Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wrapping up summer, back to Alabama and more DFW fun.

And that's a wrap on the summer of 2016. Man, it was a good one. Rob and I were talking last night that this has been one of the best summers we can remember in a long time. Mainly because we have had NO change! I can't remember the last time we didn't either have a major life change going on or we were preparing for a new school. Since 2008 it seems we have either been moving across the country, moving into a new house or I have been pregnant. Sometimes we have had all three of those at once. This is the first year in 7 years (!!!) that all three of my children have returned to the same school. Every previous year one of my three was starting a new school or pre-school. But this year not only were they all returning to the same school/pre-school but nobody was starting Kindergarten or middle school or some other life change. It was relaxing, fun and just absolutely wonderful Can we have more like this, please?

While we were in Panama City we checked our our favorite breakfast spot, First Watch. We might have gone there twice. Just because we could.

Pier Park is one of our favorite stops. 

Lainey's taking the lead whole the others follow her direction. No surprise there.

One of my all time favorite pictures of her.

While at the beach, J. Ro and I celebrated 11 years together! Cheers to that!

After Will's birthday at the beach, we went back to Alabama for an extra day to celebrate the 4th of July. Here are Mommy and Daddy Suttle with their patriotic grandchildren. 

And then the rest of my Mom's side of the family joined us and we spent the 4th together just like we did when I was growing up. I have so many memories of spending this holiday swimming in my grandmother's pool all day and that's just what my kids got to do this year. And I was thrilled to be with my cousin Erin who I shared all of those summers with so many years ago. I loved spending the day with her husband and children as well as her parents, my aunt and uncle. What a great day!

We tried to get a family shot. This was the best we could do.

Elijah (7) , Ellison (4), Lainey (3), Will (7) and Bennett (8).

That night someone was a little scared of the fireworks. I gladly stayed in the car so the "boom boom" wouldn't be too loud.

Before heading back to Texas, Lainey got last minute snuggles in with her grandparents.

Hmmmm.... what else? Oh, yeah! I introduced the kids to Harry Potter this summer. They were fascinated and some of my favorite memories of this whole summer were nights spent cuddled up reading these book together. Pardon Will's fresh out of the shower hair. He forgot to brush it. The lure of Harry Potter proved too enticing.

I had to work 3-4 days a week this summer so I tried to spend as much quality time with the kids as I could on days I had off. So we usually went different places and took advantage of all the things there are to do in the DFW area. One day we spent all day at the Perot museum.

We swam. A lot. And then they usually passed out on the way home.

Or they passed out once they got home.

I signed the older two up for their very first tennis camp. I had no idea whether or not they would like it, but they loved it! The both begged to take again the very next week. I am glad they found a sport that they both enjoy.

And I got to hang out every morning and play with this cutie. Oh, please don't let school start anytime soon. I wish summer could last forever.

We went to Austin one weekend to visit our cousins and we stopped in Waco at Magnolia Market. I need Joanna and Chip to manage my life.

Rosemary mac and cheese and watermelon with mint? Yes, please.

We had a fabulous weekend in Austin with the Texas Websters looking at bats, chilling in swimming holes and enjoying being together.

I took my kids and a few of their friends to some movies this summer. Here they are at an eat in theatre where they sat in recliners and ate pizza and cookies while watching the movie. This kids have a rough life, I tell ya.

Annual dress like a cow day at Chick-fil-A. I wouldn't miss this for the world. Or until my children are teenagers and despise family pics like this.

Game night on the back porch. This night the game of choice was Wet Head.

Will lost.

Bennett loves baking and always asked if she could bake when we were home together. She made these blackberry/apple tarts by herself.

We went back to Alabama towards the end of the summer and I drove the kids (and Meg) by myself since Rob had to work. We stopped in Jackson, MS for the night and decided to check out the town a but before settling down in our hotel room. Jackson is a whole lot more beautiful than I realized.

When we got back to Alabama we saw our cousins, Elijah and Ellison again. Are these kids not the cutest?

On my birthday, my parents got us all tickets to see Beauty and the Beast at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Lisa and the girls drive down to meet us for the day. Here are the 6 cousins at ASF. I love love this picture.

My family all together going to see a show. Happy Birthday to me!

My Dad volunteers sometimes at the theatre and one night they needed extra help so he and I went together. We got to serve Italian ice to all of the theatre-goers. I fell like I should be working on Main Street at Disney. Actually, I wouldn't mind that one bit.

Back in Texas we ended our summer with our best friends from the neighborhood. We spent a ridiculously hot day at the Fort Worth Zoo.

And we tried to enjoy the splash pad that the zoo, but people, we were done. D-O-N-E. I was made for New England summers.

We spent nearly every night watching the Olympics and cheering for Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Simone Biles and the rest of Team USA.

We are a patriotic bunch if nothing else.

We wrapped up our summer by spending one last summer day at Hurricane Harbor. We had season passes to Six Flags this year and with that came admission to Hurricane Harbor. We put it off until the last possible day, and I am so glad that we did. The place was empty. We rode slides over and over again with no wait. It was honestly the perfect way to end our summer.

Good-bye Summer 2016. You were a very very good one.