Bag of Hope
The Big Birthday Bash

July. Who Needs a More Creative Title?

July 1st:

Our first 'normal' week since our week in San Diego/Camp Popsie and Mees followed by VBS. Before Brennan's "Lil' Kickers" class he's enjoyed this summer, we went on a long walk and played at the park.

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Getting ready for Uncle Tom and Aunt Kimberly's big reveal party for baby #3, we voted on whether we thought the baby was a boy or a girl. Brennan chose boy. Kensie copied Brennan. I voted boy and Matt voted for a girl.

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July 2nd:

Kim was thoughtful and included us in the reveal party by not just finding a time we could Skype, but she also ordered four tasty cake pops we got to bite into to see if there was blue or pink.

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It was BLUE! Tom and Kim will have their 3rd baby boy in October! 

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July 3rd:

A couple of times this summer, Brennan has enjoyed a day camp at Acrotex Gym with his friend, Cayden. They play HARD! I'm able to drop Brennan off and get a few things done around the house before I pick him up early afternoon. I have a little helper.

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Matt and the kids got to see a fabulous fireworks display with friends to celebrate the Fourth of July! Here is Kensie Jane with Ellie and Ella Kate. The boys were off running, of course. Brennan made mini flags for all our buddies to wave in the air. Brennan loved the fireworks; Kensie clung to her daddy.

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July 4th:

We had a wonderfully relaxing Fourth that started off with a family swim. Our secret is to hit the pool in the morning, and 90% of the time we're usually the only ones there. Family swims are one of our most favorite summer activities to do together. 

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July 5th-7th:

Popsie and Mees are finally settled into their new home! And our little family broke it in the first weekend of July. Popsie is wiped out after playing with this boy, and although Brennan keeps yapping away telling him about the characters in the movie he's watching, Popsie sleeps right through it.

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Matt worked hard all weekend long getting my parents' TV/computer tech stuff set up. Nothing went smoothly. That guy made numerous runs to Best Buy, working all day Saturday and most of Sunday. I've never known a more patient man who goes with the flow and works with a smile on his face no matter what.

Popsie and Brennan worked hard, too! They built their fort...

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and made sure there wouldn't be any trespassers...

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and welcomed their first guests into their fort by serving hamburgers and cookies that were all very scrumptious...

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and finally, showed off their bulging muscles they made while building their fort.

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While the boys were building, the girls were baking...and taste testing the yumminess of a chocolate cream pie.

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July 8th:

We started our first set of swim lessons for the summer. Brennan learned to swim last summer and he has since TAKEN OFF with it. He dives for rings, does hand-stands, and can swim the length of the pool freestyle. He does cannon balls as well, and actually demonstrated one for Matt's parents last week in the middle of our living room. It wasn't quite the same as landing in the pool, and would have made an excellent video to turn into "America's Funniest Home Videos". Kensie Jane started lessons this year. The first day, she cried the whole time and I held her during Brennan's entire lesson afterward, an unusual snuggle time. I soaked that up and secretly hoped she'd want me to do it again for the next couple of lessons. But no, she watched Brennan and therefore knew what to do. She thinks she can swim just like him.

This particular day, Monday the 8th, was another one of my most favorite days of summer. The three of us got to the pool early and were the only ones there to play in the pool together. Forty minutes into the lessons, it started raining. Sometimes a drizzle, sometimes a bit of a downpour, but no lightning. The lessons kept going. It was dark and on the cooler side, a lovely change from the Texas heat. And my most memorable part: we kept swimming in the rain after the lessons. The three of us played in the water as rain dribbled on our heads, walked home in the rain, put dry clothes on, and piled on the couch to watch a movie and eat lunch.

And this girl...she crashed.

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July 10th:

Before swim lessons I was admiring and envious of his hair color. 

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This was the day that for the first time, he swam freestyle the length of the pool on his own. Matt left work to come watch the kids during their lessons and caught Brennan in action. Apparently he was pretty excited about it himself as during a rare nap, I caught a glimpse of his swimming trophy Popsie and Mees gave him last year on his bed beside him.

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 Matt took the kids to a Round Rock Express game that night. 

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July 11th:

This is the way they pass time waiting for me to get ready.

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Baby girl's first hair trim. Afterward, we had to buy both kids new pairs of shoes because they're growing like weeds. Brennan wore holes through his pinky toes.

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July 12th:

My heart melted when I saw this picture of Wynn and Maysie! Oh, I want to smother them with kisses.

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San Antonio the weekend before, Dallas the next! We went to see Chris, Jillie, Harrison, Haddie and Hays! We played hard Friday at the pool.

Brennan can't get enough of Harrison. I am only a nuisance to my boy while he's with his buddies. You could hear whispers coming from their room late into the night until they finally crashed.

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July 13th:

These two are sweet on each other. Hays is making some squirrel stew for his woman who was all dollied-up by Haddie.

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Splash pad fun! And a summer day is only a perfect summer day when you have watermelon to eat.

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She loves me. She loves me SO much. She loves me enough to make my favorite cookies for me and give me the beater to lick. 

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July 15th:

After two weekends in a row of traveling, we had a lazy day Monday. The rainy, cooler week hit the spot, too. I sent the kids out to play in the rain, and eventually, I joined them. We took a walk in it and splashed to our hearts' content.

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July 18th:

There are certain stores you have to brace yourself as a parent to take the kids in with you. You take a deep breath, you shake out any uptightness, hold loosely any rules like 'no touching' or 'only touch with one finger', and you walk inside together. It is never a dull outing with these two to the party supply store. Truly, who needs a party when you have the store? I have the video to prove they even danced in the aisles.

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July 19th:

Popsie's birthday was the 25th, but he and my momma came this weekend for an early birthday celebration. This girl liked taste-testing the cupcake batter. Notice a theme with her?

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July 20th:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, POPSIE!! He was able to blow out all of his candles <grin>! My parents worked super hard that Saturday bringing some furniture they were no longer using and helped redecorate our home. I LOVE it! My momma has such a gift for it, and I love having a new look in our home after 6 years. 

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Our birthday dinner out at Chuy's. 

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Brennan was still recovering from being startled by the loud birthday singing.

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But Popsie makes it all better.

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July 21st:

Heading to church for the first time in a few weeks.

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Absolutely loving our week of rain. We're still no where near out of our 3 year drought, so we need as much of it as we can get. And we'll play in it as much as we can. Matt introduced the kids to a game of racing popsicle sticks down the street.

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She's not afraid to try her hardest to squish him.

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July 25th:

Matt's parents drove to Texas to help us celebrate Kensie Jane's 2nd birthday. While Matt and Brennan drove to Dallas to watch a Texas Rangers vs. NY Yankees game (no comment) with Papa, Kensie and I stole away together and drove to Dripping Springs to meet my momma for lunch. Kensie loved getting out her dress up jewelry and carried her purse the whole time.

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We stopped at H.E.B. on the way home to gather some birthday flowers. She thought they were lovely.

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In remembrance of my Gaga (whose birthday was also in July and who provided me with all the Oreos to my heart's content), and in celebration of Kensie Jane's birthday on Monday, KJ and I had our first Oreo tea party together on Gaga's china.

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Three generations of Yankees fans (again, no comment).

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They survived a hot Texas baseball game in the middle of the day. And I think they'd totally do it again.

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And next up...the birthday girl's weekend celebration!


Hey I'm enjoying your summer in print! Just wanted you to know I'm lurking about.

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