Nerf War Party Time

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Remember birthday parties when you were a kid?  The anticipation, the excitement, the friends, the presents? My kids absolutely love planning their birthday parties. Whatever was the last most fun party they attended is usually their starting point. This year, however, we had the debate over the age that birthday parties should stop. Both boys have had a party every year since their first birthday. The “being a kid” factor won out and Aidan had an 11th birthday party. We just decided to keep it smaller than other parties, which was actually really hard. I’m so glad we had the party!

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Nerf wars have been very popular with Aidan and his friends this year, but the winter weather has made them hard. They were all pretty excited to get together for one again.

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This gym has a good amount of space for the boys to chase each other, plus it has hiding places. Perfect.


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It was almost impossible to get them all to stay still at the same time for a picture, which I guess means they were having fun.

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Add in a few trampolines and you know this crew slept well that night!


They must be getting to the age where they start eating us all out of house and home because we went through a crazy amount of pizza afterwards. Of course, there is always room for cake.

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Aidan had a wonderful birthday. Thanks to all of his friends who made it special for him.

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For Aidan’s Nerf War cake and cupcakes, I decided to go camouflage. Since yellow is not the most boyish color, it seemed like a good idea.


The cake was pretty obvious with the iconic Nerf sign in fondant and a dart.


The cupcakes were not as easy for me though. I finally decided to make a target out of chocolate using my cookie molds.


Aidan was pretty happy with the results.


Time Flies

Happy 11th Birthday my sweet Aidan!


Birthdays are still a big deal for us and we try to make them special. This is not the easiest thing when the pinewood derby is the day after your birthday! But the birthday boy always wakes up to a special morning.


We were up a little early to take Aidan to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. Who doesn’t like a donut stop on the way to school?

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Aidan is not a fan of cake, so Dane and I made sure he had his favorite cookies to celebrate with in school.


And of course we all got together to celebrate with his favorite dinner – pizza!


Can you tell he still loves presents?


Ice cream cake is always our number one birthday choice.


I can’t believe my first little guy is eleven years old! Time flies.


I remember these times when he was little like they were yesterday.

Mommy and Aidan day.


The McDonald’s we always stopped at on our way to the doctor that was so far away from us.


Ocean County Park with Nana to feed the geese (which I was deathly afraid of!).


Just hanging out in the boys’ first house.

The boys

Aidan’s first day of preschool (yes, Dane wanted to go too).


The boys’ first sport.


Our beach.


Aidan’s first year of Cub Scouts.


We have always loved coloring Easter eggs!


First baseball game (the Phillies).


This can’t have been that long ago!


First trip to Hawaii.


Happy Birthday sweet boy.

Thanks For Such A Special Day

I am very lucky to have so many amazing people in my life and days like today really remind me of that. Thanks so much for your texts, calls and posts. They made my day. I also got to spend time with some of my favorite people.


My sweet boys started the day for me with breakfast and presents in bed. They are seriously the best.


They brought me my favorites. Since you are totally allowed to eat every meal twice on your birthday, I had a lemon zinger and an acai bowl with the girls for my second breakfast.


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Today was classroom visit day at the boys’ schools. It is so nice to see where they spend most of their day. We could not believe how cold it was on the way to school though!


Melissa may be my only friend who shares my love of protein shakes and bars. We spent hours catching up and laughing and, of course, trying new shakes.


I had to take a few hours off of eating because my mom was making my favorite for dinner. How lucky am I that I still get to request my favorite dinner on my birthday!  Thanks mom! I am not even going to tell you how many of these cannoli I had afterwards. If you are not from the New York/New Jersey area you must try cannoli when you visit here. They don’t make them right anywhere else I have been.


Thanks again for such a special day. :)

So, I am wondering, (although I may already know Tara!) are scrunchies really that bad?


Fall Fun

Today was the perfect fall day. I have to admit I was sad to be missing my first October race, but we definitely made up for it. How can you not have fun with a day like this?

Pumpkin cart

The boys and I go pumpkin picking every year. Dane was six days old the first time he went! We weren’t sure when we were going to fit it in this year until today opened up.

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I usually send the boys into the corn maze with friends. Today I went with them and it was actually a lot of fun.


This one had a treasure hunting theme. We were searching for gold.



Of course we had to go on the hayride too.



Today was the boys’ cousin’s birthday party too. He was a cowboy for a day. :)


The boys had fun riding the horses.


These boys are so cute. I think my brother should be a cowboy when he grows up. 😉


It was a great day with family.



So, I am wondering, do you go pumpkin picking in the fall?

Preparation Day

The boys are always talking about “Preparation Day” for one of their favorite games, Clash of Clans. They are very serious about it. Today was my version of preparation day and it felt a tiny bit like I was getting ready for a war too. Of course it’s only camping and Dane’s birthday and my upcoming 5k.

I didn’t have much time for a run today, so a tempo run made perfect sense. I didn’t think much about it before I went because of the million other things going on. I am glad for this – tempo runs are not usually my favorite until they are done!


We will be celebrating while we are camping, so we decided to make goody bags for all of the kids. Flashlights and ring pops are a must at camp.  😉


Only Dane’s den will be wearing birthday shirts though! I hate ironing. I try to never do it. While I was making these shirts the dryer was running an extra cycle so the clothes wouldn’t wrinkle!


We had Dane’s favorite dinner tonight since there are no other free nights until after his birthday.  Chinese, of course!


Aidan was not that thrilled about it. Can you tell?

So, I am wondering, do you iron?

I am also wondering, do your kids play Clash of Clans?

Soccer and Birthday Fun – Take One

We finally had our first soccer game this weekend!  It was such an exciting game. Our team is full of talented boys and it was fun to finally see what they can do against another team. We ended up losing by one point, but it was a nail biter at the end!  We almost tied it up just as the final whistle was blown.  Next game…


Dane’s birthday is coming up and we started celebrating a tiny bit early this weekend.


Look at this cool warrior he got. It is made from recycled metal.


Dane’s actual birthday is during our fall camping trip with the Scouts. Can you imagine having a birthday sleepover with 50 friends in the woods!  What more could a kid want? Our Scout camping trips usually have a theme and this year it is “Shark Week.” Here is the birthday shirt I am making for Dane and his friends.


Camping with the Scouts is no joke so we will be busy this week getting ready for that. Our boys started today by making their version of nut-free trail mix.  It looks kind of gross to me now, but it is crazy how much better food tastes in the woods. I don’t understand why, but everything is delicious when we are camping. We do have great cooks, but I still usually would not eat mac and cheese.  Can anyone explain this to me?


So, I am wondering, have you ever gone camping?  Did you love it?  Hate it? Why?

The Weekend In Pictures

Early morning soccer practice is a great way to start the weekend.

soccer practice

Hiking with friends.  Lu-Ann, next time let’s go when it’s not 92 degrees outside!

hike collage

Birthday parties are still a big deal. :)

C Birthday party

Followed by a quick baseball pick up game.


My guy is getting so big!


First homework project.


So glad to be running with my girls again.


Fingers crossed for a relaxing week!  Lol.

TrailBlazers and Milestones

This weekend was the final race for the TrailBlazers – the kids running club.  We had so much fun running this summer and I was really excited for the kids to get to do their thing.

TB race day

It was a beautiful morning and a great course along the bay.

TB sunrise

The kids all finished the 1 mile race and a few even completed their first 5k!  I am so proud of them.  One of my 5k finishers made this collage below.  I can’t even tell you how amazing it is to make even a little difference in a kid’s life.  It is the best feeling.

TrailBlazers Kailey

They all earned their race medals, that’s for sure!

TB collage

We had another really important event this weekend – my nephew’s 1st birthday party!  In typical first birthday fashion this little cutie decided to start his party with a nap.  Once he joined everyone though, he was the life of the party.  He is the sweetest little guy and he loves being with everyone.

M Ar

His party was a hit with everyone else too.  We got to wear silly masks.M dress up

And meet Cookie Monster.

M family

We visited with family who live far away.

M cousins

And hung out with old friends.

M boys

I’m sure this will be a big surprise to everyone who knows us, but Dane cracked open the piñata and could not have been happier.

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And the birthday boy loved his cake.

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Happy Birthday sweet guy.

Physics and Fun

The theme this weekend seemed to be physics, although I’m not sure the boys would describe it that way.  Today they experienced gravity and the laws of motion on the rides at Great Adventure.  Dane was brave and rode every roller coaster he could, thanks to Uncle John.  There is no way I am getting on those!



We had another physics lesson this weekend at the Cub Scout Rocket Derby.  At this event the boys build soda bottle rockets and then launch them.  The rockets use water and pressurized air to launch them hundreds of feet high.  Last year the rockets reached over 300 feet in the air!  After launching, the boys compare which designs and water levels performed the best.  It is so much fun watching them launch!

rocket physics Rocket building rocket launching

Since we have no choice but to accept that summer is ending, we decided to get some of our favorites in again this weekend.  Tonight we watched a beautiful sunset on the bay.

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Then had lobster bisque at Chowda in Bay Village.


We had another special dinner this weekend for my dad’s birthday.  We went out for one of his favorites – shrimp parm.  It was a very fun night.  Happy Birthday!

birthday dinner 3 So, I am wondering, how was your weekend?  Did you eat anything wonderful?


Wow!  This was a crazy, fun, bittersweet weekend for us filled with friends, family and happenings.  Never a dull moment!  Here are my two resilient sweeties.

me and boys

We started the weekend off by saying goodbye to the teams that have been such a big part of our life for the past couple of months.  Aidan had another great season with Coach Brett and Coach Jeff.  Thanks guys!

baseball collage

Our last soccer game was so much fun!  We started off with team pictures (I will probably post them again when I get the “good” ones!).


It was kind of nice that we won – it just adds to the excitement.  I am so happy I am able to share these special times with Dane.  I was lucky to have a great assistant coach too.  Scott (and Corinne) I will miss you guys so much next year!

soccer collage

I think the boys had an exciting last game and fun receiving their medals afterwards.

soccer fun collage

Look what I got!  The local artist who made this incorporates sand from the island in her glass beads.  Two things that I love – coaching and the beach.  I love it!  The C Glass Studio.


Saturday was also Founder’s Day in our town and there are parades and fireworks and festivities.  We had a bit of excitement ourselves and got to spend the day with my parents and my nephew.  Pizza is always a good idea in my family.


Then we headed out to the fireworks.  It was kind of a last minute decision, so we just grabbed what we needed and went.  I was pretty happy that I still had about 100 glow sticks in my garage waiting to be used!  Every time I see these in the dollar section I buy them.  Lol.  Some were seriously old and not quite as bright as others, but the kids were still happy!

fireworks collage

Sunday was another fun family day.  Happy Father’s Day!  Here are me and my dad – one of the best men you will ever be lucky enough to meet.  He means so much to us and we always have fun being with him.  I have fun with him whether we are coaching a team together or shoveling snow together!  Thanks for being such a great dad and Popop!

me and Carl

And here is my brother, another great dad, with one of his little guys.

John & M

We were also celebrating birthdays.  We have a lot of June birthdays in our family!

birthday collage

The kids had fun playing together as usual – even the big kids.

cousins collage

fun in the yard

I hope your Father’s Day and weekend were great too!

me and boys dday

So, I am wondering,do you like ice cream cake or regular cake better?


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