My Sister-in-Law's Wedding...


On a warm, sunny, October afternoon (Oct. 16th to be exact), my sister-in-law, Missy, was married to her long-time boyfriend, Moises.  Moises has felt like part of our family for a long time.  Little Lewie has known Moises as Uncle Moises for the past seven years, and Missy and Moises's children, two from previous relationships and two from their own relationship, have been Lewie's closest cousins. (They all live in our same little town.)

I have to say the wedding was perfect.  Not only did the couple have a beautiful fall day (sunny in the upper 60's with not rain in sight), but they were married at one of my favorite places.  In fact, eleven years ago, I was considering this very same place for OUR WEDDING.  I loved the venue because it's in the country near a lake and offers tent weddings.  Unfortunately, I was outvoted.  My mother, father, and husband-to-be all agreed that it was too far away.  (I guess they were right; it would have taken our guests anywhere from one to two hours to get there.)

Still, I made my husband-to-be stay overnight there in 2005, and we enjoyed spending a weekend in the country, where I could spy on a wedding just to see what it was like.  Little did I know that eleven years later, my sister-in-law would be choosing this venue, and I would be able to attend a real Interlaken Inn wedding (without the spying)...

Anyways... here is kind of what our wedding would have looked like ten years ago  (except Little Lewie and all of his little cousins wouldn't have been though of yet ...)

My handsome little boy with his first tie.

Lewie and Grammy waiting for the ceremony to begin...

My brother-in-law, Moises

Lewie's two littlest cousins, Brooklyn and Lily

Lewie's eldest cousin, Sarah

My husband walked Missy down the aisle.  (We lost Papa in Sept. 2015.)

Daddy, Ninny, Lewie, and Little Elijah


Wedding Owls...

All the cousins...

My favorite picture of Sarah and Little Lewie

Antonio and Little Lewie

Little Lewie took this picture of us...

Little Lewie tore up the dance floor...

My mom taught Lewie how to disco!
This wedding left me with a glow all month long; in fact, it will be long remembered.  My sister-in-law had been waiting a lifetime for this day (having joked that her wedding was scheduled for Nevuary), and now this adorable little family, not just the happy couple, are all united.  It truly was one big love fest at one of my favorite places in the world.  What a happy, happy day for all!

A Birthday Celebration - For Me and My Mom


My mom and I like to celebrate our birthdays together since we are only five days apart.  (I was born on the 3rd and my mom was born on the 8th.)  Sometimes we'll go on a bus trip adventure or schedule a day of shopping.  This year, we decided to have Little Lewie join in the festivities, so we booked tickets for the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Cruise.  Then, as a last minute surprise, I asked my Aunty Kiki if she and her best friend Karen could join us for the trip.  (They live two hours away, but Essex, CT is only an hour from their home, so it was the perfect place to meet up.)

The trip did not disappoint.  Although it was a little chilly (in the 50's and windy), we were perfectly warm enough in the train and in the boat seating area.  (Plus, we were able to buy ourselves tea, hot cocoa and coffee at the boat snack bar to warm ourselves up.)  The scenery was beautiful, and although many of the trees have not changed color yet, we could still see the hint of yellows, oranges, and reds.

The best part of the day, by far, however, was the company.  With our busy schedules, it's hard for all of us to find a day to be just about family.  I'm so glad last weekend, we put aside the laundry, the homework, the grocery shopping, the errands, and just about everything else to make family first.

After the excursion, we went to downtown Essex to eat at the Black Seal Seafood Grille and then we took pictures across the street, not far from the town gazebo.  Downtown Essex is charming, and they do a great job decorating for Halloween.  Scary witches, ghosts, goblins, and even fairies adored their lampposts. Plus, mums, pumpkins, cornstalks, and hay could be seen just about everywhere--especially in front of Essex's cute little shops.  My mom and I stopped in one little clothing boutique before leaving for the day.  (Little Lewie waited quietly, yet a little impatiently.  Shopping is not his thing.)

At it turns out, 41 feels just like 40 and 39 and 38...etc. etc.  This is not a milestone year, yet I plan to make it one.  This year, my goal is to visit one of our beautiful National Parks and take some other memorable trips.  At age 8, Lewie is able to begin appreciating nature's beauty, learning about history and science, and remembering special places.  The travel bug has returned, and this is the year, I will begin planning for a decade's worth of amazing trips (at least before Lewie goes off to college). Watch out the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park, we're coming...we are COMING.

Fall 2016 Bucketlist


Now that fall is in full gear (and it actually feels like fall around here), I'm excited to begin making some plans...  Here are a few places I would like to go to truly celebrate the season.  (If I don't achieve everything this year, then there's always the next...I'm determined to make it happen, especially while Lewie is still little.)

1.  Apple Picking - Actually, I can check this one off of our list!  We went to Karabin Farms in Southington, CT and had a blast as we took a hayride to the orchards and picked our very favorite Gala apples.  Then, we enjoyed picking up a few fun items in their gift shop.  My favorite?  Pumpkin, Brown Sugar & Fig Handmade Goats Milk Soap with Pumpkin Seed Oil.  I will be using this all October!

2.  Pumpkin Picking - For almost eight years straight, we have gone to March Farm for Pumpkin Picking.  Besides pumpkin picking, I can always count on them to deliver hayrides, corn mazes, apple cider donuts, friendly goats, and lots of fun in their children's playground--complete with little houses for children, a gravel track for pedaling cars and tricycles, a sand pit, and a swing set/slide.

This was Lewie's first year at March Farm.

3. A Scenic Railroad Trip - Lewie loves trains.  In fact, since his passion first blossomed as a toddler, we've been taking him to all sorts of train museums and train rides.  My goal is to make a trip to Winnipesauke Scenic Railroad in Laconia, New Hampshire.  Since these tracks glide next to the lake, I'm sure there will be some breathtaking views.  However, since this is almost a four hour trip for us, I have to be realistic.  If we can't fit this in...there's always the Essex Steam Train or the Railroad Museum of New England right here in Connecticut.

Lewie - Age 3 with his train table

Lewie - Age 6 at the Strasburg Rail Road

4.  A Classic Fall Festival - If we go to Laconia, New Hampshire this year, then I absolutely want to visit The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival on October 22.  How can you go wrong with 20,000+ pumpkins?  It sounds like pumpkin heaven.  Of course, the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in historic Hudson Valley, NY sounds amazing too.  They have activities going on throughout the month of Oct. and even into Nov., so this may be more realistic for us this year...

5.  A Pilgrim Thanksgiving Dinner - Another goal is to visit Plymouth Plantation, and show Lewie the "true" life of the pilgrims.  Although he personally has not shown any major interest in history yet (other than the history of railroads, of course), both my husband and I LOVE learning about the past. Plymouth Plantation has opportunities to sign up for the "Americas Thanksgiving Dinner" or "Harvest Dinner with the Pilgrims."  While you can do this on Thanksgiving Day, you can certainly choose other times in Oct./Nov.  I honestly think this would be great fun! here you have fall bucket list...  This has already been a busy fall with swim lessons, roller skating lessons, Cub Scouts, CCD classes and the like...  We have a wedding on Oct. 16th... Plus, you never know what Mother Nature may bring along the way, but if I could have the perfect fall experience, this would be it.
Happy October! 🎃