Lake George Love!

::  The McGee Family vacation 2016 is officially in the books!  It was the perfect blend of fun, giggles, new experiences, antibiotics, meltdowns (toddler meltdowns don’t take vacations people!) and even a few cold Blue Moons.  ::

lake george love


We only get 18 summers with the kids before they head to college (insert sobs here!) so Denny and I are big believers in taking time each year to get away from the stress and chaos of everyday life.  This year we picked Lake George, NY!  It is less than 5 hours away (a huge requirement when you have a squirmy little boy who despises his car seat) and it offered all types of toddler-friendly activities.

The days leading up to the trip started out a little bumpy with 2 trips to the pediatrician, a round of croup, a 104 fever and an ear infection (who knew this could happen after getting tubes?) BUT we still managed to head to Lake George within 14 hours of our originally planned departure time.  Yes!!


Here are the highlights for each of us:


  • Steps that do NOT have a baby gate

He spent hours going up & down these steps.  It’s ultimate freedom for a toddler!

  • The washing station that people use to get the sand off their feet.

He couldn’t get enough of this.

  • The hotel water slide!

He cried for 25 minutes after we went back to the room. This little boy loves to swim!

  • Morning explorations – Mitchell is still an early bird so Denny and I took turns taking him outside each morning.  He loved checking out the property every morning at 6 am   (and once I grabbed my coffee I didn’t mind the cute company either.)   🙂

“Stay close Mom, we’re heading into the woods!”



No line for the slide at this hour!

  • And oddles of fun on all the kiddie rides!

These two had a blast at the Magic Forest, which was perfect for the kiddos!




  • The beach!   She loved playing in the clear waters of Lake George and playing in the sand.  She made a giant castle for “Punzel” aka Rapunzel.

Beach baby 🙂


After the castle came the creation of Lake Daddy, appropriately named after the lead digger on the project.  Mitchell even left the steps and the foot washer to get in on the fun.

  • Visiting Santa at North Pole, NY!   We realized that Lake George was within a short drive of where Santa lives so we had to stop by and say Hello to our favorite jolly old guy.

Asking Santa for a balance beam


Here’s a shot of Santa’s house in case you were wondering.  It’s a 1 bed, 1 bath little home with great curb appeal and solid schools.


The flying bobsleds!


Who doesn’t love a holiday moose?!?


Christmas carousel with Daddy!


Blitzen was hungry!

  • More rides at the Magic Forest and the giant 4-story slide that she bravely went down about 20 times.

She flew down this slide then got up and ran back up the stairs for more!

  • And a giant lollipop, yum!

She requested that the lollipop also be in the picture with her. 🙂


Admittedly, Denny and I are exhausted from chasing these kiddos around a non-baby-proofed hotel room but we had a really fun vacation too.  Here are our highlights of the trip.


  • Housekeeping and no cooking for a week!   Be still my heart.
  • Beautiful scenery.  Lake George is undoubtedly a gorgeous area to visit.

Picture taken in Lake Placid (in full disclosure the picture was taken from a moving car with two squirmy kiddos in the backseat en route to Santaland – site seeing didn’t exactly occur on this trip)

  • One-on-one time with the kiddos.  We each had an individual “date” with the kids.  Kenzie played her first round of mini golf on her night with Denny, and I took her to see the boats in the lake.   Mitchell and I had a chance to dip our toes in the water and dance on the beach to some live music!


  • A few days away from the normal stresses of life – no work, no bills to pay, no dishwashers to unload.  Talk about bliss!

Family time rocks!


We are super grateful to have had the chance to get away to Lake George and we can’t wait to go back again soon!

Vacation love,


Life in the slow lane, and that’s okay with me

Sweet, sweet summertime.

A little thing in life that I have come to adore is the smell of my babies covered in sunscreen.  It usually means that we are on the brink of leaving for a fun day – swimming, riding beep beeps at the kiddie park, or running through the splash pad.   Some of the best memories that we have made with the kiddos involved the use of sunscreen.


This summer has been a little bit different than we expected and we haven’t quite used as much sunscreen.  Mitchell’s episodes have gotten worse (more about those here) – more frequent, worse in duration and still plain scary to see – so we have toned it down and shifted to the slow lane.  It’s hard to say what will trigger an episode, but we know that they are exacerbated when he is overtired, overwhelmed, or overheated.   Although they have no consequences on him in the no-long term, they are exhausting on him in the short-term and often lead to an immediate nap.   In general they are something we strive to avoid at all costs.

But in a weird way, there is a silver lining to this whole situation.  His breath-holding spells (which fortunately will subside in the coming years, hooray!) have helped us find fun things to do close to home and within our normal routine.  Rather than spending hours chasing down fun or pushing the limits with schedules and activities, we have been able to savor the little parts of life.

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These two! 🙂

We have been living up summer with two toddlers in small ways.  Water balloons, hide n seek, walks around the neighborhood, indoor Olympics, tunnel races, short (yet sweet) trips to the kiddie park and extra story times.


Sweetest & happiest boy ever!


Water balloons!


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Imitating Big Sis during the indoor Olympics

Kenz had her dance recital in June and is now loving “nastics” class so she hasn’t noticed the slow pace.   In a few weeks we’re even hitting the road to enjoy the slow pace in Lake George, which I’m pretty sure will be good for all of us.  And it may include sunscreen, but if it doesn’t that’s okay too.


Such a proud night

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Loving “nastics!” and getting excited for the Olympics!


So here’s to a great summer!   Here’s to enjoying life, being silly and making memories in unexpected moments.  Here’s to getting out and wearing sunscreen, and here’s to staying in and having just as much fun.  Here’s to trips near and far, and loved ones on our street and on our minds.  Here’s to life in the slow lane and here’s to appreciating it.

And here’s to all of us taking a deep breath and just focusing on the really good stuff in life.



slow down

Cheers & love,



:: Life Lately ::

Gosh, these kids of ours make life fun!

It’s crazy and tiring… there’s sippy cups and toys everywhere… we’re sometimes stressed and often tired…

But we LOVE it!!

::  A rare slow moment of snuggles in the midst of a busy weekend. ::



Blogging has sadly been moved to the (way) back burner, but here’s what’s happening in our little world…

Mitchell Dude!

Mitchell is officially healthy!!   We are so incredibly relieved and happy.  Friday was (hopefully) our final trip to the pediatric cardiologist where he received a perfect report on his EKG and echocardiogram.   This means that the expected diagnosis of cyanotic breath holding spells is the official outcome.  He’s still having pass-out episodes but now we know exactly what it is.  (Insert huge sigh of relief)  In two weeks he gets tubes put in to dodge to pesky recurring ear infections and then we will be ready for a summer of fun!

In other fun updates, he is walking all over the place.  His cute baby legs can’t get him places fast enough and we know that the running phase is next.  Might be time for the baby leash!

::  How lucky am I that this little boy likes to hold my hand? ::

His personality is emerging and he is so sweet and lovable.  He is full of smiles & giggles and often gives big wet kisses.  I couldn’t imagine life without this hilarious little guy.

::   Mr. Giggle Pants   ::

Mitchell has a huge heart for all animals!   He adores our kitty and he loves trips to the zoo.  Yesterday he spent about 5 minutes just pointing and petting the Target dog.  One more reason to love this place!

::  Mouth open and drooling… that’s the same thing that I do while I’m in the Target dollar shop.  ::

Makenzie Ruth

Not even sure where to start with this girl, or should I say teenager/threenager?  She has become so smart and determined and independent.  We are slightly sad to see our baby girl growing so quickly, but we are so thrilled to see her turning into such an awesome little girl.

::   Purse full of toys – check! Big kid puffer vest – check! Ready to go – check!   ::

Makenzie is full of love & affection and spunk & humor!   She continues to be an awesome big sis and gives Mitchell tons of daily hugs and kisses (even when he is too busy playing and has no interest in her smooches).


::  Hugs for the little bro!  ::

In just 3 weeks our girl is going to be in her 2nd dance recital.  Last year we were in Mommy & Me together, but this year she will be dancing with just her friends up on the big stage.  I’m pretty sure I will need some tissues watching this little tapper.

:: Cheese! ::

Kenz is a great helper and loves to run errands with me.  This weekend at the grocery store she even picked out her very own sponges so that she could help me clean the floors (score!).  Secretly I think she wanted to pretend to be in the movie Annie because when we got home she asked me to turn on Hard-Knock Life while she scrubbed the floors.   🙂

:: Gotta love the beep beep carts! ::

One of Makenzie’s favorite things to do is hang with the neighbor kids!  She is our version of neighborhood watch patrol and she always tells me who is coming & going.  She loves to yell out the window when the kids are getting on and off the bus, and she is even happier when she gets to play with them.  Luckily, they are all AWESOME and they let her tag along with the fun.

::  Abbi, Kenz, Strawberry Shortcake Bailey (aka the Cabbage Patch doll) and Will. 🙂   ::


We are super excited for a fun summer with these two.   Here comes the warm weather!!

:: Warm weather, Woo Hoo!! ::

Have a great week!


Just because

In the midst of the two-kids, two-careers, too-little-sleep chaos I do not want to forget the little goodness that happens every single day.   John Lennon said it best, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.


Here are a few little snippets of life

::  Blue eyes  ::

So handsome.


::  “Freezies” with the awesome neighbor kids.  ::

Have I mentioned how cool our neighbor kids are… many of them are in high school yet they still take time to hang out with our kiddos.  They make Kenzie feel like she is the bees knees.

Kenz in all her glory with Will, Rachel & Emma!

::  Bumble bee rides at the playground with friends  ::

These two are such buddies. 🙂

::  Sunnies during bubba time  ::

Because you would too if you were this cool.

His future’s so bright he needs shades.

::  And last but not least, Friday Story time!  ::

Check out this cute duo!


On that note, sweet dreams!


Dear Makenzie, you’re my favorite staycation buddy

Dear Makenzie,

Hi little pumpkin, it’s me, Mom.  You will undoubtedly grow older and forget many of the moments and experiences of your childhood, but I want you to always know what a special week we just had.

Last week your Dad and I took time off work for a family staycation.  We saved you the misery of a long road trip, we woke up in our own beds each morning, and we were able to be tourists in our own backyard.  It was a great week and you were a very fun little staycation buddy.


In case you someday forget, here is our virtual scrapbook of the week:

::  A Trip to the Olcott Beach Carousel Park  ::

This is THE cutest little kiddie park!  You rode over 20 rides and loved the short lines.  And as a bonus, it’s only a quarter per ride.  We’ll definitely be back!


The old school beep beep cars. You liked to pull the string and ring the bell.



Flying high in the jet fighters



Family hot air ride while dressed in our finest bonnets (ignore the blank stare on your cousin’s face in the swim trunks)


::  Playdate fun  ::


Tickle monster visit


::  A trip to Sunset Bay Beach  ::

Luckily we had hot weather one of the days and we headed to the shores of Lake Erie for some fun in the sun.


You loved the sand and the water! You’re our little beach baby 🙂


::  Breakfast fun  ::

We spent mornings spent in our jammies and you did a great job helping me make pancakes, yum!


Try it Mom!

 ::  Visit from Mamaw and PapPap  ::


Loving your Mamaw


Swing with pappap 8_2014

You had a great time riding the ‘Wheee!’ with Pappap

::  A trip to the county fair  ::

Nothing says county fair like a ride on the mini tractors.  My favorite attraction was the hand sanitizing station.


The beep beep tractors


Thank you Makenzie for bringing so much fun into our world!  Your Dad and I would not know what to do with our time off without you (wellll maybe we would do something like golf or sleeping in but those are overrated anyway).  It was such a fun week and it will be even more fun when you have a little brother or sister to join in the craziness.

I love you to the moon and back munchkin.



Summertime & the little things

Life is undoubtedly about the little things.   And the little things have been our focus since the summer arrived.  We’ve been busy enjoying the long days and hopefully you’ve been doing the same.


Here are some of our favorite summer Little Things:

  • The Bubble machine aka the BEST $11 we’ve ever spent at Target (and we’ve spent a lot of $11’s at Target).  If you have anyone in your world under the age of 5, the bubble machine is a must!

Chasing bubbles (notice the high level of concentration with her tongue out)!



  • Two new semi-successful yet easy dinner recipes.  Aw yeah!!!!  Busy Moms, take note.

#1 – Mini Chicken pot pies – Relatively easy and very delicious.  This makes plenty for 2 nights.

mini chicken pot pies#2 – Baked Ravioli – Easy AND Cheesy!  It can be prepped in under 12 minutes the night before.. put in the oven at 5:15pm and you’ll be slipping into elastic waited-pants by 6.

easy ravioli bake

  • A Jamberry manicure. This is a fun and inexpensive way to pamper yourself and it can easily be done during naptime.  It takes about 20-30 minutes to apply, and it lasts up to 2 weeks without chipping.  Check it out here

  • Ice cream.  Denny and I have always loved a sweet treat after dinner but it’s even more fun sharing it with Kenzie.

Mint ting-a-ling! Yummmmmm

  • Black-out drapes. Makenzie seems to think that if the sun has come out to play, then she should get to play too, which means she’s been sleeping less than ever.  But we’re the parents for a reason so we tricked the trickster and bought some black-out drapes.  It was the best $15 Big Lots purchase in a looong time and Kenz has been back to her regular sleep schedule.  Sweet dreams baby girl, Mom’s got some dvr-watching to do!


  • And lots of outside time!  We’ve been trying to soak up the warm temperatures as much as we can.  Kenzie has conquered the slide, her trike (kind of) and the swimming pool.  Thanks to her life vest she swims completely on her own and is even brave enough to jump off the edge into the pool (eek – this still terrifies me).  Hopefully I’ll eventually get some pictures of our little swimmer girl in action.

Pool time!



Kenzie trike

Tour de Signal 2014. She’s been bulking up on performance-enhancing products to include juice, bananas and ice cream.


Checking out the ducks with cousin Ryan.

And speaking of little things we’ve only scratched the surface.  There’s a new blog design on the horizon (arriving very soon, yay!), some home projects and a few more little things up our sleeves.  Stay tuned, it’s going to be a fun summer!


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