Sunday, July 20, 2014

belated wedding anniversary celebration - better late than never.

Randy and I's 11th Wedding Anniversary was last month - June 13th. We were busy on that day so we didn't really celebrate the occasion. We are pretty much always busy.

That being said, it was important to me that we go out to dinner at some point to acknowledge and commemorate our anniversary.

Last night - over a month after our actual anniversary - we were finally able to do that. 

Caught up in the whirlwind of our lives, enmeshed in our busy schedules, I think it's important that we find the time to connect and engage - without our kids around or other distractions. We had a wonderful dinner and I look forward to many more dinners and celebrations in the years to come. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

harper - the serious artist.

Harper sometimes likes to paint and draw. In creating her "masterpieces," she takes her work very seriously (she calls her creations masterpieces).

She recently remarked that she isn't a "real artist," but after reassuring her that she is an artist and that I value her artwork she seemed assured that she is indeed a "real artist." It was an amusing conversation!

Here she is creating one of her most recent masterpieces:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

camp and a birthday celebration.

Yesterday, we drove down to Central Arkansas to pick Hayden up from camp. I had missed my little man!

He adds a lot of fun, cheer, and pizzazz to our family dynamic and with him gone, there was a definite deficit in regards to the joy and mirth of our household. It was also a lot quieter! Hayden brings a loud voice and with him around, Harper is louder and more amped up. Suffice it to say, things are a lot noisier now with Hayden home!

Hayden said that he had a great time at camp and that he wished he could have stayed longer. His camp counselors mentioned that he asks a lot of questions and talks a lot - just like his mommy!

Here are a few pictures I took when we picked him up:

My mom was the Camp Chaplain while he was at camp - something I know Hayden really appreciated and enjoyed.
Although Harper said that she did not miss Hayden while he was gone, I'm pretty sure she did.

After picking him up, we went and spent the afternoon with Mimi - my mom's mom. My mom was able to join us as was Kennedy - my sister's 2.5-year-old son.

Then last night we went and had dinner at Cock of the Walk to celebrate my mom's birthday (her birthday had been Monday). In theory we were celebrating all the summer birthdays in the "family" (there are a lot - at least 7 out of about 15 of our birthdays occur in the summer), but with mom's birthday having been the day before the dinner, the focus was definitely on her.

We had planned on spending the night with my Grandma - my dad's mom - but she wasn't feeling well so we spent the night with Mimi instead. It worked out just fine though and we all had a great time - although I wish I would have been able to see and visit my Grandma. Oh well, there is always next time - and hopefully she will come to Fayetteville and visit us soon!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

our summer thus far - complete with a run-in with a diving board, swimmer's ear, and squeals galore.

With Hayden's last day of school having been June 6th and today being July 11th, it feels to me like we have thus far experienced 1 month of summer.

Hayden goes back to school August 18th, so in about another month. Between now and then we will be gone on vacation for a week.

Suffice it to say, it feels like summer is halfway over. 

So far, our summer has included 2 day-camps for Hayden, dozens of hours at the pool, almost daily "workbook" time for Hayden, downtime being lazy watching TV and playing at the house, and 2 weekends at the lake -  among other things.

As a result of all the swimming, Hayden is currently being treated for swimmer's ear - which he has in both ears. 

Oh and yesterday he somehow managed to go off the diving board at the pool in some completely incorrect, unsafe way and hit his head and leg on the diving board. Thankfully he was fine. It was definitely a scene at the pool though and an incident report was filled out, but no blood or concussion - which from what I understand from the witnesses who observed the incident is a miracle. 

But see for yourself, he is just fine:

Next week, Hayden is going to camp at Ferncliff (for 2 nights). The week after that includes another day-camp. Then we have a relatively free week before our trip. After getting back from our trip, we have another free week before school resumes - culminating in another weekend at the lake. 

Of course time at the pool and "workbook" time will be included among the activities taking place in the upcoming weeks.

It sounds busy and it is. All the while, I'm making time to exercise, read a few books, watch a little TV, and I'm about to start working on a puzzle (like the one I did while I was at the lake this past weekend). 

Managing my family (mainly Harper and myself because Randy is in his own little world doing his own thing with work) is tricky. Trying to find the balance between "being lazy" and staying home and being out-and-about and doing stuff is complicated. 

We all have different needs and desires when it comes to being satisfied and happy with our days and how our time is spent. Allocating just the right amount of time to the various activities we engage in isn't easy - but I think I'm doing a pretty good job of it. 

I'm happy and the kids are happy. Of course, there are moments of discontent, but the smiles and excitable squeals from these two most definitely drown out and outnumber the negative expressions and incidents.

And so far, I haven't found myself too overwhelmed by the first half of summer. Hopefully the second half will prove just as rewarding and joyful.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

andrew kilgore photos.

A few weeks ago, my mom, my Mimi (my mom's mom), Harper, and myself were able to take part in a photo session with an amazing local photographer - Andrew Kilgore.
The goal of the photo session was to get some group photos featuring the female, four-generation succession within our family and also to get some individual photos of Harper. 
When Hayden was 3-year-old, my mom and Hayden had a photo session with Andrew Kilgore and the images he captured are amazing and something I will always treasure. We wanted to capture similar images of Harper. Harper wasn't up for that though, so my mom and Harper will be going back for another session sometime relatively soon.
To be honest, I wasn't sure any of the pictures taken would be decent, but I think some of the photos are truly phenomenal. They are very representative of us and that makes them real. Plus, just having the 4 of us together is a treasure in and of itself.

Monday, July 7, 2014

fourth of july weekend at the lake.

We celebrated the 4th of July this past weekend at my parents' Lakehouse with my parents. I think everyone had a really good time. We spent time in the boat, on the shore, on the "island," at the house, and in the hot tub. We had dinner with friends. The boys played shuffleboard. We completed puzzles - mainly Hayden and me (I thoroughly enjoyed working on the puzzle!). 

Harper really seemed to enjoy collecting seashells on the shore and "driving" the boat while Hayden's favorite part of the weekend was playing on the "island" - the inflatable structure that can be seen in a few of the photos below. 

My parents' celebrated their 34th Wedding Anniversary while at the lake on July 5th. I think it was memorable - at least I hope it was.

Suffice it to say, it was a winner of a weekend - and I really did enjoy myself. In the past, I haven't always enjoyed my time spent at the Lakehouse, but this past weekend was both fun and minimally relaxing. There were lots of smiles and relatively few tears or drama. Works for me!