It's almost Halloween and I haven't blogged since July?!?!?
I'm not surprised to be in this predicament... once school started... forget about it.
Looking at my lack of blogging in a positive way, I was too busy experiencing life rather than writing about it over these last few months. That's what I'll say to make myself feel better :)
Anyway, here are some highlights (and a couple of cute pictures) from our magnificent summer.
At the end of May, as Josh and I celebrated 10 years of dating, he got me a sweet new professional camera. This started my summer too of experimenting with being a better photographer.
June wrapped up my first year as a part-time teacher. I know that my paycheck is smaller and I know my actual face time at school is less, but it sure does feel like I'm still doing the same amount of work. I was moving classrooms for the 88th time and Katie and I were also asked to teach language arts and social studies next year instead of math and social studies. This meant a lot of work ahead for us in the summertime. We enjoyed going up the cottage at the end of June for several days. This summer was proving to be MUCH different for our family than last summer was.
Last summer, I had two boys without a schedule really who couldn't do anything but roll over by the time summer was out. This summer, I had one boy walking, another boy crawling, and two creatures who wanted to get into, see, touch, and eat everything. We realized quickly that the cottage wasn't too baby proofed yet so we spent a lot of time trying to put up barricades, trying to quarantine them to small areas they couldn't destroy too much, and during this cottage trip, got to take them on the beach to experience the sand.... which they mostly ate.
One thing we discovered at this cottage trip was the public park in Port Franks and Grand Bend. Our boys LOVED swinging, going down the slides, etc.
We were supposed to stay up at the cottage for a big block of time (past the 4th of July), but went home early. It was in the 90s, the lake was too cold to do any swimming in, and we and the boys were miserable. When Nolan has a wet head just from sitting around because he sweat so bad, it's time to pack up and head out. That and the fireworks going off every night sent us into panic mode thinking the boys would not sleep well.
We started the month of July with a Staycation. We were supposed to be at the cottage, but had went home early and Josh already had the time off so we took advantage of being at home all together as a family. We went outside a lot, played a lot, and enjoyed each other a LOT!
July also brought a first for me: spending the night away from my boys, which I had never done before. In early July, I drove down to Chicago for a day/night to attend my friend Sara's bachelorette party. Josh was home on the Sunday of course, and then my dad came over Monday morning so that Josh could go to work and he could watch the boys until I got home. There were many MANY tears shed. Once I got down there though, I had a great time.
In Chicago, one of the first things we did was head out to the beach to enjoy a BEAUTIFUL day. To be at the beach, alone, was something else. I could read, I could shut my eyes, I could work on my tan. WOW. What a concept! It's amazing how your world changes when you become a parent; I had forgotten that kind of beach time had ever existed for me. Later, we enjoyed a lovely dinner, went out on the town for a while, and ended the night watching Call to Midwife on Netflix (Can you tell we're all in our 30s?) I got home the next day to two happy and well taken care of babies!
A couple of weekends later, I did the same thing except going up to visit Ashley in Petoskey. I went on a Sunday and got home on a Monday. Again, leaving was very difficult, but once I arrived, it was wonderful to spend time with just her and I. We hadn't done that quite a while before the boys were born because I was too scared to travel anywhere when I was pregnant (surprise surprise).
One of my favorite things we did up in Petoskey was sit on a veranda and sip cocktails while staring at Lake Michigan. We also went out to a yummy restaurant on Walloon Lake and I sat on her porch swing and read, which is one of my most favorite things to do when I'm up there. I really took in this time by myself and got a good night's sleep too :) Again, I came home to two happy babies... whew!
Judah has been practicing walking quite a bit and finally took several steps in a row in the middle of July. He is still much preferring to crawl though.
We cottaged again at the end of the month. This time, as the lake had a month to warm up, we experimented with taking the boys into the water. Nolan L.O.V.E.D. it. He loved loved the water so much and wasn't scared of any part of it. He would just run right in. If he got covered in water, oh well. Judah was a little more cautious. I think the cold of the water was the worst part for him. We let him continue to get used to the water by crawling around the shore. He sure does like to play in the sand though.
August was absolutely insanely busy both professionally and personally.
August started with a Pavona vacation to the cottage with all my sisters there! It was so so amazing! The weather was great and we soaked up every minute of being together. This ended up being our last summer trip to the cottage. We swam every single day with the boys and they continued to be more and more comfortable. Nolan was an absolute fish: going under, falling over, splashing around. It was really something. Judah was incredibly impressive too and made huge gains in the water. We went to the park together and went shopping in Grand Bend together, played volleyball, board games, etc, etc. It was probably my 4 favorite days of the whole summer. I can't get enough of my family.
Shortly after the boys turned 15 months, I quit breastfeeding. I cannot believe, after the start we had, that I can proudly say I breastfeed TWINS for 15 months. I never would've guessed. It was amazing and I was both incredibly sad and incredibly happy to be done with that chapter.
August gave Josh and I yet another first: our first night away from the boys together. Our friends Patrick and Julie got married in Grand Rapids on August 9th. We went to the wedding and stayed downtown for the night while my parents watched the boys at our house. They did great with my parents and slept through the night and Josh and I had a wonderful time out together spending time with friends and Josh's family. Several peopled asked us if it felt weird to be alone there without the boys. Of course it did; I don't even remember NOT having them in my life. But truthfully, it felt much more normal to be at a wedding with JUST Josh. That's what I was used to for many many years. I think it might have felt weirder if the boys were with us at something like that.
In the mid/end of August, we celebrated Josh's grandma's 90th birthday with a big, awesome, Hundt family party. We also went to Zeeland for one of our favorite weekends. We get together with Josh's college roommates and their families. Between the 8 of us now, we've got 4 boys all within six months of each other. As they grow up, that will surely provide loads of entertainment for us. Somehow, we were able to go to the beach, eat dinner, go for a lovely walk and have all kids sleeping by 9pm. WOOO.
The rest of August flew by with meetings, continuing to move classrooms, and lots of things to get ready for the beginning of the school year and then, in a flash, summer was over.
In those three months, Judah became a walker, they both learned some more words, they became swimming guppies, and we spent a TON of time outside going on walks almost every day and playing outside almost every day. It also brought some moments of independence for them and for Josh and I. All in all, it was just wonderful, just wonderful.