When I was a kid, my mom would take me to the Ohio State Fair once a year. I don’t remember ever riding any rides, and the smell of the fair food always made me feel sick. What a lame kid! But I loved going, every single year…it sort of marked the end of summer.

Now that I have kids of my own, I still love going that one time a year. Our trips look completely different from when I was a kid. I pack lunches…not because I’m cheap, but because my kids will want something from every single food vendor. From cotton candy to deep-fried everything. It’s challenging enough to get them out of the carnival game section without spending a giant wad of cash. I do splurge on the giant fresh-squeezed lemonades. I just can’t go to a fair without those cups of lemony sugar goodness.

My kids have their favorite spots at the Ohio State Fair. We have to start with the Goldfish game. I only let them play the “Win Every Time” games. I learned my lesson a couple of years ago. $10 drains fast with little kids and horrible aim. There is a great Goldfish/Hermit Crab win every time game in the middle of the game area, past the giant slide. For $5 both Luke and Eden won a goldfish and their own containers! It was a challenge to keep Adam from shaking the goldfish. After about 30 seconds, the new pets had names (Ladder & Flower) and we were on our way to the next stop.

*Editor’s note: Ladder & Flower have since passed away. RIP little fish who gave our kids a whopping 8 hours of joy. #neverforget*

The AG & Hort Building is their favorite where they can watch the large electronic train, learn about zoo animals and ride little tractors. The pedal tractors are a big hit with Luke and Eden, no joke…they remember them every year! The kids also like seeing the bunnies, little chicks and learning about zoo animals.

Next stop was the Natural Resources Park where we attempted to wait in a long line to fish. About 10 minutes in the line, Eden decided she didn’t want to walk…or stand…or cooperate…so after a major meltdown, we left…sans fishing trophies.

We stopped to eat our packed lunches, which in itself takes a solid 45 minutes. There is just so much for the kids to see, it’s hard for them to concentrate on eating. I don’t blame them…people watching at the fair IS. THE. VERY. BEST.

This year we didn’t make it into the livestock barn. Last year, Eden cried because of the smells (perhaps the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree) so we made one last stop at the kiddie “win every time” games where the kids won their favorite blowup toys. A princess doll, a sword and a puppy power hammer. Two giant lemonades on the way out and that was a wrap!

All in all, we faired pretty well! (See what I did there?!) And now we’re good for another 365.

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Ladder & Flower (RIP)

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Cute kid multiple called a girl. haha.

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Sword & Puppy Power Hammer

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I blame the little one for shaking the water bags. eyyyyy.

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Win Every Time games for the WIN.

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Duck, Duck, Goose.

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A Family Af {Fair}

I’m embarrassed to admit, but it’s been a really REALLY long time since I’ve made my way into a dental office. With so many moves, it’s something I know I needed to do, but it kept falling down the priority list. And then I’d forget. And then I’d blink and it’s been a couple of years, YOW!

Last week, that all changed as the kids and I made our way to Dental Reflections Dublin for exams and cleanings. The office is conveniently set in an office park in Dublin. It’s pretty close to the zoo, which is a win for us!

When you walk in, the waiting room is very clean and has a feeling of freshness with the pale blues and white theme. There are a ton of Legos for the kids to play with…honestly, any place with Legos is a fan favorite at our house!

Inside the office, there is an adult area and a place for the kids to be examined. Luke and Eden and I were separated since we all had appointments at the same time. I was a little nervous, as this was their first time but they did excellent!! The amazing hygienist took several photos for me, and I could hear Luke (no surprise there) asking lots of questions. The staff was so patient with my kids. Not to mention, the kids had no cavities and a clean bill of health! YAY!

Dr. Rudi As-Sanie was so kind and understanding as I sheepishly admitted how long it has been since I’ve seen a dentist. I really appreciated how non-judgmental the entire staff was. Let’s be honest, how many of us REALLY floss everyday, anyway?!

After x-rays, a full exam and deep cleaning I met with Dr. Rudi who chatted about Luke and Eden’s appointment and then mine. She was so helpful and pulled up pictures of my mouth to explain some potential issues I may face down the road.

The entire experience was amazing. The office space was clean and modern, while the staff was friendly and accommodating. I cannot rave enough about this practice, and I am happy to say we finally have a local dentist who we all love and trust!

*This post was sponsored by Dental Reflections Dublin. All opinion are my own.*

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Legos for the W I N!

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Such a beautiful and clean dentist office.

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They had such a fun morning at the dental office!

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X-rays can be scary, but the team was there to ease the kids’ fears.

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Luke was a rockstar!

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Eden was so brave for her first dental exam.

No Cavities!

No Cavities for me!!

 

Where do I even begin with this hotel?! From the moment you walk into The LeVeque Tower in downtown Columbus you feel as though you are transformed into a 1940s movie star. The theme song from the 1954 Sabrina movie song came to mind, as I entered the revolving door. You know, the Louis Armstrong trumpet version.

My husband and I received the royal treatment for our 7 year anniversary “stay-cation” last night at this incredible hotel. The rooms are uniquely decorated with dark wood, grey fabric walls, gold fixtures and mustard yellow chairs. There is a “star” theme in every little detail, from the framed photos to the evening stars illuminating the ceiling. Even the bedside chocolates have little stars printed on them.

The marketing team treated Jeff and I to a bottle of champagne and a beautiful candle for our anniversary. We ate dinner off site at Milestone 229, but returned to the hotel after a gorgeous stroll along the Scioto Mile. We enjoyed a nightcap at The Keep, and I couldn’t help but ordering the French Onion Soup. YUM!

After a very restful night’s sleep, we ordered room service this morning. THE VERY BEST FRENCH TOAST EVER!!!!!! Y’all, this is no exaggeration. Batter soaked brioche bread with seasonal compote syrup. I devoured it….

Now, it’s time to say goodbye to the most beautiful stay-cation as we head back to the chaos of our three little humans. At least we are refreshed and looking forward to another year of marriage.

xx

*This post was sponsored by Hotel LeVeque, all opinions are my own.*

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I still can’t believe it’s been 7 years since we said “I do.”

We recently found the tape our wedding was filmed on and watched it with our kids. They asked all kinds of questions like, why did we get married on the beach? Where were we? Where were they? They loved watching us in a younger version taking an oath to make a life together.

Our wedding was small and simple. We were married at a beach house in Destin, FL on July 23, 2011. Only our immediate family was in attendance and your dad married us. My dad was so nervous and forgot to walk me down the aisle. I literally had to call for him to come back to get me! My mom did all of the flower arraignments and I purchased my dress online for $90. It was perfect and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.

We are officially celebrating our anniversary tonight with a little Staycation…sleeping through the night like WHAT?!? But I wanted to write a little note about the last year. Our 7th year together.

Truth be told, you and I both know it hasn’t been an easy year. Our relationship is stronger than ever, but exterior factors make it a challenge for us to spend time together. You are now working 6 days a week, many days you leave before the sun goes up and come home just in time to tuck the kids in bed. On your off day, you like to sleep or spend time with our kids…as you should. I don’t resent you. I know you are doing this for us, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find the time to spend together. I know we both miss that so very much.

In the last year, we have helped open a new business and challenged each other to set new goals. You’ve pushed me to work harder on my writing, blogging and public speaking, and I’ve pushed you to stay focused on our future regardless of how tired you are.

You already know what you need to work on in terms of spending more time with the kids, so I won’t harp on that. I already know I need to be patient and value the little time we do get with you.

Tonight we will sit down to dinner and spend the evening talking about us. Not the kids, or the mortgage…just about our goals for the next year of marriage. I’m curious how often other couples do this, or if they do at all?

Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused in the eye of the storm, no matter how calm or rough the winds are. I’m looking forward to setting new goals with you. 365 day goals, 2 year goals, 5 year goals and so forth.

Thank you for asking me to marry you all those years ago. Marriage isn’t easy, but it’s a lot easier when you marry someone who looks forward to the future as much as you do.

xx

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I fulfilled a dream last week that I didn’t think would ever be possible. I single handedly organized and planned an event that raised almost $2,000 for Nationwide Children’s Hospital Infectious Disease Center.

The event was magical, and went smoother than I could have ever imagined. Friends, family and a few people I’ve never met before joined me at NOAH’s Event Venue in New Albany for one special evening.

We laughed, we cried, we laughed some more as I stood in front of nearly 100 women talking about my past life in news, the things I struggle with and some of my most embarrassing moments, and how I’m able to “Juggle It All”. You know, the career, the kids, the husband, the house, the friends and attempting to keep my sanity. It’s no surprise to many of you, juggling it all is hard work!

My main objective for the evening was to raise money for RSV research — which is a VERY important cause to our family. If you’re not familiar with our experience with RSV, you can read about it here.

It wasn’t all about the fundraising though. I wanted to share some personal stories to encourage ladies that I don’t have it all together either. I think it’s so important to give ourselves some grace when it comes to attempting to Juggle It All. To understand we are all IMPERFECT.

The algorithm outlines the steps I attempt to take on a daily basis while Juggling It All.

I- Instill Confidence– kill negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. 

M- Make a Calendar– the best way to stay organized when juggling so many things. 

P- Prioritize– knowing full well that priorities shift with different life cycles. 

E- Eliminate the Guilt– oh, the mom guilt. Y’all, it’s real and it needs to stop! 

R- Ready to go with the Flow– life throws you tantrums, I mean curveballs, I think it’s critical to be able to go with the flow. 

F- Find your Army– finding mom friends is hard. But when you find them, you must nurture them without judgement and always have their backs. 

E- Eliminate Comparisons– the ONLY person you should ever compare yourself to is yesterday’s version of yourself. 

C- Create Me Time — it’s not easy. But when you take time for yourself, you will feel recharged, refreshed and have a new lease on your chaotic life. 

T- The JOY — Finding the joy is simple. CHOOSE IT. Choose to be happy, choose to smile, choose to laugh. Choose JOY. 

So, let’s chat about the location! NOAH’s Event Venue was incredible. From the moment you step into the facility, it’s all first class. The interior is a beautiful grey with gorgeous wood floors. We had full access to the entire event space, including a prep kitchen, game room and the ball room — where the majority of my event took place.

Upon arrival, NOAH’s staff had the entire place ready with tables, linens and chairs. They were extremely helpful with my audio and visual components. I had so many people comment on the beauty of the space. I highly recommend NOAH’s Event Venue to anyone planning a party or event.

A special thank you to everyone who joined us last Thursday. Especially to my amazing sponsors. Thank you to Big Sky Express, Zest Juice Co. and Customized Girl for designing and supplying the amazing totes! Thank you to COOLA for the organic sunblock, Bliss Tans for supplying spray tan giveaways, We Make Up & Go for the hydrating skin masks and makeup, and Goldfish Swim School for the free swim passes!

My cup runneth over. You all will never know what kind of impact you had on my life by supporting my first ever fundraiser. I’d love to make this an annual event!

*Thank you to NOAH’s Event Venue for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.*

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