Pre-Easter, Easter Fun

We are getting ready for Easter around here. Since I am desperately behind on holiday preparations and anything else life-related, Mom and Dad stepped in and hosted the egg dyeing party today.  Nell took her time and enjoyed the colors available to her, while Guy dyed all of his eggs blue as fast as he could.  You will notice the rapid accumulation of light blue eggs…

20170409_091641_HDR 20170409_091759_HDR 20170409_091808_HDR 20170409_091841_HDR

Officially the fastest egg dyeing party ever, but the kids had a blast!  Even if we did end up with a very blue non-assortment of eggs.

20170409_091846_HDR

After the real eggs came the fake eggs: the county hosts massive egg hunts for all of the different age groups at each of the country parks, so this afternoon, Nell and Guy joined a gazillion other 3-5 year olds on the field to scoop up 2,000 eggs with candy and prize tickets.

The face of a competitor.

IMG_8511 IMG_8509 IMG_8507 IMG_8505 IMG_8500 IMG_8497 20170409_143107_HDR

Of course, downtime is pretty good, too, when you’re a toddler with a basket.IMG_8486 IMG_8485 IMG_8484 20170409_143244_HDR  Look how well-behaved we look…20170409_141559_HDR

We didn’t hang out with the Easter bunny at the park — he looked too intimidating — but Nell did sit down at the daycare egg hunt with this totally legit, not at all creepy looking version…

20170407_190459_HDR

And yes, it was 30 degrees on Friday for that picture, and 70 degrees today.  Must be spring in Maryland.

The Eagle

I’ve been watching the tides.  I always watch the tides, even when I am not on the water.  In the morning, checking the weather, the water temperature, the tides, and the wind are as natural to me as checking my email.  Since I started my recovery walking (which is when I replace my early morning sunrise paddle with an early morning sunrise walk and pretend I enjoy it just as much), I’ve walked more than 55 miles on our beach. Most of my walks end in the same spot where the trees have fallen from the cliff and meet the tide, creating an impassable (unless I feel like climbing a tree and going for a wade in 45 degree water) turnaround spot.

20170223_124947_HDR~2

But when the tides are very low, a thin stretch of beach appears that connects our community to the town north of us like beads on a string, and one can walk for miles and miles on the shoreline with only a few branches to hop over and some small creeks to jump across.

I’ve been waiting for a super low tide to coincide with my morning walk, and yesterday was the day — bright sunshine, warm morning temperature, and an open stretch of beach from one town to the next.  I knew exactly where I wanted to go — to see if my bald eagle, the one who watches me when I paddle and does a single loop overhead every time (whether he is assessing if I am a threat or if I am food, I do not know), was still on his perch.

The walk started out with a gorgeous sunrise.

20170309_063645_HDR~2

My footprints were the only ones on the sandbars and stretches of beach that are normally covered with water.

20170309_064712_HDR~2 20170309_070044_HDR~2 20170309_070047_HDR~2 20170309_070256_HDR~2

He was there, of course, in the same tree where I knew I would find him.  He didn’t fly over me, though — just watched. I must look less tasty on the sand.

20170309_070639_HDR~2

As it turns out, he protects more than the cliffs. I found an absolute treasure trove of sea glass on the sand under his watchful eye.  I filled my pockets with beautiful colors that are perfect for some of the sea glass crafts I want to do this summer.  I had to start a new glass jar just for the glass from yesterday’s walk–and I filled it halfway!

20170309_123441_HDR

I turned around in the spot where I usually turn on my board — my normal short paddle 3 mile marker.  I know the mile markers by heart from the water, and I enjoyed seeing them from the sand.  Though I’d rather be paddling, I am grateful I had the opportunity to walk on the full stretch of beach.  It’s too far for the kids to walk, and it’s something I just may never have done otherwise.

20170309_072603_HDR~2

Maryland said, “Hold my beer.”

That’s actually the end of a joke. The one that goes,

“No way can you fit all four seasons into one month.”
Maryland said, “Hold my beer.”

It’s the end of President’s Day Weekend —  a weekend that often throws a major snowstorm our way — but in an unusual curve ball, we’re enjoying something even warmer than most spring days. We’re certainly not complaining about the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, but we’re all wondering if this is really it for winter. No more snow or sledding or wearing those expensive snow boots the kids won’t fit into next year?

But, before I launch into summertime posts, I need to backtrack, because we have had SOME snow this season, and since it’s been a long time since my last post, I’m overdue to post our winter pictures from the icy cold snap that stretched for a pretty long time around here last month.

The kids have both become daredevils when it comes to sledding down the hill.

20170107_125604 20170107_125736_HDR~2 20170107_125742_HDR 20170107_130027_HDR

The wind at the beach was insane — you can tell because the snow was blowing straight into the water and nothing was sticking to the sand. 20170107_131034_HDR 20170107_131041_HDR 20170107_131106 20170107_133837_HDR~2

Sally was too crazy in the snow and the only pictures we got of her were of her wriggly butt.20170107_135355_HDR

These pics were from my SUP session after the snow. The marina was completely iced in, so I had to roll to the beach to launch. 20170108_100443_HDR 20170110_120451_HDR~2 20170110_130608_HDR~2

We’ve done a good job getting outside all winter long — whether it’s been snowing, summer-hot, or somewhere in between. Here are a few pictures from one of those in-between days.  Since it has been unusually windy this season–and the wind at the beach is COLD–we’ve spent most of our time this winter at the big park near Mom and Dad’s house, and I don’t have any pictures from the park since we’re busy running after the kids and racing them on slides.  They’re exhausting!

20170115_133648_HDR 20170115_134812_HDR 20170205_124154_HDR~2 20170205_125747_HDR

And finally, here are a few pictures from this weekend.  The kids started out in jackets and ended up in short sleeves.  Unbelievable for February!  We had more traffic headed to the beach in front of our house than we usually have on summer days.

20170218_103850_HDR 20170218_104037_HDR~2 download_20170219_150419

That picture of Nell sums up this weekend pretty well.  Who knows what the rest of February will bring!  (Seriously, it could be anything.)

Christmas

Sally Brown was a bit of a mischief maker last night, so we’re cleaning up Christmas early in perhaps our fastest transition from holiday to not holiday. But while the tree and the train and many of the decorations are already gone, we’re definitely still filled to the brim with holiday excitement around here.

We had a magical holiday that started with Christmas Eve at Mom and Dad’s house, where the kids pulled out new bikes that they enjoyed for hours before dinner.

2016-12-25-2 2016-12-25-12016-12-25-3

After putting out ten pounds of reindeer food in the form of glitter and carrots, we finally got the kids settled down for bed so Santa could come. Nell would not even let me read on Christmas Eve — “Mo-om, Santa won’t come if you’re awake.”  Right, of course.

But everyone finally fell asleep, and Santa paid us a visit.

img_83842016-12-25-42016-12-25-5

Santa brought wonderful things for everyone including clothes, toys, dolls, and trains for the kids; a new soundbar for G; SUP stuff, jewelry, and a new GoPro 5 for me; earrings galore for K; yoga and fishing items for Mom and Dad; clothes for Great Grandma Nelll; and special bones for the puppies.  Nell’s only disappointment was that Santa didn’t bring snow, so we did have to explain that Christmas =/= snow, despite what all of her favorite shows might have her believe.

img_8438 img_8435 img_8434 img_8432 img_8430 img_8428 img_8426 img_8424 img_8418 img_8416 img_8413 img_8409 img_8408 img_8405 img_8393 img_8388

A few pictures from my Christmas SUP outing yesterday with new boots, gloves, and wetsox. Ahh, warm toes and fingers!

sup-12-25-b2 sup-12-25-d2 sup-12-25-e2

Of course, we’ve got another special day today — it’s G’s birthday. Plus we’ve got a few more holiday tricks up our sleeves that we’ll be rolling out later this week.  Let the celebrating continue!!