Wednesday, July 24, 2019

July 2018

After such a busy and action-packed June, we stuck pretty close to home in July. The focus was on hanging out at our pool and spending time with friends and family. Florida summer is all about staying cool.

Ellie turned her focus to hanging out with Leo.
Ellie gives some assisted walking a try on the 4th of July.
Dave and Chris-- such great goobers friends!
This is one of my absolute favorites! So happy to have these two!
Ellie keeps the flag nice and wet so it can't catch fire from the sparkler.
Happy 4th of July! 
Ellie entertains herself poolside while the boys keep it cool in the pool.
A group "dab" jump. Because tween boys.
That lip! Guess who doesn't like being told no?!
Big grin from my big girl.
Playtime in the pool with cousin Hope.
Best cousins- Jackson and James. 
Uncle Matt tries on a new hat. Not sure it's big enough... 
Jackson gets down on Ellie's level. So sweet.

I attended a weekend homeschool conference in Atlanta all by myself and it was such a great experience (and I don't just mean the weekend away). It was educational and inspirational and felt really good to be surrounded by people with some of the same joys and challenges in that area of life.
While I was in Atlanta, I took advantage of the opportunity to get together with my college roommate and longtime friend, Carol, and to see my godparents, Dick & Marty. So grateful to still have all of them in my life.

Carol and I hit up a rooftop bar before dinner. 
This couple has been a most wonderful influence in my life and I'm so grateful for them. 💖

While I was away, Chris and the kids hung out at Disney World with Unka Dave.

Ellie continues to grow and explore and we just love to watch it happen.

Apparently, her need to put everything in her mouth extends to her reflection.
Baby girl on the move!
She was trying to get to James who was playing outside.
We like to start them reading at an early age.

My cousin, Cris, who lives in Colorado, came to town with her family for some fun at Universal Studios and we were thrilled to use it as an excuse for a mini-Landers-side reunion.

Me, Aunt Janie, Aunt Millie, Aunt Pansy, and Cris.
Love my family!
And then she was 10 months old! 
Sharing some of Ms. Kim's lap space with Little Man Z.
James shooting some hoops with Grandpa.
Sweet kisses from Abuela.
Swimming time at Nana Sylvia's with Amelia who was visiting from California.
Ellie gets some snuggles from Nana Sylvia.
Beautiful girl in a beautiful dress inherited from her bestie, Gigi.
Double the fun in the pack-n-play with Ellie and Gigi together. 
James and Declan in an epic pillow fight. Love how much fun these two have together! 
Best buddies for sure.

This face cracks me up. Little Vulcan eyebrows.
Our beautiful blue-eyed girl.

Monday, July 15, 2019

June 2018- West Virginia Vacation

Almost Heaven... West Virginia!
Both sides of my family were born and raised in West Virginia, and I always enjoy getting to spend time there whenever we can. Since we would be next door, so to speak, in Virginia for the Shenk Family Reunion, we decided to spend a week camping and relaxing in Charleston afterwards. It was a beautiful time of year to see the Mountain State and we were lucky enough to spend a lot of time with one of my favorite people, my cousin Jimi Lynn.

Our peaceful lovely campsite at Kanawha State Forest
Visiting with Jimi Lynn and her animals. 
Savannah the donkey thought I had more carrots. I did not. 
But James did! 
The boys hanging out on the farm. 
I love her. I call her my Ba-donkey-donk. 😆
Silly boy. He spent most of his time playing in the creek. 
West Virginia loves us back!
Ellie and Chris just hanging out and making funny faces at each other. Love them so much.
We drove into Sissonville and surprised my Aunt Ruth. She's so sweet!
Shenanigans in downtown Charleston. We had very delicious pizza at Pies & Pints that I'm still thinking of fondly... 
A handful of monsters and a face full of road rash from a mountain biking accident.
Still so cute!
Enjoying delicious coffee and some adorable sibling fun.
Three feisty girls. Love this picture.
Definitely my favorite by far. Hilarious. Way to stay calm and hold the baby, Jimi.
With views like this by the campsite, we spent a lot of time just enjoying nature there.
James even captured a moment where Chris and I were both sitting at the same time!
James and I enjoyed one of our favorite outdoor activities--creek-walking. 
Ellie got in on the fun, relaxing time as well.
Truly a beautiful place. 
Feeling all the love from WV.  
Finding happiness in a swing at a local playground.
Big brothers are the best.
James and Chris went off on a mountain biking adventure together.
Ellie and I explored the backroads and found charming old barns and gorgeous vistas.
Of course our Eleanor had to stop in and say hello to Eleanor, WV.  
My two sweethearts getting ready for bed in our little trailer.
Ellie hit the 9-month mark in West Virginia. Getting so big!
Family hike through the state forest on our last day of vacation. 
Disappearing into the lush green woods.
Ellie loved being in the backpack-- just like James used to. 
And she fell asleep in it-- just like James used to.
She hit 9 months and thought she should take over driving us home.

West Virginia is absolutely beautiful and the people are friendly and welcoming. We can't wait to go back and spend more time amongst the wonderful Mountaineers.