Summer summer summertime

Hi all! I've got a chance to write an update as I have taken the initiative to hire a sitter for a few hours here and there throughout the summer. Cause let's face it...momma needs a break sometimes!

Everyone is doing well. The boys wrapped up the school year with so many new friends and lots of memories made. I'm extremely proud of them for transitioning so well considering all the changes they've had over the past year alone. Three houses (Texas, my parents in NKY and our new house), 2 schools, 3 different teachers (Ethan's teacher at his new school went on maternity leave just a couple weeks after he started there), a new baby...sheesh, that's enough to induce panic in the most stable adults, and yet my kids handled it all with ease.

Here's highlights from our summer so far:


  • The boys brought home a flyer for the school talent show in May and told me they wanted to perform. They threw out a couple of ideas based on their - you know - talents which included playing MineCraft (?), singing random MineCraft songs (?), and acting out MineCraft scenes (?)...I gently encouraged them to think outside the MineCraft box and they settled on singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story. I would say we spent hours and hours practicing but that would not be true. We rehearsed a few times on the way to and from soccer and baseball practice and y'all, it was AWFUL and then OMG the actual day of the talent show came and I was a nervous wreck. They were either going to bomb it and giggle their way through the lyrics or they would nail it in all it's cuteness. OH MY GOSH you guys, they nailed it. A couple people in the audience were even sniffling as they performed. Crying actual TEARS! Proud momma moment for sure. If you missed you go!
  • I got the most wonderful letter from Aiden's teacher at the end of the year letting me know what a joy it was to have him in her class. She said he fit right in from day one and always brightened everyone's day with his generous heart and sweet smile. Kindergarten highlights...he is now reading independently which is always such an amazing thing to witness. He has made several really good friends even in just the short few months we've been here and since we are here for the long-haul I'm excited to watch these friendships grow through the years.
  • Ethan rocked 1st grade and is so ready for 2nd. The long-term sub that took over his class when the regular teacher went on maternity leave stopped me in the hall one afternoon when I was there eating lunch and she said Ethan is quite a kid. He was respectful, eager to learn, always had something to say when given the chance (and often when he wasn't given a chance as well!). He participated in the PTP program which is the Primary Talent Pool for the Gifted and Talented program. He is super smart and truly an overall good kid.

  • After kind of a bummer spring soccer season where Ethan's team showed little enthusiasm for playing and rarely showed up to practices and games, we decided to jump right into summer baseball through the YMCA. The season is already coming to a close and even with some game-day scorchers the boys seemed to truly enjoy playing. It was their first season of coach and machine pitch (rather than t-ball). I don't think either are going to be the next Babe Ruth but I will say they improved quite a bit from start to finish. Their last game is this Saturday...and if I'm being honest? I'm kind of glad!

  • On the last day of school, we picked the boys up and headed straight to Chicago for my cousin Joy's wedding. It was a beautiful day filled with lots of personal touches (she wore her mom's wedding dress!) and fun with family. I got to meet some of my cousin's kids that I hadn't met yet and the boys had a blast running around playing with everyone. Congrats to the beautiful bride and her new hubby!
  • The day after the wedding we hit the road again to spend time at our family's house in Michigan. I grew up going here and the house was always filled with cousins, aunts, uncles, lots of food and lots of Off! All these years later, not much has changed! There's multiple beds in every bedroom and it's a grab what you can kind of sleeping arrangement. Luckily, nobody wants to get stuck in a room with 4 kids including a baby who only *sometimes* sleeps through the Ricky and I usually get the very back room that is away from everyone else. And when the big boys get up for the morning, they go play...and we can't hear anyone!
  • We celebrated my niece Lilly's 9th birthday at Dutch Village in Holland, MI. I am told we went as kids, but I don't remember it at all. They had animals to play with and hold, a ferris wheel, old school duck races, a zip-line, and all sorts of demonstrations about Dutch culture (think wooden shoe making and wooden shoe dancing). I still can't quite believe she is NINE. It seems like yesterday Lauren was rocking her big ol' belly as my maid of honor in my wedding.


  • A few months back I connected with a family who had adopted a little boy with Apert syndrome. I noticed they were from Michigan and was surprised to find out they lived less than 30 minutes from where we would be. We made plans to get together for lunch at a beloved spot - Crane's Pie Pantry. Aiden was a little shy about meeting them at first, but soon warmed up and was his normal chatty self. This family was such a breath of fresh air. They had three biological children but were called to adopt and opened their hearts to Peter, who was left at the hospital in California after his Chinese parents were surprised by his diagnosis. We chatted about our amazing kids over apple cider and the daily special and when we were leaving, something Peter's mom said stuck with me. I told her how lucky he was to have a family like theirs take him in, love him and provide for him. She said, "We feel the exact opposite. WE feel so lucky that he has come into OUR lives." Gives me chills.
  • When our week in Michigan came to end, we made plans to meet another family as we drove back to Kentucky. They live about 40 minutes from our driving route back south so we arranged to meet at a Chik-Fil-A off the highway. I've been chatting with Jeannie Ewing for months now and up until that point had only exchanged messages via Facebook and email. It was so nice to finally get to meet her and her daughters in person. Sarah, who as Apert syndrome, recently turned 1 a few months ago and is the little sister of 4 year old Felicity. Ironically, my sister and her family had stopped at the same Chik-Fil-A ahead of us (not knowing that we were planning our meeting there) and when they ran into Jeannie, Lauren approached them and said "I have a nephew with Apert syndrome". They started talking and only THEN realized that the nephew she was talking about was Aiden and that she was actualy there waiting to me us! Too funny.

As you can clearly see, we have been busy busy busy this summer and we are just a few weeks in! The boys are in Vacation Bible School this week (which is really like a vacation for me!) so I'm utilizing my gym membership and the 2 hours of free child care that comes with it (although I may not always be working out...don't judge!)

If you don't already, you might want to follow me on Instagram and Facebook. I'm always sharing photos and updates there when I don't have time for a blog post.

Happy summer everyone!

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