In July, we've recently....
Finished out Greyson's teeball season with his first trophy ever, celebrated America's birthday and the Fourth of July and I started writing again. (one Currently post from this month!)
We hosted our 7th annual Studer's Invitational Beer Olympics and it was awesome and hilarious and fun as usual. We do this yearly event only because of the people that come to it. We are so lucky to have so many amazing people in our life. We raised money for Baby Redden, who's momma contacted me this week and said "I'm so honored you would even offer this. Simply incredible. Thank you for doing this, for praying for and loving on us, and for sending money our way. Your donation actually paid two major bills at a time we needed it most....THANK YOU..."
We worked on an Art Month in which I had the kids working on art projects throughout the weeks to gear up for one of my 100 small things items to host a 'gallery opening' at the house for the kids art projects. We sometimes do organized art projects, but art month gave us the opportunity to try out some new things and the kids really had fun. We're still doing some (recently tried Coil Pottery with molding clay!) because we're not quite ready to do our gallery open. So it's been a fun change up for us adding some organized activities into long days of summer free play.
Brandon and I finished out our summer co-ed volleyball league with our awesome teammates. We didn't go as far as we would have liked in playoffs, but it was a great summer of volleyball with this group of people that we consider our volleyball family and to whom our kids call "Dad and Mum's team players.'
I've been jogging with Bullet all month when possible. It's been a hot month and lots of days we didn't make it out to run until dusk - just me, bullet, and the fireflies (hah!) but we put in 20+ miles in July and we're slowly chipping away to try to get in 30 miles in one month!
We've been outside: playing, eating, working, grilling, exploring, napping; enjoying the sweet sweet summertime.
The kids and grandmas and I took an amazing weekend trip to Baltimore this year to visit and explore the city. It was our first year going to a different city than my beloved NYC but it was a nice way to expand our yearly adventures! We hope to continue exploring new cities as well as keeping NYC in the rotation occasionally.
The kids were brave enough to ride a kiddie rollercoaster for the first time ever! Thanks to Uncle Juice taking them to the Ferndale Jubliee one afternoon (I got to vacuum and mop uninterrupted - miracle of miracles! thank you Uncle Jay!) and they had so much fun riding the rides and being spoiled with a thousand games and snacks. Does this mean now that they'll be roller coaster riders with their momma? Please, I hope!
We had fun playdates with our friends! A visit at home with our favorites, the Fiores while the kids ran free in the yard in their bathing suits and Kate and I got to chat like real life grown ups! Then spending a full afternoon at the Quemahoming Dam with the Stifflers while the kids played all day so contentedly. It was oddly calm and beautiful and not even that loud - how did that happen? Can we make it happen again? such a perfect summer afternoon!
We attended our second of three family reunions with our Plunkett side (paternal grandmother's family). It was such a wonderful day and the kids kept asking if we could come back to this reunion again soon. They had a great time giggling and playing with their extended family and cousins - and so much good old fashion fun like softball and old school dodgeball.
My mom and our cousins got together to start to clean out Gram and Pap's collections in their attic and basements after the passing of my grandfather this past spring. My Pap was a big collector (of many things) and although ardous to go through everything, I found it fascinating and interesting to see what they kept, what brought back fierce and loving memories. I found a huge stack of poems typed by my Pap, signed "Al Mesaros Amateur Poet" and have been pouring over them over the past couple of weeks. So that's where I've inherited this writing bug, eh? Pap was holding out on me, many of them are actually quite good and it inspires me so much more to know that he and I have this connection towards writing our words down.
Greyson: Still running on full throttle every single day. We've now adjusted to recognizing that he goes turbo speed all the time and then about every two months he'll just have to have a 'booboo recharge day' where he does nothing but sleeps. boys. He is very into climbing trees right now and I feel like I'm holding my breath for a broken bone. Hasn't happened yet, thank goodness, but surely it's inevitable with this wild boy I raise. He's so ready for school and to make friends and be pushed academically. He's ready, the girls and I probably are not as ready to be without him all day - but we'll get there together. Gulp. Lately I've been picturing him from the back wearing his little backpack and waving goodbye and my eyes start watering. help me.
Violet: time, why? She seems to me to have made a huge leap this month in her age and it makes me want to cry and rejoice at the same time. She's blazing all over this place crawling and loves to climb to the top of the steps and then joyfully shout to us until someone retrieves her so she can do it again. She's signing already (faster than the other two did) and she communicates with us by showing us the baby signs for: More, All Done, and Outside. She also 'talks' to our pets by whispering "Sssss, Ssss" whenever she seems them (is she attempting whistling? maybe.) and if we ask her what a puppy dog says she pants. She's pulling herself up and taking moments of bravery to let go of things and balance without support. and her hair! So so so incredibly blonde, maybe so blonde it's a tinged red? but so so blonde that random people will come up to us and say, "Now that's a towhead if I've ever seen one!"
Reading*: finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (how I love thee) and our June/July book club book Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose by Lara Casey . I finished Paper Towns by John Green in three days, started our August Inspired Readers Book Club Book: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, and slowly making my way through B.J. Novak's One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories (compilation of his short stories) and loving it with ferocity. Found my current favorite short story among them: The Comedy Central's Roast of Nelson Mandela (amazing, amazing stuff).
Baking: This super yum, super easy Jalapeno Popper Shredded Chicken sandwiches (leave off the jalapenos for kid-friendly yet still delicious), Prosciutto wrapped asparagus, Grilled Cabbage all summer long please, these country-style pork rubs with mustard and dry rub, Grilling pizza (because Brandon and I cannot get enough of jalapenos, we made Jalapeno Popper pizza for us), and all of the zucchini everywhere in every way, but especially in this Chicken and Zucchini casserole. Chocolate Chip & Walnut cookies (my fav cookies), Chocolate Chip and Pumpkin muffins (i want these every morning please), and this Blueberry Breakfast Cake, (I'm such a great baking sweets momma when I have PMS. It's like my body's natural way of saying - here family, I'm sorry for being horrible right now, enjoy some delicious snacks, HAH)
Bring it on August, we ready!
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