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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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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Auggie with the safety checkimg_9918

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

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First and Last: Preschool Year 2

I can’t believe we are another done at preschool! For some reason this year was a sad ending. I don’t really know why, but it made me a little emotional saying goodbye to her teachers and the Panda room. B will be back next year and the year after, but she’ll be on the big playground next year. Yikes she’s growing up fast. Her end of the year packet had three dates where her teachers measured and weighed her. From August to May, she grew 2.5 inches and gained 4lbs. No wonder she can pack the food away.

My mom always said she enjoyed every phase of our lives (with the exception of the snotty teenager). She said she rarely longed for the days gone by because each new phase held great things that were better than the last. I feel the same way about B. Yes it was amazing when she was little and snuggly (she’s still a good snuggler), but I¬†love listening to her make up stories through a bubble beard in her bath. I love when she says “Mommy. You know…” because I know she’s about to try to swindle me – and I usually give in because I love that she’s thinking not just about what she wants but how she can get it. She’s growing up and it’s really adorable. I just wish it wasn’t so fast.

August 2012

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May 2013

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Sum Sum Summertime

Like most Phoenicians do, I dread summer time in Arizona all winter long. I hate the thought of the air conditioner running non stop only cooling the house to 81 degrees and yet getting a $400 electricity bill. I loath having to cool the car down after leaving the grocery store to avoid giving Bay and myself third degree seat belt burns. I despise watching my lovely garden wither and die despite numerous shade devices, water and love.

But last weekend, it hit me…I kind of do love summer. Yes the heat is horrible, especially in August and September when you know the cool weather is so close, but there are some great parts about summer around here:

~the smell of Water Babies sunscreen and chlorine

~tan skin and swimming

~blueberries, strawberries, watermelon and summer salads

~getting into the great restaurants because everyone else has skipped town

~summer vacation: Montana! San Diego! Flagstaff!

~Arnold Palmers

~this summer I’ll have to do without delicious margaritas, but a girl can dream

~Baylor’s birthday, my birthday (hello 3-0!) and our anniversary (what’s the 7th anniversary gift? sunscreen?)

~4th of July fireworks, patriotic music and bbq

~baseball

~coming up with ridiculous ways to enjoy being outside sans pool Рlike rigging a hose to the top of the slide and putting a wading pool at the bottom under an umbrella and a mister

Sure all these things exist year round, but there’s something so right about enjoying them in 110 degrees that makes them even better than any other time of year. Maybe it’s the heat that has warped my brain, but at least I am enjoying the results.