Maritime Festival

I have no doubt spring will return soon, but right now, we are enjoying beautiful summer weather in southern Maryland.  The warm temperatures kicked off this weekend on Saturday, just in time for the annual Maritime Festival at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons. Not only did we have Mom and Dad here for the adventure this year (they’re about to celebrate one year in Maryland!), K was down from NY for the weekend, and Nellie and Guy’s best buddies joined for the fun.

Hanging out by the otters. There was lots of hanging, less of the otters.  Apparently they were taking a lunch break, though they were the only ones, since the festival food vendor failed to show this year.

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A couple labs went dock diving for show.20150502_130451

Nell’s annual pose with her boat in front of the lighthouse. (By the way, this is a good time to mention that my pictures loaded backwards tonight.  So, this is the end of the boat process, and we’re going to go very slowly backwards in time…)20150502_124805

Cuddles with her #1 boat maker assistant.20150502_124226(1) 20150502_124226

Beautiful Drum Point Lighthouse20150502_122654

Boat building!  And, if you’re Guy, bell gonging.  Over and over…20150502_122639 20150502_121957 20150502_121941 20150502_121547 20150502_121539 marine festival 3 20150502_121507

Mom and Dad, G, and Nell and her best buddy took a long boat ride on a historic crab scrape, an old wooden boat used to fish for crabs, fish, oysters, and more. 

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After getting historical ship tattoos (why not, right?), the kids climbed up to the top of the lighthouse to see what life as a lighthouse keeper is like.20150502_115014 20150502_114933Finally, we ended up in the historic toy ship out front of the museum that the kids can climb on.  Nell and her buddy claimed the cabin for themselves.  “No babies allowed,” they announced — sorry Guy.20150502_113222 20150502_112842 20150502_112818 marine festival 2After the festival, we all went back to Mom and Dad’s house for a BBQ and to relax.  We even got some rounds on the kayaks.  Here’s a parting shot of the boys headed out on the lake.


Outdoor season is finally upon us in southern Maryland!

Holiday Things

We celebrated the season all weekend long, and we’re still riding high on Christmas cookies and champagne.

Last night we went to the Calvert Marine Museum’s holiday festival, which included free admission to all of their exhibits, crafts for the kids, music and snacks, and Santa himself. Nell was ecstatic to talk to Santa and was one of the first in line to talk with him. While Guy didn’t enjoy the experience, we had to pull Nell off Santa’s lap to let others have a turn.

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IMG_5455 (Medium) IMG_5484 (Medium)After the festival, we drove through Solomons to see the beautiful boats lit up for the parade, and got hot chocolate for the ride home — and when we got home, what a surprise!

A letter from Santa had arrived for Nell, and five of his reindeer were outside our house watching as Nell ran upstairs with her letter.

“They’re Santa’s reindeer,” we explained, “and they were watching to make sure you got your letter.”

“Oh,” she nodded, smiling knowingly.

IMG_5508 (Medium)Her letter from Santa is perched on the Christmas tree where she can see it every day, and this morning she woke up bursting with excitement about Santa and his reindeer.

Today was Christmas cookie day — sugar cookies, gingerbread men, chocolate pecan caramel thumbprints. We’ve got a few more cookies today, but it was a full baking day nonetheless! And afterwards, after baths and pajamas, Nell read the story of Christmas and opened her very own Nativity set.

IMG_5513 (Medium) IMG_5515 (Medium)Now we are winding down the weekend with Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus (who has spent a bit too much time on the roof of this particular Nativity), and wishing this weekend weren’t quite yet over.


Summer Music and Fall Art

It must be fall because the season of fairs and festivals has officially launched. I meant to blog this weekend, but I chose to nap instead. Because I am exhausted. And sick. And it’s a tough time to be both, because it’s the very best time of the year.

On Friday night, G and I caught the very last summer concert of the season with a dear friend. We saw Dierks Bentley, which was pretty much THE show I very much hoped to see this year. So the fact that he came to our small little town and played in a little field about a mile from our house to benefit the volunteer firefighters that serve our community? Well, it’s basically fate.

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If that concert marked the end of the summer, then fall officially began the following day with Artsfest, my very favorite fall event, at Annmarie Gardens. We went with Mom and Dad and enjoyed an absolutely beautiful day. Nell was thrilled to spot the gnome and fairy houses hidden in the woods along the path, and after walking along the tents of beautiful pottery, jewelry, and more, we settled down by the kidzone for lunch and a chance for Nell and Guy to get out the rest of their energy.

And since it’s late and Guy needs to go to bed soon, you get a massive photo splurge from the day.

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And after shopping, BBQ, playing ball, ice cream, funnel cake, and smoothies, we ended the day right where we had started — back at the bongo drums near the entrance. Nell welcomed MANY guests to Artsfest on Saturday.IMG_4113 [Desktop Resolution]
On Sunday, we enjoyed a super low key day after an already busy weekend.  We had breakfast, the shrieking disruptive kind that everyone at Starbucks loves.

20140921_101232 20140921_101321And then Guy and I napped through football, while G and Nell had a fabulous day outside. And when I woke up, I might not have sounded much better, but I definitely felt better, so we packed up the wagon and the sand toys, and spent the evening at the beach.

20140921_180206 20140921_180208 20140921_180217(1) 20140921_180231And that was how a week’s worth of blog posts were crammed into one. Now it’s time for this tired mama to make some hot tea and put one sleepy baby to sleep, while G snuggles with an equally sleepy — though far more stubborn about bedtime — toddler.





It’s been cool and cloudy this weekend with choppy waves on the Bay, so if we were going to have a ‘sick’ weekend, we picked a good one. And since Nell couldn’t stay inside ALL weekend, we drove down to Solomon’s this morning for a long walk, some BBQ, the playground, and, of course, ice cream. Nell was miraculously feeling better for ice cream.

ice cream 7 20 14With sprinkles.



K came down to MD for a holiday weekend in CBeach, and since we won’t see her again until after Christmas, we had a very happy holiday celebration all weekend long.

We spent Friday night inside with hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, presents, and a fake fire, and it was wonderful.  Though Nellie hasn’t exactly figured out the present thing (and that the good part of the present is inside the box), she is very good at ripping paper.  She thoroughly enjoyed opening presents from Aunt K and Grandma Judy & Grandpa Dave.

That’s the fluffy pink stool cover for her new PBK vanity set from Aunt K!

Clothes!  And a Leap Pad!  Sparkly tights!  As she opens this, she is actually saying, “Oooh…”

On Saturday morning, the three ladies took off for a morning of Starbucks, shopping, and Santa.

This picture is blurry, but I am posting it anyway because it shows my awesome new boots from Mom and Dad.  WOOHOO!!  Boot love is a very real thing.

After dinner on Saturday night, the four of us headed to Annmarie Gardens for their holiday festival of lights.  Last year, we pushed the stroller slowly through the lights, while tiny Nellie looked up in wonder at the arcs of color.  This year, she ran around like a maniac, ducking under the strings of lights, trying to break across the “off limits” grassy fields, and jumping in every puddle she could find.

She was in good company.  The place was a toddler delight!

The night ended with live musicians in the art museum, which Nellie (and the other toddlers) were obsessed with.  She stood at the edge of the “stage” and danced, mesmerized, with several other kiddos.  She was not happy when it was time to leave.

K had to head back to Brooklyn today (though not without one more holiday outing for the three ladies this morning), but next time we see her, it’s quite possible, we’ll have a totally different address.