All of August, half of September – done and done. And thus ended the busiest (but possibly most fun!) summer we’ve ever had followed by our craziest (and eventful!) back-to-school time ever. Phew!
We started August with Kayliana mastering two-wheels! (And Mike and I both got about 59 more gray hairs…each).
August 11th, 2016 was our 15th Anniversary. (FIFTEEN?!!). We celebrated with a family camping trip to Lake Wenatchee State Park. It was a lovely, laidback, long weekend.
Less than two weeks later, Mike and I abandoned (lovingly) our children in the caring hands of our besties – Jason and Rebecca. The next morning Mike and I left on a jet plane for NEW ORLEANS – a combo Anniversary and National Engaged Encounter Convention trip. I’ve ALWAYS, ALWAYS wanted to go to New Orleans . With my French major and History and Music Minors…it’s like New Orleans was MADE for me. Bucket list, baby.
A SeaTac selfie - SO excited to say the least!
We landed at 10:30pm (only 8:30pm our time) and immediately went with some of our great EE friends down Bourbon Street to experience all the Bourbon Crazy…and the grown-up slushies!
The next morning, we walked back down Bourbon to Café Beignet in Musical Legends Park. As we arrived the rain storm ceased, the steamy humidity kicked back in, the sun broke through and - to the sounds of a live jazz band - we had our first beignets. I teared up. Totally, totally cried. It was a dream come true.
Later that morning, we went with our friends to the Bayou for an airboat swamp tour. Holy stinkin’ Moly it was SO MUCH fun. The captain would slow the boat down, then kill the fan and then feed the alligators marshmallows (probably not the healthiest thing, but it brings ‘em to the boat). We saw tons of alligators including one that was 12 feet long and a nest of two day old baby gators. Super fun!
While seeing alligators, tons of fantastic live bands and street musicians, the incredible architecture and historical sites of New Orleans (not all at the same time) we also managed to drink and eat our way through the place. We did it all – we ate alligator, gumbo, jumbalaya, red beans and rice, muffaletta sandwiches, po’boys and, of course, plenty of beignets.
The Engaged Encounter Conventions are like a big family reunion and wonderful. We even had a marriage vow reaffirmation ceremony at the Convention Saturday night before a bunch of us went out and found yet another fantastic band. Sigh. I miss NOLA already and missed it the moment we left, but…
We missed the kiddos more and couldn’t wait to see them. They’d been handed off to my mom for the last part of our trip and were home, all set for the beginning of school. The kids and I had one last Summer hurrah and spent an afternoon at the zoo, and then...
Monkeys at the zoo
The boys started September 1st (Matthew 7th grade and Zachary 5th grade). Kayliana had to wait (oh, the torture!) for September 7th for her first day of FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN! She is SO happy and SO loving school. She still claims that her favorite part of each day is riding the bus. She was SO freakishly excited to FINALLY step foot on that bus (after years of watching the boys get to ride). One of the best things is that Zach’s class is the 5th grade buddy class to Kayli’s class, so they have two (out of three) recesses and lunch together.
Needless to say, Kayliana handled going to Kindergarten like a champ and I managed to just get slightly-teary seeing her off on the first day.
In addition to school starting, we had a couple of wonderful staycations with Jason & Rebecca including a Labor Day weekend extravaganza with a birthday party to celebrate Matthew turning 13. THIRTEEN.
Now, we have a teenager (who finally got a cell phone –yikes!)
AND three kids in school all day every day. CRAZY TIMES.
Summer’s come and gone, back-to-school madness is simmering down…and now we’re already in the thick of it! Here we go again!