July was quite possibly the sweetest month e-v-e-r. It started off with a trip to Michigan to see my family, like we try to do every summer. I can't believe it's almost been ten years since I moved to Kentucky; it's definitely getting harder to be six hours away now that I have babies of my own. I wish so badly I could just run across the field to my parents [like I used to to visit MY Grandma as a kid] and that my parents could see their grand babies more often. BUT, thank God we are school teachers and we are given a summer vacation so that we can do wonderful trips like these at all! Pierson and Reese loved every second of having the space to run and play, especially the pool and the miles of country fields and land. Elsa and Humphrey joined us too, it had been a year since they've been able to come (bringing two ginormous dogs in the car with two toddlers is NOT my definition of fun) but I felt as though they deserved the space too!
We made an early morning trip to Oval Beach in Saugatuck while we were there. The water was fifty degrees but the kids were brave and squealed while they dipped their toes in the splashing waves. Pierson loved making sand castles and Reese of course made friends with everyone she saw. Visiting Lake Michigan is always on my 'must do' list while home, it has forever been and always will be one of my dearest happy places.
Fireworks and seeing some of the Michigan cousins also happened and it was so fun to see my kids faces light up when Pa Pa [my dad] set off some bigger fireworks back at the house. We were blessed to stay for an entire week. Goodbye was not easy, as it never is, but we are counting down the days until we get to see them all again!
Another awesome part about this month was Asa and I's trip to North Carolina with our friends Peter & Aubrey. Since having kids, [and something I completely don't count on but realize is a total blessing], we've been able to take a weekend away for two summers in a row. Last summer, the four of us went to Brown County, Indiana and while that was super sweet, when we realized Asheville, NC was an option, we were ecstatic. Pete and Aubrey visit North Carolina a lot and know some of the mountains like the back of their hands. Aubrey and I have been friends for years, so having a weekend away with her has also been good for my soul. We drove the six hours and first went to a mountain called Max Patch; Aubrey and I did headstands on the top and we met several awesome mountain people who shared heart warming stories. We stayed in a cute, quaint cabin, and enjoyed river tubing [a literal 3 hour trip down the river, in inner tubes, with our cooler hooked up on its' own tube-aka, amazing]. We went to Black Balsam [another mountain] and Aubrey took a bunch of pictures of Ace and I. (PS. You should check out her amazingly beautiful work here: www.aubreyrenee.net)! We are so blessed to have our trip so well documented, especially having never been to North Carolina together before! I was humbled to stand amidst such beauty. The silence that embraced the mountains and hills, the wildflowers blanketing them. At one point I quietly stated, "I don't even know how to pray and thank God!" Clearly I loved this trip, and it was so needed for Asa and I. (I also need to publicly thank our babysitters here for their love and support for our family and littles ones. Our college nanny Hannah and one of her friends was able to do it last year and one of my dearest friends Misty did it this year. Staying overnight 48 hours with two littles and the multitude of pets is NOT easy, so they deserve allllllll the applause!)
What else about this month? Here's the "shortened" version:
- Humphrey turned nine July 24th and even though he drives me bonkers sometimes with his entitled "I can do whatever I want and eat whatever I want" attitude, I love his big ol' chocolate Lab self.
- Reese says, "I love you TOO," and "I cuuuuuute!" and is speaking in SUCH wonderful (and hilarious) sentences. How is she turning 2 so soon!?
- Pierson's hair is getting even blonder and I refused to cut it all summer long just to see what it did. I'm loving his wavy long locks but sadly he is asking me to "to go see Misty soon and get a haircut." Oops. He is three years old and the term "threenager" is now so understood by Asa and I. Oh. My. Word. HOWEVER- he is still the sweetest kid and has such a loving, sensitive and yet strong heart. He is crazy intelligent and I'm constantly amazed at the things that he knows and says and comprehends. You Are My Sunshine is still his favorite song, and as long as he's willing to be sang to at night, I fully intend on doing so.
- I made a delicious blueberry pie this month [only to be eaten by Humphrey, see 1st bullet]. A yummy homemade pie crust and fresh blueberries, it reminded me so much of my Mama's blueberry pies! My New Years Resolution was to bake one pie a month in honor of my Grandmother [who made pies like it was her job] and so far, I've been successful!
- Motherhood is sweet. It's busy and hectic and exhausting and sometimes has me crying and overwhelmed, but it is really really REALLY sweet. Here are some pictures from our month and if you've read this long, I love you ;) xox