Monday, September 2, 2019

Farewell Sweet Summer

It's Labor Day. The official end of summer.  I already miss days at the pool, reading books and actually finishing them, and lazying the day away. I already miss the heat and never having to wear socks... barely even wearing shoes. I miss the beach, the sun, the humidity... all of it.

It's been the most amazing summer and both my heart and soul are filled with amazing memories.

Summer started with the most incredible road trip to London, Kentucky to visit our family campgrounds and take the most incredible five mile hike to Van Hook Falls.

We enjoyed riding around the campground on ATV's and eating way too many s'mores.

We ended our long weekend with a trip to Cumberland Falls.

And at this point, it wasn't even June yet! A great start to the summer.

We did something different in June. I decided to teach summer school, and both the boys attended. For the first time ever, we were all in the same school building and it was so much fun. But that meant we had to cram all of our summer fun into the evenings and weekends all through the month of June. Fortunately, we seemed to manage that just fine.

Beginning with the pool. We bought a pool pass for the first time which paid itself off in about the 2nd week of summer. My answer to every "I'm bored" was "Let's go to the pool." Through June and July, we were there a minimum of 5 days a week. The boys became amazing swimmers, had tons of fun with all of their friends at the pool, and I got to read tons of books from the side of the pool.

All through June, we spent 2-3 nights a week at the ball field, although we did have lots of rain outs this year. Jeremy helped with coaching and Eli and I sampled the snacks at all the concession stands.

The boys went to Boy Scout Day Camp and had an absolute blast. They were so worn out when I picked them!

Here they are with their homemade marshmallow shooters.

 Many evenings included bike rides to the park. It just seemed like the perfect ending to the long summer days. Actually, this one probably won't end with summer. I'm sure we'll keeping taking evening bike rides as long as we can.

In July, we took the trip we had been waiting 4 years to take. Ever since our visit to the Outer Banks 4 years ago, we could not wait to return. So on the evening of the 4th of July, we took off on a road trip, watching fireworks from the car. Destination, North Carolina. 

Days on the beach, doing nothing. The perfect vacation. You can read all about it here. 

Before heading home we stopped to visit family and got in a little fishing.

We took the Blue Ridge Highway out of North Carolina. As many times as we've made this trip, I can't believe we are just now discovering this. We will never miss this again when we travel to North Carolina.

The Linn Cover Viaduct was a little scary... but the views...!

Eli turned 8 the day after we returned from vacation.

The boys and I hiked a trail at Gans Creek and came across our first ever Copperhead in the wild. Fortunately, we've been to the nature center enough times that I knew exactly what it was and knew to just head back. I really don't mind snakes, but coming across them on a trail (especially a particularly dense, jungle like trail) is not my favorite. For the record, we attempted 3 different hikes this summer and didn't finish any of them after being reminded why we don't like summer hikes in the first place (bugs, snakes, tall grass, and more bugs). Looking forward to some fall hikes for sure!

We slid into August, and Lex turned 10!

Saturday birthdays are the best and the whole family celebrated with ziplining!

 Mid August, the boys road tripped to Ohio to stay with grandparents for a week. After a week, we went to get them and visited the Great Darke County Fair.

The boys were in heaven!

We got back from Ohio just in time for back to school night and then the beginning of school. As I sent the boys off to their first day, I truly felt that we had sucked every last bit out of summer that we possibly could.

So we've had a week back at school and are gearing up for a fall full of Scout Activities. Already, the boys are at it with popcorn sales. Aren't they the cutest?

So hello fall and all your pumpkin glory. Hello to hoodies and fleece jammies, evening fires and soup. Hello football and soccer, and all things Halloween. Hello work grind and signing planners every night... squeezing every minute of family time we can into the weekend. Hello long weekends that come far too sporadically and one holiday after another for months and months. Fall, I'll welcome with you with half open arms - because my heart is still a little bit in summer - but I promise I'll come around.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

August Round Up

Another month bites the dust. The entire month of August is a delicate balance between soaking in every last second of summer sun and also somehow maintaining some semblance of preparation as school rounds the corner. Typically, this month flies by, but when I look back at all we did this month, it actually seems like forever since July. I definitely feel like we got our summer's worth out of August.

Here are some of the highlights. 

Lex turns 10

At the beginning of the month, Lex reached a decade old. For the boys' birthdays, they get to pick the menu all day. Lex picked a pizza menu, morning, noon, and night. Breakfast pizza for breakfast, pizza rolls for lunch, and pizza for supper. He also chose strawberry cupcakes, and Eli had the idea to stuff them all with sprinkles before we iced them. They were so yummy!

We like doing birthday events instead of birthday parties, so this year, we went ziplining as a family. This is the second time the boys and I had been to Eco Adventure Ziplines, but the first time for Jeremy. The people at this place are so amazing and kind and helpful. We had an absolute blast.  

Pool Days
We spent several more days at the pool, and even on some of the cooler days, we went anyways so the boys could dive into the deep end as many times as they possibly could before summer ends. 

The boys also went swimming at a cousin's house in Ohio, and my mom got this shot of Eli doing his first ever back flip. It's awesome because the city pool here doesn't allow them to do flips. I didn't even know he could do this!

Goodbye Mini Van
Mid August, I pulled out of work in my van, and didn't make it out of the parking lot. With the vehicle repair expenses that had already begun adding up this summer, we decided that it was time to say goodbye to my first ever mini van. I loved that thing and it was the absolute perfect car while the boys were little. That being said, I am in love with my Ford Edge, which I named Stella. It's far more compact, but is perfect for our little family. And it's so pretty!

This is the car the boys wanted me to get....

Lazy Days
When summer rolls to an end, I always have this feeling that we didn't have enough "do nothing" days. So we had made sure to fit some of those in, which typically included lounging under fuzzy blankets watching Netflix from the time we woke up until the time we went to bed.

Do Nothing days - check.

We also got out some puzzles and spent a week doing as many as we could.

Eli spent some birthday money on cheap plastic slinkies. Daisy immediately claimed this one as her own. She drug it all over the house, used it as a chew toy, and also fell asleep with it.

Road Trip!
We did something new this month. The boys went to Ohio for a week without us and spent time with grandparents and cousins. Since they aren't away from us much, it was so weird when they weren't in the house. Both Jeremy and I were incredibly homesick for them. At the end of a week, we traveled to Ohio to pick them up and had fun visiting the incredible county fair that both Jeremy and I grew up attending.

We did all the fair things, including eating, seeing the farms animals, and riding rides.

Back to School
We got back to Missouri just in time to school shop and attend back to school night for the boys.

So they're off to 3rd and 4th grades.


 Cub Scouts
Last year, the boys joined Cub Scouts at the end of the year. We missed out on a lot of the big events because we joined so late. So this year, we are starting the year off, ready to go with new uniforms and popcorn sales.

And that my friends, is sadly our wrap on August. I can't believe that 2/3 of 2019 is behind us! Happy back to school days everyone and cheers to fall weather! 

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Lex Turns 10

Double digits. 1-0. The years are flying by, and just like that, he's a decade old. Lex is growing into such an amazing young man. He is quiet, yet witty. He is thoughtful when speaking and is helpful to others. He loves telling jokes, and is a loyal friend. He is cautious, and a total homebody. We love him so much and are so proud of the person he's becoming.

Here's a look back at his year!

Watch out Third Grade, here comes Lex!

First day of school.

Weekend road trip to Ohio for a wedding. 

Playing with his Korean chess set from Papaw!

All dressed up for one of many piano events

Cave exploring

Being silly on the trail

Christmas Eve toys

Christmas morning

First hike of the new year

At the River

Exploring at the creek on the 3rd grade field trip

Ready for summer

Family camping in Kentucky

Van Hook Falls hike, London, Kentucky

A great swimmer, thanks to hours and hours at the pool

He loves his Daisy

Annual Birthday Interview
Me: What's your favorite food?
Lex: Pizza

Me: What's your favorite snack?
Lex: Fruit snacks

Me: What's your favorite thing we did this summer?
Lex: Ziplining

Me: What's your favorite thing to do outside?
Lex: Pool

Me: What's your favorite thing to do inside?
Lex: Video games

Me: What is your favorite color?
Lex: Red

Me: What makes you happy?
Lex: Family

Me: Where do you like to go?
Lex: Laser Lanes

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Lex: I want to be rich

Eli: Where is a place you'd like to visit? 
Lex: Skyzone

If you'd like to see some of Lex's previous birthdays, click on the links below.

Lex turns 9
Lex turns 8
Lex turns 7
Lex turns 6
Lex turns 5

Here's to an amazing, adventurous, year ahead, buddy. You're going to rock 10 years old.