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Are you moving forward too fast?

Bruno didn't want to be in this picture! LOL

Bruno didn’t want to be in this picture! LOL

It’s that weekend we all love!  We get to turn the clocks back an hour!  So, what did you do with that extra hour?  Me….I’m using it to post (it has been a couple of weeks since I shared!)

Last weekend, we enjoyed some family time by visiting Ashtabula County on Sunday and stopping at the Harpersfield Covered Bridge.  We hadn’t been there for about 7 years so it was a time to take some new family photos and enjoy that beautiful scenery!  Here are a few pics of the day along with a picture from our last visit there.  Boy, time flies!

Bruno!

Bruno!

Our family then & now

Our family then & now

They were not happy to be tied up while we took other pictures!

They were not happy to be tied up while we took other pictures!

Afterwards, we stopped at Ferrante Winery for lunch.  The winery is gorgeous inside with open views of the fields and grapes growing right behind it!  We ordered their crab cake appetizer and shared a small seafood pizza.

11-3 ferrante

Crab Cakes from Ferrante!  YUMMMMMM!!

Crab Cakes from Ferrante! YUMMMMMM!!

Delicious!! We shared the sweet wine sampler as well.  Definitely a place you want to visit when you’re in the area!

Jake LOVED waiting for the kids to knock on the door!

Jake LOVED waiting for the kids to knock on the door!

Thursday was Halloween and the weather was SOOOO uncooperative here in NE Ohio.  Rain, Rain, Rain, wind, wind wind!!  That pretty much sums it up!  We still had about 60-70 kids but was less than usual.

Here’s my top observations from Trick or Treat:

–If you are old enough to drive, you shouldn’t be trick or treating!

–If you’re child can’t walk because they are a baby, they probably aren’t going to eat candy bars & gum that you are collecting!  Is it really for you?!

–Sadly, most kids don’t say “Thank you” anymore

–Sadly again, I think only half even say “trick or treat” when you answer the door.

Boy have times changed!  So, Kudos to you parents who reminded your children to say thank you when they got their treat at my door!  We  need more of you!!

Hard to believe that in 2 months Christmas will already be here & be gone!!  WOW!!  Time is moving forward no matter how much we’d like it to slow down.  Are you finished with your shopping?  Have you even started?  This makes me sad in a way.  I went to the mall Friday evening and the Salvation Army bell ringers were already out collecting donations.  I thought “Wait, wasn’t it Halloween yesterday and now it’s Christmas???!”  I am always sad when it seems that society in general seems to go from Halloween to Christmas and skip Thanksgiving.  It happens every year and it seems to be getting worse & worse with each year that passes.  Now don’t get me wrong–I’m all for early Christmas shopping, hanging lights when it’s not snowing so they are ready for December, etc. but Thanksgiving is the reason we have the freedom to celebrate holidays in this country and enjoy the life we have.

So here is my request.  Don’t get so caught up in the Christmas preparations that you forget to be thankful for your life, your family, your friends and all you have.  Is life perfect?  No, but if you think about all you have to be thankful for, it is going to fill volumes.  So remember to pace yourself this “holiday” season and don’t go so fast that you miss out on what really matters.

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A “Golden” Saturday Afternoon

What an absolutely spectacular fall weather day! If the leaves weren’t turning yellow & red, I’d think it was still summer! Temps in the upper 70’s and sunshine all day! My boys made me feel guilty today when I was leaving to go to the mall & grocery store so I made a quick trip then came home & decided to take all 3 to the dogpark…we haven’t been there in a LONG time. So here’s a few pics of their fun afternoon. They were very well behaved (yea!) and they listened! The best part is that they are now exhausted and all sleeping soundly around the living room……have a great rest of the weekend!

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Blessings & Memories

Whew!  Where have the last 2 weeks gone?!  I don’t know about you but I’m trying to remember where the last 14 days went! There was playoff baseball, my 10-year wedding anniversary, work, dentist appointment, Browns games to watch, late work meeting, and keeping the everyday household in order while Mark is working 7 days a week 12 hours a day getting the new store ready to open!  Wow! 

So….1st let me say-on his only day off in the last  2 weeks, I had a fun trip to the Cleveland Aquarium located on the West Bank of the Flats in Cleveland last Saturday with Mark.  Thanks to Positively Cleveland posting that you could have free admission with your game tickets from the last 6 Indians games, we had the chance to check it out at no cost!  Now that’s a savings!  I absolutely loved being able to touch the sting rays and the turtles!  They were huge!  The fact that it is in the same building where we used to eat at Rock Bottom Brewery is pretty cool.  The repurposed space still gives the industrial feel of the original building but with a new twist.  The sharks were HUMUNGO!!!

Touching the stingrays & turtles....so cool!

Touching the stingrays & turtles….so cool!

Fish are so fascinating!  Scary Sharks that make me want to stay out of the ocean!  Turtles rescued and now happy at the Aquarium.

Fish are so fascinating! Scary Sharks that make me want to stay out of the ocean! Turtles rescued and now happy at the Aquarium.

It was a beautiful early fall day with sunshine and warm breezes.  After the fish visit, we headed to The Melting Pot at Legacy Village for dinner to celebrate our anniversary.  I’m thoroughly surprised we were able to walk after that meal!  My favorite part had to be the Bananas Foster Fondue for dessert.  I seriously could go there everyday just for all the different styles of chocolate fondue they have!!  The best part about the meal was the joy & laughter we shared while “fondueing” our food.  Our server was a trip laughing right along with us and made the visit even better.

"Fondue Date Night"

“Fondue Date Night”

I can hardly believe we’ve been married 10 years already!  Seems like just yesterday we were standing in front of our family & closest friends saying our vows.  It may have rained buckets on our wedding day, but married life has been better than a girl could ever hope for.  I definitely have the best husband ever!  Sorry to all of you still looking since I already got the best one there was!  🙂

Niagara Falls, NY September 27, 2003

Niagara Falls, NY
September 27, 2003

10-7 anni

I realized this past week just how truly blessed I am.  With Mark working long days and basically coming home just to eat a meal, shower, sleep & repeat the next day, I’ve kind of gotten a taste of what it would be like to not have him.  Yes, thanks to modern technology, we can talk several times through the day or text, but I sure do miss him in the evenings.  Not just because I get to do all the house stuff like mow the grass, feed the dogs, make meals pack lunches, clean, do laundry and all that other stuff…..I miss him being there.  Just knowing he’s in the next room gives me a peace & feeling of contentment.  He’s home, he’s safe and I can hug him, kiss him and see him any time I want!  I got married when I was 33.  That’s late in life by some standards and right on time by others.  I spent my late 20’s and early 30’s wondering if I would ever find that certain person who was meant to be for me.  Was God going to have me live single all my years or what?  I figured it was out of my hands and left it up to Him and wouldn’t you know, I met Mark.  Yes, we met on E-Harmony!  Back when it was just getting started.  Less than 2 months after we met, I knew he was the one.  Honestly–I think we both knew after a few weeks!! It was instant.  People use the term “love at first sight” and I am a true believer in that.  We were married 8 months later and here we are.  Not every day is ideal and we have rough times just like other people.  But, there is no yelling or shouting or mean words.  We can disagree, but truly when you love each other, you do everything possible NOT to hurt them-with words or actions.  Both Mark & I have exceptional parents who have been married for almost half a century.  What a legacy!  They’ve set the example and we now follow it.  My hope is that those who follow behind us, see a loving marriage between 2 people who place the other on the highest pedestal possible.  That’s what marriage is all about.  It’s not about you —-it’s about your spouse.  So, if the little things I can do make life better for Mark, then I’m successful!  I love him!  If you are married & you’re reading this, stop & go hug your spouse.  Doesn’t matter what they’re doing–interrupt!  It’s the little surprises that keep ’em guessing!!  🙂10-7 aan 3

Just remember that middle age doesn’t mean the end of things–it’s the beginning of something–whatever you choose.  It’s never too late to show your spouse what they really mean to you.  Even if it’s just a post-it note on the bathroom mirror saying “I love you” it matters!!  I always tell Mark that I don’t need a dozen roses to know he loves me.  I simply need him to reach for my hand when we are walking into a store, kiss me when he gets home or maybe just empty the dishwasher after I run it (inside joke–I hate emptying the dishwasher!)  It’s a cliché but it’s true–Life is short and we are not promised tomorrow.  Make the most of today.  You can’t rewind time so savor what you have and love with purpose unconditionally.My favorite saying

PS–Cleveland fans—-we know how to support our teams!  Even after the Tribe lost, even after the injury that knocked out our QB, we still carry on.  It’ll happen…someday…maybe while I’m still breathing on this earth!

“Falling” into the weekend!-Part 2

First, I’ll tell you a little about the weekend & then share some thoughts (the thoughts are mine-so get ready!)  What a fun-filled Friday!!  Joined by 2 friends, my husband & I spent Friday in Cleveland eating & laughing & eating some more!  We spent the evening watching the Indians defeat the Astros to take possession of the #2 Wild Card spot in the AL!!  WOOHOO!!

Steve’s Gyros at West Side Market–if you haven’t had one—GO NOW!!!

Eating Steve's Gyros at West Side Market!

Eating Steve’s Gyros at West Side Market!

A stop at Great Lakes Brewery & on E. 4th Street before heading to the game.

A stop at Great Lakes Brewery & on E. 4th Street before heading to the game.

The Social Media night at the Indians game DID NOT DISAPPOINT!  Hot Dogs, Pulled pork, Pulled BBQ chicken, mac & cheese, chips, potato salad, soda & more–all you could eat (and we did-even after that GYRO!) plus giveaways, the chance to hear Mike Aviles & Mike Chernoff answer fan questions, Nick Swisher “Brohio” t-shirts and TONS of social media freaks that all LOVE the Tribe!!

Onion!

Onion!

Social Media Night at the Tribe Game

Social Media Night at the Tribe Game

We made it thru the 7th inning stretch before the skies opened up and the rain deluge began!  With most of us realizing this was most likely the last baseball we’d see played at Progressive that night, we headed for the parking lots and made our way home.  And boy did it RAIN–we were dripping wet by the time we got to the truck but laughing too.  It was a wet but fun ending to the day.

The rains came down as the floods came up!

The rains came down as the floods came up!

Saturday I met my mom for lunch at a local bakery, Maggie’s Magic Muffins, in Austintown.  If you are ever there-try the Snow Bird Muffin (it’s coconut crème filled!) The rest of the weekend has been the normal weekend duties of groceries, cleaning, more cleaning, and REST after the long day Friday.

It’s the first day of fall today–Officially!  Change of seasons-one of the reasons living in Ohio is not so bad.  I now have orange lights decorating my bushes (NOT in honor of the Browns!), scarecrows in the flowerbeds, mums in the flower pots, and pumpkins & cornstalks will be arriving this week to complete the decor for the front of the house.  Yes, I love warm weather but I also love pumpkins, decorating the yard with cornstalks and mums, hayrides, bonfires, hot cocoa and the chilly air that means you have to wear a sweatshirt when you go out.  Yes, I’d also prefer to skip all that white flaky stuff that’s destined to fall in the coming months and bring ice and frigid temps that require 6 layers of clothing, coats, hats & gloves just to go get the newspaper off the front porch! 🙂  But it’s going to happen, regardless of what I want.

 Just like the weather changes, so do other things & situations in my life—EVERY day it seems.  Sometimes, I am perfectly fine with them–other times, not so much.  I grumble, I mumble, I resist and yet, it still happens.  I choose how I react & I choose the attitude and approach I’m going to use to deal with whatever the current change is.  I can react like I am with the cooler fall weather by embracing the change and making the best of it, even if I don’t like it.  I choose to make this fall season enjoyable & I’m learning that is exactly how I need to react to change and to new “seasons” in life.  Less mumbling & grumbling and more “pumpkins and mums”! 🙂  Trust me–I fail often.  I’m not one that can disguise her feelings and so if I’m unhappy with something, it shows.  But, even in these middle-aged years of my life, I know that I am still learning about life and attempting to improve myself and that will continue right up until my last breath I’m sure.  Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don’t.  But I’ll keep trying.  The seasons will keep changing and so will my life.  The question is, how often will I have “pumpkins and mums” after the change?!

(PS–I’m watching the Browns game while I write this–talk about reacting to CHANGE!! 🙂  If you’re a Browns fan–this post is for YOU!)

“Falling” into the weekend!–Part 1

The crisp chill in the morning air, the fleeting moments of evening light, the darkness of the morning, the hints of color change on trees….all signs that fall is here.  Well it will be officially this weekend! My weekend is beginning with the Indians Tribe Social Media Night Friday evening as they continue the hunt for the AL Wild Card! What a great event planned that includes a visit from Mike Aviles, Q & A with the assistant GM Mike Chernoff, a food buffet, a “BROHIO” T-shirt (love Nick Swisher!), prizes & raffles,  and of course, a ticket to the game!  I get to enjoy all of this with my husband and some good friends!  Perfect start to the official fall season. 

With plans to spend a little time in Ohio City visiting the local hang-outs (ya know-West Side Market, Great Lakes, etc.) prior to the game, what else could a middle aged girl ask for?! 

Just one thing—please don’t rain on us!!

So, check back later in the weekend for an update! In the meantime……GO TRIBE!! 

The Roller Coaster weekend of Cleveland Sports Fans!

Well, it’s been a rough weekend for those of us Cleveland fans.  Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to be picked as the winner of the Week 6 SummerinCLE contest from Positively Cleveland and was the happy recipient of 2 tickets to Friday nights Indians game against the Mets!  It also included a $50 gift card for Great Lakes Brewing Company!! We are saving that beauty for a little later this fall but the baseball game was rockin’!  I picked up a new Browns shirt from Fresh Brewed Tees before the game and settled into our spectacular seats behind home plate! The Tribe did not disappoint and with the help of a grand slam from Nick Swisher, had no trouble beating the Mets!  We got to enjoy dollar dogs, plenty of foul balls all around us, the chill in the fall air and the finale of the evening with fireworks over Progressive Field!  Pretty good start to the weekend, eh?!

Extending SummerinCLE one more weekend!

Extending SummerinCLE one more weekend!

Saturday was a day to sleep in (recover from being in Cleveland too late on Friday!) and do a few things around the house.  After a bit of middle aged duties that included cleaning, grocery shopping, a trip to Home Depot & laundry, we headed to BrainFreeze in Howland to enjoy some frozen yogurt & then spent the evening relaxing on the patio with a Wedgewood pizza & enjoying the company of some friends.  (Yes–we had dessert 1st, then dinner!  When you’re this age–that’s OK!)  The sports weekend was still on a high as the Tribe defeated the Mets AGAIN!! October is looking better & better!

Oh, but then Sunday arrived!  I woke up to find out that Jeff Gordon didn’t make the Chase, Clint Bowyer was the subject of controversy and the NASCAR world was all in a tizzy over it but hey, who cares….because it’s time for some FOOTBALL!  Hurry up—run to the store, brush the dogs, trim the dogs nails, make lunch, take Mark lunch and settle into the couch by 1 PM!  Here we go Brownies, here we go!  WOOF WOOF! and then………the game started.  It was dismal, depressing and downright pathetic at times.  Preseason was definitely a thing of the past as the Dawg Pound booed and the stadium was nearly empty by the end.  I know, it’s only week 1, but there wasn’t much evidence today that it’s going to get any better.  I’m hoping just to go 8-8 this year but……..

So, I switched to the Tribe game just in time to see Chris Perez give up what would be the winning run as the Indians were defeated by the Mets in the last game of the series.

So, the weekend had highs & lows but in the end, I consider myself a pretty lucky girl…I got to have fun at the game with the love of my life in the city that I love (for the 3rd weekend in a row!), relax with friends,  catch up on some housecleaning, play with the dogs and continue this middle-aged life I live.  So tomorrow it’s back to work, the Tribe will keeping fighting for that wild card spot and the Browns will –well– probably get another quarterback but that’s nothing new!

(and the one bright spot of Sunday? The Steelers LOST! so there WAS something good on Sunday!!)

Go Browns!  Go Tribe!