Tag Archives: family

Weekending in Westfield

18 Feb

Happy Tuesday! Did everyone have a nice Valentine’s/Presidents Day weekend? I had such a lovely weekend getaway. After work on Friday, I drove to Westfield, NY, to meet up with family and friends at my cousin’s vacation home. I initially had plans of skiing, but we had so much fun just hanging out instead.

We slept in, played games, went sledding (in a canoe), hiked in the snow, cooked delicious meals, read books, drank wine, drank more wine, walked on frozen Lake Erie, made hot chocolate and just had the best time together.

Weekend getaway in Westfield, NY  | www.the-wild-child.com

Icicles | www.the-wild-child.com

Sleepy dog  | www.the-wild-child.com

Snowboarding  | www.the-wild-child.com

Winter hike in the snow | www.the-wild-child.com

Hiking in snow  | www.the-wild-child.com

Winter landscape  | www.the-wild-child.com

Winter hike | www.the-wild-child.com

Winter berries | www.the-wild-child.com

Sledding | www.the-wild-child.com

Canoe sledding | www.the-wild-child.com

Crashing the canoe sled | www.the-wild-child.com

Frozen Lake Erie | www.the-wild-child.com

Lake Erie Frozen | www.the-wild-child.com

Prime rib | www.the-wild-child.com

Ice castle on Lake Chautauqua | www.the-wild-child.com

My parents | www.the-wild-child.com

I feel so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life. And even though I wasn’t able to spend Valentine’s Day with Sebastian, I couldn’t have asked for better company.

P.S. Everyone keep your fingers crossed that the bf’s schedule works out. He’s supposed to visit this weekend, but there’s a chance he might need to stay in Germany. Positive thoughts people!

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An unexpected afternoon

27 Aug

Sometimes things don’t always go as planned, and sometimes it’s alright. I recently agreed to run in a marathon relay with some of my aunts. Realizing we’re not too far from race day, my Aunt Theresa suggested we all walk a 5K together and finish at a local winery for its annual balloon festival. You know, a good team-building activity. We all decided to participate and met on Sunday to “train.”

I had every intention of walking to the winery, having a glass of wine, relaxing for a couple of hours and then driving back to my apartment. But after we finished the course, and found a great spot under a tree, it became clear the afternoon was just beginning.

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We tried different wines (my favorite was the white wine sangria), and soon everyone was laughing and having a great time. My goofball Dad got creative with the face painters.

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And in true Dad fashion, he talked some random guy into joining in the fun.

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IMG_4125After we’d been there a couple of hours, my Uncle Ron suggested we all put money in a kitty, put our names in a hat, and send whoever won on a hot air balloon ride. Everyone agreed, and I did too, never thinking I would actually get picked. Before I knew it, I was scheduled to go up in a hot air balloon.

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I have to admit, this wasn’t something I had on my bucket list. I’m sort of afraid of heights. As the balloons started filling with air and lifting up, I was filled with excitement and nerves. The takeoff happened so quickly. One minute I was snapping photos and the next my pilot was telling me to hop in the basket. And then we were floating above the crowds, drifting off into the sun.

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You can’t steer hot air balloons so we just floated where the wind took us. The views were incredible – something I’ll never forget. I also loved how excited people were on the ground. You could see cars pulling over to watch and people waving up to us. It was an amazing experience.

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After we drifted a while my pilot found a spot to land, and then it was over. A truly unexpected afternoon – the best kind there is.

Summer lovin’

15 Jul

It’s been one heck of a crazy summer so far. Between weekend outings, family parties and getting a new job, I feel like I haven’t had a moment to catch my breath. I’m not complaining though! I love summer and all the fun it brings.

Here are just a few of the things I’ve been up to this season:

Baseball games

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Making summer dishes

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Spending time together

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Watching fireworks

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Going to Rogers Market

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Enjoying campfires

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Launching lanterns

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Eating hotdogs

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Attending concerts

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Going to the fair

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I love this time of year, and I’m super excited for all the other things I still have planned. Cheers to summer!

Photo booths

14 Nov

The past few years I’ve noticed a new trend at weddings: photo booths. I think it’s an awesome idea. There is just something so old school about taking pictures in a booth together. It adds a different element to the reception, and your guests have a fun souvenir to take home with them.

My cousins and I certainly had a blast at a recent family wedding.

What do you think? Would you have a photo booth at your wedding?

I get by with a little help from my friends

3 Aug

I had one of those aha moments yesterday at a happy hour with some coworkers. We were all sitting around a table outside at a little Mexican restaurant, sipping on margaritas and munching on chips. There was a lot of laughter, funny name-guessing games and storytelling.

When I got in my car to drive home, I realized how lucky I am to have people like this in my life. People like my best friends Erika and Lindsay, my siblings, my parents, Sebastian, my coworkers – everyone helps me get by each day.

It’s easy to let life get you down sometimes. From stresses at work to missing my boyfriend to figuring out future plans. But I have great friends. They bring laughter into my life when I can’t find it on my own.

Thanks to all you wonderful people.

images via

The one where we all grow up

26 Jun

My little brother leaves tomorrow for the United States Air Force Academy. We all knew he’d be leaving, but I can see my parents aren’t ready. And I’m not either. It’s a different type of feeling that’s hard to put into words. We aren’t sad he’s going. On the contrary, we’re really proud and excited for him.

I thought maybe it was because we’ll see him less often, but that’s not it either. We’ve all spent time apart at one point or another. I think what it comes down to is his departure marks a new chapter in the story of our family. This is the chapter where we all grow up.

Sure, my sister and I have been out of college a few years and both have steady jobs and steady boyfriends. But we always knew we could come back home, hang out with our little Joey and feel like kids again. Things are different now; my baby brother is an adult. Yes, we’ll still have awesome times together (and I’ll still act like a kid), but it won’t ever be like it was.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. In the next few years we’ll each be finding ourselves and starting our own families. It’s exciting and scary and wonderful. And that’s what the weird feeling is – change. Maybe we don’t feel ready for it, but we are.

So to Joey: Thank you for being my inspiration to dream big. You truly are an amazing person and bring so much joy to our family. Never stop following your dreams. We’ll all be rooting for you, kid.

image via

250 some people love my brother

18 Jun

Well, probably more than that – what can I say he’s a lovable guy – but that is the number of people who attended his graduation party Friday night (at our house).

Despite all the work, looking back it was an awesome weekend. Thursday night, Fred (my dad’s friend) and Elaina (his daughter) drove in from Michigan to help with the party. I worked from home Friday and spent the morning setting up tables and chairs in between checking e-mail and finishing reports. By the start of the party, we were all set up and ready to go.

When you attend a party at my house, you won’t leave hungry. My mom is an amazing cook and she didn’t disappoint. The menu consisted of beef and ham sandwiches, sausage and peppers, parsley potatoes, pasta salad, pasta and meatballs, potato salad, fruit salad and three different cakes. Yes, three. I ate my little heart out and so did everyone else.

{clockwise from top left corner: shrine to Joe, posing with his baby cake, the neighborhood kids all grown up, volleyball games}

The atmosphere was great. We were all there to celebrate Joe, and I had a lovely time visiting with several of my dear friends and family. When the party officially ended, no one wanted to leave, and we didn’t make them. We started a campfire and watched as my brother and his friends played hide-and-go-seek. There is nothing like a warm summer night to make you feel like a kid again.

When the big shindig was over, we needed some time to relax. After a quick morning run and some clean up Saturday, we spent the day lounging by the pool, playing cornhole and listening to oldies. And of course we ate tons of leftover food. Cake for breakfast? Yes, please.

That night I made everyone talked everyone into going to the drive-in to see Madagascar 3. We munched on popcorn and laughed our asses off. Why are animated films so good? I don’t know, but I love them.

{don’t mind the blurry pic – me and Elaina at the drive-in}

Elaina and Fred went home Sunday, and we celebrated Father’s Day with my dad. After church and a nap, the boys headed out to play golf (even though it was raining), and my mom and I decided to watch golf. I normally do not get into this particular sport, but I spent a good part of the day watching the U.S. Open and of course eating leftover food.

Now that the weekend is over, I’ll be going on a serious cleanse (no more cake for breakfast) and spending some extra time with my brother. He leaves for the Air Force Academy in 9 days, and I plan to annoy him as much as possible. Let’s be honest – what else are big sisters for?

I heart my family

27 Mar

This past weekend was a rare instance. After my sister’s short stint of living at home, and then moving to Columbus, it’s been awhile since the five us have hung out together.  It made me realize how quickly life changes.

Just yesterday, I was playing in the backyard with my siblings, fighting over whose turn it was on the tire swing. Fast forward to now, both my sister and I have full-time jobs and my brother is about to graduate high school.

And things are about to change even more. We found out last week that my brother was accepted into the United States Air Force Academy. For someone who has dreamed of this since he was 12 years old, it is incredibly overwhelming, and we couldn’t be more proud of him.

If you’re not familiar with the USAFA, let me brag a little. The laws governing appointments require that you have a nomination to attend the Academy (but that doesn’t mean you’ll be accepted). Joe received two nominations, one from Congressman Tim Ryan and one from Senator Sherrod Brown. Now that he’s been given an official appointment, my brother is part of an elite group of individuals. He will receive a top-notch education for free, with a scholarship valued at more than $415,000. It’s incredible, and I’m so happy for him.

It also makes me realize how much things will continue to change over the next few years. Moving forward, it will always be a rare occasion when the five of us are together. That’s why I’ll relish moments like this past weekend. We all sat around the kitchen table telling stories, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. When it comes to my family, it doesn’t get much better than that.

So cheers to my amazing brother and all the exciting changes ahead. It will only make the times we spend together that much better.

{Who would have thought the dork on the right would be a USAFA cadet?}

The most wonderful time of the year

24 Dec

I’m sitting in the living room with my family, waiting to head to mass.

Tonight I am happy.

Christmas is here, and it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

So from my family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

{happy holidays}

{welcome to our world}

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Christmas memories

12 Dec

This time of year always makes me feel nostalgic. I think back to Christmas mornings as a little girl, when I’d wake up and know that there were presents waiting for me under the tree. I’d creep down the stairs and peek into the living room to see all the beautifully wrapped packages. Those mornings always felt so magical.

Even though I’m older, I still cherish the Christmas traditions that I loved as a little girl. Every Christmas Eve my family attends Midnight Mass, my favorite mass of the year. The church always looks so lovely, and after we leave it feels like Christmas has officially arrived. When we get home, my siblings and I get to open our first present, and it’s always new pajamas. I love falling asleep in new pj’s, knowing I’ll wake up to Christmas.

And finally my favorite tradition, but certainly  not the last, is our ornaments. Every year my Mom buys each of us a new ornament. She says when we leave home some day, we’ll have ornaments to put on our trees. I think this is such a cute tradition, and I hope to continue it when I have children of my own.

{little figure skater}

{cute penguins}

{my first ornament}

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?