Hello! Summer is about two-thirds over and life has been a whirl of time with cousins, living it up swim-style, lots of hot dogs and corn on the cob, athletic events, playground visits, sunscreen slathering, and kids who literally never go to bed because it's always light out (they must be solar-powered, because their energy is endless). I'm going to try my best to post about some of the highlights from the last month. I think the above photo of Cece and her cousin friend Michaela (which I did not take, I think Andrea did) is one of my favorites from the whole summer so far.
As mentioned, we've joined the Olsons several times this summer at their neighborhood pool. As any parent knows, a day at the pool is not some relaxadaisical spontaneous activity. You have to pack all the things, bribe your oldest kid to carry some of the things, and then participate in an afternoon of intense supervision, because they are little and it's, ya know, a pool. BUT the girls almost always have a blast, so it makes all of the pre-pool work worth it!
Speak of things that are not relaxing, in June, Joe ran his first Spartan race because he's
out of his bloody mind one sexy and fit fella. The girls and I came out to support him and he did an AMAZING job. (His results are here) Later in July he also ran the Tough Mudder and I also participated in the Riverfront Victory Games, because I wanted my own moment to shine. However, there are no photos from my recent "race", nor was there any shining on my part as it ended up being a whole lot more difficult than I had anticipated and I even ended up throwing up at the end. So... despite recently joining the gym, fitness and I aren't exactly bffs at the moment.
Above are a few more photos from our recent road trip to Wisconsin Dells and Chicago for Robbyn's wedding. The girls (as expected) loved the pools in Wisconsin Dells and loved living that hotel life. Is there anything better than Rosie lounging in a queen bed or her wearing a flotation device on her head while in the van? No, not there is not.
Since we had just arrived back in town, our Fourth of July festivities weren't over-the-top, but just the right amount of fun for our family. Our neighborhood had a get-together that included a BBQ and lots of fun for kiddos including a waterside, bounce house, and kickball. The girls also got a real thrill from sparklers and watching Joe light up a few (weak) Roman candles. Happy Belated Birthday, America!
We also got a chance to make it out to the MN Zoo with cousins and see the new dinosaur exhibit which I definitely recommend (They move, roar, and even spit, which the kids got a kick out of.) We also saw the butterfly garden for the first time, fed animals at the farm area, and sent Rosie on her first camel ride. So despite having two very tired kiddos at the end of the day, I think we can chalk that outing up as a success.
Speak of outings, I also went to see my sister-in-law Kim reunite, sing, and do her rockstar thing with her cover band Big Night Out with a couple of my other sister-in-laws ( I have a lot of sister-in-laws). It was a treat to be out and about and have a drink without a diaper bag, although I'm pretty sure I still found some diapers in my purse while at the bar. Thanks again for the invite and for the great show!
I'm not terribly proud to admit it, but there has been a small bit of Pokemon playing in our house. I definitely feel that less screens are best for everyone, but at least this ridiculous game has gotten us on some scenic family walks (hence the above photo).
Lastly, the most recent happening was a five-day visit by Sarah, Will, and Evie to see our new house. I felt so bad that this was probably the hottest week of the entire year, so it was a lot of time spent inside our house and only very brief playground visits. Even so, the girls were gaga for baby Evie and, as usual, Sarah and I had some solid nights of good snacking and catching up when all the kids got to sleeping. Thank you again for making the trip out to see us! (And thanks for taking this picture as this is our only documentation of this trip!)
(I loved how our tough and rambunctious Rosie gets all gooey over a cute baby!)
So there you have our summer thus far! It's been difficult for me to sit down and start blogging again due to the fact that I haven't been caught up on my photo editing until, like, yesterday. (You can see some of my recent sessions from this summer here.) But also because all of the tragedies that have been occurring at a rapid pace in our own country as well as across the world. Once I had thought I had somewhat processed one event, something terrible would happen again and it didn't seem right to stick my head in the sand and just write about "summer fun!" like nothing bad has been happening. I don't have answers or solutions. I don't think it's enough for me to just post about how my thoughts and prayers are with those who are in pain. I do know, until I figure out a meaningful way to be part of world-peacemaking, it is my job is to continue to raise two more humans in this world who are filled with love and light, compassion, intelligence, and kindness.
So. Here's to not giving up on tomorrow, no matter how hard and how scary things look today.
I know we are still looking forward to the rest of summer and getting fall started on the right foot. Also, I have some fun blog post ideas in my head, so check back here soon, hope I can get them going!