I Can Finally Go Caving!

Before having Luna so many people told us that our wild and crazy adventures were over. Forget traveling, spelunking, skydiving, rafting, road tripping or anything else you enjoyed because babies ruin all your fun. Clearly, Husband and I took the many negative comments with a grain of salt. We know ourselves to well to believe that our fun was over. Since having Luna we have traveled abroad, hiked, rock climbed, been on road trips, biked, ran races and so much more all with Luna. The one thing I have yet to do since becoming a Mom is go caving.

I missed the last couple of caving trips because I was either 6 months pregnant or caring for a newborn. So, I was definitely not going to miss this recently planned trip. I dropped Luna off with her Grandmother on Sunday morning, left her for the longest I have ever left her (10 hours) and joined my wild and crazy friends for crazy spelunking adventure!

We went to our favorite cave, the one we call the “waterfall cave”, and oh how I wish I had a special caving camera to prove to you just how ridiculous this cave is! There are not only waterfalls, but pools and pools of water, cliffs, tiny tunnels, mud, giant rocks and everything you could ever possibly want in a cave.

water

We began by wading in knee deep water to get to a very slick and muddy edge that went along the tops of the falls in a long stream of water. We held onto a muddy rope to keep our balance and inched along until we got to solid ground. From there we tunneled on our bellies, swam in the cave, explored some random passage ways, screamed over scary giant cave crickets and got a little lost.

I always get a little scared in the high and slick parts of the cave, but the worst part of this trip was repelling down a rocky muddy wall with a rope and no harness. I completely trust our expert caving friends to keep me safe during these times, but it’s still a little nerve wracking.

Three hours later, when I finally saw the light of the sun and made my way to the exit of the tunnel, I felt like I’d just conquered the world! 16 of us survived the cave that day. Half of us went in not even knowing each other’s names and now we have this incredible experience together to bond us and hopefully keep us as friends for a long time.

Before and After
Before and After

I’m sure our next caving trip won’t be too far away…who’s in???

Cheers!

Advertisements

Libraries Are a Magical Place

good book

I know I’ve been MIA for a week now and thank you all so much for baring with me, visiting the blog and keeping up with my little daily adventures on Positively Panicked’s Facebook and Instagram. Last week, was rough. Luna has decided that sleeping at night is not for her. The two of us have had A LOT of late night bonding time, like a little too much time together. I’m fairly certain Belle has permanently taken my spot next to Husband in bed. I was also hit with a weird and painful virus. Between every thing, I just desperately needed a break from something, and since Moms don’t get vacations, blogging was the only thing that could stand to survive without me for a week.

But, I’m back bitches!

Sorry, that’s a little uncalled for, but it just felt like the right sentiment.

Even though, I was down and out last week, I managed to find some daily adventures. (These adventures were made possible by lots of coffee.) I decided to take Luna to the local public library. It’s been about a hundred years since I last went to a public library, but I have many fond memories of skimming the children’s books, reading in the big comfy chairs, learning to use the card catalog and of course, getting my very own library card. When I entered the public library with Luna all of those fond memories came rushing back as soon as I stepped in to the air-conditioned room and got a whiff of the hundreds and hundreds of old and new books. Is there any greater smell?

lisa

I’ve got to say going to a library is just as cool, if not cooler, than when we were kids. I mean, it’s basically like shopping for free. You can get books, DVD’s and magazines, use the Internet, play games and attend little shows and readings for free. FREE. And the cherry on top? It’s nice and quiet. No sales clerk is offering to help of following you around. There’s not horrible elevator music playing loudly while you browse. Plus, there are over-sized comfy chairs everywhere just begging you to sit and read. The only thing that would make a library better is coffee.

cheap

I posted a photo of Luna having a blast at the library on Facebook (because that’s what Facebook is for, right? Look at me! I’m an awesome Mom who does awesome stuff like take my cute baby to the library. Go me!) Anyways, a friend of mine commented with this little gem…

Libraries are almost as magical as Disney parks…almost.

What a perfect way to describe a library. They are truly magical. Luna really did have fun pulling books off shelves, chewing on the binds and smiling at everyone who looked her way. I hope she continues to enjoy the library and reading as she grows. I hope she finds the magic between the pages and learns that adventure is never far away when you’ve got access to books.

Thank you libraries for offering such a magical world to each and everyone of us!

disney parks

Cheers!

Just a Typical Monday Night…Escaping a Locked Room

Husband and I are always looking for new things to do in Nashville. We obviously love traveling and being adventurous, but sometimes leaving the country or going on a cross-country road-trip isn’t always possible (or as carefree as it was pre-baby) so we do our best to find local adventure. Lucky for us, Nashville is a city full of little adventurous surprises. Just the other day we thought we were running out of local amusements and decided to look at ideas on Trip Advisor. We could not believe that not only had we not done the #1 rated activity, but we had never even heard of it!

secret

The Escape Game. Just the name had us immediately intrigued. Then, there was the description, “real life adventure game”, “test your wits and skills” and “escape from a locked room”. Uh, you had me at “adventure”. We signed up immediately. I’ve got to tell you, it was awesome. I desperately want to tell you every detail about our 60 minutes locked in a Kindergarten themed basement and how we had to quickly solve ridiculous puzzles and decipher random clues while feeling super pressed for time. I really really do, but I can’t.

exit

You have to understand. This is a secret. If I told you it would ruin the fun for everyone. When we entered the room we were told not to touch anything that has a “don’t touch sticker” (like the fire extinguisher), that we had 60 minutes to escape and 3 free clues. Then we were locked in with no further instructions. It wouldn’t have been nearly as exciting if someone had told me anymore about it. However, I can tell you why  5 reasons why you should definitely come to Nashville and play this game!

A map with pins from people all over the globe who have tried The Escape Room.
A map with pins from people all over the globe who have tried The Escape Room.

1. It’s good for teams, friends, family, co-workers and any other group of people you can think of. The game forces you to work with people. We had so much fun running around the room digging through things and putting stuff together with our friends. We were yelling at each other and laughing at the same time. We came out of the room as a team.

2. It’s unlike anything else. I have truly never done anything like this and I want to do it again! There are three rooms to escape from (so far, more will be added soon!), and I only got to experience one! I desperately want to go back and do the others.

3. It’s for everyone. We went with 7 adults and one baby. Luna happily rolled around on the floor and played with whatever she could find as we frantically tried to escape. People of all ages would enjoy it and be able to participate. I was told that a service dog has even been in one of the rooms.

4. It’s a challenge. This is not a relaxing night out. It is stressful, fast-paced and requires problem-solving skills and ingenuity. You’ll love every minute of it.

5. It’s not a gimmicky tourist attraction. This is not cheesy, full of tourists in cowboy hats or riddled with BBQ and country music. It’s is a unique experience and worth 60 minutes of your time, for sure.

percentage

If you live in Nashville or plan on visiting (you better be!) you have got to try The Escape Game. Then, please please contact me so we can actually discuss it in detail. You are going to want to talk about it!

can you

Oh and BTW, we escaped our room with only 4 minutes to spare, so stressful!

Go us!
Go us!

Cheers!

When I Grow Up I Want to Be Katy Perry

Anytime I’ve heard the question “What is one thing you would change about yourself?” I always have the same answer: my singing voice. I LOVE to sing. I also LOVE to perform. I just know I am meant to perform on a huge stage with thousands of fans singing along with me and screaming my name. (I like attention.) This is by far my most common daydream. Whenever I am in the car or the shower I am almost always singing, creating choreography and putting together my worldwide tour. I am a rockstar at heart, but I am missing one thing…the ability to carry a tune.

IMG_20140627_205133

I am not exaggerating when I say I cannot sing. I mean, I really cannot. I don’t even know what a key is, let alone how to sing on one. Husband will attest to this. Luna would too, if she could. Poor baby has had to suffer through many off-key lullabies. I’d like to think that if I had lessons, I might at least not hurt people’s’ ears, but considering I’m almost thirty it’s probably a little late to start a pop-star career and go on tour. Now, I just live vicariously through the actually talented pop-stars…singers like Katy Perry.

20140627_211027

That’s right, I love Katy Perry and I’ve got no shame. My taste in music varies widely, but a large portion of my music library (i.e. pandora stations) is probably identical to a twelve-year old girl’s. Last weekend I had the pleasure of going to Katy Perry’s concert in Nashville. I went with my friend, Bella and we had amazing seats. We could actually see the glitter that lined Katy’s eyes and we were surrounded by hard-core Katy fans…or ‘Katy Kats’. These fans are surprisingly extremely diverse.

IMG_20140628_010401

Just around us there were boys and girls of all ages, and I mean all ages. There were Kindergartners dressed in sparkly dresses, a man in his 70’s wearing white tank and smoking a cigarette while taking pics of Katy on his iPhone, college frat boys and LOTS and LOTS of people in their version of Katy costumes. There was candyland Katy, jungle Katy, California Katy, whimsical Katy , Egyptian Katy, blue-haired Katy and the list goes on and on. We settled on little touches of Katy (blue hair, whimsical jewelry, lots of eye makeup…)

IMG_20140627_202950

Sitting right next to me was perhaps the best part of the entire show. Sitting next to me was a little girl, maybe 7 years old, and her Dad. The little girl knew and sang every single work to every single song, and not in an annoying way, but in a super cute adorable way. The Dad literally stood, danced, jumped or held his daughter and the sign they made the entire time. They made a poster that said “Dollywood is awesome and so are you!” and it had Christmas lights strung around its edges. The two of them dance and sang the night away and every time that Katy made her way toward them they proudly held up their sign until she notice and pointed right to them as she sang. It was so stinkin’ sweet.

not the greatest picture, but I was trying not to look like a creeper
not the greatest picture, but I was trying not to look like a creeper

The show itself was perfect. There was a “Kitty Purry” performance, all the favorites were sang, a myriad of costume changes, a pizza was given away and there was a huge balloon drop. It was basically a big sing-along/dance party. I’m sad to say that even though I sang with Katy the entire night and watched her very carefully I failed to pick up any of her talent. Looks like I’ll be stuck singing in the car to Luna as she covers her ears.

IMG_20140628_005121

If you like Katy Perry at all I highly recommend seeing her in concert. It was a good time.

20140627_224734

Cheers!

Why My Baby Hasn’t Ruined My Life

First flight!
First flight!

When we were pregnant we constantly heard negative comments and warnings from other parents (not all, but more than I expected). People loved telling us that our lives were basically over now that we were having children. Goodbye fun, no more adventure, adios traveling…none of this is allowed or possible once you have baby. Some of the more common phrases we heard were, “Good thing you got all your traveling out of the way before you had kids.” “Enjoy all your summer adventures now, this won’t be possible next summer.” “You know you have to stay home all the time once you have kids.” Every single comment sounded like a bad omen, like we just made a huge mistake, like I made a bad purchase and should exchange it or get a refund.

Luna's first time on a horse.
Luna’s first time on a horse.

I expected everyone to be happy and excited for us. I thought everyone would tell us how magical and rewarding it us to be a parent. The last thing I wanted to hear was “Beware! This is going to be so much harder than you ever imagined!” There are lots of reasons why these statements bothered me while I was pregnant, but after having Luna I am trying to understand what these parents were really saying.

First time in a swing.
First time in a swing.

I’m an optimistic, believe in the good in people, kind of person, so I don’t think these parents were trying to be harsh or that they do not love their kids. In fact, I’m sure they adore their children and even like being parents (most of the time). What I think, is that these parents may be, or perhaps were, going through a stressful time. I have to admit that as far as families and parenting goes, Husband and I have had it pretty easy so far (minus the whole me being sick thing). It’s true that we got to do so many things and see so many places before having children. That doesn’t keep us from wanting to keep traveling. On the contrary, it just makes us want to see more, However, we certainly don’t feel like we didn’t take advantage of our single kid-less life. We have no regrets, that’s for sure.

First swim.
First swim.

Also, I think that maybe, just maybe, we are slightly more adventurous than some of these well-meaning advisors. Maybe some of them didn’t do some of these wet-and-wild crazy antics before children, and therefore do not do them post-children. I don’t really know, but I do know having Luna has only added to the adventure in our lives.

First hike to a waterfall.
First hike to a waterfall.

We take her just about everywhere we go, and while it isn’t always easy, and certainly not faster, it has been very doable. We are pretty low-key people. We pack the essentials, carry backpacks, wear the baby and take her with us to show her how we like to enjoy life. So far, she’s been on a plane, hiking, to a waterfall, swimming, rock-climbing, on a boat, out to fancy dinners, played at parks, had a picnic, and lots more. I feed her when she’s hungry, she naps two-three times a day and is a really happy baby.

First trip to Cheekwood.
First trip to Cheekwood.

Sure, there are times when we have to cancel or reschedule (thanks teething!), but it doesn’t phase us. We decided to have kids because we wanted to be parents. We wanted this, and we know that parenting require some sacrifice, sacrifice we are more than willing to make. Even if we weren’t able to travel and have adventures, it wouldn’t matter. I can honestly say I love spending time with my baby. I enjoy feeding, changing, bathing and playing with her. Sometimes we just stare at her as she kicks her legs, rolls around and babbles to a stuffed animal. It’s somehow become more entertaining than anything on TV.

Her first boat ride.
Her first boat ride.

You know, now that I that I am writing this, I guess they were right… our lives are different. This summer is nothing like last summer. Regular day chores and events are more challenging and take longer to complete, but what they failed to mention is that it would all be worth it. They didn’t tell me how I’d grow to love someone more than I ever thought possible. They didn’t tell me that hearing a baby’s first laugh would be better than hearing a waterfall. No one said that feeling her fall asleep on my chest would be better than feeling the ocean water on my skin. I didn’t know that watching her grow would be our biggest adventure yet.

First rock-climbing trip.
First rock-climbing trip.

What I’m trying to say is, if you want kids, or if you find yourself in a surprise situation, do not let the fear of losing your pre-baby life takeover. Babies will live your life with you. If you love to travel, hike and climb, then your baby will love doing those things with you. If you love reading, painting and watching classic movies, baby will be loving it right at your side. That baby is going to make your life a hell of a lot happier. Yes, you will be busy, exhausted, stressed and covered in someone else’s bodily fluids, but it won’t matter. It’s all just part of the latest adventure.

First hike through the woods.
First hike through the woods.

Cheers!

P.S. We are currently planning our first international trip as a family of 3. Can’t decide where to go yet…any suggestions? Morocco? Australia? Chile? Spain??

Strawberry Pickin’

strawberry

Every once in a while I complain about my decision to move from the city to the county (giant bugs, no food deliveries, no Central Park or shopping on 5th), but the truth is, there’s a lot more I love about living in Tennessee than not. We are always finding something new and adventurous to do in the most beautiful places. Recently, we went strawberry picking with some friends and family. It wasn’t exactly adventurous, but it was fun and delicious.

field parker

 

The farmer told us to eat as many as we wanted while we picked. They apparently have so many strawberries that many go to waste. We ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate…and picked a little too. At one point, our small friend Parker was telling us how fun it was to pick berries. When we asked how many were in his bucket, he looked down with his berry stained-face and proudly said, “one”.

picking blue eyes

We picked enough strawberries for everyone to take home tons. We froze a bunch, ate a bunch and then I used the rest to make homemade strawberry jam. That’s right, you read that sentence correctly. I, the person who only cooked frozen pizzas a year ago made my very own homemade jam, and it is possibly the most delicious thing ever. I will most likely make myself sick on it before the week is up.

me berries

Wonder what will do next?

Cheers!