Sunday, July 29, 2012

Just Beachy...

It's not everyday you find yourself at the Oregon Coast with it looking like this!!!

Especially when the forecast says overcast with a high of 63...

It was just our lucky day, I guess.  

We try and make a day trip to the beach at least once every summer, which I suppose is sort of ridiculous since it is only an hour and a half away, but finding ourselves there with blue skies, 70+ degrees and hardly any wind makes me wish we made the trek everyday!  And then I reminded myself what it usually looks like...

But, alas, I am thankful for our beautiful day, and even more so for my beautiful family that I was able to share the day with. It's true about things being SO much more exciting through the eyes of children. We couldn't be more in love with Madelyn's personality. She can make finding a potato bug on the back porch sound like the. most. amazing. thing. ever. So you can only imagine what it's like when you tell her we get to go play at the beach for the day: eyebrows raise, smile ignites, clapping begins, jumping up and down, "Dad, dad! Mom, mom!" As if the other parent didn't already know our plans. Excitement is a boring term when it comes to Madi's reaction, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

As such, we both should have expected that there would be NO sleeping in the car whatsoever, but evidently we were in denial.  The trip there didn't surprise me too much since it was fairly early and the excitement was still fresh.  However, when we pulled away from the majestic horizon at 8:30 (snuggled up in pajamas) I thought for sure she'd be out by the time the ocean was out of sight.  Silly me. She talked the whole. entire. drive. home. So much so that we finally told her that she wasn't allowed to talk to (or look at) her brother again because we at least wanted HIM to sleep! Emmitt finally drifted off and Mads talked to one or both of us the rest of the drive home.  

Regardless, the trip was still perfect. We packed a lunch, brought the dog, opened up a kite (that I had randomly bought on clearance for $1.18 at Target), played in the water, dug in the sand, and relaxed on the beach.  It was epic.

Emmitt, sweet baby Emmitt, is all boy! He has recently shown us what a good fit looks like and has thrown the biggest tantrums over being taken away from either water or dirt.  Seriously. Back arched, feet kicking, arms flailing... you get the picture.  So, as you can imagine, the combination of dirt (sand) and water was better than having free reign over a candy shop to most kids. Pure. Heaven.  He played his little heart out, regardless of how tired he was! And when he did get so tired that he couldn't handle it, he crawled right over to me, climbed up on my chest and fell fast asleep in my arms. Unfortunately, I had no other option than to fall asleep with him.  It was a true bummer napping on the beach with my baby in my arms. Poor me. 

Meanwhile, Matt and Madi kept themselves busy with the kite that flew the whole time we were there (quite possibly the best $1.18 I've ever spent)! Madi finally burried it in the sand and just let it fly above her while she played with her toys. She'd check on it every now and then or readjust the string. 

We topped our trip off with a quick trip to the outlet malls and some chowder from Mo's. It was fabulous, and I'm longing for the beach again already! 

Maybe we'll have to sneak one more trip in this summer...

Fair warning: this post is definitely picture heavy!!!

Standing proudly in front of her buried kite. 

Don't worry, I covered this boy up after the picture and he did NOT get burned.  I, however, got a little crispy...

...until next time, Lincoln City!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Our Little Swimmer!

This last spring we started Madi in swim lessons for the first time.  She was just shy of 3 years old and had never taken any sort of class on her own.  We weren't sure how she'd do, but we talked up swim lessons like we were going to Disney Land and hoped for the best!

She was definitely the youngest in the group, although almost the tallest too and she loved the idea of having a "teacha" and getting all geared up (aka: an excuse to pack a bag with her suit and towel and 45 other things...).  It didn't take her long to feel comfortable putting her head under the water and chugging that delicious salty/chlorinated concoction.  When we went on vacation to Sun River in June we could tell swim lessons had paid off because this girl was a water worm! We strapped her life jacket on her and she swam the entire day by herself - insisting on Matt or me following her around wherever she wanted to go! As far as she was concerned, she could swim! 

So... we signed up for a second round of lessons this summer and most weeks I loaded the kids up in the double BOB and made the one mile trek to the pool in the sunshine.  Our community has free lunches for kids during the summer and the "lunch truck" (Madi's words) comes to the park next to the pool from 12-12:45ish.  Most days we would grab a lunch and have a picnic after swim lessons and take our sweet time wandering home.  It was lovely. 

This girl is a WEIRDO. I tried taking her picture and got a series of about 8 pictures that look a lot like this one...

By the last day of lessons, Madelyn was able to float on her back all the way across the pool by herself.  She even swam without help on her second to last lesson, which in turn made her think that she could swim.  Duh.  Subsequently when her teacher took the next student out, Madi decided to jump off the wall and swim all by herself.  

She sunk.


The high school lifeguard reached down and picked her up off the bottom of the pool.  Unfortunately, it didn't seem to bother Madi. After all, she can totally swim...

Almost every morning this summer Madi would wake up and ask, "Momma, is it slide day?" She LOVES the water slide and would often sneak in line a third time if no one caught her! She plays innocent really well already...


It's rough being this cute. 

We always ended our excursion with a trip to the park. Madi loves pushing Emmitt (or Mr. Smoochems) in the swing.  

Thankfully, he loves it too!

We looked forward to our Tuesday/Thursday excursions and hope to hit the pool more this winter when the days are long and dreary and we need to get out of the house! But as for now, we'll just keep enjoying the sunshine!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wishin' It Away...

My children are still fast asleep (knock on wood), and there's a giant pile of laundry sitting on my couch that needs to be folded (story of my life), but I'm watching my youngest (for a few more months) nephew giggle on the floor and digging through pictures for a blog, per my sister's pesky request... 


Where is this summer going?

I love it: the freedom, the sunshine, the beautiful sunsets, the smell of bar-b-ques, the backyard, the ability to eat berries for breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snacks, having my husband home, the list goes on and on, but I hate the feeling of feeling like I haven't gotten half the things on my to do list done and realizing that summer will be over before I know it! 

I blame Hallmark. I mean, seriously, I was walking through Target on June 30th, JUNE THIRTIETH, and their summer things had already been put on clearance and school supplies were adorning the aisles! Don't get me wrong, I love a good clearance aisle, but JUNE THIRTIETH?!?! Someone needed to tell them that summer was only 9 days old.  It's time to stop getting our panties in a wedge before we even put them on!

But I fall for it every time.  I start to think about all the things that will be happening between now and the time Matt goes back to school (4.5 weeks) and second guess the idea that we'll ever get half the wish-list done...

Jess comes to town next week and the next two(+) weeks will be encompassed with wedding bustle and out of town visitors, not to mention the annual camping trip sandwiched in the middle and Matt just starting his Masters' program this week. 

And yet somehow I still start to panic about the closets not being perfectly organized and my freezers not having an appropriate "inventory" list taped to the outside of them.  I haven't picked broccoli or green beans or canned a THING yet this year. I'm a complete Laura Ingalls failure and it might just be my destiny this year. 

Please don't judge me.  She is my hero. 

And so, instead of wishing away time (anymore than I already have), I'll just embrace what we have been doing...

Watching these little ones grow up way. too. fast. 

Lounging in the backyard with our cousins...

Eating breakfast on the back porch and wearing sunglasses in the shade...

Rockin' side ponies like all the cool girls on Daddy's basketball team:

And smoochin' these cheeks for as long as she'll let us when she wakes up every morning...

Eating lunch and playing at the park after swim lessons...

Practicing our hoop skills while watching Hoopla:

Snuggling our baby cousin this week before he starts his new daycare in August...

So take that Hallmark. I refuse to buy school supplies until at least August (which is still SIX days away)....

Unless the deals are just that good.  Then I'll probably reconsider. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012


We've been spending our days in the sunshine! Taking long walks, going to swim lessons, eating at the park, playing in the backyard, splashing down the slip 'n slide, getting suntans, barbecuing, and enjoying friends and family.  I absolutely love long summer days, and I love how much time we get to spend together as a family! In the past, I've felt a tad bit guilty about all of our summer "free time" as a family, but after this last long winter and Matt working insane hours with school and coaching I told myself that I would enjoy every. last. minute. of time we got to spend together this summer, and I am!!!

We headed to one of our favorite parks last week to meet some friends while Matt ventured off to another bball tourney.  We've enjoyed this park for the last three summers now and it never fails to provide a lot of smiles and some very tired children in the end. =)  Emmitt is fearless and was enamored by the splashing fountains and gentle river.  He didn't seem to mind how many near-squishing-experiences he had with big kids.  He just splashed his little heart away...  

We have more than one picture of Madi in total "runner form" and they always make me smile. If you happened to see the "Phoebe" video of Madi on FaceBook you'll be happy to know she has drastically improved with her arm-pumping skills. =)

Such a brave little guy!

Emmitt and Jude.

Madi and Kade. =)

We missed getting pictures of Connor and baby Adriana. =( 

But there WILL be a next time! =)

And as free as our days have been, I still feel like we have plenty of routine to keep us on track.  Matt gets up between 6 and 7 every morning to go swim, which in turn gets me out of bed before the kids wake up (most days ;), and then we eat breakfast and begin our mourning chores before we decide what fun and exciting outside adventure we're going to enjoy for the day (the park, a walk, the backyard...)! I feel ever so blessed and I couldn't be more content.  Thank you, Jesus, for these long summer days and for this sweet little family of mine!!!