Category Archives looking back

Favorites from 2014

When I look back at 2014, it was a year filled with changes. I did not post on my blog as much because I was focused on specific freelance work that is now over. More responsibilities came with personal life commitments. I continued to fight for public education through educating others about the corporate takeover of the educational world. Then, on the flip side, I worked hard with our school to get my son ready for the transition to middle school. Stress meant trying to give myself more time for ME. This included reading and crafting in whatever small amount of time I could squeeze in. Of course, the me time spurred an interest in pampering my own nails and starting a business which I hope to grow more in the year ahead.

Now it’s time to look back at some of my favorite blog posts that I wrote in 2014. They are in chronological order, just because it’s easier to share that way.

The Other Reality Television – An episode of Parenthood really hit a nerve with me. As a parent who has been through a child being diagnosed as on the autism spectrum, I often sit and watch the show with tears in my eyes. There is just something about Max that reminds me of my kiddo and his personal struggles with peers, school, and even family members.

Puffy Paint Snowmen and the Last Snowman Blog Tour – A friendship with artist/author JC Little spurred a memorable painting experience with my boys. We had so much fun making puffy paint and creating our own snow people that I have a feeling we will repeat it again this winter.

Last Snowman Puffy Paint Creations

 

Autism and Sensory Overload – In an attempt to share more with others about autism and help them to be aware, I wrote this post about sensory overload. It really can be hard to understand what it must be like, but to individuals on the spectrum they simply don’t know know that we experience the world in a different way. The video I shared is something that everyone should watch at least once.

Autism and Sensory Overload

Choose to Refuse in New York – For the second year in a row, we refused to allow our oldest son to take the New York State Math and ELA exams. This year it was my mission to get more people to understand why the tests are not something we should allow kids to take. At least 60,000 kids refused the NYS tests last year and it is expected to increase again in 2015. The following quote is what keeps me fighting for my children:

For too many years, we have been taught to blindly trust those in charge of the world of education. Right now, families across the nation and New York are standing up and saying that enough is enough. We are not going to sit back and let this testing madness continue. Our children deserve a proper public school education like past generations. If we don’t stand up and fight, the victims will be our kids who have already suffered enough in recent years.

Choose to Refuse

Capital Region CANstruction 2014 – The CANstruction events across the country are absolutely amazing and we are lucky enough to have one that takes place in the Capital Region. The boys have learned so much and they are powerful because they teach kids about helping others.

Capital Region Canstruction - Toy Story

VZWBuzz posts – There were so many during the year, but ones like Smartphone Video to the Rescue where I showed how my Lumia Icon saved the day with video remind me how lucky I am to be a member of this group of bloggers. Of course, while I am connected most of the time, my phone helps me to capture natural beauty like in Capturing Natural Beauty on the Go.

Beautiful orchid

Tuesday Tales – Grossology Exhibit – Our science museum membership got quite the workout thanks to the Grossology exhibit that was there for several months. The boys adored going multiple times to explore everything. There is just something fun about watching your child climb into a nose.

Going into Grossology at miSci NY

Saying Goodbye to Elementary School – The boys would never be in the same school again and it was an emotional time. The end of NHL’s elementary school days hit hard.

First Days of Elemtary School

Movies and Sensory Concerns – A trip to see Guardians of the Galaxy inspired a post about sensory concerns at the movies for many individuals, especially those on the spectrum.

Movies and Sensory Concerns

The Middle School Phone Debate – When a new phone arrived, it made me debate whether or not my son needed his own to head off to middle school. I listed five items to think about when making this decision in your family.

The Middle School Phone Debate

Middle School is Just What the Doctor Ordered – Worries for years started to melt away when NHL landed on his feet and loved middle school. It was hard to write this post because you never know if it could change, but I wanted to focus on the positive and share with others who are getting ready for this big transition.

Transitioning to Middle School

Tuesday Tales – The Albany Children’s Book Festival – Reading is huge in our house and the boys love getting to see the authors and illustrators behind their favorite books. We had a lot of fun catching up with several right after Halloween.

Bad Kitty sign drawn by Nick Bruel

Planning a Bar Mitzvah – Reality is coming whether I like it or not, and so is my son’s eventual Bar Mitzvah. Sharing how the planning process must move from denial state.

Bar Mitzvah Time Traditions

So many other posts with books that we adored, events that we went to, technology that I shared, and topics near and dear to my heart. Thank goodness we can look back to remind of of the year gone by and what goals we hope to accomplish in the year ahead.

What is your primary goal (I don’t like resolutions) for 2015 and why? I know for me I hope to maintain focus. If I allow little bumps in the road to allow me to have a squirrel moment, it is too easy to get districted and lose that focus.

It's Me

Share:
Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+



Goodbye Hoffman’s Playland

Hoffman’s Playland in Latham, NY is officially no more. For 62 years, the Capital District favorite has been a treasure for families to go to. Many children rode on their first amusement park ride while at Hoffman’s.

Hoffman's Playland 2014

I remember going to Hoffman’s as a child with my parents and extended family. We rode on our favorite carousel horses, celebrated being tall enough for the bumper cars, and loved getting dizzy as a family on the Tilt O’ Whirl.

It was only natural that when NHL was born eleven years ago that we would want to take him to Hoffman’s with Nana and Papa. His first visit was in the summer of 2004. He was just shy of one and still unable to walk. Still, he loved riding on the Merry Go Round and other rides. We actually started a tradition that year where Papa would take NHL onto the horses for their annual photo together.

Hoffman's Playland 2004

Hoffman’s was a place where we could all be a kid at heart and let our hair down. We could scream at the top of the roller coaster hill, or watch the beautiful scenery while taking the classic train around the park.

Hoffman's Playland 2007

When JSL was born, we took both of the boys to Hoffman’s and continued the tradition. Of course, big brother loved showing JSL all of his favorite rides.

Hoffman's Playland 2008

A few weeks ago, NHL decided that he wanted to go to Hoffman’s on his birthday. We knew it would likely be our last adventure to the park several generations of our family have grown up with. It was bittersweet walking around and thinking of this piece of local history gone.

While we will miss Hoffman’s, I am thankful for all of the memories. We still do not know if the rides may be in another location next year, I know that the boys and I will always have the magical moments from years gone by.

If you have ever been to Hoffman’s Playland and have memories to share, I would love to hear them in the comments below.

It's Me

Share:
Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+



Saying Goodbye to Elementary School

First Days of Elemtary School

Watching your child grow up often comes with mixed emotions. This week has given me so many of those moments all at once. Monday morning, I cried driving the boys to school.

Why?

It hit me on the ride over that it would be the last Monday I would ever be taking both boys to the same school. NHL and JSL will never be in the same school again. This was the last year. The kids saw that I had tears in my eyes and asked why. I was honest and told them. They were so sweet and held my hands on the way into school. Clearly, they knew that Mom needed a little TLC.

Of course, more emotions were there on the last full day that both boys would be in the same school. Over the last month or so, I have watched each afternoon as NHL and JSL would grab each others hands and walk to my car. They would go ahead of me and talk about gym, lunch, class time, and homework. There was something special about this time and I will miss witnessing it.

Brothers Holding Hands after School

Now, the school year is basically complete. I wanted to cherish all of this more, but living in the moment you often forget to do this. What hurts most is knowing there were days that I wanted this school year to be over, but in reality I never did. I liked knowing that the boys had each other in the same building if there was ever an emergency. I loved being able to see both of their smiling faces if I happened to stop by to help in one classroom or the other.

In September, things will be different. NHL will be off to a new adventure in middle school and JSL will continue along for the next four years in elementary school. As summer break is about to begin, my goal is to relax and enjoy the time with the boys. I want to have fun, explore, and help them to make special memories. We will try not to worry about the unknown that lies ahead of us with middle school and keep focused on summer and the next two months we have together.

It's Me

Share:
Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+



Thirteen Years with TechyDad

Thirteen years ago, I woke up and knew my world would be changing. After months of planning, it was time to get ready to be the bride on our magical wedding day. I still remember walking into our synagogue early that afternoon to prepare for photos and our ceremony under the chuppah. Most of the day was a blur, except that I can still see the smile on TechyDad’s face. Yes, thirteen years later I can still picture my husband’s face when he saw me walk out in my dress for the first time.

Our wedding table

There are days when I wonder where the time has gone because it seems like only yesterday when we were going to different florists, checking out caterers, and planning our magical Walt Disney World Honeymoon. While there are times that I miss those more simple days when we were newlyweds with few cares in the world, I would not change a thing. We have had our adventures together and we have two beautiful boys who are growing up before our eyes.

What I did realize when going to write this post is that we need to take more photos of US. Perhaps we make it a project for the boys. The two of us need to get out from behind the camera and document being a couple, not just TheAngelForever/Mom and TechyDad/Dad.

Thirteen years and counting

JL, thank you for accepting my Eeyore moments trying to make me willfully say Allons-y a bit more. I love you with all of my heart and look forward to adding more memories to our 13 years of being husband and wife.

It's Me

For more wedding photos and memories:

Share:
Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+



Walt Disney World Honeymoon Memories

TechyDad and I were married in June 2001 and we went to Walt Disney World for a ten day honeymoon. It was simply magical. It was his first visit and he quickly fell in love with the parks. We stayed at the Beach Club Resort which was a fantastic location. We splurged and got the dining plan that also included behind the scene tours. So many memories and some scanned photos because these were pre-digital camera days. When I think of June and Disney, I automatically go back to that special time in my life as a newlywed at Walt Disney World.

Magical Disney Honeymoon

Focused on the Magic

Be sure to stop by Focused on the Magic by clicking on the button above to join in the Disney magic this week.

It's Me

Share:
Share on Facebok
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google+