Waking up to rainy day #2, I decided we should go on an adventure.  I started packing bag(s) and guzzling coffee.  Owen has settled into a fairly consistent wake up time(for now), and I am usually up about 1 hour before him.  This little shift in my day has really made a positive difference.  I feel more, “good morning, sweet child, mama is here to greet you” than “hey. buddy. wanna rock in the rocking chair?”

So, our rainy day adventure.

We visited The Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum in downtown Winchester, VA and had a great time.


With only a handful of visitors, every exhibit and activity was open and available for exploring.  I followed my excited little boy around, checking it all out.  He constantly amazes me; raising a child is the most precious, humbling experience and I delight in sharing new things with Owen.  


Although Owen tends to be a homebody like both of his parents, there are some days when adventure calls!  When he woke up the next day, he hollered out from his room, “Mama, can we get up and outta heeeeere?”  On to the next one!

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It’s a post!

I found this one in my draft folder:  all I had was the title

“Green food coloring in a spray bottle”

and these pictures.




It would appear I’m slacking in the blog department.  Gonna try and pick things up a bit.  And seasonally appropriate.


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Toddler life

Owen seems to like talking just as much as I do, so there is a lot of chattering throughout the day.  I would love to record hours of the day with him.  It would be nice to remember not only the cute things he says, but the way they sound, and how he expressed those thoughts.

Some recent questions comments:

Joy: clicking on a facebook video
Owen: pointing at the flashing group picture slideshow-”Who dat?”
Joy: “Um, well, I don’t really know any of them.”
Owen: “oh.  random peeps.”

Joy: turns radio station to “The Joint” in car
Owen: “Dat Marley?”

While eating lunch, talking about fairy tale stories…
Owen: you have happy ever afta, mama?

Owen is trying to wear a small guitar case as a pair of shoes…
Joy: cute shoes, where did you find them?
Owen: Target
Joy: oh, from guitarget?
Owen:  No.  Just Target.  Straight up.








Posted in laugh out loud, Owen | 3 Comments


The Fault in Our Stars.

Read this book.
Live your life.
Love your life.
Love others.
Posted in books | 2 Comments

I owe you February

Let’s see what us Ackerts were up to in the shortest (and coldest) month of 2013:

We began turning a dirt pile (and a dream) into a reality…Kevin’s getting a garage.

Welcomed my parents for a visit…then said goodbye.  I left my baby overnight for the first time and took a little getaway with my husband.

Skiing on the (blue or green, but never black) slopes of Snowshoe, WV.

While missing his beloved mama living up the best 3 days of his life, Owen filled his time with kisses, treats, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and the opportunity to ride every ride on toy ever.




Went coatless for a picnic by the river.  Well, actually Skylar is wearing her coat.  A mighty fine one at that, wouldn’t you say?  Proud, howly, food hound that she is.

Thought about spring cleaning.  Even picked some accessories. But, so far it has not meant to be.

Celebrated Valentine’s Day with walls and a balloon.  And chocolate, not pictured because, well, it doesn’t last long around me.

Attended Nana’s toddler workout.

Checked out the National Children’s Museum with cousin Alden and his mama sidekick, Diana.  To drive more things.  Always, always drive. more. things.


Posted in family, friends, Owen, Skylar | 4 Comments


turned rockstar.

Posted in Owen | 3 Comments

a January day

::I found this draft in my posts and am not sure why it never published::

What a beautiful January day it is. I love looking out the windows, at the swirly blue and white sky and the soft circle of sunshine moving throughout the day. It happens quickly, in fact. Owen and I wait for the morning light, and before we know it, it’s time to wave bye-bye to the sun!

I have started to reflect a little on how different my days have become, from teaching special education in public school.  My little boy is my alarm clock, breakfast is always in pajamas, and I plan just for one day at a time.  I’m so grateful for this time to spend at home with Owen.  And, because our family does not plan too far into the future, this could change within the next year.  Living on baby time has taught me to recognize and appreciate small, precious moments, though.  So I know that whenever we’re together, it’s a special time.

pic from 1/2012, when I first wrote this



Posted in family, me, Owen | 7 Comments

Merry Pinterest

Like so many others, I have a love affair with Pinterest.  As much fun as it is to click “pin it,” I get even more satisfaction from actually making or doing the idea.  Here are a few pins from this Christmas:

Penguin Feet

Rae’s, Owen’s, and Eddy’s

Box of Sunshine

my only picture of this gift

Fabric wrapped hangers

and, another cute pair of quick change trousers

Rainbow Pants 

“napping” in them

Zippered Pillows


this one flew to China!

Candy cane craft

Owen loved it, but interest dwindled quick!

Christmas Tree sun catcher 

he helped me tape it to the window…probably staying on until February!

Twig stars

I made several, and hung a banner over our nativity

Posted in celebrations, crafts, holiday giving | 1 Comment


Celebrating the month of December with a 2 year old was so. much. fun! Owen was curious about all things Christmas, and both Kevin and I really enjoyed sharing stories, traditions, songs, and preparations with him.

cookies with daddy

working on our cards

making salt dough ornaments

singing Frosty the Snowman

We were able to travel to my parents’ house and celebrate a little early with them and my Grandma.

walking to “Winter Wonderland” with Grandma

A few more nuts at Winter Wonderland

Owen and Nana

Owen received his most absolutely favorite present–a guitar.  His newfound love of music is so precious; I am so proud of his attention, dedication, and aptitude for instruments.  Kevin generously gave him these gifts, I really love watching them jam together.  Lucky for Owen, he has other talented people to play with, too.

the guitar!!

guitar lessons with Grandpa

Returning home, we were treated to a beautiful snowfall on Christmas Eve.  I love the peaceful stillness of our woods in the snow.  Of course, it’s even better with a happy (and loud) toddler!

“snow bites”

Christmas morning started with celebrating Kevin’s birthday in the kitchen, then we headed to the tree!

Happy Birt-day, Daddy!

our tree

After opening and playing with gifts, we cleaned up and headed to Kevin’s parents’ house.  Owen saw 7 of his 9 cousins and we all enjoyed the extra family time.  

cousins with Grandma and Grandpa

Special memories were made, and we’re already looking forward to next year!





Posted in celebrations, family, holiday giving | 3 Comments

Off we go!

Owen found a small card shaped like a train this morning in his advent calendar. I told him we were going to take a train ride. today!

After a yummy breakfast and some playing, I packed us up and headed down to the little station in Harpers Ferry.  Although we’ve lived here for over 8 years, I’ve yet to climb aboard and head to Washington, D.C.  Sharing the experience with my two year old made it quite an adventure!

Riding Amtrak straight into downtown took about 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Our (2 level–very impressive to toddlers and this mama) coach was not empty, but certainly not crowded or loud.  We had plenty of room to stretch out, explore, eat lunch, and play.

Union Station is a busy place, and we quickly found ourselves surrounded by people, golf carts, huge wheeled carts, and tracks.  Owen was wide-eyed and quiet as he walked alongside me towards the station entrance.  I was so proud of him, and in that moment, found myself tearing up.  Full of happiness, gratefulness, and so much love–I am beyond blessed to be this little boy’s mama.

He helped me buy my metro card (kids are free until 5 FYI) and was solely responsible for getting us through the turnstiles.  He laughed really loud when he almost knocked me down while holding onto a pole on a full metro car.  

Obviously a pro at public transportation, Owen was now ready for some toddler-sized fun.  My sister-in-law Diana, and her adorable 15 month old son, Alden live nearby, and were able to meet us at the National Building Museum.  We took the boys to the building zone and had a great afternoon.

When we left the museum, Diana led us through a holiday market in Chinatown, past a table selling doughnuts (Owen brought us back to that one), and into a good ‘ol Starbucks to wind down with holiday cheer.

                                       creating personal doughnut perfection is tricky…focus is key

As they say, all good things must come to an end.  For us, that meant commuting back home with half the city on the MARC train.  No pictures from that leg of the journey, but luckily no battle scars either.  Home again, home again.



Posted in Owen, trips | 3 Comments