Friday, August 14, 2015

soaking it in

Every summer for as long as I can remember, growing up we went to the blueberry patch. It was more of a working trip than it was about making memories, but the memories were made anyway. 

We would literally pick for hours and come home and stock the freezer full of fresh berries. Enough to last us until the next year. 

And as a kid, those summer memories seemed to happen at such a slow pace. In the best way, despite the many activities we were all involved in.

Now as a parent, especially as my girls get older, I catch myself desperately trying to grasp at each and every single moment.

To soak it all in.

Just look at that face!
You promised me blueberries mom!
Where are those blueberries?!

Ya know the well meaning little old ladies that tell you to enjoy every moment, it goes so fast!

It does, it does go so fast.

But it's easier said than done.

So even though it took us all summer to make it out to the berry patch, we made it. It was a gorgeous Kansas (technically MO...) evening with the entire patch to ourselves. We took our time, we picked, and we sampled, and we picked. 

{"We GET IT Mom, the biggest, bluest berries..."}

And we soaked it all in.

Monday, August 10, 2015

On letting go

It’s amazing how time plays tricks on you. How the days are long but the years are short. Isn’t that the truth? For most parents anyways. Lately the days have been quite short as well. I’m not entirely sure how we’re already a week away from the new school year. The summer breezily floated by without a care in the world. Clearly not asking my permission of course.

Somewhere in the middle of all the swim meets, tennis lessons, weddings, and family reunions, my baby turned one.

And while that precious milestone was celebrated thoroughly – as it should have been – it’s no less bittersweet. My baby is no longer a baby.

I can’t even count the number of times the Mr has had to tell me, she’s not a baby anymore. But oh contraire, my love, she will always be my baby. THEY will always be my babies.

For the first time, I haven’t been in a rush to switch her to the big girl car seat. She’s still happily toted along in the baby carrier. At 14 months.

I still rock her to sleep each and every night. Even though she’ll go to sleep just fine when I lay her down. (After chatting with herself for a good 10 minutes of course).

I got out the 18 month clothes for fall this past weekend, and some how they just looked so… big.

For the first time I’m pretty emotional about leaving the baby stage and entering the toddler stage. While I’m excited for the new things to come and all the adventures that await our sweet little family, I can’t help but already be a little nostalgic for that darling girl who surprised me (TWO weeks early no less) on my birthday.

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” – T.S. Eliot

To new beginnings.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A mini vacay to Omaha

A few weeks ago we packed up the crew and headed North to Omaha for the weekend. We had a wedding on Saturday, so we decided to go early Friday morning to hit up the famous zoo.

Now maybe I'm not really a zoo person, but I wasn't really impressed. I mean I know compared to the KC Zoo, Omaha is supposed to be the bee's knees, but I was kind of disappointed. Maybe it's because everyone built it up so much? I don't know, I also just don't like seeing the animals in such small areas. There was also a lot of construction while we were there, and no elephants. The elephants are my favorite (next to giraffes). So if you're planning a trip I would recommend waiting until Summer '16 when all the construction is supposed to be done, and maybe you'll think it's super awesome like everyone else keeps telling me.

The butterfly garden was one of my favorite parts. Maybe I've read Fancy Nancy Bonjour Butterfly one too many times... 

I have no idea where they get their sass from.

My other favorite part was the aquarium. It was way better than the KC Aquarium. All 3 of my girls loved it, especially Parker. Although it was pretty much the only time we let her walk around. #oneyearoldproblems

I loved all the big cats. And the bear. Parker loved the snacks. 

Since they didn't have any real elephants, the baby elephant statue was the next best thing. My girls were less than amused with the 'mamarazzi'. I told Gabe to take a pic of me and P in front of the gorgeous flowers, and a nice zoo worker offered to take one of the three of us. Pretty rare for just the three of us!

Overall it was a gorgeous day. It was a little cloudy, but that meant shade. So for a July day, we couldn't have asked for better weather.

Of course we came appropriately armed with snacks, but I did appreciate the irony of eating animal crackers at the zoo.

Saturday was the wedding, and all 3 of my gals were ready to dance. They were not however ready for a photo op. I know most of the time we always post the 'best' of like 20 photos to Insta or FB, so in the spirit of full transparency and realness, enjoy the below 3 gems. 

Parker loved dancing and running around now that she's walking. Still doesn't like people though, so don't try to touch her or pick her up. Or pretty much look at her. ;)

I did manage to get a good one with their cousin though! And strategically cropped out Hadley throwing the deuces again. No idea where she got that from. (Dad).

I am still so incredibly thankful that this babe is so mellow. (Most of the time). She slept like a champ the entire weekend even in the hotel with 2 giggling sisters, and snoring Dadddy. Sunday morning we were up bright and early though, so just me and my littlest peanut had a breakfast date at the hotel restaurant. After a 30 minute walk around the lobby though because apparently no one in Omaha is up before 7 but us (that's when the restaurant opened anyway).

Daddy photobombing like a boss. And now that Parker's on the move, she basically doesn't ever sit still.

The hotel we stayed at had the Coco Key Water Resort attached. These 3 had an absolute blast. Way better than the zoo (sorry zoo). Parker highly enjoyed the lazy river with Mom, while the other 2 enjoyed free rein of everything else. The only downfall though was the big waterslides neither of the big girls were tall enough for - even with a parent. Why's that you ask? I don't know. So that was kind of a bummer. I did get Gracen to go with me on it once though, because generally when you just walk up there like you know what you're doing, the 15 year old life guard isn't going to stop you. Plus Gracen was literally like 1/2 an inch too short. Story of her life.

On Sunday I really really really wanted to go to the Children's Museum. Unfortunately on Sunday's it doesn't open until 1pm (wtf?). So no go. (Insert all the sad/angry/crying emojis and hasthag woeisme). Instead we spent the morning at the pool again, and had lunch at a sandwich place because it was eleventy billion degrees outside. You think I'm joking, I'm not. My glasses fogged up when I walked outside. Parker ate her sandwich in less time than it took me to sit down, and Gracen finished pretty quickly as well so I took the two of them for a little photo sesh with the giant O! down the street from lunch while pokey Hadley finished hers. All that girl was concerned about were the cheetos. Hashtag priorities. 

In my head I just kept singing OOOOOOOOOklahamo. Even though that's wrong. Sorry Omaha!

Overall it was a quick, exhausting, fun weekend. Hard to believe the summer's almost over and back-to-school is consuming my brain. Until next time Omaha! (And next time I WILL make it to the Children's Museum).