A Merry Christmas with the “Presence” of Family

When I asked my daughter what she enjoyed most about Christmas yesterday, she said that she loved getting presents, but it made her feel good to give presents too because she loves seeing how happy people are as they open gifts. But she also said getting to spend time with family was something she really enjoyed.

Last year, we were stayed at home for Christmas as Covid restrictions were in full swing, there was limited vaccines and it was highly recommended that people limit their interactions to just their immediate family. With the Omicron variant on the rise, we may find ourselves back under restrictions as it continues to make its way to more people.

It’s times like this that I’m glad we have a relatively small family and that we’re all taking precautions to remain safe. While no one knows for sure what will happen in the days or months to come, just like Quinn, I’m so glad I got to enjoy the presence of my family for Christmas.

All the best,

Tanya

It’s a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

It seems like more people than usual are struggling to feel festive or have holiday spirit. It’s times like this that I’m grateful for my eight year old daughter and our year and a half old toy poodle who constantly lift my spirits during this time of the year.

They definitely keep me merry, especially Quinn as she opened her gifts this morning displaying appreciation for each one.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me… The Joy of Relaxing in Our Matching Pajamas

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me… The Joy of Relaxing in Our Matching Pajamas.

Very seldom do I give myself a pajama day, but when I do, it’s usually around Christmas time with my daughter.

I’m looking forward to us just watching Christmas movies, baking cookies for Santa and relaxing on Christmas Eve.

All the best,

Tanya

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me… A Fun and Memorable Picture with Santa

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to me… A Fun and Memorable Picture with Santa. Last year, was the first time in six years that Quinn did not get a picture with Santa. It wasn’t because she didn’t want to, but the Covid restrictions prevented it.

So this year, she was very excited to see Santa in person and to bring along her little brother and furry best friend, Zack. We both were surprised at how well he did. I was probably just as excited as Quinn to see Santa and take a picture once more.

There’s something magical and memorable about interacting with him and hearing his jolly voice in person. I’m so glad we were able to continue one of our Christmas traditions this year.

All the best,

Tanya

A Great Holiday Adventure

Yesterday, my daughter and I had a great holiday adventure at Six Flags with friends and had a terrific time. Though there was a chill in the air, it wasn’t extremely cold and didn’t stop Quinn and her friend from getting on rides high in the sky embracing all of that open air.

Though Christmas is still twenty days away, taking pictures, seeing all of the twinkling lights in the night’s sky, enjoying each other’s company, hearing the girls laugh and happily run to the different rides while my friend and I sipped on hot cocoa definitely put us all in the holiday spirit. It’s moments like this that make the great adventure of parent hood magical and memorable.

All the best,

Tanya

What a Great Halloween Adventure!

Yesterday, my sister, niece, daughter and I all went to Six Flags Great Adventure for a good time. It was packed! The crowd was enormous! Even the Flash pass line had over an hour wait, but we didn’t care. We were there for some outdoor fun. Though we didn’t get on many rides due to the crazy lines, just walking around the amusement park, doing a little trick or treating in the kids’ section and enjoying the atmosphere was enough to put a smile on my daughter’s face. Sometimes, that’s all we need. 🎃😊

All the best,

Tanya

Back with My Pumpkin and Patching Up a Tradition

We’re officially in fall and October! It’s one of my favorite months to do activities with my family, especially my daughter. Last year, with the COVID restrictions, I broke tradition and headed to the nearest supermarket to pick out our Halloween pumpkins to decorate. Though we both were okay with this deviation from our usual monthly plans, knowing that we would be restoring our tradition and going to a pumpkin patch this year filled us with excitement. We were so happy to have my mom, Quinn’s Nana, accompany us as she’s done since Quinn was a toddler. This was just a another reminder of what we both missed last year to allow us to appreciate it even more this year.

For the past few years, we’ve gone to Shady Brook Farms and enjoyed ourselves, but we decided to try somewhere new, Kohler Farms. While they did not has as many activities, they were about a third of the cost. Also, it was still a fun experience as we enjoyed the sights on the hayride to the pumpkin patch, navigated our way through the corn maze and selected are precious pumpkins to decorate. Then with those savings, we dined at a nearby restaurant afterward and had some well-needed family togetherness.

Of course, I could’ve just stopped by a supermarket or Home Depot to pick up pumpkins again this year and maybe even had saved some money, but the family togetherness, smiles and happy moments with Quinn are totally worth it. Here’s to a great October building fun-filled memories with my family!

Best,

Tanya

Family Togetherness: A Good Harvest & Great Meal

This past Wednesday, my friends invited my daughter and I to visit their community garden. This was such an exciting experience for Quinn because it was her first time at a garden growing vegetables and fruits in addition to plants and flowers. My mom had a garden when I was a little girl, and seeing Quinn happily harvest tomatoes, green peppers, egg plants and herbs as well has made me want to start a beginners garden for us to grown organic veggies and fruits together.

The fun didn’t stop there though. Quinn immediately wanted to wash the vegetables and begin looking up what we could make. Yesterday, my eight year old couldn’t wait to start cooking. She settled on eggplant parmigiana, and I decided to add a side dish with green peppers and tomatoes from the garden along cauliflower rice and broccoli topped with marinara sauce. Though she asked that I hand,ev the knife while cutting the eggplants, tomatoes and green peppers, she did an awesome job preparing the eggplants with the Italian breadcrumbs and arranging them on the baking sheet.

There’s something special about cooking together, but what’s going to make it extra special is growing and harvesting our own vegetables and fruit next year around this time then preparing a meal together with those fruits and veggies.

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