Monday, April 22, 2013

Couples Getaway

One thing Patrick and I are intentionally trying to do is to do get away at least once a quarter--just us.  My mom came to stay with the kids and we headed to St. Michaels Maryland where we stayed at the Harbour Inn Spa & Marina.

We found a lovely Kingsize bedroom Suite for $99 a night.  Living Social rocks.

As we were driving further and further away from Northern Virginia, we started feeling like we were unwinding and headed on a relaxing retreat.  One of Patrick's love languages is quality time, so this made him feel really loved when I planned this whole thing so we could just be together.

One of my love languages is steamed crabs and ice cold beer. :) So it was a win, win.

Even though we were only there for a short time, we were so relaxed and saw many things and it felt like we were there 3 days.   We just got a chance to really talk.  Loved every minute!

Can you tell?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Easter Egg-stravaganza 2013

I didn't want to forget posting about our Easter celebration.  Check out Tristan in his Easter best.  Steal my heart!

The smile above was AFTER he got his Easter basket, and he actually forgot about his tie which he did NOT like at all.  Not one bit.

We spent the morning with our church family at the 9:30 service, then had brunch at Tim and Jenny Zentz's home (they live about 5 mins away) and then headed to mom and dad's house for Dad's birthday dinner.

We also had an Easter egg hunt in our neighborhood.  I am loving the opportunities that we get to build community with our neighbors.

Even the youngest ones joined in for the fun!

Julie made the cupcakes, Amy brought the juices and I set the table.  Easter celebration--done!

Sorry this post is late...hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Girls Weekend--Countdown to 40

So fun to be celebrating the weekend with the gals.  It was a wonderful birthday celebration!   One funny thing that happened was when we took this picture, we thought were "too glam" for Winchester, so it was funny to post on Facebook that we were in Nassau, Bahamas.  For some reason, it made us giggle the entire time.  Anytime, anyone said "Bahamas", it just became contagiously funny.


I've known these gals practically my whole life and it was a relaxing and fun weekend.  We checked into the George Washington Wyndham Grand Hotel in Winchester (a.k.a. The Bahamas) and we were inspired because of this picture!

It was part of the spa with jacuzzi.  The picture makes this place look soooo much bigger.  It's rather dinky.  Looks more like this.  But hey, with a little champagne, it can look like whatever it wants. :)

Nareine brought the champagne and Crystal hand-made these chocolate covered strawberries pistachios.  Deelish!

Had a wonderful spa treatment.  We were sooo relaxed!

Maybe some more than others...

Another funny thing to note was that the girls were craving SONIC and I had never been to one before.  Here's a first!

Thanks ladies for a wonderful time.  I truly felt celebrated and loved!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring Break Part 2--Trains & Dutch Country

Spring Break is usually a family vacation.  Mommy and daddy will get our own away time, but for the kids---they get to do what they like.  Since Lego land is on the docket for next year, nothing is more exciting right now---especially for Tristan---than trains.  We headed to Lancaster!

I don't who was more excited.  The boys or their dad!  He made a bee line into the Strasburg train museum.

Honestly, it was like getting a personal tour guide.  Patrick took the time to show the boys EVERYTHING.  It's really fun to be married to an incredibly smart man.  It's a working vacation---the boys are shoveling coal into the boiler.

Best moment ever was when we got ready to ride the Strasburg train, the conductor came out and greeted us and yelled, "ALL ABOARD!"  Oh my gosh, it was like seeing our books come to life.


He even looks like Engineer Small.  The train ride went into Dutch Country and Tristan was so excited that he fell asleep.  Yeah, case in point: this is why we don't yet take them to Disneyland! :)

Also part of our dutch country experience, we ate Amish food and took a buggy ride through Amish country.  One thing is for certain:  I am really glad I am not amish.

We don't want to tell you about our 80-year-old buggy driver who was deaf, and possibly blind...but not only was he a bad tour guide, he wasn't even Amish!    So, our evenings were spent back at the hotel where we enjoyed their indoor water park.

 And the boys went scuba-diving too...look at Tristan....

Because we were so relaxed, it was hard everyday to make sure we got up time to go to this place and that...get there on the ticket...pick a restaurant....kind of made me want to go back to the cabin already!  But, we did have a very nice hotel and we found a deal $149 a night for a King size suite.  All the boys slept in the other room.

For the first spring break, we had a wonderful time.  The boys are still talking about the trip!

Spring Break - Cozy Cabin

It was a first for us:  Spring Break.  We didn't have a child who had to be in school until now and since he was off for a full week, we decided to use that for family time.  But what were we going to do?  Well, our prerequisite for trip planning has always been the same for 3 kids under age 6.  It had to be a short drive, memorable for the money spent, and somewhere we haven't been before.

So, first stop---Yogi Bear Cozy Cabin.  Distance 1 hour drive.  Cost $49 each night!

This was home for the first part of the week.  Cozy huh??  There was a full bed, bunks, a fridge and a dresser with a dinky TV on it.  They did have free wi-fi, which was GREAT!

We put up sheets from the beams and they were climbing up and down their forts the entire time.  This will be memories for a lifetime.

Probably one of the most interesting things about this vacation is that we were sooooo relaxed.  There were no choices to make that were stressful like what to do, how much to spend, what to eat.  Each morning started off like this----Patrick had prayer walks with the Lord.....

I would whip up some yummy wholesome breakfast in the cabin.    With one cooker, a pot, a cutting board, one knife and a refrigerator---you can make almost anything!

There was no table so we ate off the floor.  Here's Tristan praying before his meal. 

Then we'd go on a nature walk!

After a two hour family nap (yes!!!) we would do something fun like play putt putt.  A whole in one, baby!

 And then with all the time in the world, I was able to prepare a wonderful relaxing dinner.  Of course, we had to have hot pot.  Shabu, Shabu. We actually found an asian market in the middle of the boonies.  They had bok choy, and baby bok choy and spinach....I brought the sauces and seasonings from home.

The boys eat a TON of vegetables and they love the broth.

And afterwards, me made our own desserts.


After a hot shower, everyone settled in.  Nothing but nothing stirring outside.

We were pleasantly surprised how relaxing and comfortable we all were.  The beds were great and all of us---for the first ever in the history of Ring family vacations-----slept through the night the ENTIRE week!!!!