Norther New York Guide!

I am finally getting around to making a NNY Guide! Something I wish we would have had when we first arrived at Fort Drum. It can seem like there's not a lot to do around here, but when you really explore there is a whole lot to do.  So I am making a list of some of our favorite ways to get out there. Everything I post is kid friendly because we take Jed everywhere with us! From closest to Fort Drum to the furthest. Enjoy! 

Fort Drum/Watertown!

  • On Fort Drum there are splash pads (which is one of the first things we did here), bowling, trails, library (story time). I know ACS has a lot of events as well for moms who stay home and want to go out during the day.
  • Watertown. The closest big city to Fort Drum has some normal things to do, like the mall, the movies, places to eat. Downtown Watertown is a neat place to see. The library is historic and there is even a museum across from it for all you history buffs! In the summer they have a Famers Market on Wednesdays, It's a lot of fun. 
  • Thompson Park. Located near downtown Watertown, this is one of the coolest, if not the coolest, park here. It has a huge wooden playground, a beautiful view with an open field, and a zoo (more below).
  •  The Watertown zoo in my opinion is kind of lame (for a zoo). Although its not very expensive, $7 for adults, $4 for kids, kids 3 and under are FREE.  They have local animals, and a really cool butterfly house which may be worth the $7. They also have a small farm section where you can pet some of the animals. 
  • Burville Cider mill is a quick 20min venture but oh so worth the donuts and cider that they have. You can also buy apples and look at their cool waterfall. Don't be fooled by their website, It's only open in the Fall. 
  • Farms in general are a lot of fun to see. You can go apple picking in the fall, and berry picking in the summer! 
Sackets Harbor

  • Old McDonalds Farm is a really fun farm to visit with kids, but even if you don't have kids, its still fun. Its seems a little expensive for a farm, $10 for adult and $8 for kids. But there is a whole lot to do! You can see farm animals, feed them, theres a tour, jumpers for kids, mini golf. You can spend an entire day there. 
  • Sackets Harbor is a beautiful little water town. Its very historic, known for the war of 1812. They have tours in the summer and some little museums that you can see. But even if you don't see any of that, the town itself is beautiful to walk around. There are some cute shops you can visit, and I would recommend eating breakfast at the Tin Pan Galley it is seriously amazing (and expensive), I would do dinner at Goodfellos, they have the best brick oven pizza! If you like spicy, I recommend the afterburner. Then head over to the ice cream stand across the street for some amazing ice cream! 

  • Another cute little town by the water. They have some fun shops, including the river rat cheese store!! They also have the antique boat museum, I believe its $12 but free for military. 
Alexandria Bay

  • Alexandria bay is probably the most "touristy" thing here. Similar to Clayton, but with a little more things to do. Not only can you walk around, but they also have some really neat boat tours you can do. They have one that takes you to Boldt Castle which is a must see here. 
  • Syracuse, being a major college town, has a lot to do! There is Destiny USA, which is one of the biggest malls in the state.  There is also the Syracuse zoo which is free to military and family. There is also Dinosaur BBQ which was on DD&D, and worth the ridiculous wait and crowd. 

  • Canada is only about 30 min from Fort drum. If you're in the area I would highly recommend going there! Right after the border they have a really cool observation tower that is worth seeing. We visited Brockville while we were there, but there is obviously so much you can see. 
Baseball Hall of Fame
  • One of my favorite things we've done! Not only is the baseball hall of fame cool, but Cooperstown is really neat to see. 
Niagara Falls
  • Don't really need to say much about this, it speaks for itself! This is one of those must see things that is a little further away but worth the trip. Buffalo is a cool city to see if you're in the area, and I recommend eating at lake affect diner, and Sophias on Military Rd (only breakfast/lunch place). 
These are just a few of the places you can see while you're here. There really is a lot to do around here, my favorite being yard sales and random events near town. There is a whole lot of outdoor things to do that I didn't bother mentioning because they seem so obvious, like hiking, rafting, fishing, ect. The fourth of July seems to be the busiest and seems to yield the most to do! But there is something to do in every season, including the wretched winter. 

Fathers Day!

Fathers Day was something I really dreaded growing up. It was often a painful reminder that my dad had died. As I got older, and realized how many of my friends shared a similar dislike for fathers day, it wasn't so bad. I would just block out the day all together. It wasn't until I met RJ that I began celebrating fathers day again. Since his dad was such a huge important part of his life, and an awesome dad, I wanted to celebrate him too. He eventually became like a father to me and I really looked forward to fathers day again. Now we get to celebrate it on a whole other level!

Watching RJ become a dad is just one of the absolute best things in life. I still remember the conversations we would  have as kids (teens) about how we pictured our family. Now to watch him live out things we dreamed about 10 years ago is pretty awesome. I will start out by stating the obvious, and saying he's not a perfect dad! Sometimes he's on his phone or watching a game or so ridiculously tired that he falls asleep mid sentence, but he is an exceptional dad. He doesn't take a million pictures, or post how awesome his family is on social media, he won't come home with flowers or chocolates, or do any of that over the top stuff that I really thought I wanted. He is exceptional in other ways. He wakes up early on weekends and takes Jed so that I can sleep in (even though he wakes up earlier than me EVERY DAY). If you're a sleep deprived parent, you know how incredibly selfless that is. He comes home and he sits with Jed, plays with him, gives him a bath, puts him to bed. He encourages me to go out with friends, because he actually enjoys spending time with Jed (what a concept!).

The biggest reason being that he's my partner! I don't ever feel like I'm raising Jed alone. He's involved, he's interested, he pays attention. He chooses to do all of those things. I am so grateful! I am grateful that in a world where it is exceptional to be a good dad, RJ makes it seem normal. I think that great fathers should be celebrated because they are so rare! I'm thankful for my husbands patience, kindness, and spirit. He teaches me everyday how to be a better parent. I'm also thankful for my father in law who was that example for him. I'm thankful for every father who works hard and loves their kids. Most of all I am thankful that we have the ultimate example in our heavenly Father. God was gracious in giving me RJ. So I will take every opportunity I can to celebrate him!

 Happy Fathers Day , Sweetums!

Happy Spring?

It seems like Spring never got to NY! The weather is still in the 50s and I am anxiously awaiting summer. We had a short hot week and I though it was the beginning of summer but I was wrong. We're back to cooler weather and the pregnant part of me is really happy because pregnant summers are hoooot! Although we have had some awesome glimpses of Spring, like tulips and daffodils, and the prettiest skies. 

These are a few of our pictures from when we went to Canada! So green!!! That is something that I just love here, everything is so unbelievably green here. Everything is really beautiful, and I am really appreciating it even though I miss the California weather. I think it might be the possibility of moving back, but I just appreciate NY this time around. Hoping to do a lot this summer before the baby comes. Ah! Can't believe we're having this baby in a few months. I'm a little nervous about what life will be like with two kids! Two boys!!!

Only a few more days until summer officials starts, and only a couple of weeks until July! Which is just about the best month ever. Love that we have summer birthdays :) Looking forward to this summer and finally getting to see some friends that we haven't seen in over a year! I think this summer we will build a lot of great memories. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for us.

DIY Confetti Phone Case

I have been trying to figure out a way to make a fun phone cover thats not crazy expensive. Here it is! This entire thing cost me $5. Granted, I already had the confetti, but it still wouldn't be more than that to do this. All you need is a clear phone cover, the plastic it comes with, scissors, confetti (got mine here), and white card stock. 
1. Start by cutting the plastic and card stock to the size of your phone (make sure to cut a hole for the camera)
2. Put the plastic on the inside of your phone cover.
3. Fill with confetti
4. Put the card stock on top (You can glue the edges of the entire thing to keep confetti from falling, but I have found that once you put the phone in, its too tight to fall out).
5. That's it! It's super simple and super cute. You can fill it with whatever type of confetti you want.
I'm really loving this confetti right now, but I might change it up. Isn't it cute?! Going to see what other phone covers I can make for summer.
Happy Confetti! Let me know if you guys decide to try it!

Happy Mothers Day to every type of Mom!

Happy Mother's Day to every really awesome mom out there. I have had the blessing of being affected by all kinds of remarkable women in my life. Women who have loved and served others, and who are exemplary examples of not just moms but of beautiful women. Although they are not all included in these pictures (I cant seem to find pictures of everyone), they have all effected our lives in some way. So heres to you....

To the New mom who has toddlers and babies and are trying their very hardest to not loose their mind (raises hand). Sometimes the work goes unnoticed and the days are loooong, and 5 o clock never seems to come. To the sleepless nights, and early mornings, and finding cereal EVERYWHERE! To watching Toy Story 17x and making endless art projects that your child seems to not care about. Isn't it all worth it?! Even when you want to pull your hair out and move to Mexico, don't you just love it?! It's an insanely remarkable feeling to love someone that much and to watch them grow and learn.

To the Single mom, who was my mom. Who sacrifices so much so that you're kids don't have to be without. You're a remarkable warrior who is playing two roles and is rocking it. To the pillar of your family, the provider, the sustainer. You might not be able to go to every school play or awards ceremony, but your hard work does not go unnoticed. The selflessness that you show will not be forgotten. For being the example of dying to self, you are amazing!

To grandma! Who has done it all and lived to tell the tale. Your wisdom is unending and your love is unmatched. The support and love you provide is what sometimes keeps us going when we're feeling defeated. Just knowing that you're in our corner makes all the difference. We need your advice, love, and affection. You play a critical role in raising our kids. What would we do without you!

To the Spiritual Moms. You make all the difference! You might not have kids of your own, but you are a spiritual mom. You are the encourager, the supporter, the thoughtful voice that tells us what we need to hear. To some you're a mom, an aunt, a friend. This day is for you too! Because your love and wisdom is needed. For helping us think outside our "mom bubble" and giving us advice and wisdom that only you can bring. It's not just the mom and grandmas, but the godly women who have guided us through our walk who we will tell our kids about.

To the Soon to be Mom. The most important thing I have learned, in the almost three short years of being a mom, is to take wisdom from all women. I know theres books, and blogs, and Dr.s that have loads of things to say about raising a child, but there is nothing like life experience! There is nothing like hearing the wisdom of the women who have come before us. Take it all in. Sometimes it will be bad advice, and sometimes it's gold, but everyone has some wisdom to offer. You can learn something from everyone.

There have been so many amazing women in my life. I have learned a lot about being a mother from them, but also about just loving people. We all come from different circumstances, and God has a funny way of changing what we think our lives will be. Thank you to every type of mom who has made the biggest impact in our lives. Your worth is immeasurable but certainly not unnoticed. I thank God for every single one of you.

Happy Mothers Day!