Mountaining with Mommy

Now that Richie is home with the kids a whole lot, there are certain weeks when it becomes clear that he needs a much deserved break. When that happens, I try to use it as an opportunity to take the kids on an adventure - which often results in a visit to the mountains.
On this particular day, we took Luke on his first big boy hike to Laurel Falls. 

He did great! And we had a spectacular day.

I love this picture of Charlie sitting near the falls writing on his new chalkboard

There was another day we went to the Y

We discovered these cool rock towers all around... and then made some of our own

Love our little adventures away

A Total Solar Eclipse

There are certain experiences in life you anticipate for years knowing it will leave a mark...  a first kiss, flying in an airplane, seeing the ocean for the first time, driving through Yosemite, holding your firstborn baby... 

And then there are those experiences that you overlook... almost miss out on... until something aligns at the last minute that forces you to be still and discover.

During the summer, I started hearing noise about Knoxville being right in the line of the total solar eclipse happening on August 21st. It really meant very little to me. As the date got closer, there was more and more talk. Charlie's class was taking a field trip. Sam would be at school. Luke would be home with Richie. I would just be at work. 

Then Knox County cancelled school. 
Then Charlie's class cancelled their field trip because it was unsafe due to all the expected visitors in the area.

The hype was getting bigger.

My whole family was going to be together to experience it and I wouldn't…


One of the cool things about being the youngest of 3 boys (by 6 years) is that you get to do a whole bunch of big boy stuff when you're really young.

One of the not cool things about it is that you never really get to do little boy stuff...  

But on this day we made an exception and Luke got to be little.  

We went to Build a Bear. Luke picked out his very own little buddy and gave him a heart. He named him Henry - and he got to bring him home.  

I think he kinda likes being a little boy sometimes too!

Fishing in Paris

Richie took the boys over to his mom's house in Paris for a week this summer - which left me in a quiet, clean house for 5 days straight (I know, right?!) 

But that is so not the point of this little story.

The point is that they fished.
A whole lot.
And this is what summertime memories should look like for daddies and their little boys.

And I'm a lucky girl because this is what my boys' daddy makes summertime memories look like for them.

Us and our Boys in Saugatuck

We left Leland and headed south down the coast of Lake Michigan to see Brandy. 
It makes my heart swell when I see our boys (little boys and big boys) come together as if they are all a part of each others' every day lives. When you've shared the life Brandy and I have, there is a remarkable connection that somehow pulls in those closest to us. There are no words to describe what I mean - it's just something that exists... something that is destined to be.
We spent an entire day at Brandy's beach 
It was a little muddy and tiny bit cold and a whole lotta breathtaking and beautiful

Oh, the smiles...