Finally Feels Like Springtime

I can’t say it enough – but I am so happy that it finally feels like spring is here in Cleveland! Could it possibly snow again? Yes, it’s happened before. But in the meantime, I’m so so ecstatic that we had a weekend where we could spend time outside and even sometimes without coats.

This weekend started out with a long run – 9 miles was on the schedule and I got it in while the whole house was still sleeping.

Friday night was nice out so we got in a family walk around the neighborhood.

And of course, some pizza. Roasted garlic and mushroom from Marotta’s – SO good.

Saturday morning started with an unplanned run. i had planned on taking the day off after my 9 miler, but it was 60 degrees and FW asked me if we could go for a stroller run, so we went out for 3 miles and enjoyed the sun.

We also had some fun indoors

Including a little baking therapy.

And then it was time to be back outside – it was B’s grandma’s 90th birthday and we had a celebration for her. And it was still nice enough to be outside.

We even got a family pic of us all outside! First family photo in forever.

Sunday was another gorgeous day. We started the day with a surprise birthday event — this time for my friend Lulu! Her husband had invited a bunch of her friends to dim sum to celebrate her birthday.

LM ate pretty much everything there was, which was great! I love that so far she’s not a picky eater.

The afternoon included playtime, naptime and some furniture making. B is finishing up some homemade porch furniture- they’re almost done!

And after a homemade dinner on the grill, the day and weekend were over. Here’s to hoping springlike weather stays all week!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like dim sum?
  • Is it spring finally near you?

A weekend of celebrations

It was a busy, busy weekend for us- it reminded me of our weekends before we had kids when we just packed it all in. We had 2 birthday celebrations, brunch and more.

Friday started out with a work of Saint Patrick’s day party. We play the game with lucky charms and sadly I did not win.

Fridays during Lent mean no meat. B was originally going to make some veggie tacos, but we didn’t have any of the ingredients (whoops!) so we ordered takeout. Sushi is pretty much my favorite.

Saturday morning I had either a 5k on the schedule or 7 miles – I opted to do 7 miles and I’m glad I did. It was hard – I haven’t run that much since before LM was born and more than a year ago, but I was happy to have finished it.

Saturday afternoon, we celebrated B’s mom’s birthday. We started with some fun at an escape room.

And then, it was off to shuffleboard.

FW had fun hanging out with his cousins.

FW had fun until he took a spill. He split his lip in a few places and it was a little traumatic for all involved.

Sunday morning started with St. Patrick’s Day brunch! B invited over some friends for some traditional Irish food.

This meant eggs, soda bread, potatoes and lots of meats.

FW had fun playing with Celia.

That afternoon, FW had a birthday party to go to. He and LM were celebrating Clara’s 3rd birthday.

FW had a blast running and jumping around in the gym.

As did LM 🙂

Sunday night, we didn’t have dinner at B’s parents’ house since we had spent half the day with them Saturday. So, we did some meal prep and even made meatballs and sauce – FW was a great helper!

It was a fun but busy weekend – I’m glad we did so much but I’m also hopeful to relax a bit next weekend!

Some questions for you:

  • Are you a Lucky Charms fan?
  • Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Mary is Married!

We had a GREAT weekend filled with good food and celebrations here in Cleveland. Why? My sister-in-law Mary got married!

Thursday night was the rehearsal dinner and it was right in her parents (B’s parents) backyard. We had a great backyard bbq and the weather was perfect!

Some of the food – brisket, pasta, asparagus, salad and bread!

My parents also came into town to help watch the kids during the festivities. So, Friday morning my mom and started the day with mother-daughter pedicures. My feet needed it!

My parents helped watch the kids at the ceremony in the church. FW was pretty good but LM got fussy about halfway through. I was so glad they were there to help out and of course spend time with us!

FW took some selfies while we waited for the event to begin …

After the church it was time for the party! The event took place at an old arcade downtown and it was a beautiful location. FW loved dancing and of course seeing the beautiful bride!

Me and my other sister-in-law hung out as well (we also shared an Uber home since our husbands – brothers of the bride – went to the after party).

B and I got to dance a little after my parents took the kids home. It was nice to have some kid-free time. 

It was a late night, so Saturday was pretty slow. We all took naps (bonus points since both LM and FW napped at the same time that afternoon!) but then went out for a walk in the late afternoon. We stopped a playground for FW.

And then walked to get some pizza! Mushroom, pepperoni and roasted garlic, yum!

After FW was in bed, B and I watched I, Tonya. Have you seen it? I thought it was pretty good. I’m not super into figure skating and didn’t know much about the incident. I know it was a movie, but I still felt like I learned a lot.

Sunday morning, B made us all pancakes! Even a special blueberry bear for FW. 

Then, the four of us went for a run outside. The weather was so much better – low 70s and not humid – and it made it much more bearable than last week’s hot and humid run. I pushed FW, while B pushed LM in the stroller.

Total, we got in about 3.7 miles – my longest(and fastest!) postpartum run to date!

Sunday afternoon was another lazy one – we all took naps again (!yay!) but played outside, went for a walk and played with my newest toy – a RHUMBA! I bought it for Prime Day and LOVE it so far.

That about sums up our wedding weekend. Still one more to go (my cousin’s) this summer!

Some questions for you:

  • Did it cool down near you?
  • Do you have a smart vacuum or robot vacuum?

I’m linking up with the weekly wraps!

Mini Vacation with the Baby

We’re back from a weekend away and the baby’s first hotel stay! B and I got in a quick weekend away with FW in Columbus and enjoyed some good food, drinks and even family time.

The weekend started off with pizza (yup,  every Friday) from Pies and Pints.  We didn’t get in until late, so we ended up not going out. Instead,  I picked up the pizza and grabbed a drink at the bar while B put FW to bed.  #winningmom

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Saturday we had a while day of exploring to do! We started with breakfast and a walk in the Short North.

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And then we spent the day on our feet walking – we walked to the Columbus Topiary Garden, downtown and German Village.

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In front of the statehouse where his great grandfather worked

We also had to stop by North Market.

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And then we were back again to grab drinks at the Short North.

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Saturday night,  we enjoyed dinner at a cute (and baby friendly!) restaurant- Hubbard.

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I had amazing food.  We started off with fried Brussels sprouts and then I enjoyed a cauliflower sandwich with arugula quinoa salad. Jeni’s ice cream not pictured.

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Sunday morning, we got up early and went for a stroller run around the city. We made it to a trail with a nice view of downtown.

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Then, it was time for brunch! We ended our trip with brunch at B’s cousins’ house and FW got to meet his great aunt and cousins.

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B, FW and cousin Pete – the Wolfpack! (I swear FW is howling at the moon, not crying)

And of course, we ended Sunday with dinner with B’s parents. We celebrated B and two of his brothers’ birthdays with B’s favorite – steak, mashed potatoes and chocolate chocolate cake!

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Questions:

  • What is your favorite birthday cake? Ice cream cake!! Love me some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cake- Heath bar (I know it’s not called that anymore) or Peanut Butter fudge.
  • Have you ever been to Columbus, Ohio?

And because it’s Monday, I’m linking up with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

Another Carnoski Thanksgiving in NY and Cleveland

I really love this time of year. I love the food, the holiday music, the traditions, etc. But really, I just love seeing my family. B and I swap Thanksgivings, spending pretty much every other holiday with my family, and this was one of the years we spent in New York so I got to see my family and friends.

A few highlights from my Thanksgiving:

A few homemade meals (I still love my mom’s cooking):

Chicken with mozzarella and spinach

Chicken with mozzarella and spinach

Quinoa with Apples and Pecans - i crashed the web

Quinoa with Apples and Pecans – recipe here!

A scenic train ride into New York City:

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Walking around the city with B and then dinner with one of my bffs, Jane:

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Sorry, no food pics (it didn't come out) but we enjoyed an awesome Mediterranean meal!

Sorry, no food pics (it didn’t come out) but we enjoyed an awesome Mediterranean meal!

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge with B:

halfway up the bridge!

halfway across the bridge!

Our approach from Brooklyn

Our approach from Brooklyn

Sushi with my parents:

Does anyone know what the raw egg on top of the fish on the top left is ? It was amazing...

Does anyone know what the raw egg on top of the fish on the top left is? It was amazing…

A surprise day-before-Thanksgiving Noreaster – so pretty! (it had been 70 in the city the day before!)

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A Thanksgiving morning 5k and a too brief reunion with my other bff, Melgar:

<3 the two Melissas

❤ the two Melissas before the Turkey Trot (with matching headbands of course)

Melgar's husband, B and me post-run

Melgar’s husband, Jon, B and me post-run

Me and Melgar and her sister with our medals!

Me and Melgar and her sister with our medals!

Thanksgiving dinner with family

so many appetizers!

so many appetizers!

Family picture <3

Family picture ❤

Post-Thanksgiving Chinese (What does this fortune even mean?!)

I have no idea ...

I have no idea …

B’s family’s post-Thanksgiving celebration – annual bowling tournament

B - the bowling all star (he made it into the finals this year!)

B – the bowling all star (he made it into the finals this year!)

Cousins-in-law!

Cousins-in-law!

Final score of my best round - 81!

Final score of my best round – 81!

And made it back to Cleveland just in time to catch the end of Winterfest and the lighting of downtown!

Love the Christmas music, the tree and chandelier lighting and all the people!

Love the Christmas music, the tree and chandelier lighting and all the people!

fireworks and a tree lighting

fireworks and a tree lighting

Okay, off to listen to some Christmas tunes (finally!!!!!) and get into the holiday spirit. Only a few weeks until Christmas!

 

Some questions for you:

  • Did you do a Turkey Trot?
  • How do you spend Thanksgiving? What’s a fun tradition you have?
  • Do you wait until after Thanksgiving to listen to holiday tunes?

Bacon Bombs, Bowling and More = A West Virginian Thanksgiving

And so it begins – the holiday season is officially here! Woohoo! I really do love this time of year – from the baking and holiday foods, to the festive lights decorating downtown to of course being able to spend time with my family – what’s not to like?

lights in the Arcade in Cleveland

lights in the Arcade in Cleveland

This weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving. And because we trade locations (NY with my family vs. here with B’s family) each year, this year we were spending the holiday with B’s family. And this year, B’s family had rented a cabin in Wheeling, West Virginia at Oglebay Resort. We would be in a cabin for three nights with about 20 members of B’s family and extended family – which meant lots of good meals, drinks, games, and we even fit in some even some runs and walks! Some highlights:

The cabin:

Here’s where we stayed- it was really nice and a short walk from the main lodge which meant just a short walk from the pool and fitness center! (yes, I got in a 6 mile treadmill run one day while the kiddos were splashing in the pool).

Our home for 3 nights

Our home for 3 nights

The food:

We arrived Wednesday night at the cabin to a dinner of what B’s family was calling bacon bombs. Bacon/meat-lovers rejoice – have I got the meal for you – imagine a giant meatloaf wrapped in bacon? That’s what this is:

bacon bombs!

bacon bombs!

And what would Thanksgiving be without all of the other glorious food?

dinner collage

Some of the fun:

Before getting on the road, we decided to do some pre-vacation pampering! I went with my niece and two of my sisters-in-law and we got our nails done.

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I brought supplies with me to make some candy turkeys I’d found on Pinterest – and they were a hit! The kids loved making them and trying to steal all the candy/cookies/frosting/etc. they could get their hands on.

turkeys

We went sleigh riding down what a local called “Suicide Hill.” I mostly watched and ran up and down the hill to keep warm, but couldn’t help but take photos and video of the fun. My favorite? Sending Oliver down the hill in a laundry basket that we had in the car.

Keeping the Thanksgiving morning tradition of running alive, we found a 5k in Wheeling and ran it – with a few of the other family members! It was tons of fun. I ran the whole race with B’s cousin who’s the girl in the front in the blue hat in the pic below – she’s fast and came in 4th in her age group (14 and under).

B and me post-race. B rocked and PRd with a 5k in 23 something minutes

B and me post-race. B rocked and PRd with a 5k in 23 something minutes

The whole gang who ran!

The whole gang who ran!

And of course just all around shenanigans and playing with my niece and nephew and cousins-in-law.

He's a pretty good reader for a preschooler huh?

He’s a pretty good reader for a preschooler huh?

Teaching her some of my favorite old hand-games.

Teaching her some of my favorite old hand-games.

Pirates are completely normal on Thanksgiving, right? Didn't they come over with the pilgrims?

Pirates are completely normal on Thanksgiving, right? Didn’t they come over with the pilgrims?

And Thanksgiving with B’s family wouldn’t be complete without BOWLING. That’s right, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, his dad’s side gets together for a bowling competition (the side of the family who gets together for softball competition each year). No, I didn’t win (for some reason scoring a 76 didn’t even get me into the finals!) – but there’s always next year, right? I’ll be seeking bowling coaches – you know where to find me! (kidding)

Cousins-in-law!

Cousins-in-law!

bowling!

bowling!

And that was it! From traveling to West Virginia and then to way out northeastern Ohio for bowling, I’m somewhat feeling I need a vacation from my vacation!

Some questions for you:

How was your Thanksgiving? Do you travel for the holiday?

What did you make for the holiday? B and I were in charge of desserts! We also were to make a vegetable – so we made roasted squash and Brussels sprouts!

Did you try any new foods? Yes! Shoofly pie, that B and I made, as well as a slice of a bacon bomb. 

Do you have any fun family traditions during the holidays? Bowling with B’s family the Sat. after Thanksgiving has become a great tradition!

Did you do any Thanksgiving day races / Turkey Trots?

What are you most looking forward to about the coming month or so of the holiday season? Love Actually, Christmas music and seeing my family again!

I leave you with this pic of B and me chopping veggies:

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A Midnight Baseball Game, A Bowling Birthday Bash and a Babysitting Adventure

If you want to know what B and I did this weekend, the title really says it all … we went to an Indians Game (which pretty much started after midnight!), went to a Bowling Birthday Party and borrowed our niece and nephew for a downtown sleepover/babysitting adventure. And we (and the kiddos) survived!

Midnight Ball Game

Friday night, B and I had plans to go to the Indians game with B’s sisters, B’s brother and a few of B’s sister’s friends (you follow?). B’s sister Katie’s boyfriend (or boy friend) was in town and the plan was to show him a night out in Cleveland. The plans were to meet for happy hour before the game, and then head to Progressive Field for some $1 hot dogs and cheap seats.

The plans didn’t quite work out … the weather turned Friday afternoon from sunny and 80s to chilly and torrential downpours – which caused a rain delay. And then another rain delay. And then another rain delay! We made it over to the game for the new 9 p.m. start time, and ended up watching two innings before another rain delay – this time for about two more hours! Determined not to waste our evening, we feasted on $1 — er, now 50 cent — hot dogs, pop corn, beer, and waited. At about 11 p.m. we decided to leave. JUST as we left the stadium, they lifted up the tarp – they were going to play again! We decided to wait the next hour at a bar while they dried up the field. B’s brother headed home, and I was getting tired, so I confess – I didn’t make the end of the game. B and his sister and her boyfriend were troopers – they stayed until nearly 3 a.m. when the game was over!

50 cent hot dogs? I’ll have 6!

Waited it out. For a long time. The game ended at nearly 3 a.m.! (I’m sure the people behind us in the photo are leaving. )

AH! Oh no. Not the tarp again!

AH! Oh no. Not the tarp again!

Bowling Birthday Bash

Caring Cubs, an organization that I’m involved in thanks to Bridge Builders (and posted about before, here) was hosting their 5th Birthday celebration this weekend. Part of my Bridge Builders project was actually to help them come up with something that would help them fund-raise (they mostly rely on community donations and occasional grants!)  – and the options were endless! We eventually came up with an event with a silent auction – and Saturday’s Bowling Birthday Bash was born. Even though I was volunteering at the event, B also attended and we brought our niece and nephew to the festivities. Why not? It included bowling, bumpers for the kids, pizza, birthday cake, crafts, facepaint AND even an appearance by a Care Bear! It was definitely fun  – and I’m proud that my efforts are contributing to the sustainability of this organization.

My helper at the check-in table!

My helper at the check-in table!

A real Care Bear! (Side note – I had to show them who the Care Bears were on my phone before the event)

Hanging out at the Bowling Birthday Bash!

Hanging out at the Bowling Birthday Bash!

What's a birthday party without cake?

What’s a birthday party without cake?

24 Hours in Babysitting

After the Bowling Bash, B and I had plans to have his niece and nephew sleep over. Their parents were out of town, and (admittedly, after a few Memorial Day glasses of wine) we volunteered to babysit them from Saturday through Sunday. I was a little nervous leading up to the weekend – I hadn’t officially babysat in years (in college I used to babysit an infant and eventually toddler pretty much once a week, and summers I would babysit two elementary school girls 2-3 full days during the summer — but that was years ago!) and B’s nephew can be a handful sometimes. It was actually a lot of fun and I have to give B credit – it seemed like he did most of the work, and I had most of the fun! From painting nails, to baking cookies, to walking to the lake and taking the trolley (the kids were super impressed with the “big trains,” “big buildings,” and pretty much everything about downtown), to running on the treadmill and B watching the kids (they did like watching me for a little!), to watching The Muppet Movie  to hanging out in the homemade fort – it was really a fun weekend! No temper tantrums, no bruises and we all (yes, all four of us) survived.

This photo is completely normal.

This photo is completely normal.

Some of the awesome ways we spent our night -  face paint, trolley rides, baking cookies, Muppet movies and fort making!

Some of the awesome ways we spent our night – face paint, trolley rides, baking cookies, Muppet movies and fort making!

Watching the boats on the lake

Watching the boats on the lake

They loved the trolley!

They loved the trolley!

Will we be watching them again anytime soon? I asked B – he said “that depends on what they report back to their parents.”  Hmm … not sure if that’s a yes, but it’s definitely not a no!

How was your weekend? Some questions to ponder:

  • Did you used to babysit? Did you ever take the Red Cross Babysitting Course? Yes I did! I took it in 5th grade and babysat through college. I’m a little rusty, though…
  • What’s your favorite kind of birthday cake? I love ice cream cake! Vanilla heath bar crunch ice cream please. OR I’ll settle for a cassata cake 🙂
  • What’s the latest you’ve ever watched a baseball game?
  • How many hot dogs do you chow down on during $1 dog night? Have you ever seen 50 cent dog night?
  • What’s your favorite baseball game snack? It used to be the pretzels with mustard – but now that I found the tri-colored popcorn stands (cheddar, caramel and regular) I may have a new treat!