Josie’s 5 year old photos

So, here are my favorites from Josie’s 5 year old photo shoot. She is SO hard to photograph now, because she has a beautiful smile, but when I ask her to smile, it is not her “real” Josie-girl smile-it is totally posed and fake. And then if I actually get her to do a “real” smile, then usually her hands are in her face or her shoulders are super scrunched, or she is just totally not looking at the camera. And then she likes to pose…..and her “poses” are normally what you would think of a ballet dancer doing when she is on stage, not so much “photo” poses. She really is a hoot. ๐Ÿ™‚ But that is definitely just her personality! So, here are my favorites of the bunch…..

Took a few with Jack, too.

So sweet

This was is totally getting blown up and hung on my wall-seriously.

Another sweet one…..

One of her MANY “poses”

This is totally a Josie face….

Another “pose”

She’s not even looking, but I loved this picture anyways.ย 

Yep. She’s five. Where in the world did my baby girl go??

Our week, so far

Our week, in a photo dump….

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A little TV time….could he be more relaxed looking?

imageAnd some pool time….

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Some dress up time….

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This picture CRACKS.ME.UP. I mean, the vaccuum, in the driveway, with the construction vest on, and the HIGH HEELS. It doesn’t get much better than this…

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Las Palmas lunch with Grammy….

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Oh! There’s the girl….she is a little harder to catch pictures of these days, for some reason…

Play date with our cousins:

Abby girl

Water time!

Ahh! Sprinklers!

Cousins are the best kinds of friends….

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Playing with their “zoo” in the driveway…

image….While I polyurethaned what seemed like every piece of furniture in our house….(That’s a check off of my summer to do list!)

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Looking at awesome shells sweet Uncle Tommy brought back from the beach. ๐Ÿ™‚

Josie update

Josie has had SUCH a big month…..birthday, swimming lessons, new gymnastics classes, play dates…I thought I should do a little Josie post with some pictures of all the fun she has had.ย 

She has really been loving her new big girl gymnastics class. She is learning ย SO much, too! They get to do all the different apparatus now-vault, floor, bars, and beam.ย 

Having her best friend in the same class with her makes lessons even better! (And side note: Josie does NOT care for leotards, hence the reason she is always in shorts/tanks)

Stretching…

Vaulting! (They use a real spring board, but are just using a big mat right now instead of the actual vault until they are ready)

R’s turn…

Bars

And Jack makes mischief all during class…

More bar

Learning to get on the beam properly

She also had a really good time at swimming lessons, and did even better this year than last year. By the very last day, she was able to swim across the width (NOT length) all by herself, without any flotation device, with Mrs. Pam (her teacher) just holding on to her bathing suit (just so Josie would actually go by herself).ย 

That’s my Josie girl…

I knew Josie had really been missing her friends from school, so this week I arranged for her two besties to come over for the day. I knew how excited she would be (like, not sleeping excited), so I didn’t tell her until the morning of…and I was right-she was BESIDE herself.ย 

I think it’s safe to say they had a good day ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, that’s the Josie update. I’ll have to do these from time to time since I am not writing her monthly letters anymore…

Potty Training Update

So, it’s been awhile since a Jack potty training update. And I am glad to say, he is doing GREAT. I hit it hard again with him last week, and he decided he was interested (again). And this time, I decided there was no turning back. He was not fussing at me taking him often, and he was peeing every single time I sat him on the potty, and staying dry much more often in between times. I started letting him wear underwear when we were at home, pull ups when we were out, and Mom and Dad continued with it when we were in St. Louis (thanks SO much!!). He told Grammy once while we were gone that he needed to go potty, and he went. This week has had its ups and downs. The day after we got back was NOT a good potty day, at all, but we kept at it. Yesterday was better, still a few accidents, but better. Today was probably our best potty day yet! He actuallyย told me he had to go 3 times, we did not have ANY number two accidents, and only a few number one accidents. We are definitely in a good potty groove now, I think. He is wearing underwear when we are at home, pull-ups when we are out/and for naps. I am so proud of my big boy! We’ve definitely got a lot to work on still, but there is no turning back now. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am always a little sad when they grow out of things, but this is one milestone I am NEVER sad about-just proud and excited! No more diapers for this little boy (except for bedtime, because lets face it, pull-ups do NOT work overnight….). ๐Ÿ™‚

Vacation

As you may have guessed already, Jake and I went to St. Louis this weekend, just the two of us. Mom and Dad graciously watched the babies all weekend for us. ๐Ÿ™‚ Jake and I made a commitment to each when we had kids that we would try to take a trip, just the two of us, once a year, even if it is just for a night. It is so beneficial to our marriage to be able to focus on each other and our marriage. Plus it gives both of us a chance to “recharge” so we can be better parents when we get back. ๐Ÿ™‚ Josie, Jack and I got Jake Cardinal’s tickets for Father’s Day, so that is why we decided to go to St. Louis. It was SUCH an awesome trip. We went with only three goals in mind: 1. Go to the Cardinal’s game. 2. RELAX 3. Eat only awesome food. (Vacations are all about the food for us) ๐Ÿ™‚ And I am very happy to say, we met EACH and every goal.ย 

So, now for the rundown/scrapbooky part of this post, for my memory purposes. Feel free to skip, if you’d like, and if you’re not interested in lots of self-taken cell phone pics of the two of us. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thursday:ย 

Shshr picked up the kids for us in time to take Josie to swimming lessons. (Thanks, Shshr!) After lessons, she took the kids to Mom and Dad’s for us. As soon as they left, Jake and I hit the road to St. Louis.ย 

The first stop we made was in Sikeston, Missouri to go to Lambert’s Cafe “Home of the Throwed Rolls."ย 

We’d both been there before, and couldn’t help going back since we were going to be so close. It is just awesome, down home type of cooking, and they have AWESOME rolls, that they literally throw across the room at you when you call for one.ย 

YUM.

The next stop we made was at a Target to pick up a car charger for our phones, because we grossly underestimated how much battery life we would need for map/music purposes on the drive there. ๐Ÿ™‚ We also stopped off at our first antique mall of the trip. We bought a chicken feeder, a sign, a little cheese box, and a couple of Little Golden Books for the kids.ย 

We eventually made it to our awesome hotel. We stayed at a Hampton Inn and it was super nice.ย 

(Totally forgot to take a pic before the bed was unmade….)

We went out and went to a store, got a late snack dinner (since we had eaten such a huge/late lunch), and then went back to the hotel and stayed up way too late. ๐Ÿ™‚

Friday:ย 

We slept in. It was glorious. We ate the super yummy breakfast provided by the hotel, and then got ready for the day. We decided to shop till we dropped. It is super hard to clothes shop with the kiddos, so we rarely do it. We found an outlet mall in St. Louis, and found some really good deals.ย 

After we were shopped out, we decided to hit the famous Gateway Arch. We both had been up in it before, so we didn’t go up, but we did wander around and look and take pictures. It really is a beautiful park/part of the city.ย 

Yum-fresh squeezed lemonade off a food truck. ๐Ÿ™‚

So funny story, we knew that a family from our church was going to be in St. Louis at the same time as us, but we never thought we’d ACTUALLY run into them….and lo and behold, as we were walking down a sidewalk at the Arch, who do we see-but them! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sweet family ๐Ÿ™‚

When we’d had our fill of the Arch, we headed to dinner at a little Italian place someone had given us a recommendation for.ย 

And this place did NOT disappoint. It was super yummy. (I wish I had remembered to take a pic of our food!). After dinner we decided to get dessert at Ted Drewe’s, a famous frozen custard place…

This place has been in business FOREVER, and it was SO busy….

And SO good….

We eventually headed back to the hotel, and I decided to take a late night run at the hotel’s gym. Work off some of the yummy food we’d been eating, and get in some of my miles for the month.ย 

I was reminded of how much I hate running on a treadmill….

Saturday:ย 

We decided to head over to Forest Park, St. Louis’ HUGE public park, which is where their (free) zoo is located.ย 

We rode the little train all around the zoo-it was neat.ย 

After we left the zoo, we looked at a couple of more things around the park, and then it was looking like rain, so we headed to get lunch.ย 

We went to "Pi,” another friend-recommended restaurant. It was a pizza place, and it seriously the best pizza either of us had EVER put in our mouths….

I didn’t notice when I was taking the picture, but you can totally see our reflections in the window. ๐Ÿ™‚

They do their deep dish pizzas “upside down” with the sauce on top.ย 

And then to top it off, this place made completely homemade milkshakes, so we definitely had to try them. Jake got banana split, I got peanut butter cookie dough. And MAN, let me tell you, all milkshakes are going to be disappointing now….that was the BEST milkshake I have ever had, hands down.ย 

After lunch it was starting to rain, so we headed back to the hotel to swim/hot tub a little before time to get ready for the game.ย 

Busch Stadium!

The game actually ended up being rain delayed for an hour, so we walked around the stadium, sat in the rain in our seats, got a snack, etc…..

Umbrella….

The crazy amount of people trying to stay out of the rain….

Everyone cheered when we saw this!!

The game was really fun. I had only been to one major league baseball game, a Brave’s game when I was in middle school, so this was a really cool experience. They lost, 2-4..but it was a good game anyways. ๐Ÿ™‚

No ball game is complete without a ball park hot dog!

It was a great night.ย 

We got back to the hotel late, stayed up even later, and completely enjoyed our last night.ย 

Sunday:ย 

We slept in as much as we could, got breakfast at the hotel (we took advantage of that every morning!), packed up, and decided to hit a St. Louis antique mall before we headed home.ย 

And we were SO glad we did- It was an awesome store, and we found a ton of great deals :).ย 

After we shopped, we hit the road hard, and only stopped to go the bathroom and to eat a late lunch at Cracker Barrel. (Because what road trip is complete without a meal at Cracker Barrel?)ย 

We went through Illinois. It was NOT exciting.ย 

And, since we were on the way home, Jake and I were SO ready to get home and see our precious kiddos!!ย 

I was SO glad to see this sign!!

Speaking of kiddos….They had such an awesome time while we were away! I called to check on them often, and Casey sent me a couple of pictures. ๐Ÿ™‚

They really love their Grammy and Pappy, and we are SO blessed to have such good family that lives so close to us and loves our kiddos every bit as much as we do. ๐Ÿ™‚

After we (finally) got home, we unpacked, and then Mom and Dad brought the kiddos HOME to us! I was SO glad to see their smiling faces and give them hugs.ย 

We celebrated being at home with a family movie night (Aladdin) (Josie’s choice), complete with popcorn. It was so good to snuggle with the kiddos. I love how time away can make you appreciate what you have even more.ย 

Side note: it is AMAZING how much a garden can grow in four short days!!ย 

We were greeted with our first sunflower,

and our first cucumber:ย 

This was such a wonderful trip with my sweet husband, and we were so blessed to get to take it. Sweet memories were made, wonderful food was eaten, and much needed relaxing was had. ๐Ÿ™‚