12 Things That Happened This Summer

I feel like this summer has just been nuts. I know I say this every year but when I look back at how many posts I shared the past month and a half clearly it's been another busy one. Maybe even the busiest in a while. Since I've been doing everything but writing here I feel like I should catch everyone up! How has the end of your summer been going? Just as crazy as mine?

What a way to kick off our summer! Early June we actually closed on our place. We didn't move until the end of June so that would give us time to do the couple of really big changes we wanted to make, carpet and paint all the things. Some of changes ended up being more of a pain than we anticipated. Which was super fun! Not. Kevin's dad was the MVP of everything. He retired at the end of May and went whole hog on managing all the things and updating a bunch of stuff around our place. Having people who are construction people in the family is fantastic. We are still working on selling some items as well as organizing and putting away everything. Once things are a little more in place I'll do an after home tour to go along with the before tour

Oh my gosh I was so excited to cross this one off my 101 list! I had an absolute blast. If you didn't see my post about it in June head over. There are some great photos and video of me being fabulous as a mermaid. 

3. Metra Bar Crawl
Another exciting one to cross of my 101 List was the Metra bar crawl. Kevin and I thought it would be a fun thing to invite his brother and wife up to hang out and crawl. We made a whole day out of it. It was a pretty loose and fun crawl since it was just the four of us. If we decided to stay at one place for longer than the hour we did. Had some great food at several places along the way. All in all had a great day. We don't get to see them very often since they live down outside of Peoria so it was nice to spend quality time just the four of us.

4. Celebrating Bill's retirement
Finally got a chance to celebrate Kevin's dad's retirement. Kevin's mom hurt herself earlier in the spring and it escalated into a huge thing with several surgeries and physical therapy. I can't even begin to describe the craziness that it was. She's back to normal but we had to postpone celebrating his retirement since she couldn't walk for a while. They hosted a party down in Canton where Kevin's brother lives and they own a small house. Again it was nice to hang out with his brother and his wife. Very chill weekend except for the construction along the highway home. Bleh.

5. Pampered Chef conference
Got the opportunity to attend Pampered Chef Conference again this year. I was unsure about it since we're trying to cut way back on expenses to pay off the cars. We looked at the budget and were able to make sure I put money aside for it. I wasn't as happy with the main sessions this year as I had been in the past but the smaller tech talks and talking with other consultants was gold this year. Got a chance to see the new products in action which is always good. Can't wait for the new season in just a couple of days!

6. Family reunion in Minnesota
This year the family reunion was being held in Woodbury Minnesota. We decided to take a couple extra days on the front and back end of the weekend to see some of the Twin Cities sights. This was really the first time since we'd lived up there that I had been back for more than a few hours and for more than just going directly to someone's home. It felt very odd. There were a lot of things that the way I remember them is so not how they actually are. Then there are some things that were so vaguely familiar it was like a dream. I guess your memory when from when you're in elementary school can be pretty faulty!

The reunion itself was great as usual. I worked hard to update the photo albums and everyone was super excited to see the last 17 years of photos added. Yeah it was a lot of work haha. There was lots of food, beer and singing as there always is. I feel like the day and a half of the official reunion is just never enough time with family. Especially I see my aunts and uncles getting older I want to spend as much time as I can with them!

7. Remembered Dad
August actually started off a little tough for me. I knew that it was the 5th anniversary of Dad's death. I feel like even though there were wonderful things in the week and a half leading up to it the first days of the month were hard for me mentally. Especially being at the reunion the weekend before the weekend of his death anniversary. We put the pinwheels and flowers on his grave, my sisters and put flowers on other family and friends graves. 

This year Lane and Elowen really wanted to help me put the flowers on everyone's headstone. I can't get over sometimes how smart Lane is. He was asking a lot of very tough and insightful questions for a four year old. Next to the section where my family is the Salvation Army has their section (small world right?) I always put a flower on the stones of loved ones of two of my Salvation Army friends. Lane was asking all about the flowers from the Army's celebration earlier in the summer, why were the graves the same but not exactly the same, who exactly were the people we were putting flowers on, how do I know those people and so many others. He very much wanted to put the flowers on the stones because they were important to my friends. It was super sweet. 

8. Market Days & Retro with Steph and Tara
The annual Market Days and Retro on Roscoe day with Steph and Tara. Always a top notch day. An exhausting day for sure. I joined them after our cemetery visit, which was exactly what I needed and have needed every year since 2014. We started out the day playing the "crack machine" for at least a good couple of hours. There was an attempt to wade through Market Days which failed miserably since it was super jam packed. More so than the past couple of years.

We decided to hop in an Uber. Last year we walked the two miles for some stupid reason but this year we were smart. There was some enjoyment of a few bands and food. Since the sound guy for Sixteen Candles was terrible that night we didn't go right up front like we usually do. Decided that we were going to hang out at a restaurant across the street instead. As usual it was a great day. Also I cannot get over how amazing we look in this photo. 

9. Curling Iron class with Jackie
For several months Jackie and I have been trying to find a Dabble class that works for both our schedules and that we want to take. We finally got one scheduled! We took Curling Iron 101 with Gold Plaited. I was really excited to finally learn how to curl my hair with my flat iron and get more comfortable with my T3 Curling Iron. I feel like I definitely walked away accomplishing what I had hoped to. They even sent us a mini workbook with everything we learned. It will come in handy when I'm finally able to have time and curl my hair two weeks from now or so. 

10. Scrapbook Expo
I had been looking forward to the Scrapbook Expo the entire summer. Mom's friend from Houston came in for a visit, mom, my friend Pam along with one of her scrapbooking friends and I all did the whole weekend deal where we stayed at the hotel and did all the big evening events. It was a blast! I had so much fun working on new projects, old projects and just hanging out with everyone. The classes I took this year were amazing. I had so many epiphany moments about simple techniques it's was nuts. I feel really pumped and ready to get going on even more projects in my new craft room. Although after the event I do have more to add to the room haha. 

11. First get together with work friends at our place
Earlier in the summer I had scheduled a potluck with some of my friends from the Army from my break time and lunch crews. I figured if we put in the calendar for the end of the summer we'd be able to get our place in better order by then. We were able to get the living room, dining room and kitchen looking fabulous and somewhat normal. The evening was so much fun. I had seen almost everyone at least once since I left the Army but it was so nice to all be together having a good meal. Catching up, telling stories and just hanging out. Such a good evening. Everyone loved the new table as well!

12. Babysitting all nephew and nieces
I took on the supreme challenge of babysitting the nephew and nieces by myself for almost an entire evening! Mom came the last part of the evening after her class. Overall it was a good evening. We walked up the street and played in the backyard. Juliette is really starting to scoot around so that made it interesting trying to push Lane on the swing, hold Elowen on the hanging bars and make sure Juliette didn't eat too much grass. We enjoyed PB&J sandwiches while we watched Frozen. Of course dinner and a movie with extra marshmallows were an aunt Betsy is here special. There were some meltdowns leading up and during bedtime. Luckily Mom was there to divide and conquer those situations. It was fun to hang out with them though. 

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