May::Iphone:2015

how will ‘runs errands’…his favorite part of sams…silly girl

flip off flip flops…these are for you mama…garage sale

she’ll do anything to make us laugh…especially will…mom-gram pedicure

mayiphone15-1

 

a rare sighting…soccer fans…dance party

first fire…family selfie…she loves to be outside

piano recital day…they played for nursing home residents…anna at the pianomayiphone15-2cate at the piano…kayla’s senior prom…mother’s day coffee

anna and mama…cate and mama…rock painting

ballers…long legs…chelle’s birthdaymayiphone15-3last day of soccer…the fam at soccer…”she woves me a wot”

having fun…sleepover sillies…will and the girls

we’re working on it…t-ball…the boys and the coachmayiphone15-4will at school…darn it, they are cute…new drop off hat

getting flowers…kayla’s senior solo night…boat baby

cousins…these boys might be trouble…buddies

mayiphone15-5

driveway art…the team

happiness…captain

mayiphone15-8fairy garden…cookie cheers…my boy

cate last day…anna last day…these three are so cute

yahoo!…will and mrs. g…last day treat

mayiphone15-6the lake…such good sisters

summer is here…my mama and i

mayiphone15-9will’s last day…we went to breakfast…buddies

slip and slide…fun…kayla’s graduation

so proud of this girl…cool dude…pop and willmayiphone15-7

End of the year…

We’ve come to the end of yet another school year.  Like all of the Mama’s and Dads posting adorable pics of their kiddo’s last days (I love seeing all of those pics, by the way) I too can’t believe that we’ve managed to once again complete another year of school or how time seems to be on hyper-speed these days.

It seems to me that parenting pretty hard.  It is relentless love and care and worry and hope.  It is the struggle of figuring out when to let go, when to step in and when to push along.  I think Kenny Rogers may have been talking about raising children when he said, “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, Know when to fold ‘em, Know when to walk away and Know when to run”. (Yes, he was definitely talking about kids in that one.)

We are grateful that we are surround by so many knowledgeable people to help us with this crazy important job of molding these kids into something great. Grandparents, friends, family, teachers (oh man, these teachers are SO amazing!!) all put in the time, dedication and love into our kids and we could not do it without them.

As we look back at this year, Corey and I are deeply proud of our kids. We are proud of the work they’ve done, proud of the integrity they have shown and proud of the friends they have been.  We will embrace the summer as a break from THE SCHEDULE and a time to let kids be kids. We will sit in the sun, swim in the pool, travel to the beach, practice math facts and read good books (sorry about that, kids) and try our hardest to be ready when next school year calls for them again in August.

Our 4th (?!?!!) Grader…

lastday-1Our 2nd (don’t even get me started…TWO of our kids in the grade I used to teach, what?!!!) Grader…lastday-2lastday-3

(That’s not a stick it’s a lightsaber, duh.)lastday-4

 

School’s out!lastday-5lastday-6lastday-7

kids-32

After the girl’s last day, Cate went swimming with some friends and Anna and I met Sofie and her Grandma for lunch at Taggarts.  Speaking of being proud, this little Sofie did great this year.  We are so proud of her and love her to pieces!

kids-34

Then, it was William’s last day. The girls were already done with school and they were thrilled to get to take Will on his last day. lastday-8lastday-9lastday-10lastday-11

kids-31

If I may, let me say a few words about the amazing preschool all 3 of our kids have been fortunate enough to attend. Westbrook is a special place where little people get exactly what they need: love.  It is a preschool full of amazing, loving, kind ladies who believe in the power of play and who are experts at fostering relationships among the children and listening, really listening, to what they have to say.  I have learned so much from them.  I also have to mention, that each of our kids have formed bonds with friends that will be, we are certain, forever friends.  While we were sad (and cried and cried) (okay, I was the one crying) about leaving this amazing place, I know that the special time spent here will live in our hearts forever.  We will be forever grateful that all three of our babies got to experience the love here.        lastday-12lastday-13

Will’s best buddy, Sam.  ♥lastday-14lastday-15

After school, we wasted no time getting the party started!  Such a gorgeous afternoon…kids-33

And then! Then! After all of these endings, which are actually great beginnings of course, Thursday was also the High School graduation of our niece, Makayla.  I was so thankful to attend the ceremony and see that smarty-pants receive her diploma. I can NOT wait to see what the future holds for this amazing girl.   kids-30

So…phew…what a week. Let the summer begin!

 

 

April::Iphone:2015

the fam at pop’s birthday…girls day out…big sister helper

april showers bring worms…buy this one mom!…lunch with anna

lunch with cate…first night of soccer…soccer buddies

apriliphone-1

dress rehearsal…b-ballers…takin’ a break

we heart chelle…simpletons…cate’s choir concert

the singers…cate and her teacher…the two-headed grandma

apriliphone-2

papas…silly sisters…best 50 cents I’ve ever spent

anna’s art…cate’s art…whoa

boat day/exploring day…playground selfie…exploring

apriliphone-3

 

anna’s find…good kids…hip hop recital

dancing sisters…they had so much fun…taking a bow

mama and girls…supporters…sassy pants

apriliphone-4

happy dancer…my ‘teacher’…workin’ the wrap around light

dinner with friends…first PJ day..little brother lessons

wilson’s sleepover…how you feed 7 kids…spa dayapriliphone-5

bathtub boy…clean piggies…gosh he’s cute

anna’s make-up poetry cafe day…her poem…so proud

school pics…we didn’t buy them…play date with buddy sam

apriliphone-6

buddies…outside homework…such a beauty

cate’s happy place…homework time…those lips

spring…has…sprungapriliphone-7

June 1, 2015 - 6:12 pm

Cate - Wow Mom! You are soooooo good at taking pictures. Some of these pics are from like 3 years ago. Some of these are from a week or TWO DAYS ago! Not that that is bad. I love you.

Cate (your daughter) :)

Kayla’s Senior Prom!

Our super talented, amazingly smart, totally gorgeous niece, Makayla is ALMOST DONE WITH HIGH SCHOOL!!  Please, someone tell me how this is even possible?!  The girls and I had the pleasure of going to see this beauty and her boyfriend, Jake, off before prom this weekend and I just had to share!

kaylaprom_15-1kaylaprom_15-2kaylaprom_15-3kaylaprom_15-4kaylaprom_15-5kaylaprom_15-6

{Is Senior Prom photography a thing? It should be. And since I’m still not booking this year, if you’re a photographer, you should totally steal this idea. You can thank me later.} ♥

 

Sunny Phoenix

First, may I just say…we could not be more grateful to our amazing and wonderfully helpful parents for keeping our babies while we enjoyed the sun for a few days. We know just how lucky we are to be able to get away and know that our kiddos are in the very best hands…thank you so much to the grandparents.

Next, let me just say…getting away for a few days with just the husband and I was So. Ah-mazing. We got to talk! To each other! With out interruption! We got to sleep in! And relax! Oh man. It was awesome.

Corey had to be in Phoenix over the first part of the week for work, I flew out on Thursday where we had 3 full days of fun.  We stayed at The Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, a place we would highly recommend.  We ate, we drank, we hiked, we sat our butts by the pool.

Here are a few snap shots (from both my iphone and my big camera) of our sweet little time together…

jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-20The view from our room…jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-8jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-21

Mountain-top restaurant for dinner! jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-10jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-25

Downtown Phoenix in the center…jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-1jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-2jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-3

Such a beautiful view during dinner!jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-27jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-1-2So magical…jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-7jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-2-2jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-3-2

jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-9

The next morning we went for a hike in the desert.  The sky was so blue and it was fun exploring…but man, that heat is no joke. jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-4-2jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-5-2

Then, back to another grueling day at the pool…sigh…jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-22jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-23jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-26jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-28

We finished up our time in Phoenix at the home of my Uncle and Aunt. We relaxed in their pool, watched the derby and drank mint juleps.  We only took the one photo by the pool on our last day (I blame the mint juleps) but it was such a nice visit and wonderful afternoon and evening.   jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-24jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-29jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-30

This was one of the best “grown-up time outs” we’ve ever had! :)jaimelenhartphoto_PHX-31