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Let’s start with the tough news first. This winter we had not one, not two, not three…no, that would be seven pipes break at our lake house because of polar vortices #1 and #2. This was going to be the year to get the kids on skis for a whole season; the gear had been rented, the helmets sized. The repairs took 3 months and before we knew it, the ski hills of Northern New Jersey (they exist) were no longer open.

But the good news is that we’re back in action and were up at the lake house this weekend getting the place ready for Spring.

Which is tough when you have a hangover. This seems to be happening all too frequently, which I blame on the renovations, too much time in New York, and too many friends with early birthdays.


I go into these kinds of evenings with a strategy – stay calm, eat lots of food, drink a glass of wine, two max. Then someone orders a round of shots and the jig is up. The volume increases, the Champagne flows, and all of a sudden I’m waist-deep in a story about body waxing. Filter it! That’s at least the new plan since my inbound strategy never seems to work.

Jack always feels my pain. He’s like my hangover soul mate. The kind of supernatural being who understands my anguish and empathizes by mirroring my body language.


My kids, unfortunately, do not. To them, it’s any other day. “Where’s mom?” And by the way, “can we have pancakes?”

This weekend was no different. But without the energy for pancakes, I had to throw a coat over our heads papparrazi-style, usher them into the car, and drive them to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts. Chocolate glazed for the kids; bacon, egg & cheese for me. Don’t tell anyone. It would rightfully ruin my healthy living cred. And what’s up with the egg at Dunkin Donuts? I know it’s made in a microwave, but why does it have the texture and flavor of a moldy sponge? I’m confused.


Back at home, Jackson found his favorite sunny spot by the window…


…while Rodney and I tended to a house that looked like a family of vagabonds had finally decided to settle and splurge on some oak flooring.

After a few hours of grunt work, the house started to look like a shadow of its former self. As a consolation prize for our efforts, I took the kids to feed the ducks from the dock…

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…which was followed by a well-deserved white wine and salt & vinegar chip sunset. A lake house weekend wouldn’t be the same without it.

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We all went to bed early, caught up on some much needed sleep, and woke up refreshed. Lauren gave Sam a neck tattoo, and we threw on Ghostbusters.


Which was clearly the adults’ attempt to sleep in, but given that a) Sam was too scared when Sigourney Weaver changed into The Gatekeeper Zuul and started to levitate and b) Emma and Lauren couldn’t figure out how to share  a pillow, we needed a change of plans.

Which meant more cleaning and minimal kid supervision. Naturally the kids made themselves into giant Angry birds and began to fling themselves across the lawn.

But I’m happy to report that although it was an exhausting weekend, we got our house back. Even Emma, who no longer naps, had a pretty spectacular narcoleptic crash in the middle of the floor.

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Although it was cold and windy this weekend, the sun was out, and our spirits were high. And I’m so excited to report that for the first time ever, we’re planning to spend the summer up at the lake.  With minimal hangovers of course.

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