Sunday, June 30, 2013

*RoAd TrIp!!!!!!*

South Carolina-bound! We are currently on 295 South, on our way to Myrtle Beach for the week! Scott's parents have a vacation home down there, so Scott, Brian, & I are driving down and making a road trip out of it. Wahoo- 11 hour trip- yippee (sense the sarcasm?).. Haha, in all seriousness though, it's going well and we are almost out of Virginia.

So, of course I procrastinated and waited 'til last night to do all my packing. Scott did it earlier in the week (he needed to because of his work schedule; but also he could have it all done in 30 mins flat anyway), and actually I'm glad he wasn't home when I did pack, because it's embarrassing how long it takes me! First, I have to make sure all of the laundry is done so I have all of my clothes to choose from. Then, I have to try things on to make sure they still fit from last year  or look decent. Then, I need to narrow it all down because I ALWAYS overpack a ridiculous amount. We will be down here for 6 full days (not counting travel) and there is NO way I could have only picked 6 outfits. I prob have 2 outfit choices for each day, plus a few extras. I had to account for everyday wear, beach wear, Sundresses, pjs, etc. (Woops!) Here's what it all looked like laid out on our bed: 

I woke up at 4:30am this morn, and we were on the road at exactly 5:28am. We've stopped for bagels, and 2 bathroom breaks. Scott's driven whole way so far but I'll take over soon when he wants a break. Brian is holding down the fort in the backseat, along with the cooler and snacks. I packed a ton of food just so we wouldn't have to stop a lot for goodies. Here's just SOME of the fruit I prepped yesterday: 

That's watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and pineapple. I also packed grapes, cherries, and some leftover berries. Talk about healthy snack prep! I also packed pretzels, granola bars, mini cookie snack packs, fruit snacks (the healthier/tastier kind, trail mix, and LOTS of PB & J sandwiches (like, a whole loaf's worth- haha!)... just a little excited perhaps? I'm trying to balance out all the massive amounts of junk food and alcohol I plan on consuming later in the week.... C'mon it's summer, on vacation, at a touristy beach spot, what else do you expect? (Sorry, Jess R, I will resume workout regime next week! This week is all about fun and relaxing, and visiting some really awesome restaurants.) 

This is our longest road trip (Niagara Falls had record before this) together. I've drive. To Florida with my fam when I was younger, but this is our first big trip. Also first time in Myrtle Beach! Wahoo! Lots of friends have visited before, so I'm excited about all there is to see, do, eat, and of course soak up the sun. (Thanks, Cara, for your AWESOME review of virtually everything MB!) 

I've been trying to take pics of every state sign on the way- got them all so far, but VA was blurry. I have to snap it from far away as we zoom by, then crop it and hope it comes out decent. I stupidly pictured big fun signs that we could hop out and take pics at (duh- Stace moment), and Scott was NOT thrilled at the thought of doing that, so thankfully for him that wasn't as possible as I thought it might be. Me and my ridiculous picture obsession. I'll call that photo OCD, photo obsessed, Instagram obsessed (@luvbug7607 if anyone is on and wants to follow). 

Ok, approaching North Carolina soon, so gonna sign off for now and give my phone a break. I'll try to post more in the week of our Team Ricci vacation travels!! 

Happy summer!!!! (Still in disbelief that summer is actually here... But don't blink or you might miss it!)

Haha... Will Smith's "Summertime" just came on Scoot's road trip playlist.. Nice timing!! Ahhh, excuse me while I relax and just soak in the moment. I suggeg you do the same and do something relaxing today/this week to enjoy all that summer has to offer!! =)

Xoxo <3 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

You've Got Mail!

This post is dedicated to all of the wonderful women in the IF (infertility) world who I have met through IG (Instagram). This may sound odd to some people, and honestly it's one of those things you kind of have to be involved in to fully understand, but I have made instant friends with lots of amazing gals from all over the world through one social media app on my phone. It started a few months ago when I would hashtag infertility on some of my pics. It was my way of slowly starting to open up to the world and the public about our struggles. It would start with #ttc (TTC means "trying to conceive" to all you lucky enough to not ever need to know or use that acronym) because it was simple and wasn't sharing too much info... then I started adding more like #infertility, #infertilitysucks, #notfair, things like that. I started searching for other pics tagged with the same # and started to find accounts of other girls facing infertility. The first one I started following was a girl in Australia (shout-out to you, G!) who would post quotes and things related to infertility. It was nice meeting someone who understood. From her account and the hashtags, I started finding other TTC-related accounts and started following them. Being infertile and finding another in the same boat just gives you an instand bond, it's hard to explain, it's just an automatic understanding and support. You suddenly feel like you have new bffs and you can all relate to the roller coaster of emotions. We can all have different interests and personalities but we are all bonded by one crazy detail in our lives and BAM, instant friends. Being able to read new quotes that apply to life's ups and downs, cheer on an infertility sister as she goes to yet another fertility doctor appointment or starts a new round of self-injections for baby-making meds, give support to those who have to read yet another negative pregnancy test, or congratulate those who are lucky enough to see a positive, it's all about support and love. 

Now just that would be enough support and positivity for me... but it doesn't end there. I started to realize that some of the girls were taking part in a "lucky sock exchange" and were paired up with other girls on IG to send a care package of goodies for love and support. The theme was around fun and funky socks ("lucky socks") to wear to Dr appointments, tests, or just because for good baby vibes. Other items sent were things like candy, nail polish, books, magazines, scarves, jewelry, you name it. I thought this was such an amazing gesture for people who were otherwise strangers outside of meeting online. I happened to get into the mix with a few of the girls I was starting to have frequent convos with, we exchanged email addresses (and sometimes even phone numbers so I now have new texting buddies), and we started shopping for little goodies to send to one another just because~ to thank each other for their support in our journey, or to cheer them on in their own journey. It's amazing. I'm blown away every time a card or package shows up in the mailbox. Wow. Seriously, thank you all... you're all amazing. 

I SWEAR finding this group on IG has been a huge saving grace over the last few months. Prior to finding this amazing support group, I was reading helpful books, talking to friends and family, and reading blogs online. All of these were great and helpful (still are) and are what got me to be more open. Taking it a step further and finding these new friends is what pushed me to finally start my blog, follow them, and get involved with sending care packages and cards. I've been less stressed on the infertility front because I have lots of support and people to go to instantly for advice or encouragement... people who have been through it and are going through it. So I feel blessed really to have met these wonderful people. So thank you, infertility. You suck, but if it weren't for you, I wouldn't have new friends in Australia, Colorado, Minnesota, Texas, North Carolina, Indiana, Illinois,  Louisiana, Niagara Falls, Florida, and other places. You ladies rock, thank you!! <3 


(All pics in this post were gifts and cards I received from these amazing gals! <3 <3)

Taken Hostage by My Busy Life

Hi everyone! Sorry I have been MIA for the last few weeks; school (my job) has taken over my life and I don't see any hope of truly coming up for air until the school year is done (June 21 is the last day). So here are some updates on what's been going on...

Scott is all better from surgery! (YAY!!) His recovery was actually really smooth as far as I could tell! Let's see, surgery was on Friday, May 10th, and he went back to work the following Wednesday. All weekend he was camped out on the super comfy recliner with an ice pack attached to him at all times. It was kind of a fun weekend helping him around and taking care of him. We used it as an excuse to pig out on junk food (just for recovery reasons; a good excuse in my mind! Wink, Wink) and order takeout. The Dr. called Scott personally on Saturday morning to check in on how he was feeling (again, really impressed by this guy, but they say you get what you pay for and it's def not a cheap practice but it's worth it!). Close fam friends of ours (Alli, Steve, & Caroline) came over Saturday to visit and bought lunch, and then on Sunday Scott and I walked around the Christmas Tree Shop for something to do. The Dr. didn't want him to just sit and do nothing all weekend, so we took a short outing. I felt bad going back to work on Monday because I had to leave him at home alone (he was fine and more mobile each day, but it was nice being together the whole weekend for a change of pace). There was definitely some discomfort for a few days but now fast-forward 3 weeks and he's totally back to normal. The only difference is some icky incision scars~ bleh! So now we just wait, and wait, and wait... but we get to totally enjoy the summer in the meantime and I'm totally okay with that little blessing!! :) 

Hmm, what else? School has taken over my life. The end of the school year is so busy, we all feel  like chickens with our heads cut off. The kids are mentally checked out and are so excited for summer (rightfully so, I am too!), we have rounds of mandatory testing to complete by this week and next, we all had to have one more observation by administration (unannounced walk-in), report cards are due soon, our teaching assignments for next year were announced (a few of us are switching grade levels because we are such a small district and numbers in each grade change each year), organizing class parties, filling out forms, completing supply orders for next year, etc. That might not seem like a lot and you might say you don't care because I have 2 months off~ yes, true, but it doesn't change the hectic buzz going on in the building. Also, I'll be spending about 2-3 weeks working over the summer anyway. I signed up for a workshop the week after school gets out, I have to pack up my room and move to a different classroom upstairs, and then return to that new classroom once it's cleaned to unpack, organize, and set it up for my new placement next year. Not to mention all the prep work at home, too. So it's really never a full 2 months off from work, it's just 2 months without the kids. I mentally need this break too. By this time, everyone is so frazzled and needs to recharge. 11 school days and counting... I'll miss the fun conversations with my students each morning and their smiling faces; 1st graders can be so fun/funny to talk to! They really amaze me with their creativity and crack me up with their jokes/stories sometimes. They're so social. Plus, I had 1/2 of them in K last year, so it's been really wonderful to see how they've changed and grown since September 2011. Wow. I will miss them but they'll be right down the hall next year. :)

Speaking of summer, I'm excited to get away for 2 vacations this year! Scott, Brian, & I are taking a road trip down to Myrtle Beach to stay at their parents' new vacation home. We're excited  since we've never been there and haven't done a road trip outside of NY. I think it'll be fun. We are looking up all the fun restaurants and things to do there and I know I'm going to gain like 5-10 pounds just from all the great food (we are SUCH foodies and yummy drink fans) that I'm trying to lose a few before we go. Ha, easier said than done! Aside from MB, we'll be headed back to Disney again in August (practically our home away from home!) and I decided to go down a week earlier to stay at my mom's in New Smyrna Beach, FL and visit other family (my brother & his gang, Nanny, aunts/uncles, etc) while there, too. 

There's always so much to do and I'm so tired and worn out by the time I get home that I usually end up crashing on the couch or falling asleep earlier than normal lately. I've been neglecting my Instagram family (sorry gals, I'll be back soon!) and have been trying to just focus on what I really need to get done first. Technically blogging isn't on my "must-do" list but I was behind and I accidentally missed Piloxing class tonight because I thought it was at 6:30 instead of 6:00 (sorry, Jess!) and Scott is getting out later than expected tonight, soooooo I ended up with time to blog a little.

Sorry for the boring rant, lots to complain about and I feel stupid for complaining. I have a great job that I am super thankful for. It's just a busy and stressful time, and unfortunately most people do not realize it unless they work in a school. It's just too crazy to explain accurately in words.

Ok, done with this post and planning to dedicate the next one solely to the IG (Instagram) kindness and support I have found with our IF (infertility) struggle. Thanks for reading (or not, I only have 6 followers so it's hard to tell if people are reading or not). :) xo