The Virginia Flower & Garden Expo Backyard Party

I'll admit I'm not the biggest fan of yard work. I love being in my yard, but putting the time in to make it look good just isn't my thing. I love looking at flowers, but planting them myself or remembering to water them just isn't for me.  But I found myself at the Virginia Flower & Garden Expo Backyard Party this weekend and had a blast.
Among the vendors were displays of grills, bird feeders, dipping oils, honey, backyard set ups, fire pits, tons of plants, home made baked goods, and more. The children's section was one of the best I've seen at a non children's event. There were bird feeders to make, fairy wands to roll, sensory bins and boards, backyard games, face panting, and a clown. The best part was that kids under 12 were free, and all kids' activities were included. 
There were tons and tons of booths. There were chickens to pet and Amish baked goods to eat, owls to see, lots of educational displays and lots of talks on the garden stage. There is a $2.00 off coupon on Facebook, and they are open still Sunday, January 26th. Stop by! 

Toys Ahoy!

The Mariner's Museum is on a quest to turn their museum into a more family friendly place. We did a post about their Maritime Monday and the new things at the museum a while back.  With admission being only a dollar, there is no reason not to check out their Toys Ahoy exhibit.
The Toys Ahoy exhibit showcases over 100 examples of marine inspired childhood toys. This includes puzzles that kids can complete, a boat to climb in, and an over sized battleship game. 
From the exhibit I learned about the ban on toy production during the two world wars and how marine inspired toys, originally mostly from Germany, have now been made in America for years due to the war. 
Go on a Monday and check out the Maritime Monday. Be sure to stop by the lego table, the play ship, the international gallery and then head outside to play on the two wooden ships. Confession: I didn't know the international gallery was there the last time we visited. It's in a building in the back. With lots to play on and see, find a day to stop by!

Nature Connects: Botanical Gardens

Showcasing that everything is connected, Nature Connects has come to Norfolk's Botanical Gardens. The thirteen displays throughout the park include a butterfly, hummingbird, flowers, a deer, and more. Our favorite, hanging from a tree was the spider. The exhibit includes over half a million bricks and was created by artist Sean Kenney.
It's advertised that there is a kids building station in the Children's Garden, but this weekend they were inside in the Rose Garden. I'd ask before walking around.
If you've never been to Botanical Gardens, be sure to visit:

6 Months

Half a year that our little guy has been with us! It's hard to believe. This month we traveled to two different places in North Carolina, explored around Hampton Roads, and went to Ronnie's first ODU game. We celebrated holidays, cheered in (early) New Year's Eve day, and spent lots of time with family. 
We moved into this house in July and are finally getting some of the last things done. We are trying to get everything hung and putting final touches on everything. Things I don' recommend, moving with a three week old! Sometimes that's just how things work out. 
The holidays are always hard for me. The days can seem like time markers leading up to the first when my dad died on the first. This year we will walk in the Purple Strides walk again. If you'd like to walk with us or donate to help with Pancreatic Cancer patients or research, please check it out here. I've talked a lot about dealing with loss with a toddler.  I can't encourage everyone enough to order one of these recordable books. My mom got one for Ronnie this year, because you just never know, and I think that these are so special. 
Half a year has passed, and I'm sure that in 6 more months I'll be looking back and reflecting on the year wondering where it went. Time is weird that way, we know it seems short and we are still shocked by the feeling. I try to remember to breathe it all in and enjoy it while it's happening. Cheers to the next six! 

20 Family Goals for 2020

2020 is here and in full swing. Most of the work is done on our house, and with Ronnie already six months old, we are in a more normal and predictable routine. Some of these goals are practical short term things that we just need to find time to do. Others are long term that will take months (maybe years if I'm being honest) to do. Either way, it feels good to make a list and be able to check items off. So here is our 20 for 20. Here's to us all having a healthy and happy year. 

01. Hang up the rest of the pictures in our house! Why can't we seem to find time for this? Either the baby is sleeping or we are going somewhere; we don't have the right size frames... it's always something. 
02. Go to the Chesapeake Arboretum. I've literally been trying to get here for 2 years and can't find a day to go.
03. Pay down debts. Getting the new car was awesome, but having two kids meant that Neil had to get a bigger truck too so the car seats would fit.
04. Family vacation, not somewhere too far or fancy, just something fun for us all.
05. Get a desk, put the computer on it, actually use it.
06. Pack healthier food for lunches. Sometimes it's so easy to just throw the granola bar in, but the sugar in it is no joke.
07. Pack up baby stuff for the Team Hurwitz for Pancreatic Cancer Spring yard sale. We are two and through, so it's time to get rid of stuff either by passing it to others or selling it in our spring yard sale.
08. Clean out my car.
09. Compliment at least one person a day, because everyone loves getting them!
10. Finish the books we have. Neil and I both have several books on the self that we want to read but we just haven't gotten to. I'm putting myself on a book buying limit until I finish the ones I've got.
11. Recycle smarter. Did you know that most of us are causing recycling problems? Cities in Hampton Roads are trying to get rid of recycling programs because of some of the issues and how expensive it is. Plastic bags can only be recycled in special places, take them to your local Target or Khols and find the bin. Shiny wrapping paper can not be recycled. Either can some boxes that have been in the freezer, as they have additives to stop freezer burn. 
12. Make a will. This one is SO important for our kids! 
13. Meet with a financial advisor. Put a little bit more into retirement. It seems so far away, but it isn't really that far. 
14. Unsubscribe to the junk emails. I get SO many. 
15. Send cards. My cousin Christine is so good at this, and I'm so, so bad. 
16. Get (and keep alive) some kind of plant in the house. Plants make air. Fresh air is good for the brain... but I still can't remember to water them. Whoops. 
17. Sanitize our devices more. How often do you really sanitize your phone? It's so full of germs! My computer at work is always so gross. Hello, classroom full of second grade sneezes. 
18. Deligate, deligate, deligate. I'm not sure where we can sneak some help, but grocery pick up, cleaning help, dog grooming. We need some help. 
19. Hang up some more lighting in our backyard. 
20. Go on a parents only trip somewhere. (Somewhere close!) Have some time for just us.

That's it! We will see how many of these we actually accomplish, but setting the goals helps me try to follow through! 

Norfolk Admirals

Growing up, I spent so many nights at Scope for the Admirals' Hockey Games. My dad was a long time fan and had season tickets for my entire life. I used to sleep through the third period and he had  to carry me out to the car. Now that I have kids, I knew I wanted to get them to a hockey game. Since we recently went ice skating, and RT has told everyone he knows about it, I knew it was time to get him to a game.

The Admirals is the ECHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes. They play at Scope regularly and have promotional games throughout the year. Salty is the original (and real despite what other people might say!) mascot of the Admirals. Salty's Kids Club is $20.00 and includes buy 1/get 1 ticket offers for some games, an Admirals water bottle, sand pail, and temporary tattoo. It also includes access to Chilled Ponds Hockey days and kid's club events with Admirals players, a monthly newsletter, a digital birthday card from Salty, and discounted tickets for all Admiral's games. Honestly, if your family is interested in going to some games, this is the way to do it. You'll recoup your $20.00 in two games when you buy one/get one free.

The Admirals offer a family four pack for $60, which includes four tickets, four hot dogs, and four sodas. Wednesday night games they have $2 beers, $7 tickets, a $5 food item at the concession stand, and select $7 merchandise. What a bargain.

Upcoming Promotional Games:

  • 1/11- Admirals Through the Decades
  • 1/15 Health and Fitness Night
  • 1/24 Faith & Fitness Night
  • 1/25 Military Appreciation Night
  • 2/7 The Office Night
  • 2/8 Pink in the Rink
  • 2/12 Swipe right night 
  • 3/4 Daddy Daughter Day 
We went on Harry Potter night, so Scope had some Harry Potter themed accents spread throughout the building. The boys were most into the zambonies, the cars that drove on the ice, and their snow cones. 

Jump! Trampoline Park

In our area we have seen a shift from malls having only things to buy, to adding things to do and I couldn't be more thrilled. Lynnhaven Mall has followed this trend and houses Jump Trampoline Park, with over 12,000 square feet of trampoline space. With its more industrial feel, Jump has areas for dodgeball and basketball in addition to its regular and angled trampolines. They have a foam block pit and a trapeze swing. What makes jump different for me is that it has a dedicated space that is always for younger kids in addition to their designated toddler hours. Jump recently opened a Ninja Warrior course, which our boys were able to play on despite their (and our lack of) ability and at no additional cost.
Hours are Tuesday, 3-8, Wednesday 12-8, Thursday 10-8, Friday 10-10, Saturday 10-11, and Sunday 12-8. Wednesday mornings, 10-12 are reserved for their Jumping Beans program, ages 6 and under. Thursday morning the price is honored, but they do let in older kids. I'm so happy to say that they now offer this program Monday nights, 5-7 as well! The cost is $10.00 for child and one parent. Each additional child is $8.00.
As small of a thing as it might seem, a special shout out to them too for having a stool for the bathroom and water fountains. It always amazes me at these small conveniences that make a huge difference for kids.

Thursday nights from 6-8 are nerf nights. Be on the lookout,  Glow nights are coming soon! 4th grade me would have been ABOUT a glow night! 


Fine Art is defined as "creative art, especially visual art whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative aesthetic, or intellectual content." At the Peninsula Fine Arts Center fine art for kids is hands on.
The changing "Hands On" gallery is a spot for self directed play and art. Most of our time was spent playing with Magnatiles, drawing with chalk, and building on the lego wall. We also made some popsicle stick crafts from their bins of options. PFAC does rent out the space for birthday parties too!
On Wednesdays PFAC also hosts "Art Start" for preschool aged children. From 10:30-11:30 kids get to take part in guided activities each week. Children five and under are free. (Registration is required; check online.) Each class has a brief lesson, a song, or a story followed by a related art project.
Upcoming themes:
  • January 8- Paper Puppies
  • January 15- Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb drums
  • January 22- Contrasting Colors
  • January 29- architecture and cityscapes 
Another class, "Art Adventures" is for toddlers and their care takers to explore different types of art. They use paint, clay, yard, and more. This class is for ages 2-5 and their parents, the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month. The cost is $15.00 a class per member or $20.00 for nonmembers.
Art museums can seem scary to take young kids to, but I appreciate that PFAC has signs in the galleries with talking points for kids and families. If you're looking to check it out, the museum is closed on Monday, open Tuesday through Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 1-5. Tickets are $7.50 for adults, but they do have a military discount. They also offer free admission the first weekend of every month when an exhibit is on view, and $1.00 admission Memorial Day through Labor Day!

MacArthur on Ice

For the 15th season, MacArthur Mall brought back their outdoor skating rink. The 7,200 square foot rink now includes a small separate rink for toddlers and young kids. The kiddie rink is 14x12. The rink is open until January 20th and is open Monday Through Thursday 3-10, Fridays 3-11, Saturday 10-11, and Sunday 12-8, with special events as follows:

  • Jan. 7- Student skate night
  • Jan. 8- Date Night Skate
  • Jan. 11- Disco on Ice
  • Jan. 14- Student Skate
  • Jan. 15- Date Night Skate
  • Jan. 18- Disco on ice
  • Jan. 20- Paint the ice 
The rink is located just outside the mall on Monticello across from the Norva. Admission is $7.00 and skate rental is $8.00. There is a military discount. Toddler skates are skates with double blades that strap over their shoes. 
Make sure that you are there Monday-Saturday at 6, 7:30, or 8:30, or Sunday at 6 and 7 to see the magical snowfall. Concessions are for sale. Also, be sure to check out the exhibits next to the skating ring too!