Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tennessee // 2016

This June we planned a girls (plus my brother-in-law Erik) trip to the Smokey Mountains with our kids (minus Holden).  I was so excited not only to see my family, and get the kids together, but to go back and visit a place that holds a special piece of my heart.  We rented a beautiful cabin in the mountains, and did all the things that you do when you visit Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  We went go-karting, visited Dollywood, walked downtown Gatlinburg, took an Old-Tyme photo, ate a lot and since we didn't have enough time to hike them, we drove through the mountains.

It was so much fun to watch my kids make memories the same way I remember doing with my cousins in the exact same place.

This was a recreation of a photo that was taken about 25 years ago.  As soon as I get the original I'll update the post to include that.  

Isla's not having a ton of fun as she NEVER figured out how to drive that boat.  I was concerned she wasn't going to be able to drive it back when they told her time was up!  

At this point (the last morning), Isla and Gabe were a little over each other.  The picture to the left shows them looking (seemingly sweetly) at the information on the overlook.  However, the photo on the right shows the true story...

We were very thankful to Erik who became our requisite photographer on this trip. 

Unfortunately, unbeknownst to me during the planning phase of this trip, we were going to miss Fathers Day weekend.  In an attempt to make it up to Jordan (who I totally appreciate holding down the fort with Holden alone that weekend), I brought Krispy Kreme donuts in my carry-on on the flight home.  

My families been taking this photo ever since I was a tiny kid.  One day I'll go and find all of the pictures and do a post with each one over the years.  Unfortunately, we took this photo at the absolute worst time of the day, but the technical aspects of the picture aren't what I will remember in the long-run.  

Many more videos will come at the end of Summer in my Summer Video post, but heres a snippet of our day at Dollywood.  You can see how excited the kids are to have their Mimi ride this waterslide with them!  I love this video.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What We've Been up to...

It's been a fast and furious couple of months.  With May bringing the end of school, jumping right into June and the beginning of Summer, we haven't slowed down a bit.  Heres a look at what we've been up to:

The month of May was chock full of end of school year events.  It was nice to spend so much time with my babies where they spend most of their time.  I love watching them interact with their teachers and their friends.  Seeing how happy they are at school makes my heart smile.

End of the year Spring photos make my littles look so big...

Mothers Day "Mommy Makeover"


Last lunch with my kindergartener

Isla and some of her friends at their end of year celebration of learning

Lunch with Holden at his end of year celebration of learning

Field Day Fun

Isla's Teacher put together this video of her kindergarten year.  To say I was a bit weepy is an understatement.  When she played it for the class at graduation, I was full-on ugly cry right there in the middle of her classroom.  I'm so happy to have this bit of a keepsake from her first year.  Its crazy to think she'll be heading into 1st grade in just two short months.

Click here to view the video 

We feel lucky to have had such a wonderful teacher in Mrs. Spath.   She provided an amazing environment for our little girl to grow and thrive.  We know she's made a lasting impression on Isla and her classmates.

My biggest fear for the Summer would be that we were not busy enough.  Consequently, I think I may have over-scheduled us just a bit.  Nevertheless, I would much rather be busy than trying to keep the kids entertained with nothing planned.

Isla started swim team before school ended.  I was a little concerned about the level of commitment, (practice is everyday with 5 swim meets in a month).  However, Isla has totally surprised us and fallen in love.  She works harder than she ever has at any activity we've signed her up for, and is always excited to get into the pool with her coaches and friends.

The level of improvement that we've seen after just one season is truly amazing.  We're so proud of our little swimmer and the hard work she's put into this sport.

Isla has also been prescribed a myo brace.  Its basically creating more room in her mouth for teeth to come in, and possibly even negating the need for braces later on.

I was concerned that this would be really hard to get Isla to wear on a regualar basis - she's supposed to wear it for an hour during the day, and then overnight.  While she's not in love with it, she wears it much better than I had imagined she would, and we're super proud of the diligence she's shown.

Dance ended, (I think forever, as Isla probably won't be continuing next year), with a beautiful recital.  I love watching my little girl shine up on stage.  And as much as she complained about practice, and classes throughout the school year, she had a ball dressing up and dancing on stage with her friends.

This spring has inundated Texas with a lot of rain.  We've tried to make the best of it, especially when it forced the schools to close for a week.  The kids got creative, and we tried the best we could to keep them entertained.

The floods were so bad this day, that Daddy couldn't even get into the office, and worked from home...

In addition to all this, we've been enjoying bike rides, camps, the much needed parents nights out, board games with our stuffed animals, family movie nights, food truck Fridays, lemonade stands, sleepovers and of course long days spent in the pool.

It's been a crazy start to the Summer, but we wouldn't have it any other way!

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