Sunday, August 21, 2016

August Catch Up

Hello Long Lost Blogosphere Friends!  First, let me apologize to the email subscribers who got a blank blog post.  The system administrator (my beloved husband), made some changes to my laptop and I still don't have the hang of things just yet...bear with me.  Next, please accept my apology for our absence.  This summer has been...(exhale)...busy, to say the least.  

We were blessed with a visit from Mama Hop and Aunt Leanne in honor of...
...drumroll please...
That's right!  Our beloved Merryn turned 5.  It's just semantics seeing as how she was born 40 years-old, but we celebrate anyway (wink emoji).  Mother Hen has always had a beautiful old soul and a zest for life that sparkles in her big, blue eyes.  
At age 5, few things rival the thrill of party planning (Merryn randomly schedules parties on my iphone calendar for me to discover and chuckle about here and there).  This year, we found ourselves at Chuck E Cheese again with some awesome friends and neighbors who were brave enough to subject themselves to two hours of the noisy, crowded, chaotic, unique kind of "fun" that only that goofy mouse and his mediocre pizza can provide.

If I never return to Chuck E Cheese, it will be too soon.  I can't say the same for Mama Hop, though.  I'm pretty sure she had more fun than the kids did.  She plays a mean game of whack-a-mole!
Show me the tickets!!!!
The celebration continued throughout the weekend much to Merryn's delight.
This dimpled doll face deserves fanciful festivities that commemorate her for the intelligent, hard-working, fun-loving, compassionate child that she is.  We could not be more proud of her and we look forward to seeing how she will continue to bless the world with her gifts in the future. 
Just a few more photos because, who knows when I'll get around to blogging again...and because that finger wagging Josie gets from Aunt Leanne when she refuses to go upstairs and get ready for bed is all kinds of priceless.  Welcome to my world, Leanne.
The Purple Robe Twins!!!
Mama Hop and Aunt Leanne host bedtime story stations because no one can agree on a book.  

Okay, okay...last one...

Thank you, Mama Hop and Aunt Leanne, as always, for coming to help us out while Travis was traveling and for staying for the birthday fun.  You guys are the best!

And as further proof that we won the family lottery, Mama Hop and Aunt Leanne's visit was followed by a visit from another cute crew: my cousins!  Four years ago, my dad passed away from cancer.  His big brother, my Uncle Jim, was invaluable in helping me navigate that difficult time.  Since then, we've grown even closer as a family.  Jim's son, Steve, is married to a wonderful woman named Jen.  They have two adorable children, Emily and Elias.  
A few months back, Jen and Steve were kind enough to travel to the GiGi's Playhouse gala where I had the honor of speaking.  At that time, we committed to getting our kids together for a visit and I'm so glad we did.  They are the most wonderful people.  We enjoyed the beautiful weather with lots of fun outdoor activities.  Jen is a former science teacher and she eagerly made educational moments out of our daily encounters with nature.  Anyone want to hold a praying mantis the size of your hand?!  
Steve is the most energetic and hands-on father I have ever seen!  He doesn't let his 6'4'' stature prevent him from utilizing the playground equipment and soaring on the swings.  
They both have the most enthusiastic and involved parenting style that is reflected in the kind little souls that they created.  The way they invest in and nurture their children is both admirable and inspiring.  
This picture makes me emotional.  I see so much of my dad here.
It's impossible to put into words how much their visit meant to us.  What a gift!  

Tune in next time because I'm cooking up a post on tools that we're using to prepare Josie to start Kindergarten next week.  I'm hoping blogging will create a good distraction to prevent me from curling up in the fetal position sobbing over the fact that my two oldest babies will be at school all day every day!  Where did the time go???

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