Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Guy Behind The Blog - August Edition

In hopes to share some more random information about Chris, I'm back today for  The Guys Behind the Blog link-up.   Chris mentioned that this month's questions were not his favorite.  But I have to say it's kind of fitting for them to be "love related" since this is also the month we were married... we celebrate 5 years of marriage tomorrow!  

1 // Share a funny wedding story with us - it could be from your own or one you attended.
Not that funny of a story but I was at a wedding maybe 6 years ago, and the best man gave literally the worst speech I've ever heard, and that includes all oral presentations in high school, etc.    A year or so later, I was asked to be a best man by my great college friend Joe.    I said yes, but then panic set in as I realized that I would have to give a best man's speech, to upwards of 300 people!   Anyway, I prepare and wrote out a very thorough speech.   This was the first Meghan and I had ever attended together.   Also, my parents were there, so I had quite a few key eyes on me as well.   Anyway, the speech went fairly well, but the big joke was that in my printout of my speech, I actually wrote my first and last name in the first sentence, as if I was going to be so nervous that I'd even forget my own name.    Oh well, better safe than sorry!

2 // On the topic of love, who was your childhood crush?
Probably the first girl that I ever had a crush on was in like 2nd grade, and her name was Kelly.   She and I were both shy and we both seemed to have a crush on each other, but before I knew it, her family moved away to another state and my dreams had been crushed, haha.

3 // What is your top love language? What is your significant other's love language? 
I guess my top love language is acts of service.   I like doing the manly chores like taking the garbage and recycling out or mowing the lawn or fixing something, or getting things ready for a trip or washing the car, etc.     Meghan's love language is maybe words of affirmation.

4 // How did you meet your significant other? 
My mom knew Meghan because Meghan worked at the dentist's office during high school, and my mom has been a fixture at the dentist's office for years.  Years later, when Meghan went in for a routine cleaning, my mom found out Meghan was single and got her number and email address and gave them to me.    It's ironic because my brother was also single at the time, and he's closer to Meghan's age, but somehow I won the phone number lottery that day.   haha

5 // If you're engaged or married, how did you propose? If you're not, how did you ask your girl out? 
I didn't want to get engaged at a restaurant or something like that, so I thought about a unique place that I could propose.   I had planned to take Meghan to a Penn State football game in mid-Oct, so I planned everything around proposing that weekend, at Penn State.   My idea was to watch the football game, then walk across campus to the nittany lion shrine, which is a big photo op site, and pop the question.   At the time, somehow assumed there's be very few people there, but since it was a football game, I was very wrong.   There were probably 50-100 people standing in line to take a picture with the shrine, so when I got on one knee, I was way more nervous than I thought I would be.   From what I remember, people who saw what was going on cheered and stuff, so that was pretty cool, but it was kind of a blur, so I don't remember a ton from that moment.   Looking back, it would've been cool to have a video of the moment, and the crowd reaction, but we have some pictures of the before and after, so that'll have to do.

Also, don't forget to link up your back to school posts!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Penn State!

While we were visiting our friends in Williamsport, we all drove an hour to spend the day at Penn State in State College.  We figured since we've taken Noah to my alma mater, University of Delaware, it was time to take him to Chris' as well!  Chris and his friend, Joe, both went to Penn State and actually met each other 20 years ago this weekend, when they lived on the same Freshman dorm floor!  It just so happened that we went to visit on move-in weekend!  We were getting a little nervous that it would be super crowded because of it, but since move in day was Friday for Freshmen and Saturday for upper classmen, it wasn't so bad by the time we were there on Sunday.  

We stopped by the "Clothesline" for some Penn State merchandise and I feel like we bought the entire store!  Noah had outgrown all his Penn State clothes, so we had to get him a few new things.  Chris wanted a few new shirts and we also had a few requests to pick up some things for friends and Chris' dad.  

^^^ how cute are these boys in their matching Nittany Lion helmet hats!?

We then headed across the street to have lunch at Primanti Brothers.  The majority of their locations are in Pittsburgh, but they recently opened one on campus.  Their signature is putting coleslaw and french fries in their sandwiches!  I opted to have the coleslaw on the side (since I don't like coleslaw), but it was still super yummy! 

^^^ We should have had our waiter take the photo from the other side of the table!

^^^ we had a little too much fun making it look like JJ was drinking my root beer float ;)

From there, we walked around campus.  The guys told us a few stories (the PG ones) about their time at college.  We even stopped at their Freshman dorm and the apartment they lived in together Senior year.   These comparison photos are unreal...  

^^^ Chris outside his Freshman Dorm in 1995 | Chris & Noah, Joe & JJ outside same dorm in 2015

^^^ Chris & Joe outside their Senior year apartment in 1998!

We also stopped by the Nittany Lion statue (where Chris and I got engaged 6 years ago) for a bunch of photos.  We were lucky to have a very kind student offer to take a photo of our entire group and it actually turned out amazing! 

^^^ don't worry, JJ's mom was standing right behind him making sure he didn't fall ;)

^^^ the boys!

^^^ Noah's "roaring" like a lion :)

We ended the trip down memory lane by stopping at the famous Berkey Creamery.  The last few times I've been to State College with Chris was for a football game.  The lines are always crazy long those weekends so we always skip going.  But it wasn't bad at all on Sunday so we got some delicious ice cream... and Noah even got some blue and white sprinkles on his!

After ice cream, we let the boys play in the grass.  Noah would run back and forth, grabbing leaves from this tree and bringing them to JJ... it was so cute!

I'm so glad we were able to spend time with our friends this weekend!  I find it amazing that Chris and Joe have been friends for 20 years now and haven't gone a single year without seeing each other, even with the 3 hour drive.  When Chris was going up for football games, he would stay at Joe's house and see him 7 times each fall!  Chris was Joe's best man and Joe was in our wedding as well.  Definitely a special friendship :)

As usual, I'm linking up with Jess for "It's the Little Things" link up!  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Little League World Series

This weekend, we went to Williamsport, PA to visit some friends.  We decided to go this past weekend so we could also go to the Little League World Series.  It's funny, because Williamsport is otherwise a small town without much going on.  So to have this annual event held there with teams from all over the world is pretty remarkable!  The tournament includes 8 US teams and 8 "international" teams.  The US teams play each other and the international teams play each other until there is only one of each in the final game.  We went early on in the tournament and got to see two games.  They give tickets to the family members of the teams, but otherwise, it's free and general admission.  Technically, you could come and watch games all day.  Seats fill up fast, so unless you get there super early, there's slim picking.  

We got there at 5pm for the 6pm Canada (British Columbia) vs. Asia-Pacific Game (China) game.  The game was held in the smaller stadium that has bleachers instead of real seats.  The weather was beautiful, but the sun was blinding us as it was setting... no wonder our seats were available ;)  Saturday was all elimination games, meaning the teams lost their first game and now were playing to see who was out of the tournament completely.  We were obviously rooting for Canada and even had Noah wear his Team Canada shirt!  Unfortunately, China beat Canada pretty badly... the final score was 16-4 and only 3 innings long!  In Little League, they have kind of a pity rule where if one team is beating the other by more than 10 points, they call the game after 3 innings.  

^^^ using Noah's hat as an attempt to block the sun and actually see the game!

We only watched the 1st inning (after China scored 9 runs) and then went to walk around the premises.  We decided to check out the main (and larger) stadium and saw that people were getting ready for the 8pm US game... New England (Rhode Island) vs Midwest (Missouri).  Most of the seats were taken, but when 2 opened up, we grabbed them.  Our friends (who have an almost 1 year old) decided to sit in the lawn seats since they knew their son would need to go home soon anyway.  Most of our time there was spent waiting for the game to start, but we still had fun!  We got some M&Ms and danced in our seats... Noah liked that more than the actual game!  We only lasted one inning at this game too since it was getting late and we had a 30 minute drive to our hotel.  We found out later that we were "luckier" this time and were actually rooting for the team that won... Rhode Island (where my older brother lives) won 6-3!

^^^pointing to the blimp and the moon :)

Even though we didn't really watch much actual baseball, we still had a really fun time.  We are already talking about making this an annual tradition with our friends.  We figure it will only become more fun for the boys as they get older :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Mama & Noah Currently

Instead of doing monthly updates with all of Noah's stats, I decided to share some things that we are into each month.  You can check out November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015, and July 2015.

This is what we've been up to in August 2015...


 Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies | Cheese


Project Runway | Madagascar movies

Listening to

Echosmith | Bedtime songs
(my made up choo choo song, row row row your boat, twinkle twinkle, and you are my sunshine)


Comfy dresses | "No Pants"


weekends away | trips to the playground

What have you been up to this month???

Friday, August 21, 2015


Yay for the weekend!  This weekend has been interesting.  Noah and I had a good week, but Chris was so busy and stressed and working late every night.  I'm so glad the weekend is here and we can spend some time together as a family!  We are heading out of town once again, this time visiting friends in Pennsylvania and even going to the Little League World Series!  Have a great weekend and enjoy my "Five on Friday"!


Noah is a huge fan of giraffes.  While my favorite animal has always been the elephant, the giraffe is really becoming a close second for me as well!  Noah loved making the giraffe craft and he loves wearing his new giraffe towel!  He used to call them "tall tall" but now he actually says (or at least tries to say) giraffe :)


We've been having some pretty bad luck when it comes to the pool lately.  Last week, Noah got injured twice while at the pool.  The first time, he fell and skinned his knee.  Then on Saturday, Noah and Chris were at the water fountain and Noah got his finger stuck in between where the button is and the fountain!  Chris said he had trouble even getting the finger out.  He scraped a little piece of skin off his middle finger as a result.  Thankfully I always have neosporin and a few bandaids on me!  

This week, we invited Grandma & Papa to go to the pool with us on Monday morning.  We got there right at 10 when it opened and went in the baby pool.  Maybe 10 minutes later, the lifeguard came over and told us he big pool would be closed for half an hour because they found a dead mouse in the filter and had to clean and pour chemicals in the pool.  We waited it out, even when the 30 minutes turned into an hour!  Then we were supposed to go to the pool with Nonna & Granddad on Wednesday afternoon, but we had to cancel because of a thunderstorm!  Hopefully we have better luck for the remainder of the summer!


Since we weren't able to go to the pool Wednesday afternoon and no longer had any plans, we decided to bake some cookies!  I had seen these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies on House of Smiths and thought they looked and sounded delicious!  Noah helped measure, pour, and mix and then left me to do the actual baking.  I ended up having to bake each batch for 15 minutes, and they came out so soft and moist... they were amazing!


On Tuesday, Noah and I drove to Princeton to meet up with some friends from high school.  We met up back in June and I'm so glad we could do it again!  Two of them live in South Jersey while the other two live near me.... Princeton was a nice halfway meeting point and has some cute restaurants and shops.  We walked around with the kids, had lunch while trying to entertain a bunch of little ones, and then grabbed some ice cream at The Bent Spoon (which is apparently kind of famous and really delicious!).  


Noah is going through a rocket ship/astronaut phase.  At Gymboree, they've been pretending to be astronauts and go up in a rocket ship to either the moon or Mars.  He loves wearing his rocket ship shirt and likes to count down to blast off!  He even asked to be an astronaut for Halloween (at least that's his current request)!  When we were in Princeton, we stopped by this super cute toy store.  They had this toy rocket ship that Noah wanted to get.  It seemed a little pricey (even on Amazon) for what it looked like.  Instead, I told him we would get another rocket ship instead.  I mentioned this to my mom on our way home from Princeton, and being the great grandma that she is, showed up at our house the next day with this toy rocket ship!  Noah LOVES it and has been playing with it nonstop!

rocket ship | shirt (old from Hanna Andersson, but this is their fall version.  They also have some cute rocket ship PJs)

I'm linking up with The Farmer's Wife and September Farm for "Oh Hey Friday"!

I'm also linking up with A. Liz Adventures for "Five on Friday".

Also, don't forget to link up your back to school posts!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge - Update #4

In our house, we love to read and we love to do crafts.  So I decided to combine the two and come up with some crafts to go along with some books we are currently reading.  Noah is a huge fan of animals, so we read this book and then did a giraffe and lion craft.  The book was good but I found that some of the wording didn't flow off the tongue during the first read.  I think I will get better with practice, cause right now I often feel like I'm stumbling over my words.  Noah still enjoyed it and loved doing the crafts.  

I find most of my craft ideas on Pinterest.  I then adapt them depending on what supplies I have on hand or based on what I think Noah would rather do.  For example, I've found Noah prefers to use paint and glue, so I'm trying to find more crafts that use both.  Originally, the lion craft suggested using yellow and black felt for the inside of the lion and the nose/mouth, but I knew Noah would rather paint more.  I usually show Noah a picture of the craft (on my phone) so he has an idea of what it should look like and then I let him go at it.  Noah will often ask me if he can do something different than what the picture looks like, and I always say, "yes, this is your craft".  With the giraffe, he wanted to add brown dots to the giraffe's mouth and nose area.  I of course was okay with that and I think it looks like he gave the giraffe a mustache.  I also follow Noah's lead... if he wants to do it on his own, I let him, but often he asks for me to help him, so I do.  

Materials Needed:
Paper Plate
Yellow construction paper
Brown pom moms
Googly eyes
Brown Paint (we use Crayola washable paint)
Yellow Paint

Noah painted the entire plate yellow.  While it dried, I had him help me cut out the mouth/nose, the "horns", and the ears.  I let him draw the circle for the mouth/nose and draw the mouth, and then I guided his hand for the nostrils and to draw the ears and horns.  I then cut everything out.  While he's working on his scissor skills, he's definitely not at the point where he can cut with any precision.  

After the paint dried, we glued on the ears, horns, mouth/nose, and the googly eyes.  We also then glued the brown pom poms onto the horns.  Noah often does the glue on his own, but for this project I would ask him where he thought the body parts should go and then I would put a little glue down and he would stick the piece down.  Finally, we used the brown paint and round sponge brushes and Noah put "spots" all over the giraffe.  I found that it was easiest to put the yellow paint directly on the giraffe's "face" and then have Noah spread it out with the brush.  But for the spots, I put a little bit of brown paint onto an extra plate and have Noah dip the brush into that.  This is what worked for us, but you could do it however you'd like.  

Materials Needed:
Paper Plate
Googly eyes
Yellow Paint
Orange Paint
Black Paint (we used the Neon Crayola washable paint to get the black)
Thick and thin paint brush

I had Noah paint the inner part of the paper plate yellow and the outer part of it orange.  He needed a little help around the edges and it definitely wasn't perfect, but pretty darn good for a two year old.  We then painted the nose and mouth.  At first, Noah asked me to paint it.  After I was finished, he wanted to paint the nose as well, hence why it's a little uneven.  We glued the eyes on and then let it completely dry.  

Later that afternoon, when it was completely dry, Noah cut slits into the orange part to make the lion's mane/hair.  I showed him how to do the first one, and then I let him cut the rest.  I held the paper plate and kept rotating it so all he had to do was cut a slit.  

Noah loves doing crafts, but he really loves displaying them in our kitchen.  We hang them on the pantry and basement door using painters tape on the back.  They stay up for as long as we'd like, but when it's time to come down, it doesn't ruin the paint job.  

Both of these crafts required some drying time in the middle of the project.  Most of the time, coloring for a little bit was just enough time to let the paint dry.  Kids aren't usually very patient, so I would come up with an activity to do while the paint dries... or maybe use a blow dryer to speed up the process ;)

I am linking up with Stephanie and Elizabeth for the Summer Reading Challenge!  You can check out this post for all the details!

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