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Friday, June 23, 2017

{kirchoff travel diaries} more castles and golf in ireland

We woke up bright and early our third day in Ireland to set off on a day of seeing the land. We hopped on our tour bus and drove about an hour and half towards the sea to visit Malahaide Castle.



The drive out there was beautiful. I really felt like this was my favorite part of the trip...just seeing the countryside. If I ever have the pleasure of visiting here again, this is where I will go 😊

The castle was gorgeous and we were lucky to have the best tour guide. She told stories of the families that lived here...

how everyone bathed in one bath tub only a couple of times a week...

how they were Catholic but had to hide that in fear of persecution so they had a secret alter behind this wall that a priest would come and perform Mass for them...

and of ghosts, like this lady, that haunted the castle...

It was all in fun and her animated stories made it all seem very real. After the tour we walked around the Castle gardens. The weather was cloudy and cool and nice for an outside tour. We came upon a butterfly greenhouse that was gorgeous.


All I thought the whole time we were in here is how much Milly would have LOVED walking among the butterflies.

There were so many very cool greenhouses on the property.



After a couple of hours of touring and shopping (they had the BEST shop) we were off to Howth, a seaside village. This hour long drive was even better then the one before. The little towns we went through were picturesque. Once in Howth, Cameron and I opted out of the big group lunch and went down to the water where we found a little restaurant serving fish and chips. Oh man...was it good! Then we walked around and took some photos.



it was a little windy πŸ˜‰

A Catholic church from the 10th century.

The day was fantastic...our favorite part of the trip. That evening we had dinner at a local town (food was delicious) then stopped at a small pub by where we were staying with some friends we had met.

They introduced us to "baby Guinness'" which is a shot with a little Guinness and Bailey's. They were yummy 😊 We had a VERY late night but it was the best time!

The next day we slept in till almost 11. Man did that feel good! We ordered room service and then Cam was off to play golf. 

From the pictures he took the golf course looked quite beautiful.




Rory plays here often 😊

I spent the day reading, napping, had lunch with some ladies, more napping and more reading. It.was.glorious! 

That night was the big awards dinner so we got all dressed up and had another great night.

This one was not as late as we had a super early morning and a long day of travel ahead of us. Overall the trip was great! We met some really nice people, had another trip of a lifetime and most importantly got to spend time together with no kids. I think its sooooo important for couples to get away to help strengthen their relationship. Not only is Cameron my husband but he is also my best friend. My numero uno. I love more then anything spending time just the two of us and a once a year getaway vacation is the perfect way to do that 😊

Linking up with Kelly!

Monday, June 19, 2017

father's day and dancing

Yesterday was Father's Day and we celebrated the 2 fathers we love the most πŸ˜€

"Fatherhood is a vocation in God's service, to be held not lightly or frivolously, but with the serious determination of real men."
Father Lawrence Lovasik 

Our Father's Day started off with Cam playing golf, then church... 


then visiting my dad for awhile, then coming home and napping, then going to see a movie... 


and capping off the day swimming until the sun went down.





It might of been the best Father's Day ever πŸ˜€ As I am every year, I am so very thankful for Cameron and this journey of parenthood that we are going on together. And of course for my Dad. He's the best...always has been...always will be.

Saturday Milly had her dance recital and of course she was insanely adorable!

It's always nice to have you best friend by your side πŸ˜‰


She did so good on her dance and I am still amazed at only 4 years old that she gets on that stage with all the lights and people and dances her little heart out. So proud of her! This year we stayed for the whole show so she could do the curtain call. I think she was mostly freaked out by it, ha!




Another year of dance is in the books...can't wait to see what she does next year!

Friday, June 16, 2017

{7qt} surviving the week after vacation

1. There have been more then a few times this week I wished I was back in Ireland. Joking! Joking! Coming back home after a week with the honey and immediately getting thrown back into real life was hard. But hard is not the same thing as bad Amen?! My kids were absolutely perfect the first day, semi okay the second and then yesterday I might have threatened to leave them on the side of the road. Yesterday was HARD! The good thing about hard days...usually a really easy day follows because no one wants to relive the day before. So far today has been bliss 😊

2. The boys went to basketball camp this week which they always love. 


They each one an award for the week which was sweet. The camp is at our local high school and having them out of the house for 4 hours an afternoon (especially yesterday) was, I won't lie, nice. But also having them home today with no camp is equally nice. Motherhood is nuts...all the feels all the time.

3. Little miss Milly has her dance recital this weekend and yesterday was the rehearsal.




My heart almost exploded when she started dancing. She was the only one in her class that did the dance perfect! All the kids are of course adorable but I think we might have a serious dancer on our hands. She is just too cute and I cannot wait for the weekend!

4. While in Ireland I started and finished The Girls. Umm...picking up a random book at Costco might not be the best idea I've ever had πŸ˜‰ This book was pretty graphic and at times I was like what am I reading?! But it was okay in the end but not sure if I would recommend it. I'm currently half way through Our Own Country which I am loving because historical fiction is my thang. Next up is The Snapper written by an Irish writer that our tour guide raved about. I also have Reasons To Believe by Scott Hahn sitting on my nightstand waiting for my attention.

5. Still watching Twin Peaks and still loving it. So over the top cheesy, I seriously cannot get enough. I wish I could binge watch it but hello...children and their needs 😁
 On the plane ride home I watched La La Land and Jackie. I LOVED Jackie! Oh man, I think everyone should watch this movie. I was completely blown away...amazing! La La Land was cute and I enjoyed it. I wasn't so sure what all the hype was for until the end. The end of it sealed the deal for me. Worth seeing as well!

6. The pool is officially opened! We are swimming every evening after dinner. Daytime is just sooooo hot the evenings are really the best time to be out there.



I cannot tell you how much I love having a pool.

7. Finally yesterday after my manic mom moment with the boys, I came home from dropping them off at camp and did some organizing therapy. I've been annoyed with my kitchen counter tops for a couple of weeks (I know...I have issues) and decided there was no better time to clean them up.





 Now they are clutter free and after cleaning the kitchen and the living room I went to pick up the boys feeling much less stressed and much more happy. Do what works for you no matter how crazy it might make you look or sound ✌

Linking up with Kelly

Happy Weekend 
and 
Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

{kirchoff travel diaries} ireland: castles, churches and beer

We are home! And recovering 😏
Thankfully this trip was pretty easy to recover from. When we came home from Rome it took an entire week for Cam and I to feel normal. This trip was much different. I honestly don't think either of us ever got use to the time change over there which made coming home easier. It is SO nice to be home! Ireland was beautiful and the weather was perfect. 

We left home last Wednesday, flew to Chicago, waited there about an hour (that airport is INSANE) then headed over to Dublin. After swearing I would never go on another overnight flight we did. And for the second time I swear I will not go on another one. They are just awful! I cannot sleep on a plane. We landed in Dublin at 8am, headed to the place we were staying and to our no so good luck found out our room wasn't ready. We were SO tired since neither of us really slept on the plane. So we grabbed some food and walked around a bit and a few hours later we were in our room sleeping. I haven't slept that good in a long time! The hotel we stayed in was once a castle.


It was gorgeous! The only downside to staying in an old castle...no air conditioning. Y'all...we almost died at night. We had one tiny window in our room that was our only supply of cool air. The only time we slept good was during the day when we napped. We pretty much spent the entire trip walking around completely exhausted!

The first night we had dinner in white tents on the grounds of the hotel.

This was taken around 10:30pm. The sun doesn't set until between 10:30 and 11pm because of how north they are and rises at 4am.




Before dinner they had Bailey's tastings, local cheese and chocolate tastings and a geneologist. Here's the thing...in Ireland it rains. ALL.THE.TIME. It can be warm and beautiful and 30 minutes later freezing cold and raining. Crazier then Texas weather! The evening was great and we didn't stay out too late because of how tired we were.

The next day we were up bright and early to catch a bus into Dublin. Our first stop was Trinity Library to see the Book of Kells. Of course no pictures are allowed but this is worth seeing. Amazing! After that exhibit we stepped into their famous library chamber called the Long Room which was built in 1860.






It was absolutely stunning and smelled just like an old library. I loved every second!
After we left we walked around the campus a bit and found some hidden treasures...


...before heading to St. Patrick's Cathedral.


My favorite shot from the whole trip.

This Cathedral was so massive and gorgeous. It was more of a museum then a church even though they still have mass on Sundays.




Everywhere you looked was a piece of Irish history.




I made him stand there πŸ˜‚


The man himself

I loved all the neat little things around the church...

Like these little chairs that children would sit in


Or this tiny door. It was so small only a child would fit through it


This stone was dug out of the well that St. Patrick would baptize people.


As we were leaving we stopped by the choir school

This school was founded in 1432 and is still functioning today. 

By this time we were pretty hungry so we headed back towards the city center to find somewhere to eat.


I have to say Dublin is a beautiful city. All the residents are so very nice and Cam and I felt completely safe walking around. We decided on a little cafe that had this beautiful wall.


After lunch we did a little shopping the got back on the bus to head to the hotel where we took a nap before dinner. Vacation is best for that am I right?!

Dinner was at the Guinness Storehouse. What I learned on the trip about Guinness is it's so much more then a beer factory. This company has helped out Ireland in so many ways. 


As we walked up we were greeted by drummers. Their show was very entertaining.


The whole time I was thinking about how much my kids would have loved this!
Then it was in to shop, eat and of course drink some beer.


This was my first time trying Guinness and I loved it! It was almost a mix between coffee and beer. However I was told that the Guinness back here in the states does not taste this good.

And Cam even learned how to pour a Guinness because apparently it's not as easy as pouring a regular beer. Who knew?!


I didn't get a picture but during dinner a Riverdance group performed for us. That was fascinating! 

We ended Day 2 exhausted but happy and excited for what the next two days had in store for us 😊