Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fast Friends

You know those friends who you love hanging out with but rarely get to see because of distance? We have a lot of those friends and recently spent the afternoon with one sweet family that we hope to see more of. One of my former coworkers, Megan, now lives in Stillwater with her husband Justin and two adorable kiddos. 

Megan and I have kept in touch since working together more than five years ago and always pick up where we left off. We knew our husbands and kids would hit it off too, so we met up at the Myriad Botanical Gardens on Saturday for an afternoon playdate and dinner. 

Of course we picked one of the hottest days of the year, so we didn't do a whole lot of exploring around the gardens before heading over to the splash pad and shaded children's garden/playground. The kids had a blast together and the parents enjoyed hours of catching up. When we left, the boys asked if they could have a sleepover, so I'd say they had fun too!

Found a rare shady spot and decided to visit the ducks and fish near the crystal bridge

Daddy and Gray pretending to be rock stars on the floating stage

Finally it was time to cool off in the splash pad!

Gray playing monster trucks with his new buddy Dawson while we wait for our pizza. I realized later that I didn't get a picture of Dawson's big sister Avyn. She's equally as adorable and I can't wait to see them and their fun parents again soon!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Train Day

Aunt Emily alerted us to a model train event taking place at our local library this past weekend and Grayson loved it! There were three big tables set up with townscapes and multiple trains running along them.

The event was hosted by a model train group and the members were stationed around the room answering questions and helping kids drive the trains. Gray got to drive four of them and even practiced backing up and adding more cars.

It was fun to see the intricate buildings and town scenes, plus the various train cars they had painstakingly built. You could see how much fun the model train club was having by sharing their hobby with so many fascinated people.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Those Summer Nights

We've been living up the long summer days lately, knowing that fall is just around the corner. From impromptu swim dates to potluck dinners, it's been hard to get back into the school night bedtime routine.

Nora and Aunt Emily popped by for a swim and, as usual, little Miss was Gray's shadow. He was showing off some of his tractor driving tricks (daddy taught him how to do burnouts and drift into turns), so of course Nora needed to be on the tractor too.

We weren't brave enough to let him drive her around the yard, but I'm sure they'll be off-roading together before we know it. For now she was content sitting on the tractor with him and switching the radio stations.

We also enjoyed a summer potluck dinner with some friends and gathered the gang of kiddos for a play date. It's such a blessing to have such wonderful friends with kids that play well together.

Claire, Liam and Grayson

Liam is quite the gymnast/acrobat and wanted to show me all his tricks!

Cora never seems to get tired of swinging. Oh to be a kid again!

The kids' table! Yeti is in prime position by baby Braham to vacuum up any dropped morsels of food. Smart dog!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Celebrating Milestones

Grayson was extremely excited to go back to school today and has been counting the days since we found out Monday night that he got the teacher he wanted. Last year he went to her class for science lessons and she quickly became one of his favorite people.

I did have to manage his expectations and explain she'll be teaching him more than science now that he's in her class full time. The teacher also talked to him on back-to-school night about being one of her class leaders since he's one of several students in her class repeating kindergarten. He seemed thrilled with the idea of setting a good example.

His first day also started off better when it came to eating lunch. They eat at 10:45 and last year we struggled with him focusing on eating instead of socializing in the limited 15 minute lunch break. Today he ate everything we sent without any issues. This sounds like a simple thing, but it's a major breakthrough in the life of this slow eater.

Before walking down to school this morning, we also took our customary first day of school pics. I asked him to draw his name and then I wrote what he wants to be when he grows up. Last year he rattled off a long list of careers, but the first response this year was, "I want to work in a place where you can't get killed." Yikes, wasn't expecting that.

He's recently been asking a lot of questions about what happens when you die and also learned that jobs like being a fireman and policeman can be risky careers. I talked to him at length about the training and safety skills that first responders receive, but apparently those are now off his short list of professions (sorry Uncle Levi).

After my initial shock wore off, he also said he wanted to discover dinosaur bones. That was a little easier to take. His favorite color also continues to be green. Judging from our official door measuring, he's grown about two inches over the summer and 3-4 since the first day of school last year. Goodness!

After I took the pictures above, he insisted I also take this shot so we could see his backpack. So funny!

He's also learned how to turn the camera around on my phone to take a selfie. We're in trouble!

Today was also a big day for daddy! He celebrated two years owning his own design business Quite Right Studio. We're so proud of him and can't believe how fast time flies!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Take Your Son to Work Day

Grayson starts school next Wednesday, but for a week and a half we've had to piece together ways to keep him busy. Luckily Michael and I have flexible works schedules, so he's been daddy's shadow and then I take over in the afternoons. 

Of course, right when Michael had a few fun outings planned for them, his client workload ramped up after having a few slow weeks over the summer. Isn't that always how it works? 

Judging by some of the pictures Michael has texted me during their time together, they've managed to have a little fun between work projects. 

Enjoying strawberry popsicles during their lunch picnic in the backyard

Coloring a rocket ship that daddy drew

Michael works one day a week at his friend Jenkin's house, so Gray got to go with him and love on Jenkin's dog Mika. These two are buddies and couldn't be sweeter together. Mika often comes to visit when Jenkin works out of our house and Gray always looks forward to playing with her. If only this boy had his own sweet doggie to love on (I'm lookin' at you Roxy!). 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Our Southern Roots

Last weekend we took a roadtrip to visit our family in Mississippi. Despite the long drive, it's always a fun and relaxing destination. This time was a little different since we ended up leaving Gray there when Michael and I departed on Tuesday so he could spend the rest of the week with Pappa and Susu.

I know they've been having all kinds of adventures and have no doubt he'll be spoiled rotten and staying up til midnight by the time he returns! They've been to see a movie, experienced Chuck E. Cheese for the first time, went swimming and rode the 4 wheeler. And that's just the activities I know about...I'm sure there were lots of other spoils along the way!

Here are a few more highlights from our roadtrip:

Roxy hanging out with Gray in the backseat 

This is what happens when you've been in the car nearly nine hours and are crossing over the Mississippi river. Goggles are a must!

Learning some casting and fishing techniques in the lake behind my grandparent's house.

It didn't take long before he got his first catch!

After that he was "hooked!" He told me he was going to catch a "daddy bass" aka a really big fish.

Here's one of the shots Michael took. I just love this view. 

Day two of fishing at a different pond. This is where the bass live!

Reeling in something big!

He caught a "mommy bass" which apparently means it's medium-sized. He refused to touch the fish even though he doesn't hesitate to hold snakes of all kinds. Strange kid.

Riding in Pappa's "race car" working on a Ninja Turtle activity book that Aunt Mimi gave him. He's looking so big!

Gray also discovered Pappa and Susu have a jacuzzi tub. Bubble bath time!

Lately, Gray has been asking a lot about chess and checkers. We don't have a chess set, but Pappa does and they enjoyed learning how all the pieces move.

Chess is hard work. It helps if you have a sucker, take it from this pro!