Soak In All the Moments + 5 Spring Favorites


Photo via Alexa Drew Photography.

I gave birth to a sweet baby boy in January and since his arrival, I’ve been counting down.

Two weeks until breastfeeding gets easier.

Six weeks until I receive clearance from my doctor that I’m all healed up.

Three months until his colic will subside.

Six months until he begins sleeping through the night. 

Although these are all events I look forward to, in essence I am wishing away time and missing out on many magical moments. As a mom of a four year old and now two month year old, I’ve been told a gazillion times to enjoy these years now because time goes by so quickly. And, before I know it my children will grow up.

At times I find it hard to embrace the sleepless nights, the crying, the temper tantrums and the restricted freedom. But I also know, every one of these phases will pass. And smiles, cuddles, laughter, milestones and positive memories are entwined in each one of these stages.

My wish for you and me is to soak it all in. The good and the bad. The hard and the easy.  And, consciously create magical moments with our families. So in fifteen years from now when we are taking a trip down memory lane, instead of wondering where the time has gone we can look back at your life with gratitude and joy.

To help you create some fun-filled memories of your own, here are five of my family’s favorite ways to celebrate Spring in New Jersey:

The Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival at Branch Brook Park. Each weekend between April 9th and April 24th a unique activity is planned in the park including bike races, fun runs, concerts and more!

The Mansaquan Reservoir in Howell NJ The Manasquan Reservoir has a pretty cool playground (which my daughter loves) a scenic and family friendly biking, hiking and running trail and kayak, bike and row boat rentals. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a fun and active day with your family.

The Presby Memorial Iris Garden Walk around the gardens and view a breathtaking array of Irises in Montclair, NJ. Go to Jackie’s Grillette for lunch and try their grilled chicken Mediterranean wrap or pay a visit to Raymonds and enjoy their irresistible challah French Toast. Your kids will love trolling through the Learning Express and Just Kidding Around, two cool toy stores.

The Grounds for Sculpture – If you’ve haven’t explored the magical grounds yet, you must. As you walk through the sculpture park you are encouraged to touch most of the sculptures (unless otherwise noted) which is perfect if you plan on bringing your kids. My daughter loved taking pictures of the different scenes as well as pose with the sculptures and have her picture taken.

Frenchtown & Ringing Rocks Park –If you enjoyed the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert like I did, you are most definitely going to want to visit Two Buttons, a warehouse in Frenchtown she runs with her honey. It’s filled with handmade treasures and trinkets from all corners of the world. When the natives become restless from  your shopping spree, take about a 20 minute drive to Ringing Rocks Park, a 128 acre park with a field of boulders that ring when you strike them with a hammer.  Grab lunch or dinner at the Lovin’ Oven Frenchtown for locally sourced, seasonal food also owned by Elizabeth Gilbert. Oh and did I mention, kids eat free Thursday night.

In the comments below, make sure to share your family’s favorite way to celebrate Spring.

About Author

Corinne Pecile, MSW & Allison Reinking, MA, CHHC Bio Corinne & Allie are the co-founders of the Valued Parent LLC. They are on a mission to help moms reduce their stress, live a life that lights them up and raise happy, healthy confident children. In addition to being an MSW, Corinne is the mom of 2 amazing little guys and a total foodie. In her free time you can find her trolling the aisles of the Tenafly Farmer’s market, looking for recipe ingredients. As a family, she loves visiting Van Saun Park with her boys and watching their faces light up when they see the Prairie Dogs. Their favorite restaurant for family celebrations is Locale in Closter. Allie is a passionate mom of a funny and fabulous little girl and is awaiting the arrival of a baby boy in January. She is a bit of a health nut, an adventure seeker and over all lover of life. Allie has her MA in psychology and is a certified health, life and career coach. When she is not working you can find her hiking through Hartshorne Woods Park or taking a yoga class. She loves exploring different playgrounds with her daughter and visiting the Jersey Shore beaches with her family. To learn more about their professional experience and backgrounds visit