Posted in Family

Family Fun: Photo Sesh Edition

Hello and Happy Monday!

Womp. Womp. This is my last Monday of the summer with no school. This time next week, I will be sitting in meetings and preparing for the first day of school. I’m going to make the most of this week with a few last minute errands, crossing off our “back to school” list items, and hopefully pool/reading/tv time to round out the summer.

While we were in KC for my Gma’s 90th birthday, we had family photos taken on my mom’s side of the family.

Rachel has taken some of my favorite photos. She was our wedding photographer…

…and then took the kids photos when they were 4 months old…

…and their first birthday photos …

It was so great to see her again after so many years. If you are in the KC area, I HIGHLY recommend her!

I joked that this was forced family fun, and I think we got every combo of photo imaginable! The high temp that day was going to be 100+, so we met at 9:30 for these photos. While I’m always sad to think about how big my kids are getting, I will say some things are easier…like taking photos. We took all of these in about an hour!

This photo was our #1 goal:

…but then we got so many more!

The great grand kids with Gma:

Gma and her daughters (my aunt and my mom)

Gma with the grand kids (+spouses) and great grand kids.

The ladies!

My mom with her kids and grand kids.

The grand kids! I love this photo.

Then, my family and my brother’s family…

My family (these turned out so great!)

It’s been a long time since we’ve had photos taken in the summer, and I love that we are all tan and look relaxed. haha!

My kids! Getting so big…

Hadley:

Hayden:

(I think y’all know that Hayden isn’t big on having his photo taken. He was still sitting on this box after a group shot, and Rachel just had him look up and smile! Easy peasy! We tricked him!)

Hadley is easier to smile for the camera.

The last time Rachel took our photo was 2005! Love life with T-rav.

My brother’s family:

Then, my brother said we should take a sibling pic back to back. He’s so funny.

Happy 90th birthday, Gma! She’s the reason I love to play Solitaire (cards!), bake cookies at Christmas, and enjoy a good day on the lake! She’s a gem.

Even I’m not big on having my photo taken, but I’m so glad we had these photos taken.

I hope you all have a great week!

Linking up with Sarah and Holly for Hello Monday!

Posted in Family, Friday Favorites, Meals and Recipes

Friday Favorites {#114}

Hello and Happy Friday! It’s our last Friday of the school year, and we are ready for the weekend.

As always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.

Here are some favorites from the week:

Favorite Moment(s)

My dad came to visit this past weekend. His birthday was on Tuesday, so I encouraged him to come see us, have some cake, and watch the kids’ last regular season track meet on Monday.

On Sunday, we grilled out steaks and had lemon Bundt cake for dessert. The weather was great, and we were able to spend some time outside.

Monday was the kids’ last regular season track meet. They’ve improved so much and had such a great time this season. Both of them have set PR’s in their events, and the last meet was only for 6th graders. Hayden ran the 1600, 800 and one relay. Hadley ran 100m and two relays. They had quite the cheering section!

On Wednesday, they had their last track practice where they celebrated the season with ice cream and awards. Hayden earned a silver medal for finishing second place (he lost by a fraction a second) in the 6th grade mile while Hadley earned the two bronze medals for third place finishes with her relay teams. That meet was a great way to cap off the season.

Hayden’s 4×800 relay qualified for state in a couple of weeks!

Favorite Pic(s):

The kids baptism was one year ago, and this week I randomly received the professional photos that were taken. The kids look both the same and older to me one year later. I hope that their faith remains strong and that their hearts always guide them.

Favorite Food(s):

We grilled out for my dad’s birthday, and I made two of our favorite summer dishes for sides.

This pasta salad is so easy and so delish. My favorite part is the bits of mozzarella!

My kids even request these asparagus fries. They are so good!

Favorite Mom Meme:

Relatable!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday:

This throwback from May 2014 is so sweet. We loved pool days then, and we can’t wait for pool days now. The pool opens up next Wednesday!

Weekly Recap:

This week, I’ve shared a recap of the weekend, teacher gift ideas, and summer Amazon faves:

What are your plans for the weekend? The kids are running in a post-season track meet tomorrow and have youth Sunday at church. We have a few other things going on, but I sure hope to have some time to read and catch up on my tv shows!

See you back here Monday.

Posted in Family, Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites {#73}

Hello! How was your week? We’ve had a great one. I worked two days, we had some pool time, the kids had dance, baseball, and swim team, and I was able to run some errands and cross some things off my “to do” list.

As always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.

My dad visited for a few days which is always a favorite. He was able to hang with us and my brother’s family, see two of Hayden’s tournament games, take Hayden to the driving range, and we went ahead and celebrated Father’s Day.

Dugout laughs with the Major
Driving Range time

For years, we’ve taken a front porch stairs photo (per the Major’s request!), and we always laugh because he’s the hardest one to get to smile. He always says, “I AM smiling!” This visit, he wanted the kids to “smile like Major,” and they nailed it.

Of course, I needed a smiling photo, and then my brother and I hopped in for one.

Seeing Hayden play baseball is always a favorite. He’s having so much fun with his summer team. They are a great group of boys with great coaches.

My favorite flowers, hydrangeas, are starting to bloom…

…but they are showing off at my brother’s house.

My sister-in-law made a couple of pies last weekend, and Layla couldn’t wait to dig in. The pies were delish.

Homer is always a favorite. He loves it that we are home so much in the summer.

Summer nights and just hanging around are a favorite of Hadley’s. My kids kids love to climb this tree in our yard.

Pool time with Layla was another favorite of Hadley’s this week.

Snow cones at the pool are a great way to beat the heat!

Hayden wanted to go to a new restaurant in town, so we ate there on Wednesday after baseball practice. Freddy’s with my fave…

Favorite Mom Meme:

Yep. Summer always magnifies what little control I have around here. 😆

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

Since it’s Father’s Day this weekend, I’m sharing these favorite flashback photos!

In 2013, I had the kids take these pics and framed them for Travis.

And, another flashback…the Major and me in the 80’s…

and in 2005… (Travis and I will celebrate 16 years of marriage next week…which I can’t believe!)

Living away from family can be hard. Luckily, my mom and grandma visited around Mother’s Day, and then we were able to celebrate my dad this past weekend for an early Father’s Day.

Weekly Recap:

What are some of your favorites for the week? I hope you have a great weekend. We’ll be at a baseball tournament and celebrating Travis on Sunday!

Amazon Prime Days are Monday and Tuesday, so I will be sharing some Amazon faves on Monday!

Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Family, Friday Favorites, Travel

Friday Faves {#62} and FBF: Spring Break

Hello and Happy Friday! Usually, Friday means a hectic week is wrapping up, but today, Friday, means Spring Break is almost over. Ugh!

Today, I’m sharing a twist on my normal Friday Favorites posts. I’m still linking up with Andrea and Erika, but this is a special Flashback Friday edition.

Spring Break is always a favorite, so I’m taking a look back on our previous Spring Break trips because those places and those memories will always be favorites for us.

I love Spring Break, and I honestly love being at home. March is always a hectic month, and I know that April-May will be busy with activities and end of school things, so it’s sometimes (always 😉 nice to just be home, relax, unwind, and regroup for the last couple of months of the school year.

Before the kids started school, we never took a Spring Break vacation. We usually had family visit during that time. Once the kids started school, we did make a point to start going somewhere for a few days. What I’ve come to love about Spring Break is we do something different each year. We usually plan to go to somewhere in the middle of break, so we have a few days at home on either side of the trip.

Upon reflection (this post!), I love that we’ve provided our kids with these various opportunities and created so many memories in different places!

Knoxville {2016}:

When the kids were in kindergarten, I was teaching in a neighboring district. We ended up having different Spring Breaks that year (which never happens…and hasn’t happened since as most districts in KY tend to have the same break the first week of April).

Anyway, on the first weekend of my break, we headed to Knoxville because Kentucky was playing Tennessee in baseball, and we knew the kids would enjoy that. We were gone Saturday-Monday, so the kids missed school that Monday. (Kindergarten and already skipping school! haha)

As soon as we arrived, we checked into our hotel and headed to the ball park to watch the game.

That evening, we went to dinner and the kids are all about a hotel pool!

That Sunday, they swam some more, and we hit up some local attractions like the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster and miniature golf. We went to dinner that night and headed home on Monday.

It was a fun little getaway.

Hilton Head {2017}:

In 2017, I was teaching in the same district as the kids, so we for sure had the same Spring Break 😉 We decided to head to Hilton Head. We love South Carolina. The weather was on the cooler side but perfect for playing in the sand (and the kids braved the ocean!) and swimming in the heated pool at the resort.

Can’t beat sunshine and the ocean.

We ate lots of great food, Hadley and Travis rented bikes one day, (After a fall the summer after kindergarten, Hayden refused to ride a bike for a couple of years. I wish I was kidding!), the kids collected seashells, played in the ocean and the pool, and we had lots of other fun.

One of my favorite family photos!

The beach and the pool can never be beat!

South Carolina is always a great place to visit.

Asheville {2018}:

Spring Break 2018 location came about because Hayden was adamant about visiting the Biltmore. We went to Asheville for four days and three nights. We spent one entire day at the Biltmore wandering around the property and taking the tour. Once it was our turn to enter, we toured on our own. Hayden was mad we didn’t pay for the head sets and guided tour. He’s a history buff!

I would definitely like to go back there again.

On the other days, we hiked a couple of times including to this waterfall. The scenery was stunning.

We always hit up a few breweries…

Of course, the hotel had a pool, and then on the last day, we hiked a bit more before heading out of town.

On our way out, we drove past The Red Rocker Inn. Long story short, Travis took me there after Christmas in 2003. I thought he was going to ask me to marry him. He did not. We didn’t get engaged until May of 2004. 😉

We actually went back there a few years ago and stayed as a getaway for Trav’s 40th birthday.

We always have a great time in Asheville.

KC/Vegas {2019}:

As our summers have gotten more hectic, we don’t always make it to KC to see family in the summer. We decided to go visit family for Spring Break 2019, and then Travis had the idea to leave the kids with my mom and he and I headed to Las Vegas for a few days. Airfare from KC to LV is always cheap, and it’s a pretty short flight.

Well, even with that plan in place, we had an even better surprise. The Kentucky Wildcats would be playing in KC for the Sweet 16 on the day we were to arrive! So, Travis, Hayden, and my mom went to that game…and the CATS won!

Then, Hadley and I joined the three of them for the Elite Eight game on the first Sunday of break. Travis and I weren’t flying out until later that night, so it all working out perfectly.

Once we were inside, my mom and Hadley made their way to their seats while Travis surprised Hayden (and me!) with…

FRONT ROW SEATS!

Hayden was so excited, loved to shake the pom poms, and hoped that Coach Cal would hear his advice.

Well, the game was tied at the end of regulation…and this was Hayden’s face…

Hadley was at the game for all the free swag she could find…and Tyler Herro. He’s still her crush!

I sent Hadley the Herro photo from where we were sitting, and told her he was winking at her.

Unfortunately, the CATS lost in overtime, and Hayden was very upset. I told him not to cry or he’d be the kid that CBS zooms in on, and that’s not the the national TV recognition that he would want!

We all went back to my mom’s, and Travis and I headed to the airport for Vegas.

We landed around 8:00 Vegas time and guess who we saw waiting for his Uber? O.J. Simpson! I spotted him, and Travis didn’t believe me. Then, he was waiting with us as we got our Uber…and it was him.

We were in Vegas for 3 nights and 2.5 days. We hung out by the pool,

went out to dinner,

ate lots of great food, and Travis gambled bit.

The first two nights, we stayed at the Aria and then moved next door to Vdara. Travis White is known for booking multiple hotels on single trip because he either 1. waits to long too book or 2. find a better deal!

On our last night, we went and saw The Beatles: Cirque Du Soleil. It was out of this world amazing. I’m so glad that we saw that performance.

Afterwards, we had a delicious steak dinner and walked back to our hotel before an early wake up call for our flight. Travis White is also known for finding the earliest flights possible!

It was a great trip and the kids had fun with GG while we were gone. We’d just lost our dog Shiloh right before Spring Break and that KC/LV trip was just what we needed to get away.

Spring Break {2020}:

Ugh! Last year, we were supposed to visit NYC. We had our air fare and hotel booked for the week, but of course we didn’t get to go.

Nashville {2021}:

This week, we decided to take the kids to a place that’s been on our list for a couple of years: Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.

We stayed in the Cascades Atrium section of the resort.

The kids had lots of fun at the Sound Waves park.

and we enjoyed our first Top Golf experience in Nashville.

This Spring Break has been pretty perfect with nice weather in Lexington, fun with neighbors and friends, a few days in Nashville, and still a couple more days left (and Easter!) before we get back to school next week.

What do you normally do for Spring Break?

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from this week!

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and a lovely Easter.

See you back here next week.

Posted in Family, Traditions

Pumpkin Patch Recap

Today I’m recapping one of my favorite days of the year…our annual trip to the pumpkin patch.

On Friday, Hayden’s baseball practice was canceled which gave us an afternoon after school off from activities. Travis even got home a bit early, so we were able to leave right when I finished my school day. We go to Evan’s Orchard in Georgetown, and have been going there for four or five years.

I love the mix of activities, pumpkins, photo ops, and apple cider everything 😊

Of course, upon arrival, I headed straight to the pumpkins…

while the kids headed straight to the apple cannon! I don’t remember them having this in the past, but the kids shot ten apples at the various targets (a truck, a ghost, etc), and we were all laughing at the hits and the misses.

I was impressed with how the orchard was set up. The area with most of the pumpkins, the apple cannon, and this corn stalk photo op is an area that typically isn’t used. So, this provided more space for people to spread out all over the orchard.

This cute pic of the kids is very 2020 with the masks around their necks, but I sure do miss the days where they let me dress them in a bright orange jack-o-lantern or boo shirt. At least they still like this tradition of going to pick out our carving pumpkins.

Family photo.

This little swing photo area was also new this year. Hadley couldn’t resist.

All the pumpkins you could ever ask for…

These are the pumpkins they picked for carving:

Mini pumpkins on the way inside the store…

where we also purchased two packs of apple cider donuts.

Hadley and Travis had ice cream as their treat while Hayden and I had apple cider slushies. It was the first time I’d had one, and it was so delish and refreshing.

I also picked up these mini wooden pumpkins to add to my ongoing collection.

We enjoyed our treats while sitting by the big pumpkins.

I swear they look 10 going on 16 in this pic!

Then, Hayden talked us into a bag of kettle corn for the road. We figured “why not?” since we all could share it. A medium bag is plenty big and lasted the rest of the weekend.

This is the second year we didn’t pay for the play area …1. because of lack of time and 2. because of Covid. That’s why I obliged on a few extra treats and pumpkins when it was all said and done.

Again, it was definitely a good outside outing with masks, social distancing, and protocols being followed.

The pumpkin patch and this front porch view are two of my favorite things about this season!

I can’t wait for tomorrow’s Let’s Look link up. It’s all about…pumpkins. My fave! I couldn’t miss out on that!

Happy pumpkin season, y’all!

Posted in Family, Friday Favorites, School

Friday Favorites {#35}

Hey, hey! We made it to Friday. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this week has about done me in. Juggling my school life, the kids (and their activities), multiple appointments (doctor, ortho, etc) and more, I’m just drained. It always takes a couple of weeks to get into the “back to school groove,” and, at this point, I’m the only one actually back to school! 😳

I’m happy to see the weekend, and I hope to recharge a bit before Monday.

As always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites post.

Favorite Pic:

Hayden’s baseball season will be over in the next couple of weeks. I love that Travis helps coach his team. I’m not sure Hayden knows how lucky he is to have a dad who wants to be involved as well as help him grow as a player. This pic is priceless to me. ❤️ (and, yes–they do bump heads sometimes like most father/son relationships…but I tell them to keep it on the field. 😉

Favorite Kid Quote:

Hadley asked Alexa to set a timer for 2:45. Alexa said, “A timer is set for 14:25.” Hadley looked at me and said, “She’s talking Army time.” 😂

Favorite Show:

I’m late to the Selling Sunset hype. I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but I’ve watched two seasons since last Thursday. I love this show. Just enough drama and friendship…plus they show (& sell) amazing homes!

Favorite Book:

Unfortunately, I haven’t had as much time to read lately, but I’m loving 28 Summers. Hopefully I will get it read in time to chat about it in my August book post.

Back to School Favorites:

Last Friday, we decided to get school supplies and back to school clothes. I always take the kids to pick out their supplies. It gets them excited about the school year, and it’s always funny to see Hayden pick things out in five minutes while Hadley spends seven minutes picking out the cutest folder.

Then, we headed across the street to Vineyard Vines. Hayden is pretty low maintenance with clothes, but he likes Vineyard Vines t-shirts and polos. I was going to take him anyway, but VV was having 50% off for teachers and students, so I let him pick out an extra shirt!

I took Hadley to Target this week where she picked out a couple of shirts and a jean skirt to wear on the first day.

I told Travis it was his turn to partake in the Back to School “fun”….so he took them for new shoes on Sunday. They were gone a couple of hours, Hadley called me twice and sent me 15 text messages from Trav’s phone. haha!! Hayden is apparently a high maintenance shoe shopper!

This year, the kids’ school had a drive thru “Meet the Teacher,” so we drove through, picked up supplies, and chatted with their teachers. I am bummed this is how they are starting their last year of elementary school, but the school is definitely making these events as special as possible.

Then, last night, they had a Zoom Open House where they were able to meet all the 5th grade teachers and chat with classmates.

There were a couple of treats in the bag…but mostly textbooks! 😂

Another favorite for me (and probably only me) this week has been getting organized. Hayden’s desk arrived, and Hadley already has a desk. My neighbor went to Ikea a couple of weeks ago, and I asked her to pick me up two of these rolling carts. They are perfect for holding their supplies for school, and can easily be rolled to the kitchen or office if the kids prefer to work there.

Favorite Purchase:

There’s a Bath and Body Works by Vineyard Vines, so after that shopping, we stopped in Bath and Body. I knew their three wick candles were on sale, so I picked up a fall scented one. It’s making me so happy!

Favorite Family Fun :

Cousin Wyatt turned 6 on Wednesday, and we got together for his birthday. For his party, he had a huge inflatable water slide. The kids had tons of fun and were worn out.

Happy Birthday, Wyatt!

I got them to pause for three seconds for a picture!

Hayden meant to wear his sports goggles, but insisted on keeping his regular glasses on while going down the water slide. Later, my brother sent me this pic saying Hayden looked like Squints from Sandlot. I’ve thought that since Hayden picked out those glasses, but it was funny to see the pic for comparison.

and here the cute cousins are in 2015 for Wyatt’s first birthday party. Time flies!

Favorite Food:

Last weekend, I made Andrea’s Peanut Butter Pretzel No Bake Bars. Hadley helped me make them; they were so delicious! They provided us dessert for a few nights.

Favorite Mom Meme:

Guilty as charged!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

Hadley’s prepping for her dance recital. Her studio is going to video the routines next week while everyone is in costume and “dance ready.” This is Hadley at her first ballet class in 2015. So sweet!

2015

I love when this 2012 pic of Hayden pops up in my Facebook memories…PJ shirt, undies, shoes and a shovel. #pinchycheekcute He was helping dad in the backyard!

Weekly Recap:

Now, if you need me, I will be trying to keep my head above water and counting down the minutes to the weekend!

Thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Activities, Family

Summer Fun List Update

Well, the days of sleeping in and easing into the day are almost over. To be clear, they’ve been over for me since Monday 😉Today, I’m sharing an update on where we stand with our Summer 2020 Fun List.

When we wrote down our ideas for this list in mid-June, Hayden and Hadley each listed some thing they’d like to do, and we brainstormed a few ideas to complete as a family.

Here’s a breakdown on what we’ve accomplished this summer:

Hadley

  • Learn a (new) Tik Tok dance: Y’all, she seems to master a new dance daily! AND…we all get to be audience 😂
  • Tie Dye: Hadley did tie dye a shirt and socks with some friends.
  • Bake: We haven’t baked too much this summer because we have ZERO self-control when it comes to sweets in this house, but Hadley has made the Lemon Freezer Pie on her own a few times.
  • Cook dinner one night: Well, I’ve forgotten about this one, and need to hold her to it 😉She does help me dinner prep sometimes. #summerisntoveryet !!
  • Dance Workshop: She was able to take a couple Hip Hop workshops this summer, and is now back dancing full time to make up for April/May classes.
  • Try S’mores Frapp: She did try this frapp from Starbucks this summer and liked it!
  • Go to Bob Evans Restaurant: We haven’t made it there yet. I’m not sure if our local BE has dine in service right now? I guess we could get carry out one night.
  • Dog walking business: Yes! The kids have taken care of a few neighborhood pets this summer and regularly walked the neighbor’s dog.
  • Art Project: Hadley did complete an art project or two as well as some crafts (a hand scrub, a lava lamp, and she painted a Mason jar for her pens and pencils). She also completed some of the crafts from her camp box since camp was canceled this summer.

Hayden

  • Teach Homer some tricks : Yes! Hayden has been working with Homer some on “sit,” “down,” “come,” and “shake.” Most of those are commands rather than tricks, but he has fun with Homer. Seriously, I’ve never seen a kid love a dog more than Hayden loves Homer.
  • Take golf lessons: Well, once baseball started back, we didn’t have lots of time to schedule actual lessons, but Travis and Hayden went golfing a few times this summer just the two of them and then with friends this past Sunday. Maybe we can get him lessons once baseball is over. (Interestingly enough, he’s a left handed kid—but bats right handed and golfs left handed. So crazy to me!)
  • Get/play video games: I do not think we’ve bought any new games, but he’s certainly played on his Xbox this summer! Great way to cool off after playing outside.
  • Take Hadley to camp for a week: Unfortunately, for Hayden, Hadley’s camp was canceled this summer 😂
  • Baseball: Yes. All the baseball. Practices. Games. Backyard practices and games. Baseball lessons. On repeat.
1st base and pitcher
  • Go shoe shopping: With a delayed back to school start date, we haven’t bought new shoes just yet. BUT Travis did score a great deal on a pair of Air Max tennis shoes, but they were a bit too big. They will fit Hayden soon enough, I’m sure!
  • Play outside: We were just discussing with friends that this summer, for our kids, felt like our own childhood summers. Since we weren’t at the pool, there was more time for neighborhood kids to ride bikes and run around together. It’s been a pretty simple and sweet summer in that regard.
  • Draw things: Hayden loves to draw. Do you know when his most favorite time to draw is? BEDTIME! ugh!
  • Watch sports: Yes. He’s found the time to watch NBA games and Royals baseball!
  • Not get braces: Well, technically he hasn’t gotten his braces in yet…but he does have his Herbst appliance in for the foreseeable future. He’s definitely gotten used to it, and knows what to do if it gets stuck! haha

Family:

I will share some more for the family list details in tomorrow’s post but we were able to:

  • Go to the zoo, go on a couple of hikes, take a vacation to Florida, visit family in Kansas City, pick strawberries, and kayak/canoe with friends.

Other activities:

  • Lake: We never made it to a lake this summer which is a bummer because I do love the lake life.
  • Drive in movie: We had plans a couple of weekends ago to go to the drive in, but it rained all weekend. We haven’t re-scheduled just yet, but I’d love to take the kids sometime soon!

Overall, I’d say we did a pretty good job of using our list to guide our fun this summer. We were able to make memories and have fun together even if it was a quarantine/COVID kind of summer.

Posted in Family, Me

Memory Lane…

When we were in Kansas City a couple of weeks ago, my Gma was cleaning out her pics and had given some to my mom to sort through and keep what she wanted. Then, it was my turn to choose some pics to keep. I brought home about 25 pics, but thought I’d share a few faves.

On my Shutterfly app, I have various albums, and one of them is for old pics. I chose a couple of those to sprinkle in as well.

My kids get the biggest kick out of seeing these older pics. I do what I can to entertain them 😉

Me:

I shared these two pics last week in my Friday Favorites post. I think the banana one is a fave pic of me for my Gma.

I’m assuming this is a pic of me around Christmastime. My love for Madeline ran deep. I carried that doll everywhere.

Listen. If you didn’t have your 5th birthday party at Show Biz Pizza, were you even a kid of the 80’s?

I clearly remember this Esprit shirt, how much I loved it, and how cool I felt in it. Also, let’s talk about the 80’s edition camcorder my mom is holding.

Brother & Sister:

There’s a three and a half year age difference between my brother and me. I used to pick on him, hit him, and pull his hair. I hated in the summer when he’d get a buzz cut to keep cool, and I could no longer get a good grip on his hair.

My parents always used to warn me that one day he’d be bigger than me…but I couldn’t really comprehend that as I figured I’d always be older than him. That being said, thankfully we started getting along once he did grow taller, bigger, and stronger than me!

My grandparents had a houseboat on the Lake of the Ozarks for most of my childhood. I have lots of great memories from the lake.

Pic on the left: we caught a fish!; Top right: I’m sure someone told us our face would freeze like that…and we were up for the challenge; Bottom right: tummy time..for the both of us, apparently.

Pic on the left: I’m guessing this is an Olan Mills photo from around 1984; Top right: tricycle fun at my grandparents’ house (and my brother with his binky!); Bottom right: Trip to DC in 2004. My mom had just retired and cashed in her sick days. She wanted to take a trip with my brother and me. I voted for the beach. I was outvoted, and we met up in DC.

Grandparents: ❤️

I had really wonderful grandparents. I’m blessed to still have my Gma, and it’s been an ever greater blessing that Hayden and Hadley have great memories with her too!

We spent lots of time on the swing set at my grandparents’ house.

My grandpa was lots of fun! and yes-I’m sporting a perm.

I spent lots of time at my dad’s parents’ house too. Most mornings they’d drop me off there, and my grandma (Lulu) would take me to school. They had a fun backyard with swings, a garden, and in the summer, a little pool for us to splash around in. We’d often have Sunday family dinners there too with aunts, uncles, and cousins. Also, my grandpa worked for Pepsi, and they had a Pepsi pop machine out in their breezeway which was a dream come true for the grand kids. Lulu passed away when I was in the third grade, and my grandpa passed away when I was in the seventh grade. I’m very thankful to have great memories of them.

I would often spend sick days at my Gma’s house. My mom’s school was close to their house, and my mom would drop me off there if I needed to stay home. I remember watching I Love Lucy while eating cinnamon sugar toast and scrambled eggs on the couch during those sick days.

My grandpa was very funny. He’d always tell jokes and tickle us. We’d go to their country club and swim or hit golf balls. He always said, “I always knew I’d marry the right woman. I just didn’t know her first name would be always.” haha. He had tons of jokes like that. He passed away in 2004 right after I got engaged and right before my move to Kentucky. I’m very thankful he was able to meet Travis! Of course, I wish my three grandparents could have met Hayden and Hadley…what a gift that would have been.

Pic on left: Swinging with Lulu; Top right: Gma driving a boat at the lake; Bottom right: Grandpa was a Tigers fan…really, he was a fan of anything we did.

Other Faves:

Lake time with mom, my brother, and my Gma.

The house I grew up in had a huge front yard hill that was perfect for those Midwest winters. We’d sled down the hill, across the street, and into the neighbor’s yard.

Top pic: Sledding with my mom, brother, and dog Maggie.

Bottom pic: Classic leaving the hospital pic….my mom carrying my brother, my dad with his bell bottoms and pipe (probably telling me to get in the car!), and me with my boy haircut and Madeline doll.

This is probably Christmas 2002 or 2003. Whatever year it was, I think it was Trav’s first Christmas with my family. We always do Christmas Eve with my dad’s side of the family and Christmas evening with my mom’s side of the family. This pic is at my Gma’s house.

So, that’s a little trip down memory lane. I guess I get my love for taking pics honestly which is obviously easier to do in 2020 with an iPhone in my hand all of the time.

Time sure does fly by!

I hope you have a great day! See you back here tomorrow for this month’s What’s Up Wednesday post. (Also, how is July almost over?!?)

Posted in Family, Travel

Road trip to KC

Last week we hit the road to visit family in Kansas City. I’m from KC (hence part of my blog name…I’m from the “Show Me” state 😉 ), and try to get back there at least a couple times a year.

Obviously, with the world turned upside down, I hadn’t seen family in a while. I had to adjust our dates a few times and wanted to make sure to take as safe of a trip as possible, so we headed out last Wednesday and came back on Sunday.

With a few stops, KC is about a 9 hour drive from Lexington. We made great time on both legs of the trip, only stopping quickly for gas and restroom break if needed.

I mentioned this earlier in the week, but this trip reminded me that traveling with kids does get easier! I made a list for each kid for their suitcase and backpacks, and they packed themselves! I double checked a few things, but they had it all. Also, I felt less stressed packing this time (I just hate packing…and unpacking) because I knew we were just going to lounge around! Comfy clothes, workout clothes and pjs were all that I needed.

We arrived Wednesday afternoon and stopped at my dad’s house first. The kids played outside, and my dad helped Hayden with his golf swing. 😉

Then, we made our way to my mom’s house. The kids were excited to continue their dog walking biz by walking her dog Gus. They walked him twice a day most days.

It’s summer. It’s July. It’s hot everywhere, but KC brings the heat. Travis and I were married in KC in June 2005…when the heat index was pushing 110. So this heat index of 106 was something I’m all too familiar with.

Two days of our trip, Travis took the kids to a nearby golf course so they could hit balls on the driving range…and “drive” the golf cart.

Look out!

Friday morning Travis and I went on a walk on a trail close to my mom’s house. We didn’t start our walk until after 10:00, and it was already so hot. We chose the trail, so we’d at least get a little shade!

Friday afternoon, one of my mom’s friends graciously let us cool off in his pool! It’s always good to see him and his wife…and the pool is a great way for the kids to cool off and burn some energy.

Gus got lots of snuggles.

I’ve mentioned before that Hayden has been reading the Harry Potter series. My mom has all the books, so she was saving them for when the kids would be interested in reading them. Hayden has read the first three books, so he started with the fourth book, Goblet of Fire, once GG gave him the set.

He even stayed up later than the rest of us on Wednesday night to start the book.

Sunday, on the drive home, Hayden read 90% of the time! He was really loving that book.

Throughout our stay, we played quite a few games. Monopoly Deal was a favorite. It took a couple of rounds to get used to, but we enjoyed it…and it’s definitely easier to pack and shorter to play than the Monopoly board game.

We also played Battleship that my mom had and then Dominoes at my grandma’s house.

Missouri has my favorite convenience store…Quik Trip. (It’s the little things that make you miss home, right? ;))They are always so clean and the employees are known for ringing you up as quickly as possible.

Sometimes we stop at QT on our way in or out of town, but Saturday, we picked up drinks for everyone as well as tacos from Taco John’s which are a fave of Trav’s when we visit.

When we are in KC, we usually hit up other local faves like Topsys for their popcorn and cherry limeade, Winsteads for a burger and shake, and of course, KC BBQ. This trip, we didn’t eat out as much just to be on the safe side.

On Saturday, we celebrated my Gma’s birthday. I ordered her a flower pot from the same Etsy shop that I purchased end of the school year gifts for the kids’ teachers.

Saturday night, we played more Dominoes before lasagna dinner and cookie cake at Gma’s house.

dinner at Gma’s

Then, it was time to pack up on Saturday night to head out Sunday morning.

It was a great visit, and we got to spend lots of time with our family.

Of course, it’s always sad to leave (and as the kids get older, they definitely do miss seeing family that’s far away), but it’s also good to get back home to Homer and sleep in our own beds.

Until next time, KC…

I hope you are having a great week.

Posted in Family, Kids

Summer Fun List

Hello and happy Tuesday!

Real talk: I’ve realized Monday is my least favorite day of the week…even in the summer. Mondays mean to do lists, grocery pick up, laundry, and more! During the school year, those are usually Sunday chores! Now, I just bump that business to Monday! I’m very happy to move on to Tuesday.

Anyway, before the summer slips away, I thought I’d have the kids write down some things they want to do this summer. Hadley’s list is on the left, Hayden’s on the right (more real talk: he was kind of grumpy when he made his list), and family items in the middle. A few of the items we’ve accomplished already, but I wanted to have a list for our entire summer.

Hadley:

  • Learn a new Tik Tok dance (Thankfully, this isn’t a family activity 😉
  • Tie Dye
  • Bake
  • Go to Bob Evans restaurant (She loves the microwave mashed potatoes I buy—she wants to see if they taste the same at the restaurant!)
  • Dance workshops
  • And more!

Hayden:

  • Teach Homer tricks
  • Take golf lessons
  • Baseball
  • Draw
  • Play outside
  • Take Hadley to camp for a week (I hate to burst his bubble, but camp has been cancelled!)
  • And more!

Family:

  • Vacation
  • Pick strawberries (maybe Travis can join us next time!)
  • Go visit family in KC
  • Go to the zoo
  • Kayak
  • Drive in movie
  • And more!

Our summer looks a bit different with less pool time this year, but we hope to make the most of it and plan some other activities.

The kids have even started a little dog walking business. They walked their first two clients yesterday.

I don’t know that anything too fun is happening today. Hayden will have to update his list because this morning he is, in fact, getting his phase 2 braces. Poor guy! Good news for him (and Hadley) is maybe we can stop for a root beer float at A&W after his appointment!

Take care,