goodbye 2011, hello 2012!

this year was a great one! so many amazing memories, experiences and adventures. this post could be incredibly long if i were to name them ALL so instead i will just highlight a few…

{it’s still long so grab your favorite beverage of choice & enjoy…}

i happily turned thirty-five

…the kiddo’s were sucker’s for valentine’s day!

i made these invitations…

for a very special girl who became a teenager, with a ♥ teen-y ♥ party!

one of my best craft projects of 2011 was definitely the famous-d-i-y-chandelier!

in april, i was totally honored to participate in Justin Hackworth’s 30 Strangers photography exhibit. Especially since it coincided with the year we moved away from my mom. these photos will always be dear to me…

that same month, my typical tuesday was shown here. it might exhaust you!

at the end of april, kj helped me make these:

because he turned 8! {see here.}

…the easter bunny was super-sneaky when it showed up at night! leaving flashlights for an after-dark egg hunt!!!

in early may, we announced our exciting adventure! the rhodes were moving to Boston!!! our home in utah had an offer on it, we sold husband’s hummer for a city car. we sorted, organized, and packed for months as we prepared for a the yard sale of the century, and… took a trip to Boston in search of our future home…

we had many loving, farewell parties to say our good-byes to utah and all of those we love so dearly. here, here, here, here, and here! …one of the biggest farewells was our trip to southern utah. we spent a weekend in zions, enjoying the southern utah beauty before heading east —

days before our big move, we seriously downsized.

thank you, again, to everyone who supported our lemonade – yard sale!

{and then my blog went private. ::boo:: i missed you all, so much!}

in the midst of this chaos, i made our first blog book, and gave it to husband for father’s day – i’m hoping to finish one of these each year.

{and then – i took six weeks off of blogging! ::gasp!:: sorry ’bout that.}

during that long blogging break – we found a painted lady to live in, in the most charming of charming neighborhoods in boston. the home is complete with a tree swing!

we have lots of space for guests, and hope all our family & besties will come visit while we are in new england! {we have NO IDEA how long we’ll stay…}

if you ask big papi, the numero uno highlight of this year, was taking our entire family to a sox game. it was magical.

our little man went to red sox baseball camp – TWICE! he’s already requested to go EVERY week in summer ’12, he makes his papi truly happy by being such a loyal fan.

a total bonus to moving to boston that we never thought about before moving… the BEACHES!

seriously. we had no idea they would be so incredible!

in early october, our baby girl turned 5! it’s crazy that our youngest is not so little anymore. makes me a little sad. {but i also love the freedom of having kids grow-up!} since our move, we are having family birthday parties only for one year. starting with miss five, she requested a homemade barbie cake, an american girl doll, and a fun day centered around her. it was all her heart desired…

one goal of living back east is to travel/sight-see/tour as much as possible! so, our first mini trip was to washington d.c. in october. we had a warm weekend filled with sunshine, monuments, and family. it was perfect! we might go back in the spring for cherry blossoms & georgetown…

boston does halloween right! we headed to salem for the witches festival; we were ghosts & we handed out ghost treats!

continuing into fall in new england, we headed to an apple orchard. because that’s what you do out here, you pick apples! the kiddos loved it, and we made as many recipes as we could with our abundance of apples. also, my apple peeler-corer-slicer just seemed to stay on the kitchen counter 24 hours a day for two weeks. i loved it.

husband had a busy, busy year. he spent 27 weeks traveling for work away from home, the most he has ever been away from us. and, we miss him dearly when he’s gone. because of this, we have a little system where we all take turns going to the philipines with him. it gives us time with him & it helps him be less homesick on a few of his trips.

in November, i went with him & while we were there, we celebrated his birthday with friend in boracay. it was just like the pictures look – beautiful.

our thanksgiving was warm & cozy & our hearts were filled with gratitude as we shared the holiday with friends. and what does one do on thanksgiving in massachusetts? you visit plimoth, of course!

and, to celebrate christmas, we made our annual pilgrimage to mexico. with our dear, dear friends, the blands.

after christmas, myla moosey turned twelve! in proper myla fashion

an amazing year indeed. heres to making 2012 even better!

for the last few days of the year, we have driven from boston to new york city, for the first time. ten minutes after we pulled into new york city, husband rear-ended a guy, then got a parking ticket. all in an hour! here’s hoping he’s not in jail by the new year!!! ha!

…we will be watching the ball drop right dab in the middle of times square.
it’s all a part of our adventure!


what are you doing for new years? watching the ball drop on tv? {look for us!}

…and, come back tomorrow to read all about my plans for 2012!

what are YOU going to do?



fedoras in cabo san lucas.

if you are traveling with the rhodes family – specifically, me. there is a good chance i might convince a beach vendor to let us borrow eleven fedoras. then i might line you up, and ask you to march in a straight line across the sand. + a little booty shaking. in front of lots of people.

just so i can play with the pictures and create* something like this:

fedora par-tay!

…we just arrived home from our annual pilgrimage to mexico. ten days of family time, and relaxing – we are now ready to conquer what lies ahead! cheers to good friends, sunshine, and fedoras! do you travel over the holidays? or prefer to stay home?

*i was given the photo-editing-action i used on these photos + learned how to create slide shows like this at blogshop! pretty dang awesome if you ask me!

{photos by moi. this is not a sponsored post.}


cabo submarine

our family has been traveling to mexico, on a regular basis for nine years.  i’m guessing a dozen trips, split between mazatlan and cabo – and, our friends the Blands have gone on almost every one of those trips with us. it’s ideal with our kids all being such good friends. needless to say, mexico is truly a home away from home. for most of those nine years, we have done the same old things, on every trip.  we’re in a south of the border rut.  

however, this past trip we shook things up and tried a couple of new things…  call us wild & crazy!

first, we ventured over to the gorgeous cabo marina, and we took an underwater adventure on the cabo submarine!

check it out:

we were face-to-face with so many fish, starfish, eels, etc – our kids loved it!

and, we had pelicans literally flirting with us. a truly beautiful day to be out on the water.

post-submarine-thoughts: this is my kind of underwater adventure! i’m not a huge fan of being underwater in the ocean with the unknown. when i was in my twenties, i had my share of run-ins with large creatures down there & i’ve reached my limit of post-trauma-nightmares. are you a fan of the underwater world?


second, husband and the kiddo’s paddle boarded for days & days! husband and i had first tried paddle boarding in maui with friends a couple of years ago, but we did not have beginner’s luck. it was hard. and this trip was the first time for our kids to try it. in the past ten days, miss thirteen proved to be our best paddle boarder, and she chose to do this almost every day we were at the beach! she would even give her siblings rides around while she did all the work! by the end of our trip, she was seriously getting good at it! and, what an awesome work-out!

check her out:

have you tried paddle boarding? are you a fan of any water sports?

{photos by me, this is not a sponsored post.}


merry christmas!

{me, xmas 1980, almost 5}

i’ve been a fan of glitter since i was a wee one…

i hope your holiday is filled with sparkles!



our christmas.

santa arrived early at our home this year.

{ten days early!}

he’s super-magical like that…
{kudos to his insane little elves that made it happen!}

we went out for a festive family dinner & returned to this lil note from mr. bean, stating,

“open your christmas jammies tonight! santa wants to come early!”

without a moments hesitation, these lil munchkins prepared everything…

i should break out my tripod for moments like this, but that is just too much work – so please forgive the awful photo quality… i like them this way. because, the room was lit only by xmas lights and there was a yellow glow.

these two pictures were taken within seconds of each other – one with flash, one without.

see: sans flash is simply more lovely. blurry and all.

5:30am —

one of my favorite things about parenting, is watching my kids interact one with another, with love. kj was thrilled with his gifts from santa, but he could not wait to give his big sis his gift to her — precious.

big papi received all red sox/celtics/bruins attire from the kiddos. just what he always wants. ♥

…at the very end of things, everyone spotted snazzy new iPhone cases that santa hid in the xmas tree!

a beautiful mess.



can you think of a better thing to do for thanksgiving, than visit…

“The first outdoor living history exhibit you will encounter on your visit is the Wampanoag Homesite, located on the banks of the Eel River. Here you’ll discover how the 17th-century Wampanoag would have lived along the coast during the growing season; planting their crops, fishing and hunting, gathering wild herbs and berries for food, and reeds for making mats and baskets. You’ll see different kinds of homes including a mat-covered wetu, the Wampanoag word for house, and a bark-covered long house or nush wetu, meaning a house with three fire pits inside. Food is cooked over an open fire using only the ingredients that were available in the 1600s. At the riverside you may see men making a mishoon – the Wampanoag word for boat – using fire as a tool to hollow out a tree.”

“The 17th-Century English Village is a re-creation of the small farming and maritime community built by the Pilgrims* along the shore of Plymouth Harbor. In the Village, the year is 1627, just seven years after the arrival of Mayflower. The Museum selected this year for re-creation because it is well-documented in the historical sources and shows the plantation (a word that was used interchangeably with the word “colony” in the 1600s) just before the colonists began to disperse beyond the walled town and into other parts of what would become southeastern Massachusetts.

The English Village brings colonial Plymouth vividly to life. Here, you will find modest timber-framed houses furnished with reproductions of the types of objects that the Pilgrims owned, aromatic kitchen gardens, and heritage breeds livestock. Engaging townspeople are eager to tell you about their new lives in Plymouth Colony.”

“Visiting the ship Mayflower II is an extraordinary experience. The original Mayflower that sailed to Plymouth in 1620 no longer exists. Plimoth Plantation’s full-scale reproduction, Mayflower II, was built in Devon, England and crossed the Atlantic in 1957. The details of the ship, from the solid oak timbers and tarred hemp rigging to the wood and horn lanterns and hand-colored maps, have been carefully re-created to give you a sense of what the original 17th-century vessel was like. Come aboard and learn about the 1620 voyage of Mayflower, the perils of maritime travel, and the tools of 17th-century navigation. Explore the cramped quarters of the ship’s passengers. Peer down into the lower level “hold,” where the food, clothing, furniture, tools and other items necessary to start a colony were stored. Admire the “spacious” Master’s cabin, and compare it to the wet and windy accommodations of the common sailors. You will also hear the tale of a modern Englishman’s dream to build and sail Mayflower II as a symbol of American and British unity after World War II.”


all quotes/information taken from the plimouth plantation site, found here.
i definitely recommend visiting these sites if you are in the area,
historical + entertaining. we loved it!


holiday pretzel treats

my friend gave us these little goodies last year,
and i about ate the whole batch!
she used this recipe.

…this year, we had to make our own!

Bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels
Hershey’s Kisses or Hershey’s Hugs

{a great treat to have the kids help!}

we made designs out of our pretzels —


{sela’s pattern}


Heat the oven to 170F.
Set a number of bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels (one for each treat) in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper,
then top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey’s Kiss or Hershey’s Hug.
Bake for 4 to 6 minutes (the white chocolate will melt more quickly), until the chocolates feel soft when touched with a wooden spoon.
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press an M&M’s candy into the center of each Kiss.
Allow the treats to cool for a few minutes, then place them in the refrigerator to set, about 10 minutes.


i am taking those little bags to a little cookie exchange party tonight.
’tis the season!!!


thanksgiving 2011

…i had attempted to get most of the cooking/baking done the day before so i could enjoy the festivities with our gang.

we started the day at our local high school football game.

wellesley vs. needham
this is the oldest h.s. rivalry in the nation!
is that so cool?!?

sadly, we lost…

but, clearly, we still had fun!
look at all of us cheeeeesin:

we have this tradition that on thanksgiving,
we have “snacks” for lunch –
crackers, deli meat, cheese, veggies, pickles, fruit, dips…

and then – the real turkey bowl begins!

pre-thanksgiving dinner traditions:
kids’ activity books!

and, the big feast + our grateful hearts.
{photo prop mini chalkboard signs were from here.}

…i am still deeply in love with all these people, and they love me regardless of my holiday meltdowns. for that, i am extremely grateful.



{i am going to be mixing thanksgiving/christmas posts for the next few days while i still play catch-up.  please forgive me.}




kicking off my return to the world of blogging,
i am spending my weekend here

what is this?

BLOGSHOP is a Photoshop bootcamp. minus the push-ups. It is a full weekend spent stuffing your brain full of things to make your images on your blog unique and eye catching. We teach the basics from scratch as well as some more advanced techniques and then applying them with your own perspective to layouts that you will use when you go back to your own blog. People who have no experience with Photoshop will leave the course with confidence to create layout, prep images for mood boards and collages, retouch skin and color correct images, animate gifs, add textures, borders, type and drawing to their images to make each of their blog posts or other visual materials special. At the end of the first day we will have a portrait session, so on the second day you can work on your own pictures which will be perfect for contributor photos and bio pages. This jump-right-in approach to Photoshop is a great way to demystify the program, and make it another tool to bring with you into the competitive world of visual design.”

who are the teachers???

Bri Emery from Design Love Fest + photographer Angela Kohler

my goal: i want to learn the advanced techniques + spend the weekend absorbing the sweetness of hanging out with right-brain-thinkers.

i’m already on a creative-high and the first push-up hasn’t even started!

happy weekend!

{images via BLOGSHOP}

Bri Emery will also be attending Altitude Design Summit in January as a speaker.
I will be there! Are you going?


happy to announce…

my blog is available for public-viewing again!

and, that is all my news for tonight.

sweet dreams!



halloween * beacon hill

our halloween was charm-on-steroids. have you heard of beacon hill? no? well, it’s the nicest-{expensive}-upper-end-neighborhood-with-federal-style-rowhouses in the city of boston. known for its narrow, gas-lit streets and brick sidewalks. and, did you know there is a list of the top 20 places to trick-or-treat in the USA? {this was news to me!} combine these thoughts: and yes, beacon hill rates #2 in the nation!

first, a few glimpses of our home for the spooky holiday –

…since we’re living in a home that is 150 years old, i’m taking advantage of the colonial-charm whenever possible. i don’t consider this “my style,” but i enjoy the creative process of utilizing what the home has to offer for each holiday!

our built-in china cabinet is our game cupboard/dish display –
you gotta compromise a little with space when a family of six is squeezing in a home!

for the first time ever i tried to outfit our entire family with one-costume/theme. in theory, it worked. in reality, it didn’t. everyone was willing to put on their ghost costumes for the annual family photo op, then sela quickly changed in to her vampire-witch attire of choice, and kj became tron…

our costumes are from here. carmen merie is an incredible seamstress, and i’ve worked with her for two years in a row now. she also made myla’s owl dress/costume last year, seen here.

i didn’t realize i was following an extra theme this year, but obviously i have ghosts on the mind. ghost s’mores, here. ghost costumes, and a ghost towel for inspiration!

we were very lucky that the weather really warmed-up for halloween because we had our first snow storm just days before. regardless, a mandatory pit stop at starbucks to warm-up was required before starting our evening…

sela loved the fact that her RED lipstick was on her cocoa cup. she told us, this is the color of lipstick she wants to wear on her wedding day. love little girls. ::smiles::

so, many of these photos are blurry – i was shooting manually to try and catch the best light i could before nightfall. however, i couldn’t ask my kids to stand still during such an event, so with a s-l-o-w shutter speed, they are real ghosts in a few of these. :)

{go red sox!!!}

check out these hanging-jack-o-lanterns! they were so cool.

at the end of our trick or treating. we went to the beacon hill neighborhood starbucks, again. and do you know what? someone cool was there. john henry. and do you know what my husband did. he got starstruck. i said, “go talk to him! i’ll take your picture!!!” and husband was motionless. he couldn’t think a clear thought. and 2 minutes later, his driver/car showed up and he left. just like that. husband was still happy. even though he just got a close-up look.

{john henry owns the red sox.}

we made it home early so kiana could still hang-out with some of her “teenage” friends. i’m so happy she didn’t put-up a fight about going with us, i know one of these years, probably 2012, she’s not going to want to spend any of her halloween evening with us. {sniff. sniff.} sad thought. she’s my little matching-costume-hang-out-with-me-buddy-extra-set-of-eyes-so-i-don’t-lose-my-little-ones-while-trick-or-treating-buddy, and what will i do when i only get to celebrate with half my kiddos?!? ok, time to stop thinking about this.

all sum’d up: beacon hill rocks.


have a *thrilling* halloween!

this past weekend we participated in a local flash mob.

it’s been on our family bucket list to be a part of something like this for a long time and we all LOVED it!

we were a part of the mob because my kiddos are in a local kids academy called, “Linx.” it’s the most amazing kids enrichment program – they offer every type of after school activity/sport you can imagine. language classes, music, science, art, movie making, pottery, sports, dance, etc etc etc – all four of my kids are registered with them for something! and, Linx sponsored/organized the flash mob, so we signed up the very instant we got word of it!

…we’ve been practicing at home for the past two weeks. our daily kitchen dance parties turned in to full-on choreography! it was so much fun to dance next to kj, myla, and kiana.  sela was training with us, then it started to stress her out, so she opted to cheer for us from the sidelines.  our video is pretty close-up & a bit rough because the space was so limited & the crowd around us was pretty big. …you can spot me because i had to wear a fedora in honor of M.J.

funny things to notice:

kiana shakin’ her booty literally in a ladies face!
kj doesn’t shake his bum, “because it’s girly…“, so he holds his pose like a statue in some parts! hehe…

one video has been posted here, there will be more to come!

enjoy your *thrilling* holiday! we are going into the city to trick-or-treat on beacon hill!



ghost towel

how easy would this be to make? {i assume…haven’t tried.}

and, i know my kids would love it!

{image via swiss miss}


long weekend.

i realized long ago that in the ‘self-employed world’ {my husband is the sole-owner of his sportswear company},
there is never really an ideal time to take a vacation.

but sometimes you just must break away – and this year, we are trying to break away on a regular basis to explore the east coast.

…this upcoming three-day weekend we are headed with the kids to washington d.c. to see the fall foliage, monuments, and visit with some family.

what are your plans?


see you next week!

{image found here.}


twelve days of boston…

is this the most adorable welcome-to-a-new-city-package you’ve ever seen???

katie has graced my blog a few times over the years, and this time she’s gone the extra mile for the honorable mention!

soon after we arrived here in boston, we received this:

if you look closely, she has included a “boston mix cd” because katie is a true music guru + a welcome letter filled with love & positive support on our big adventure PLUS twelve envelopes each filled with local-advice on daily activities and what-to-do’s around boston.

i was so moved by katie’s package + the time she invested to make it for us – we jumped in the car, put in our boston-tunes & attacked those envelopes* full of ideas! katie currently calls colorado home, but she lived in boston a few years ago for her career & at the time i lived through her vicariously. now, we call boston home! woo-hooooo!

on the down-low, katie has told me that people go skinny dipping at walden pond at midnight, i’m not so sure i could get husband to go for that one, he’s more reserved than most would think…we’ll have to see!

*one of those envelopes recommended a local beach that is our FAVORITE locals spot to hang out on hot days! {photos soon!}


in other welcoming news, we are shocked at the sense of community our new-little-town in a big city has. we live eight miles from fenway + fifteen minutes {without traffic} to literally downtown boston – yet, we really feel like we live in this small-town…

there are weekly socials in the community + at the kids’ schools + in our neighborhood. new to us: is the focus on the adults – all of our kids’ schools have “parents-only” socials, back to school nights are NO KIDS, etc etc – there is a real effort made to unite the adults/neighborhoods & it’s very cool. i’ve joined a local online mother’s forum that organizes weekly playdates based on the ages of your kids + monthly educational presentations at the local country club just for women to keep up to date on current events & child-raising-topics. the forum also keeps you in the know of all local family events, sends out discounts for the events, and has ladies nights out! i’ve been told i must sign-up for the local paper because evidently that’s where all the gossip is!  ha!  we have our first “block” party next week & i’m thinking about hosting the third-grade-parents-social in october. i just can’t quite decide if i’m ready to open up our home that quickly! but, i also need a project like that right now… to focus on.

so, dear katie and all of those who have welcomed* us to boston – thank you, thank you, thank you – you’ve made us feel so loved & welcomed!

* don’t think things are perfect, i really dislike some of the snooty-boston-drivers!



we have this little tradition:
our kids take turns going with husband on his work trips to the philippines.

it’s really a win/win for husband and the kids. big papi gets homesick and really starts to miss us while taking 2-3 week work trips & having a kiddo with him totally helps + it’s very important to us {if you haven’t noticed} that we get our kids out-n-about in the world, we want them to love/respect other countries – admire people everywhere – and really have a good understanding/experience of the world around us. so, these little trips conquer multiple areas of good.

we have gone through the cycle once in this order: myla*kiana*kj, {unfortunatley, sela isn’t in the rotation yet!}
and we were back to the beginning again, so it was myla’s turn this past august to go to work with big papi.

they headed to the philippines via japan, and like the last trip she took with him – our poor moosey was SO sick on the “long” flight. we think she gets altitude sickness {i actually have trouble with altitude when i’m in really tall buildings, it’s strange – i have no control over it, and big papi has serious motion sickness, so the combination of us has settled in her, unfortunately} when she’s on a flight that lasts longer than 3-4 hours, because this little girl has gotten violently sick on her last two overseas trips when on the 13-hour flight.

lucky for her, her daddy is the best, most patient and loving parent {between the two of us} when our kiddos are sick and she’s in good hands when the symptoms strike. this time, the flight attendants felt bad for her & when they made it to japan for their lay-over, they offered them two days of discounted hotel stays so she could rest and get better before continuing on to the philippines.

sure enough, after some rest she was totally better and they continued on to where they should be –

then, this lucky girl went to boracay for the second time on this trip – one of the best islands/beaches in the world! she doesn’t remember her first time there because she was a baby — i haven’t been to boracay since myla was ten months old, so i’m hoping my turn comes soon!!! boracay is unbelieveable.


{written by big papi}

Have you ever heard of “MineCraft”? I feel like I could write a Wikipedia piece on it after spending 2 weeks with Myla in the Philippines. The girl LOVED this vacation (while dad was working) mostly because she got a chance to indulge in her newest favorite video game… and when I say indulge I mean 10 hours a day online building!!

But we had a good time. We started out in Boston and flew to Atlanta… it was an innocuous enough beginning but then about 2 hours into the flight from Atlanta to Tokyo she got sick. This was already the longest flight I had ever been on and Myla puking only made it longer. The poor marine sitting on the aisle seat from us had to move about every 20 minutes… yep… that made it about 30 times. By the time we hit Tokyo she was WIPED OUT!

{myla leaving the plane by wheelchair—}

Delta was wonderful and put us up in a hotel at their discounted rate and bumped our flights on to Manila back two days without a fee. We secretly think Myla just loves Tokyo as this is the SECOND time she’s done this… poor thing!

When we got to the factory Mine Crafting began… she really only slowed during our visit over the weekend to Boracay…

We had such a good time there. Myla caught about 300 hermit crabs and played with them endlessly.

We skim boarded and snorkeled and just had a great time. Myla wouldn’t go too far out with me and it was probably good. At one point I played with a cool looking white and black striped snake I found. When I got back to the room and looked it up it said it was a banded sea snake… HIGHLY VENOMOUS! Who knew!

The trip home was peaceful but I’m not so sure she wants to try it again.

{photos by big papi, too!}


one more picture – husband sent me this, it’s myla and peter, he is the main driver at the pro look factory, i think this was probably taken when he picked them up at the airport after their boracay trip…

keep in mind: if you don’t know myla, she’s very petite! ::lol!::

and, one more story: myla took her rather large duct tape supply on the trip & had “craft hours” with the girls at the factory to teach them how to make duct tape flowers/etc. — i love that!


girls camp.

kiana has never been able to attend girls camp in utah because it’s been a conflict of dates with her june dance schedule prior to nationals each summer.

so after we arrived here in wellesley, and she found out the church girls camp was scheduled in august & she was invited – she was stoked!

i volunteered to carpool a few of the girls to camp, so i could see where kiana would be before kissing her goodbye for the week. the camp was nestled around a lake only 90 minutes away in new hampshire. we’re still getting used to things {states} being so close to one another out here. —

i was impressed with my daughter who would typically not choose to go camping! …turns out the small group of girls she bunked with got the best cabin because they didn’t have to share it with anyone else giving them extra space & they had their own bathroom/showers in their cabin. evidentally, everyone else had to walk to bathrooms farther away. this little detail alone could have made her week a success!  :)

her only complaint after – she’s not fond of swimming in lakes, and they had to do a swim-test to pass something off… she said she just never stopped moving to make sure nothing in that lake touched her! so funny. she did like the daily kayaking.

and, camp was a great way to meet lots of new friends!


museum of science

the museum of science sits right over the charles river in boston.

it’s hu-mongous, and filled with endless exhibits to entertain kids, and adults. we made our first visit in july, and purchased a family membership for the year. so, we will be returning many, many, many times.

lately i’ve been thinking about all the planning, and work that has gone in to our little “bahston” adventure…

and i am exhausted thinking about it! ::smiles::

no, really. i think about how my friend jennifer said recenlty, “nothing worthwhile in life comes easy.

we started planning this “adventure” at least 18 months ago – maybe two years ago – i’m not sure – and do you know what? it all started one morning over breakfast when husband said, “we should move to boston…

just like that. that simple.

the kids and i all looked at him, no one laughed, we all raised our eyebrows, and thought, “hmmmm… we could do that.” and the planning began. lots of planning.

just like our move across the country, setting up our home here, getting four kids ready everyday, changing schools, planning meals, getting everyone to their activities, taking care of myself, scheduling extra events like visiting a museum… it takes a lot of work.

{everyone loved the lightning-show!}

{and more…}

all that planning & work:
it is worth it. it is always worth it.

dear readers, do you have any big plans???


say hello to our local ice cream truck…

he comes multiple times daily to the park directly in front of our house.

…one reason my scale gained ten pounds this summer!


our gym… and a challenge.

lately, i have been forgoing the gym and the laundry and the upstairs bathroom that despertly needs to be cleaned and instead trying to get caught up on blogging, enjoying friends who came to visit, and trying to adapt to our new back-to-school-schedule.

i wake-up and put on my work-out clothes, i wear them all day while enjoying all that is new around us…

and then, i take them off and go to bed. did you catch that detail: i never worked out.


i have a new challenge for myself, and for anyone who would like to join me.

i am going to get in great shape, in the next six weeks.

seriously. only six weeks.

i have been-OFF-sugar for one month, and have lost three pounds. unfortunately, i gained at least ten this summer, so three is not going to keep me in my skinny jeans this fall. i must be eating well, AND exercising to get great results.


soon after we arrived here, we went searching for a local gym. after trying out a few, we chose the boston sports club. they are unlike any health club we’ve ever joined, mainly because they focus on family fitness. traditionally, the gyms i’ve had memberships with, if you choose to use the childcare – the kids are all in one room together & it’s somewhat of a defend-yourself-babysitting-zoo with an extreme lack of order. never been much of a fan. so, i’ve typically tried to work out at home to avoid taking my kids there over the years.

boston sports club has a very modern approach, in that they also want the kids active while at the gym. so, if i take sela and/or kj, they get to go to the large basketball gym & the kid-trainers run drills with them, shoot hoops, jump rope, etc etc. also, if the kids choose to stay in the kids club room, they make crafts, have snacks, it’s really cool. the parents like the kids being active & the kids have a great time! my munchkins love our little routine {well. to be honest, sela cried & screamed the first four times she went due to seperation anxiety from me – but now she loves it!}: i drop them off at the kids club, i get my workout on, they have fun without realizing they are working out, i pick them up when i’m finished & we all grab a snack at the snack/juice bar, we get to spend some time hanging out for a bit – then continue our day. often, we hit the outdoor pool afterwards. i have loved this little routine. the gym became part of our summer vacation here.

…the gym offers literally everything. they have six indoor tennis courts + four outdoor clay courts – which is where myla is training now with a fierce French coach that she’s very fond of, he’s been able to help her increase her strength on all her hits. this is also where myla spent one week at tennis camp, and attended her first tournament here in new england. the bsc has an indoor pool for rainy days/winter, they have a fun outdoor pool {with an impressive snack bar} that is where we spent a few days in august. kiana is able to workout with dusty and i, if she wants to –

and, now that we are more settled, my home gym is also set-up. with two gym options, i really have no excuse to go to bed without having a workout somewhere in my day.

i’m eating good, exercising – and i’m going to get my scale to a very happy number in six weeks.

game on!

are you with me?


be our guest… be our guest!

{put our service to the test!}

as i mentioned in the previous post, our third floor has 2 guest rooms, a home gym, bathroom, and storage.

so. if anyone has ever wanted to visit new england & you just needed somewhere to stay?
here’s your chance – to stay for *free!

i am a visual communicator by nature, so i am hoping to entice all my besties, friends, & family with these fine photos:

we offer:

* one bedroom with king-size bed
* one bedroom with full size bed & two small-child beds
* your own private bathroom
* access to a fitness gym directly across the hall from your room with state-of-the-art equipment

we might be moving soon, and this opportunity will expire!

*i do accept gifts – specifically, spelt bread & chocolate covered cinnamon bears from utah!

we hope to see ya’ll soon!


a summer to remember…

we are navigating this new ‘move to boston’ adventure of ours with no map, which is really the best part.

there is freedom in the fact that we have no plan. we have a long list of “would like to do’s!”

we didn’t know anyone here. we don’t know how long we plan on staying – and, we have no idea where we’ll go from here. so far, we haven’t hooked up our tv’s, and this simplicity has forced us to all center our attention on one another. it’s glorious.

very simple chores/events like going to the laundromat when we were in hotels for so long + washing our own cars till we found local car washes + daily indoor picnics on our family room floor while we didn’t have any furniture… these daily details are spotting our adventure with simple beauty. and, i love it, so hard.

we are living in a rain-kissed town that gives us big beautiful green trees, an occasional day with thick humidity, lush green lawns, and i love the combination of these elements. they are a beautiful back-drop to discovering new things. however, i like both ends of the spectrum. the thrill of new adventure, as well as the comfort and convenience of routine and feeling settled. we spent most of the past two months on the adventure side, so now we are reestablishing the settled side.

{i’ll be posting about our new home – next!!!}

also, many of the photos i’ve been posting are from my new ipnone app, “instagram” – i am obsessed, and totally recommend it! if you have the app, feel free to follow me – i’ll follow you too! i love the artsy feel of the photos, and how it connects people daily via photos, especially now that i’m so far away from all my favorite people. xoxo.

© 2014 jane rhodes.