Saturday, July 12, 2014

2014 Summer So Far

Since Memorial Day we have been BUSY!  This summer we have 7 weddings, a family vacation, and lots of holiday get-togethers.  This is the first weekend Mark and I have both been home with no plans, and it is glorious!  Getting caught up on my blog and pictures along with some chores around the house.  I don't know where the time goes, but I can say we have been having lots of fun this summer!  Here's a look at what we've been doing so far...

Memorial Day
Saturday we hung around the house getting some stuff done.  Sunday morning my friend came over and took Stella's 6 month pictures.  I will be sharing those soon!  After that my parents came over to spend the day with us and we had a cookout that night.  Monday morning we visited our loved ones at the cemeteries and spent some time with Baby Sam.  When we got home Stella was SUPER fussy, her bottom 2 teeth were coming through and she was miserable!  We rented a movie from Amazon and lounged on the couch through the rain storm with Kaiser and Stella.  It was a nice, relaxing weekend!

Vacation/Father's Day

My family has been going to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio forever.  We went when I was just a few years old...every summer until I was in high school!  I haven't been since (although the rest of my family continued the tradition) so I was really excited to go this year and share my wonderful childhood memories with Mark and Stella.  I figured it would either go well or Stella would be a bear...thankfully she did amazing! 

We opted to drive over ourselves rather than go with the caravan of my family.  That way if Stella was sleeping we could just keep driving!  We left Saturday morning (June 14th) around 9:00.  I was up at the crack of dawn finishing packing, showering, and getting Stella ready.  Mark took Kaiser to the Lucky Dog Lodge and then came home and loaded the car.  9:00 wasn't too bad after a busy morning!  We stopped in Princeton for breakfast, coffee and gas and then just kept on driving until 1:00ish.  We stopped again for Subway and gas and I fed and changed Stella in the back of our car.  Then we kept driving with only a quick restroom stop until we arrived around 4:00.  After checking into our room we had an early dinner at TGI Fridays in the hotel.  Stella was really crabby, I think it was from the car ride because she was fine after dinner.  We walked around after dinner and Mark and my cousins bungee jumped.  None of that for me!  Then Mark and I got some ice cream and headed up to our room for an early bedtime.

The next morning was Mark's first Father's Day!  I had a few gifts planned for him when we returned home, and it was nice to celebrate on vacation!  We went into the park at 9:00.  Hotel guests can enter the park an hour early to get in line for the big roller coasters.  Mark rode a few and Stella and I walked around with my family members who also opt out of the coasters :-)  We went to kiddie land and watched Ryder & Parker ride some rides and took Stella on the merry-go-round.  After lunch in the park we went back to our room for a nap.  Late afternoon we explored the park a little more and rode the train.  My mom treated us to dinner at Perkins in the hotel.  It felt good to get a healthy meal in after lots of (delicious) junk food in the park.  Then we gave Stella a bath and changed her into her jammies before heading back to the park.  Mark hopped on a few more rides and we enjoyed the laser show.  Stella loved it!  She stayed awake until 10:00!  She fell asleep on our way back to the hotel and we put her right in her pack n play, where she slept all night.  We are so blessed to have such a wonderful sleeper!

While the weather was absolutely perfect on Sunday, Monday was very very hot.  We went into the park early and Mark rode some more coasters, but by noon Stella was too hot and pretty fussy.  We spent the afternoon in the room while the rest of my family went to the water park.  It was too hot for her even in the shade.  I really just enjoyed hanging out in the room with Mark and Stella.  It's not often we just relax!  After a long nap and some more ice cream (hey, it was vacation!) we met my grandparents, aunts and uncles at TGI Fridays for dinner (my mom, Abby and Ryder headed back home after the waterpark).  Stella was very good and even napped at this dinner!  Then we went back into the park to a different kiddie land.  Parker rode lots of rides and we got to spend some time with my grandparents.  Despite being deathly afraid of heights and roller coasters since I was a child, I let them talk me into hoping onto one of the smaller coasters.  I knew Mark wanted to me ride one really bad, so I decided to be brave!  We went with Michael & Emily and I had a BLAST!  I screamed like a kid!  Look out next year, I didn't know what I was missing!  After enjoying the laser show again (same show but it was just awesome, Stella was entranced by it!) we headed back to the room.  We were so tired, we all fell asleep without a shower/bath.  That's a good day!

We again chose to head back on our own Tuesday (but ended up randomly seeing my grandparents at a gas station and passing my aunt & uncle on the highway!).  We got up, showered, gave Stella another sink bath, and packed up.  We got breakfast in town and headed out, only stopping twice on the way home.  We traveled from 9-4, about the same times as the way there!  We were happy we got home early, so Mark was able to pick Kaiser up that night.  He got an A+ on his report card and really enjoyed himself!  I was so proud I had to show everyone the doggie report card.  AND...after our honeymoon we came home to a dead skunk in our basement (when we lived in Amboy), well this time we came home to a live bird in one of our pipes!  Unreal!  Luckily he flew out on his own.  Crazy ending to a wonderful trip. 

Father's Day

The Sunday after we got back we celebrated Father's Day.  I gave Mark his gifts.  I made the footprint art myself.  I had seen it on Etsy for over $30, and decided I could DIY for cheaper.  I made one for less than $5 (including the frame)!  I just bought burlap paper at Wal Mart (laminated so I could run it through my printer) and copied the poem into Word.  I printed it off and added Stella's footprints.  For those I used non-toxic washable paint.  I put it on her feet with my finger while she sat in her bouncy seat and then held the paper up to her foot.  The burlap paper was bendable, so it worked perfectly!  After letting it dry I inserted it into a document frame and...voila!  Finished!  I also got Mark a picture frame with one of Stella's 6 month pictures in it for his desk at work.  We ate La Gondola for dinner, his favorite!

Our 3rd Anniversary
3 years of wedded bliss :-)

The day after our vacation was our 3rd Wedding Anniversary.  Mark tried to take the day off, but things were crazy in the fields so he ended up going into work for the day.  After helping Stella re-adjust to her routine, doing laundry and unpacking, I was exhausted by the time Mark got home from work.  He was also tired, the first day back to work is always crazy.  We decided to do nothing that evening.  Usually we get some cake from Hy Vee (like our wedding cake), open a bottle of champagne, and watch our wedding DVDs and flip through pictures.  This year even that was too much.  Mark made pancakes for supper and we went to bed early.  Hopefully we will go out to celebrate it sometime soon now that our schedule has calmed down!

4th of July

Thursday July 3rd we attended a cookout at a friend's house.  I brought my favorite red, white and blue dessert.  We watched the fireworks from their backyard.  Stella was awake the entire time and couldn't take her eyes off the fireworks!  We had her in her jammies so when we got home we could just put her right to bed.  On the actual 4th we spent the day cleaning the water out of our flooded basement.  Would have much rather gone to our friend's pool party, but the water (from storms that week) was starting to smell.  Can't have mold going on!  Saturday we attended a baby shower for a friend.  Stella was very good during the shower.  She is such a good baby.  As long as we pack her bouncy chair and stuffed puppy she will happily bounce herself all afternoon.  Easy peasy baby!  On Sunday my dad came over to help Mark work on the dog kennel.  We grilled steaks for dinner.  Wonderful 4th weekend with fun, friends, food, family, freedom and fantastic weather!

So, those are the highlights of our summer so far.  The rest of July is much calmer with only a few events planned, so I look forward to getting more work done around the house and some downtime with the family.  Happy summer!

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