July | Full and Fun

[this post is almost entirely pictures…i.e. the best form of memories]

July started like this. Lots of blue sky and a visit from Alex’s sister and her husband which included lots of time in CW… IMG_2244

but also some baking and playing with little J…IMG_2236

IMG_2237 They flew here but drove back to Illinois with Alex and little J in one day. 950 miles in 16 hours with a toddler. The day started with a 3:00am departure. Little J was an angel and Alex’s sister is my hero. He did amazing in the car and made me so proud. Varied activities, a 2 hour nap and the movie AirBud were keys to sanity.IMG_8534IMG_2391IMG_2386

A week later, I reunited with the crew after spending a week in D.C. for work and spent a few days in Rockford which included a baseball game and a trip to Brookfield Zoo.IMG_2306


IMG_2313IMG_2317A few days later we headed to Wisconsin to spend time on Lake Geneva with my family which included lots of sand and water and boating and our 6 year wedding anniversary.


IMG_2348IMG_2375IMG_2364IMG_2370 IMG_2374 IMG_2372 IMG_2371 IMG_2341And then our little family got back on the road and headed home this time with me in tow. We spent two days on the road and took our time. Stopping to play baseball a couple of times and to explore the town of Lewisburg, WV where we found and interesting little cafe that had a play place. #winning on the road!IMG_2380IMG_2379

IMG_2383And that friends was July. Full and fun indeed and we’re thankful. Thankful for quality time with friends and family who live 950 miles away; thankful for cool nights and the beauty of the Midwest; thankful for flexibility and summer warmth; thankful for a few weeks without a grocery bill; thankful that these pictures and memories will make me happy in November when the monotony of life is more apparent.




Summer Vingettes

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IMG_2232 IMG_0903 IMG_0891 IMG_0888IMG_2231Summer, summer, summer! My favorite season is here and it’s glorious.

A morning play-date at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens and then showing my brothers a “pretty-good-it-was-alright-except-for-the-heat-and-then-everyone-got-the-stomach-flu-and-you-got-stuck-in-Richmond-on-the-way-home” kind of time. CW (it’s it gorgeous?), Jamestown Beach, and more blueberry picking (and pie making) were on the agenda for the extended weekend.

And then the whole Kelley Fam (mom and dad too, just not pictured) was here for Father’s Day 2015 so we got some pictures taken (hence the matchy-mathcy). Other fun first’s for little J this month – his first baseball game (he was terrified of the mascots!) and his first round of golf.

Oh summer, won’t you stay forever??

11 months – wowza

IMG_4758Before sitting down to write this post, I looked back through my other month by month posts and I hardly recognize SBJ or remember those first few months. An older woman at my church told when SBJ was just three weeks old that “they change so much in the first year” and though I could have had no idea since I’d never lived it, it’s sure true. Wowza do babies change quickly! I’m thankful that I’ve had the time and the energy to document and record so many moments of SBJ’s first year for my sake more than his…so that years from now when my mommy heart aches for days long gone, I’ll have a way to remember and to treasure.

But enough sap – at 11 months SBJ is fully mobile…crawling (for real!), cruising, climbing stairs and pulling himself up on anything he can find. He’s obsessed with balls of any kind and loves bath time. If he even hears the water running he goes nuts. His favorite foods are blueberries and goldfish crackers. We’re weaning to cow’s milk this month and so far so good on that front – as long as it’s warm he’s a happy camper. This will likely be my last month by month monthly post because even the above photo was hard to capture per the shenanigans below…welcome a little further into our world…

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Additional life updates include cutting his third nap cold turkey the day that we got back from vacation and not looking back. We’re down to two very predictable naps a day. Since he likes to get up soooo early (most days I first hear him about 5:30) the first at 8:30am and the second at 1:00pm. On good days, the first one is an hour and half and the second is two to two and half hours. More teething throws us curve balls a few days here and there but most days we stick to quite a nice routine. I swear teething is the worst thing about parenting infants. Followed closely by finger nail trimming and separation anxiety. Teething Exhibit A…


I’m truly mourning the end of summer perhaps because the last month feels like an absolute blur in my mind. We had family in town one weekend and have done some house projects (mostly painting and buying furniture for our sun room) but we’re kind of just in a routine of working and playing and relaxing. Looking back, I guess we have done quite a number of things in the last month to enjoy Southern Virginia including spending time at both the York and the James Rivers in additional to a handful of visits to our local park and at least half a dozen walks in Colonial Williamsburg. All in all though it’s still a blur. Very thankful that we still have a least a few weeks of warm, sunny days ahead.

And now onto party planning…for work and for this little guy who’s GOING TO BE 1 YEAR OLD in 30 DAYS.


I’ve said it before and I will say it again and again and again. I love summer. I can’t get enough. Seriously, if there was a place that had endless summertime and summertime fun, I think I’d live there if I could get a job there – ha.

We were blessed to be able to spend about a week and half this summer in my favorite summertime place on Earth – Lake Geneva, WI. We boated, we swam at the pool, took walks, hung out with siblings, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, played at the beach, and ate out. And SBJ loved his life – probably 😉 Judge for yourself from the montage below.


10 months…and then some





At 10 months SBJ is SO STINKING photogenic and adorable most days I can’t handle it. He’s also a complete cheese who loves the sound of his own voice and despite not being able to crawl in a straight line has figured out how to combine scooting, lunging, sitting up and spinning to get himself wherever he wants to be.

We spent almost the entirety of SBJ’s 10th month outside of Williamsburg {highlights here and here and an additional summer recap post is coming!} and if you need to know why this post is delayed, it’s because we were here (at the amazing wedding of two dear, dear people) on August 2nd. It was SBJ’s first trip into D.C. Not too shabby if I do say so myself!



In my opinion, summer are best when they involve lots of time with family and reunions with friends. and it’s ok if they’re punctuated with work as long as they include lots of pancakes and pool time and walks and snuggles.

SBJ’s first summer has been near on perfect and we’ve been so blessed to be able to see so much of extended family despite the miles that separate us most of the year.

a brief trip to Michigan allowed us to spend time with my mom’s side of the family…



and while we were in D.C. for Constitutional Academy, the stars aligned and we were able to get together with our D.C. married small group despite being separated by 100’s of miles and an ocean for a sweet time of fellowship…


and a family wedding allowed us to spend time with Alex’s dad’s side

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and time with our Illinois besties



Summer is by far my favorite season and this one has been wonderful.

An Update by Numbers

30 – the number of days that Alex has been out of school.

16 – the number of nights we’ve been away from home since Alex finished school 🙂

4th – the holiday our nation celebrated a few weeks ago to mark our Independence. We decided at 11:30am to book it over to Colonial Williamsburg to hear the reading of the Declaration of Independence. Oh the perks of being local! Sadly our day did not include fireworks (b/c CW does an amazing job with theirs!) but we did have a cook-out with some church friends and heard them from our front porch.

6th – the last day we spent (and will spend) in Williamsburg in the month of July.

5 – the number of days Alex served as Mr. Mom Extraordinar (in a hotel room!) while I was ran my annual Constitutional Academy.

1276 – the number of times SBJ has said the word “dog” since being at his Vlk grandparents house. He loves their dogs soooo much!

3 – the number of steps SBJ took on is own two nights ago. Alex and I were sitting outside and letting him walk between us in the grass. I let go of his hands one time and elcited 3 steps

18.5lbs/28 inches – SBJ’s weight and height at his 9 month check-up