Family · Uncategorized

We Escaped!


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1 Murder+3 Suspects+6 Friends+2 Strangers+60 minutes= a lot of fun and laughs (and a wrongly convicted murderer)

If you have never gone to an escape room you are missing out. Some of our friends had a Groupon for Lockology Columbus Escape Room and invited us to join them. It was a blast.  Aside from the slight panic I felt as I signed the entry waiver there was nothing scary about the event.

Once our party was gathered the creepy employee tasked with making us all nervous led us into a small office–the location of the murder.

A video explained our mission and the rules. Then, the door was locked and our one hour began. In order to unlock the door we had to name a suspect and find the combination to the door’s lock.

I can’t reveal anything about the actual case and clues, but I can tell you that it was tricky. In the end we guessed the wrong murderer, but did break out with the correct code. So we were 1 for 2.

Now, while I learned that I’m not quite cut out for the life of a CSI agent, I did enjoy the mystery of it all. I’ve seen a lot of Twitter posts where teachers have used the tactics of the Escape Room in their classrooms. I can see the appeal, and I’d love ideas for making this fit into my high school English or History curriculum.

I am very thankful for my friends and the chance to get away with them and share hours of laughter.

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The Ameri Brit Mom

 

 

Family

Another One for the Books

Another birthday has come and gone. I am now officially 25 and I feel great. As always, I was treated like royalty by my husband and family and I’m extremely grateful for the time that we spent together as a family on my big day. Truthfully, there is nothing I would rather do than get away and enjoy the beautiful outdoors as a family so all in all it was a perfect day from start to end.

I awoke on my birthday to a big hug and kiss from my daughter accompanied by a joyful, “Happy Birthday, Mommy!” My husband was anxious for me to unwrap my gift so I was quickly handed a gift bag with a mysterious box within. I was overcome with elation when I opened the cardboard box and realized that my husband had purchased me my own HP Chromebook.

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Since beginning this blog back in February I have done all of my writing on a school-owned computer. I’ve never complained about it, but I’ve been envious of other bloggers who have all the bells and whistles to work with and so my husband could not have picked a better gift for me. My new laptop came with a message on my Google Drive from my husband and daughter which explained how inspirational my motivation for my blog and writing has been and how I deserved my very own machine with which to continue my pursuit of writing.

I don’t know if people understand how much my blog has helped me. It may seem like a pointless hobby to some, but since I began my blog I have worked and fought for a little bit of “me” time everyday. As a young mother I had begun to let my busy, demanding life take over every part of me. I had allowed myself to drop all of my goals and dreams and I really struggled with some emotional stress as a result. When I set out to begin blogging I began to repossess some of those goals I set for myself years ago. I now make it a point to spend time reading and writing everyday.

Each day brings me a step closer to my goals of ultimately becoming a published writer. I’m still waiting for the perfect article or story, but with practice everyday I am making progress toward that and any progress is better than how I was living. Blogging has become therapeutic and I am so lucky to have the support from my husband and friends to take that time for myself to pursue my goals. My husband has read all of my posts and manuscripts and he continues to have faith in me. His confidence gives me the strength to keep on believing in myself as well.

Aside from receiving a pretty amazing gift I spent the day at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium with my husband and daughter. As previously stated in earlier posts the Columbus Zoo is the #1 zoo in the country and it is located about forty-five minutes from my house. A day spent at the zoo is always one well spent. There are constantly new attractions added and the exhibits are top notch. This year they opened a new exhibit called Pirate Island. It’s essentially a boat ride with life-like robotic pirates and sea creatures that squirt water. To be honest, I wondered if my daughter would find the ride terrifying, but she handled it well and enjoyed her first ever boat ride.

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Here are some more shots from our day at the zoo:

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For dinner we ate some lovely, and relatively healthy BD’s Mongolian BBQ. I’m on a pretty restricted diet due to some recent health problems, but really all that means is that I’m being forced by my body to eat a little better. I can’t really argue that I need more vegetables so Mongolian BBQ was a good option because I was able to create a vegetable stir-fry. It was delicious, as always.

Finally, we topped off the night redeeming some Graeter’s Ice Cream gift cards. We found a large Graeter’s near the zoo and ordered some delectable flavors. The ice cream was particularly spectacular after an 85 degree day in the sun. I ordered a double scoop: one scoop mint chocolate chip and mocha chip. (The mocha chip tasted just like the Starbucks Mocha Frappucinos that my great-grandma buys at Kroger and sticks in the freezer…PERFECTION!)

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The Graeter’s we visited also happened to be the historic shop where they give tours and it has an indoor playground of which we took advantage.

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I have a lot of people to thank for this awesome birthday experience. First, my husband for planning for a flawless day and making me feel so special every day of the year, but especially on my birthday. Second, my daughter who was on her very best behavior all day making it a fun, stress-free birthday. Third, all of my friends and family who continue to support me with their kind words and encouragement. Thank you to each and every person who has made the past year what it has been. I’m looking forward to 25!

Family

Columbus Zoo

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I’ve mentioned on here before about spring being my favorite season. Among lists I’ve given as to why I prefer spring to any other season I may have neglected one of the best parts of spring and that would be Spring Break. This fabulous week off of school always serves as a precursor to the impending summer vacation. It gives a little hope for what is to come, and it is always so much better when the weather is pleasant. Today, the weather was windy but beautiful. My daughter and I packed our sack lunches (she chose lunchables at the store yesterday along with Veggie Straws and strawberry applesauce), put on a couple of layers and met some of our church group friends for the journey to the Columbus Zoo.

Every summer since our daughter was born we have made a point to venture to the zoo at least once. It’s always been a good time, however, today was by far the most she has enjoyed the experience. She was able to do much of the walking on her own and discuss with me about the many different animals she witnessed.

The Columbus Zoo is always a phenomenal experience, and in my opinion is one of the best zoos around. One could spend several days at the Columbus Zoo and still not engage in all that it has to offer. The zoo is well organized, clean, and educational. It was a wild and active trip, but it was also well worth it. To see my daughter appreciating the beauty of the outdoors, the animals, and friendships makes it worth the exhaustion after the fact.

I’m now more than ever looking forward to summer vacation so that we can embark on similar adventures more regularly. The toddler years are tiring, but so much fun. I am blessed to have a daughter who is so in love with learning and life. Motherhood is a beautiful thing.

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Blessings

It Takes a Village

Over the past two and half years I have learned a lot about what it means to be a mother and a wife. The most important lesson that I’ve learned about myself from this time is the importance of community in my life. Although the beginning stages of your child’s life are so rewarding and miraculous there comes a time where you begin to crave adult interaction. I am a firm believer in the phrase that, “It takes a village (or community) to raise a child.” There are so many things that I can learn as a mother and my daughter can learn from the people that God has strategically placed in our lives.

I’ve been so blessed in my own walk to have people come alongside me and join me in this journey of life. I’m so grateful for each and every person that God has used to foster and build up this beautiful state of community that I live in. I have godly friends that serve not only as spiritual leaders for myself, but also as encouragement for my family. I also have a church that is positive and uplifting.

My family belongs to a small group from our church that meets on a weekly basis to discuss life, struggles, and sermons from the pastor. I find this group particularly encouraging because we were led to join a group where we were the youngest couple. It is so awesome to have the resources of mothers who have children older than my own to seek wisdom from. These moms get what it’s like to be in my shoes and they have survived. I look forward to meeting with these families every week and they are so special to my family. This is a goofy picture of some of our small group packing candy for a Trick-or-Treat outreach we did this fall. I’m not quite sure why the men decided to make silly faces…maybe too much candy.

I’ve also met one of my dearest friends through this church group. One week as a prayer request I mentioned needing a new sitter for my daughter as my sister who was the previous sitter was moving. If you’re a working mom you know how scary this can be. I was really fearful of the idea of not knowing who I was going to end up entrusting my daughter’s care to, but this friend of mine stepped up and I just felt so at peace at her offering to watch my daughter. That has been such a huge blessing and confirmation to me that we are where we are supposed to be as a family in this group. My daughter loves her new sitter and she is such a good friend on so many levels. (More on her in another post to come)

God has also blessed me with a friend that I work with who has been there for me through so much over my past four years of employment. We’ve been friends through so many of life’s big stages and milestones and I feel that our faith has kept us close even when our lives are busy and insane. We’ve continued to make our friendship a priority even when we both are stretched super thin. We share many values, but are both uniquely different in our personalities. I love it. This picture is of my good friend watching the fireworks with my daughter last Fourth of July.

Community has also been built with family. My husband’s family lives in England while we reside in Ohio, but Skype has been amazing at keeping us close and updated on the happenings overseas. I’m so pleased that our daughter regularly talks about her English grandparents and carries memories of the few times she was able to see them. We venture that way every summer, but for my two year-old to vividly recall memories of them the way she does I know that means they have had such a pivotal role in her life and they mean so much to her already. This picture is from July 2014 when my husband’s family came for a visit.

My own family lives near us in Ohio. My family does a lot to help us out and we have made a point to do Sunday Dinners with my mom, dad, and sisters. This is so important because as we each grow and live our busy lives we are able to reconnect on those Sunday evenings and our kids are able to have that weekly time to bond and play together. This is a picture from my sister’s wedding in June 2014.

So my community is….

-Family

-Friends

-Church

-Small Group

I felt the need to shout out to those that God has put in my life today. Thank you all for being there for me and my family. Although it is my responsibility to care for and raise my child I know that I can’t do it alone. All of you have taught me and my family so much through your guidance, love, and faithfulness. Thanks for being my COMMUNITY…or village 🙂