The summer of 2014 was a very eventful one in our family. We started out the summer, jobless. Literally on the last day of school we had no job, my husband separated from Active Duty Air Force, we had all our belongings packed and we left to move across country from Utah to Alabama to live in an RV in my Granny’s drive way until we found a new job in the civilian world. It was something we had prayed a lot about and decided to do at the beginning of the year… but now here it was, the big day. The day when we would leave a good job, with 4 kids and venture off into the unknown in search of a different life, one that would be free from the military.
The first stop on our journey was in Missouri. Noah grandparents and his biological dad live there and we had not seen his Grandparents in years, nor had he seen his biological dad since he was very tiny (long story). I met his biological dad, and our kids met him and Noah “met” him. It was a very interesting trip and we had a blast getting to spend time with his wonderful Grandparents. They are amazing to our family and our kids love them so much (Noah and I do too of course). Grams and Pop Pop McGuire are the best.
After we saw them we went to Noahs guard weekend (he left Active duty and went into the Guard) and then went over to South Carolina and went to Myrtle beach for a week for Taytons birthday (I can’t seem to find any of my photos from then).
After Myrtle Beach we headed to our temporary home of Alabama, my brother and his wife and my sweet nephew were there for a week. It was Noahs and the kids first time meeting Kaysen and they just loved him. He is their only cousin right now and they love “baby Kaysen.”
There is a huge field right next to my Grannys house and the kids had a blast playing a million and one kick ball games all summer long. My cousins and their kids would come and the kids would just be in heaven playing out in that field all day long.
We got to spend a good amount of time with my Papa. My Grandma passed away over 10 years ago and I miss her everyday. I wanted my kids to be able to meet my PaPa before he joins his wife and I love that they got to meet him. I hope we have several more years with him and that the kids get lots more memories with him, but for now I just feel blessed that we got to spend so much time with him.
My Dad, My Papa, Me and my kids. 4 generations!
We did lots of side-walk art work in my Grannys long driveway.
We got to go to a Huntsville Stars baseball game and the kids had a blast. See how curly Aowyns hair is? I just love how the humidity made her hair so curly and fun.
The boys were selected to run from one dugout to the next and they got to dress up in Super Hero Outfits to race. They ran with the Mascot, and the two oldest outran Tayton so badly, but the super cute mascot stayed with Tayton the whole time. It was just precious. They each got their own t-shirt to remember it by, even Aowyn got one.
There is an awesome kiddie carnival that is put on in the little town my Mom grew up in for a few weeks every summer. We were staying in my moms home town. It’s just this little kiddie place but its full of memories. My mom did it as a kid, I went every summer when we went to visit as a kid, and my kids all now got to go. It was a fantastic experience to see them doing something I have great memories of. We got to go with one of my very best friends, Amy, who lives in the little town we were in and her boys. Our oldest boys are only a few weeks (and then our next two are only a few days apart.) and they all just hit it off and had a blast with each other.
My little two were in heaven on the rides and I loved watching them. It was just perfect. The nostalgic memories came flooding back to me and something I have wanted to do with my kids since I was a kid was becoming a reality. Noah had an interview in Flordia, so we drove down to the beach and spent 2 quick nights there. We went to the beach at sunset one night and it was just Heavenly. The water was warm, the kids all got in fully clothed and Noah and I just held each other and let the stresses of no job drift away as we watched the sunset on the beach and watched ours kids enjoy the beauty that was around them. It made me realize how much I truly love the beach and want to live near one. We stood there and hoped and prayed that he would get the job, but we also knew that even if he didn’t, that God had a plan for us. (He did not get the job.)
It was so much fun to see all our kids crammed into the hotel beds. I have so many memories of cramming into hotel rooms when I was a kid. I remember bunking up with my brothers and just enjoying being somewhere new. I loved experiencing that with the kids. It was pretty magical.
Braddoc lost his first for real tooth (he had one pulled before we left because it had died) and he was not so sure about the whole thing. He also packed up and took his backpack everywhere with him the whole time we lived in the RV… part of me wonders if he was worried we were going to leave it behind, because all of our stuff was packed up in storage in Utah and he had very little of his belongings.
We celebrated Landons birthday by going miniature golfing at a place Noah and I had gone too when we first got married.
We had Landons birthday party and spend some time with my Mom and Dad (who are separated and that was my kids first time around them separated) my Granny and my Papa.
We did lots of fun activities, like swimming and wore the kids out every day. Those kids were living it up, and having the time of their lives…. it was exhausting.
We went out to Outback to have the big “sex talk” with Landon. Around their 8th birthday we talk to our kids about the sacred nature of sex and talk to them about things they may hear. We want them to hear it from us first and we want them to know the truth and not some made up stuff other kids will tell them. We use the awesome book called How to talk to your Kids about Sex by Richard and Linda Eyre. You can read a bit about this talk here. There is a whole script in the book to follow and we did that, it turned out amazing. It was a night that I was really nervous about because he is our oldest and it would be our first time having this talk, but he was very mature about it and we had a great conversation.
We had my Dad and Papa watch our other kids so we could just go and have a special one on one talk with Landon.
Braddoc has a deep love of bugs but this was the first time that he was around so many different kinds. He would hold them and carry them around like babies, but he is like Lenny from Of Mice and Men and loves them a bit too much. He ended up killing lots of bugs and would cry about it. He had several funerals for the bugs and his little heart was broken each and every time.
Aowyns hair got really blonde in all of that warm Southern sun.
We went to our friends ex husbands house a few times for some birthday parties for her boys.
Taytons goofy personality came out in full force that summer and he was constantly cracking me up.
My dad got the kids some baseball stuff so now instead of just kick ball they could play baseball in the big field too… Aowyn really loved that.
We went to the Nasa Space and Rocket museum for Braddocs birthday.
Aowyn decided that she would let me do her hair, so I could finally got the chance to experiment with different hair styles… she has now decided that she hates for me to do her hair (man I hope she out grows that soon.)
We went to the creek to take some pictures with our friend Amy and her boys and the kids ended up getting all sorts of wet in the water… which is exactly what summer should be for!!!
Me and Amy… man I love that girl!!! She is an amazing friend!
I finally got my hair colored by my favorite hair stylish and went back to my natural deep rich brown color!! I LOVED it!!!
There is a fantastic soft serve ice cream place in the small town we were in and we went there ALL the time. It was glorious. So very yummy and another one of those places that I have so many memories from as a kid. Plus its a small town so that stuff was cheap…. man I miss small towns.
I turned 30… gasp. I will admit, I totally cried and was heart-broken. It was really hard to turn 30 when we lived in an RV and my husband had no job. I did not think that is where I would be at thirty… but my sweet husband made it such a great night and I felt so much better when I went to bed. I sure do love that guy of mine.
We ate at PF Changs and went and saw The Giver with my friend Amy and her date on my birthday.
We spent lots of time building Legos and watching movies to escape the heat.
This sweet guy of mine ran crazy with those kids every single day. He decided that it was much more exhausting to be a dad full-time then it was to work full-time. He said he got a glimpse of what it was like to have my job. He would crash on lap every night while I read. Seriously best partner ever.
We went to some Athens High School football games (the high school my mom graduated from and was a majorette at). Football is a big deal in the South and in a small town, the whole town comes out for the football games. I loved the atmosphere and the energy at the game.
The life changing part of this trip came when Aowyn decided that she could not longer sleep out in the main part of the cabin with her brothers because, “They boys, I a girl, I not sleep with boys.” So she decided that she needed to sleep in our bed with us. She would go to sleep in her bed and then in the middle of the night crawl into our bed. Here we are a year later and she still crawls into our bed 6 out of 7 nights a week.
There is a huge tree in my Grannys yard and the boys loved to climb it. If you look closely there almost at the very top you can see some blue and white stripes… that’s my 6-year-old. I almost had a heart attack every time they did it.
This is a close up of the top of the tree where you can see his green pants and arm.
The kids thought our bed was a play area and joined me in bed back there. We made up lots of fun crazy body movement games back there in that small space. These two became the absolute best of friends.
Braddoc got his first suit and LOVED it.
We were still living there when Alabama started playing Football so we got to watch lots of football games.
My Grandaddy has about 500,000,000 dogs (okay only 10) and one of them had puppies so we go to go hold some brand new Maltese puppies, the kids were in heaven (and so was I).
We adopted an abandoned dog. We named her Lillie Jewel. My Grandaddy collects a thousand million different kinds of junk and so my mom would take my kids on lots of adventure in the junk. I have so many great memories in this house and I miss it dearly.
Tayton was being Tayton and stuck some stuff up his nose…. several times. Aowyn pushed around her brothers in this toy car all the time…. “Heaby, too heaby” she would say.
The kids did some frog catching… growing up I was the best frog catcher ever, my dad used to say that’s why I got warts as a kid. Man I loved catching frogs. I caught this one for the kids because none of them would actually try to catch it, they would just hold it… and even that freaked them out. What am I doing wrong in raising them?
I miss the green of the South so badly. I need green in my life.
School started and we were still living in Alabama so the kids started school at the school my mom went to as a kid. It was pretty fun for them and I have to admit I like the school much better in the South than here in Vegas.
Right away Landons class took a field trip to the Caverns. I got to go with him and it was a blast. I have been in these a lot in my life but this was the first time he got to go in one.
Aowyn found a love of lip gloss and got into mine all the time… so we bought her, her own…. yep she used a tube a day. She called it her “make over” Silly girl!
It was a pretty exhausting life for a 2-year-old. I love that she carried a binkie with her while she had one in her mouth. We ended up moving in with Amys parents the last few weeks we were there. There was a lot of problems with my family and we had to make a break. Noah ended up getting offered a job to work back in Vegas after we moved in with the Broadhursts. It was so great to have a job offer but it was really hard to leave the South and all the things we loved there.
We had to say goodbye to Amy, which really broke my heart. I love her dearly and I hated to leave her.We made the drive back across country and discovered on the drive that Landon was allergic to our new dog. His eye got so swollen and huge, the poor kid was miserable. The eye itself was swollen and he just look so pitiful. The dog had to stay in the front of the car with me and could not visit him in the back, that was so hard on him because he loved her so much.
We stopped on the was to Vegas and visited with some other amazing friends of ours. Kirsten and her family have been great friends of ours for a long time. There oldest and Landon are a day apart. Aowyn and their second daughter fought like crazy because they were at that age, but love each other so much. When we were there we got to go to the little tiny New Mexican town zoo.
More Frog holding happened… this time it was a much bigger frog.
I love our kids together. Best of Friends.
We celebrated their babies 1st birthday and had some awesome cake and frosting.
These two are the best of friends and miss each other so much. They have known each other since birth.
Kirsten and I went and saw Maze Runner… I have missed her so much and I missed her even more when I had to leave her again.
I license plate totally fell off our van and we had to jimmy rig it back together half way to Vegas. Our awesome little van totally did the trick and towed a trailer with us the whole way, Noah and I were both shocked that it did that.
Last but not least… whats the end of a dramatic life changing summer if someone doesn’t get sick at the tale end? Right when we got to Vegas, and were living in a hotel room, with one car, while Noah started work, and we were looking for a house, I got strep throat. It was so nasty and painful. My whole body hurt and I literally thought I was dying… it took a few days for me to even think it was strep because the rest of my body hurt so badly that the throat wasn’t even the biggest deal. Apparently I had such bad strep that it had already started to mess with my joints… YUCK!!!
The summer of 2014 was a very eventual, memory making, life changing summer. One none of us I think will ever forget.
Bravo if you read the whole thing…. 😉