Monday, June 30, 2014

TEN Years Later!!!

Josh and I celebrated TEN YEARS of marriage last Wednesday!!!  We have experienced SO many things together, and I can't wait to see what other adventures are ahead of us!  Most immediately, we will adventure on a week-long Alaskan cruise in mid-August with Mom and Dad and Larry and Michelle!  CANNOT WAIT!
To celebrate more immediately, we went kayaking!  It was my first time, and it was SO much fun!  It was a gorgeous afternoon, and the river was so peaceful and pretty!
I later ditched the life vest when it got too hot...
I love this handsome outdoorsy man :) :) :)
Kayaking selfie!!!
Unfortunately, our fancy dinner plans to go out to Red Robin were postponed as we came back to find this shattered window on our car :(  We think a rock flew up from the weed-eater being used nearby and cracked the window.  We were at Fountainhead Regional Park, and they were AMAZING!  First, they helped us clean up our car.  Then, they paid to fix the window since they agreed there was a good chance their weed-eater was what threw up a rock.  They were super nice and amazingly quick in helping us get everything coordinated so we could get the window replaced ASAP!  The ending to our time in the park didn't discourage us from wanting to explore it some more!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Always Room for New Friends, But You Never Forget the Old Ones!!!

I have been in a huge funk since my parents left.  Of course, I am SUPER excited for our big vacation to Alaska at the end of the summer, and it's not even that long until we see them again, but it was extra hard to say goodbye to them knowing we had another really hard goodbye coming up.  We moved into our house Mother's Day weekend three years ago.  The Bashore family moved in for good about a month later.  For the past three years, all members of the families have enjoyed such fun times and made TONS of memories!  We learned from each other, encouraged one another, ate LOTS of yummy food, traded recipes, played countless games, roasted bunches of marshmallows, grew babies, raised sweet children, camped, canoed, ran, crafted, shopped, relaxed, lent out last-minute grocery items, helped with heavy lifting to save marriages, and truly made the most of living two houses apart.  The inside of the houses was even exactly the same layout!!!  We wanted to soak up as much time as possible before we had to say our goodbyes.  

We were more than happy to have Levi hang out for the day, and we took him to see Rocknoceros at Stonebridge!  I'm not sure how any of them felt about the music, but they sure loved being together :)
We sat with Lillian and Heidi again, and Graham liked Miss Heidi's hat!  And her harmonica, but I didn't get a picture of that funny sight!
Three boys enjoying the fountain after the show!  Jackson was just shy of 3 when Levi was born.  Levi was getting ready to turn 1 when Graham was born.  Cute stair-stop boys :)
Special buddies!
Looks like Jackson and Levi need a little more time in the sun compared to Grahammers!
The goodbye fun continued with Hallie, Aimee, Rachel and I went out to get ice cream.  Our goodbye to Hallie is coming in just under a month.  Sigh...  One at a time!
Graham, Levi, Sage and Jackson enjoying Sage and Clay's super awesome new pool!  I LOVE that Graham and Levi's swim trunks match!  Jackson had a pair that matched, but he out-grew them :(
We squeezed in one last dinner at our house with the Bashores after the moving truck came and loaded up all of their boxes.  We had spaghetti and cheesy garlic bread.  This peanut butter chocolate chip pound cake was for dessert :)  The kids all got some more playing in, and the grown-ups got to relax a bit and chat.
Yesterday was the day to say, "We can't wait to visit you in your new house!!!"  Hugging this wonderful family goodbye was really hard :(  We couldn't believe our luck with what amazing neighbors moved in with us!  We still have some awesome ones living here, and we are crossing our fingers for some wonderful new friendships to form...
Jolene had no way of knowing, but her dinner invitation for last night was PERFECT timing!!!  Hitting the road to spend time with some other good friends (who are NOT moving) put us in a better mood!  Josh and Rick played a little golf, and I kept Jolene company as she made yet another amazing meal for us, and the boys all played.  These two are just adorable trouble together!  Graham caught on quickly that Kermit was Owen's special lovey.  He tried to use Kermit to get Owen off the stool, so HE could get up there!  Smart cookie!  (They only posed like this so I could take a picture!)
We distracted ourselves right away by making cookies to take to our new neighbors!  This was my first time with both boys helping, and it went pretty well!  
We made LOTS of cookies, and we used them as an excuse to go meet two new families!  They were both REALLY nice, and we are looking forward to getting to know them.  We will get to meet our third new family sometime in late July or August...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I found this gem after the season last summer, and we finally got to try it out!  The boys (and friends) LOVED it!!!
Running start...
Graham prefers the Slip-n-Bear-Crawl!
Miss Sarah was nice enough to provide the after-snack :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Uncontrollable Cuteness Before Hiking

I just happened to take a whole bunch of pictures, and I LOVE this whole sequence, so I posted them all :)

After an early nap for Mr. Graham, we headed out to finally explore Leesylvania State Park!!!  Graham did the best yet in the Ergo.  He definitely does not love it, but we pushed on, and he really didn't fuss that much...  Check out the view behind us!  I would consider this a pretty tough hike, but Jackson did AWESOME, and this view was pretty great!  I must say, I am SUPER proud of myself, because I was the one to finally spot a really stubborn cache in an area we searched for a good half hour.  Go Mrs. HooClass2002!
We finished our hike just around dinner, so we didn't get to explore too much more of the park, but we can't wait to go back!!!
Josh and I both noticed how far Jackson has come with his stamina since we started really hiking together as a family two years ago.  The summer Graham was born, we really had to have lots of promises of playgrounds, yummy snacks, etc.  Now, he pretty much keeps up, no problem :)
It was pretty warm, but we had a really great family day :D

Monday, June 23, 2014

Kicking Off Summer!

I feel like summer REALLY started Friday because this is when our normal routine started.  No more trips or visitors for a while, so I thought we'd try something new.
Even though I have run or walked with Jackson pretty much every day since he was a baby, this past year he has not been thrilled about accompanying me on my runs/walks.  It's not like it's MY favorite thing to do, and when he complains, it just is not a feel-good scenario...  So, I thought we'd go park by a playground we like, load up in the double jogger for a long walk, and THEN get to play as a reward!  Worked like a charm!  PLUS...
...we found a just-begun construction site for a new library not too far from us!!!  
Extra incentive to load up in the stroller: let's go check on the construction!  I'm feeling pretty brilliant :)
As promised, we played at the playground for quite a while.  The heat of the last week broke, so we were happy to play and enjoy the morning!
In a bubble
Look how long Jackson hangs from those rings!
It also happened to be National Flip-Flop Day!  Tropical Smoothie Cafe advertised a free Jetty Punch smoothie for each customer who came in wearing flip-flops!  We definitely made sure to have that outing!  The Wolfes were nice enough to lend Jackson some flip-flops for the occasion :)
Then, we broke out another new birthday present for Graham--a scooter from Aunt Michelle and Uncle Larry!  He LOVED it!!!
Jackson was such a good big brother helping him!
I love getting glimpses of them playing TOGETHER as Graham gets bigger!
LOVE this!!!
The Yanceys came over for dinner Saturday evening, and Josh and Joe took Rachel and Jackson out for some geocaching, which worked out so well!  The kids had already eaten, so that left Susie and me with a little bit more peace and quiet to get the little boys fed and in bed.  Dinner was also already finished cooking, so then we got to sit on the porch and enjoy the nice evening!  Thanks, Guys!
J&R look SO old here!
I haven't gotten to ask what this was about...
A bit blurry, but they are so cute!