Ben was gifted a new car by one of my friends.. He was so exited when we pulled it out of my van. Then it didn’t run exactly as it should. Of course, Wade immediately began trouble shooting. He should have it fixed in no time at all and I’m so thankful he can fix almost anything.
Tonight was the perfect night for some outside fun, roasting marshmallows, and eating of s’mores.
About once a year, Wade details my car for me. This year he went above and beyond. He spent the entire day detailing both of our cars and now I’m a little afraid to let the kids anywhere near my car. I’m not sure what to do about the fact that we are leaving for Kentucky next week…
For our final day at the Cape, we decided to head back to our favorite beach.
Today we did it all – hiking, boating, and beaching.
After such a great beach day yesterday, we decided to try a new beach today. We had a major fail. The weather report said it was going to be a great day, but… It was cold, cloudy, and windy. We tried, we stayed, and then we eventually packed it in.
After showering and evaluating our options, we decided bowling and dinner out might be our best course of action. Everyone had a great night!
Wade had arranged for the kids to participate in an obstacle course on the beach this morning. The youngest three loved it. Alex had to be challenged (an option at the end of the races) to go through the race, but he was a good sport and did. Mom and Dad were challenged and ran it too.
We knew today was going to be amazing in terms of weather so we planned a beach day. The parking lot for the beach was tiny but the beach itself was amazing. The big boys especially loved the bridge they could use to jump into the water during high tide.
Today was our first full day in Cape Cod and Kaitlyn’s birthday. We started the day with donuts and presents. Then we went on an awesome hike and took a long drive. Every house has the most gorgeous hydrangeas, which I love. 90 percent of them are blue (although I love every color). Kaitlyn and Ben fell asleep on the drive so Wade made it a little longer than we had planned. We stopped at a local general store and everybody had fun doing a little shopping.
We got home and let Kaitlyn open most of her presents. (Then of course she spent most of the afternoon playing with her presents.) Before dinner, she and I ran out so that she could pick her cake. She chose the most delicious chocolate bomb cake. I hope I can find something similar for my birthday next year. It was amazing!
When Wade and I were planning our vacation this year, we decided to try Cape Cod. We almost feel a little silly that we live so close and have never been. The good news is that everyone and their brother has recommendations on what to do, where to eat, and what not to miss. We were a little late making plans, so we knew our house was going to be a little small, but no worries.
Wade had taken off the entire week, so we have been in vacation mode for a while. We couldn’t get into our house till 4 pm and it was only a couple hour drive. This felt like a wonderful luxury after our normal vacation drives. We didn’t even start packing till this morning. The kids were anxious to go and we finally got on the road.
We arrived in plenty of time and enjoyed driving around. We easily found our house, unpacked, grabbed a yummy dinner, and then checked out a local beach for an evening walk, and then some fabulous fireworks on the beach.
We started the day with some reading.
Then we headed to the lake. (Alex stayed home. Firstly because he didn’t apply sunscreen very well on his first trip. Secondly because he couldn’t find a friend to come with him.) Kaitlyn did bring a friend and had a great time.
We ended the night with a baseball game – a first for all of the kids. We had a blast at the Woo Sox and Ben was completely mesmerized by the fireworks (which might have been his first?!?)
Kaitlyn had a special request for Daddy. Wade was only too happy to agree. They have been working hard to build a lemonade stand. (Do you see how she is dressed? Can you believe it is necessary in the middle of June? The weather has been crazy this year.)
We were having hotdogs on the back deck tonight and Wade decided it was a great night to teach Alex some more life lessons. Tonight Alex was in charge of the grilling. (I think they both loved it.)
Tonight was Kaitlyn’s last soccer practice. Her coach decided to make it special and incorporated the pizza party and parent game into the hour. Thankfully Wade had worked from home and was happy to join in the game. I came along to take pictures!
We decided to grill hotdogs for dinner and then ended up spending the entire evening outside. The kids ran around, Wade and I sat and talked. It was perfect. Kaitlyn decided to dig out her bow and arrow and do some practicing before dinner. Then Alex picked it up after dinner – that’s what started the battle. Wade and I got such a kick out of watching the battle that followed. Teague brought his nerf bow down and the kids played forever. The little kids were content retrieving arrows and chasing the big kids. (No one ended up in tears – a miracle.) Why can’t every night be like this?
Today started early with FunFair setup. My awesome family started the day with me for setup at 8 am and was there through cleanup at 4 pm. (The actual event was 10-3.) Alex was the true rockstar because he was also there last night from 3-6 to help with setup. Wade and Alex were on volunteer duty all day. Kaitlyn ran wild with her friends and Teague was in charge of Ben. I heard later that Teague ate his weight in cotton candy – definitely an impressive feat.
As if that wouldn’t have been enough for one day, we also had plans to go to Monster Truck Jam! Wade and I bought tickets not realizing it was the same night as FunFair. We rushed out a little early from cleanup, cleanup the best we could, and met some friends for dinner before racing to the stadium. We had a great time, but I made a major miscalculation and didn’t bring warm enough clothes for everyone. Kaitlyn and I ended up with Monster Jam branded clothing out of it. The big kids were ho-hum with the night but the little kids loved it!
Alex was kind enough to recreate one of the pictures I remembered from his first Monster Jam experiences in 2012. Here’s a comparison. (Note he’s wearing the same headphones – a happy accident.)
Wade decided to up our outdoor movie game this year. He recently bought a new projector so he decided we needed a new setup for our projector too. He and Teague spent the afternoon building a stand for the screen and then the big boys invited friends over for a movie. (Those boys ate an entire tubs worth of candy – which normally lasts several movies – impressive!)
Ben had his last day of school today:
Every year Ben’s preschool holds a graduation ceremony for all the kids that attend – whether they are returning next year or not. It is usually held at the Common, the families bring picnics, and sometimes there is music and bubbles. Tonight the location was different, but we had all the rest.
The kids love an evening truck ride almost as much as a ride in the back of the tractor. It doesn’t hurt that Wade loves driving the kids around too!
After a few years of no field trips, the schools are cramming a bunch of field trips all together. The kids are loving it but it makes for a hectic spring. Wade was available to chaperone the 5th grade field trip to Boston for the Freedom Trail. Teague was so excited to have his Dad tag along. He was up insanely early this morning packing his lunch and getting ready for the day. Wade took a few pictures along the way and one of my friends snapped a picture of Wade and Teague having lunch.
The kids have been asking for weeks and today we finally planted our garden. We are mostly sticking with things we have had success with in the past, but we are trying a few new things too. The list includes – tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, strawberries, pumpkins, corn, and flowers.
I was pleasantly surprised to look out the kitchen window and see everybody practicing lacrosse together. Even Ben was trying to figure it out.
Weeks ago we promised the kids a night of putt putt. The afternoon wasn’t too bad – the sun was out and the wind had died down. Kaitlyn had been begging for putt putt and ice cream and we agreed. Then we arrived at our destination. It was freezing. The sun was gone and the wind was strong. Most of us thankfully had jackets – some with hoods. Kaitlyn and I even had gloves. The only upside is no one else was playing so we didn’t have to worry that our group was too big or slow or that Ben was running wild all over the course. We also convince the kids that hot chocolate and donuts might be a better treat afterwards than ice cream!
Wade had a load of mulch delivered while we were all gone for break week. Some other chores/projects took longer than expected so the mulch sat untouched. Today was a gorgeous day and he was determined to get the pile off the driveway. Teague even offered up his services (probably in hopes of getting to drive the tractor), but help is help.
The kids have loved their new swing set. Ben goes out to play all of the time – even by himself. Kaitlyn swings all of the time and is now attempting to learn how to cross the monkey bars.
The kids are pretty much guaranteed to be outside if Wade is. Today Wade was determined to work on our rock wall. The town plows the sidewalks when it snows and the plow always hits our wall and pulls out rocks. Every spring we spend time rebuilding the wall.
When we moved into our house, the barn had a tetherball pole. It’s been a couple of years, so we finally decided to put it to use. Wade bought a ball and finally dug a hole. The kids loved having a new game in the yard and I loved having everyone outside.
Emily (Wade’s sister) is now married!
Today was the wedding and the kids did a pretty good job through the pictures.
Thankfully after that Ben headed to the nursery. The big kids made it through the wedding and then we were on to the reception.
Our kids no longer remember Krispy Kreme donuts (they only have Dunkin Donuts in MA) so we decided to give them a little education. Thankfully the hot light was on so they got the perfect donuts fresh off the line.
Then we had a long drive to Collierville for a night at Wade’s parents’ house. It was a little surreal to stay there without his parents. They were already in Arkansas for the wedding but we needed one more stop before we drove the rest of the way.
Today we spent in Atlanta! We started the day with everyone’s favorite – Waffle House. Then we explored the Georgia Aquarium. All of the kids, and the adults, loved it. I had been once before for a work trip, but it was new to everyone else.
Wade and I tracked down a Jake’s ice cream – one of our old favorites. I was so excited to see Cinnamon on their board of buy-by-the-pint. The employees were so apologetic when they couldn’t find it in their freezer. We were in there a while eating and talking. The ladies realized we were from out of town and one of them got determined to find the ice cream. She came back with a quart she found hidden in the back and then wouldn’t let us pay.
Next up on our day of adventures was walking GaTech’s campus and stopping at the Varsity for a late night treat. The kids were exhausted after our day, but we had a great one!
Today we explored Greenville, SC. Wade and I lived here many years ago and always like to stop in when we are nearby. We have lost touch with most of our old friends (or they have moved away), but we have many fond memories of our time here. Unfortunately, it was. rainy day so one of our favorite places – Falls Park – wasn’t as much fun or as pretty as usual, but we still had a great day.
Today we explored the monuments.
Today was spent mostly on the road, but we made a few quick stops beforehand.
We took the kids to the Mall today and loved exploring some of the museums we remember from our days in DC. The kids loved Air and Space especially. Ben was nice enough to nap in his stroller so we just kept going all day long.
Teague’s actual birthday is the 21st, but we are leaving tomorrow for a big road trip. We wanted to be able to celebrate all day long so we are celebrating today! Teague turns 9 this year! We started the day with donuts and candles. Then he opened a big gift (an electric scooter) before Wade had to leave for work. The cold didn’t deter him at all from testing it out. He picked out his own cake – as he did last year – and we all loved the Oreo concoction. I think one of his favorite gifts may have been his very own stash of Ritz crackers.
Pepper was supposed to be Alex’s. Pepper voluntarily spends most of the day in Alex’s room while he is at school and after he is home. Alex feeds her. He is really good about taking her out if I ask or cleaning up her messes if I ask. However, as soon as Alex goes to bed, this is what happens.
My favorite snow days are on a Saturday or Sunday. Then Wade is home to play in the snow with us! Ben was fascinated with the snow blower and happy to follow Wade around. Alex actually hung outside with us for a significant amount of time. Pepper even played fetch for quite a while. It was an awesome day with my favorite people in the snow.
When we asked Wade how he wanted to celebrate his birthday this year, Wade came up with a scheme the kids loved! His idea was a nice dinner at home followed by a trip to the grocery store. Everyone would pick out their favorite snack. Then we would all share the snacks while watching movies and staying up late. The kids thought it sounded like the best birthday celebration ever!
Granny and Pop came to visit and we saved our Christmas from them to celebrate together. The kids didn’t seem too upset to be opening more presents.
Christmas is here. The kids are so good about gathering at the top of the stairs and waiting to go down together to see what Santa left for them. It’s always a crazy Christmas morning but so fun to watch.
After everyone has enjoyed their Santa gifts, their stocking goodies, and possibly some breakfast, we then got ready for the day. That of course meant more gifts and more squeals and lots of paper and craziness. Christmas!