Whenever August hits I start to feel the pressure to squeeze every last ounce of fun and adventure out of summer. But, at the same time I am exhausted of having children around me 24/7 and of sand and wet towels and neighbor kids and kids asking for food ALL the time, but then I remember this fact and we power through. :)
Macey spent the first week of the month at Clear Creek.
She went with one of her bff's Carmen, who ended up getting the stomach flu and had to come home and then thankfully made it back up before the end of the week.
It was an emotional week here for me, as I didn't know how she was doing up there alone. Worried she was sick, worried she wouldn't make any friends.
Luckily, they sent us an email each night with pictures from the day and I would scour them for Macey's smiling face.
It all ended well, Macey had an amazing time, made a bunch of new friends, and it was good practice for me to let her out into the world alone. And you cannot beat a week in the mountains surrounded by this.
An experience I hope she never forgets.
And a friend I hope she keeps forever.
We did our last trips to the pond
this particular day Crew entertained himself with garbage others had left behind. Kids a genius.
This is for sure one of my Utah summer happy places.
Weather finally cooled off enough that we could venture to parks
in the morning.
I tortured these 6 by making them walk the few blocks to the park.
Popsicles waiting at home was the only thing that got them through.
We finally got to check out our new school's playground
. It passed the test and the kids approved.
So many scooter rides
around the neighborhood.
So many board games
Paul hates Chalk the Block
and I love it, so my homeless looking children and I ventured over and left Paul at home.
Paul and I also celebrated our 15th anniversary
?!? Time is a weird thing. We are not old enough to be married for 15 years, but here we are.
We went all out and celebrated at Dave and Busters in SLC. We ate greasy food, played lots of video games and bought the kids prizes with our hard earned tickets. A quite romantic 15 year anniversary. :)
There were a few items left undone on our Summer To-Do List that we needed to check off.
- Late night with Penelope
End of summer outdoor neighborhood movie.
and of course some more trips to the mountains.
kids better appreciate these amazing summers they get to experience. :)
Our Trip Northwest
We decided last minute we needed an adventure and Paul had 4 days off for 4th of July. So, we quickly planned a trip to the Redwoods, Crater Lake, and then Bellingham.
Redwoods was probably was on my favorite places we have taken the kids so far, other than the insanely long and twisty drive there.
horrible dinner stop at a tiny gas station in the middle of nowhere and crazy hot.
We didn't have to camp and could stay in a hotel that was 5 min from the park entrance, which was quite convenient. Plus, Ruby puked in the bed the first night, so it was quite a relief to have clean sheets to put on and a place to do laundry in the morning.
We did Jedediah Smith State Park and Prairie Creek.
There was never a shortage of tree bridges to walk on.
or trees to look at.
We even found an unexpected lunch/swim spot. Kids had a blast jumping off the little bridge into the river, even though we had no towels or bathing suits.
Best place we found was Fern Canyon.
Plus, this sign was everywhere, which everyone found quite entertaining.
Fern Canyon is one of those places that makes the entire trip worth it.
And we were actually prepared with water shoes for everyone so, we were able to hike much further into the canyon than most of the tourists and had the place to ourselves.
Then right outside The Fern Canyon Trail was the beach, which made for an amazing lunch spot.
I remember visiting the giant Paul Bunyan Statue when I was younger, so I was beyond excited when I realized we were going to be driving right by it.
We then headed up to Medford, OR...This turned out to be the kids favorite night of the trip. We ate at Big Bear Diner, which was in itself a huge event for the kids. We never take them to sit down restaurants. Then a nice couple paid our bill, which the kids thought was the about the nicest the thing in the world. After that we had the entire outdoor pool to ourselves and since the water wasn't actually nasty, I swam too. Then they had their own hotel room (connected to ours).
Since we were semi close to Crater Lake, we figured we should stop, since we didn't know if we'd be back this way.
It was FREEZING when we first pulled in.
Luckily it warmed up as we made the trek down to the lake.
Water was freezing. Kids had intentions of swimming, but no one could be convinced to go any deeper than their knees.
Miles has been buying these animal field guides at all the national park visitor centers, so anytime we come across some sort of animal on the trail he pulls them out and identifies them for us. In this picture we are looking at a lizard.
Then we made the trek up to Bellingham through horrendous Portland traffic and all our kids vowed they never want to see Portland again. :)
Bellingham was my kids #1 thing the entire summer.
Even if we made them hike 5 miles after hiking the previous 3 days. :)
Just a reminder, this is not a National Park. This is just Bellingham. it is obvious everytime I go back why I have trouble seeing the beauty that is here in Utah.
Ruby whined the ENTIRE way up and down. Most she has ever whined. We ended up abandoning our other children at the top and take Ruby back down to the car since she wouldn't stop screaming and crying and people were trying to enjoy this incredible view.
Luckily the other kids were fairly content to be hiking with some of their favorite people.
One of my Bellingham requests was to get out on Lake Whatcom.
Just as paul and I were about to jump in the water to double knee board the boat died. So, we got to row back instead.
The rest of the time was just non stop cousins.
This trip was good for all our souls. I miss these people and this place. it felt good to be back and get to soak it all in for little bit.
I realized I have been quiet on here about our new house, so I figure I need to record some of the details for our Navasard Family History before I forget it all.
We signed the end of September. It was a crazy hard decision. We went back and forth forever on it. Our kids were happy as could be in our 1200 square feet, surrounded by the most amazing people. Did they really need more space? Would a bigger house with our own yard actually make us happier? Would switching from our amazing, diverse title one school actually be better? Did I really want to clean all that house?
We decided to keep things quiet as long as we possibly could, since building a house is a crazy long process.
Paul and I took many late night walks over to check on the progress once we had the kids in bed and I shed many tears, even though I knew we were making the right decision.
We broke and told the kids in December. There was some anger, some tears and eventually excitement.
A few months later we broke the news that they would be switching elementary schools. They took this news a little better than I thought they would.
We then told our neighbors. Once again there was some anger, tears and eventually excitement.
We took many bike rides and walks over to check things out and show the kids we won't be too far from our beloved town homes.
We got our keys the last week of school.
Unpacking was WAY harder than I anticipated. Plus, I could not believe how much crap we fit in our town house.
Our first big goal after the move was to get both cars in the garage, which we happily accomplished less than 2 weeks after closing. Paul is happy to be in a garage again and I am happy that all bikes and scooters are easily accessible.
Macey and Crew surprised me by having the hardest time adjusting. Miles ended up being the easiest with the move, mainly due to the fact that he had his own space to retreat to now. Things I am loving:The views.Watching these 4 play together
. There's been tons of hide and seek, board games, fort building and just overall sibling bonding without the constant flow of neighbor friends. Our dead end street.
Watching the kids make new friends
, even though we all desperately miss our old neighbors. Things we miss:The trees and grass.
We still try to spend some evenings over at the townhomes basking in their shade. having less to clean. shelves for all my books.
Macey and Miles' chapter books have a home.
All of my picture books still look like this, other than the basket that is in each kids' room.
Walking out my door and not being surrounded by my best friends
I have felt a bit isolated here, even though we constantly have people over. I am just not used to living in a normal neighborhood. :) I now know why I never felt the desire to move when i had babies. I couldn't imagine passing nap time here instead of in front of our townhouse chatting with all my friends.
While we can never replace what we had at the townhouses, I am loving our new neighborhood, new ward and I LOVE the new house.
I have faith this house and neighborhood will be just as good to us as our last one.
Being in the new house this summer has actually made the chaos of summer easier to handle, even though we lost our amazing shady green space.
The kids are loving the new neighborhood.
There is a constant flow of children in and out. I had to invest in an air freshener for the basement due to the smelliness of the pile of 8-10 year old boys that can usually be found down there.
Lunch time discussions of bugs and komodo dragons.
and if it's not too hot I kick them outside for a little bit. Miles and Crew have loved introducing their friends to Battle Bots.
Paying the premium for the dead end street has paid off.
Since we spend a lot of time on our front porch and we destroyed our astro dome chairs by leaving them on our deck all winter, we decided to get them recovered.
They are even more amazing now!
And we can just hose off all the popsicle stickiness the kids keep covering them in.
We have loved having a table where we can get games and 1,000 piece puzzles set up. It was an exciting day when we finally finished this puzzle.
July means lots of pool days.
We took the waterslide over to the town houses for the day.
Kids played non stop for hours, even though most of them are well past the ideal height for our little blow up slide. :)
It was so nice to be back with my people sitting in the shade, yelling at kids to calm down, and chatting. The thing I miss most is sitting in the shade with my best friends and watching our kids play. I have found I have much more time on my hands now that I am not socializing in the late afternoons like I used to. :(
Other exciting Happenings:
Playdate with Tajen.
Mall Splash Pad.
Pioneer Park Splash pad.
Bonus, it was a nice 10 degrees cooler than in the valley.
Picnic at the Library.
Giant Stag Beetle Discovery.
I finally unpacked the dressups.
Paul and I walked to dinner in the rain. Then we got to eat outside on the patio during the storm. Pretty perfect summer evening.
And so many games.
Love this little Card Shark.
We ended the month with sending Macey off to a week at Mountain Camp.
June. My favorite month in Utah.swim lessons:
Like the first 2 weeks of every summer, Julianne and I signed the kids up for 9:00 swim lessons.
The boys' teacher wasn't the most engaging, so they spent a lot of time hitting each other with the kick boards. They at least loved it. :)Pond Days:
Lots of Pool Days
I am entering a very nice pool phase. I've actually gotten to sit in my lounge chair for almost half of the time on each pool trip!
Ruby fell asleep as we were gathering all the kids from all corners of the pool.
We also lucked out to have friends with a neighborhood pool and we jump at every opportunity to hang out there. This is what summer is all about. Playdates:
We aren't used to having lots of people over to our house and then actually play inside. it's been fun. One week we had 10 kids for lunch everyday but one. It's amazing having all this space and not feeling claustrophobic or like they are completely trashing the place.
I will be happy when this dirt is finally gone though!
Couldn't find Miles and Gavin one afternoon...they were taking turns reading DogMan outloud to each other. :)
Tajen is always a very popular guest.
All 4 kids are always fighting over him and he is a very good sport and makes sure to play with each one.
best playdate(s) of the month though was getting to have Crew's best friend Madden over. He moved to Alabama, so we were so happy he came to Utah to visit.
Crew and Madden together are just my favorite. They just have such similar temperaments and are both just the sweetest 5 year olds ever. We miss Madden so much!
And then other friends take pity on us and our treeless dirt yard and invite us over to play in their backyards where we don't melt because it's shady. Summerfest:
We've got our routine down and it's barely stressful anymore.
Miles knows how to work the parade too and came away with the most stuff. Shirts, fidget spinner, frisbee, icecream, coupons, magnets...that kid knew what he was doing. Father's Day:
The kids made Paul a cute poster about all the awesome dad things he does and we all made him Oreo cookies.
It's barely stressful cooking in my new kitchen with this bunch. Nature:
One of the best things about summer is our girls nights shift from dessert places only, to hiking, followed by dessert. Townhouses:
We still frequent the townhouses to see our friends and bask in their shade.
We were ecstatic to still get an invite to potluck and movie night.
I am shedding tears less frequently about moving. But, oh my goodness do I miss these people! I do enjoy the over the top greetings we receive when we come back though and Roman running down the sidewalk yelling "Kelsey, you're home". :)
I think this place will ALWAYS feel like home and the moment I smell those trees I am instantly relaxed. Birthdays
Crew and I had birthdays.
Crew will get his very own birthday post, because he's pretty much the best.
Macey and I got pedicures.
Ashley and I took Miles and Penelope to their beloved 2nd grade teachers wedding reception.
And then Paul made me a quadruple layer chocolate cake. Ruby
In case you were wondering, Ruby is still crazy, wild and a pain.
I really don't know what to do with her most days. She did get into the preschool I wanted in the fall, so hopefully they can get her in line for me. :)
She loves to stand on the counter and throw things. Here I caught her making her barbies fly.