July +August 2017

It wouldn’t be July if we didn’t do Coronado! Even when it’s just for a few days, it’s always good.

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I absolutely love sitting on the beach and hearing someone shout your name! I love running into friends and having the down time to actually sit and talk.

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Cousins being cute in matching jammies.

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I love this picture. It’s still the lock screen on my phone. Just watching waves, enjoying a snack in peace and quiet.

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Ok the seaweed was a little gross…but the people were cute!

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The famous beach lobster boil. It’s still talked about in hushed, reverent tones.

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We took a vote, s’mores are better on the beach

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Coronado is always the last hurrah of summer. Then there’s the dreaded 10 days before school starts where everyone is bored, tired of swimming and there are no camps. It’s a rough time. But thankfully we get to celebrate the best fur buddy anyone has ever had! Happy 4th birthday Mac!

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Ah the first day of school. So much fun, so many nerves! 2nd grade and PreK.

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The total solar eclipse was on August 21st. It’s the first time in years that a total solar eclipse was visible in North America. I remember the last one – we went downtown to the science center and looked through all their glasses and instruments to see it. The kid’s school deemed it “unsafe” and vowed to keep everyone indoors for the entire event. I tried to get enough glasses for at least one class at a time to see it, but apparently that was unsafe too…so instead I got doughnuts, sprung the kids from class and we had our own viewing party with friends in the parking lot! It was amazing – totally worth potentially damaging our retinas forever.

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It was also August in Phoenix. It was stupid hot, as you can tell by Auggie’s face.

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June 2017

This isn’t *quite* where I left off, but it’s close and there’s always a lot going on so here goes.

June 2017 was a typical for us – nutty. It’s always filled with camp, swim team, birthdays, our anniversary and prepping for vacation. It’s jam packed, flies by and is always a ton of (hot) fun.

This is pretty much where we were if we weren’t in someone else’s pool….Also, you’ve never seen anyone happier than PW when Sylvia the Swan finally flew away in a monsoon.

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Case in point:

Also it was clearly the year of enormous floats.

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This sweet little lady turned 8. EIGHT! This one really threw me for a loop. The slippery slope to 10. And then she’s driving. And off to college. I tell both of them at night, I squish their head and their feet so they stop growing so fast.

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And in true Wand style, you get two parties; one on your actual birthday with family with a cake of your choice; this year she went for my triple yellow cake with homemade chocolate buttercream frosting. What it lacks in beauty, it makes up for in taste! (Also it was like 110 degrees and even in ac, butter melts so)….

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…and one insane party with all your friends.

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I don’t know why she’s mad, but those eyes kill me.

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Someone else celebrated 35 years (ūüė≤)

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And we had friends celebrate birthdays in June too Рincluding Abby who turned 8 right after B. Her amazing mom channeled her love of Target into a theme. And Target happily hosted it!! It was so much fun.

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There was a lot of camp too. I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous following these two in every day. Not pictured; the stupid amount of crap from the snack bar that they ate and I allowed because they must have burned off thousands of calories each day. Or because I’m lazy. Either way, they had a ball.

*Do you see Auggie’s little ankle bracelet? And all 24 of Baylor’s? This was the summer that B really got into making bracelets – like the kind you do with the #4 knot over and over. Needless to say, the nostalgia was awesome and we tied bracelets until our eyes crossed and fingers bled.

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And for our annual trip to Montana, we decided that splitting up with me flying with the kids while Peter drove with Mac was really not all that much easier. It was expensive and took almost the same amount of time. So we decided to ALL drive to MT! I have to say, it actually went much better than anticipated. The kids were awesome and we made it in two days. No one puked, we didn’t kill each other or lose anything out of the back of the truck – overall, it was a success! The return trip however…well that’s a post for July.

There is also a 75 pound dog in this picture. He’s laying on the floor with about 2 feet total to his name. And he does it like the saint he is.

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Aaaahh. The payoff of 18 hours and 1,100 miles of driving:

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Ribbon Wrangling

This swim team season has been the best yet! Having both kids on the team, happy and working hard was amazing.

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And this guy.

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Youngest on the team by almost a full year and he crushed it! In his first meet, he got splashed big time during the back stroke warm up and got a serious case of butterflies. After a snack, observing other swimmers, pep talks from us, several other parents, his teammates and coaches, he reluctantly lined up to swim his heat. Swimming in the 6 and ¬†Under category, he was 1 of 5 kids in the heat, two of which were 6 years old. When they handed him his 3rd place ribbon, his mind was blown. He did it! He walked around swinging the ribbon saying “oh this? It’s just my ribbon. It’s a 3rd place. No big”. It. Was. Amazing.

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He went on to swim the rest of the season in both individual and relay races and worked his little butt off to do it. He was crushed when he didn’t make the cut in the finals, but showed up in his uniform any way “just in case”. I love his hustle and can’t wait to see what he does when¬†he’s the big kid in his group.

Big scoops, buddy. Biiiiigggg scoops!!

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Also, it appears that while he sometimes has some hesitations about swimming races, his confidence with the ladies has no issues…

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This girl. This girls pushes past the limitations that asthma puts on her and works hard to swim fast. If there were style points, she’d win every time. Her strokes are gorgeous. This season, she worked on trading some of her skill for speed and she crushed it. She made the cut for breaststroke in the finals and took home an 8th place medal. She was supremely disappointed. While I felt bad that she was mad, I was also a little excited to see her get some competitive fire. Once she figures it out, she’s going to be unstoppable!

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Now, what the heck do we do with all these ribbons?!

Two years ago I assembled B’s ribbons into a shadow box for her. It makes a great back drop on her shelves. We added in her medal this year too.

*one note – if you have multiple kids, save your sanity by marking the ribbons as they get them. The fights that broke out over sorting ribbons at the end of the season were legendary.

(as you can see, I got this gem on sale at Hobby Lobby)

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I use a cool iron and press them from the backside to get all the wrinkles out without damaging the print. In addition to pinning them in, I also put in a little hot glue to make sure they don’t swing around.

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Voila! Start to finish, this is a 15 minute project. And a great display piece for all that hard work.

Happy Birthday Baylor

I think it’s safe to say, 8 might be my favorite age.

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This year has marked some big confidence growth for Miss. B. I didn’t see it coming so when it plopped down in front me, I was left in awe. Watching her stroll into the first swim team practice of the season like a seasoned professional – no tears, no arguments – and literally dive in, was amazing.

She waltzed into a new camp with the same attitude. I was intimidated by the other kids, but not Baylor. She was by far the kid with the least dance experience and sadly her mother’s gymnastic skills, and not only did that not stop her, she wasn’t fazed in the slightest. She happily danced along the way she wanted to and at the end of the week announced “camp was fine. But I like the way I dance better”.

I hope for the rest of your life, you always like the way you dance better, B Baby.

View More: http://dreamphotographystudio.pass.us/wandfamily

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More Montana 2016

The rest of the week was jam packed. Did I mention that the Dehaven’s came to visit? They always bring the fun. And Jeff shared his pictures too!

 

We rodeo’d in Livingston…

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We creeked…

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Which lead to a lot of this….

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Do you see the fish right in front of Baylor?!

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And after taking a year off from our last Yellowstone Park visit, we again braved the winding roads with all 7 of us. This trip went far better and we even made it all the way to Old Faithful without murdering each other and only one person vomiting. Success!

Stephanie studying the warnings carefully…

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The amazing Grand Prismaticsimg_4923

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I’m so bummed – the colors of the pools are amazing – but it was barely 32 degrees and so the steam made it hard to see.img_4962img_4987

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A tourist died earlier this year jumping into one of these pools. It’s so hot, by the next morning, they could only find a few bones….img_5086

We also got to see the Beehive Geyser. It’s less predictable than Old Faithful, erupts for a shorter period of time but is as intense. Plus you can get a lot closer!

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And the Old Faithful Lodge was fantastic. At 112 years old, it’s seen some amazing history. Also I’m sure it’s haunted.

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And it wouldn’t be Montana without visiting the Long’s for some horseback riding lessons. The girl’s favorite, Duke, was donated to a school to be a therapy horse. They get reports once in awhile about how happy he is to be ridden every day! Thankfully the ladies were happy to give Heidi a try – and they now have a new favorite.

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Auggie is still not sure he’s a fan

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And we drove kids and a dog around in a gater. While taking selfies. This looks safe, right?

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Montana; Water, Parading and Celebrating

A little catch up from earlier this year…!

When we finally landed home in Arizona, I realized how physically exhausted I was…but how refreshed my brain felt! I think that sums up a good Montana vacation – physically hard, mentally great.

We packed a LOT into our two weeks!

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I don’t think anyone enjoys the river as much as this fur faceIMG_4853IMG_4864IMG_4867IMG_4861

How pretty is Chico Hot Springs? The water in the pool is fed by a natural hot spring – the water is about 103 degrees. It’s strange to swim in a hot tub but a good strange.

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The Fourth of July Parade in Livingston is one of my favorite things. Seriously, how cute is this town?

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This guy’s style is so on point. He is obsessed with Baylor’s hand me down boots.IMG_9690

Patiently waiting.IMG_9712IMG_9699

Less patiently waiting.IMG_9713IMG_9746

There’s either a firetruck, ambulance, forest service vehicle or farm machine coming…IMG_9733

This guy lassoing these crazies was hilarious. I think I need one. IMG_9742

They even made the local paper! This was the picture on page 7 of the Livingston Enterprise.

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Children wait along Main Street for the next float handing out candy during the Livingston Roundup Parade, Saturday afternoon.

We spent the 4th at the lodge celebrating with all our friends and family. And of course, we have our annual flag picture.

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Gorgeous sunsets waiting for fireworks.IMG_9839

Baylor is not a fan of sparklers.IMG_4846

But Auggie is!IMG_4848IMG_4875

Auggie got to go on his first rafting trip down the Yellowstone! It was with our friends at Wild West Rafting and as usual, it was a boat full of fun. IMG_4714IMG_4717IMG_4724

Happy Birthday(s)!!!

It’s once again birthday week in our house and what a week it was! We celebrated Peter’s 30something birthday and the Auggie boy’s 4th. It was jam packed with a friend birthday party, family brunch, family dinner and then the family party! Needless to say, we are wiped, stuffed, are over run with new toys and have way too much left over cake.

This guy. Where to start.

img_3475 Since the day he was born, just his presence gives my anxious self a sense of calm. He has the most expressive hands; they pat when they are happy – pat your back in a hug, pat his legs when he’s smiling or singing. His sweet hands wring when he’s nervous and they flap when he’s frustrated. You can always tell what he’s thinking by what his hands are up to.

And I think he may have gotten his momma’s imagination. He creates worlds to play in, sees bad guys to fight, fires to be extinguished and loves to design¬†with Legos. His descriptions of what he thinks feels much bigger than a four year old’s thoughts. When describing how he felt listening to a sad song, he said “this makes me feel like I lost something, but I know I didn’t”!

Auggie boy, you bring endless happiness to our lives. I think 4 is going to be a great year and I can’t wait to see what the next 100 years bring!

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And this guy.

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I can’t tell you how lucky, blessed, fortunate – you name it,¬†I am it – to call him ours. Always the supporter, cheerleader, listener. He’s first¬†to deescalate a fight and always comes around to compromise. He is the very best dad, quick to encourage,¬†motivate and love. Ever¬†the dreamer, planner and socializer – he keeps our calendar packed. He’s always got the comeback that makes me laugh and the big hugs that let me know how loved I am.

Happy birthday PW and thank you for loving us!!

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