It seems as if more and more I’m using the camera in my back pocket to capture the small moments I want to remember. This summer was no exception.
Our summer kicked off with a quick trip to the mountains. We hopped in the car the minute the final school bell rang and witnessed the most beautiful sunset reflecting off the hotels as we drove through Vegas.
While in Utah, we finally got to meet the boys’ newest cousin, Ollie. He fit right in to this family of boys boys boys. He was even wearing an outfit passed down from each of mine.
I also got to snuggle up my college roommate’s new baby boy.
Her family came to California a few months later and we soaked up that sweet, grown up baby boy all over again.
And had lunch on Huntington Beach pier as well.
We came home from Utah in time for Blake to attend his first cub scout day camp.
Nash was thrilled to attend as a junior camper. Archery and crafts were the unanimous favorite.
On the day that I volunteered, I brought Crew along to attend sibling camp. It was the fourth day in so Crew was itching to discover where his brothers had been all week. His excitement level was through the roof as usual. Everything from his t-shirt to the windy road to his sack lunch to his “new friends” brought him pure joy.
Blake was just as excited to show Crew the ropes and buy him an ice cream cone.
And Crew had no fear “fighting” those big, older campers. They stood in a circle around him and he knocked each one down over and over. I love Blake’s expression here because he was so eager to show off his fun little brother.
As soon as scout camp ended, we packed up for our staycation with Troy’s family and managed to fit all of our bikes and beach gear into one vehicle.
You know you’re having too much fun when your child who won’t sleep in the car drifts off.
We went to the movies one evening and the boys couldn’t have been sweeter holding hands with their grandpa and uncle.
Troy’s sister had a baby just days after our staycation ended and I could have snuggled her up for hours on end. Have I mentioned how much I love newborns?
We spent some time with her older siblings during the transition.
We went to the Anaheim Packing District for dinner which is always a hit, both for food and entertainment.
Our friends came into town for the 4th of July which meant that we did a lot of room rearranging to fit everyone in. Crew slept on a mattress next to our bed and crawled in with me every morning.
Once we wrapped up all of the 4th of July festivities, it was time to gear up for cub scout Olympics.
Finn missed his dad when he went back to work after being out so much in June. He was very excited to be reunited.
The boys’ favorite event at the Olympics was Human Hungry Hippos.
Actually, it was a toss up between Hungry Hippos and scooping cups of water onto the grass. It doesn’t take much to entertain toddlers.
Troy wasn’t back at work for long because on July 7th, he had surgery to remove his gallbladder. He had several bouts of gallstones in the months leading up to his surgery and he decided that enough was enough. He took two more weeks off work to recover and we didn’t mind having him home one bit. While Troy was recovering, we left him in peace and took a 5.4 mile bike ride across town to get donuts.
I hauled 55 pounds of toddlers behind my bike.
The grocery store was deserted so they gave us balloons when we bought our donuts. Nash put a pair of sunglasses on his yellow balloon and exclaimed, “Look, it’s an emoji!”
We were trying to build up our biking endurance for our trip to Michigan. We tracked our mileage all summer and ended up hitting 50 miles each.
Since Troy was home from work recovering from his surgery, it was easier for me to get out of the house with less children in tow. I went to yoga in the middle of the day and to the grocery store with only one or two children. Troy even watched the little boys for a whole day so I could take the olders to join our friends (that came back after the 4th) at Knott’s Berry Farm.
I discovered that much to my chagrin, my roller coaster stomach wasn’t quite what it used to be.
The kids were die hards though. It’s hard to believe they were ever nervous about going upside down or twisting and spinning all over the planet.
We were only home for a grand total of four weeks in July, so we made sure to knock out as much as we could from our summer bucket list. We visited lots of parks.
Finn in fins.
We ate lots of popsicles.
And sno cones.
We had lots of fun with neighbors.
Or “frousins” as they so lovingly call each other.
Jumping into the pool in clothes seems to be a trend with these friends. I actually don’t mind; I think it’s refreshing to bend the rules sometimes. It’s something they’ll always remember.
Except Blake claims that “I dared him” to climb a fence and jump into the local pool when we were on a bike ride one evening. What I really said was, “Don’t you dare jump in that pool.” It’s an ongoing debate between us but it’s clear who won. And who followed suit soon after.
They knew they’d have to ride their bikes back home dripping wet with no towels and they still chose to live it up. Exactly how childhood should be.
We were at the pool in actual swimsuits almost every day for swim team practice, lessons for Nash and Crew or playing with friends.
My cute cousin from Michigan happens to be serving a mission in our area so we had her over a few times. The boys had lots of good questions for her about the food she eats and whether or not she has homework as a missionary.
The Red Sox came to town at the end of July and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them play live. Blake went to a Red Sox game as a baby but it was Nash’s official initiation to Red Sox Nation. It surprised us that there were nearly as many Red Sox fans in the stadium as there were Angels fans.
It happened to be Girl Scout Cookie Night which meant that every ticket holder received a box of girl scout cookies.
The boys and I took selfies while Troy got serious about watching Big Papi, possibly for the last time before he retires.
Before we knew it, July was over and it was time to head to Michigan for two weeks before school started.
Flying alone with four boys required some Pinkberry to fuel up on before boarding.
I probably took 15 videos of Crew and his off the charts excitement about flying on an airplane. We knew he would be thrilled about every aspect and his enthusiasm did not disappoint.
Finn didn’t sleep one wink but somehow when we landed in my hometown and felt that humidity envelop us as we stepped outside the airport, it didn’t matter what we had to endure to get there. We were about to embark on our favorite Michigan trip to date.