Our Anniversary Celebration and Some Goals

October 18th was our 10th Anniversary. We went back and forth for weeks what we wanted to do to celebrate. Initially Steven wanted to fly to New York for the weekend, but the flight times didn’t give us much time on the ground and they were sooo expensive. We looked at going to Lexington to see Les Miserables, We looked at going to one of the resorts at local casinos, eating in the restaurants and maybe taking a few pulls of the slot machine. In the end we decided it would be really cool to just stay in town and do some of the things that we haven’t done in years, or have never done together.

We got a room at the Marriott Rivercenter in Covington with a view of downtown Cincinnati. I have to say that it was the best experience! All the employees at the hotel were wonderful and so professional. When we checked in we were greeted so warmly and they congratulated us on our anniversary. They gave us a voucher for 2 free breakfast buffets in the restaurant 10 West the next morning. When we got up to our room there were a few surprises waiting for us:

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The chocolate covered strawberries and sparkling wine were from the hotel staff. And it just goes to say whenever you are celebrating a special occasion be sure to tell them what you are celebrating. Businesses often look for ways to go above and beyond for their customers and make you feel important. We saw this again at dinner but I’ll share that in a minute.  The chocolate covered strawberries were especially delicious and a very nice treat before we headed off for dinner.

The flowers were a present from Steven. 10 sunflowers, 1 for each year of marriage; 4 red roses, 1 for each child and 1 white rose for our angel baby. I’m not kidding ya’ll, I almost broke down in tears right then and there! It was awesome!

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Another wonderful thing about our hotel: the view! We decided on a king size room with a balcony and a view of Cincinnati. I know I might be a little biased but I believe Cincinnati has one of the most beautiful skylines in the world. Especially at night. And it lived up to the expectations.

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We made reservations that night at Ruth’s Chris on The Banks downtown. The Banks is a project that has been a long time in the making in Cincinnati. They have been trying to build the banks of the Ohio River up with restaurants, upscale apartments and nice parks. The transformations being made there are awesome and we enjoyed our stroll across the suspension bridge (in the right side of the above picture) and taking in the energy of The Banks before time for our reservation.

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It was a first experience for both of us at Ruth’s Chris. And it was amazing! From the red rose petals sprinkled on our table because it was our anniversary, to the steaks (ermergherd!!!), to the picture souvenir we got before we left the meal was magical! It’s definitely not a place we can eat at often but we really enjoyed the experience.

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And yes, we’re matching! Don’t hold it against us! lol- It’s just something we do!

After dinner we strolled back to our hotel and snuggled up in our king size bed (ahhhh….) to watch a movie. It’s not often we get to watch a movie uninterrupted and Steven said one thing he really wanted to do that weekend was just veg. So we did! I packed the laptop, grabbed a couple of movies that we hadn’t seen out of the $5 bin at Walmart and grabbed some of the dollar boxes of movie theater style candies. We decided to watch Little Red Riding Hood with Amanda Seyfried and Billy Burke. I’m not gonna lie, it was a little weird. And I was way tired so I kept drifting off. But it was good and nice to just lay there snuggled up with my man.

We slept in the next morning (ha! Yeah right! He slept in! I woke up at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30. After that I just gave up!! lol) We got dressed and went down to breakfast at 10 West. They have a wonderful buffet breakfast with lots of options. I had french toast, bacon, fresh fruit, scrambled eggs, coffee and orange juice. It was a rainy, cold fall Saturday morning but it was nice to sit in the restaurant and watch the rain fall on the river.

After breakfast we went back up to the room and decided to work on a project I had come up with for us to do. You may have heard of the 101 in 1001 Project where people come up with 101 goals to accomplish in 1001 days. I thought it might be cool for us to come up with 180 goals to accomplish in 1825 days or by our 15th Anniversary. These goals can be anything from travel goals, marriage goals, family goals, financial goals, or just for fun goals. I’m not gonna lie, it’s been hard to come up with 180 goals! But we’re chugging along and I’m adding more each day. It might take us a year to just get 180 goals thought up though! lol

What’s on our list? (Hello List It Tuesday readers…I bet you were wondering when a list was going to appear in this post weren’t you?? lol) Well, so far we have things like

1. Go camping without the kids.

2. Pray a decade of the Rosary every day as a family.

3. Have Bible study and prayer time each evening as a couple.

4. Write a love note to each other once a week.

5. Have a weekly date night.

6. Have a monthly date with each kid.

7. Start Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.

8. Take the kids to Disney World.

9. Take ballroom dance lessons.

10. Spend our 15th Anniversary in Italy.

11. Get our marriage blessed by the Pope.

12. Learn some conversational Italian for our trip.

13. Install crown molding on our kitchen cabinets.

14. Install crown molding in the master bedroom and bathroom.

15. Build steps off of the sliding door into the back yard.

16. Have family time at least once a week.

17. Stovetop travel the world by cooking a meal from a different country every week (ala Global Table Adventure)

18. Hold dinners with extended family at least once a month.

19. Go away for the weekend alone at least twice a year.

20. Take the kids to a new Kentucky State Park each summer and camp.

This obviously is just a portion of some of the goals we came up with. I look forward to coming up with more goals and reaching them together.

Since it was raining we had to scrap some of our initial plans for the day and decided to spend the day at The Cincinnati Art Museum. It’s been years since I’ve been to the Art Museum. I forgot how much I liked it! We strolled through the museum for hours, holding hands and actually taking the time to stop and read plaques and study pieces of art. It was glorious! And something we hadn’t done in years! (one of the last museums we went to just us was the Contemporary Art Museum in Chicago when we got engaged and it’s just not up our alley! lol) You know the best part about a lot of art museums..they are free because of the generous benefactors that donate to them. And we have one of the best in the country right here. We need to take advantage of it more often, especially their family programs.

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One of Steven’s favorite sculptures. Marble is amazing!

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Two of my favorite sculptures by Degass. They made me think about Brianna!

We ate lunch at the little cafe called Terrace. It was cozy and delicious. Afterwards we went to the second floor and continued our leisurely stroll through the museum. It was a wonderful day and I enjoyed spending it with my love. We went home after that to just Brianna and Eli. Steven’s mom decided to keep the boys another night. We decided to take Brianna out to dinner at Panda Express (Brianna’s choice) and then went home and watched the 2nd movie that I had bought for the weekend, Soul Surfer. It was so good! I think we all sat here and cried. Brianna loved it and I think she found an inspiration in the main character.

All in all it was a perfect wedding anniversary celebration. I’m looking forward to many more celebrations to come.

Linking up to List It Tuesday at Many Little Blessings and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

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List It Tuesday- Pumpkin Patch

It’s time for another List It Tuesday over at Many Little Blessings and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. This week I thought I’d share our pumpkin patch fun from Micah’s field trip yesterday.

One of the things on our family fall bucket list was a visit to the pumpkin patch. And one of the good things about a preschool aged child is that almost every preschool takes a trip to the pumpkin patch in the fall. So go to the pumpkin patch-it’s now checked off the list. And hayride? Yup, it’s checked off too! I don’t know if we’ll find time in our crazy schedule to get to a pumpkin patch as a family this year but I’d like to! And I wouldn’t mind going back to this one! It was very cute and very close to home which is a plus!

So our favorite things to do at the pumpkin patch?

1) Feed the farm animals! This farm had sheep, goats, cows, a donkey, a pony, a llama, bunnies, chickens, turkeys and a swan. Micah wasn’t too sure about feeding the animals at first. I think he was afraid they would bite him! But once he saw me feed a few of them and finding some that ate “slow” instead of quickly nipping for the food he decided it was actually quite fun.

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2. Hayrides. What’s better than climbing in to a cart filled with bales of hale and being pulled around by a bright green tractor? Especially when you’re 4?! Absolutely nothing! We sat the back of the cart, closet to the tractor. Micah loved watching the big wheels work to pull the cart, especially when we had to go up a muddy hill.

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3. Obviously the biggest draw about the pumpkin patch- going out into the field and getting to pick a pumpkin! Each of the kids got to pick a little pumpkin. And I was impressed…they weren’t just thrown out into the field. They were actually attached to the vine! (I’m not sure if that was the case for the bigger pumpkins or not.) Micah had to pull hard to get his favorite pumpkin off the vine. And then he chose one for Eli too! We’re cleaning them up and adding them to our Halloween/Fall mantle.

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4. Playing on the playground equipment. After we got back from the patch the kids had a snack and then had the chance to run around on the playground equipment for a while. This farm has a great playground complete with a train, a bus, and a pirate ship, all wooden. They also had a sandbox which is always a big hit!

5. And of course for mommy one of the best things is posing them in front of the cute displays and getting trying to get a decent picture!

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It may have been chilly but it really was a perfect fall day at the farm!

Head on over and check out more lists at List It Tuesday! Have a great one everybody!

List It Tuesday- When Mom is Sick

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As you can probably guess from the title it’s time for another List It Tuesday. And as you can also probably tell, I’m sick! I’ve gotten hit by an awful energy zapping, head clogging, feels like it’s going to stay around forever cold. It crept up on me over the day yesterday and by last night I was dead to the world! It’s hard to be a mom and be sick. Not only do you need to take care of yourself but you also have to take care of your family. So what’s a mom to do?? Here’s a list of things I do (and don’t do!) when I’m sick.

1) I allow myself to stay in my PJs all day! I’m not a PJ wearing SAHM. I don’t even allow myself to stay in sweats or yoga pants all day. I get up every day and get dressed, including jewelry most days. I just feel more productive when I’m dressed for the day. On sick days, I allow myself a pass to stay comfy. My kids who are at home will probably be in their jammies too. Getting everybody dressed just takes too much energy!

2) I open the door and the blinds and curtains and let the sun light in. Nothing makes you feel worse than being stuck in a dark house all day. Let the sunshine in! Unless of course you have a migraine…then keep those suckers closed tight!

3) I give myself a pass on house cleaning, with a few exceptions. I try to keep up with the dishes. And if I feel really bad I pull out the disposables for a few days. I try to keep the floor vacuumed and swept. There is nothing worse than stumbling to the kitchen for another cup of tea only to step on a noodle from last night’s dinner! I try to stay on top of the kids with their toys, especially in the living room. If the playroom stays trashed for a few days…who cares! It’s a playroom!

4) Meals become super simple! Last night I pulled out the bags of frozen chicken tenders and fries. I heated up the fryer and dinner was ready in less than 10 minutes. And you know what? I didn’t feel the least bit guilty about it! If I had felt this coming on maybe I could have taken out meat and put something in the crockpot but meh! Who’s that good?!?! Tonight will probably be a texting-hubby-to-pick-up-drive-through-on-his-way-home-because-I-just-can’t-think-of-anything-else kind of night! And I’m OK with that!

5) The kids watch way too much TV and play way too many video games. I watch way too much TV and spend way too much time on the computer. And you know what? I won’t feel guilty about that either!

6) I drink a lot of OJ and herb tea because it makes me feel better.

7) I sleep when I can. Even it’s just a little snooze on the couch while the kids are playing blocks or watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Those little catnaps can make such  a difference for me.

8) I let go of the guilt! We all get sick! We all need to take that time to be kind to ourselves! It’s OK for the house to not be up to our standards for a few days. It’s OK for the meals to be out of the ordinary. It’s OK for the kids to have a few days of TV overindulgence. It’s OK! Let it go! And get better soon!!

Check out more lists over at List It Tuesday over at Many Little Blessings and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Fall Bucket List

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It’s October 1st which makes it officially feel like fall for so many people. There is just something about flipping that calender from September to October that screams cooler weather, football and apples! Fall has so many fun things to do and yet we sit around sometimes and think “Boy, I wish we could do something fun today!” So for List It Tuesday over at Many Little Blessings I thought I would make a fall bucket list of things I would like to do in October and November, in no particular order. Maybe it’ll encourage you to make a bucket list of your own! Let’s grab fall by the horns and make it count!

Fischer Family Fall Bucket List 2013

1. pumpkin patch

2. hayride

3. fall colors hike

4. fall campout

5. apple picking

6. make apple butter/apple sauce

7. decorate a fall mantle

8. make a fall wreath

9. Hallozooween at the Zoo

10. Cub Scout Spook-a-Ree

11. Boo our neighbors

12. build a bonfire and make s’mores one last time

13. fall picnic

14. go putt-putting

15. have a leaf fight

16. fall scavenger hunt

17. Watch Hocus-Pocus, Halloween Town and It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

18. Have a Harry Potter marathon

19. make a Blessings Tree

20. serve Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless

21. decorate pumpkins

22. make a pumpkin pie from scratch

23. celebrate our 10 year anniversary!!!

24. celebrate Brianna’s 9th birthday!!!

25. celebrate our Godson Dakota’s “Gotcha Day” (adoption day-which is TODAY!! YIPPY!!!) and baptism (this Sunday)

26. attend the preschool Halloween gift party at Micah’s school

27. attend the “Party with the Saints” at our parish (easy since PSR is hosting! lol)

28. star gaze in the crystal clear fall sky

29. have a hot apple cider bar

30. go Trick-or-Treating

31. collect leaves and make a fall leaf book

32. stuff ourselves crazy at Thanksgiving

33. make apple cake

34. get pumpkin ice cream at UDF

35. ENJOY EVERY MINUTE!!

Make sure to check out more lists over at List It Tuesday!