Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer 2015

This summer has literally FLOWN by.  Once again, I had great intentions of trying to keep up and to document life this summer but it just went by too fast, we were too busy, and I was just too tired.  And now here we are less than a week from school starting (which I just can't believe)!  Here's a little look back at our summer.

May

Sara Kate and I traveled to Savannah, GA, to visit my best friend Laura over Memorial weekend.  Sometime back in the spring she saw an airplane and told me she wanted to go on one.  I told her we would have to do that sometime.  The morning of the trip I surprised her with the news and she was SO excited.  It was just she and I that went because Chris was on a school trip to Washington, D.C.  I had so much anxiety about taking this trip alone, but at the same time I was excited to experience it with her.  We flew out of Tulsa, made a stop in Atlanta to change planes, then flew the rest of the way to Savannah.  I've seen Laura briefly for short little meet ups in Tulsa over the past year when she was there for work, but I hadn't seen their son Liam since he was almost 1 and he just turned 4.  I was thrilled to have almost a week with them, and we had the best time.  We went to the beach, took the kids to the children's museum, went and had a picnic and played at Forsyth Park in downtown Savannah, drove around a refuge and saw alligators, Laura and Leslie had a great Memorial weekend party which included a huge blow up slip n slide and I got to meet a lot of their friends, and the kids played and played and played.  Thankfully they got along great!  In fact, they're so much alike it's like they should be related.  I'm so glad Sara Kate and Liam got to spend time together and I'm glad I got some much needed time with my best friend. 
First time on an airplane!
 The beach in Hilton Head, South Carolina
 
 
Savannah Children's Museum
 
 
 Forsyth Park
 
 
 See that gator there in the middle by the waters edge??
Memorial Day fun on the slip n slide!
 Lots of fun play time

 Memories made with my best friend
 
  
June

Sara Kate had pre-k graduation the beginning of June, even though she continued to go to school through the beginning of July.  It was adorable and I cried.  I have just loved her school and they have prepared her so well for kindergarten.
This was her graduation picture from school.  Love it.
 
 Their ceremony was on a Sunday afternoon at the Jones Center chapel.
 
 
 Sara Kate's class
 
Her wonderful teacher, Ms. Laura
Her best friend Ramona even came since she was in their class from the time she was a baby until a year ago.  It was sweet she came to see all her friends graduate!
The other big thing that happened in June was Chris and I celebrated our 10th anniversary (June 25)!
 
Back in 2007 we took a vacation out to Lake Tahoe, California, and during that trip we drove up to Napa Valley for a day.  We always knew we wanted to go back and we decided for our 10th anniversary we would take a vacation out to wine country.  So that's what we did!  We hopped on a plane and flew to California!  We stayed in a town called Fairfield, about 20 minutes from Napa Valley. It was located in the Suisun Valley, and we found so many small little vineyards in that area and we tasted (and drank) some amazing wine.  We did go to Napa Valley for a day and we went to Sonoma, but we loved what we found in the valley.  We also went to several breweries and even went olive oil tasting (and came home with an AMAZING bottle of rosemary garlic olive oil...yum!)!  Chris has a very good friend who lives in Oakland and since we weren't far from there we were able to spend some time with her.  The Saturday we were out west we drove to Oakland and met up with Tamera and we took the train into San Francisco.  We walked up and down the pier and saw 2 things I really wanted to see, the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge.  Even though the Golden Gate Bridge was seen from a distance it was still an awesome sight and I'm glad we saw it!  We even did the San Francisco thing and rode a trolley. Tamera took us to some really cool wine tasting rooms and breweries in Oakland, too.  I'm glad we were able to connect with her and spend time with her.  We had a great time in California and I would recommend to anyone who likes wine to take a trip out there to experience wine country!
We went and toured the Jelly Belly factory.  Afterwards they had a tasting room of wine paired with different chocolates made at Jelly Belly.  It was pretty neat.  And be jealous of our awesome hats! :-)
 
 
 
 Beautiful scenery like this was everywhere.  Rolling hills of grape vines and perfect sunny days...just gorgeous.
The Bay Bridge in San Francisco
 
 The Golden Gate Bridge
 Alcatraz

July

July brought lots of activity!  We had a very small scale 4th of July celebration with Chris' parents, just a nice dinner then we headed home.  The week leading up to the 4th had been very busy so Sara Kate was exhausted.  We didn't even go to any firework shows and she was asleep before dark each night of the weekend so she missed all the huge fireworks going off in our neighborhood (and it's a miracle she slept through it all!).
The following week brought a day I was dreading, Sara Kate's last day at her school.  I had so much emotion leading up to that day.  I cried writing thank you notes to her teachers to put in their gifts, I cried dropping her off, and I really cried picking her up for the last time.  I mentioned it already but I can't say enough about how great her school has been.  She started going there when she was 4 months old.  The teachers there nurtured her and helped her grow and prepared her SO well for kindergarten.  I was so sad the first day I ever dropped her off because I had to leave my baby with someone else.  The day I picked her up for the last time I was so sad because it was time for us to say goodbye to them.  I went back and found the picture from her first day and put it in a collage with her last day, just to have a comparison of the 2 side by side.  I treasure this picture.
My mom was here the 2nd week of July to stay with Sara Kate while Chris was at choir camp.  
They had a great time and I'm so glad Sara Kate was able to spend the time with my mom.  She went to swim lessons that week and after just a few days of lessons, she took off.  She can now swim all over the pool all by herself, with no floaties.  She goes off diving boards, slides, jumps off the sides...she is literally a little fish and I am so proud of her progress this summer.  
This was her 3rd day of lessons.
The 3rd week of July brought lots of activity and lots of cousin time!!  Chris has cousins that live in the Houston area and they were here for a week.  Along with Zachary and Brandon being here, Hannah and Hayden were here for most of the week.  The kids had the best time together.  Even though Zachary and Brandon are older (16 and 13), they all had so much fun together.  I took off on Tuesday and we all went to Branson to go to Silver Dollar City.  It was Sara Kate's first time to go and she was so excited.  It was also her first time to ride a ride...EVER!  She was a little nervous at first but she LOVED it and had the best time.  My brother-in-law and I took Sara Kate and Hayden around on the smaller kid rides while everyone else went on the bigger rides.  It was such a fun day.  
Hannah spent the night with us the night before we went..love these girls!!
 First time at Silver Dollar City!
 Very first ride ever!
 
 So much fun!
Later that week the kids went to the trampoline park, the water park in Rogers, and we even went to a Naturals baseball game to watch Grandpa's choir sing the national anthem.  The kids were interested for a little bit but eventually they just wanted to go to the playground area!  Needless to say, everyone slept good that week.  
We were sad to see everyone go their separate ways, but it was great for all the kids to have that time together.  Sara Kate is still talking about it!


July also brought Chris' 35th birthday!  A week or so before his birthday I asked Sara Kate what kind of cake daddy needed for his birthday and she said a Spider-Man cake.  A couple days before his birthday I asked her again and she emphatically said a superhero cake!  I asked her which one and she said Spider-Man.  So Spider-Man it was!  I even found a Spider-Man card from Sara Kate and found him a Spider-Man coffee tumbler for school.  I thought was adorable, but it turns out Chris was embarrassed.  Maybe if we had a family dinner at home he wouldn't of be embarrassed but we had dinner with all the family out at a restaurant and he was a 35 year old man with a Spider-Man cake...that's what embarrassed him.  But it's a good memory (for me, ha!) and it's super sweet Sara Kate thinks her daddy needed a superhero birthday.  We love him and just wanted him to have a good day!  And I have to say, Rick's made quite the awesome Spider-Man cake!! :-) 
 

So there's a little glimpse back at our summer.  One more pretty big thing happened this summer that's kept us super busy but I'll write about that soon.  For now I just wanted to do a little recap since summer is drawing to a close.  Hope everyone has had a great summer!  Enjoy the last few days!

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