Friday, June 30, 2017

June Extras

Cousin Deonte graduated from high school.

Jax turns 7!

KidsGig 2017

Summer Photo Journaling

Sporting KC game

The Great Lenexa BBQ

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Baseball Buds

I didn't anticipate how hard it would be to join a baseball team. But let me tell you, it is. Like your- kid-is-just-born-sign-him-up-already hard. 

I grew up in a small town called Jasper. We had ONE flashing light as you entered our little town, population 996. So when it came to sports, most of the time we were lucky if we had enough kids to fill a roster for softball/baseball. Every girl in my class that wanted to play, got to play and we were all on the same team. We had two classes for each grade so you knew everyone and chances were that if you weren't in someone's class one year, you would be the next year. Friendships were easily cultivated since you were always together. 

Up here in the big city, not so much. It's hard. 

For Logan's group, teams were literally formed before kindergarten even started so this past spring I found myself a little behind--you'd think I would have learned with Kaden's group. Thankfully, two of his most bestest---yes, I said that--- friends also didn't have teams so we went for the lottery and asked for these three cuties to be on the same team. We weren't looking for anything super competitive--they're 6 & I want the boys to really love it on their own before the pressure of a competitive team comes into play. Thankfully, it worked and they are now a packaged deal. Where one goes, the other two will go and it has been so much fun watching them play together. We still aren't sure what their future teams will look like but hey, they're having fun right now. 

Then there is Kaden. The first "real" outing with baseball we signed up through Olathe Parks and Recs and didn't know a single kid that might be playing so we just wrote his school name down and went for it. We got lucky and a few kids from his school were also on the team. We also lucked out with a great coach and Kaden learned a lot that first season but we were looking for something a little more this past spring. I quickly learned that their "school" teams were pretty full and pretty competitive, again, not wanting something super competitive for the boys at this point & had decided that we would just go for the lottery when Kaden's coach reached back out and said he was moving to 3&2 & wanted to know if Kaden would like to play. A few of the same boys from his previous team were also making the move so he would know a few people even if no one from his school was on the team. Luckily, two kiddos were on his team, Ben and Cole but he didn't know them very well because since there are 5 first grade classes & he hadn't been in a class with either of them. I love watching kids who barely know each other in the beginning build strong friendships over the course of a season. & boy has it been fun watching them develop their skill level & go from hardly getting any outs in the field to sometimes shutting teams completely down during innings or holding them to singles. They've come a long way & now it's time to put everything they know to the test as it's tournament time for the Aces...they'll do great & even if they don't win their first game, they'll still have fun. & that's the most important thing. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day 2017

Father's Day always brings a bag if mixed emotions for Justin. And for me. On one hand I want to celebrate everything that he is and everything that my dad is but on the other hand, I know Justin would give ANYTHING to have his dad with us today. Dave is always on our minds but Father's Day takes it to a whole new level so what we do is 100% up to Justin and it is no surprise that for the last few years he's wanted to be at the lake.

This year Adam and Becky joined us and when we arrived our summer lake shirts that Cousin Leanne had made for everyone were waiting for us. Squirrel Town -- some inside joke about a place at the lake many, many years ago.

& as heavy as Father's Day can be, one thing is certain, Justin is an exceptional father. He isn't worried about rolling up his sleeves and getting down and dirty with the boys. He often is asked to play the mom role as I am out of town traveling and he doesn't miss a beat. He loves being outside with them whether it is playing baseball, basketball, soccer or just watching them ride bikes. He is teaching them the art of cooking by including them in the prep work. He's quick to let them know when they are out of line & can do better but equally as quick to express just how proud he is of them. We got lucky this one and couldn't love and appreciate him more than we already do. & I know his dad is so proud of the father he is.

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.