Monday, October 2, 2017

Seasons Are Changing & Surprise...We are moving!!

The seasons are changing and I feel like every September brings more than just turning leaves. This September has proved to be the same...and guess what....we are moving!!

September has always been our month of new beginnings. It was in September that Ty and I officially got together. September that I found out I was pregnant with Scarlett. September that we moved here to New York. September that we not only bought a brand new house but found out I was pregnant with Maxwell. It was in September that I began a new path in real estate and so on....September, the month when leaves begin to turn and the seasons change. How appropriate.

We moved here to New York 6 years ago. I can't even believe it's been that long and yet it seems so long ago! Ty received an offer on a Wednesday and a week later he was off to New York to start a new job. I followed behind a few weeks later. We've had such an amazing time here in New York and it has been one of my favorite places so far. Not to mention, this place is an amazing place to raise a family. I fell in love with Saratoga 6 years ago and I still hold this place in my heart. We've created a home and family here. Even Maxwell was born here.
When Ty came to me a few weeks ago with an opportunity across country, I was slightly heartbroken. Scarlett loves her school and she just started first grade, she loves the stables that she rides at, and all of her neighborhood friends are here. Maxwell even has a little best buddy at school and adores his teachers as well. Not to mention, I love who I work with and the role I play in my current job. So to say that this was hard swallow is accurate. Despite the obvious downfalls of this,  I kept an open mind and somehow, things seemed to work their way out.

Ty's job is a year assignment. Meaning, it isn't permanent. We are coming back!! And we managed to work out all the details so that it works for us all. Often times life presents opportunities that aren't the right timing. But who are we to say what is the right timing? I mean, do any of us have any control of what goes on in life? Somewhat yes, but mostly....no. We can plan all we want but we aren't really in control now are we? So I've learned to embrace what may seem like bad timing and accept it as a new adventure.

 And so....off we go on a new adventure. I think it's pretty awesome!! I mean, how many people get the opportunity to go see some place they have never been before and still be able to return easily? We are SO excited. And a tad nervous. The worrying is mostly me apprehensive about how the kids will adjust and how we will get it all done in such short notice. I hope that the year in a new school will not be hard for Scarlett but teach her to adjust more easily and find that there are wonderful people to be friends with in every state. She is a pretty resilient child and seems to do well with change. On the other hand, she is VERY sentimental and I know that she is going to miss her friends, teachers, school and horses. When I told her the news, she proved to me that she is just as adventurous as her mother. The look of excitement on her face was enough to tell me that this will be great. So where are we going?

We are moving to Texas!!
I have never been to Texas so this is going to be a huge change and a very exciting opportunity. We are thrilled to see new places and do new things! I can't tell you how this is all going to work but I trust that God will bring it all together. So....stay tuned! Details to come.

These past couple weeks Ty and I have been spending a lot of time together with the kids since he will be going down there before us. We will join him once we tie up all loose ends here in NY but we will be away from each other for longer then we ever have. I know this will be hard on the kids. We spent a day in the park and downtown. These are a few photos from then.







Friday, September 22, 2017

RailBiking in the Adirondacks


If this wasn't one of the coolest things we did this year, I don't know what was! I stumbled upon this online and thought, 'We have to do this!' It's new to the Adirondacks but I know that they have rail biking in other locations around the country. Because this is so new to this area this year, it was pretty hard to get a reservation. I got lucky by finding a Sunday morning spot open for a quad bike. The Rev Rail had 2 options, dual bikes or quad bikes. I was thrilled to find out that ALL ages can go.

We all met at the Revolution Rail Co. and they bussed us to the location where we would begin. They had a 5 point harness for Maxwell and strapped him in snuggly in the front and Scarlett was able to help us bike and just use a seatbelt. We sat behind them. We had so much fun! That morning was chilly already and as we made our way to the train station, it got even chillier. So we bundled up! But by the time we got to the half way point of the trail, we were stripping off our layers and sticking them in the storage basket that they so conveniently and wisely added to the bikes. It was a total of 4 miles. It was a slight incline on the way there and on the way back, it was downhill coasting for us. Which was fun for the kids especially. When we got half way, they let us all off to sit and have a snack at the picnic tables alongside the river and stretch our legs. After about 15 min or so, they had moved all of the rail bikes around and we were ready to start our way back! The views over the bridge were the best! So breathtaking and I can only imagine that foliage season would be even more amazing!

When we got back, we drove into Lake George and grabbed some lunch and tasted some beers at Adirondack Brewery. Then we took a walk across the street and let the kids play at the park for a bit. We ended our fun day by the water, watching the Minne Ha Ha take off and waving to the people as they sailed away. The kids looked through the viewing scopes and giggled at the smiley faced parasail. This was such a fun experience and we loved that we got to bring the kids along with us. I definitely recommend trying this out if you are ever in the area! I added some video from my Instagram at the end so you can get a feel of this really cool adventure.



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Summer Is Ending...


It's Sunday and we just got back from an awesome family day Railbiking!!! Which I am writing a post about tonight to share with you on Tuesday. If you have Instagram, you can find our experience @itsLaurenRebecca. 

I'm sitting here on the couch with the windows open. It's about 72 degrees here in Saratoga Springs and I'm just bursting with excitement over this weather. We had a cold, rainy couple of weeks and all I could think was, it's way too early to be this cold! Ty is mowing the lawn and Scarlett just ran to the neighbors to play with the kids. Maxwell is splashing in puddles that he made from his water table and that smell of fresh cut grass is just amazing. I'm also burning my favorite Lemon Verbana soy candle. I know I've said this many times...Sunday is a glorious day. I feel really accomplished this weekend. The shutters are almost done. If you recall, I wanted to paint the hideous red awhile back. And they are now black. I will show you the before after photos as soon as they are done. My inspiration was Charleston. We took a trip HERE and ever since I've been obsessed with the magical houses that make up that lovely city. Since our house is pale yellow with beams in front, it was actually doable to try and give our home a little southern flair. 
On top of that, the house is clean, laundry done, outfits picked for tomorrow, meals planned and everything is prepped for another week of work/school. The only thing left to do is bathe our grubby little kids and put them to bed in a few hours. 

Summer always flies by.
But this summer's memories are nothing short of awesome. Although Fall is pretty beyond belief here in New York, I still can't seem to get super excited about the fact that the cold, long winter arrives shortly after. This year we made a decision to do a couple of winter trips to break up our winter blues. I imagine that will help tremendously. Anyways, here are some photos from this summer that I never got a chance to post. I hope you all had a great weekend!!





Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Routines.


There was about a week of cold weather here in New York and of course Maxwell got a cold which he passed to me, and now I'm under the weather.  That being said, there is just too much to do before school starts this Wednesday. I am one of those "Fall Cleaners" who must get everything in order before the new routines begin. I went through my house from top to bottom today and I still feel like there is more to do. I could take a whole weekend to organize and simplify. But I did what I could today, even being sick.
Scarlett starts 1st grade tomorrow and it's back to school schedules. On top of that, Ty and I are working out on a schedule and meal prepping to basically keep us both on track. It's hard to keep on track when life is busy. It REALLY is. And that is why I have to prep it all in advance in order for it to work for me. I have pretty healthy eating habits in general but I will graze all day long if I don't have a plan. Or I don't time block correctly and something gets left out, like working out. Someone asked me what I do to keep it all together once I'm getting up at 5am every morning for work, getting Maxwell to daycare, working full time and then getting home to get kids off the bus, dinner ready, baths done, spend some QT with the kids and still managing to work out in there somewhere. Oh, and I have a husband too.

It fails unless I have a plan. I must have a plan. So here is my plan and what works for us. I only work out 3-4 times a week because I know that if I try to do more, I will end up neglecting other priorities and feeling guilty etc etc. I have to spend some time with my kids and husband too. 

My meal plan and workout routine is as follows: (my husband has his own routine and the kids eat the same dinners) Everything we eat is Organic unless I absolutely cannot find it organic at the store. Sometimes if it's not in season, this is the case. Also, you will notice I DO eat chocolate or sweet things, I just make sure they are of good ingredients. You will see what I am talking about if you click on the links to some of the meals/snacks that I post below. You will also notice that on the days I work out, I have an extra snack or mini meal. That is because I am trying to gain muscle. The protein I use is HERE. Last, I drink 1/2 my weight in ounces of water each day.

My Meal Plan:
Monday: 60-65 Oz of water
Snack: Cottage Cheese and a kiwi
Lunch: 1 Hard Boiled egg, carrots, PB on a wrap and 1 piece of organic dark chocolate
Snack: Protein Shake 
Dinner: Filet Mignon, Sweet Potatoes & Strawberry Spinach Salad


Tuesday: 60-65 oz of water
Breakfast: Chocolate Banana Protein Muffin (these double for great snacks for the kids) & Black Coffee
Snack: Cheese slices & almonds
Lunch: 1 Hard Boiled egg, Turkey wrap & raw coconut chunks 
Snack: Apples with peanut butter
Snack: Protein Shake (After workout) 


Wednesday:60-65 oz of water
Snack: Cottage cheese with cucumbers
Lunch: Tuna on Salad greens with 1/2 a whole wheat wrap 1 piece of organic dark chocolate
Snack: Coconut chunks

Thursday: 60-65 oz of water
Breakfast: Chocolate Banana Protein Muffin with black coffee
Snack: Cheese slices & almonds
Lunch: 1 Hard Boiled egg, carrots, PB wrap and 1 kiwi
Snack: Protein Shake (After workout)

Friday: 60-65 oz of water
Snack: organic turkey jerky strips
Lunch: 1 Hard boiled egg, salad and 
Snack: apples with peanut butter
Dinner: Guacamole Turkey Burgers (with no bun) 
Snack: Protein Shake (after Workout)


Weekend day 1: 60-65 oz of water
Breakfast: Omelets with a Protein Iced Coffee Smoothie
Snack: cottage cheese with kiwi
Lunch: Chicken, sweet potato and broccoli bowl 
Snack: Protein Shake (After workout)

Weekend day 2: Keep it healthy but allowing 1 cheat meal & an alcoholic drink or two if I choose

As for my workouts, I have had the help from a friend and personal trainer to obtain my goals...which is a curvier figure. I just began this work out last week after doing the Bikini Body Burn series for 11 weeks. I switch my workout days each week because it's literally impossible not to when you have kids. BUT, I make sure to keep it consistent and follow the plan according to days and rest time in between. For those of you who don't have a personal trainer, I would suggest doing the Bikini Body Burn series or trying Tone It Up, which I haven't personally tried but have friend's who have amazing results from it. Again I only work out 4 days a week but I try to add one day of outdoor activities in there also. 

Workout Days:
Tuesday: Focus: Butt & thighs
Thursday: chest, Back & cardio
Friday: Arms & Core
Saturday:  Focus: Butt & thighs
Sunday: Walk, bike ride or outdoor activity 


Then the kids lunches always look something like THIS. My kids love raw veggies and fruits so it makes it easy for me when it comes to packing lunches. I will post another post on what I meal plan for them soon. 



Saturday, September 2, 2017

Camping. Cape Cod.

I know this is a weird intro but stay with me....
Last Saturday, the Jehovah's Witnesses came to the house as the do every Saturday morning. Normally, Ty opens the door, welcomes them in and chats with them even though we are not JW. That's my Ty for ya, he loves everyone.  Anyhow, Ty was away in Florida this weekend and I was outside when they came. It was ironic because they handed me a brochure that read, "Are you doing too much?" He quoted me a verse from the Bible and then opened the brochure that read on the inside, "If you are doing too many things and are so busy with life, are you really doing anything at all?" 
For some reason, this struck a chord with me and I looked up into the sky after they left and said, "Okay God, I get it." I've always been one to load up the calendar. I take on so many things that I want to do and then I end up, often times, burnt out. This summer, I barely even tasted it. It's come and gone in the blink of an eye. We've done a lot this summer. Too much, maybe. And I thought to myself, "Did I really do anything that was worthwhile? Did I make our time matter?"
There were definitely times that I did. This camping trip for instance.  I have been wanting to take Scarlett and Maxwell camping for some time now. I told Ty that I wanted to do a family camping trip for the kids. Scarlett has been asking for awhile. So Ty took initiative to rent a camper and we stayed at a KOA campground in Cape Cod. Originally, I was going to make a few activities for us to do offsite of the campground but ultimately decided that it would be nice to do nothing but just relax there. So I went against what my inner voice would have normally done, and I made no plans whatsoever.
The entire trip, besides one dinner where we went out for seafood, we stayed at the Campground.  I was worried we would be bored, but it was quite the contrary. We actually watched the kids play. We actually relaxed with a drink and talked to each other. We thoroughly took in the outdoors. And it was really, really nice to do nothing. I should have taken note of this then but I didn't. So this little nudge was a good reminder to me as we go into the school year that I need to slow down and do what matters instead of trying to do everything and in doing that, not really accomplishing anything but stressing myself out.

This little trip was so much fun. The kids were thrilled over the bunk beds in the RV and spent just as much time in them as they did on the playground across from our campsite. We made campfire mac & cheese and s'mores, went to the camp's daily activities and spent time together in the pool. The kids played in the dirt (a lot) and made camp friends. We had such a good time that we spent a day looking at campers when we came back. We would love to travel with the kids and camp different places around the country. If anyone has any great family campgrounds that they recommend, I'd love the recommendations!  Anyway, here are the photos from our very fun family camping trip. And see the little video I put together at the bottom.... 
Follow me on Instagram @itsLaurenRebecca