Flying High: A Fun Birthday Experience with My Family

I had no idea what my husband and daughter had planned for my birthday, but I knew it would be fun since I’m a big kid at heart. When we arrived after a half hour drive, I was filled with excitement and nervousness as we walked into iFLY King of Prussia.

Though my husband opted out of the experience and took plenty of pictures, this would be Quinn and my first time. I’m so grateful for my family and I love having new adventures together.

The experience, no doubt, was intense but so memorable. As the instructor helped me to “fly” I thought about how my family supports and helps each other. This truly is a moment I will always cherish.

All the best,

Tanya

An Extra Special Back to School Night!

As my husband and I entered our daughter’s third grade classroom with soft classical music playing, I was filled with joy, not only because her teacher reminds me so much of my third grade teacher but because this was the first time I was back in my daughter’s school, let alone classroom for over a year and a half!

Though Quinn did such a wonderful job adapting to virtual learning last year and never complained about not being in the classroom, when I read her “About Me” presentation that she put together for my husband and me, I came to the realization that she missed being in person more than I thought.

There’s something special about being in person. That interaction with classmates and the teacher is needed for most and allows them to thrive and socialize. Though knowing that the vaccine is not available for Quinn’s age group still makes me a bit nervous, I’m grateful that she was not robbed of another year of limited to know socialization with her classmates and teacher.

On top of that, she was selected as the student of the month for her classroom which makes me very proud. This truly is starting off to be a special “back to school” experience for my daughter and me as well.

All the best,

Tanya

Look Out Third Grade! Here She Comes!

“I don’t know why, but I think this is the most excited I’ve been to start school! Maybe it’s because we weren’t in person when we started school last year,” my third grader told me. A few days ago, I shared with my daughter that third grade was one of my favorite school years. I loved all that we learned and thought my teacher was the best.

Quinn told me that she has a feeling that this year is going to be great for her too. So far, her teacher sent a lovely welcome letter addressed to Quinn, called us at home to speak with my husband and me and to welcome Quinn and had a smile in her voice and eyes when we met her in person today. Though the school is set up for social distancing, I am hopeful that all will go well and that Quinn will come home with a smile on her face and eager to learn and make friends throughout the school year.

Seeing her happy face and excitement has actually helped me feel less nervous as I start my new semester teaching in person for the first time since March 2020.

Here’s to a fun, productive and wonderful school year!

All the best,

Tanya

The Beauty of a Perfect Beach Day Before the End of Summer Break

In just two days, I’ll be going back to work after a great summer break doing activities with my daughter. So I decided, why don’t we take a trip to the beach one more time before it’s back to work and school. My niece was happy to join us as well.

The weather forecast changed quite a bit with a hurricane coming up the coast over the weekend, so we had our fingers crossed that the rain would move out for us to have some fun. Just like magic, the rain stopped and the sun even made an appearance once we got on the beach.

I’m not sure if it’s because this may be our last time coming to the beach before summer ends or the joy from the rain moving out, but our smiles were bigger, as were the waves, and our laughter was louder. There was something so beautiful about the beach today! It certainly was spending it with my daughter and niece too.

All the best,

Tanya

Life One Year Later as a Dog Mom

I never thought I’d be gathering up toys, preparing meals and excitedly sharing stories and pictures a second time as a “mom.” But when Zack became a member of our family a year ago, I immediately fell in love. There was so much to learn as a puppy/dog mom, and though I’m sometimes frustrated when my little guy decides to be sneaky and steal a sock or bacon from the dining room table or tired when I have to take him out to go potty or for a walk when it’s raining or cold, it’s all been worth it.

He’s brought an abundance of love to our family, and seeing him play with his big sister always puts a smile on my face, even when I have to admonish one of them for not playing nicely. He’s also helped Quinn become more responsible. Even my husband who initially claimed he belonged to Quinn and me has come to love Zack and enjoys having him around.

I truly am so happy that we decided to become a dog family and am proud to be his dog mom.

All the best,

Tanya

The Great Adventure with My Daughter on the Jersey Devil

This was it! There was no turning back. I was locked in place. My eight year old was seated right in front of me, but I couldn’t really see her. The clink, clink sound got louder as my heartbeat seemed to match its pace feeling like it was coming out of my chest. We were at Six Flags Great Adventure on the Jersey Devil roller coaster.

After quickly asking Quinn is she was ready and okay, all I could do was close my eyes tightly and prepare to scream at the top of my lungs, struggling to believe that I was about to experience this crazy ride. I used to love roller coasters, but since having Quinn and being older, I just can’t handle them like I used to and was just grateful that I didn’t have any food on my stomach.

Why on earth would I get on the ride? Two words: for Quinn! Though she said it was okay if she didn’t get on the ride since everyone was too scared, when I looked at her face and heard the inflection in her voice, I knew I had to get on even if it meant I would feel like I was experiencing an out of body experience.

The ride lasted a few minutes, but I know my willingness to get on the Jersey Devil just for Quinn, especially since she knows my “tummy gets funny,” will stay with her for many years to come. That makes it all worth it!

All the best,

Tanya

Grateful for My Daughter’s Great Dad on Father’s Day

Some people grew up never knowing their father. Others knew of their father but only as being a deadbeat or emotionally or physically physically absent from their lives. Then there’s those who are lucky like my daughter to have a great dad in her life who’s caring, present and loving.

Quinn is totally a daddy’s girl, and I don’t blame her. If I had a dad like hers, I would be too! Happy Father’s Day to all of those who are great daddies to their children and raising them to be wonderful people.

All the best,

Tanya

The Colorful Moments of Motherhood

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m a kid at heart. There’s a long list of activities that I enjoy doing with my eight year old. Coloring on the sidewalk with chalk is definitely one of them. We both discuss our ideas, work together as a team to bring it all together snd of course have fun admiring our work. Also, I love using multiple colors because it reminds me of how beautiful life and memories can be when they’re vibrant and lively, just like Quinn. When is the last time you used sidewalk chalk? Give it a try. It’s not just fun but relaxing too.

All the best,

Tanya

The Perfect Image: Twinning and Loving My Mini Me

After spending about four hours doing knotless braids on my hair for the first time, my daughter smiled and said, “Your hair looks amazing! Can you put my hair in braids just like yours please?” Now that Quinn is officially eight years old, I wasn’t sure if she would still like to “twin” with me, but after I did her hair, she requested that I put it in a bun so that we could look like twins.

It makes me feel good to know that she still looks up to me, and when given the choice, she wants to be seen in my image. This also reminds me that I must be mindful and try my best to put forth a positive image for her to want to model. I love my mini me so much and will always cherish these bonding experiences that bring us closer together.

All the best,

Tanya