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2023 Summer Highlights

Where did summer go? Somehow we've made it a month into the school year already. It was a big year for us, transitioning from Graham in daycare and a nanny for the twins, to a big Kindergartner and the twins are off to preschool out of the house! We're settling into our new routines and everyone is happy, what more could you want?

Before we get too far into the busy fall season, I wanted to share the highlights from our summer. It came and went so quickly, as life seems to go as our kids get older. Looking back, we squeezed in a lot of fun and made so many awesome memories! 

The big kick off to summer was a special trip to Disneyland with just Mom, Dad & Graham over Memorial Day. We wanted to celebrate the milestone of turning 5 and heading off to Kindergarten. It was such a special trip that deserves it's own post but here are some highlights. 

Graham was a trooper, went got to the park and right away went on Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion. I had amped him up for Splash Mountain since it was being redone and I wanted one last time for nostalgia sake, so that is where we headed next. After all the excitement, we went to Fairytale town for a few slower paced rides. Dumbo and It's a Small World were a HUGE hit. Even though he was almost 5, we brought a stroller which was key. He was able to make it through the long days because he could rest in the stroller as we hopped around the park. With two days he managed to ride all our favorites including Space Mountain just before we left. I was so impressed! We had the best time and he continues to talk about it and can't wait to go back with brothers. 

Preschool Graduation marked the official start of summer. I can't believe how quickly the years went. My little baby is not so little anymore, he's such a sweet and fun big kid now! He learned so much at preschool and is ready for Kindergarten. 

Our big trip of the summer was Lake Tahoe with friends. This is our 2nd annual summer trip with our close friends. We had 8 adults and 8 kids in a house for 6 days, it was both chaotic and magical. The house was perfect, right on the lake with a private beach area, grass to play on, and plenty of space. The moms managed so sneak off to brunch one day, and the Dads had an activity day (golf and bike rides), but mostly we just enjoyed the house and our time together. We're already scheming up our location for next year. It has always been my dream to do a lake house trip with friends, and it's so fun that we've created this tradition together. I'm so thankful for our group of friends and the kiddos growing up like cousins. 

This year we had a mellow 4th of Jul. Another year with no fireworks, I think it will be a few more years before the kids can manage to stay up that late. We started the day at the Auburn Parade which was a fun and festive activity for the kids. We went home for the twins' naptime, then headed back to our friends for a BBQ. 

Another summer highlight was my cousins wedding! Sadly, we had just gotten over the stomach flu, so both Andrew and my Mom had to miss since they hadn't quite recovered yet. But my Dad was my date and I had a great evening celebrating my cousin and spending time with our family. 

Jack & Charlie go their 1st haircuts! They look so grown up now! These two years have just flown by, they're getting to such a fun age. 

Sometimes it feels like we're always at home, but when I look back at photos it's easy to see we have a lot of fun here too. We even managed a few trips to the lake on bikes to cool off in the afternoon. 

July is a big month here in our family with all three boys' birthdays! We celebrated Graham with a party for friends at the splash pad. Everyone had a great time, he felt so special and loved all the attention and playing with friends. For brothers we had a mellow brunch with family here at the house. So many new toys and so much cake! 

The last two years I have loved that we resurrected one of my favorite childhood traditions, Playgroup Campout! We grew up going to Donner with our "Playgroup" every year and camping for a weekend. We weren't able to get enough campsites at Donner this year so we went out to Prosser Lake. Even though we had to bring in water, the campground was great and we had all our sites close together. It's fun to see all the kids running around together as the 2nd generation of Playgroup. The original parents come to visit and play with their grandkids, and we manage to throw together a pretty epic potluck every year too. Graham had a blast and I know as the years go on these kids will all form such close bonds. I have so enjoyed reconnecting with everyone now that we're adults and have kids of our own. 

How could I recap the summer without mentioning Taylor Swift. My college roommate so generously invited me to join her for the most memorable concert I'll probably ever attend. It was purely magical! From the moment she invited me I was consumed with Taylor, planning outfits, getting friendship bracelets to trade, and relishing in the anticipation. The concert exceeded all expectations if that is possible, we had the best time. I'll never forget it! 

Our annual family trip to Tuolumne Meadows was a bit different this year, but just as wonderful. With the heavy snow this winter, the park opened late and campgrounds weren't ready/didn't have hosts. Usually my parents go up early to get us a site, but we were worried it may be difficult this year. My Dad's friend has a cabin in Mammoth that we were offered, so we decided to stay there and spend one day in Tuolumne doing our favorite hike, but the other day we could hike outside Mammoth. It was also easier because the twins would sleep better, we could pack less, and eat some meals out to make planning easier. We had a great few days and enjoyed all the time together. Of course, Tuolumne and hiking Lembert dome was the highlight. After our hike, we did a little meadow walk, drove out to Olmstead Point, and Graham got to learn about being a Junior Park Ranger. It was a great day! We also loved our hike at Convict Lake and our evening walks from the house. So special having all that time with Mimi and Papa every year! 

Before we knew it, it was time for the school year! It didn't take us long to realize how busy we'd be now with school activities and soccer starting for Graham. So far we are loving Grahams school and his special multi-age program classroom. His teachers are wonderful and he's been earning a green slip reward for helping or being kind almost every day! And Jack and Charlie are loving preschool as well. The first week was rough with a lot of tears at drop off, but now they are excited to go and love their teachers. It's been an adjustment for Andrew and I not having them at home, but it's also a lot easier to be productive at work with the house so quiet. 

I'm so excited for the school year and season ahead, I hope you'll join me for more regular blog posts sharing all the aspects of our life.

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