Thursday, July 31, 2014

Two weeks of Leah

Each summer we try and spend a little extra time with my niece and nephews. One summer both Leah and Blake helped potty train Kaden. Last summer we got to go on a vacation with the whole family. This summer Leah was coming by herself and what started out as one week turned into two wonderful weeks.

We started her stay with a BBQ at the Johnson's new home followed up by dinner at a Japanese Steakhouse and ice cream on Monday.

& Monday morning wasn't all that tough but soon the boys figured out what they were missing & the mornings weren't so fun anymore. The boys couldn't understand why they couldn't stay with Leah and frankly I didn't want to go to work either! But we all made it through each day and took advantage of our evenings, pushing bed times back and eating lots of Popsicles.

We went to the pool.

We went to the Sporting KC game.

We went to the carnival.

Neither the boys nor Leah have ever been to a carnival and I haven't been since high school and I was keeping my fingers crossed that not only there would be lots to do for the boys but hoping they both were tall enough so I wouldn't have to ride every ride too.

We arrived at the ticket booth and I was immediately shocked by the price. Who knew carnivals were so expensive!  A bracelet for each of the boys were $25 bucks, which meant Leah and I needed them too since we weren't sure of the rules so we were already in for $100 & we hadn't even made it on one ride yet.

The boys didn't stop running the entire time we were there. They ran from one ride to the next. They ran to get their corn dogs (another 18 bucks). They ran to the bathroom. To get their waters--another 6 bucks--and they ran up the stairs of the slide about 10 times in a row. Leah kept up well.

And the smiles never left their faces. I haven't seen them have this much fun in so long and the fact that it was with Cousin Leah made it that much more special.

We stayed for almost three hours and although the wrist bands were expensive, the boys and Leah got their monies worth. I luckily only had to go on two rides. A Rollercoaster with both boys, which neither liked and then the Ferris Wheel with my brave little man--his request.

It was a fantastic night of fun.

While the boys were at Ms. Brenda's and Justin and I were at work Leah got to enjoy the house all to herself. She also worked on a little project…

The weekend was full. Full of family time. Full of trips to the pool. Shopping. And more Popsicles.

Although we tried to have something going on most evenings, there were nights where we just chilled at home. Leah and I stayed up late one night and ordered a chick flick. I introduced her to the wonderful world of Big Brother and The Bachelorette. & when it came time for the boys and their baths, she took control. She rolled up her pant legs, got her feet wet and actually completed bath time without any fighting between the boys. Her help made a huge difference because while she was splashing away with the kids, I focused on laundry and afterwards we had more time for more Popsicles.

And because we had such an amazing time at the carnival the Friday before, we went for another round. This time I contacted a photographer who was doing mini photo shoots to see if she had any openings and she did. I wanted to do something extra special for Leah. We got her all dolled up--she got to shop my closet. (How sad is it that my almost 13 year old niece is as tall as I am?!) She is such a beautiful young lady and has been such a joy to have here with us. The boys and her have made such a bond & that needed to be captured.

Plus, she has the most beautiful soul and that needs to be shared with the world.

I get a little teary thinking about Leah leaving. I knew the boys would love having her around but what I didn't realize is how much Justin and I would love having her. And it's not that we didn't think we would enjoy it, she's a great kid and super low maintenance &  she's my niece! But it's because she has brought so many more smiles to our face. Laughs to our home. She has been a ray of sunshine and you just can't help be a little happier when she's around. To say we will miss her is an understatement. We love you Leah Michele.

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