Whirlwind Surprise Trip

A few months ago my dad told me that my family was throwing a surprise 50th anniversary party for my aunt and uncle…


If you’re new to the blog… I grew up in Massachusetts (Peabody to be exact) and moved to Florida when I was 11. Most of my family still lives in MA – with the exception of my parents and my brothers.

I was still pregnant when my dad mentioned this, but knew that I wanted to try to make it up for the party. The thought of traveling with an infant was daunting BUT I know that traveling with an infant is 1800000 times easier than traveling with a toddler (aside: traveling with the 5+ crew it pretty fun). Word to the wise – if you like to travel, don’t be afraid to do it with a baby. The more you travel with them, the easier it is.

So, a month ago I booked the trip (my dad sponsored me – thanks dad!). The original plan was for the whole family to go, but the party was on August 18th… the day before the first day of school. Yeah, that was not going to work with my kids. So it ended up being just E and me. We left after work on Thursday and got back LATE Sunday night.

Baby's first TSA line. We made it thru. Woo-hoo!

What are you talking about? TSA at MCO is SO FUN!!!

The flight up was full of parental mistakes (the biggest included accidentally leaving the pacifer in the car seat – derp!), but it was relatively uneventful and I arrived at my cousin’s house around 11… and then crashed.

Prior to the trip up, I sent a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper up to my aunt (the one who DID know about the party) for E to sleep in. Luckily, one of my cousins is expecting her first baby in just a few weeks (!!) so E was able sleep in something he was familiar with AND I was able to leave it for her as a gift. This ended up working out great because E slept like he does at home and I didn’t have to cart anything extra around. I already had my luggage, huge carry on, stroller, and car seat!

So, back to my weekend…

We ate a lot of seafood…


No makeup, hair in a bun, beer in hand...




Baby’s first lobster bib.

I drank A LOT of Dunkin…

I don't know why, but DD tastes so much better in MA.


I was AT a Dunkin Donuts when I took this picture.

Saw A LOT of relatives (a huge chunk of my relatives live within 20 minutes of each other – so jealous!)….


This is my godmother/great aunt. She was a midwife/lactation consultant/doula back in the day. It’s STILL her passion. I just love her.


You know... just hanging out and playing Mario Kart.

Evan loved meeting his cousins today -- especially @kam71xx


Already eyeing the beer.

Beer me.













I talked A LOT about babies (my cousin AND my sister-in-law are pregnant — Did I tell you I’m going to be an AUNT?? :))….


Babies are cute, yo.


She’s a natural :)


Yay for babies – and cousins — 9 months apart :) PS – This was the exciting news I learned about a few weeks ago!

And surprised the hell out of two wonderful people – celebrating not only 50 years of marriage, but 50 years of family.



On Sunday, I was really, really sad I had to leave. Not JUST because the weather was gorgeous (IT WA SO NICE), but because even though I am a true Floridian (it got down to the high 50s and low 60s and I was freezing)… I am a Masshole at heart. I just love that place!


Gah…so pretty!

It was SUCH a whirlwind trip, but I’m so glad I went. Seeing my family and being in MA just makes my heart happy. And truthfully? I needed it.

The trip back was relatively uneventful (I learned from my mistakes!). There was a lot of sleeping this time around.


In case you were wondering my arm was asleep in this picture.

And I managed to make it back to send Braeden and Livie off to their first day of 2nd grade and PreK.


Bonus… Evan found his toes.

First day of school -- 2nd Grade and PreK

Wait…how did this happen??? *sob*

This trip and the beginning of the school year ends an insane summer… I feel like I’ve been on the go since May. Fall (whenever you decide to arrive in Florida), I welcome you with open arms. I am ready to slow down a little. Please? There are so many posts I want to do, but I haven’t had time! Look for a 3 month update (yes – E is already 3 months old!) and a postpartum running update (yes – I am really running!) coming soon.

When the last time you were part of a big surprise? Does it surprise you that I cried when they arrived? It was just SO sweet!


  1. says

    Wow I’ve always wanted to go to Massachusetts it looks beautiful and love the fish!!

    E is so cute :-) and I’m happy your running. Gosh do I miss it. I’m lookin forward to being able to again post baby. :-)

    Glad you got to see your family
    Jen recently posted..Carbs!

    • says

      You need to go! I love Boston too – I didn’t make it to the city this time, but it’s such a great place to visit. It’s completely a walking city – so fun!

      I’m still building up my endurance, but I am still really enjoying all of my runs! I wish I was able to squeeze in a few miles while I was in MA, but there wasn’t enough time/energy :(

  2. Colleen says

    love the DD pic, I’m from Beverly and work downtown Boston, and once heard a duck tour operator roll by with the info that there are 197 DD’s in Boston. and I swear I’ve been at every single one. Glad you enjoyed your trip home. Woodman’s onion rings are the best ever.

    • says

      I would NOT be surprised if there were 197 Dunkins. Ha! So you MUST have gone to both of these DDs on Route 1 (I know I’ve been to both!). It’s actually pretty smart – and owned by the same person. No turn arounds necessary!

      We took the scenic route after eating at Woodman’s and drove through Beverly Farms and Beverly :) I agree on Woodman’s onion rings. That batter is amazing! I’m glad that place hasn’t changed much. Still feels like it did when I was growing up!

  3. says

    I’m NOT surprised you cried–I cry at EVERYTHING these days! Well, to be fair, I cried all the time before I was pregnant too…I’m just a sap! I’m terrified to travel with Baby…and we have 3 big trips planned between now and May. Two of them are long car trips, one is 14 hours & it’s happening in just a month! I’m hoping Andrew still likes his carseat by then. Next is a trip for Thanksgiving to GA (10+ hrs in the car) and then in May a trip out to Washington State to visit Ryan’s family…that’s the one I’m most scared about. But at least I’ll have Ryan with me for all of these so I won’t have to go it alone! Glad you had a great visit in MA!
    Theresa recently posted..Baby Update: He’s Here

    • says

      Ha on the crying! Hormones are no joke.

      I find flying much easier, probably because there is more flexibility and you can both focus on the baby – but I’m sure that Andrew will do just fine with all of your trips! There will be stops and diaper changes – but do as much now as he sleeps the majority of the time! By the time you are flying in May you will be seasoned parents! Plus everyone loves a baby- even a crying baby.

      By the way – I keep meaning to comment on your birth story thread. I did read it, I swear. Lol #slackerfriend

  4. Melissa says

    Aw! So fun! And aren’t you impressive traveling with the baby all on your own?!

    I surprised my mom for the launch of her first book–although I kind of think she knew I was coming! :)

    • says

      I think most people thought I was nuts traveling by myself – BUT they were also so kind.

      Surprises are so fun! I need to find more excuses to have surprise parties.

  5. Susi says

    So glad you had a great time and that things went well with the travelling part. I do agree that it is a lot easier to travel with a baby than with a toddler or two!!! And surprising family is just the best. :)
    Susi recently posted..{Instagram Sunday} August 17

    • says

      I cannot imagine traveling with a baby AND a toddler alone – have you done it? I think I would need a entire bottle of wine on the flight to survive. Although, it’s probably not a good idea to be DRUNK and traveling alone. So scratch that. Lol.

  6. says

    So glad you guys were able to be with family! I bet it was so special for Evan to meet and hang out with your extended relatives too. I flew with Hunter by myself twice when he was 8 weeks and again when he was 12 weeks. I was SO nervous. It was a little stressful at times, but I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. Everyone wants to help you when they see you by yourself with a baby. I am definitely NOT looking forward to traveling in the toddler years though! Eeek.
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted..Going Outside of My Comfort Zone

    • says

      It was so nice to go up there with them – especially because he got ALLLL of the attention and I didn’t have to stress about the older ones acting out because THEY weren’t getting the attention (these are all things I never really would have thought of before having more than one kid, btw).

      Everyone really DOES want to help – I had so many offers from people to hold stuff! I DID have the gate check guy hold Evan while I folded the stroller. Lol. I think it made his day – especially when E gave him a smile.

      Toddler years aren’t really THAT bad as long as you have a distraction system in place. We took the kids from Orlando to San Francisco (and back) last May when they were 3 and 5. I thought it was going to be horrendous and it was actually fun!!

  7. says

    Yeah! So glad it all worked out. Isn’t it just the best bringing your baby to your big, crazy family? I know whenever I take E home I barely see her because she gets passed around and loved to death by all. As sad as it makes me to not be there all the time, sometimes it’s fun being the exciting out-of-towners coming in for special events!

    Mmmm, Massachusetts Dunkin. Dammit. Now I want another coffee.

    And that last pic of L and B? I die. I feel like that’s an instant classic.
    Jackie @ MomJovi recently posted..Disney on Ice Presents Princesses & Heroes (GIVEAWAY)

    • says

      I’m so glad it worked out too – even if I stressed about all the wrong things. Lol!

      I love taking my kids up to my family for the same reason. It’s really such a vacation because they get so much attention and my cousins all have kids the same age.

      Seriously, MA DD is so good. The coffee here pales in comparison. Can Missy send some down?

      I’m SO glad I got that shot. I was almost going to give up on getting a cute shot because they weren’t cooperating too. I can’t believe the new school year is here though.

    • says

      I didn’t know about the sleep n play thingy either with my older kids. Although, they might not have had it. HOW DID I SURVIVE??

      The seafood was sooooo good. Florida seafood is good too – but our lobster sucks.

  8. says

    I think I need caffeine in my veins right now. Teething again. Yay!!! Sounds like a fun little weekend and I want to face plant into that cake. I can’t wait for December because we’re spending almost a month in Florida, which is exactly what I’m looking forward to, and you might have to pry me from the airport because I won’t want to leave!
    char eats greens recently posted..i only have one wish

  9. Denise P. says

    I think I would love MA because I am a huge seafood fan.

    I had to laugh at your traveling with infants/toddler comments because our baby won’t be here for another 5.5 months but fiancee already has this decree that we will not travel with the baby for at least a year… His parents live in Guatemala (and I’ve yet to visit) and our friends in Texas just got engaged. My mom said but I flew with you at 7 months and he pointed out that that was pre-TSA, take your shoes off, put everything in bins, weight limit, long lines and being stuck in a terminal before your flights. I guess he has a point there. Maybe he’ll loosen up a bit once we get into a routine.

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