Weekending

Got to hang with my girl for some extra hours on Wednesday and also a bit on Thursday morning!  Holden went to school on Wednesday.  We are way too slow moving for him.  He did get to have extra time at home with Mommy and sister on Thursday thanks to a 2 hour delay for me.

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Gosh, why do I hate Sundays?  They overwhelm me from the moment my feet hit the floor.  I absolutely hate it!  I saw this funny e-card somewhere that said “Sunday…when we try to get our whole life together in twelve hours.”  So true and so unrealistically crazy!

I think the concept of Sunday as a day of rest is a wonderful idea.  However, Mommy and Daddy have to go to real jobs on Monday morning.  All the home jobs have to get done some time.  I can tell you that Monday afternoon at about 4:45 is probably not going to work for us (or 5:45ish in the case of the Mr.’s arrival at home).  So anwayyyy!  I obviously got a bit bogged down in the Sunday workday blues, but I/we had a wonderful weekend.  Nothing but great times!

Friday – Got off early, got my teeth cleaned (no cavities!), got my blood tested (so not fun but so worth it to be able to donate milk to the local children’s hospital milk bank), took a walk with some of my favorites and went to bed early

Saturday – ran ran ran in the morning after giving Hellie Bellie her first taste of bananas.  This went better than rice cereal.  Plus, her spit-up is now delightful!  A sweet, banana smell!  My mom aka Moochie visited us for the CHKD Make-a-Scarecrow event.  We’ve done this every year since Holden was born.  All proceeds go to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters!  We ate an early lunch at Commune…highly recommend!  Glad we got to go!  When I say it was a fast lunch, I mean it!  Holden changed into his soccer duds in the parking lot.  We picked the Mr. up on the way to the game.  Holden did great even though it was super hot at the game. P.S.  All this was done prior to 2PM.  Whew!  My mom and I left the kids with the Mr. for nap time and enjoyed fro-yo and coffee plus some grocery shopping/craft store shopping.  Love having her visit!

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Sunday – Baby food making!  So far, we’ve got bananas, avocado, pears, and sweet potato.  Helen has only had rice cereal and bananas.  Lots of freezer food!  We also took a nice walk at First Landing State Park.  It was such a great temperature and a perfect day to check out a new trail that we don’t usually take.  We came up on a nice little beach and let Holden and Roscoe (and maybe the Mr.) run wild.

Hope your weekend was a great one!  I can’t wait for another.

On a sidenote…I got stuck in the room I pump in at school this past week.  I found it hilarious, and I kind of wanted to not call anyone to help me out.  What does that say about how my work weeks have been going?  Hmmmm….The picture that I texted the Mr. below.  I was doing some slightly hysterical laughing.

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P.S.  Holden got a new bike.  He’s officially getting so tall and so big.  How is this happening!?!?  I want Helen to grow, and Holden to hold steady for a little bit.

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Weekends v. Weekdays

We are in the thick of the “weekdays” right now on this Wednesday morning.  It feels like it has been raining for 100 years, but it has really been only a full day of rain.  I woke up once for Helen and once for Holden last night.   Both times it sounded just like someone had turned a faucet on over our house!  Don’t you just hate the rain?!?!  It’s kind of cozy if you can stay home when it’s going on.  Unfortunately, that’s not what we were up to yesterday.  I have about a 30 minute drive to work in typical traffic.  Yesterday’s rain extended that quite a bit.  I just hate being late to work!  I have a hard time keeping the day going in a positive way when that happens.  Which brings me to what’s on my mind…weekends v. weekdays!

This past weekend was Holden’s first soccer game.  He loved it, and we loved watching him!  It was pretty warm with temps in the mid 80s.  The team split into two small teams, so the kids could play the whole time with no subbing.

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P.S. Boys 6 and under soccer is when things start to get a little more serious and a little more competitive!

Besides soccer, we got to attend a baptism of our old friends’ baby boy.  The Mr. was the godfather.  Doesn’t he look handsome?!  Baby and Godfather!14355539_1462250590457984_1420083822664243896_n.jpg

It was a beautiful service with lots of delicious food afterwards.  We also had a visit from Holden and Helen’s Meme and C-Pa.  This delayed nap time, so Holden was quite pleased! It was such a nice (and busy!) weekend.  I confess that Monday was not my favorite, and Tuesday was really not my favorite.  I’ve been really not feeling the work scene lately, and it’s been very noticeable.  Not to mention I’ve been pretty vocal about it!  Don’t ask me how I feel unless you REALLY want to know.

I know when I have times like this the most important thing I can do is to pray more.  Well, (sadly) I feel like I tend to pray less.  This morning I finally got myself together and spent a little time reading.  I came across this verse in Hosea 7 (verse 14).

They lie there sleepless with anxiety, but won’t ask my help.  

Instead, they worship heathen gods asking them for crops and for prosperity.

So true in my case!  I have chosen to fret and worry and obsess and just WALLOW about in my despair over working outside the home (let’s be real…there’s work inside the home too!).  Right now it seems to be my portion.  Although people say you can always change your course, I don’t feel that’s anything I can do now.  I’ve got to figure out how to make this work AND somehow enjoy it aka not be super miserable everyday.  A key part that I’ve been missing is PRAYER.  I totally have been skipping this in my life right now for worry, crying, whining, anger, and just general despair.

 So…I’m going to try to do better.  Does this seem like it’s the theme of your days?  I feel like it happens to be mine.  I am thankful for new days and fresh starts.  Even if today I may float away on the way to work.  It’s STILL raining!

Have a great hump day.

Natalie

 

A Sweet Weekend

It seems like our weekends are just as busy as our weekdays!  Honestly, I think I kind of like it that way.  I do have a tendency to overuse the “b” work aka BUSY!

I was admittedly very tired and more than a little overwhelmed on Friday afternoon.  I received a text from Helen’s daycare that she was a little more fussy than normal.  😦  Also, I had a lot of work that sort of plopped in my lap towards the latter part of the day.  Unfortunately, it had to be done THAT DAY!  Hate when that happens!  Lots of flaking out for us on Friday evening.

The Mr. left early Saturday morning to work on his hunting property, so the Hs and I had a nice, quiet morning until we went out around 10:30.  Holden and I made pancakes.  Helen and I snuggled bunches.  IMG_4095.jpg

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Our errands included Dollar Tree, the library (duh!), a make-your-own-chocolate-bar event (at The Royal Chocolate), the car wash, and the drugstore.  Whew!  We were home by 12:30!

Holden picked gummies and marshmallows for the inside of his bar and sprinkles for the outside.  We got to mix it up and then pour it into a mold.  Next, we sprinkled on our super-cool sprinkles!

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The chocolate event was a last minute plan that I found on My Active Child.  This is a great website for local events if you’re in the Hampton Roads area.  It’s also got plenty of local stuff that just adults might be interested in!  Check it out!  We also walked over to the little pond across from Town Center that we used to frequent when we lived there.  We saw a little duck family!  Then, Holden asked to throw some change in the fountain.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon lunching and trying to nap.  It was wishful thinking, and both the kids were restless.  Once the Mr. got home, we loaded up (along with some pea salad – here’s my recipe!) and went to our church’s annual BBQ.  Holden had a blast in the bounce house.  We enjoyed not doing dishes!  Just keeping it real!  I’m a hot mess and more than a little tired, but I was so glad we went.  I love our church and am so thankful to have such a positive place and people in our lives.

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Sunday was a very busy day!  We got a phone call very early that my mom was not feeling well.  Thankfully, all is better now!  We wanted to rush over to our Moochie but decided to wait a bit and see if things improved.  I’m happy to report they did!  Our Sunday was lots of church (I had Sunday School training), grocery shopping, gym-going, baking (2 lactation snacks – aka all Mommy’s treats), and a little neighborhood walk.  Gosh!  I need a day to recover from my weekend!  😉

How was your weekend?

What’s the summer food you’ll miss the most?  Mine is watermelon and the easy to grill veggies like zucchini and squash!

What are you most excited about this fall?  I think I’m most excited about the decorations and just being cozy at home.

Have a great week!

Natalie

Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon Race Recap

Hi there!  I’m so happy to report that we are in the middle of a holiday weekend, AND I completed my second 1/2 marathon today!  Woo hoo!  I’ve been battling indecisiveness (about doing the race or not), a big case of mom guilt (due to time spent on running – – although I’m not sure why since I usually run very early in the AM!), an aching foot, lots of blisters, and lovely back and blue toenails.

Well, race day arrived this morning at an exactly 4:15 wake up call.  We really weren’t sure what was going to happen as our area got lots of rain and wind from Tropical Storm Hermine on Saturday.  We even lost power at 9AM on Saturday morning until about 7 PM that night.  The Mr. was awesome at staying positive and getting us all organized for the early morning.  The race for Sunday went off as scheduled!  Parking was a little more chaotic for us this time.  I truthfully think we left later from the house (2 kids v. 1 nowadays!).  I had to feed Helen in the parking lot before we could head down to the start line.  Both Holden and Helen were complete angels with the early morning wake-up call, but I was still worried about leaving the Mr.  I know he’s completely capable.  I also know how quickly things can go crazy.  I was home all summer with them after all!

After a lovely port-a-potty visit, I kissed my favorite people good-bye and hopping in corral 2.  If you’re unfamiliar with wave starts, it basically means the race officials left some people go at certain times…this is based on your anticipated finish time.  Faster you are the sooner you start.  Well, corral 1 was looking mighty sparse, so I may or may not have edged up and joined the super fast folks.  I did get to catch a quick glimpse of my favorites as the first group left the start line.  To be honest, I felt like I ran the first 5K slow.  Turns out that I didn’t!

The first 6 miles felt pretty good.  Things did start to go slightly downhill from there.  I got lots of blisters on my toes, and I could tell my nails going to be very painful when I was finished.  However, I did maintain pretty good speed until about mile 10.  Then, we made a turn to head back to the oceanfront.  Wind and a slight hill via a bridge were not my friends – PS I always run on very flat land.  Don’t judge the flat land runners!  A slight hill is a big deal!  🙂

I was really struggling the last mile to maintain my pace.  I did a pretty decent job of it.  I do wish I was able to really pick up the pace in my last mile and sprint to the finish.  The sprint at the end is always my favorite part of every race and workout.  I’m thinking less half-marathon distances in my future and fast, shorter courses.  I was really pleased with my final time of 1:43.  This just smushed my previous time of 1:50.  My overall pace was 7:55, but I was faster than that early on.  I was so happy to get to the finish line as the last mile was into the wind on the boardwalk.  I felt slightly light-headed when I finished, but it quickly faded.  So thrilled to see my people!  The Mr. had everything under control, and I am so glad the kids were there to see me finish.  Plus, Helen had to nurse.  She had to come!  No choice little one!  😉  These are my overall stats…

 

  • OVERALL322 / 6088
  • DIVISION10 / 545
  • GENDER45 / 3331

 

 

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So thankful for these two sweet blessings!  Running is fun and all, but they are one of my greatest blessings and joys!

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Here’s my other biggest joy and blessing!  I am amazed each day by him.  He loves me completely and supports me constantly.  I’m so very thankful that God got us together.

Whew!  No more mushy for now!

I plan to savor the rest of today and tomorrow with my sweet family.  Here’s my little corner of sweetness at work…

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And just for fun…here’s Miss Hellie Bellie!

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Ignore spittle from those cute lips…hers not mine!  Sidetone:  How do none of my children share my eye color!??!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Natalie

 

Helen’s Baptism Weekend

What an amazing weekend we had!  It was a lot of work, food, family time, talk, and just plain love!  I’m so thankful that our family and friends were able to get together to celebrate the baptism of our daughter, Helen Elizabeth, and the upcoming marriage of the Mr.’s sister and her fiancee.

Here’s a little recap:

Friday was super busy with food prep, packing, and driving over to the Eastern Shore.  The Mr. and I drove separately to allow for all the stuff (i.e. a huge cooler in the back of my car!) and to accommodate Helen’s nap times.  I did more food prep as soon as we arrived at my parents’ house.  So.Much.Mayo!

On Saturday, my mom and I did not exactly rise and shine early…but we did shake a leg!  The church was decorated all up by lunch time.  My mother-in-law also came into town with my sister-in-law and (almost) brother-in-law.  Then, it was back to my parents’ house for me AND more food prep for me!  The Mr. was off with my dad, brother, and Holden for a clamming adventure.  Miss Helen was with the girls, and she was pretty much an angel all day.

We were in such a hurry to wrap up the decorations and food prep, because we were all attending my sister-in-law’s surprise engagement party!  Although I helped a little (invitations and dessert), I mostly just showed up and enjoyed myself!  My father-in-law and mother-in-law did all the decor and took care of the food.  We had such a good time catching up with everyone.

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It was a relatively early bedtime for us though (after more Olympic watching!).  Sunday was quite a big day!  I’ve been planning this since…forever!  We decided that we wanted to have Helen’s baptism at my “home” church on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  The day started off slowly with a yummy breakfast courtesy of my mom that can whip up something delicious and pretty lightning fast.  However, the pace definitely picked up as we started getting everything and everyone ready for the big event.

We decided to dress the little girl at the church.  She spits up quite a bit, and I’m honestly concerned that it’s a bit too much.  Planning to talk to her doctor on Friday at the 4 month appointment…here’s the little girl!

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My sweet family!  I’m so thankful and can’t believe how blessed I am to be able to spend my days with them.  DSC_0681.JPGMy brother and sister are Helen’s godparents.  I can’t believe how grown-up we all are, but I think I mostly can’t believe how much I actually WANT to spend time with them now!  Parents of arguing siblings…there is hope!

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Love my mommy!  She is so my opposite in some ways, yet we are so on the same page in many important ways.  I’m so thankful for her help this weekend and just constant support in life.  Gosh, I really got a good one!

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The reception food was country ham biscuits, chicken salad, crackers, Neiman Marcus dip, Pasta Salad, and Summer Rainbow Salad.

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Fruit with Dip and Cake were the desserts!  The cake was almost too pretty to eat!

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Helen’s Meme made this delicious sweet treat.  Isn’t she talented?!?

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My sweet girl decided to be a team player and snooze during the reception which meant we could talk and eat!  What a keeper!  😉

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Godfather and Auntie aka Kitchen Crew 🙂

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When she’s fussy, this is her fave way to travel about…

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Pastor Claire married us and baptized both of our sweet children.  We are so thankful for her!

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C-Pa doing a little art with our dude!

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Breaking it down (no, really breaking it down and putting it all away) in the kitchen!

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Whew!  It was a lot of work, but it was definitely a labor of love.  I love spending time with family and friends!   We are so thankful for the “cloud of witnesses” who were present at Helen’s official admission into Christ’s family.  Life is good.

Natalie

Weekend = Run and Beach

Well, well!  August 1st, we meet at last.  It seems like the countdown to back-to-school is on everywhere you look.  There have been some kids starting school (!), and school supplies all over the stores.  I even saw the Christmas (yes, Christmas!) decor going up in A.C. Moore today.  The Halloween stuff is already 40% off!  I have just a little less than four weeks until I start my tenth year of teaching.  20 until retirement!  Ha!  I kid…sort of.

I can tell you that I’m going to be one sad turkey that Monday morning to be heading out the door well before 7AM.  I’m going to be sad not be enjoying lunch with my two out of my three favorites.  I also can tell you that I’m going to be very eager to get out of there ASAP in the afternoon (just say no, traffic!).  I will miss the leisurely pace of our mornings…nursing Miss Helen, coffee that gets to be enjoyed mostly leisurely, staying in PJs until 7 (we’re crazy around here, aren’t we?), the dual nap time (so thankful for 2-3:30ish this summer!), and just exploring around with these two kids.  However, let’s look at the bright side for a few minutes…

  1. I will talk with adults (and older children) multiple times a day.  As much as I love having one-sided conversations with Helen and dinosaur/pirate/Star Wars/etc. conversations with Holden, it will be nice to speak with an adult.
  2. I will look more presentable in general and probably wear non-workout clothes.  This could be a positive or negative depending on the day.
  3. I will be spit up on less.  Little Miss H spits up A LOT.  I am fairly certain that I vaguely (or strongly – depending on the moment) smell like her spit up all day.
  4. Roscoe the dog will get the rest he needs.  Poor dog has been tired since April.
  5. It is fulfilling to actually accomplish something in a day.  Like teach something?  Maybe do a lesson plan?  I don’t know….get real crazy and write some IEPs!?!?  Working at home aka mom life is challenging and rewarding in its way.  I do admit that sometimes I just want to do my TO DO LIST!!!!  I DO NOT want to baby talk, sword fight, read books, or pick up more mess!  There, I confess!  With that being said, I know that all that stuff is the most important stuff.  I know I’ll be DYING to do all that after about 3.5 days of work.  Right now, working quietly at a desk sounds somewhat appealing.
  6. The Mr. and I will get to clean together…do laundry together…make baby food together!  Oh goodness!  Lots of WORKING TOGETHER!  I am only halfway kidding….it’s so wonderful to have partner in all this stuff.  During the summer, I try to do as much as possible of the yucky, chore stuff, so we can focus on enjoying our summer days with more free time for fun stuff!  Just like what we did this weekend!

Our Weekend –

Holden and his Daddy enjoying the water

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We somehow got sunscreen all over my phone.  Hence the blurry picture!  Please note that my child went to the beach in her plain white onesie…all the babies of social media are trotting off to the beach with cute one and two piece suits.  Nobody got time for that!  This was actually her bedtime outfit…straight from the crib to the carseat to the beach!

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Baby toes in sand = PRECIOUS!

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She finally gave up and took a little nap.  It was so nice (for me and her!).

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Before our beach trip on Saturday, I did my 11 mile run.  I was actually a very mixed run.  I have really been hating the first 2-3 miles of my longer runs.  I have no idea why.  I think maybe because I go all the way to the end of a dead end road and have to turn around.  I know I always instantly feel better when I turn around.  Well, the middle part of my run is typically “ok,” and the last part (last 2-3 miles) has been great!  I was getting all excited for the last 2.5 miles on Saturday…well I ended up having to stop and go home.  Then, I rerouted my course and started again.  It was a bit of a broken run.  BUT I did finish it!  I was very happy about that.  We wanted to head to the beach right after, so I didn’t stretch (naughty) and took a quick shower before we headed out.  We enjoyed lunch at home and some fro-yo.  Then, I did lots of errands in some dumb flip flops from Old Navy (aka the $1.99 ones) and in the rain (#notwinning).  I was tired and a little peeved by the time evening rolled around.  On Sunday morning, I woke up with lots of foot pain on the outside of my left foot.  😦  I took Roscoe for a walk anyways with Holden (dumb).  Then, we all went to church.  After lunch, I proceeded to make 4 different types of cookies…all while standing (dumb again).  What a hot mess!

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I finally decided to take a load off and google diagnosis myself.  Well…a popular search result was STRESS FRACTURE which is causing me to STRESS!  We did some “at-home” tests to self-diagnose (yes, I made the Mr. try to be a dr.) with mixed results.  Today I woke up with some pain, but it is better than yesterday.  I’ve been icing like it’s my job.  However, I did do lots of errands today.  I can’t sit still.  😦  I also drank some almond milk so that should take care of any bone issues right???  P.S.  Recommended fix for this diagnosis is 6 weeks rest!!!!!

I’m going to attempt to be nice and calm to these people…(love them!  How cute is this picture?!?!)

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I’m going to rest and not run tomorrow.  I plan to hop out of bed tomorrow morning like a child at Christmas and hope my foot is all better.  We will see.

P.S. My foot is so chilly right now that I can’t feel anything.  Problem fixed!  😉

Natalie

 

 

 

 

Botanical Garden and Bike Riding

Wow, it’s already Monday!  This weekend was so fun, but it really flew by.  Friday started out with an oil change for me (and Helen).  Unfortunately, we found out about a problem with my car that will need to be fixed in the next few months for a lovely $600 price tag.  That is no fun Friday fact.  Here’s Helen so nicely sleeping for me at the auto place…

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We also had another bit of a bummer Friday evening with a loss of power due to heavy rain and winds that came through that evening.  It was quite a steamy night in our house.  Power came back on that morning.  Just in time for me to head out for my 9 mile run!  Wow!  It’s a good thing I go early, because I’m drenched in lovely sweat running at 6:30.  I can’t imagine waiting until later.

After that run, it was a quick change before Aunt Sarah Beth and Uncle Cullen got here for a trip to the Norfolk Botanical Garden.  Here he is working on his stroller skills!

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We did a little exploring in one section of the garden, but rain forced us to make a run for a gazebo.  We waited out the rain and then continued on.

Clearly, Holden didn’t let that keep him down.

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Miss Helen was snoozing, so she missed the photo opportunity.

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We were so glad they came to visit!

Here’s Holden checking out a big tree in another one of our “let’s seek some shelter from the rain” moments.

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There was a butterfly festival going on there.  However, it was EXTREMELY busy around that section.  I didn’t take a single picture.  We also didn’t make it through the butterfly house due to a very long line.  Holden and I had seen it last year, but I was slightly bummed to miss it.  That line was cray though!

Holden got a little water action in the WOW Children’s Garden…

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Here’s the view from the top of the NATO Tower there…

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Despite the rain, I think we all had a great time!  Afterwards, we went home to enjoy a late lunch.  I made these Beer & Cheddar Burgers from Mix & Match Mama.  Along with the burgers, we had corn on the cob and home fries.  For dessert, it was a Lemon Raspberry Pie.  I really liked the burgers, and the Mr. really liked the dessert…so there you go!  Saturday was also a big day in the bike riding world!  Holden is riding without training wheels!  Woo-hoo!  We are so proud of him, but I think he may be even prouder of himself!

On Sunday, I went to church and left the dudes playing Legos.  Holden had a birthday party for his very good buddy who is moving away in a couple weeks.  He had a great time celebrating with him!  Sunday finished up with an at-home workout for me and some swimming time for the Mr. and Holden at a friend’s pool.

Whew!  What a full weekend!  We are having such a good time this summer.  It’s hard to believe that we are just a little over a month away from our “fall” routine.  I hope you’re having an excellent Monday so far!

We don’t have a whole lot going on this week except for summer camp, a library event, and the never-ending laundry routine.  😉  Have a great day!

Natalie