Spring Break 2013

I had a goal this Spring Break to see new parks and to get out and do something (or at least be active at home) every day.  I even made a calendar of events, which covers all of April actually.  If I was at home, I had to be accomplishing a task that I had been putting off, not just the normal laundry and dishes nonsense.  Mission Accomplished!!

MARCH 29th

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Josh and I went on a dinner date to celebrate 10 years of wedded bliss at the Cheescake Factory thanks to some wonderful friends.  We also went to see a live 90's cover band at an Irish pub... how very appropriate for us!  The kids had a sleepover with our fabulous neighbors and their 3 boys :)  We have some of the most thoughtful, generous friends.  Our anniversary wouldn't have been much of a celebration were it not for them!

MARCH 30th

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We packed a lunch and grabbed everyone fairly early to hit up White Plains, the end of the Indian Head Rail Trail, for the opening day of rails-to-trails.  For anyone who doesn't know what this is: America is  systematically paving previously used railroad tracks and turning them into biking/hiking trails.  It was a beautiful day!!

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There were tons of people out and about.  I don't know how many of them were there to celebrate opening day or how many happened to be there since it was the first warm, sunny day after some random snowfall and snain (I know it's sleet, I like snain better).  Regardless, it was nice to see so many SOMDers (Southern Marylanders) getting their exercise, playing with their kids, walking their dogs.  Good times were had by all :)  Later on that day our friends came out for a sleepover before the festivities we had planned for Easter.  Their daughter Kinsley got to color eggs with our boys.

MARCH 31st

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Happy Easter!!! :D  We had our friends over for an egg hunt and dinner and general funness ;)  The kids had a great time playing outside since it hadn't rained yet.  Josh and Brandon accidentally dressed all matchy matchy in KU colors, which is appropriate for these Jayhawks fans.

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The kids stuffed their faces with candy when we weren't looking, hid the eggs a few times, and blew a lot of bubbles until it started to rain.  Then it was on to naps, movies, and art projects.  Noah drew a tree and it's so stinkin' awesome I just couldn't believe!  This kid has some vision.  Easter dinner was roast leg of lamb, stuffing, green beans, bread, and asparagus.  It was delicious and we had a wonderful time.

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Before Josh had to go to work and the weather got rainy, we thought it best to head out to Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum.  It was a Monday so they were running a 'Memories' tour, but Josh wasn't interested.  We self-guided instead :)  We were there in time to watch the huge hourglass turn!  Noah didn't want to leave the archaeology museum until he had completely put the ceramic pot back together.  Mission accomplished.

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We brought ourselves another picnic lunch and spent a few hours exploring the beach and the Indian Village.  Tristan found almost an entire turtle skeleton.  Brennan found crab shells and seashells.  Noah spent most of his time trying to scrape barnacles off of the rocks and driftwood... he succeeded!  The boys also tried to pull some pretty lame April Fool's jokes on us, which were mostly statements like "Mommy there's a tiger behind you"!  Needless to say, we didn't fall for a single one. ;)


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The boys and I packed up and headed out to a local park when we received a text from our neighbors.  We ended up meeting at Gilbert Run Park in Charlotte Hall for a nice long 2 mile hike.  The boys found all kinds of fun things outside and thoroughly enjoyed the playground.

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It was ridiculously windy and felt cold, but once we got into the woods it wasn't as bad.  I was glad to show one of my favorite parks to our friends.  We're going to be hanging out here together some more in summer time!


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We were on our own with Josh at work.  I ventured a little further outside of our area to Prince George's County, which is technically central Maryland.  There was a massive difference in road conditions and proper signage, but we somehow managed to find our destination: Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary and Visitor's Center.  While the woods were beautiful I don't think we'll be coming back unless we have bicycles.  This place is great for biking, but walking can be very taxing.  The set-up is odd, with farms all over the property... I wasn't quite sure if they were private or not.

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The trails are marked, but parts of them ramble off into open fields before picking back up in the woods.  There were wild daffodils and huge vines growing all over the woods so it made for an interesting hike at least.  We also found some cool trash from water runoff and stupid people dumping things into the creek bed AND a stray bone with obvious critter bite marks in it.


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We spent our day on outside projects, trying to get some work done before the forecasted rain struck us.  We are taking this year to prepare the yard for my ultimate garden.  Little by little, it'll eventually consume my whole front yard.  What's the point of having land if you aren't using it, I say.  It's great living down a big hill where no one can see us :)

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The boys were there helping every step of the way (except Brennan, he was off talking about magic spells and being a talking lizard).  We ripped out all the shrubs and lowered the drain pipe that runs off of the driveway.  We also got the smaller bed all sifted out and ready for planting.  Not bad for a few hours of hard work!!  Then it rained.


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I had all kinds of plans, but the reality was that everything was far too wet for me to accomplish anything outside.  Instead, I took the time to plant my seeds that needed to be started indoors and did a lot of reading and research on gardening.  We also took the opportunity to go to the library, where I found a great book on organic gardening.  I have a long way to go, but my sister and a lot of my friends have been researching and gardening for years now so they will be invaluable resources for me next year.  I'm excited to start my compost pile finally!!  We're building our own bin since we have so many dead leaves to compost (we're so lucky... really, we are).


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Everything had finally dried up and we were off and running early in the morning to hit the Indian Head Rail Trail again for the christening of their new caboose, donated by the B&O Railroad.  We didn't stay long because the wind was freeeeezing.  The boys got their free sunglasses, a tour of the caboose, and a free doughnut and we were pretty much done.

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Noah and I spent the entire day digging up the front garden bed and loading it into a ginormous pile to be sifted later.  I was so proud of him!  Unfortunately, later that evening was when Bosley died so our victory was short-lived.


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I did nothing.  Well, Noah and I dug a grave and he wanted to continue working out front, but I just wasn't up for it.  Our friend Rudy was in town for work and surprised us with a visit.  Best timing EVER!!

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The boys climbed all over him all day long and he treated us all to dinner before we laid Bosley to rest, which he also helped with.  It was great having him here with us while we were going through it.  He is an awesome friend and helped comfort the boys and myself so much.  I have been taking Charlie on walks and jogs and making sure he's always with us... he took it hard, but he's doing really well now.  He doesn't sleep on Bosley's grave anymore and actually runs around the yard now!  I gave him yet another bath yesterday and we've been training him to stay in the yard even when he's not fenced or leashed.  So far he's doing amazingly well.  It helps that he's a big teddy bear baby who's hopelessly addicted to us ;)

So that was our Spring Break!!  All in all I'd say it was a successful allocation of fun vs work.  A little sad, but a lot of good happened as well.  We had a good break :)
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