(Only posted months and months late....whoops! I was in a hurry to finish, so please excuse any grammar and punctuation errors!...and an over abundance of exclamation marks!)
What an amazing and memorable summer we had. I can't wait to share all about it!
First of all, Back way up to late January where we started having some conversations about big changes in our family. I was working 12 hour night shifts a couple of times per week at the hospital. I was coming home and taking care of my kids, exhausted and on no sleep. It was taking a toll on our family. When we bought our house back in 2010 we were living the double income no kids life. I always dreamed of staying home with our kids one day, but we didn't figure that into our finances or our near future when we bought our first home. God had other plans and I was pregnant with Matthew 2 months after we moved into our house, and gave birth to Mollie 14 months after Matthew. Granted, I loved parts of our home, but it was not working for our family anymore, and the Lord was leading us in a different direction. We made the decision, as huge as it was going to be for our family, to put our house on the market. Our first agent gave us the news that we could never sell our house for what we owed after running the numbers. I was discouraged and felt like God was closing a door. Thankfully, we got a second opinion who gave us completely different comps and a totally different perspective. Early Spring we put our house on the market. After over 35+ showings, our house sold in 3 weeks (seriously, trying to show your house with 2 young children is nearly impossible!). God's timing is always perfect and He opened up the opportunity for us to move into an amazing rental house situation. Matt's brother and his wife lived in the rental house and were moving out just as we needed to move in to a new place. I had to totally eat my words, because if you asked me a year ago, I would have told you that I would NEVER move into an old 1920 house with no dishwasher, original glass windows you can practically feel the wind through, steep and narrow stairs, 1 dingy bathroom, outlets that are few and far between and a lingering "old house" smell. But God was opening this door for us and I knew with 100% certainty this was what we were supposed to be doing and where we are supposed to be. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I LOVE the house. It's old charm has completely grown on me. I've been able to put my own touch on the house. And the property, my oh my. It's absolutely amazing. As of April, I quit my classified position as a Registered Nurse at the UW Medical Center, to stay home with my two little joys. I still work per diem at the hospital. Basically, I am held to no schedule and can choose to work how often and when I want. God has blessed this season of life. Amidst the chaos that staying home with 2 small kids can bring, I am absolutely loving this time with my kids. And I think my husband would agree with me when I say that he also reaps the rewards of having me home! Of course, I am looking forward to home ownership again someday, but there is a time and a season for everything!
Long story short, I didn't work but a couple of shifts the entire summer. Matt was on summer break, which meant that we got to spend every single day together as a family! What an opportunity, and I can say that we tried to seize all the time we had.
Warm weather came early this year and we got to enjoy a lot to warm, sunny days outside in May.
Late May we also got to spend an afternoon wading in the water, digging in the sand and playing on the toys at Lundeen Park with "Uncle D" and "Aunt Chele".
To celebrate Daddy's baseball season being a succes and finally being over, we took advantage of having our Saturdays free again and went to the zoo! Having a zoo pass with small kids is a MUST. It pays for itself in only a couple of visits and lets be honest, the zoo is expensive, so it totally takes the pressure off of having to see all the animals in one visit. We can go for a few hours in the morning or afternoon and still be home for naps! Win-win in my book.
My kids were clearly still waking up from their naps.
A summer favorite was wheelbarrow rides at Grandpa and Gabby's.
We had such a fun and relaxing weekend meeting baby Sophie, loving on her when Mollie would actually let me put her down, and visiting Adam and Willow! Look at the cheeks on this girl. So kissable!
Early June we went with Gabby and her first grade class on a field trip to the zoo! One of Matthew's favorite things to do at the zoo is ride the tractor.
One weekend 2 of my nephews, Caleb and Landon, came to spend the night. When Caleb was a little boy (and before I had kids to run me ragged and wear me out), he was my entire world, I spent a lot of time with him and spoiled him rotten! Now, even though I don't spend as much time with him, he still holds a very special place in his Aunt Cammie's heart, so we LOVE days that we get to have with these boys. We played at the park, got slurpees, went to the lake, dug in the sand, and watched some of my favorite movies as a kid once Matthew and Mollie went to bed. I can't wait to watch these movies with my own kids one day!
We celebrated Father's Day with some of the most important men in my life!
This was Matthew's first time every playing in the Ocean. Despite the cold, wet, cloudy weather, and freezing cold water, he absolutely loved wading in the water and jumping the waves. It was actually a constant battle, because he wanted to go even deeper all the time!
It was a beautifully chaotic (remember I did say that there were 29 people in one house, adults out numbered by kids, too) week! Memories were created and relationships with rekindled. I can't wait for the day when we are all together again!
Matthew always sees Grandpa's boat parked on the side of his house, and as he's gotten older, he is always asking Grandpa about his boat and when he can go out it. So naturally, one thing I was very excited to do this summer was to take our kids out on Grandpa's boat. Mollie enjoyed riding in the boat for awhile, but quickly fell asleep in Gabby's arms.
Matthew, on the other hand, thought that riding in and driving the boat with Grandpa was about the best thing ever!
After a boat ride, it was time for Matthew to go inner tubing for the first time with Daddy! He was cautious at first, but ended up loving it! He even went for a second ride with Mommy. That's my adventurous boy!
Matthew also jumped off the back of the boat and into the lake about 100 times!
Mollie's favorite part was floating in her tube on the beach, while Daddy and Grandpa got the boat ready to go home. Such a princess!
I can't wait for many more summers spent on the water with my family!
Before we knew it the Fourth of July rolled around. We started off the day with a trip to the zoo with my parents. It was a busy morning at the zoo, but with the temperatures a little cooler almost all of the animals were out.
After the zoo, we went back to my parents house, where my Grandma joined us. While the kids napped we played a couple games of croquet. Matt won one game and Grandma fair and square won the other! Not bad for an 82 year old, right?!?!
That evening, we headed over to Grandma and Papa's house for dinner and fireworks. Matthew wasn't too sure about doing the sparklers at first, but once he saw Joshie doing it, he figured out they are a lot of fun. Mollie went to bed, but Matthew was having so much fun with his cousins that he stayed up and watched the fireworks too!
Matthew LOVED the ocean so much when we went with Matt's family in June that I just knew we needed to go back! Plus, I had heard all about this amazing community near Ocean Shores called Seabrook that I was anxious to try out. We packed up the Expedition and headed to the coast for a few days of fun with my parents and Bami. What an amazing time we had. Seabrook has become my new favorite place to stay on the coast. We spent a couple of days just enjoying Seabrook and the beaches, and headed into Ocean Shores to explore for one day too.
We spent one evening at Aquafest in downtown Lake Stevens with Grandma and Papa. We ate yummy gyros, and the kids shared a corn dog. We spent way too much money for the kids to be able to go on 6 rides. They LOVED the rides, so I guess that's what matters, right? We ended the night with a messy ice cream cone.
We spent hours visiting and exploring parks and playgrounds. Easy, free, fun entertainment! Win-win.
Matthew loved trips to Ace Hardware this summer where riding and push mowers were plentiful. He could spend hours exploring and playing on them.
The next day we packed up and headed a few hours north to Steamboat Springs where my parents rented a time share that we stayed at for the rest of the week. What a memorable week we had spending time together, away at a resort, exploring a beautiful town!
Summer of 2013 is one I will never forget. We treasured our time together as a family, and have so many fun memories that were made. It makes me look forward to the following summers and the many memories that we have yet to make! God is good!!