Sunday, June 18, 2017

Life Jackets.

There is no question to whether or not our boys have to wear their life jackets while at the lake. If they are going into the water, that jacket has to be on. Honestly, the life jacket should be on whenever they are near the water & from here on out, it will be.

When it comes to life jackets Justin and I have always seen eye to eye--until the boys are like 12-15 & can swim from dock to dock, they will have it on. You never know what lies just below the surface, you can't see your hands or feet when you are swimming--it's lake water. All it takes is ONE second, one second for you to lose sight of someone...

& you don't think it will happen to you until it does. & it happened to us this past weekend, thankfully, Logan had his life jacket on & he is 100% okay but here's what happened. 

The boys were on the Maui Mat--Emily was on the dock talking to me as I watched over the boys, Tyler sitting on the mat watching them play, the boys--they were wrestling on the mat. Something that they have done from the day we got the Maui Mat & honestly, they continue to do even after this incident as it wasn't anyone's fault & this could have happened with multiple kiddos jumping off and on the Maui Mat. 

Anyways, both Logan and Kaden went into the water at the same time. BOTH WEARING LIFE JACKETS--as I said, they don't have an option, they wear it, period. The mat moved and Logan got stuck under the mat. 

Emily had just asked me if I ever get in the water and I just got done stating that I'd probably get in the water a little later today but that I wait until the middle of June because the water is pretty cold anytime before that. 

I hardly got those words out of my mouth before I was yelling, where is he? Where did he go? Does anyone see him? & I was in the water. Tyler was pushing the mat out of the way as he felt him under his legs and Logan popped up. I pulled him over to me as he started to cry out of fear. The thing is, he did everything he was suppose to do---he kept swimming and was pushing up on the mat so we could know where he was. I hugged him and told him that I was so proud of him. Kaden came over and hugged him and patted him on the back & told him good job. 

He of course wanted out of the water and didn't want anything to do with the Maui Mat for awhile. He was scared he would get stuck under it again so we talked about what he could do if that happened---hands up, push the mat in the air and then slide to the side. That if he got stuck under there, someone would be in the water in a matter of seconds, just like this time. 

It scared him. It scared me. But he had that life jacket on & honestly, that may have just saved his life. Logan can swim but not all that great & I don't even want to think about how this would have ended had he not had his life jacket on. That 15 seconds seemed like forever though...

Your kids might battle you with wearing one but stick to your guns, they save lives & honestly, I'm okay if my kids want to hang out in the house if they think they don't need it. This is one thing that I won't budge on. 


As soon as I got Logan out of the water and had him curled up on my lap, Justin suggested we go out on the boat. He had thought that maybe it would take Logan's mind off of things & it did. 

We ventured over to a new-to-us place called Jolly Rogers and come to find out, it's closer than our usual go to place of Coconuts & the food was probably even better. I can see this place becoming our new regular boating restaurant. 

Once we returned back to the house the boys were right back on the water and it was almost as though the little incident earlier, hadn't happened. A few hours later, Cousin Colton arrived and game on. The boys were in and out of the water. On and off the sea-doo. In and out of the swimsuits. They were fishing, shooting off fireworks, play catch & swinging in Tyler's hammock. It was another fun-filled family weekend. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Messy & Colorful

Our life is pretty messy with 6 & 7 year old boys. On the other hand, it's also very colorful.

& it's important to me to document it all. Enter Katy Gitto Photography, she's been our go to now for 6 years & I can't imagine having anyone else but her capture our family. I signed up for a mini-session on a whim just before Logan was turning one & since then she has captured our family on a yearly basis and the boys on an even more frequent basis. 

This year, I didn't reach out to Katy, Justin did. I had decided that instead of spring pictures (which we always do) that I would set something up for the fall with Katy. Justin, however, had something more in mind and reached out to Katy on his own to set up a session as a gift to me for Mother's Day. He scheduled an hour session and being a photographer myself, I knew that was WAY too much time for the boys, Justin included. So I reached out to Katy and asked if we could break it up into two sessions, one for spring and one for fall & she was totally on board! If you didn't know, I just LOVE her. I put off ideas for the shoot--well, shopping for the shoot & then the next thing I knew it was just days away. I didn't have a plan. What I did know, I wanted it to be fun & lighthearted. I didn't want to get all worked up about how everything looked and did we coordinate the right way so I sent Katy a quick message--what about a Royals theme--it's no secret that we love our Royals & this would totally be up Justin's alley, a little thank you for booking this shoot. And then they boys could take off their jerseys & I could throw on a white t-shirt and we could have some fun with some color powder. 

She was in. Again, LOVE her!

I also had two requests for specific shots, one with each of my boys. I wanted a picture of me holding Kaden. He's 70 pounds, yes, you read that correctly, 70 POUNDS & I'm not sure how much longer I am going to be able to pick him up so he jumped up and I held on. 

The second request, a picture of Logan kissing me. On the lips. I'm a mom that kisses on the lips. And lately, I have seen a lot of controversy over this very simple & innocent show of love between a mother and child, or a parent and child. It just breaks my heart that some people have to ruin this for others--so if you are like me and you kiss your kids on the lips, keep doing it--it's those people who have a problem with it, that make it weird, not us. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Worlds of Fun

Believe it or not, we have never taken the boys to Worlds of Fun. I know, right?!? It isn't like we were trying to avoid it, we just don't ever think about it. That all changed the Walshes asked if they could take Logan for his birthday and instead of just sending Logan, we turned it into a family outing. I mean, why not?! The forecast had zero rain in it plus it was set to be overcast all day. Win, Win. Or, so we thought...

As soon as we arrived he headed straight to the carousel--it was right there so why wouldn't we just knock it out. Kaden was hoping for a cheetah, Logan a lion--they settled for horses as that's all there was. 

Next up Planet Snoopy. All three boys are now tall enough to ride ALONE, did you hear that, ALONE! This momma wasn't going to have to cram herself in a tiny seat so they could enjoy the ride---I would have done it but it was so nice not having to. 

As the boys jumped from one ride to the next, Jake and I took off for the Mamba--Justin doesn't ride roller coasters so it was nice to have someone to ride with. Once we returned a dark cloud appeared. Things didn't look promising so the boys got in a couple more rides and then we headed off to lunch. 

We timed our lunch perfectly, the rain started to pour in, lots of it. Sadly, it was still raining as we finished up but not that bad so we figured we would go play some games until things opened back up. We got about 50 feet from our nicely covered eating spot and the rain picked up, we took cover under a tree and then moved to under a bridge and then as it let up some we made it the rest of the way to the games. Thank goodness because as stood under the awnings the rain came down in sheets. The boys played a couple of games--basically giving away my money & then finally I just said, go for it. Go play in it. There was no avoiding it at this point. We were already soaked, a little more water wasn't going to hurt anyone.

After standing around for 30 minutes or so we asked Justin if the store in which he was taking cover in had ponchos and his reply--nope, I don't see any. Well, there was. & we bought 7. We threw on those ponchos and headed for the exit gates, by the time we made it to the gates the rain had stopped but rides still weren't open so we called it a day. They did give us a free pass to come back on another day which was nice & the boys are certainly excited to for another trip to WOF--although, if you ask me, sometimes it's kind of fun to dance in the rain.

Monday, May 29, 2017

It's Lake Season

Summer really doesn't begin for the Souths until we get our first lake trip under our belts and this year, we went down a little earlier than we typically do. We tend to avoid holiday weekends since the water is a little bit busier and traffic to and from tends to be heavier too but we had thought we would go down the weekend prior and that just didn't work out so we tagged along with Adam and Becky.

Our lake house is only about 2-2.5 hours away but we didn't get out of KC until after rush hour so we decided to stop and eat on the way down as opposed to waiting until we got there. We decided to stray from our typical Goodies Burgers and stopped at a Mexican restaurant. We'd totally go back. Food was good. Boys (and myself) were entertained. 

As soon as the doors opened at the lake house the boys were on their way down to the water where everyone else was already waiting. Justin and I got the chore of unloading the car first but we did it quickly and then joined the family on the dock to watch the sunset. 

Once the sun went down we figured out which bunk the boys wanted and I got the beds made up. This was our first trip down to the lake as a family with our new living quarters and I just have to say, it was sooooo nice. The boys had their own individual space, their stuff was up and out of the way. Bags were tucked under the bottom bunks & the floor was open. Although we added more beds, somehow, it seems so much more spacious and worked out so well. 

It took a little bit of time but everyone finally wound down on the first night but the boys were up and ready to go nice and early. We knew we were expecting rain so we headed out early to get a jump on everything but first thing first, the boys and their annual lake photo. These pictures just make my heart so happy. 



Can we just talk about how lucky these three are? They have a few memories of Nanny but never met their great-grandfather, neither have their dads, but they built this lake house 50+ years ago. They built this lake in hopes that memories would be made year in and year out for generations to come---well, you're look at the fourth generation right here. They will grow up together, spending their summers at the lake--doesn't get much sweeter than that. 

We knew our time was limited on Saturday, rain was headed our way so the boys were up early & the freezing water was holding them back. 

Justin had to run into town for a few things--gas for the mower & he came home with two new fishing poles for the boys. They were so excited, they each love fishing--one has a little more patience than the other does, you can guess who that would be but they both love to fish. 

Thankfully, I grew up on or near a farm with a pond & my parents showed me how to fish. More importantly, they showed me how to get a fish off of a hook & the moment that I would sit down, someone else hooked another fish. Well, the same fish, I think they may have caught the same three fish all weekend long that is until Colton reeled in a small-mouth bass--the biggest fish to date that we have caught at the lake. I went to remove that sucker and he stuck me, I dropped him, he went into the water but somehow on the way down he got wrapped up in the fishing line, the hook snagged the top of his body and we pulled him back out again for a quick pic. He wasn't hurt in any way and swam off the moment we dropped him back into the water. 

They didn't get as much fishing in as they had hoped before the rain started to fall & we had to head up to the house. We knew it was going to be a pretty big storm so we strapped everything down, covered the sea-doo and watched from the porch. That is until the wind got too strong and we feared the windows breaking. And then it happened, the lights started to flicker and we all knew what was about to occur---we lost power. Thankfully it was 3 pm and it was still light out so once the storm passed we headed into town for dinner. Why wouldn't the power go out at the restaurant too? Our orders were in & out went the power. They kept cooking though and besides a few small things, everything came out. We were very thankfully for gas cookers that evening. 

We made a stop at the Dollar Store for a few supplies before heading back to the house since we weren't sure how long the power would be out. I grabbed batteries, a candle and glow sticks. Becky grabbed jugs of water so that we could use the restroom when needed--takes about 1.5 gallons per flush, crazy. 

Once back out the house I suggested to Becky that we head into Versailles to the Walmart, grab a few tap lights since the Dollar Store didn't have any. While there, we not only got tap lights (worked perfectly) but we got headlamps for each of us. And boy, did we make the most of our power outage. 

At about 3 am, the power and ALL the lights came back on. Adam, Becky and I were immediately on our feet turning water off and shutting lights off. We had pulled a number of items out of the fridge and placed in our Yeti coolers and a few things were put into the freezer. I remembered that we had put the milk and OJ in the freezer about 6 am and quickly pulled them out--they had already formed iced crystals but hey, if that was the worst thing that happened then I'd call our  12 hour stint without power a success.

The next two days brought blue skies and more laughter from the boys. They fished, they swam, they rode the sea-doo and Kaden even let both Adam and his dad take him out of the cove. Big win for him, and us! He's my hesitant one when it comes to trying to activities so he would often just request to stay in the cove and look at real estate and drive. But this weekend, this weekend he got up to 25 mph. Huge! 

I hope these boys will forever cherish their time spent at the lake as much as their dad and I do. Yes, it's a lot of work to get packed up to go but it has ALWAYS been worth it in spades. Especially with family like ours.