Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Last Week of Summer

We squeezed as much as we could in the last few days of summer!

We organized school supplies.

I love new school supplies!

So much promise of what's to come in a new school year!

Went on a hike with AHG girls!

It was hot. But they were troopers.

We played games and had friends over for sleep overs!

We met Andy & papa for a lunch of Oreo pancakes!

We fell asleep reading together...

We brought our school supplies into school!

This girl and that dress!

We worked on a garage project...

Here's the super gross BEFORE:

And the AFTER:

(Now I want to paint the rest of the garage!)

I made a quick little sign...

And love how it turned out!

And then before we knew it, the first day of school was here!

Oh I love those two up!

Brody and I missed the big kids, so we made them chocolate chip cookies for an after school snack!


Monday, August 3, 2015

Road trip, Camping, & the Lakehouse

We road tripped it out to see my fam for our traditional family reunion!

I love a good road trip!

Some good tunes, Dr. Pepper, strawberry Twizzlers, my quilt & pillow & I'm set to co-pilot. And by co-pilot I mean I sleep & pass out snacks.

We decided to break the driving up into two days...

because driving 12 hours in the truck where all 3 kids can touch each other is rough. And by rough I mean pure torture.

So we left a couple days early to camp in Kansas.

We camped at Cedar Bluff State Park.

It was fun. The kids rode bikes and played at the beach.

We made cinnamon rolls in orange peels over the camp fire for breakfast. And by we I mean Andy made cinnamon rolls in orange peels over the camp fire for breakfast.

I taught Ab how to stick weave...

And all 3 how to make God's eyes...

It was hot. And by hot I mean 102 degrees with a heat index of 120.
Thank you sweet baby Jesus for cold beverages.
That was the best Coke I have ever had in my entire life.
Let me tell you it doesn't get any better than ice cold lemonade out of a mason jar camping in the summer.
We made s'mores and played cards and read books and went fishing...



Then we packed up and drove out the lake house at Lake of the Ozarks...

We made homemade Dr. Pepper ice cream.

We had our traditional crab and shrimp boil! A family fave!

We played on the jet ski.

We went fishing! Uncle Jon taught Ab how to fish, and helped her earn her AHG fishing badge. I think he should get a patience badge for not throwing her in the lake...

It was pretty awesome when they set the hook so hard the fish came flying out of the water and slapped him in the face.

Grandpa Jim taught AJ how to put a worm on the hook...

We went tubing and played with our cousins a lot!

We caught fire flies...
And we chased lizards!

We got tattoos! And by we I mean my sisters and I. They have some pretty awesome symbolism and purpose.

A semi-colon is used when an author could have finished their sentence, but chose to continue.

The Semicolon Project is a faith-based non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love and inspire people to pause, but choose to continue...because their story isn't over yet.

I turned 35 this year. I've mentioned before that turning this age was hard for me. Not because I feel old. Because of the exact opposite. I am young. 35 is how old my brother, James, was when he took his own life. And every day I think of how young he was. And how his story was not over yet.

If I could just go back and love harder. To let him know what his life meant to me. To help him handle the depression and addictions. But I can't.

What I can do is work to break down the stigma associated with depression and mental illness. To help those feeling overwhelmed and ashamed of suicidal thoughts to seek support...to pause but choose to continue.

And to have an open conversation every time someone asks me about my tattoo. To encourage people to acknowledge mental illness and talk about it. So they too can encourage, love, and inspire people to pause but choose to continue.

Because...as a sister who buried her big brother, I know their story is not over yet.

Then we packed up and drove 14 hours home...

And let me tell ya those mountains are a glorious sight after that many hours and umpteen potty stops and one kid puking on the side of the road!

Now we gear up for Back To School!

It was a good summer.