Friday, September 12, 2014

Labor Day Weekend 2014

We spent most of Labor Day Weekend hanging out with my sister and Bob or at the pool. But one of our favorite Labor Day traditions is spending time at the cabin. So we slept in a bit and hung around the house relaxing Monday morning for awhile but then made our way up to Indian Hills for cooler weather and lots of time outdoors! 

Our boys were the only kids for a few hours. 
They set up this store with all sorts of goodies for people to buy. They charged anywhere from 5 cents to 10 dollars. They used the cash register and play money and a telephone. Nolan would use the telephone like he was speaking into the store's intercom. It was too cute !

And of course they spent lots of time in the sandbox. 

Brad, Jayne, and their boys came up later and we all went on a hike. 
Nolan was the most adventurous he's ever been rock climbing, which was fun to see! 

This one is always up for a challenge! 

Following the leader. 

Exploring some "caves" and "hideouts". 

Opa guiding Nolan through a rocky section. 

Our favorite spot! 

It was a beautiful day! 

When we got back from our hike I was happy to cuddle this little one. Ezra Kurt's first trip to the cabin! 

My birthday always falls around Labor Day. This year it was the day after, so I had to work on my birthday. But the boys planned some special things for me anyway. Mark and I had gone out over the weekend. So my real birthday was all about our little fam. 
Mark always does a great job on my birthday chair! I am OBSESSED with the show Friday Night Lights right now. Binge watching whenever I get the chance. So Eric Taylor was a nice face to see on the chair! And of course, I will always LOVE my Logan! GG = BEST SHOW EVER! But best of all…my own sweet guy! He made me coffee and had the chair ready and put in some extra help with the boys before school! Thanks babe. 

My friends at school ordered Jimmy Johns for lunch and baked me cookies. And I brought cookies to share with my students as well. After school I had a class until 7 p.m. but I came home to Skype my fam, open some gifts, and eat delicious home cooked cashew chicken for dinner. 

I got these cute earrings from Jill. {Thanks to the inspiration of our BFF's Shaeffer and Shay! Ha!}
My parents sent me some Tupperware I had requested.  I got some perfume from Mark's parents and some from the boys too! And some new Nikes that I'm pumped about. So needless to say…I was spoiled! 

Thank you to all who contributed to the spoiling with FB messages, texts, phone calls, cards, and gifts! I even got a fun night out at La Sandia with the Jansen girls. 

I love my sweet fam and am always happy to have this LONG weekend with them for my birthday! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


The end of Summer is always so bittersweet. While we were ready for a little more routine, focus, and time apart, we were also so sad to see our fun in the sun come to an end. This post is dedicated to a whole bunch of our end of summer F-U-N! 

We spent a LOT of time outside, but we also needed a little down time indoors as well. I usually planned a quick and easy little school type activity each day for Nolan and Heath, but this little man always wanted to get in on the action as well. 
This Kindergarten teacher is already pretty impressed with his great pencil grip! And look, he's using his helper hand too! :) 

I loved being able to get my CRAFT on this summer here and there. 

Evenings at the pool are just magical. 

Our neighbors adopted 2 kitties. Peek-a-boo came over for a visit with Samantha one day. The boys LOVE them! 

Neighborhood water fight! Thankful for this fun family that lives right across the street! 

The Syers fam finally got a chance to join us at the pool one day...
Cousin Fun! 

Cooling off in the showers!

We are so thankful that our kids get to grow up with their cousins living so close! 

We also joined the Syers fam at Grandma Inge's pool one day...

Getting Opa! He's such a good sport! 

We tried, unsuccessfully, to get a picture of all the kiddos with Oma & Opa! Brady had already left, and Brooks was not havin' it. 
So, these were the best we got. 

The boys love looking for missing toys in these white pool vents. 

Opa's famous "Washing Machine". 

Rollin' down the street...

Can you see Heath way up there? This is right before he completely wiped out, thinking he was so cool and fast. But he hopped right back up and kept riding. 

This kid and the holes in his head...
 Love him. 
 SOOOOOO thankful he's mine. 
 And he's a "rich" man now...
our little saver! 
Thanks to Auntie Kerri for this fun Tooth Fairy Shark! Nolan LOOOOOOVES it! 

A little Ezra time before he was home from the hospital. So thankful he's home. 

And a whole lotta pool pics...
I can't resist. They are are just so cute!
Pretending he's laying out with Mommy. YES! I was actually able to lay out, here or there, this summer while the boys played! Loved every second of it! 

Nolan loved the buckets this summer. 

And Heath conquered the diving board...

We were so proud of this guy! 

He did so well jumping into the 10 foot water and swimming to the edge without wings! 
He's become a pretty good little swimmer. And can hold his breath for a heck of a long time. Working on that whole come up for air thing! 

Daddy enjoyed the diving board too! The boys thought it was so funny to watch him…and get splashed too! 

Brooks learned how to swim with water wings on! 

And this guy braved deeper and deeper water...

and the big SLIDE!
For our cautious kid, this was A BIG DEAL! He had a blast and once he got over his fear, like with most things, he did it over and over and over again! 

One night while Mark was at his Fantasy Football Draft I took the boys to the movie at the pool. The kids got to vote between Finding Nemo, The Lego Movie, and Frozen. They voted for The Lego Movie, but Frozen won. They didn't mind though, they were just so excited to stay up late and watch a movie outside! Some kids swam while they watched the movie, but it was cold, and I was on my own, so I bundled the kids up in sweats, and we cuddled up for a fun night. 
 Brooksie was so snuggly and sweet that night. {Holy wrinkly forehead by the way!}
He sat still on my lap and watched the entire movie! Miracles do happen people! 

They had this really cool blow up screen that they projected the movie onto. 

And I popped each of the boys their own mini bag of popcorn. {How sweet does Heath's little face look in this pic, by the way?!}

 At the end of the movie, Heathy got cold and came over to snuggle with me, which was a welcomed surprise from my anti-affection kid. 

All bundled up under their towels! Such a memorable night! 

Labor Day weekend we, literally, tried to get to the pool every waking moment we could. 

We were SO, SO sad to see it close. 

And the sun set on another fabulous summer. 

Let me just tell you, I was a little bit worried about having my first WHOLE summer at home with all three boys by myself. This was my first time teaching a traditional schedule. You see, I'm really not cut out to be a full time stay at home mommy. {I love and admire those of you who are.} But, it's just not for me. I'm a better mom when I have a little time away from my kiddos. So, teaching Kindergarten is the perfect balance for me. Time at home with my 3 precious boys and time at school pouring my creativity and energy into students and a career that I LOVE! So about 9 weeks at home was a little daunting to me. 

Buuuuuut, I was SO pleasantly surprised that I really, really enjoyed my summer. There were moments that I was pulling my hair out in frustration over my loud and wild boys that don't listen, make constant messes, and fight all the frickin' time. {Did I just say that?} And there were days when I was texting Mark "When are you coming home???!!!" and counting down the seconds until he gave me some relief. And there were weeks when I LITERALLY did not have one single trip out of the house by myself. But I think that we were busy enough with travel and guests that I didn't really have time to wallow in self pity. SUMMER.FLEW.BY! And I think God granted me a little present in that after the year that I had. I treasure my time at home with the boys. And, as cliche as this may sound, I know that I only have this for a short while. 

 I'm grateful.