Hey there. How’s it going? We’ve been settling into a new routine with Jim transitioning into his new job and now summer classes, and Rachel transitioning into her new daycare (she LOVES it). Plus, I’ve been totally busy at work, writing annual performance reviews. (There’s no quicker way to stifle creativity than to make someone write 10 staff performance reviews, I tell ya.) We are all so looking forward to the long holiday weekend.
Do you have fun plans for Memorial Day? We might have to go back to Merry Meade Farm to grab some ice cream and pet the pigs. A few weeks ago we ran into some neighbors and they insisted that we join them for “the best ice cream you ever tasted.” (Did they really have to do any convincing after that declaration?) The ice cream was seriously good, plus the farm itself was worth the visit. We saw all the traditional farm animals up close, then we perused their awesome garden center and cute little shop/foodie paradise where they sell pickled vegetables and homemade pasta and fresh nut butter and all sorts of other treasures.
It’s going to be hot and sunny all weekend, so I’m sure ice cream will be involved one way or another. Have a happy weekend!
I am convinced that the best month to be a Philadelphian is October. Excluding the Phillies’ playoff demise, everybody is celebrating something. Fall festivals and harvest days abound, and if you’re not occupied with other activities, I highly recommend finding your way through a hay maze.
This was a perfect midday adventure for us. I thought it might be more confusing than fun, but Rachel was truly stimulated. There were tons of hidden surprises, which also served to encouraged the kids that were there to interact with each other in a unique way. Rachel made some fast friends. We might have to visit this maze again!
Hope you had an amazing weekend. Here’s to a productive and pleasant week!
Free tickets+amazing seats+dollar dog night+beautiful breezy evening= best night ever.
Have a great day. Do something unforgettable!
My roommate from college, Mia, is having a baby in a month so we recently made a road trip out to see her and her husband. It is hard to believe we are now in our child bearing years. Yikes! We talked a lot about nesting instincts and birthing classes, and when the expecting couple asked us what was “new” we tried to resist the urge to talk about kid’s movies, eczema, and Rachel’s recent accomplishments. We were unsuccessful. They humored us, saying, “we’ll be there soon,” which was actually really reassuring.
Friendships that stand the test of time are the best, and oh how the times have changed. No more power hours or keg stands for us, but we can still have fun…
We took Rachel to the cutest park one day. One of us tried teaching Rachel how to walk the balance beam, but I won’t say who. Rachel ran all around, walked up and down the slides, and had particular fun in this tunnel.
We all reveled at her static-filled hair after coming down the slide, and her attempts to do the splits.
For me, the most fun was watching Mia interact with my daughter. So, so special. I can’t wait to interact with hers.
Enjoy the rest of this Labor Day weekend, everyone.
This weekend Nana Madden was in town and we four Maddens went for a splendid little walk. I can’t tell the difference between male and female ducks, but I imagine the three ducks above, pecking at the grass, are me, Nana and Rachel, each minding our own business, and the most upright Madden is daddy-Madden, keeping watch over us, keeping us safe. He does this so well and in so many ways…
When Nana comes to visit some of the nicest times we share are exploring the outdoors. On one past visit we took her to the Brandywine River Museum which is nestled right by the river with lots of quiet little picnic spots. The art inside was enjoyable and all, but sitting outside on boulders by the river, eating homemade tuna fish sandwiches was much better.
On one of her first visits to see us here we actually scooped her up at the airport and drove to the Chesapeake Bay. Jim’s brother Sam was supposed to arrive several hours later and the most obvious use of that down time was to drive a few hours to the Bay, eat some legendary crab cakes, then drive back to the airport. Equal parts spontaneous and cliche. We drove for what felt like forever, and I would say we did so aimlessly except that Jim swears he knew exactly where he was taking us the whole time. The scenery was captivating and the chit-chat was good too, but in true fun-killing fashion I said, If we’re not there in 5 minutes, let’s just turn around and go home.
4 minutes and 45 seconds later we were seated by the Chesapeake Bay, ordering crab cakes, delighted.
This past weekend we went for a less-adventurous jaunt down the river trail. It was long and leisurely, Rachel napped, and it was absolutely the perfect activity for the four of us. A group walk is so lovely, isn’t it? It suits the introverts like me, and the extroverts like Jim and Nana. We mingled, you know, Jim chatting with his mom, then she with me, then him with me, all while Rachel slept. There’s a great intimacy and calmness in that, but it’s dynamic too and I like that.
Near the end of our walk, I took the opportunity to fall back a bit and steal some reflective time for myself. I found great peace in that moment, breathing the world in deeply, feeling alone yet connected to my loved ones.