August in Review

So, what have we been up to lately?  Here's a long look at August in pictures!
The 1st of August was our 10th anniversary! 
Two starry-eyed 20 somethings then...
... and now two starry-eyed thirty somethings today!
 As is our accidental tradition, Travis was scheduled for another mission's trip leaving very early on the 2nd, which meant that on our actual anniversary we really didn't have time to do anything together because we had so many errands to run for his trip!  I think we are 9 out of 10 for ministry trips/camps/events scheduled on our anniversary :) Just keeping the record going I suppose!  We did decide to stop in the afternoon with our kids and split this awesome mile-high ice cream pie and it was delicious.  Even between the 4 of us we couldn't finish it.  This picture does not do the size of it justice, it is HUGE!
After we sent Daddy off very early on the 2nd, we decided to make the most of our time together and started with some blueberry pancakes.  We've become addicted to them this summer!  Nobody was particularly thrilled about Daddy leaving, trips toward the end of the summer are hard because we're all over the grind by then and we just want him home.  But we re-grouped and I had some fun things planned for the kids while he was gone.
 Ava has been looking so much older this summer.  I often catch her doing something or playing in a way that seems so grown up.  She has been a delight at this age.  We are enjoying her imagination and blossoming conversation and reasoning skills.  She can talk your ears off and she's always working some kind of angle that involves a princess or a plea for a family movie night!  
 This little guy has also been doing some growing up this summer, giving us a real run for our money!  This season is not so much delightful as it is exhausting with Carter.  He has kept us on our toes for sure and we've made some memories with him that we will not soon forget!  He has taken to my own climbing ways recently and likes to get in the cupboards now and help himself to some snacks... awesome, right??  It's a really good thing he is cute!  That blonde head and toothy grin have saved his skin more than once this summer!
 While Trav was gone my mission was to do some serious painting in our condo.  I dreaded it all summer but at some point it just had to get done and I started in with the priming as soon as he left.  I will do a post soon on all the changes we've made around here this summer but as you can see my chocolate brown walls got a considerable facelift.
I sincerely dislike painting.  I enjoy choosing paint colors and telling someone what to paint, but the actual work of it??  Dislike. However, I knew I had to do it so I just determined to knock it out and by the end I've become quite good at it!  Especially cutting in around the ceiling and trim.  Oddly, I began to really enjoy that part!
Because of the amount of painting I needed to get done, my wonderful parents offered to take the kids so that I could really just get stuff done.  I kind of hated to send them to Iowa without me but it was a gift to have that time and freedom to work.  I was up til midnight almost every night painting and back at it early in the morning.  I could not have done that with them around!
 We made the transfer on a rainy day and they were off for a few days of fun at Grampy and Grammy's house!
 Before I knew it the kitchen was done and I was on to the next area!
 Meanwhile the kids were busy having a blast and catching some fish!
This was Carty's first time fishing and he finally got to use his new spiderman pole!  I got such cute pics from my Mom while she updated me on the status of the fish and let me know when Carty did indeed catch his first one!  
 Meanwhile, I moved on to the hallway and the bathroom... for the next 4 days.  I got a lot done, had some fun helpers come over and managed to squeeze two dinners in with girlfriends, but I was one tired girl and ready to have my husband back! 
When he returned from his trip, we managed to squeeze a very quick getaway in before the kids got home.  He had a very good trip and we got to catch up on a lot, also we just got to rest...
 We went to a cute little town not far from here and stayed in a darling inn that I'd stayed in before with friends.  It was a perfect two days of resting, eating out, strolling through the town, and just being together.  
 So grateful for these 10 years with my best friend.  God has been incredibly faithful to us! 
Because our summer has been nothing short of crazy, in classic fashion we got home from our getaway, greeted my parents and our kids for an evening, kissed them in the morning and then took 37 boys to our Church retreat center for a soccer retreat.  Trav kicked off his 4th year as Varsity Coach and on the first official day of practice we put on our second annual retreat.  I went as the cook and this 100 year old farm kitchen was my home for a solid 48 hours!
I brought some darling helpers along again this year.  
High school girls: The key to getting High School boys to be on their best behavior :) 
They were a great help to me and together we cranked out meal after meal for 37 hungry and sweaty people!
 This is what spaghetti looks like for 37 people.  Hours of work demolished in 10 minutes!  We had a great time and I was thankful it was just a one night retreat because I was tired by the time it was over and ready to cook for 4 again :) 
 I couldn't wait to get home to my babies!  
This little cutie started a summer dance camp while we were gone and we couldn't wait to see her in action when we got back!!
She was in HEAVEN at her Angelina Ballerina dance camp!

I will have to do a full post about it because it was so fun, but aren't these littles so sweet in their tutus??  
 The retreat was one of my last big commitments of the summer and praise the Lord, my last retreat for awhile!  I can't take another one, I really can't.  I hate packing after this summer!!  With "work" behind me I was determined to do some fun things with the kids and spend as much time together as we could. We made homemade pizza and had a movie night, which is quickly turning into our favorite tradition!  My kids are totally into "helping" me in the kitchen so this was a great night for them to dig in and participate!
Ava loves to tell me she's a "good cooker, mama!"  And she is! 
And this little guy is  too!
 We met some of our favorite friends at a local beach front and got there early enough to have the whole thing to ourselves!!
I have a post planned about all the changes we've got going on in our condo but this rug is one of my very favorites!!  The story is quite something about why I needed it and how I found it, but for now I'll just tease you with the picture!
 It's amazing the impact of a new rug and pillows!!  Just the refresh I've been been looking and waiting for!
 We decided to brave the State Fair this year with the kids.  The State Fair is a huge deal to Minnesotans, I believe we have the second largest one after Texas.  Nothing is more fun that eating your way around it and that's exactly what we did!
 But we also did lots of kid favorites, like sit in every John Deere vehicle available and build lego creations in the lego tent!  
 As much fun as everything was, I seriously think their favorite part was riding the mass transit bus to the fairgrounds!  They loved the view and not having to be in a car seat and couldn't wait to get back on the bus! Ha!
We wore them out pretty well!
One afternoon I found this little scene unfolding.  I like so many things about it I don't know where to start, but that horse tucked in under the rug might be the funniest!
 Soccer officially began two weeks ago with a Friday afternoon tournament and we packed up all our gear to go cheer Daddy and his team on!
 Snacks on the sidelines are among their favorite part of course.  
 This guy was a handful but so much easier than the last 2 years.  I might be able to actually watch some games this year!
 My favorite coach, back in action!  They got a great win in the first game and ended in a tie after two overtimes!  It was a hot, long day but fun to see his guys play so well.  
Soccer season 2013, here we go!
After Church I managed to talk these two into a picture... Please pay special attention to the dancing princesses on the coffee table.  They were also rejoicing over the new look in the living room I believe. 
 I know I shared this yesterday, but seriously.  Best pic of the summer!!
 A few weeks ago on a blazing hot Sunday we had a really fun pool party with all the Pastor's and their families from our church.  We were SO thankful for a cool pool on a day that felt like 100 degrees out... but also thankful for the friends we get to do ministry with! 
 Ava and her little friends!
 We got a crazy heat wave here last week, the same one that has been plaguing the whole country I think.  I took the kids to our local community center splash pad and lucky us, we had it all to ourselves for about 45 minutes!  
 We have loved this place for a couple of years now and thankfully my kids still have fun there. Next summer it may not be as captivating for them but we'll see!
We had a not so fun doctor's appt last week with a shot and some tears.  Always hate that!
But this little guy had to endure some unexpected tests too...We've been having lots of trouble with his congestion and snoring.  He has huge, obstructed tonsils and may be a candidate for having them out soon.  He looks happy here but it went downhill quickly after the blood draw and throat swab.  I needed a serious nap after we made it through this appt!!
 Thankfully by the end of the night we were better and made it out for another soccer game and another win!  My little sideline sweeties live for the minute the game ends and I give them permission to run across the field to their Dad!  They take off like shots and give him huge hugs while they tell him what a good job he did coaching, ha!  It's so cute, melts my heart every time.  
 We got an extra long weekend with Daddy getting some comp time on Thursday, so we spent a hot and hazy morning back at the beach.  
 And this splash pad.  I definitely played in it as much as the kids did!  
 It was miserably hot and humid out, I did it to survive :) 
I've been caught up in the world of tile for the last few days, trying to pick out some new stuff for our bathrooms and entry way.  I'm not sure I've gotten anywhere yet, but it's fun looking!
 We had another game on Friday night, which was ugly in every sense of the word.  We did not win on the scoreboard however we did end with a really neat time of both teams praying together.  A big public school and our little Christian school.  It was a sweet sight that made the score seem very inconsequential.  
 I tried to get this quickly and didn't get a great shot, but another sweet Mom wrote a really great blog post about it here that summed up the whole thing beautifully.  
 We closed out August with the glorious return of College Football!!!  YAY!!!  One of my favorite days of the whole year.  We had the games on all day and I had it on in the car while I ran errands too!

Even though my Hawkeyes lost in a lame way, my alma mater UNI won and beat ISU, which made up for the Hawkeyes! Brian and Rhonda came over for some fish tacos and some laughs while we watched a few more games and after they left I discovered this fun selfie they left for me on my phone!!

So there you have it! What we did all month long, minus the boring stuff and stuff I didn't photograph.  It was a fun month but bring on September!  We are ready for Fall over here!

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