Summer Days Driftin Away

Well… I can’t possibly sum up a summer into one post. But I can’t possibly create a thousand posts about my summer. So I am going to try to just share with you the important moments of my summer. Here they are:

June:

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My boyfriends sister got married! It was a crazy weekend of preparation, setting up, laughing until my sides hurt, dancing until my feet hurt, and smiling until I felt my face froze that way. Who could have a better time than surrounded by amazing people and having an amazing time? J and I really enjoyed the time that I got to spend with his family.

July:

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My beautiful Kels, college roommate and best friend, got MARRIED! What an honor to be a bridesmaid and stand next to her. What a gift to see how cherished and loved she is by her now husband. What an amazing and beautiful day… I loved to be there. It was a traditional ceremony and a beautiful family filled lunch after, with laughter and love as the theme of the day. I will never forget gathering my musical friends and singing “Kiss the Girl” to the groom in lieu of tapping a glass. And I will always cherish the look on her face as she walked down the isle toward her groom. Weddings have always been my favorite social event, but so far no wedding has been so special as this one.

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My little brother turned 16 and I was the one who got my drivers licensee. Let me tell you, I was pretty excited to have passed that test without any issues at all. And my brother was pretty excited that I could drive him around instead of my parents. That week I also turned 22. Twenty-Two is my favorite number, so I was pretty excited to start this year. Yes, I sang the Taylor Swift song and will probably continue to do so (at least in my head) when people ask my age. My birthday was a wonderfully quiet day. J took me out on a picnic in an old orchard and we enjoyed a quiet afternoon. And, he made me ribs for dinner, which is arguably the best birthday dinner ever.

August:

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I actually spent the month of August in Spain. I volunteered for two weeks at a Christian camp in Girona, Catalonia, spent five days in Barcelona, and then spent five days in Madrid. At the camp I worked cleaning, cooking, serving the food, cleaning and resetting the tables, and teaching ESL through conversation in the afternoons. We made a music video to the song Happy by Pharell, and no one loved it more than the kids. I felt like a visitor witnessing an amazing culture. To experience the amazing culture Spain had to offer was priceless. I would work again if it meant being able to go again. I’ll probably make another post about Spain. It really deserves it’s own post.

Before leaving for Spain I said goodbye to J. As I was leaving for my European adventure, so was he. He’ll be studying abroad in Lithuania this semester. I couldn’t possibly be more excited for him to have this opportunity! I don’t wish he would stay, I just wish I could go! But… I will be having my own adventure this Autumn, and I am pretty excited about it myself.

So, that is my summer in a nutshell.

Nanny on Vacation

 

 

Well, after months of working straight through, it was time for a break. And this particular break was especially special! My parents decided it was time to take the whole family on a vacation. So we packed our bags and road tripped down to Florida for a family vacation. My man (I’ll call him J) even joined us half way through vacation to complete my view of the perfect family vacation! We stayed right on Tampa Bay and enjoyed the beauty of every sunset!

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The days were filled with relaxing by pools, adventuring to zoos, Sea World, and even braving Star Wars Weekend at Disney! Every second was worth the road trip. My favorite moments were watching my mom feed a sting ray for the first time, feeding Dolphins at Sea World, and laughing with my family watching Second Hand Lions (if you have never seen the movie, I highly recommend it. It’s a great laugh!)

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This vacation was truly a breath of fresh air. In the day-to-day life my family doesn’t have the time to connect in the same way that we can when we relax together. It was a wonderful way to begin the summer… and not just because I got a tan!

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Welcome to a new season!

Flip flops and maxi dresses here I come…

 

A Rainy Day in Brooklyn…

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I love the days when it rains. When there is no reason to leave the house. When the downpour hits the window to create an ambiance in the house. There’s a magical essence to the days when the rain falls. The glittering droplets wash the world, and the sounds still the soul. While the sun brings energy in life, the rain brings a peace to life. It reminds me that while growth takes exercise, work, an effort some pieces of growing require a slower approach. Some growth asks for sleep, for rest, for reading.

There’s a certain amount of creation associated with the rain. As a nanny it’s easy to figure out what to do on sunny days. Bubbles outside, running in the park, walking along the streets for some fresh air. When it rains we have to think a little harder. We build forts, we draw, we create. We read aloud from books with no pictures so little minds can create what they hear and see. We fight dragons from under the bed and climb Kilimanjaro in the kitchen. Rainy days create an environment for imagination.

So smile on this rainy day. Embrace the opportunity. Create your own sunshine today…

International Children’s Book Day

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I have to say, I LOVE Children’s books. I may be a Nanny now, but I began my “professional” life working in a library. My love for all things literary continues to revel in the joy found in children’s books. So of course, I am going to take International Children’s Book Day to tell you about my current five favorite children’s books.

1) Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

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This book is an absolute classic! I have adored Madeline’s spunk since the first day I read it. Since that day I have read it so many times that I can recite the majority of the book! The art is stunning too!

2) Journey by Aaron Becker

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This book is all about the illustrations. If you want a story to ignite the imagination of a child, touch the heart of an adult, and add beauty to your collection you absolutely have to get this one. And if you need any convincing to add this book to your library, here is an AMAZING trailer about how the book was made.

3) Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

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This is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I just can’t resist making voices and faces as I read it aloud to the children in my life who will listen.

4) Oliver by Brigitta Sif

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This book is new to me. I actually found in online through an Instagram account, and I absolutely love it. The story is touching, teaching kids that everyone has a little bit of quirk, and it makes you who you are. Revel in it! Brigitta Sif also has amazing prints in her Etsy account, I would love to be able to add one to my house one day! For now I will settle for having her amazing illistrations in Oliver.

5) Not a Box by Antoinette Portis

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I love this book because I was this bunny. This bunny sees the world as a child, and it’s a beautiful view. Any kid you read this to will love to hear the story, and you will too!

To teach my littles…

I was recently reading an article about what a mother would teach her daughter. So, it got me thinking… What are the top 50 things that I want to teach the children in my life?

  1. Laughter is the best medicine
  2. But that doesn’t mean tears don’t heal too
  3. Being right is good, being kind is necessary
  4. Find beauty in the everyday things
  5. Quirks are imperfections…
  6. …Imperfections are what make you who you are…
  7. …Who you are is beautiful!
  8. Honesty really is the best policy, and it means you have less lies to remember
  9. Compassion is never weakness, it is strength
  10. Chocolate will not fix all your problems, but it’s not your enemy
  11. Food is not just to keep you alive, it is okay to enjoy it!
  12. Don’t bite your nails, or pick your lip, or eat your hair. It’s just not going to help.
  13. Find how you love to exercise, and do it!
  14. Drink tea, lots of it!
  15. Have faith… don’t be afraid to believe.
  16. There are such thing as absolutes.
  17. Remember to apologize
  18. Admit when you are wrong
  19. Smile! Smile so much you confuse people.
  20. Love with all your heart
  21. Encourage others as much as you can
  22. Learn to cook
  23. Sewing does get easier with practice
  24. Know how to do your own laundry
  25. Volunteer for things
  26. Help others
  27. Save your money
  28. Buy quality over quantity
  29. Learn new words, as often as possible!
  30. Never be afraid to be intelligent
  31. Listen to others… REALLY listen.
  32. Read. Read as much as you can!
  33. Smell the flowers
  34. Stick you feet in the ocean when you have the chance
  35. Learn about the world
  36. Learn about the world by traveling it as much as you can
  37. Just because you were raised in one culture does not make that culture the best
  38. Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, it is inside everywhere. Look for it.
  39. Take care of the things you cannot replace
  40. The most expensive outfit you will wear is your graduation cap and gown, and it’s worth it.
  41. Express yourself! Write, paint, draw, CREATE!
  42. Being yourself is the best choice
  43. Have integrity
  44. And loyalty
  45. Take pictures, but live the moment too.
  46. Fair does not mean just, and just is the better option
  47. Find what you love to do, find how to do it
  48. Read fairy tales. Never stop reading them…
  49. Take time to gaze at the stars
  50. Use your imagination

Courage

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I love this quote… And what is courage? I quoted this line to myself as I went into an interview last week. I quoted this to my little charge as she fell off a balance beam last September. I whispered it to the little one I watch who bumped into a wall in her endeavor to run on her tip-toes yesterday. So what is it that I am whispering to those children as they grow? What am I telling myself as I walk into brave new worlds? And so began my pondering of the meaning of courage. Here is my feeble gathering of it’s vast definition…

Courage is acting upon truth with conviction. It is standing when you believe you should stand, though your legs threaten to fail beneath you. It is loving when you know it is right, even when your mind is screaming anger and hate. Courage is the roar of a lion in the barren Sahara. Courage is a mother who allows her child to run, and encourages them to try again as they fall. Courage is the child who swims farther then their feet can touch the sand. Courage is as love, an action over a feeling. Courage is the noun created to give meaning to a verb that is too extraordinary for description.

So, what is it that I mean when I repeat, “Courage, dear heart.” I mean to embrace the belief and conviction inside of you. Feel that belief like the lion feels the beginning of a roar tickling their throat. Courage dear heart, you were made to roar.

The Sweet Unexpected…

What could I write about the last week? Bagels? Australia? Hockey? Driving? Interviews? My man coming for a visit? A diamond in the rough purchase during thrift shopping? I could type a hundred sentence that should never string together and it all happened in the last seven days!

One of my best friends found herself in a mid college crisis and needing a beach weekend. Though I warned her that my beach is 23 degrees out, she loved me enough to fly in to this second home anyway! So in she flew, my Sherlock, and off we went on adventures. Many naps, coffees, and bagels later we found ourselves in a thrift store shopping for an interview outfit! In the midst of the 80’s vests, oversized jeans, and insanely creepy dolls scattered about we found some amazingly beautiful thrifting finds. I looked like a professional nanny in the amazing blazer! Sherlock gives the most amazing fashion advice, it was amazing to have her to shop with.

It was even more amazing to have her with me as I zipped off the next day for an unexpected interview for a full time Nanny position. I have to be honest, I have never interviewed for any full time position! I was shaking in my high heels! I had prepped a resume, gone over my techniques for childcare in my head, and read up on a philosophy that I knew the mom adhered to. After waiting twenty minutes in the lounge of the apartment building the mom made it down to interview me. Surprisingly, my nerves disappeared when she sat down to talk to me. I knew what I was talking about, what I had to offer, and what I needed to know. I felt like it went as well as it could have. And even if I never hear back from her, I feel good about the experience!

Later that day I met my Amazing Aussie friend Tori in NYC! She just happened to be visiting and I have not seen her for SEVEN years! We hopped on the train and headed back to my home town to watch my younger brother play hockey. We laughed that Tori learned the National Anthem watching Seventh Heaven on TV. Her exposure to hockey had been the Winter Olympics, so this was a fun experience for her. She loved it so much she slept over to go to my brother’s morning game too! We talked about Pride and Prejudice, and laughed all the while that we live on the opposite sides of the globe and are still so similar.

After waving goodbye to her I went off to work and was surprised to have my knight in a sweatshirt and patchouli show up with Starbucks coffee half way through my shift! It was a beautiful surprise, and I loved seeing him earlier than expected. After work we headed off to my brothers hockey games and he held my hand the whole weekend as I screamed my voice away cheering for Bubba and his team. Luckily my family and Jake could understand my scratchy voice in the days to come.

Endless cups of tea and honey later I can  finally recognize my own voice. It’s been seven days of insanity and now my house is quiet. My family is away on a retreat, my doggy is asleep, and I am settling in to cheesy shows on TLC. What a wonderful rest after the beautiful unexpected moments of the last week…