Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wait... I want July back!

Summer is going by way too fast. And I know it can't be just me looking at the calendar and the approaching month of August and wanting to press pause on the life DVR button. 

We spent all last week at the lake cabin like we do every year.
This year the weather left a little to be desired. I know that typically adults (yep, not including myself in the adult category right now) like it cooler out, but come on, it's a week at the lake! I wanted some swimming and boating and tiny shovels in the sand along the water. I was hoping for the desire to escape the heat by hopping into the lake at midnight after a few drinks with the cousins.
It was in the 60s some days. There were times when we needed sweatshirts and pants on to sit outside in the shade in the afternoon! 

And because of that I have very few pictures. We did a lot of eating - no surprise there - and we took quite a few bike rides. The weather was phenomenal for that. We did some boating but I never felt the urge to even put on a swimsuit. It was never hot enough. 

We did however play some badminton - us adult kids are all slowly improving - and the little kids enjoyed the nearby playground as often as possible. 

We had our annual cousins' night too which coincided with Justy's birthday. Some beer darts and other games were played and copious amounts of cheese balls and chicken strips were consumed, but since no one went down a Christian Bible Camp water slide at 1 AM, I think we classed it up a bit this year.

Back at home we have been taking it easy. This past week the kids slept in more than they ever have before in their lives and I was right there with them.

There isn't too much on the agenda for the rest of the week. 
But we do have sweet corn. And to my kids it is like the Holy Grail of food.

Graham had his first ever taste of corn on the cob tonight.
Hey, it's an Iowa rite of passage.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

White Trash Golfing & Mud Volleyball 2014

In our family we do this weird thing we call White Trash golfing. It evolved three years ago when my sisters and cousin had nothing to do on a Saturday morning. Someone suggested golf, but everybody looked borderline trashy - cutoff t-shirts, old shoes, hair all a mess. It was suggested they should go anyway and just embrace the white trashy-ness. So they did. 
And White Trash Golfing was born. 

And then there is this couple - newcomers to the event. 
But from the looks of them you would never know.
They just do White Trash so right!
I can only hope they look just as ravishing at their upcoming wedding here in a few months. 

The next day was mud volleyball.
If you recall our team last year was the Bumpin' Amish.

This year we went as team Nerds 'N' Nets.
And I think we were just as stylish as that sounds.
Are you seeing my sexy husband?? Back off ladies, that geek is all mine!

I like big books and I cannot lie.

Talk nerdy to me.

Another engaged couple. 
With a picture this perfect, I really hope it makes the wedding slide show!

Nerd Love.

Truth be told, we aren't the best at mud volleyball. We won our first game and lost the two after that.
But we don't take it too seriously - it's all for the fun of playing. (And maybe the drinking?)
However, we did win for Best Team Uniform, so those trips to Goodwill really paid off.

The After look:

It was a fun time and worth the ten million mosquito bites and the 20 minute shower afterward. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Independence Day 2014

My family has never done anything special on the 4th, and I am not exaggerating. Sure, we sometimes got together in the evenings with our two cousins and launched some fireworks, but nothing overly exciting. Unless you consider all those near-misses with battle tank rockets exciting.

Jared on the other hand grew up always having a fun 4th of July. As a kid in Colorado his mom had their friends and family over in the backyard every year for food, homemade hand-churned ice cream, and plentiful games. So to him the 4th of July was always a favorite holiday. 
Not so much for me. 
So this year we decided to make it a fun holiday by hosting a party in our own backyard.

We invited family, spruced up the backyard (did I mention how tired I am of constantly pulling weeds this summer?), brainstormed menu items, and prepared to cross some items off our summer bucket list
We love to have people over, so we were excited to host a party. 

No get-together in this family is complete without lots of food. 
And I don't know why, but color-themed food just seems like a prerequisite for a 4th of July party. And while there are no pictures of it, my husband makes absolutely amazing homemade ice cream: vanilla, double chocolate, and strawberry. It was a straight-up stampede into the kitchen to get a bowl.

The kids had fun splashing in the kiddie pool we set up and throwing some water balloons.

The adults also had their share of fun. I had picked up a $20 badminton/volleyball set from Target and we logged a few hours of competition. 
Clearly we take our badminton seriously. 

And of course the 4th of July isn't complete without fireworks, although we stuck with the sparklers and snakes.

We finished off the night at my parents' camper watching the fireworks show at Twin Lakes. Avery and Graham didn't make it past 8:30, but Bailey made it until 10 o'clock in order to see the show.

It was definitely the most fun 4th of July we have had in a long time. And if just for the ice cream alone, it will probably be an annual event. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

summertime blogging catch-up

The past week or so has been full of ordinary and some not-so-ordinary, mostly good, some bad. And it's random, which seems to be my M.O. lately.

The girls spent last Friday in Omaha with Aunt Beaner. They ate food I refuse to cook for them (boxed mac & cheese) and hung out, getting spoiled by their aunt of course. They went swimming, ate ice cream, and played with bubbles. All of which they can do at our house, but it is much more fun when it's with your aunt. 

Aunt Beaner reported minimal fighting and only one incident in which a larger elementary school aged boy jumped on Avery in the pool, causing the lifeguard to jump from his post and "rescue" Avery.  Minor near "drowning" experience aside, the trip was a complete success.

While the girls were gone, Graham got some one-on-one time with not only Mommy and Daddy, but Grandma Sherri and Papa as well - which never happens. 

He also took advantage of Avery's absence and got some good use out of her pink cowboy (cowgirl?) boots.

This past weekend was the funeral of Nick Hildreth - someone I have known since he started kindergarten with my sister Felicia. He married a classmate of mine and they lived here in our small town. He passed away unexpectedly in an electrical accident and left behind a wife and four children. Funerals like that are gut-wrenching. To see the devastation on the faces of his parents and wife, not to mention their kids, it's just horrible. 28 is just way too young...

And while living in a small town can sometimes be well... annoying - everybody knows your business, everybody talks about your business - I think that in this case living in a small town will be a blessing. People in a small town care. They might be all up in your business at times, but they want to help. 

Funerals like that one make you think about what is important in life and what would be left behind if you died right here, right now, today. Family is the legacy you leave and I am grateful to be able to spend so much time with mine.

And speaking of family, we went out and bombarded visited my grandma Connie and grandpa Lyle this morning. The usual coffee time and what-not.

Bailey knows right where to look for Great Grandma's snack stash.
Bring on the cookies!

We couldn't get out of the house without bows. Bailey and Avery needed bows with their ponytails. 
And Graham is not going to be left out. 
He stood at the door yelling "Bow!" at the top of his lungs and would not be silenced. So I let him pick his bow too, placed it in his hair, and the miraculously the yelling ceased. We could finally leave the house. 

Checking out the corn which is doing really well in our parts - just enough rain but no flooding like so many other farmers have to deal with.
And while I know people think Iowa and think boring, boring, boring -
I truly love Iowa. 
I love the green of the fields right now. It's green as far as the eye can see. And I love to watch the corn wave back and forth with the wind. It's the farm girl in me. I used to go on walks down our gravel road growing up and loved just looking at all the green as I walked. I think it is beautiful. I'm always going to think it is beautiful. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

Wishing a Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, but especially to the most important man in our house.

You were there to hear their very first cries, scooping them up and posing for pictures with that awestruck look on your face. You learned how to feed Bailey, how to swaddle, how to position them so they could comfortably rest their tiny cheeks on your chest and fall asleep. You changed diapers, warmed bottles, found the Boppy that was always disappearing, and looked past my never-ending parade of nursing tanks.

You're the most important man in their lives. 
Splashing in the pool.
Bedtime stories.
Movies with popcorn.
Planting flowers.
Bike rides.
Homemade fudgesicles.
Under-dunks on the swings.
Cooking in the kitchen.
All typical moments in a kid's life, 
made special because of you.

We're still learning every day how to raise these three crazy kids.
And while lots of days I feel like I'm not getting it right, it always helps to know we are in this parenting thing together.

Happy Father's Day to my husband.
Thank you, Jared, for all you do each and every day. 
The four of us love you so very much.