Amy Artisan

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Category: M’Amy’s Girls (page 1 of 4)

Weekending…Down the Road…

This summer has been filled with all sorts of busy as a big work project nears a Labor Day weekend deadline. In the midst of this, my Texas crew relocated to Pennsylvania and we have been trying to figure out when a visit would occur before school started – either them to see me or me to see them. This past weekend, I “mostly” took a break so that I could head northwest in the state to hang out with my girlies in their new home and new town. After a busy Friday morning in the office, I finally left around lunchtime with a goal of quality time with some of my favorite people.

Blue Skies

It was a beautiful day for a drive and the scenery was great. In no time at all I was there. The girls and dog ran outside to greet me as I pulled into “my” parking space and before long they were giving me the tour of their new home and amazing yard.


Friday evening included a great meal at Happy Valley Brewing Co – then a driving tour around Penn State – then we stopped into the Creamery on campus for delicious ice cream cones to end a lovely summer evening. The August Pie flavor of the week that I chose was a perfect taste of summer. We all chuckled that the littlest in our crew got the largest ice cream cone…AND she managed to eat it all!

Ice CreamAfter the girls were in bed, it was great to catch up with the grown-ups over tasty after dinner drinks. And then, Riley the dog graciously let me sleep in the guest room that she has claimed as her room in the new house – she stayed with me all night.


I was awake early on Saturday morning & did a bit of work before the 2 youngest girls tiptoed downstairs and into my room. The morning included a visit to one of the great farmers markets where we loaded up on an assortment of beautiful produce and treats. Saturday afternoon started with a visit to the Boal Mansion and Columbus Chapel for the local Herb & Garlic Festival.


Then we headed a bit down the road to experience the 142nd annual Grange Fair. The girls had a great time on the midway rides. Because it was the last day, most of the animal exhibits were already empty so we didn’t get the “full” fair experience. We did enjoy strolling through the streets of the tent camp that has been a staple of this fair.

Bumper Cars

Saturday evening meant homemade pizzas and dinner on the patio under the pergola. As the sun set and the soundtrack of nighttime nature kicked in we stayed around the table for quite a while talking all sorts of serious and silly topics with the ever curious girls. Since pizza on the patio was a frequent evening during Texas visits, I commented that we must be home since we were enjoying pizza on the patio at their new place!


Sunday morning started with a seemingly never ending round of Uno with the girls before breakfast that included some delicious treats from a bakery stand at Saturday’s market. We then visited a local church which reminded me of their Texas church home. After lunch, the girls insisted on washing my car which yielded some soggy girls.


Before long, it was time to load up and head home. It was another beautiful day for my drive towards home. It is an easy and scenic drive between our homes and I anticipate there will be many trips between our towns as the days and months go by.

Texas Time

In typical Amy fashion, work trips & fun trips ended up stacking up in early March. After being home from Wisconsin for 3 1/2 days, it was time to head to Texas for a long overdue extended weekend with my girlies. When I arrived on Wednesday evening, the girls were already asleep; however, as I settled into Miss M’s room for the weekend it was evident that someone was excited I was there: I was welcomed into the Hotel M’Amy suite that included many reminders of being in Miss M’s life.

Welcome to Hotel M'Amy!

Welcome to Hotel M’Amy!

Thursday was a low key day – plenty of playtime with the girls. Miss V was initially a bit shy to me but in no time all was normal and she was even reading to me. (Following in her sisters’ footsteps in the reading, for sure.) Miss M & Miss K treated me to a piano concert as they practiced – including a duet. And where we used to leave the little girls behind to spend time shopping, this time Maya & I took a backseat to 3 girls with definite opinions as they were clothes shopping.

18 months was too long

18 months was too long

Now it's Miss V's turn to read to me!

Now it’s Miss V’s turn to read to me!

Piano concerts from the girls

Piano concerts from the girls

Friday had us on the road right away to head into Dallas. After telling me about it for years, the girls were able to finally share the Perot Museum of Nature & Science experience. We started with a fun 3D flick about chipmunks preparing for winter and then headed to the top level and began working our way down through the levels. This curious gal had so much fun exploring with my curious gals – we were battling spring break crowds so we didn’t get to do everything but how fun it was to step back & watch them explore.

3D movie fun

3D movie fun

No tulips this spring break - but we like sea turtles, too!

No tulips this spring break – but we like sea turtles, too!

Finding the microscopic worms

Finding the microscopic worms

Saturday started with homemade pancake breakfast and then playing at home. Later in the morning, Miss M decided I needed a sparkly spa pedicure. After lunch, we went to a local pottery place & had some painting fun. I look forward to incorporating my new plate into my decor – each of the girls painted a flower for it.

Painting a "M'Amy's Girls" plate

Painting a “M’Amy’s Girls” plate

After days of gray & rain, Saturday was beautiful weather so instead of going out for dinner we decided to open the patio dining season at home. Grilled steak and chicken and veggies were delicious as we sat at the patio dining table surrounded by twinkle lights and the beautiful backyard. The clear sky and sight of stars and the moon sparked conversation about space exploration from the girls, including “has a woman ever walked on the moon?” Dinner was topped off with s’mores made in the outdoor fireplace.

Pondering space exploration while dining under the stars

Pondering space exploration while dining under the stars

Ending the evening with s'mores

Ending the evening with s’mores

Sunday started slower as we sprung ahead. Another gorgeous day had dawned and so we spent plenty of time outside – walking the dog, flying kites in the open lot across the street, at one point, Miss K & Miss V decided it was time to jump in the swimming pool.

Giving the pool a try

Giving the pool a try

Before long, final hugs were being given and it was time to head to the airport. As we backed out of the driveway, this sweet scene was bidding me a reluctant farewell.

goodbyeThe days with these girls were just what I needed! I’m so lucky to have these 3 delightful little ladies in my life!


Autumn has arrived…and like the rainbow hued leaves falling from the trees, the days on the calendar seem to be quickly moving by…in the midst of it all, these are some of the things that filled my October days…

ReadingDevouring Curious on a Saturday…starting a new book about the Army Rangers that a college friend co-authored…overall, not a lot of reading this month…

Listening…finally downloaded the latest album from Rend Collective & enjoying it in frequent rotation…

Crafting…some progress on my Brewers season scarf redo…a new travel project on the needles for upcoming travel weekends…

App-ing…finished up 2 digital scrapbooks with the Shutterfly Photo Story app & got them done in time to take advantage of a great sale…

Cheering…the Kansas City Royals in their post season play! Their 1985 World Series run was when I first became a baseball fan. Even though they didn’t take the series it sure was a lot of fun.

Cooking…several of my simple favorites have made the rotation this month…

Sipping…some good autumn brews with a good friend…

Noshing…Philly cheese steaks paired with said autumn brews and friendship while watching game one of the ALCS…

Trick-or-Treating…Halloween in Texas with my girlies meant a costume was needed. This year, it was Rosie the Riveter. I loved that my older girls already knew who Rosie was.

Exploring…picking up a friend in Princeton on a Friday afternoon meant a bit of local exploration & “crossing the Delaware” where Washington had done so…

Traveling…ending the month with Fall Fun with my girlies in Texas included checking out the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum – a great series of exhibits to capture recent history…so many fun times with the girls – winning soccer games on a chilly Saturday afternoon…Miss Butterfly sipping coffee with us at breakfast on Sunday morning – when did she get so grown up?!?…Sunday morning story time in my bed – Miss K reading the stories instead of me…all 5 of us ladies enjoying manicures & pedicures…trying out a new farm-to-table restaurant on Saturday night as an early birthday celebration…such a great weekend…

Looking Ahead…November brings a milestone birthday…a first Packers game at Lambeau Field…Thanksgiving with the family…

Linking up with Leigh Kramer for the monthly “What I’m Into” round-up. What are you into these days?

DC Days

This year’s spring trip to see my Texas girlies was a bit different – in March I met up with the family in Washington DC. They were in town for their spring break ahead of a conference their Dad was attending. So, a quick overnight trip was in order. While I was only with them for about 30 hours, we managed to pack a lot of fun into a little bit of time. The Metro, buses, taxis & feet were our modes of transportation.

Air & Space

Friday started at the Air & Space Museum – a favorite of mine from the first time I visited there (when I was Miss M’s age). The Amelia Earhart exhibit was a favorite of all the girls. It was fun to share my love of space with them. And of course, we all had to touch the moon rock on our way out.

On the Mall

As we crossed the mall onto our next adventures, we spotted the Racing Presidents. The girls giggled at the oversized heads. Of course, a picture with Teddy Roosevelt was in order.

Museum Fun

Quite a bit of our afternoon was spent in the Natural History museum. The Hope Diamond, the vast array of geodes & quartz, mummies (which Miss K had studied in school), sea turtles, insects and more captured our attention. Sidenote: The Mercer vs. Duke game was underway while we were in the museum – I was getting game updates via family texts & sports apps. When I saw the score in the final 2 minutes, I pulled up the game on the “Watch Live” app & stood in a corner of the insect exhibit watching an amazing game and win.

Carousel & Conservatory

Late in the afternoon we met up with some friends and enjoyed the carousel on the mall and the National Botanic Garden Conservatory. After dinner, our weary band of tourists caught a cab back to the hotel and called it an early evening.


On Saturday morning, all 3 girlies came running down the hotel hall to hang out with me as we got the morning going. After breakfast, we went to the Jefferson Memorial before heading towards the zoo. Friends from our time in Chicago (hi Alicia!) hosted us for a simple and delicious spring lunch before we joined with seemingly half of DC on a beautiful spring Saturday afternoon at the zoo. As we walked through most of the animal habitats, we didn’t see too many animals – it seemed like they maybe hadn’t yet transitioned to being outside again. After about a 30 minute wait, we were ‘finally’ in the Panda house (my favorite animal since I was a little girl). We all were enthralled by the pandas – while we had hoped to see the new baby, we had to settle for seeing her napping on the monitor. But we did enjoy seeing Mom & Dad munching on bamboo.

Late Saturday afternoon, I said farewell and drove back home to PA. My time in DC with the girls was short because I needed to get home & finish packing for a business trip…less than 24 hours later I was on the flight to London…

On Flights & Family Time

As another year winds down, inevitably it has us looking back on the year & determining highlights. For me, a highlight of 2013 was the fact that I wasn’t constantly on the road with work travel. In fact, I only had 4 weeks of work travel this year. With 26 flight segments taken in 2013, only 1 trip was for work. That means that the others were for fun times with family. So where did those flights take me? Here, a few highlight pics from fun times in Georgia, Wisconsin & Texas…
May - A surprise trip home to cheer Rebecca in her first super-sprint triathlon.

May – A surprise trip home to cheer Rebecca in her first super-sprint triathlon.

June - Artisan Family Great Lakes Getaway. We enjoyed a week around Lake Michigan - first at Mackinac Island and then in Door County, WI

June – Artisan Family Great Lakes Getaway. We enjoyed a week around Lake Michigan – first at Mackinac Island and then in Door County, WI

July - In Marinette to celebrate kid birthdays and take in a Brewers game!

July – In Marinette to celebrate kid birthdays and take in a Brewers game!

August - Rebecca & I go back to Mercer to see a thrilling win as Mercer returns to football for the 1st time since 1941.

August – Rebecca & I go back to Mercer to see a thrilling win as Mercer returns to football for the 1st time since 1941.

October - Fall fun in Marinette, including the pumpkin patch and haunted hayrid

October – Fall fun in Marinette, including the pumpkin patch and haunted hayride

October - Trick or treating with the girlies in Texas.

October – Trick or treating with the girlies in Texas.

December - A quick trip home to the 'Ville to enjoy a Family Christma

December – A quick trip home to the ‘Ville to enjoy a Family Christmas

As the 2014 calendars are being opened, I’m already making plans for trips  & adventures with these dear ones!
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