Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter with the Fam!


Easter turned out to be a warm and sunny day, perfect for lounging in the hammock, which just happens to be one of Mac's favorite things to do at my parents' house. Emerson is a big fan of this, too. They have no trouble sharing some space on this big comfy hammock. The only downfall of early spring is that the leaves on the trees haven't grown in enough to provide good, solid shade. Thus the hats.

The highlight of Easter at my parents' is always the backyard egg hunt. We give the little guys (not so little anymore!) a head start.

Then Sebastian gets his own go-time:

And then John and Nathaniel start last. They are not only the biggest and quickest of the crew, but John is pretty observant. Here he is noticing the egg right next to the deck:

Nathaniel is a very physical egg gatherer. At one point he made a diving grab for one that Sebastian was about to get, but paid the consequences when he later tripped on his shoes and Sebastian and John scooped up some of the eggs that fell out of Nathaniel's basket:

All of the baskets were pretty even, but Sebastian topped out with 27 eggs! All of them had either candy or money in them.

Everyone enjoyed being outside. Here are my siblings (and siblings-in-law) playing Blokus on the back porch and enjoying the view of the kiddos:

We also ate a somewhat rushed dinner on the back porch. It was only rushed because it was starting to rain. After such a beautiful day, we had quite a rainstorm blow through.

And before we left we squeezed in one more board game: Boggle! An oldie, but a goodie! Mac had never played before, but caught on quickly, especially the shaking up the letters part:

It was a really fun day to spend with everyone! Everyone is now less than 2 hours away from my parents' house, which makes these gatherings easier for everyone. I'm sure we'll all be visiting more often once summer rolls around and the pool is open. Already looking forward to that!

A Walk in the Woods

The Woods behind the Institute for Advanced Study (aka The Institute Woods) are a great place to literally take a walk in the woods. Mac and I had never been there, so on Easter morning we decided it would be a good idea to do a little exploring. It was a beautiful, cool morning, which quickly turned into quite a warm and sunny day.

The Woods have some famous links to history. Washington marched through here with his troops and rumor has it that Einstein used to walk through here to think. It's also popular for birding and general nature-watching. I loved that all of these little flowers lined the paths. It was a great way to welcome spring!

Mac is always one to notice the little things like deer tracks in the mud or busy ants along the path.

The woods also include this swinging bridge over the Stony Brook. It's really quite rickety, with some repairs here and there. We walked over it, but the other side was really muddy, so we decide to explore that another day.

Here's a video of Mac walking over the bridge:

video

It was a great way to welcome spring! After getting cleaned up we headed to my parent's house for a big family Easter afternoon!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Matthew in town!


This past Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting up with my friend Matthew from Chicago! He was in the area to sing at Carnegie Hall with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Yes, that Carnegie Hall! He decided to turn it into a week-long spring break, including a quick stop in Princeton and Philly. He took the train to Princeton and I had a chance to give him a quick tour of the town and University (that's him in front of the chapel, above) and show him my apartment. It was great to have him see where I live and work. He had never been to Princeton before.

We then drove down to Philly to meet up with Kim for dinner. We went to a great Thai place and then stopped to pick up some ice cream on the way home. We enjoyed sundaes with fresh strawberries with Alex and Mike, too. It was a fun evening, and so good to catch up with Matthew!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dan and Mo's new house!

After we left Terrain, we headed to the Victory Brewery to pick up a housewarming gift for Dan and Mo. Then we headed out to their house in the woods. It's a lovely house on a wooded lot and the kids especially loved exploring the property.

After an afternoon of running through the woods and enjoying some good food, we all gathered around the fire pit. The only thing missing was marshmallows, but Mo promised to have them on hand for next time.

Here's a great shot of Dan and his son John (my oldest nephew). They all seem so happy in the new house.

And my brother John and his son Emerson (my youngest nephew):

And my mom telling Liam a secret.

We all enjoyed the house, the outdoor space and an afternoon together. I'm sure there will be plenty more family gatherings in this great space!

Terrain


I usually only get one weekend day off and I like to make the most of it! Last Saturday my brother invited everyone over to his new house in PA. Mac and I decided if we were going to drive an hour and a half into PA, that we should find something fun to do in the area before heading to my brother's to meet up with the rest of my family. Our original thought was to go on a brewery tour at Victory Brewing, but then I found out this amazing garden store/cafe/nursery called Terrain was having a Dig Into Spring event and we decided to do that instead.

This place was gorgeous! There were so many great things to see and it made me really excited about getting my garden spot going again. It also made me a little jealous of all the folks who have yards to play in. Someday...

It was a beautiful spring morning and the sun was shining bright. This place is huge and has tons of nooks and crannies, showing off everything from big outdoor pots to furniture to potted herbs and flowers to naturally made soaps to homemade pickles to books to garden clogs. Total garden overload! I loved it!





These were some bulbs that they had growing in a birdbath. They seemed pretty happy, and kinda looked like snails.

One of the outside walls of one of the buildings had these pots attached to them and lined up in perfect rows. I like the way they look, but I imagine it will be pretty amazing to see them all filled with plants, which I think is the intention. Upon a closer look, each pot had a little watering tube that I think was fed by rain run-off from the gutters above. Pretty amazing.

We also stopped at the cafe and got some tea and a wonderful ginger cookie. Our baristo was hilarious. Apparently they have to wear plaid shirts, but he said he would wear one anyway. We left smiling (and a dollar coin in the tip jar).

Here's Mac enjoying the sun at the outdoor cafe seating.

The event that they were having involved a little farmer's market and some tastings of local goodies. We got some beautiful farm fresh eggs. I love all the colors!

I also picked up some heirloom arugula seeds that I'm looking forward to planting in the garden. I also learned how to save my arugula seeds to plant next year, or let them re-seed themselves for continued arugula goodness. We tasted some Root and Snap from Art in the Age and some beer from Victory Brewing. We also enjoyed this great display of cyanotype photograms and even talked to someone about how to make my own! I'm pretty excited about trying that out this summer. Mac was more interested in the vintage lightbulb.

It was a wonderful way to spend a beautiful spring morning! I'm sure we'll be back.