Saturday, August 14, 2021

Sumer 2021

Oh what a summer it has been. 

Things are happening around here. Good things are ending to make room for bigger, better things. We have hosted too many dinners with friends to count, and yet we are always hoping for one more. We started book clubs. We camped - mostly in the rain. We rode roller coasters. We swam and swam and swam. We have stayed up past our bedtime to watch TV (and by we I mean Dan and the girls - momma goes to bed at 9). We have eaten a lot of hamburgers and watermelon. Ina has learned many card tricks. Mira has learned to swim. Cora has learned to quietly sneak up to my office for one more hug.

School starts next week after which 66.67% of my children will be in elementary school. How? 

Related (and picking up since my last post) Cora graduated from preschool in May. The graduation was virtual, but the teachers sent out the cutest video and we watched it as a family while celebrating this milestone with our favorite redhead. Video or in person, you better believe I cried. I cried bittersweet tears for my tender-hearted baby growing up and thankful tears for the three amazing women who have loved on her (and Ina before her) for the past two years. 

She was more than prepared to start her first day of summer school kindergarten. Despite carrying in a stuffed animal, she owned the place like the big girl she is. 

Having an older sister who was more than happy to show her the ropes certainly helped.

Backing up to the week before, we went on our second camping trip of the year to Knob Noster State Park with Dan's parents and sister. 

Favorite memories include hiking in the rain and wading through puddles. Specifically, while hiking on the morning of our last day, Ina fell in the water while trying to cross on a log, and while there was a bit of drama involved, I don't know if I have ever laughed as hard as I did when she kicked her leg up and a gush of water came out of her rain boot.

I also loved seeing the girls play with their baby cousin. I am so looking forward to watching them grow up together.

Over Memorial weekend, we made a super quick trip to my aunt and uncle's lake house where we were spoiled, as always, with great food, company, and boat rides.

The following weekend the girls had their dance recital,

and then Dan and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary! 

The next day I had an absolute blast (and sweat my butt off) at Lexi's one year anniversary event.

Lexi had a live workout and encouraged the kids to go up to the front with her to lead. You better believe Ina and Cora were game. 

Being there with 100+ women I workout "with" every morning was just the best. I can't wait to see what next year brings. 

The last week of June we drove to Wisconsin for Ina's dance competition and Brooke and Holland were so sweet to join us. 

It was a great girls trip with many fond memories. I woke up early each morning to work for a few  hours, then walk around the hotel property, which was absolutely beautiful and full of deer, before the rest of the room woke up. Then we would schedule the rest of our activities around the dances and awards. This was my first mother daughter girls trip and I see many many more in my future. 

We drove home in the rain, just in time to pack up the camper and go to Gigi Sherri's birthday party! They hired a band and made great food and the girls lived their best glow stick and tambourine lives. 

The next weekend was 4th of July, which we started at my sister's lake house.

Jessie and Cody were so sweet to invite us to join them over the holiday weekend and you better believe we soaked up every single second of fun.

The kids played with their cousins non-stop and my family loving heart couldn't get enough. We drove home just in time for church and then headed to our friends' house to finish out the celebration. 

The next week Ina and I each started a book club. I have been talking about starting one for years and when Ina came to me saying she wanted to start one, I finally had the motivation I needed to start my own.

Ina's was first - they read Flora and Ulysses and watching those girls sit around and discuss a book was just about the cutest thing I have ever seen. 

My book club has met twice - we have read The Almost Sisters and The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek - both of which I absolutely loved. But what I loved more was the chance to have some friends sit around the table and chat while eating snacks and drinking wine.

The next week we loaded up the camper and drove to Roaring River State Park - probably my favorite in Missouri so far! 

The trip was full of memories I know I will never forget with people I love with my whole heart, but my favorite was watching Chessa's baptism (through tear-filled eyes). 

Having families that your family just blends right into is a precious gift I hope I never take for granted.

The next week we celebrated Cora's 6th birthday!

I made this cake, but instead of having a party we invited some family over for dinner and it was amazing. 

Don't feel too bad for her though, because instead of having a party we packed the camper back up and drove to Branson for yet another trip and Silver Doller City, where both Cora and Ina rode their first roller coasters (thanks to a very convincing Mr. Kyle)!

We hoped from ride to ride and coaster to coaster and had just about the best day you could. 

It would appear from this post that all I have done the past 3 months is play, but I promise there was a lot of work in between - as I flip through my planner I have pages and pages of notes to prove that this summer was also full of learning and growing at work.

Also work-related - Dan has started a business(ish), and I can't wait to tell you all about it! Next time! <3

I hope you squeeze all the fun that the rest of the summer has to offer. Muah!

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