Friday, October 31, 2014

Our Summer - 2014

I'll try to make this short and sweet, but we packed a lot into our fun summer this year. Quinn was out of school (which was fun and a little exhausting), and we made the most of our free time.

A Baby Shower
My brother and sister-in-law had a baby in July (more on that later) but in late May, we had a storybook-themed baby shower for her. We had so much fun planning the food and decor which included an "Oh the Places You'll Go" cake and book-themed food. I love celebrating babies and Q had an absolute ball playing with some of the older girls who are now her new besties!

Tough Mudder
My crazy husband decided to put himself through about five hours and 10 miles of torture in the Austin Tough Mudder. I left Q with my mom and went to watch. Let's just say I will most likely never do something like that but more power to the folks who did. Among other obstacles it included mud pits that were impossible to crawl in (they spend 30 minutes trying to get across one), climbing other people to get over a wall, jumping in ice water, running through electrically-charged wires and attempting to go across monkey bars (covered in mud). I really can't complain but I should have thought ahead because I was a rookie Tough Mudder spectator. There were people with coolers, chairs, umbrellas, etc. I literally had a backpack with water and our phones. But, I had a great time cheering for the team and I'm really proud of J for finishing.

My best friend from high school moved to Dallas and I'm so glad to have her closer. Her hubby has been in the army forever so they always lived pretty far away. He retired and joined the "civilian" life (as he calls it) so now I get to see them more. She had twins this summer (more on that later) but she already has two awesome kiddos that Q loves! (What more could a girl want than a bigger girl w/ tons of dress-up clothes to play with!?) I wanted to visit them before the craziness of twins so we went to see them and hang out for a couple of days. I even got to catch up with a couple of other girlfriends from high school who were my besties! I love friendships that stand the test of time and distance!

Sisters Graduate
My sister graduated from Baylor and Jeremy's sister graduated from high school this year. We had a great time celebrating both of them and they are both off doing wonderful things. Tylia is playing softball and going to school at Texas Woman's University (we are looking forward to watching her this spring). Emily has her first choral directing gig in the Ft. Worth area where she is the head choir director for a middle school. We are so proud of our sisters!

We spent a lot of down time this summer going to the pool and Q became a little water bug. She got really brave once we got her the Puddle Jumper and I was so glad she felt more comfortable than she did last summer. We did a few weeks of swim lessons with a high school girl in our neighborhood and learned some basics. Next summer, we'll start some legit swimming. We also spent some time going to the Alamo Drafthouse free kids movies this summer. We saw Mary Poppins, Annie and An American Tail. Q did great! I'm sure the popcorn and milkshakes helped. HAHA Some of our favorite times this summer were spent hanging out with friends and having play dates. I love seeing the excitement on Q's face when I tell her we are going to play with friends. Let's be honest, they are way more fun than Mama. In June I got to volunteer at our church's VBS and I had a blast! It was so fun to share this with Quinn and I'm looking forward to when she is old enough to go into the "big church" to participate in the big kid musical.

The highlight of our summer as a family was our trip to CO with our good friends. We absolutely love summer in CO and we went to Durango this time since we've never been there. We rented a condo and enjoyed the weather, grilling out, strolling through town, visiting the steam train museum, spa treatments, golf, board games, the girls playing together and we even got a date night since Allison's aunt lives there and kept the girls. Since we were there over July 4th, we had a great time watching the town parade, riding in a horse carriage and having a backyard grill-out before watching fireworks come up over the beautiful mountains. Q was so brave on this trip! She jumped on a trampoline with a harness and she did really well during the fireworks. It was her first time to see them and she was a trooper! We are so blessed to have such amazing friends to travel with!

Maggie's Birth
I was so excited to welcome my first niece into the world (on my side) this summer. I can't believe my brother has a little girl. So crazy! Q and I went to Odessa with my sister to be there for the big event. Maggie has a lot of people who love her so we had a great time chatting with the whole family. While we all waited at the hospital, Q got to spend the day with Mimi who completely spoiled her. So funny! When Q got to hold Maggie, she didn't want to put her down. It was really sweet! I can't wait for those two sweet girls to play together and be best cousin friends!

David and Sarah Are Back
We are SO DANG EXCITED to have some of our best friends back in the US. David and Sarah spent four years in the UK and they finally came back AND moved into our neighborhood. We love having them here and it will be so fun to see our kids grow up together in our hood. We celebrated their return with a whole weekend of fun! The girls got mani/pedis and the guys played golf. Then we all hung out at David and Sarah's sweet new house in the pool, eating yummy food and generally having a great time! Nothing says fun like a bunch of grown-ups wearing goggles and making ridiculous faces.

Dallas (Round Two)
We had three reasons for going to Dallas for a second time this summer. 1. My sister moved into her sweet new apartment and we wanted to see it and hang out with her. 2. Amanda had her twins! 3. Jeremy had a conference so we just tagged along. We had so much fun playing in Dallas! Q got to watch Sleeping Beauty every morning while I worked, we took advantage of my sister's resort-style pool, saw old friends and held babies! Now that Jeremy's sister is in the Dallas-area too, I have a feeling we will be going up there more often.

Labor Day at the Lake
Our last hurrah for the summer was spending time with family at the lake. (It's actually more like what used to be a lake, but they have a pool at the house.) We stayed at my sister-in-law's family lake house and had a blast swimming, eating and of course holding sweet Maggie. Q had fun playing with Maggie and torturing the poor dogs who just wanted to chill out. I love that we can all just hang out as one big happy family (our family and Abby's gracious family).

Potty Training
I think our biggest news of the summer is that Q finally decided to be potty trained. It was a bit rough for a while there. She just didn't want to take the time to go. At one point I went in her room when she was supposed to be napping and she had just squatted in her bed and pooped. Lovely. I tried so much shameless bribery (including new Barbies, chocolate, cookies, etc.), but I think what worked in the end was making her hang out without anything on her bottom (pull-up or panties). I had tried that early on, but for some reason it worked better later in the summer. I think it bothered her enough that she went on the potty. She hasn't had too many accidents and it's so nice not having to carry a diaper bag, buy diapers and worry about accidents. WOOHOO!

Whew! Typing that out reminded me of how busy we were. Despite our crazy busy schedule we had a lot of fun days just playing at home, watching movies at home and of course playing with our neighborhood friends. But, this tired Mama was glad when school started...working from home with a toddler is a bit of a challenge, but I'm so lucky to be able to do this.