Kickin’ off Summer….

We kicked off summer in a BIG way with our first official summer camping trip. Jake and the kids went up Friday (the kids rode with Nana and Shshr), but I still had school on Saturday (report card day due to snow days…bleh). So I went up on Saturday evening. We went to Dale Hollow Dam like always on Memorial Day, and were surrounded by family and camping friends. 🙂 It was a great trip-beautiful weather, and totally relaxing. Jake went fishing with Daddy, the kids rode the wheels off their bikes and played in the dirt, we roasted marshmallows on the fire, and I got some running and reading (finally!) time in. Jack kept asking us,“Tan we doe on da bike trail and da walking trail?” Jack and Josie spent the night with Wyatt and Katie Ann one night, and they had a great time! Casey, Kyle, and Lane got to come-this was Lane’s first camping trip. (of many, I’m sure!) Ta worked with Josie on some reading stuff, and she read her first official book ALL by herself! So proud! 🙂

We were planning on staying at the Dam until Thursday, but a funny thing happened- they had a water leak, and so they had to shut down the campground because no one had any water! So on Monday afternoon, we moved to Willow Grove with Ta and Tommy for the rest of the week. Which ended up being so perfect-the campground and lake were EMPTY, so we had it all to ourselves! We went out on our boat for a little while every day, and the kids had a blast swimming- I even swam some- the water wasn’t too cold, actually. Josie got brave and learned how to ride her bike down some big hills, and I had to STOP Jack from riding down some big hills-ha! 🙂 We ate dinner one night at the new Willow Grove boat dock, and of course had to get some ice cream. Jack was thrilled they had “dreen” ice cream! We came back on Thursday. It was just such a great, relaxing, awesome trip-the perfect way to celebrate the start of summer!

So here is our trip, iPhone photo style (I brought my big camera, and did not even get it out once-I was just soaking up the moments too much to bother with it-and sometimes, that’s just how I like it.)-

This photo is such a blur, but I love it, because this is how she looked to me 80% of the trip-she was loving her bike!

Jumping on Josh’s bed 🙂

Grammy and Lane

She read it all by herself!

Having church with all our family and friends….over 60 people!

Jack loves these boys so much!

Sweet Lane…

These girls are the best of friends 🙂

We had to visit the fish hatchery, of course….

It was Kyle’s birthday weekend-Happy Birthday, Kyle!

I remember when it was time for BETH’S first camping trip-and now she is going to be in high school!! Time flies….

Lane REALLY wanted to touch the fire.

Jack and Wyatt play SO good together.

Jake let Josie steer the boat all by herself-she was thrilled!

And of course Jack needed a turn, too.

They have so much fun with Tommy and Ta. 🙂 Josie was constantly asking to go over to their camper!

First swimming of the season!

Food tastes SO much better when you’re camping…but it doesn’t hurt to have a great cook, either!

Boats are good for napping….

Look! It’s DREEN ice cream!

My favorite people….

And nights full of these awesome sunsets….

Okay, so I have to brag a bit- Jake has gotten really good at taking/editing photos on his iPhone-so good that I couldn’t help sharing some of the shots he took, too-because they are so awesome! So here’s our trip from Jake’s point of view….

Justin, fishing in the creek…

Pine trees at the Dam…

The river…

Daddy, fishing

The river again…

The bike trail…..

Kindergarten Graduate

Well, it’s official-we have a graduate! Ha! 🙂

Yesterday was Josie’s last day of school and her kindergarten graduation. Look how much she’s grown!

First Day of Kindergarten:

Last Day of Kindergarten:

And Jack had to get on in this action too, of course.

It was a bittersweet day-I am so excited about our new journey at JECA, but it is always sad to leave a place that loves you so well. Because all the people at our school have loved us both SO well.

We had to get a picture of Josie with her besties (aka the Three Musketeers, or the Three Bow Girls)

And a couple with some of Josie’s favorite people- Mrs. Tammy and Mrs. Kim!

Last night was Kindergarten graduation (which, personally, I think is a little ridiculous-but it WAS cute!) 🙂

This picture is SO Josie…..she was showing off her new dress Ta made her for graduation.

Getting ready to go on stage…

Mrs. Reding has been the absolute PERFECT teacher for our Josie girl this year-she has learned so much, and more importantly, conquered so many fears with Mrs. Reding! There wasn’t a day she came home without telling us something fun and awesome she had done in class that day-thank you SO much, Mrs. Reding, for loving our Josie girl so well and giving her such a GREAT kindergarten experience!

On stage…

Singing a silly alphabet song about pizza….

Getting her diploma AND the Citizenship award for her class! I don’t think Jake and I could have been more proud when she got that award. Jake was telling me “You know, when we were kids, that award wasn’t a big deal, but now that we’re parents- that’s the most important award there is!” And I TOTALLY agree!!

Had to have one last kindergarten picture with these sweet girls- I am SO glad Josie has been blessed to have such wonderful friends!

After graduation, we let Josie pick where we went to eat-she picked Cracker Barrel, so she could get pancakes. 🙂

Congrats to my Josie girl for finishing her first year of school!

Daisy Fun

Our little Daisy troop has had a fun and busy May. A few weeks we had a Ladybug picnic at the park. It was so very cute, and the girls had a blast just getting to run and play. 🙂

These little meals were so cute!!

My crazy girl…

My Jack-man

Pretty Roselyn

This Monday our troop headed to a strawberry patch so the girls could pick their own strawberries-they had a blast, and I think they ate more than they put in their buckets! 🙂 After we picked, we headed over to Olivia’s house for a tea party, complete with strawberry shortcake. (SO yum-thanks, LeAnne!) These girls have had SUCH a blast this year-thank you to Jennifer (their fearless leader) for making it all happen!!

iPhone photo dump from this week-Casey celebrated her first Mother’s Day; it was so warm last Sunday we broke out the kiddie pool; Josie’s class had a butterfly release; we picked our first strawberries from our garden!; Jack took a nap on Nana’s porch.

May is such a busy month, but it is filled with so many good things!

10 Years

Thursday Jake and I celebrated TEN years of marriage! We knew we weren’t going to do something big to celebrate this year, because with both of us changing our jobs in the same year, we are just trying to play things safe. 🙂 But, we wanted to celebrate just the same- 10 years is a long time! So I took off work, took Josie to school and Jack to Nana’s, and we spent the whole day together.
We started with brunch at Pinewood Social in Nashville, this funky little hipster place in Nashville. It was SO good.

We took our time and enjoyed every bite. It’s not often we get to sit down, just the two of us, without any interruptions and no schedule.

After we finished, we headed to Opry Mills to do some shopping. We ended up buying some new dish towels and cloth napkins-exciting, huh?

After Opry Mills we headed to Hendersonville for some more shopping and an early dinner at a little restaurant called Sak’s Deli. Since we had done fancy for brunch, we decided casual for dinner worked just fine. We have always made it a point to find as many hole-in-wall/non-chain restaurants as possible. And very few have every disappointed-this deli was no exception! It was great, and we were able to enjoy another no-schedule no-interruptions meal.

We hit up Sonic for milkshakes on the way to get the kids, and watched a movie together after they were in bed. Even though it was simple, it was such a wonderful day together. Jake is truly my best friend; what better way to spend a day than with your best friend? These ten years have been truly amazing…I can’t wait to see what the next ten have in store!