Thursday, July 6, 2017
Of course baseball gets its own post, as it accounts for SO MUCH of our time March through July.  And this is not me complaining.  They was particularly fun seasons for both boys, with Rich coaching Cole and NOT coaching Will for the first time.  Both boys improved significantly and were truly enjoyable to watch, which works well to overshadow the wind, cold, rain, rain-outs, intense sun, rushed early dinners, dirty uniforms and dirtier cars.

Here are some pictures from their seasons.  Will: bronco division, Indians (12-4 for season).  Cole: Mustang division, Dodgers (12-4 for season).  First, a shout-out to the loyal fans....

This was wind + cold

Special game played up at Brewers stadium

Rich did help out the Indians whenever possible.

Much improved batting average!

Photo credit to friends of ours as this is a great one of Cole doing what he loves best!

Manic May

Note to Self:  forget March.  MAY is the madness month.  School-related festivities and frantic wrap-ups for the year in addition to baseball season is utter chaos.  Busy, enjoyable chaos.  And it's not even like I had a graduate or anything!  (May this serve as a reminder to buy more wine for the Mays in which THAT happens).

It was a month of reminders of how old our kids are getting!  Paige's band traveled to U of I for Superstate, which was a great experience!  Rich and I took a day to hit campus and see them perform.

Then there was 8th grade formal and promotion!  *sigh*  Paige earned a special legion award and had a great time at the dance!

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May four no-doubt lightning fast years of High School commence!

Cole's Birthday!

Oh yeah.  And Cole turned nine this spring!  Since this is the last year of single digits in this household, this is worth celebrating!  Cole had a great celebration.  First, he had a slumber with friends.  Let's just say this was a "bucket list" type of thing and we won't be scheduling another in the foreseeable future.  But he had fun!

Then we had a calmer, enjoyable family party...

Happy birthday to this thoughtful, happy, energetic, positive, sports accessory fanatic!

Onto April...

When we returned from vacation, Paige and I traveled with some girls of the family to Michigan for a bridal shower for a wedding we will attend one week from now!  It was a fun road trip and we look forward to Rachel and Zac's big day!

Michigan Crew

Hotel Swimming

This was followed by a joyful Easter!

And we had a 3rd grade musical and many band concerts sandwiched in...
His "extra credit" part: advertising (because being in the limelight is NOT his thing.  Unless we're talking baseball).

8th grade band at North Central College.

Blog Re-Boot

I was going to switch gears.  Close the book on the blog and start simply logging our goings-on in Shutterfly photo books instead.  Then I read through a couple previous posts and decided that though the level of sharing is decreased and the types of stories changed, I still like the anecdotes and chronological record that this blog provides.  So, I hope to keep it up and avoid such large dry spells between posts.

It would make sense to start the update with our best family vacation ever.  When Rich and I went on our honeymoon to Hawaii, and then on another trip after having Paige and Will, we always said that it was our hope to bring the kids there someday when they could remember it AND tolerate the travel well.  I'm pretty good at putting this type of thing off (well, this and things like painting my kitchen ceiling.  I mean, who looks up anyway?).  The planning, booking, cost, pet care, potential for problems are all barriers.  But we did it: Spring break 2017.

The trip was amazing!  The kids traveled like pros.  We ate like kings.  We breathed in the floral, ocean air.  We marveled at island traditions and history.  We relaxed.  We hiked, swam, saw whales, saw friends, shopped and ate some more.  Most of all, I was reminded that these "time outs," both big and small, are important.

The Hyatt Regency Resort at Ka'anapali beach on Maui

February *sigh*

Monday, February 27, 2017
Note to self: February is kind of boring.  I literally only have pictures of home d├ęcor changes on my phone from this month...meaning nothing overly exciting has occurred.  Of course, there have been two unbelievable things: we had a string of almost 60 degree days in February and I turned 40.  Unimaginable, right?

Actually, I had a great time ringing in the new decade.  It included some nice surprises like a visit from my BFF and a trip up to Jamie and Steve's -- Rich and I had a fancy dinner out and we all spent the night at their house!  Feeling very full and complete with this birthday!
Such a fun way to celebrate!  Can't thank her enough!

Jacob learning all things Snapchat from Paige

A little crafting

We brought Milo with us to the Fox's, but that's not him.  That "dog" strangely resembles Jacob.

Movie Time!

Next, the weather.  Oh, how everyone marveled at the reprieve we had from winter.  Bikes were brought out, all sports balls, and the motorcycle.  There were dirty bare feet and sweaty ball caps.  It was awesome.  Even today is a mild 50 degrees.  But with this cold I have and 30s in the forecast, I'm well aware winter is still upon us.  But here are some pictures of us living it up while we could!
Cole and Jacob enjoying a swing!

Jacob in charge of Milo (Bubba) at the park

Cole getting some early test runs in on his new bike received for Christmas.  He'll be getting places much faster this summer!

We are keenly aware that we are in the 1-month countdown until spring break.  We are more than ready!