My daughter got bit in the head by a tick, my husband got sick, there were aggressive water snakes everywhere and it rained so much that everything in our tent was wet to the point of us having to leave 3 days early! Even with so many less then pleasant things we had an amazing time! This year we wanted to try new campfire recipes! All three of us gathered around the fire like children around the Christmas tree, so eager to watch pizza cook over an open flame! Boy was it good! The next night was chocolate chip cookies made from scratch and cooked over the fire, if you have never tried it you must!!!! Key is to make cookie dough before you leave for your trip, keep it cold in the cooler wrapped like a log in plastic wrap. Start your fire and use a cast iron pan. Roll the dough into balls and place just a couple on the pan at a time and cover with foil loosely. You want the foil to act as an oven but not hold in the moisture. Give it time, plenty of time, and before you know it you will have amazing campfire cookies! It takes a bit of practice but they are good!!!!

Our final trip this summer was to our favorite place…MAINE!!!! We love going to Maine, we went there on our honeymoon and try to go every year! The last two years we have gone to Old Orchard Beach, if you haven’t gone there you should! The beach is stunning, views fantastic and plenty of places to eat and shop. If you can stay right on the beach you are in walking distance to everything. This year during our Maine vacation we also took a quick trip to Acadia National Park! We spent the night at a hotel in Bar Habor and enjoyed a whale watch that next morning. We saw a few Humpbacks whales as well as a Sperm whale which hadn’t been seen in years! It was exciting and so much fun to see the wildlife and the dolphin and sunfish. Acadia was beautiful and we had popovers at a cafe at Jordan pond, if you have never been to Acadia I highly recommend it! Plan to visit for a few days because Acadia is HUGE and I have been twice and still haven’t even come close to seeing it all!!!

My husband and I most often start planning the summers vacations in the dead of winter. Nothing makes you want to plan a warm summer trip quite like an Upstate New York winter! So with 4 ft of snow on the ground (I’m not even kidding about that) my husband and I are glued to the laptop as we plan where we want to go and what we want to do. The anticipation of new memories is thrilling! No matter how humble or luxurious the vacation is it is equally exciting to think about how much fun it will be! Anticipation is an interesting thing, ever notice that planning the trip is just about as fun as the trip its self?! Where to go, what to do, what to pack?! I find it to be so much fun! I think sometimes in life we forget to enjoy the journey…We only enjoy it when it goes our way or when life seems easy and fun! Yet planning a vacation isn’t always easy, planning how to pay for it, where to board the family dog, planning for unexpected costs during your trip….but generally I think most of us gloss over the work of it and just enjoy the anticipation. The fun of planning the trip out weighs the stress of it. That’s how we need to look at daily life, let the joy of each day out weigh the stress of it! Believe it or not a spotless house, perfectly dressed children, a Pinterest perfect lunch and the latest diet doesn’t equal a joyful life. Joy is something you chose, we all have choices everyday. We all have good days and we all have bad days, but each day we can chose JOY. This morning I got out of bed at 5:30am got myself ready and started making my daughter breakfast. She got up from bed and walked into the living room then rushed to the bathroom. I figured she really needed to go but instead I hear “Mommy I stepped in kitty throw up!” oh great I thought….so I cleaned up her feet and located the present the kitty left and we moved on. Later this morning I found myself somehow running late, Her hair wasn’t done teeth not brushed, and I’m rushing to get all that done because we needed to leave three minutes ago. What do I step in? More kitty presents!!!! It was enough to make me want to go back to bed and try again as my coffee wasn’t ready yet and I had parent papers to sign for school and many other things needing to be done. But to choose joy means to gloss over the crap and enjoy the journey! Note I didn’t say IGNORE the crap. Just remember to not take everything so insanely seriously, we will all have days full of kitty presents, days were we are dragging, days when we feel depressed. But when you start to look for the humor, the bright side, the JOY you will always find it! and ya know what? The carpet needed to be cleaned anyway! 😀

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