I'm looking forward to sharing details of what the future entails but I'm not ready to quite yet. So in the meantime, a few pictures and a few rambles of what we've been up to lately.
The boys are anxious for summer. They'll be in a new daycare environment for the first time since they can remember, and though we were disappointed we didn't make it into Blessed Beginnings this year, we're now starting to see some benefits to the change. They'll be attending a program out of Hansen Elementary school in Cedar Falls from 8:30-4:30 every day (when they aren't in sports camps and at golf), and they will still be able to go to the pool with daycare a couple of afternoons a week, along with other fun field trips. That was important to me - to find a daycare that still allowed them to get to the pool often!
They are wrapping up the school year by trying to stay accountable to their reading minutes while also getting busy with sports and other activities again. We completed spring swimming lessons with both of them passing on to the next level. Jaden just has one level left until he's "graduated" lessons altogether, and both of them had a lot of fun going off the diving boards this year. Jaden has gotten really comfortable with diving into the deep end instead of just jumping, and we're anxious to see if Brandon is finally tall enough to tackle The Falls waterslides on his own this summer!
Jaden has sorely missed basketball, but started baseball season up again last week and seems to be hitting better this year than last. :) He's on the same team with many of the same kids except for those who aged up to the next level - same coaches, same hats and same white uniforms. ;) It feels good to be back to this summer-time routine, and as I sat in the bleachers last night watching practice, I felt the most calm and content I'd felt in weeks. There's just something so sweet and simple in watching your kids out there on the baseball diamond - the chaos of life strips away, and I'm reminded that this is really all that matters and all I really ever wanted all along.
Brandon will play baseball again this summer, too, and he's really excited about it. However, his season doesn't start until July so he's trying something new this year to kick off summer - golf! He presented his interest to us a couple of months ago, and he's so excited to not only take lessons with a bunch of other kids, but also have some bonding time with Papa Bob in the process. And - he is already asking frequently to go "hit a bucket of balls" at Palmer's whenever we get the chance. We'll see how this goes, but envisioning my boy with a golf club in his hands makes me melt, and I love that it can be a lifelong sport for him if he chooses it to be. We'll be kept plenty busy between basketball camp, football camp, golf lessons and baseball games... but I'm so very excited for all of it. I look forward to summer more and more every year.
I recently returned from my annual Symposium gathering in Redondo Beach California with my company. This is always a huge undertaking and a big responsibility that falls on my shoulders to help coordinate and plan this event, and I'm always 100 pounds lighter when it's over. On our last night in California, one of my co-workers took me out to West Hollywood and I got to visit the restaurant, Sur, from my favorite guilty pleasure reality TV show, Vanderpump Rules. :) A couple of the cast members from the show were actually waiting tables that night, and I even got to exchange a few words with Lisa Vanderpump's son. Unfortunately, the night ended with a sudden wave of food poisoning that swept half of our organization for the second year in a row, and I think it's safe to say that we won't be staying at the same hotel again next year. It was awful.
Cody's super busy, as well, selling and designing jobs like crazy and also hiring a lot of new employees. He continues to take on more and more responsibility with his company, and I'm proud of him for how hard he works and how heavily others rely on him. It makes home life difficult sometimes, but I also know full well how lucky we are to both have jobs that support us and our family.
We are looking forward to family visiting from California at the beginning of June. My dad's cousin and his wife - whom I haven't seen since junior high - will be here for almost a week, and though we interact on Facebook all the time, it will be so fun to finally introduce them to my own little family. We sure are packing a LOT into our June and July, and sometimes I lie awake in the middle of the night just anticipating it all. We have a lot to look forward to.
Amongst all the busy, I'm still trying to find time for fun and rest. I've kept up with my daily Bible readings without fail and am staying on track to read the whole Bible in a year. I even make sure to pack the Bible in my suitcase whenever I travel. :) We've been visiting parks when we can, have had some fun cousin and family gatherings lately, have plans in the near future to do a downtown friends gathering some weekend evening... and are about to have our ninth wedding anniversary. The boys are getting more and more into riding their bikes places, have made even more friends in the neighborhood that now walk from two blocks away to knock on our back door - and continue to make us proud with their school reports - both written and verbal - from their teachers. Jaden had some sleep walk struggles a little while back that seems to have resolved itself, and Brandon has been oddly having bad dreams about tornados lately that have him crawling into bed for cuddles in the middle of the night, but other than that, they are happy and healthy and growing way too fast.
We've gone fishing, are anxious for our first boat ride, and are having fun putting together a little summer bucket list and countdown. They are excited for Adventureland, waterparks, the zoo... and maybe even an excursion a little farther away if we can find time to fit it in.
The ducks have returned to our creek, our flowers are blooming without rabbit interference for the first time ever, and we're anxiously awaiting consistent 72 degree days and some big changes just around the corner. Stay tuned...