Monday, June 29, 2015

Centennial Olympic Park

Last week we made our way down to the Centennial Olympic Park to meet friends and run through the fountains.  

It was so hot that day and I did not have my swimsuit on, but the kids loved it and it was the perfect way to cool off.  

We ate lunch down there and also stuck around to watch the "show" where the fountains literally dance to music.

We hadn't been in over 5 years and I don't know why!  They all loved it and did not want to leave when it was time to go.  I promised them we'd be back and we definitely will!  

Friday, June 26, 2015

Swim Team is OVER!!!

OK, I have a confession to make.  I am over the moon excited that today was the first day with no swim team since the summer began.  It ended yesterday and secretly inside I was jumping up and down and doing my happy dance.  I would never fully admit it to my girls though because they LOVED their first season of swim team.  They are already begging to do it again next year, so I'm sure we will.  I am happy to have this first season behind us.  It was a big commitment having to be a practice every morning and the late nights for weekly meets were also tough.  However, seeing how much fun they had and how much they progressed as the season went on was awesome.  They were good swimmers before, but now they are super strong swimmers and their strokes have really improved.  Also, it was great for them to have sweet coaches as role models and the socializing they got to do with their friends was one of their favorite things!  We did meet a lot of new people, so that was really fun!

Their last meet was supposed to be on Wednesday, but the thunder in nearby areas kept delaying the start time.  The kids didn't seem to mind one bit.  The pool we were at was playing fun music and our awesome high school coaches got the kids up to dance.  They were having blast and I know it's a night they will remember for a long time...even though they didn't even swim!

After waiting over an hour to start the meet the weather took a turn for the worse so they ended up canceling the meet.  The girls were so disappointed, but they had the next morning to look forward to!  The end of the year swim team party was a fun time for them to be able to swim and play with friends.  They also received their trophies and Harper received a coaches award.  I'm so proud of them and all of their accomplishments and awards from this season!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lake Weekend and Father's Day

We had a wonderful weekend at the lake with some of our awesome friends.  We arrived Friday night with just enough time to grill out and get settled in.  Walker has been undergoing some training to try to break some of his bad habits and we have all had to change the way we interact with him.  But he was so excited when Handley welcomed him up in her lap.  He's like a big ole teddy bear that really does just want to love us all.  

The friends that came with us this past weekend were some of our old neighbors and they've been coming with us for the past 6-7 years....we lost count!  I love that the kid just pick up right where the left off and the girls had the best time together.

The boys had tons of fun, too, and Hudson was so excited to have a buddy there with him to play football non-stop.  We all enjoyed a great dinner on Saturday night and the weather could not have been better.

We ended the night with some night swimming, which made for an awesome way to round out our day.  Sunday brought more boating, swimming and beach time. Hudson was so tired he fell asleep on the boat, which hasn't happened in a really long time.

All of the kids are starting to really love our time there even more than before (and I didn't know that was possible).  It's getting to the point where no one wants to leave on Sundays.  So, this weekend we ended staying Sunday night and just came home early Monday morning, which was awesome way to be able to relax and enjoy Father's Day with a yummy dinner, a family walk, and catching lightening bugs until it got too dark.  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

8 is GREAT! {Handley's Birthday}

Yesterday we had a great time celebrating Handley's birthday.  Because we had our big outing to the World of Coke on Tuesday, her actual birthday was a little more low key.  Robby and Harper woke her up by singing Happy Birthday so loudly that it also woke me up at the opposite end of the house.

Because we had a swim meet that night we let her open her presents from us early in the morning.  She was so sweet and gracious after every gift!

Next it was time for swim practice and then we came home to shower and get ready for lunch.  She picked the spot - McEntyre's Bakery.  It's one of our favorites and we all enjoyed a very yummy lunch and dessert.

On the way home we had a Taylor Swift dance party in the car. We were all jamming out and dancing like fools.  Such fun!  

We made our way to the pool to swim for about an hour so she could test out her new mermaid tail that she got as a gift from Mimi and Dadaw.  She is in LOVE with that thing and had so much fun swimming around in it.

We ended her special day at the swim meet.  Her entire team sang Happy Birthday (and I totally missed the photo op because I had no idea they were going to do that) and she felt so special all night.  Her special day must have brought her good luck, because she was amazing last night!  She won almost all of her races and was a swimming star!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

World of Coke

I can hardly believe we are already in the middle of June!  It's just crazy to me that time is flying by so fast this summer. I knew it would though and today is extra special because we are celebrating this girl turning 8!

She's been asking to go to the World of Coke and we couldn't go on her real birthday because of the swim meet, so we went yesterday instead. We invited her BFF, Olivia, along with her mom and brothers to go with us and we made a day of it!  We all piled into their car and were off on our field trip!

First stop was lunch.  We wanted to try something different (aka - not Chickfila) so we ate at Taqueria Del Sol with all of the other trendy people dining on their lunch breaks.  I hadn't been there in years and the food was just as good as I remembered.  It's super laid back and casual, so perfect with the kids.  

Next we were ready to get to the World of Coca-Cola or "Coke Land" as Harper called it.  

We had the best time!  It was so interesting to learn about the history, see the vault where the secret formula is kept, and taste sodas from all over the world!  To read a full review of our visit you can check out more details on my Magnolia Mamas blog HERE.  

 We learned about the history of Coke and the kids had a great time during all of the interactive exhibits.

They even got to hold a real Olympic torch and sit on the real American Idol Coca-Cola couch! 

Hudson loved the 4D movie!  

And we all had fun tasting sodas from all over the world! There were some funky flavors, but some were really good.

Handley and Olivia tried the "Share a Coke" BFF blend and said it was their favorites!  

And of course you exit through the gift shop so we now have 3 cute Coke Polar Bears to remember our awesome day!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Handley's 8th Birthday Party

I can hardly believe that this past weekend we were celebrating Handley's 8th birthday!  Her real birthday isn't until Wednesday, but we had her party this weekend. We actually had a double birthday party for her and our neighbor who was also turning 8.  They offered to have it at their house (complete with a pool, sports court, and water slide bounce house) so we quickly said YES!  The kids all had so much fun and it was so hot that day, so the perfect day for a pool party.

The birthday girl and boy! 

We had an ice cream bar set-up and Handley decided that she would like cookies instead of a cake so of course we called on my friend, Christy, to make her famous iced cookies for the occasion!

Handley had invited friends from all different places.  A few from school, others from dance, some from the neighborhood, etc.  I told her to make a point to include everyone and introduce them all so that no one would feel left out.  At one point the girls were all sitting in a circle and going around telling their name, their favorite color, and how they knew Handley.  I have to imagine that was orchestrated by her!  It was the sweetest thing!

After all of the guests had left Handley opened what will probably stick out in her mind as the best gift ever.  A framed Taylor Swift photo and autographed CD and the news that we are all going to the Taylor Swift concert in October!!!!  It will be the girls and I, with our amazing neighbor and her son. We are so excited!!!  And, to say that totally made my Taylor Swift loving little girls dream, would be a huge understatement.  She was beyond thrilled.  :-)  

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Jumping Rock

Most weekends when we are at the lake we are there with friends or family, but this past weekend we had a rare weekend up there alone.  It was just us and we had so much fun!  After getting there just after dinner on Friday we ate dinner and went right out for a sunset cruise.  The views were so beautiful!  

Saturday we spent the day at the north end of the lake and found the best beach ever.  We hung out there all day long and spent lots of time paddle boarding and just relaxing in the sun.

After that we stopped by the jumping rock.  We used to go all of the time before kids, but I think this might be the first time we took our little ones there.  Of course they were all up for jumping at varying heights.  At first, Handley jumped off the lower ledge.

And Harper did, too!  They both loved it and were so brave to jump again and again.  

Of course Hudson didn't want to be left out so Robby helped him jump from the very bottom.  

Then Robby jumped off the big jumping rock and Handley swam over to the boat and begged me to let her jump.

 I was nervous and not sure, but Robby said she would be fine and I knew I couldn't deny her adventurous spirit so I let her go.  And she loved it!

We spent Sunday wake-boarding for most of the day and Harper even gave it a try.

It was a wonderful weekend and we can't wait to be back there in a few weeks!