Category Archive:Swimming

Camping at Tony Grove

Your #1 Fan post on February 20th, 2017
Posted in Camping, Cousins, Family, Hiking, Sunshine, Swimming

My older sister and I decided to take our kids on an overnight camping trip. I was feeling great and ready to get out and LIVE. Having cancer and being out of commission for 6 weeks sure makes you motivated to get out and feel alive. I love camping. I love just sitting and soaking up God’s beautiful earth. It was healing. Anytime Novalie can hang out with her cousins, she is a happy girl. We went to Tony Grove, which I camped at with my Grandma and Grandpa when I was a kid and Kevin and I camped there once in our early years. It felt familiar and I was happy to make new memories there. We went to the lake, played games, walked the campsite, ate yummy food and treats.

Novalie loves camping and the outdoors just as much as I do. We feel at home.

Started out being careful on rocks…

To being drenched. 

So happy to be in the sunshine in the mountains.


The morning after. I did not sleep. Maybe 30 mins total in 5 minute increments here and there. I was convinced that bears were going to attack us….”did we put all the food away good enough” went through my head every 5 seconds. Sleeping on a hard ground 7 weeks after having a double mastectomy was not a brilliant idea. I later learned that my tissue expander that was in for temporary reconstruction work turned 90 degrees that night. Whoops. I don’t regret it though. One night in the mountain air did wonders for my soul.

A goodbye selfie with Novalie and Sophie.

~Happy Tony Grove Camping Trip!~

Summer 2015 Recap

The rest of the summer was filled with swimming, roller skating, relaxing and Novalie and her BFF coming up with all sorts of creative things to do.  I worked just 2 days a week except for a couple of weeks that I had to fill in for my fellow retail girl who was out with kidney stones.

A few summer pics~

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Roller girl

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We went to this water park a few times.  I loved these pink water slides when I was a girl and it is such fun to see Novalie love them too.

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Writing stories in the backyard.  She writes everyday.

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Cheap summer kid movies with popcorn for breakfast.  The best.

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This picture screams summer happiness!

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All snuggled up getting warm.

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We made several trips to the snowcone shack!

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I love so much that she still goes into her room for an hour or two and gets lost in her imaginary stories with her toys.  I sometimes stop outside her door and listen because she fascinates me.

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Pool ring crowns for their pretend Coronation Day.  Love their imaginations.

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My two baby girls relaxing.  We did this a lot and that is okay with me!  Love this sight.

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My happy place.

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We practically had this reservoir to ourselves because it was a cooler, cloudy day.  Novalie and her BFF had so much fun playing in the water and sand.  My favorite summer activity~water and sand.

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Playing “Chopped.”  They laughed so hard at their creations and presentations.

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Her happy place.

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We came home with a container of rocks~of course!!

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My sister and her family came home from their year living in France.  Love little Sophie and missed them all!

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Novalie was super excited to see her cousins again after a year!  We met them at In-n-Out Burger because that is what all the kids wanted to eat first after being home.

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We have a beautiful path where we live that we visited a few times for long walks/scooter rides/roller skating.

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Pancake Wars.  We had pancakes for dinner one night and they wanted to do a version of Pancake Wars.  They are always creating things, laughing and laughing.

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Bright sunny summer girl!

~We love summer!~

Fun in July

We did a lot of fun things in July, but we also had fun in day to day daily life.  I want to record those moments too.

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This was around midnight late one night.  It was hilarious.  These 2 were dancing around, laughing and having a blast wrapping blankets around themselves different ways.  It doesn’t make much sense now, but at the time it was so entertaining and funny. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Novalie working on her model face and pose.  So funny.

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These 3 spent a lot of nights in the tent in the backyard.  They would set up movie theaters, spas and bakeries.  Super love this.

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Imaginary game they came up with.  They played for hours.  H.o.u.r.s.

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Novalie’s polar bear slippers were a huge hit among the boys!  They fought over them….again, so funny.

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All the kids wanted to go on a hike again.  It was hot which made the hike seem so much harder and Olive had had enough after about 10 minutes in the heat so I carried her.  That just made the ending destination that much sweeter.

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At first they just put their feet in the water .  Then Zach laid down in the river because they all were so hot and drenched in sweat.  Everyone else followed him and before I knew it, they were all wet from head to toe.  A sweet, fun reward after a long, HOT hike.

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Bff’s.

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Olive enjoyed the river too and did much better going down the mountain.

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A trip to the park.  We took many, many of these.

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Three crazy fun cousins.

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Novalie and I snuck away for some mommy/daughter pampering.  July was hard.  Very hard.  These moments away together were precious and I soaked them up.

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Our new pretty toes.

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Making breakfast interesting.  While the boys were at my brother’s, they colored their eggs for breakfast.  Kameron asked every single morning if we could do it and I finally agreed.  Novalie did aqua and Kameron did black.  Those eggs sure look neat, but it took them a long (long) time to finish them.

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Zach went to Novalie and Kayla’s spa and got a manicure and pedicure.  🙂

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Since we had so much fun on the previous hikes, we were all pumped up to go again.  This was a big hike fail.  We did a smaller hike to a lower waterfall and there were hundreds of wasps.  Hundreds.  Kameron got stung, but all the rest of us made it out untouched.  They all said they NEVER wanted to go on another hike.  We got snowcones because it was hot and we survived the worst hike.

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Olive got a plain snowcone and sure enjoyed it!  She survived the failed hike too.

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Surf n’ Swim.  These 2 didn’t stop all day.

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Super love diving board shots.  Novalie is my favorite.

Bear Lake

One of my favorite parts of summer is going to my sister’s cabin in Bear Lake.  Good family time and Bear Lake is beautiful and perfect for the kids.  My sister and her family moved to France for a year and we were so happy to have these 2 days together at one of my favorite (and Novalie’s favorite) places before they left.  Even though I was super tired from taking care of a new puppy and her not having anywhere to run around freely, it was still relaxing and fun.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Dogs are not allowed on the beach at Bear Lake, but they said I could bring her because she was just a puppy and if she stayed in her kennel.  I set up a little shade for her because it was hot!

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I had to let her out to go to the bathroom and boy oh boy did she LOVE digging in the sand.  It made me sad that she couldn’t be loose.  She would have loved the beach and water.

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Austin really loved Olive.

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All the cousins that came.  They all had so much fun with each other.

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Our Bear Lake trip wasn’t complete until we stopped at LaBeau’s for shakes!  Marcus’ face cracks me up.  I love shakes…yummy!

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This is my new favorite picture of Novalie.  Have you ever seen a picture as cute as this?!  Happiness.  Joy.  Summertime.

~I LOVE BEAR LAKE~

4th of July

Your #1 Fan post on August 11th, 2014
Posted in 4th of July, Cousins, Novalie, Parade, Summer 2014, Swimming

I love the 4th of July.

I love the red, white and blue.

I love the pride I feel celebrating the freedoms of America.

I cry every time I hear any patriotic song.

I love the parades.

I love the heat.

I love the swimming.

I love the bbq’s.

I love the fireworks.

I love the American food.

I love the snow cones.

I love being with my little family.

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We got a bucket of Einstein bagels and found a nice shady spot to watch the parade.

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Zach and Kameron

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Hanging out, waiting for the parade to start.

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My American beauty.

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The rest of the day, the kids swam in my brother’s pool and ate a yummy bbq while Kevin and I snuck off to the movies.  🙂

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They played inside for awhile too and watched a movie.

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Olive went for her first swim on the 4th of July.

My brother bought a ton of fireworks for them to set off and set up the tent in his backyard.  Novalie said she was going to sleepover with the boys.  She made it until 11ish and called me to come get her.  It was her first attempt to sleep away from home.  I was hopeful she would make it all night, but she likes to be home knowing I am close by.  And I am just fine with that.  I like her home too.

~Happy 4th of July~