Raspberries, Lake views and Smoochable cheeks

Disclaimer: This post may contain gratuitous pictures of my kids. If you think you can handle seeing lots of very pinchable, kissable cheeks then read on!

Before Hayleigh was born Peter and I composed a list of "Parenting Vows" which we committed ourselves to. This was probably for a number of reasons. One: we did not want to take this parenting thing lightly. We knew (in theory) the weight of the responsibility we bore as stewards of this child's time on earth. Two: we knew we had basically NO idea what we were doing. We needed a game plan. Okay, the list maker in me needed a game plan.
One of those commitments was to value our family above any other earthly thing. We recognized that while things like work, school, church commitments, extended family, friends, hobbies, etc. are all wonderful things that our nuclear family needed to be our most prized earthly "possession". This means that we try to make decisions, big and small, in such a way that reflects this priority. We think that getting involved in activities such as volunteering, socializing with adults and Peter's and my individual hobbies actually reflect our commitment to value our family. It shows our kids that while we love and adore them, the world does not revolve around them. It teaches them how to balance their time, think of others first and also gives Peter and I outlets to use our gifts, talents and interests (which keeps us sane best equipped as parents).
That being said we LOVE to spend quality time, just the four of us! Peter used his vacation time strategically. We knew that we would not be taking a trip this year, so Peter took one day off every month so we could have an entire day devoted just to family time. There are no work distractions, no other social commitments, no school work, just the four of us investing in each other. It is beautiful. (He also took off the whole week between Christmas and New Year's which I am PUMPED about!) Some past family days have included a day at the zoo :

and a evening at the local beach/boardwalk.


Anyway, this past Friday was August's family day! I am a raspberry fiend. They are so expensive and I eat them by the pint so there is no way I am spending supermarket prices. I found a Living Social deal for half off picked fruit at a local U-pick farm, so we headed there in the morning. When we got there the sign read that only blueberries we available to be picked. There may have been a few tears...it was Hayleigh... I swear. Despite the news that the raspberries were out of season, I was on a raspberry finding and consuming mission. I managed to find almost two pounds hidden in those bushes! I have never worked harder for food. You should have seen me crawling around, under, through and over the bushes. Actually, you shouldn't have seen me. I must have looked fiery-eyed, desperate and insane as I shouted "Jackpot!" from inside the bushes and snatched juicy berries from Hayleigh's hand, replacing them with less than ripe ones. (What a great Mom!)Thank goodness we were the only ones there. We also snagged some blueberries,  a peck of peaches, and some sun kissed rosy cheeks, all for only $7! It was so peaceful that it almost made me want to move out to the country. I don't have any pictures from berry picking because as I mentioned earlier I was occupied.
After naps we took the gorgeous 45 minute drive along the lake to Sodus Point, a local boating town. The weather could not have been more beautiful. Peter and I amused ourselves by ogling the multitude of mansions with the lake as their back yard, half of which are for sale. Do I see a future real estate investment in our future? (Ha!) When we got to Sodus Point we realized what both of us had forgotten: there was not a whole lot to do there if you don't boat. This served as a reminder that we are not meant to live in the country. We did find a fun playground though,where my gracefulness continued. I managed to scrap and bruise myself pretty well chasing Hayleigh, while clad in a skirt and toting a camera. Peter and Braxton got a kick out of it...men!  We were hoping to find a nice spot to eat on the water, but all the restaurants that weren't carry out were either bars or more upscale, neither of which were kid friendly. It was disappointing but we still enjoyed a wonderful day soaking up the sun and each other's company.

I am not really sure how I managed to not get any pictures of the gorgeous scenary. I mean other than my family of coarse! Oops.

It is so rare to have an entire day with nothing to do except spend time together relaxing and playing, especially since Peter works 6 days a week. I have to say though, when he is home he really invests in the kids. I just love to watch them interact. Sometimes I find myself feeling like I am sitting back and watching a movie, rather than my own life. It is often hard to believe that this is all mine. Sometimes it takes a day like this, amidst all the craziness for me to recognize anew, we are truly blessed. I love family days!

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