The Family that Gives Back Gets Back

What are long weekends made for??? In my life-family time. That can mean a lot of things. Typically I love a getaway, but we stayed home this Memorial Day Weekend. This holiday weekend was so great because it was a four day weekend. Yes, that’s right four glorious days off that were lightly planned.

FRIDAY

My hubs had to work, but my mini me and I had off. She slept in and I started my day in quiet with coffee. So good. I knew we had to make these treats for the charity walk on Sunday, so while it was still early and calm I prepped what we needed.

This was fairly simple, but very robotic. Once all of this was done and she had breakfast it was time to assemble. These are super simple to make. I feel like they are a great combination of sweet and salty….gluten free too.

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 275°

Bake for 2-3 minutes

Once out of the oven gently press a candy into the melted kiss

Let cool

ENJOY

This was a great baking project to do with my mini. Sort of relaxing and she could do everything except use the oven. We have built-ins and they are too high to risk injury.

Once they were cooled we were ready to package them up. She decided we should put 2 of each kind into these really cute and easy clear, baking bags I found on Amazon. This whole project was calm, easy and a perfect way for her to help give back.

The rest of our Friday was super fun. We went to see Aladdin with friends. We thoroughly enjoyed this film. It was funny, kept to the animated story, but had a few new elements and was a perfect way to kick off our family time. Of course we got popcorn…the big bucket and I packed the rest of the peanut mm’s in my bag.  One of my favorite things to get at the movies is a Coke ICEE. Totally unhealthy, but I love it. I used to calorie splurge on hot pretzels and cheese, but since going gluten free, I have decided to sugar myself up with a cup of slushie magic. If and when the machine is out, or not working-total let down, but the long weekend gods were on my side and I happily sucked up those empty calories.

SATURDAY

This day started like many Saturdays of recent.  I got up by myself and sat in peace and quiet with my coffee and phone. I checked out the online world while I rocked and sipped.  Then it was time for me to head off to yoga.  This new routine has become a great way to start a typical weekend.  I have really come to enjoy what yoga has opened me up to.  My class was great-totally challenged me, but my instructor informed us at the end that she was no longer going to be teaching this class.  She is moving on to her MORE in life.  I was totally devastated.  I am thrilled for her of course, but I finally feel like I have found my jam.  There is something about the way she teaches, pushes me and her energy…. that’s what got me out of the house when I’ve had a long and tiring day or it is a wet, gloomy morning ….when staying in seems like a much better idea, but I get ready and go.  No workout has ever done that. I am not easily motivated to work out. I have tried many things….our gadget filled basement is proof of my quest for the right exercise for me.  So, I am not sure what is going to happen with my Thursday and Saturday hour and fifteen minutes of me time.  I am sure her position with be filled, but never replaced.

Enough with the pity party…..so the rest of my day was spent with nature and my peeps. We found a park online.  I swear Facebook is listening or invisible aliens report to Facebook what you are going to be looking for, because I mentioned the hubs we needed to get out and do something with nature.  We all needed some vitamin D.  Winter was long and painful.  It is time to embrace the good weather, for as long as we can.  So, I hopped on my phone to send a text and then wandered over to FB. What pops up….yes an article link for a park about an hour away from us.  I click, look at the pics and he googled the directions.  This is when I love technology and spontaneity. 

Thirty minutes later we were in the car, off on a new family adventure.  The park was really nice and just at my level.  I am no woman of the woods.  My spastic, unrealistic fears of things that live in the woods or that scurry in the night restrict me from full on hiking, but this park provided us with enough visual food for the soul, as well as manicured and maintained paths for the spastic.

We hiked the trails and watched our daughter shoe away the “bugs”.  It is sort of laughable at times and then sometimes annoying, but I have no room to judge, considering there are multiple things that, live and breathe, I am afraid of.

We needed this time together. It was so nice to walk, talk and take in mother nature. Winter really does seem too long-caging  us inside. We are not snow bunnies, so the arrival of early summer is a blessing.

Loves of my life

I get teased by my hubby, but I love to take pictures. He jokes we only vacation so I can Shutterfly.  So not true, but I do love making photo books too.  I took pictures this day, but I tried to look more with my eyes and be present;  not running my to do list in my head, not thinking of what comes next.

On our drive home I spotted another waterfall.  How awesome is that?!! Two waterfalls in one day.  No one got out except me.  I needed a picture of course.  It was small, but cool.  At the top I could see a home was next to it.  I thought it very relaxing.  Could you imagine living next to that beautiful white noise?!  

We wrapped our day in our neighborhood at a local diner we frequent.  This is often a typical Saturday night.  My hubs likes to eat this chicken dinner they serve.  We lovingly call it his Saturday Night Special.  It is nothing mind blowing, but sometimes the simplest of things are the yummiest.  I have to say because he orders it so often it makes me question my chicken cooking skills. Hmmm????

After a day of hiking and sunshine we were kind of wiped out.  So we had an early night of watching Harry Potter on TV.   Everyone was off to bed to get their beauty sleep for Sunday.  So, all in all great day!

SUNDAY

The Vullo Boys and their Mama…The Heart and Soul behind the walk!!!!

This was our day we were going to help our closest friends kick off a new passion project.  They put together a walk to raise money for a cancer research hospital in our area.  She said this idea came to her on the treadmill. Well it was a winner.  They raised a surprising amount of money, for a first time event, and created a fun day for families to get out & support their community.  It was so awesome to see so many young families taking time out of their holiday weekend and showing their kids a way to open their hearts and support others in need.

Some people just get you in life….love this lady!

The walk was very manageable-two miles on a path in their neighborhood.  This walk is by no means a challenge, but a lot of the kiddos that were feeling it.  We let our daughter scooter.  She was happy and we heard zero complaining.  Some parents we carrying their kids.  My back is too old for that!  The weather was beautiful.  It was the perfect temperature, clear skies and a breeze.  My friend watched the weather all week.  She was so nervous it would ran.  Not a drop!  

Aww yeahhhh

The walk finished at their home with a bake sale and basket auction.  This was a very successful sale. There were so many gluten filled treats I longed for.  My friend and her mom baked  all day Friday, her in-laws must have baked for days and there were the few contributions we made.  This cause really effects so many and brings out the best in people.  For whatever reason people came out…it was awesome they did and they brought their wallets.  That might not be the thing to say, but it is true.  Our friends raised $7000!!!!

             There was a bounce house set up for the kids. I don’t think I need to explain how this is a gift that keeps on giving.  Parents are happy, kids are happy.  I think it was funny how so many were tired walking, but could bounce for days.  

He looks so happy…winning

My friends also set out corn hole.  I am not usually into playing, but the hubs and I played for a bit, after I was done selling basket auction tickets.  It was fun.  If you have read a previous post -I posted about a month ago- you might know he does not like to loose, especially to me.  I was the mini golf champion but he beat me by two  throws this day.  I am sooooo okay with it.  I am not competitive by nature…some people pout over it (hahahha), which requires the occasional winner (me) to rub it in…just a bit!  I could have asked for a rematch, but it was time to clean up.

Once everyone had left and the tents went down we had a very relaxing dinner. It was nice to just sit and chat.  Our friends parents put it together and it was delicious. I love seeing the care and effort people put into a simple meal.  I think the act of making sure people are well fed is an amazing quality.  I didn’t take a picture….kicking myself, but I was living in the moment.  Kept my phone in my belt bag. Yep a belt bag…the chic way of saying fanny pack!  I will explore this new found love in a future post.  

When they day was done we drove home full….full bellies and hearts full of friendship.  Giving back and supporting friends fills my bucket.

I can’t really explain it, but it does a soul good. 

Monday

So I typically blog and post on Sunday. Long weekends don’t really work with the schedule, so Monday it is.  I made my coffee and got to work early, because I wanted to be able to enjoy the day with my family.  We planned on going to the Memorial day parade.   Before the parade I wanted to get a few things made for dinner.  I put together a gluten free tuna mac salad and something we call green fluffy.  Both are super simple and require me tossing things together.  

Green Fluffy

Then it was time to shower and head out to the parade. We have made it an annual tradition to go to the local Memorial Day Parade. For the past couple of years we meet up with school friends. It is nice. This year we were a tiny bit late. My hubbie read online that it started at 12….I thought maybe 11, but I wasn’t in the mood to question it. So, we intended to be early and sit in our favorite spot, but we ended up being 20 minutes late and missing some of the parade. No matter our friends were set up on time and we squeezed in the shade. We watched the last half. The bag pipes are my favorite. It was nice to catch up with friends we haven’t seen in a bit. Thank goodness for texting, but it is always better to chat face to face.

After the parade it was a quick stop for lunch and then home. Time to get in back to school/work mode. All of the Sunday things were happening: dinner prep, laundry, blogging, TV watching, picking up all the little things, planning and sending out texts to keep up with all the people in my tribe I needed to catch up with.

I hope you had a fun filled long weekend! Feel free to comment, drop a question or follow me.

Feeling blessed!!!

~Rose

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