A Weekend Before Winter Craziness Sets In

“What are you guys doing this weekend?” My mom asked me on one of our daily calls (yes, we talk pretty much daily) this week.

“I don’t think we have anything planned,” I replied. And then I checked our calendar. Sure enough, this is the last weekend before the holidays with absolutely nothing on our calendar! So, I was looking forward to having nothing planned and doing whatever we wanted. Which turned into a date night, several trips to the museum, a visit to the library, a playground stop and more.

Here’s what the weekend entailed:

I have a decent amount of vacation time left this year, so I decided to take a few hours off Friday and hang out with FW. This meant we had some fun one-on-one time, which included going to the “pancake store” for lemon ricotta pancakes.

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A Race, Shower and Birthday Brunch

What a busy, fun weekend! It felt nonstop with tons of activities packed into the 2 days. Which means that it was of course another weekend that went too fast.

The weekend started with a 5k race on Friday evening. The Sunset Sprint 5k is  a fundraiser for a board that B is on, and I decided semi-last minute to run it.

It takes place right next to the beach, so we had a little picnic and spent some time on the beach after the race.

And caught the gorgeous sunset.

Saturday morning I did an easy run and then it was time for my future-sister-in-law’s shower!

There were so many treats, including these amazing miniature wedding cakes that my mother-in-law made.

It was fun showering the bride-to-be and I can’t believe the wedding is just 2 months away!

I didn’t get home from the shower until late afternoon, so we really only had time for a little excursion with the kids. We walked to the nearby playground and had some fun while they ran around.

Saturday night, after the kids went to bed, B and I watched a movie. I stayed up for a WHOLE movie and really enjoyed it! We watched About Time – have you seen it?

Sunday morning started with a run – this time with the whole family. B pushed LM and I pushed FW in the stroller.

After the run, it was time to spend the later morning/afternoon with B’s family. This week is two of my brother-in-laws’ birthdays, so we spent some time celebrating with the family and enjoying an amazing brunch.

look how gorgeous this salad is!

FW and LM had a great time playing with their cousins and chowing down.

The rest of the evening was spent low-key – we did some meal prep, yard work, shopping and NAPTIME. Any day both of the kids nap at the same time is amazing.

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite brunch food?
  • Have you ever done a nighttime race?

Reentering the Workforce After Maternity Leave

It’s been a year since I went on maternity leave for the second time. I’ll be honest with you — reentering the workforce was not easy. At least it never has been for me. After 12ish weeks way, I am rarely emotionally ready to come back to work; however, the second time around, at least I knew somewhat to expect. And after re-entering the workforce two times now, I’ve learned from my mistakes.

Here’s what NOT to do upon your reentry to the workforce after maternity leave:

Try to fit into your old work clothes

Unless you are one of those people who somehow fit miraculously into all your pre-pregnancy clothes within just a few weeks, you may need to go shopping for a few essentials. Even if you are back at your pre-baby weight, your body may look different. A stellar new “first day of school work” outfit (or 2) can make all the difference as you re-join office life. 

1 month before baby — clearly I wasn’t going to fit into the same clothes just a few months afterwards

Expect things to be the same 

You just had a baby. You were home for (if you’re lucky) several weeks. When you come back, cut yourself some slack – it will take some time to get back into the swing of things. But things may not be the same. For example, you may no longer be able to stay at the office late whenever you want; you may need to leave right on time to make sure you don’t arrive at daycare pickup one minute past 6. You may longer be able to be in all-day (or even 3-hour) meetings.  No, you may need to find time to pump. You will probably cherish weekends a whole lot more. Things won’t be the same, but as long as you realize this in advance, it can help you prepare. 

weekends with your family after reentering the workforce = the best!

Expect things to be different

At the same time, things won’t be much different. Your coworkers/clients will still expect you to be at the top of your game, to make those meetings and to keep your usual hours. You may need to set some boundaries as you figure out your new schedule. 

Feel guilty

The fact that I was going back to work made me feel guilty. Then, when I couldn’t stay late or go to as many work happy hours I felt guilty. At night, if I was doing work after the kids went to bed, I felt guilty that I wasn’t spending time with my husband. Mom guilt comes in a variety of forms, but it doesn’t make any situation better. Cut yourself some slack – you’re doing the best you can. 

Go at it by yourself

Being a working parent isn’t easy. And it’s even harder without someone to confide in about the everyday dilemmas (being 15 minutes late due to a potty training accident as you were leaving the house), hardships (having to take off unexpectedly due to your kid’s stomach flu) and milestones (preschool graduation). If you have other working parents in your office, grab coffee with them. Talk to friends outside of work. We’re all in this together and it’s better to have a support group. And find something that makes you feel like you — for me, that’s running. Without my support group and running, re-entering the workforce would’ve been much harder!

Question for you:

  • Did you recently come back from maternity leave? What would you add?
  • Have you reentered the workforce from maternity leave or another leave (sabbatical, etc.)? How did you handle it?

Note: In all the pictures above, I’m wearing Skirt Sportshangout jacket, jette skirt and redemption run shorts. They’ve been with me through pregnancy AND beyond! I’m a brand ambassador, so if you end up purchasing anything, feel free to use the code SSA791Mel for 5% off.

A Few Days in Ithaca

And just like that, the vacation that I have been looking forward to for several months is over. Earlier in the year, we had planned a short getaway with my parents and brother. We had decided to check out the Finger Lakes, finding an AirBNB in Ithaca that would host us for the few days. My brother flew in from Berlin, my parents drove in from Albany and we all stayed together.


The trip was great. It was so wonderful to be able to spend time with my family, and LM and FW loved all the “Nonna, Grandpa, Sweetie and Uncle Greg” time. We also had a good time checking out the city and some nearby sites. Some of the highlights included:

Grabbing dinner and ice cream around Ithaca Commons.

Hiking to and splashing around Taughannock Falls.

Lunching and wine tasting at Thirsty Owl Winery.

Exploring the area – I went running along their waterfront path one day and my family and I took walks as well.

It’s always hard to finish vacation, but this one is especially hard because of the great family time we had.  I don’t know when my parents, brother and I will be all together again!

Some questions for you:

  • Have you been to Ithaca?
  • Do you vacation with your family?

The Weekend It Didn’t Rain

You guys. We FINALLY had a weekend where it didn’t rain. No flash flood in our backyard. No mud on our shoes. We went all weekend without a drop of rain ruining any of our outdoor time and it was GREAT.

Here’s a look at some of the fun we had:

Friday after was B and LM’s school’s end of year picnic. The school closes early for preschool graduation (thank goodness we have a few years before that cryfest), and all the kids are invited to fun with facepaint, a picnic, food, games, an artshow, etc.

B and I skipped the hot dogs and ended up getting takeout, Cilantro (local Chipotle-esqe restaurant).

And the evening included some low key reading on the porch while listening to the Indians game (spoiler – they beat the Yankees!).

Saturday was another gorgeous day, so we spent most of the morning outside. It started with a stroller run and walk for LM and me – a little over 5 miles on a stroller-friendly path near our house – and then a run to the Farmers Market.

We did some shopping and hung out at the market, enjoying the weather.

Then it was time to head home. This time, FW hopped in the stroller (with some of the groceries) while B and LM biked alongside of us, and we ran home.

After we got home, everyone was pooped! After some brief women’s World Cup watching it was nap time. I even got in a quick snooze.

That afternoon included some more outdoor time – including playing with a water table and water gun! My friend Emily came over with her family – she has a 3 year old and almost 1 year old – for a little while, too.

Dinner that night was pizza on the porch. The gorgeous weather continued and we couldn’t stay inside.

Even after the kids went to bed, we went back outside for some summer reading and relaxing. I’m reading The Immortalists for book club right now and can’t put it down!

The next day included MORE outdoor time. We started the day with breakfast on the porch, followed by a ride around the block.

And then a family run! B pushed LM and I pushed FW in the stroller for an easy 5k.

We even saw a big turtle on the run!

After our run, it was time for some errands and then the Indians game! It was a hot game that went into extra innings, but they ended up losing.

We then spent some more time outside at B’s parents’ house on their swing set before heading home for the night.

It was so amazing to spend so much time outdoors. I’m pooped and slightly sunburn, but so happy to have gotten some much needed Vitamin D! (but don’t worry about our plants — of course we have rain in the forecast for today)

Some questions for you:

  • Was it clear/sunny near you?
  • What’s your favorite thing to do outside?

LM Turns One

This weekend is brought to you by the letter F. F is for First birthday, Friends, Family and Food — all wonderful things and well, I’m still smiling over what an amazingly wonderful weekend it was.

Friday was LM’s first birthday. That’s right, LM turned one over the weekend and I can’t believe it! While I’m still emotionally recovering, we had a blast celebrating. Friday celebrations started off early – I took the afternoon off and we were able to get the kids early from daycare to spend some time at the playground. Both LM and FW loved the swings.

And then we took LM to get her first ice cream. No photos of her, but FW loved his 🙂

Friday night, B and I actually got in a date night. My parents came into town, so B and I snuck out to grab drinks.

And then we had tickets to see the Indians – they won!

We even made it out for an after dinner drink on East 4th.

Saturday came early (especially after staying out late Friday), but was filled with celebrations — it was LM’s party! She enjoyed her first cake.

B’s mom made the cake and cupcakes – isn’t she amazing?!

LM thought so. She got frosting in her nose 🙂

The weather was PERFECT and FW enjoyed playing with his friends, cousins and of course, me.

After Saturday’s perfect weather, Sunday turned out stormy. We managed to catch a break in the rain and made it to the Zoo with my parents.

LM is still a little too young to enjoy it, but FW had such a blast. His favorite animals are the giraffes and elephants, and he got in some quality time with both.

Monday morning my parents left, and we hit up the local Memorial Day parade. It starts about 2 miles from our house, so B rode with the kids on the bike and I ran over.

Post-parade included some hot dogs at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, followed by a run home.

Aftet naptime, it was time for bbq #2, this time at B’s uncle’s house.

FW had some more fun and food with his cousins and LM did some assisted walking.

And that was the end of our perfect three-day weekend. Cheers to the unofficial start of summer!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you watch a Memorial Day parade?
  • Did you get outside this weekend?