The rest of August

I started writing this blog post….21 days ago. Yep. On the first day of September. Even got all the pictures ready. And then never finished it. And that pretty much sums up September for you. More to come on that in another blog post, though.

On one of the first days of school for the kids, Jake and I had a date day. After we dropped the kids off to school, we went to breakfast, went shopping, and got a late lunch before we picked the kids back up from school. It was a good distraction for me on what could’ve been a really hard week-not being back at school is/was hard. It’s hard getting used to a new normal, especially one I didn’t exactly choose for myself.

On another day I got lunch with my sweet friend Melanie. It was good to catch up with her!

Another day I went with Casey, Nana, and Emery to Sam’s shopping, and then we got some lunch. It was so good to spend time with all three of them! And Emery is so cute it’s ridiculous.

I did a LOT of reading.

A LOT of time and attention was given to our “cat farm” as we dubbed it this month. It was so much fun to watch them grow and play and try new things, and then “Gray” got a ruptured abscess on her face, and almost died. I spent several days playing vet and nursing her back to health- she even slept in the house one night, which is definitely not typical for us! But she is fully recovered now and thriving.

We were supposed to be eating at Mom and Dad’s one Friday night, but then Josie came down sick, so they brought dinner to us. We wiped out some fried chicken and fried dove. It was delicious.

We love when the Roses come for dinner. 🙂

I’ve tried a couple of new recipes. This avocado toast is my new favorite breakfast. And I was glad to find a new meatball recipe that uses ground chicken instead of ground beef, so that I can eat it, too.

Jake’s friend Nick got to come over (thank goodness for Covid vaccines letting life get back to normal), and it was such a nice night we got to have a fire.

Park day after church

I liked seeing this picture of my girl working studiously in her classroom. It is weird not getting to peek in on my kids during the day- that is definitely a teacher privilege I’m missing this year.

This goofy boy- playing in cardboard boxes and climbing high in trees. I love that he will still PLAY, though.

Got some new pillows for the couch!

Josie got to have a night with Nana one night and hang out with her little cousins. 🙂

Jack had his first cross country race of the season (and it was HOT). He placed fifth! It was really weird being there and not coaching, for sure.

Definitely not a typical August for us. But it definitely wasn’t all bad. It was nice not being as busy and stressed as normal.

13 years of (almost) white dresses….

After I took Josie’s 13 year old pictures, in that white dress, I got to thinking that I probably had a picture of her in some kind of white dress almost every year of her life. So, I went looking, and yep, I almost did! I only missed a couple of years.

Just born, one, two, and three:

Four, five, and six:

Seven, eight, and nine:

Ten, eleven, and twelve (these are the ballet costume years, and yes, eleven isn’t exactly white..but it’s close..):

And of course, thirteen:

Josie at 13

It had been awhile since I had gotten this girl behind my camera, and it was perfect timing since she has just recently turned 13. I wanted a shoot that would capture both sides of her personality- this spunky, edgy girl she’s “trying out” but also my sweet girl who still loves dresses and accessories and flowers and all things girly…even though she won’t admit it. I love how these turned out, and we had so much fun with this shoot! Here’s some of my favorites.

First Day of School

Today is Josie and Jack’s first day of school. I have to admit, I am sad to not be joining them today. This is literally my first year not to be starting school back since I was 5 years old. That’s a long time. But I’m trying to trust that God has a plan for me through this confusing season of my life.

And, I know you’re only here for the pictures, so here you go-starting 8th and 5th grades!!

The last days of summer….

The kids have been soaking up every last day of summer they’ve had, sleeping as late as possible (and staying up as late as we will let them!), having pajama days, playing hard, seeing friends, and playing with the kitties.

On the first day of August, Tommy and Ta took us all to Sound Waves as a joint birthday present for the kiddos. It was a blast! And I think Tommy had as much fun as the kids, LOL.

Later that night we went to the Roses’ to celebrate Hannah’s birthday! Then Josie spent the night. 🙂

Nana drove Josie and I to our hair appointment. Josie wanted a new short hair cut, and it was time for me to get my hair highlighted-Josie REALLY wanted me to get some purple in my hair (because if it wasn’t for dress code at school, she would have purple hair in a minute!), so I thought, why not? And I loved how it turned out! And Josie is so jealous, LOL. After our hair appointments, the kiddos got to spend the night with Nana.

Lots of reading for me…..

We’ve been enjoying our sweet Zany Lou. She is so much fun! She is a sweet kitty.

The flowers at our farm are BEAUTIFUL.

These kittens are starting to get fun, too! They learned to walk this week, and we love to go play with them.

I had a photo shoot down at the creek at the farm this week, and while I was taking pictures, Jack and Jake went exploring and found a baby snapping turtle!

As a last hoorah of summer, the kids had Hannah and Claire over to spend the night on Monday night. They stayed up late, we had a big brunch, and then I took them all swimming.

Other fun summer things not pictures: kiddos spending the night with Grammy and Pappy and going to a movie night in the park, movie nights at home, Mama Judy’s house getting SO CLOSE to being done, playing outside, picking bouquets of those beautiful flowers, and being so lazy on the couch.

And now.. even though it is hotter than Hades outside, summer break is over!

July

Besides camping and cats and the 4th, there was also other fun to be had in July, even in the midst of seizures and other not-so-fun stuff. Here are some things I want to remember about July 2021:

I got to visit with sweet friends- Robin and I had our annual week of the 4th coffee date, and another day Kim, Lori, and I drove to MO to see Gloria-so glad to get to hang with all of them for the day.

I love these goobers with all of my heart.

Josie’s zinnias are blooming at our farm, and they are so, so beautiful!! I’ve used them several times for photo shoots, and Josie has made some beautiful bouquets. We also planted sunflowers again, but while we were camping, the deer ate the tops off of all of them. Apparently they don’t like zinnias, thank goodness.

Swimming in our sweet neighbors’ pool.

We had a fun lake day with the Roses the Saturday after our camping trip. They had to go back to pick up their boat, so we tagged along and made a day of it! We stopped at the Dairy Burger on the way back right as they were closing for dinner, because the dock was CRAZY, crazier than we’d ever seen it! Note to self:Saturdays in July at the lake are too crazy for our taste.

We officially have a teenager. And her teenager-dom was shining brightly this day-putting on makeup in the car on the way to church, LOL.

Another fun pool day.

One day I went with Mama Judy to pick out a mantel for her new house- it is getting so close to being done!!!

This girl has been trying out some fun new hairstyles, and has requested I learn how to cornrow. First attempt here. I still need to practice for sure.

One night during dinner we decided blackberry cobbler sounded good. So we called the Roses for an impromptu dessert invite, Jake went to Kroger to get some ice cream, and the kids and I went and picked some fresh blackberries-dessert night complete!

These babies are growing! We have been a blast watching them grow, too, checking in on them several times a day. The kids were THRILLED to find them the day they finally opened their eyes. They are getting more fun to watch every day. Soon they are going to be running around everywhere.

Jake and I had an ADVENTURE on Saturday night. As a surprise, I had bought him tickets to the Garth Brooks concert. So we got all ready, got to Nashville with plenty of time to get dinner and take our time walking over in the VERY HOT AND HUMID weather. We made it to our seats and had awhile to wait, especially since the show started a little late. Finally the opener came out and started playing…and the thunder started rolling. By the second song (Emmy Lou Harris and Trisha), Jake and I decided to exit our seats and go to the bathroom, because we could tell by radar it was about to pour. And by the time we got out of the bathroom, they were evacuating everyone into the concourses. We were crammed like SARDINES with a billion people forever, watching the lightning and the pouring down rain. They finally cancelled the concert, and then we had to walk a mile back to our car….with it raining buckets. We were soaked to the bone! But, it was an adventure and a memory, and I love making memories with my best friend. And, hopefully we will have better weather when they reschedule the concert!

While we were making memories, so were the kids with their own friends. Josie got to go to a fun Escape Game birthday party to celebrate Reece, and Jack got to have a campout (on Friday night) at his friend Kyle’s house. It was a busy weekend!

Now it’s August, and the kids’ summer break is almost over! Summers are always just a bit too short.

4th of July

**Edited to add….I thought I posted this weeks of ago, but apparently I saved it as a draft instead. So…here you go, several weeks later than I thought! **

This 4th was SO different than last year’s, and for that I am grateful. It is so good to be getting back to “normal,” in terms of Covid.

We had so missed having our friends over for New Year’s Eve this year, so we decided to make up for it by having a “Third of July” party. 🙂 It was so, so, good to have everyone in/at our house again. It was such a good night of friends, great food, and simple pleasures. The weather was perfect-by the end of the night we were wrapped up in blankets by the fire. Jake smoked ribs and chicken to perfection. The kids spent some of their own money on some small fireworks, and ALL the kids had SUCH a good time setting them off and playing. (With supervision, of course!) It was just a really good night, all the way around.