Saturday, July 30, 2011

And We're Done

Can you believe July is already over??? This month has been a busy one (as always, it seems). A few noteworthy things that have happened:
  • Josh was released as the Elders' Quorum President and called as the Ward Executive Secretary at church. This means that he will spend much of his time on the phone or computer setting up appointments for the Bishop, helping to assign callings to ward members, and attending meetings every Sunday and Wednesday. He is SO excited to have this calling because he will be working with some pretty awesome guys.
  • I was released as the Personal Progress leader and called as the 1st Counselor in the Young Women organization. I'm very excited for this calling but it will be very demanding of my time. Wednesday night activities, Sunday church meetings, bi-weekly presidency meetings, monthly Saturday activities, quarterly temple trips, and firesides will fill my calendar up in a hurry!
  • I got a part-time job at a store/tanning salon called Endless Summer. I'll be working evenings and weekends, about 15-20 hours a week. I'm looking forward to getting out of the house and doing a little something for me (plus the extra income can't hurt).
And here is what else we've been up to!
Anniversary Celebration
On May 18, Josh and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. Time flies! We decided to celebrate it a couple months late so we could enjoy a relaxing weekend on the beach soaking up some sun. Unfortunately, it rained so we moved on to Plan B. We went out to lunch, saw Harry Potter, played pool (a favorite past time of ours), and then went to a Whitecaps game with another couple. Then we spent the night at the JW Marriott in downtown GR. We had such a great weekend, just the two of us.
Our room was on the 16th floor and the view of the city was incredible.
My favorite part of the whole suite was the bathroom. Seriously.
At night the place just came to life. This is the view from the 16th floor straight down to the lobby. I'm usually not afraid of heights but looking straight down that far kinda freaked me out.
Enjoying Summertime
As I mentioned, we stay pretty busy, but it's the "mundane" things that really fill up our day. We spend most of our time outside in the garden, kiddie pool, or driveway blowing bubbles. We also visit several of our favorite parks in the area, which the kids absolutely love.

Even Summer finds something to do at the park!
Some days it is just too hot and humid to spend the whole day outside, so we switch it up a bit: the library, the play area in the mall, or the basement :) This is what I try to avoid...
Growing Up
Summer is now 11 MONTHS OLD and developing like crazy! Here is some more info about her.

Eating: Summer pretty much eats solid food all the time now, except for the bottle that she gets in the morning and before bed. She snacks on Graham crackers, Cheerios, and Gerber puffs in between meals too. She is not a picky eater at all, which I love.

Walking: Summer prefers to walk rather than crawl. That girl can move, too! She is great about playing in the living room on her own, but when she gets bored, she has no problem finding me anywhere in the house.
Sleeping: For a while there she was actually sleeping through the night consistently, but now she's back to waking up once. I think it's either because she's going through a growth spurt or because she's teething (she has SIX teeth now!) It's honestly hard for me to get used to her not being on a predictable schedule because Kylie was such a textbook baby, but she's perfectly happy without one.

Playing: I could not ask for a more content baby. Summer will keep herself entertained for hours, especially now that she can get wherever she wants to go by herself. It warms my heart to see Kylie sharing her toys, playing Peek-a-boo, or hide-and-seek with her. Believe it or not, they even rough-house too, but Summer can totally hold her own!

Talking: In addition to mama, dada, and baba, Summer will say "up," "go," "more," and "yeah." I love when she says "yeah." For instance, when she's getting fussy in her high chair, I'll ask her if she's all done, and she'll immediately reply "yeah."

So that's what we've been up to! I'll try to update more diligently in August.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Check, Check!

We made a Summer Bucket List a few weeks ago and have been slowly checking things off. We were recently able to check off two: camping and going to the beach.

Some friends from our church hosted a father/child campout at their house, and Josh was thrilled to take Kylie. Can you tell she chose her own accessories?
She had a great time trekking through the woods and throwing rocks in the pond.
Anyone was welcome to stay overnight, but since Kylie is still pretty young, Josh brought her home. But she enjoyed spending time outdoors with her daddy!
And, OK, we have totally been to the beach multiple times already this summer, so I may have been able to check that one off the list a while ago.... but here are some pictures anyway :)

This time we went to Millenium Park. This is, by far, the most kid-friendly beach out there! It's a man-made lake so it's not deep at all, there are no waves, and the temperature is perfect! As you can see, everyone LOVED spending time in the water on this 90 degree day.


This picture makes me smile :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rainy Days and Mondays

We got hit with a pretty crazy storm Monday morning. We waited out the storm in the basement where we were surrounded by the essentials: toys, toys, and more toys!

Summer used her time wisely.... It was only a matter of time, I suppose. (Sorry, that picture is super blurry).
We've had this cute box full of dress-up clothes since Christmas and Kylie is just now starting to show interest in it! There's no need to rotate toys at our house-- Kylie just picks and chooses all on her own, I guess. Love her ensemble. That's exactly what I would wear if I were going out in public too.

After spending most of the morning in the basement, we headed upstairs for lunch. I gave Summer a sippy cup to try, which she handled like a champ. Is there anything this girl can't do???
By afternoon the sun was out so we ventured outside.... and couldn't believe the damage! It's kind of tricky to see in the picture, but that's a tree laying right on top of that house. Absolutely nothing happened to our house/yard. It was pretty incredible.
Kylie decided to play dress-up again, but this time she used Summer as her model for her headbands.
Ok, Kylie, seriously...
We played a little hopscotch...
...and even Summer got in on the action!
That evening we enjoyed some family time. We talked about the earth, the weather, and all of the creatures Heavenly Father created. Then we had dirt cups to tie it all together. Somebody LOVED them!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just Another Day at the Beach

I took the girls to Tunnel Park today with our dear friends from church, the Smith's. Their 5 girls are always willing to hang out with my girls, whether they be happy, sad, overtired, hyper... you name it. Here is a prime example-- Madison is holding Summer, and Alissa is building a sand castle with Kylie. Needless to say, I enjoyed a relaxing afternoon.
Summer and Madison. Summer had that look on her face almost the whole time we were there. She may have missed a nap...
Kylie actually went in the water! She'll usually wade in to her knees, but today she went in up to her neck. Brave girl! Can you tell the water was cold?
Me and Summer :)
Madison and Kylie. They have the cutest little friendship!

Fourth of July Weekend

Fourth of July weekend was jam packed with fun stuff! On Saturday, my parents were sweet enough to watch the girls so Josh and I could go to Detroit for my date of choice. The 2 1/2 hour drive each way was almost as enjoyable as the date itself. We're hardly ever the only ones in the car these days!
First, we went to the Detroit Temple where we were married. It's always a great experience going to the temple, but that one will always be special to me.
Then, we went to a Detroit Tigers game. We were way at the top, but I totally didn't care because it was still a cool experience. Plus, we were covered by an awning that provided us with some much-needed shade on that hot 95 degree day!
And, of course, when you go to a baseball game you have to get a hotdog!
About an hour into the game, around the third inning or so, we heard thunder. Within minutes the sky became dark and it began to pour. Not only was the rain coming down really hard, but it was blowing ferociously too. The announcer told everyone to go to the nearest concourse.
It was a pretty tight squeeze!
We knew there was a chance they would resume the game once the rain stopped, but after an hour of being sandwiched together, we just decided to take off. (The Tigers were already down by 6 anyway). About 15 minutes into our drive, this is what the sky looked like! Tornado weather? I think so! Believe it or not, we only drove in heavy rain for about 30 minutes, and then the sky cleared right up and the temperature dropped to a comfortable 74 degrees. Crazy weather! We did stop and get something to eat on our way home, so we didn't feel rushed and we were able to enjoy our ride back.
On Sunday evening, we went to my grandparents' house, who live just around the corner from us. Kylie just had to use their spacious backyard for a game of baseball. My grandpa (PaPa) was happy to get involved.
Check out that stance!
This man has so much energy for an 85-year-old. He has always been so great about playing with the kids-- back when I was little, and even now with my own children.
My grandparents bought this baby swing just for Summer. She loved it, but like most things, she'll outgrow it very soon!
Kylie would jump in front of the swing and let Summer kick her in the chest. I have no idea why that would be fun, but whatever floats your boat!
Monday was a chaotic day, but it was so fun! We started out at Tunnel Park in Holland. It was the perfect day to be at the beach. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, it wasn't super humid, and there was hardly any wind at all. We really enjoyed every minute of our time there.
After the beach, we went to our friends' house for a BBQ. Again, Kylie loved having someone--anyone-- willing to play baseball with her, but I think Summer's favorite part was dessert.
Our plan was to take the girls to see fireworks in the evening, but we actually dipped out of the BBQ kind of early because the girls were so drained. Summer went right to bed, but Kylie hung outside with me and we had our own little festivities. We started out with some poppers. She loved that noise!
Then we did about 5 boxes of sparklers. When I did the first one, she only wanted to watch, but that quickly changed.

We had such a great time celebrating Independence Day. It's wonderful that we have several days set aside each year to remember those who fought-- and still fight-- for our freedom. I know I take it for granted on a daily basis but I really do feel blessed to live in a free country.