A Fall-Like Summer Weekend

Happy Monday to YOU! How did the weekend treat ya? I hope you were able to enjoy a couple of days of fun and relaxation. It almost felt like *gasp* fall around here this weekend and I’m still not sure how I feel about it . Hopefully it was just a fluke, and our regularly scheduled summer weather will be back in full swing this week. We’re not maxed out on summer fun just yet!

We had an enjoyable weekend in our neck of the woods. Friday is usually the start of the weekend for us since Josiah has to work Sunday’s, and I can’t say I hate the early start to the weekend.

  • FRIDAY

We kicked off our Friday morning with a hike around Green Lakes State Park followed by play time on the beach and playground for James. While he tolerated the loop around the lakes in the hiking backpack, his favorite part of the outing was by far the 4 girls and their dog that found a fondness with James on the playground. They were helping him down the slide, letting him pet their dog, playing with wood chips, etc. Josiah and I weren’t about to complain about a little impromptu babysitting while we got to sit back to enjoy some peaceful lake views.

Once we arrived home, lunch was in order asap thanks to our rumbling tummies. Fortunately I had prepped a dish of buffalo chicken dip that just needed to be heated in the oven, along with some leftover pizza and veggies. A lunch that includes both buffalo dip and pizza is not one to be neglected around here. We dug right in as soon as our food was out of the oven!

James was more than ready for a nap after lunch, and I was quite wiped myself. While James napped we had a few visitors in the form of apartment maintenance who stopped by to take a look at our semi-broken oven. After a lot of screw driver madness, it was determined that they would need to order a new part for our oven. Womp womp. Household repairs are never fun. Once they had cleared out of the kitchen, I tried to make the most of James’s nap and prepped our dinner for the evening which was a vegan egg roll in a bowl that we served over ramen. I made the entire egg roll part of the dish and stored it in containers in the fridge. When it was time to eat, dinner came together in a flash. After cooking a few packages of ramen and reheating the stir-fry, dinner was done and plated in no time! Cleanup was a breeze as well. I often drag my feet to do dinner prep during James’s nap (because I usually want to collapse myself), but the payoff is always worth it.

James woke up from his nap in a not-so-great mood, which meant it was time to hit the road for a little treat. What did we have in mind to cheer James up? Ice cream! It works like a charm to put a smile on my face so why not test it out on our son? Sure enough, James was a happy camper once he had a big cone of ice cream in his hand…and all over his entire body. And while he was riding a sugar high, we decided to burn some energy at Josiah’s elementary school playground. I’m having so much fun exploring new playgrounds this summer, especially as a family.

Josiah was invited to a boys night on Friday, and I took advantage of the quiet evening by catching up on the latest episode of The Bachelorette. It was Men Tell All which was my least favorite episode of the season, but the first 20 minutes really grabbed my attention (and heart) with a very unexpected and heartbreaking departure of one of my favorite contestants on the show this season. So sad. For those watching this season, what did you think of it so far?

  • SATURDAY

I was hoping we would have a nice slow start to our Saturday, but no such luck. I know there are parents waking up even earlier than us, but a 6:30am start to the day was a liiiitle too early for mama. I quickly made a batch of coffee to get the day going on a more energetic note. The fridge was looking a little bare and I was feeling uninspired, so it was a kodiak cake kind of morning for me and James! I absolutely cannot get Josiah on the pancake bandwagon, but two of us were there for it!

When the weather feels like fall how can you resist a morning drive for some donuts. A solo morning drive to boot! Josiah stayed back with James while I made a family donut run. After dropping off a box of donuts to my in-laws, I brought our box inside and we devoured it in 2.5 seconds. I wish! I’m actually kidding. I have this thing with donuts lately where I prefer to eat them for dessert rather than during the day. There’s a part of me that doesn’t like to eat super sweet things during the day and another part of me that likes to have something extra special to look forward to at the end of the day…like donuts. If you’ve never had a donut for dessert, give it a try!

I reached out to a friend about going for a walk Saturday morning and she was free! We enjoyed another walk at Green Lakes along with great conversation, and James getting dried mango slices stuck everywhere…James was highly amused by the bike rack at the park and after lots of time spent in this exact location, we hit the road in need of lunch and a nap.

I spent James’s nap time working on a few blog posts, and before long James was up and ready for action. It was a beautiful afternoon so we decided to walk down the road to Grandma’s house to visit her and Uncle John. James’s afternoon slump was quickly brightened by seeing two of his favorite family members. After a quick walk home we met up with my parents at our apartment before setting them up with James for the evening. He was more than thrilled to see Grammy, Pappy and Charlotte and literally ran as fast as he could to greet Pappy at the door. I just love his love for all of his grandparents <3.

my best attempt at a family selfie…

Our date night took an unexpected turn when our first takeout option had just closed when we pulled into the parking lot. We ended up getting our favorite greek salads and then met up with friends for a round of mini-golf. Our evening concluded with (too many) donuts, and the finale of season one of Manifest. What an ending!

  • SUNDAY

Sunday morning started bright and early as it usually does around here. Josiah went to the church and James and I did our usual morning routine of breakfast, play, chores, and a quick neighborhood walk before we went to church ourselves.

The rest of Sunday was rainy and cold which called for a relaxing afternoon at home, and a warm and comforting bowl of tomato soup with grilled cheese for dinner. Who doesn’t love a lazy Sunday? Although with a 1 year old in the picture, when is life ever relaxing? Haha.

Alrighty folks I’m off to get this Monday started! I hope you all have a great one πŸ™‚

Firetruck, Splash Pad, Birthday Party, and More!

Happy Monday to you! Here we are at the beginning of another week! James and I don’t have too many plans on the agenda for the week, but I hope to fill our days with lots of summer activities and outdoor fun! Maybe a few playdates too? We’ll see!

FRIDAY

On Friday morning we had some unexpected visitors at our apartment building, the fire department! They were doing a routine assessment, and were very kind to let James explore their fire truck. He might need another year under his belt before he fully understands the concept, but I was impressed with the “vroom vroom” noises he was making as Josiah toured him around the truck.

Our weekend plans kicked off with a trip to a new-to-us playground and splash pad. It was about a 45 minute drive, but SO worth it. I have never been to a splash pad before and it was a blast. Josiah and I were so giddy, I think it reminded us of a mini waterpark! James was hesitant at first, but quickly warmed up to all of the water-filled fun!

Prior to the splash pad opening, we explored the beautiful playground right nearby. I loved the fact that this was a turf playground as James LOVES to eat wood chips and rocks which are commonly found at most playgrounds. Once again, I think Josiah and I had just as much fun exploring this playground as James did. They even had a double-sided swing that you could go on with your little one. So cool!

We couldn’t head home without making a stop at Bob’s BBQ for an early lunch. It’s a once a year stop for us since it’s in the middle of nowhere, but worked out perfectly with our morning activities because it was only 10 minutes away from the park and on our way home!

The food was delicious as usual, and James got some extra play time in thanks to the adorable kid area they have on-site. He even dug in to some of the BBQ chicken which was shocking! Must’ve been good πŸ™‚

SATURDAY

We all slept in Saturday morning, which is never taken for granted these days. I always appreciate when James decides to sleep in on a weekend day. Originally we had planned to get an early start and head over to another splash pad before going to a family birthday party, but ended up opting for a slow morning at home before our travels. We went through a Starbucks drive-thru on our way to the party and I thought it would be a fun idea to order James a “puppacino” aka cup of whipped cream, as you can see he loved the idea and I quickly regretted it, ha!

We enjoyed a fun afternoon of kid-chaos and catching up with family while munching on Wegmans subs, cake, and ice cream! Lots of kids and babies on Josiah’s side of the family.

SUNDAY

Sunday was filled with a lot of the usual, Josiah went to the church bright and early while James and I did a quick neighborhood walk followed by a few errands at Target and Trader Joe’s (our favorites!). We joined Josiah for church at 10:30 followed by a relaxing afternoon. Josiah stayed home with James so that he could nap and I got out of the apartment for an afternoon with the ladies! We gathered for a little girl’s lunch and conversation and while our group didn’t have a lot of energy (hello, lazy Sunday!) it was still nice to see everyone and spend a few hours with some of my best friends <3.

Question of the Day: What activities did you get up to this weekend?

Talk to you soon friends πŸ™‚

Food and Fun Highlights from the Week

Let’s take a look at some of the brighter moments from the week. A reminder that no matter what we’re going through, there’s always something to be thankful for. I say that now as I sit in a relatively good head space, but trust me I do not always believe what I preach.

Last weekend kicked off with a trip to a local park. Josiah gets all of the credit for making this adventure even more fun by making our way down to the creek to splash around.

The water was freezing, but it was a HOT day! James loved his first time in the creek and didn’t want to leave when it was time to go home for a nap.

My parents had us over on Saturday night for dinner and an early Father’s Day Celebration. My mom made us a delicious BBQ dinner and sent us home with the BEST strawberry shortcake featuring fresh strawberries from her garden. YUM! My father-in-law requested honey butter rolls for Father’s Day, so I prepped those on Saturday night.

Happy Father’s Day Josiah! James spoiled him this year with the highlight gift being a disc golf bag and towel. Side Note: all of his gift bags say Happy Birthday, Ha!

I woke up early one morning this week and decided to surprise my sleeping boys with some blueberry muffins. Not that either one of them are big muffin fans. My main motivation for making them were the two containers of blueberries I happened to buy on sale the other day and needed to use before they went bad.

Cheesy Mushroom Spinach Beef Pasta from Ambitious Kitchen. James has had this meal before and loved it, but it wasn’t looking promising when I put his plate in front of him the other night. Luckily after a few skeptical bites, he ended up devouring his plate and ate two more servings of it! Josiah and I are also big fans of the meal. A family meal win!

My mom and I made the same meal last night for dinner… as you can tell, they look nothing alike. The only thing I changed about the recipe was subbing salmon for the shrimp, apparently that changed the whole appearance? Also, my mom’s photo on the right, I mean professional photographer?!

Oh hey James!

That’s a wrap on our week so far. Lots of food, as usual. Still working on taking pictures of other life happenings. It is crazy how easy it is to paint a picture of a perfect life through the lens of a camera and a few words written below each photo. Behind the scenes of this post, we are going through a lot right now. Some days it’s easier to see the blessings than others. This week has felt heavy, but amidst all of that I hope that these photos are as much a reminder to you as they are to me of God’s goodness in this life.

Question of the Day: What is one thing making you smile this week?