Goodbye Feb, hello March!

We are digging out, or better yet the sun is out and melting it all away.  Early February brought winter and tons of snow. I don't mind winter if there is snow.  Almost 20 inches over one weekend. We don't pay for a plow, instead we snowblow and shovel. Our long driveway can be completed in about 2 hours with the 4 of us. 

Among the routine of work, school and life we got out a bit. Below are a few pictures form the last 2 months. Details below each pic. 

Spring Attitash ski day! Nic was in lessons and Chris is not yet cleared to ski from his hip replacement. 1/2 day in 55 degree weather, second half of day in downpour. 

Spring Attitash ski day! Nic was in lessons and Chris is not yet cleared to ski from his hip replacement. 1/2 day in 55 degree weather, second half of day in downpour. 

Dogs loving the snow, Scout more than Lucy. :) She tolerates it. 

Dogs loving the snow, Scout more than Lucy. :) She tolerates it. 

Chris and I are both pros with snowblower. Chris even repaired it a couple of times. 

Chris and I are both pros with snowblower. Chris even repaired it a couple of times. 

Inside shenanigans. 

Inside shenanigans. 

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Celebrated a birthday and the big V Day.

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Bus stop. Here, kids are required to go to school in snow gear. They can go out for recess unless it's below 20.

Cold days as the snow melts away. Nic is a ham.

Cold days as the snow melts away. Nic is a ham.

The start of College tours with Andrew. He successfully took the SAT. Lots of prep.

The start of College tours with Andrew. He successfully took the SAT. Lots of prep.

Day at the Museum of Fine Arts and surrounding city walk. Boston 2017.

Day at the Museum of Fine Arts and surrounding city walk. Boston 2017.

Snow hikes with the dogs at Steel farm.

Snow hikes with the dogs at Steel farm.

2016-2017 happy new year!

But first let's recap the last month of 2016 ... We decided, at the very last minute, to book flights to Utah for the Christmas holiday.  We were all super excited to go and see family and it was a wonderful jampacked trip. We packed very few clothes and lots of Christmas gifts. While in Utah we attended family dinners, skied Alta and Snow Basin, church, visits with grandma's and cousins, and the movies. We even snuck in food you can't get in Massachusetts a.k.a. Cafe Rio.

We came back mid week and still had plenty of holiday break here in Massachusetts. Leslie was kind enough to take the dogs for our impromptu trip. We drove up to retrieve the dogs and had a nice lunch and afternoon catching up with Leslie and Billy. 

For New Year's Eve, Chris and I headed into New York City to see Phish at Madison Square Garden. It was a 3-1/2 hour drive there. We waited in line and scored show posters and really enjoyed a nice long unique concert. After the show we headed to promptly home, another 3 1/2 hour drive back. New Year's eve drivers are nuts and we won't likely do that again.  Plus, all nighters are harder and harder to do, I like sleep . However in all and as expected, it was awesome!

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Catching up! Hello

Wow! When I stop updating the personal blog I really do it well.

How about we catch up? October and Early November on the East Coast is my most favorite time of the year. The weather is perfect, the scenery is beautiful, the days are brighter and the bugs are pretty much nonexistent (except ticks). Nicholas had his first tick bite. We caught it before it burrowed completely and successfully removed it. So gross.

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We purchased the most amazing leaf blower! It works like a dream and has so much power. It pushes the massive amounts of leaves back into the woods. No bagging is needed. This blower will even blow the acorns out of the grass like rolling marbles.

Halloween is a little different living in the woods. Not many Trick - or - Treaters are ready to brave the long walks and darkness.  We decided to drive to a local subdivision so Nic could hit the doors. He made out with just enough candy - his costume this year was Captain America. Andrew and Ben dressed as teenagers. So elusive there are no photos.

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Andrew is taking a photoshop class at school for an art elective. He is learning the ropes. He created this cool graphic with Nic and the Avengers.

 

Thankfully I did a previous post about Andrew turning 17. He is driving, prepping for the SAT and has just successfully complete 20+ hours of certification to be a ski instructor at our local ski hill. As of yesterday he is officially employed.  Woohoo! 

Ben is totally enjoying High School and is immersed in school work, Latin and Chinese being his favorites. I'm not sure If I ever mentioned it but he made the freshman soccer team and had an awesome undefeated season. He is now playing Futsal and practicing weekly with a competition team. If you want to reach Ben, send him a snapchat.

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We are still playing tourist over the weekends when we can. We've enjoyed a couple of long days in the city. Walking the Freedom Trail, exploring the North End, Ice Skating at Boston Common Frog Pond and a visit to the Aquarium. Boston is a great city for Pokemon hunting so Nicholas does not mind walking around.

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I took a quick 3 day trip to New Jersey for Stampin' Up!'s OnStage convention. I drove down myself (about 4 hours) got lost in downtown New York along the way. I enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones. I was selected to be one of the project display stampers for the event and created over 15 fun projects that highlight new products from the upcoming Occasions catalog. If  interested, you can see many of those on my creative blog.

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Chris and I are lucky that Andrew and Benjamin are such great sitters. We've enjoyed a couple of really fun date nights.

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Thanksgiving was wonderful and intimate. I made the entire meal (2nd year in a row Chris!). Food was delicious and not to hard to prepare.  Leslie came down an stayed and introduced me to the Gilmore Girls. I had never seen it before and now I am a huge fan. I love Netflix!

Chris and I did a little black Friday shopping, on Friday! No stores are open here on Thursday which is super nice. The parking lots were virtually empty. It was so weird.

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The house is all decorated and we are ready for Christmas. I've been making caramels left and right. The shopping is done. Cards are mailed. We are basically enjoying a low key December. Our Elf, Elfy, has been making daily appearances. Some days he is more creative than others. Hopefully more to come if I can get my act together. Happy Holidays!

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Happy #17 Andrew!!!

The beautiful child that made me a mom has just turned seventeen! How the time has flown ...  Andrew is such an amazing, smart, handsome, kind, generous, athletic and funny young man (just to name a few of his awesome traits). He is a hard worker, great big brother and caring son.

I am so lucky to be your mom and I love you so much. I hope you have a wonderful Birthday kiddo.

Look at these shrimpy parents!

Look at these shrimpy parents!

Wedding weekend & Labor day fun

We had the great pleasure of attending the wedding of Abby and Sam Conger over labor day. CONGRATULATIONS!!! For those that aren't familiar, Abby is Chris' cousin, daughter of Renetta & Alan. 

What a gorgeous wedding it was. I'll describe it as biker chic. The decor, cake, flowers, and scenery were picture perfect. I snapped a few phone photos to help us remember this special day.

The wedding took place in Jackson, NH over labor day. We decided to make a full weekend of it and packed in a trip to Storyland, a family photo shoot, golf, antiquing and a few nice meals out. What a nice way to end the summer.

Abby & Sam Conger #conger2016

Abby & Sam Conger #conger2016

Chris' family: Leslie, Megan, Renetta & Kim.

Chris' family: Leslie, Megan, Renetta & Kim.

Us!

Us!

Nina w/ Leslie & Me with Holly

Nina w/ Leslie & Me with Holly

Reception happenings from table 2.

Reception happenings from table 2.

Nic and his killer dance moves.

Nic and his killer dance moves.

Scenes from Jackson & the Eagle Mountain House in Jackson.

Scenes from Jackson & the Eagle Mountain House in Jackson.

A Day at Storyland. Andrew was there, just not pictured.

A Day at Storyland. Andrew was there, just not pictured.

2016 Family photoshoot.

2016 Family photoshoot.

1st day of school 2016 & Look who's driving?!

The kids started back to school last week. Another year! 1st grade, HS Freshman, HS Junior. The dogs somehow made it into the pictures also. They love the boys.

Ben wasn't into having his 1st day of school picture. His expression matches the business Scout is taking car of in the background! LOL.

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Nic is ready for 1st grade! Full of energy and excitement.

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Junior year for Andrew, fun times ahead. Can you say SAT?!! Yep! Andrew has his license and can legally drive on the road! It's official. We are so excited and proud of him reaching this next great life milestone. Congratulations kiddo!

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Summer happenings 2016

So behind on posting. I'm gonna photo dump the last two months! June & July flew by. We packed those months full.  

hip replacement

utah vacay

vt vacay

5 phish shows

beach

home improvement

 

 

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May happenings

I guess we had too much happening in May for me to blog. So many highlights, here we go:

1. Chris graduated from Pepperdine and now is a Dr.  Chris and I flew to LA for his graduation and then had a quick layover in Salt Lake City where we got to see the Utah family.

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2. Nicholas turned six.

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3.  Yardwork and we are enjoying much better weather.

4. Nicholas is a great poser. Always posing when the cameras out.

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5. Baseball 3 to 4 times a week for Andrew.

6. Ben spent the better half of the month recovering from a concussion from a kick to the head during a soccer game. He even missed a week of school.

7. I took a quick trip to New York for work and got to catch up with some old Stampin' up! friends.

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Spring Break & Brooks family visit

THANK YOU Brooks family for an amazing visit. So much fun! Geoff, Ky & the kids came from Utah for a visit over spring break. We packed it in, everyday something new.

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Ky ran the 120th Boston marathon. So impressive! We watched and cheered her along. There were so many people cheering it made me tear up. Many spectators along the route provided water, food, lube and basically looked out for all of the runners needs. With Chris' navigation skills we were able to see Ky 4 times along the route! We even caught up to Melissa once. When we hit the city we were blown away by how many spectators. Geoff and I tried to find Ky after the run and it was insane to navigate. 27,491 runners and 500,000 spectators. WHOA!

The night before the marathon we had a quick Sunday dinner with our family, the Brooks Family and Paul and Missy (Melissa ran the marathon as well). It was so great to catch up with everyone and it literally was the first time we've had more than 2 guests over. LOL.

120th Boston Marathon - KY is AMAZING!

120th Boston Marathon - KY is AMAZING!

I should have posted pictures daily. Instead I'll bombard and download highlights from the week here. We had such a great time. Come back soon!!!

Kennebunk - Maine

Kennebunk - Maine

Cape Elizabeth - Maine

Cape Elizabeth - Maine

Cape Elizabeth - Maine

Cape Elizabeth - Maine

Boston Duck Tour - the kids got the drive the boat!

Boston Duck Tour - the kids got the drive the boat!

Red Sox game

Red Sox game

Lobsta!

Lobsta!

Antiques! - Pyrex bowl sets for 45$ & 60$ - Mom you got a deal!

Antiques! - Pyrex bowl sets for 45$ & 60$ - Mom you got a deal!

Even though the older boys aren't shown in pictures they had a nice spring break too. Ben spent the first 1/2 of break in DC for a School trip. 80 kids took DC by storm. Ben got some visit time in toward the end of of the week. I believe he kicked Geoff's butt multiple times in FIFA.

Andrew had 3 baseball games, more driver's ed, game nights with friends and also tagged along on most of our adventures above. He's good at avoiding the camera!

All fixed! Super broke.

Scout is all fixed or neutered rather. I won't tell you how much it cost to do this in Massachusetts cause it'll make you cry, and maybe even swear (like I did). Everything here is so expensive. Dumb on me not to ask the fee before we did it. I just assumed it would be comparable to when we had Lucy spayed or Samson fixed. WRONG. We love the vet we found but we may shopping around.
At least the dog it cute, that is something.

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Mallett March Happenings

Hello Family and Friends! Hope all is well. As we dig out from the cold of winter it seems our March ended up being pretty busy! Here are a few highlights.

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In case you missed it - Chris successfully defended his dissertation is is all set to graduate in May! We are so proud of him and all of his accomplishments.  Hooray for being done with school. Boo for student loans.

Chris has also been traveling a bit. Seattle, LA, Portland (OR), and next week DC for a meeting at the White House! I hope he gets to see the Cherry Blossoms. I think they are peaking this week.

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Spring sports have started... Congratulations to Andrew for making the JV baseball team!!! He has spent the last six months practicing, prepping and working hard to strengthen his pitching arm, This kid is dedicated to baseball! He has had no pain in his pitching arm for over 6 months with daily PT and biweekly PTherapist visits. We are proud of him as he continues to work hard at his baseball goals.

Ben is starting another season of outdoor competition soccer. He just ended a successful Futsal season. Soccer is all about practice! His team has been practicing for a few weeks now. He has another practice tonight and will continue with a couple practice sessions every week and at least one weekly game throughout the season. Along with soccer Ben is also on the school track team. Daily track practice starts Monday. This kid will be busy and in shape this spring.

Nicholas is also a little soccer star. He finished a 6 week indoor session last week and is now onto outdoor soccer. His team starts up next week. Nic is also into all things musical and artsy. I am searching now for beginning dance and music lessons. I found a kids hip hop class that I think would be a good fit. He had a serious cry the other day when he learned this is the last season of American Idol. He said "now I will never get to try out for American Idol". LOL. Sweet boy.

The dogs are well and are also excited for Spring. Lucy has gained a bit of weight with all of these extra puppy training treats and rewards. She needs to start working out! Scout is a PUPPY. A mellow puppy but still a puppy. He can get into trouble. He can open the door from our garage into our house. While comical it poses a problem. We were out running errands the other day and I left the dogs in the garage, usual protocol. We came home to the garage house door open, both dogs in the the house and Nic's Easter basket goodies all but consumed. Scout was fine but Nic wasn't. Ha! Scout will be fixed early next week, punishment? Nah, already scheduled. Scout STATS: 6 months, 54 lbs.

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A huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Chris. He survived another year around the sun. Yippee! We had a small celebration last night with dinner (chicken cordon blue), cake (not my best) and presents. After we watched some OJ. Are you watching OJ? So fascinating!

I am well. Busy with freelance work and forever grateful for it. I can't wait to get outside and work in the yard. Maybe today even? To do: Taxes, yuck! As always I need to loose some winter weight. This year did not serve me well. I started Atkins. I've never done a carb / sugar free diet. I'm 5 days in and getting less grumpy by the day. Wish me luck!

A few random notes. Added some lights to the house = Yeah. Subaru car repairs = broke, big time. Nic Dentist = NO! Andrew is driving more and more = Yippee!

Hope your March was fabulous. Love and and hugs to all!

 

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The color of March

I am so very happy we had a mild winter this year. I think we deserved it after the record breaking winter from last year.

This March, so far, has been warmer than last March and the world around shows signs of awakening. Soon all of this will be green but for now ... this rusty, tan, brown is the color of March. Right down to the two golden retrievers that are finally enjoying some outdoor time.

Views form the yard.

Views form the yard.

Dogs - ug, a bath is in order.

Dogs - ug, a bath is in order.

Bust stop shenangans.

Bust stop shenangans.

A visit from Mom!

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What a week! My mom came for a visit. She has never been to MA before or New England for that matter so we really tried to pack it in. The boys were in school so during the day she and I did all sorts of touristy and sight seeing stuff. Since I am fairly new to the area many of our trips were new to me as well. In the off time we sat and visited, played games with the kids, watched movies, walked the dogs, crafted and basically chilled. Mom even made here famous chocolate chip cookies - which proves it can be done here. It was SO NICE to have her here and I hope she come back every week, or month or year!

We LOVE you Mom/Grandma! Hope you had a wonderful trip.

North coast day trip to seek out a few lighthouses. COLD!

North coast day trip to seek out a few lighthouses. COLD!

Longfellow's Wayside Inn and grounds

Longfellow's Wayside Inn and grounds

LDS Boston Temple in Belmont

LDS Boston Temple in Belmont

Sleepy Hollow cemetery, burial spots for Thoreau, Alcott, Emerson to name a few.

Sleepy Hollow cemetery, burial spots for Thoreau, Alcott, Emerson to name a few.

A walking tour around Boston.

A walking tour around Boston.

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Winter Break! A few days at Attitash

It's been a couple of years since our entire family has been skiing together. We fixed this problem last week with a couple of days at Chris' hometown ski resort, Attitash. We stayed onsite and it was super fun to wake up and ski right out the door. Nic took a couple of lessons and we all skied! And while cold, the days couldn't have been prettier.

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Ice castle in Lincoln NH

A little delayed but here are some fun pictures our night trip to the Ice Castle in NH. We went with Megan and her kids and it was a great night. So many fun places to take pictures!

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January recap

I've been hunkering down working a bunch of hours lately so I have been neglecting the personal blog updates. All is well in Mallett land.

We have enjoyed a mild weather January. It feels like spring. I know this won't last but it makes daily walks with the dogs so much more pleasant.

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I celebrated another year last weekend! GO 42! Andrew & Ben volunteered to watch Nic while Chris took me into the city for a spa day and a nice night at the Liberty Hotel. The Liberty is the old Boston prison converted into a luxury Hotel. We enjoyed nice food and people watching. It was a great birthday. Family and friends sent nice gifts and birthday wishes. It feels great to be remembered. THANK YOU!

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The dogs are well. Puppy training is helping keep Scout in line. Nicholas loves him so much that sometimes his hugs are little to hard and invoke a tiny growl from Scout. Lucy is enjoying feeling young again and I am constantly picking up stuffed animal guts as these two dogs can really tear them apart.

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Ben and Andrew are great but, as you know, not too willing for photos. Andrew is enjoying ski team and is improving daily. The snow here is different from Utah and he has a bit of a learning curve. Andrew made the local paper the other day. Benefit of living in a small town.

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Ben and team won a soccer tournament. Five games spread out over a Saturday their team won 4 of 5 games and Ben had a 4 game shut out with NO goals scored! He played super well and had a great time!

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Chris spent a large chunk of time finishing his chapter 4 & 5 of dissertation. These are out for review right now and hopefully with minor edits he'll graduate in April!!!