JUST A LITTLE CATCHUP; OUR LIFE LATELY

hey everyone! i hope you are all enjoying your summer months; can you believe fall is almost near? i figured we were long overdue for a catchup and i had a few minutes to draft something up.

i feel like our family is always up to something; so this is what our life has looked like a bit lately…

IOWA CABIN TRIP

over memorial day weekend my parents typically go to a campground in iowa with some of our family friends. this year we had the kids and made a family vacation out it. this was probably our first one yet all six of us together and we’re already looking forward to the next.

we rented the cutest little cabin nestled on the campground’s pond, perfect for fishing and letting the kids play on the beach. during the days we were there we did lots of playing at the park, dipping our toes in the water at the beach, and fished with papa. by the time the sun went down, the kids were all pretty tired so we’d enjoy a campfire here or there and then settle in for bed. it was the perfect little getaway and are already looking forward to going back next year.

4TH OF JULY

4th of july is always one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. it’s a perfect holiday to celebrate and really gets the summer going. this year we decided to have family over for a backyard party. we rented a large bounce house/water slide and broke all the kiddie pools. we spent most of the day in the sun and were all so exhausted by the end. i’d call that a successful day!

PUP-DATE!

winnie jo is almost 16 weeks now and is growing like crazy! i’m really trying to enjoy her still being on the smaller side and a big furball, but man, everyday we can tell she’s getting better. mazi and maci have really adjusted to her being around and are constantly playing. it helps out out so much by tuckering her out and lets us get a few more hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. she usually wakes up only once or twice at night now to be let out, versus the every-hour schedule she had when we first brought her home. going from two to three dogs was certainly an adjustment, but she’s fit in quite perfectly and we love giving her her FUR-ever home.

a photo journal – iowa camping trip.

for months, we planned a camping trip to iowa with my family and some of our family friends. we were a little hesitant if it was going to even happen due the covid pandemic, but were thrilled once we got word from the campground that they would be opening back up, and just in time!

we spent the morning packing up and heading to iowa. it was a perfect drive a way; not too far, but close enough where you didn’t feel like you spent the whole day in the car.

we planned our visit at a KOA campground in waterloo, iowa. the town is a pretty decent size and they have a lot to do there like a casino and waterpark; however a majority of everything was still closed. the campground had a lot of great amenities too… a dog park, playground, and even a lake that you could fish on or rent some of their canoes.

my parents and our family friends all had campers, so we opted for renting a cabin at the campground we were staying at. i’ve never stayed at the KOA in waterloo, but was decently surprised with how adorable the rental cabins were. they had quite a few to choose from, but we opted for the 4-person cabin since there was only just the two of us.

my favorite thing about weekend getaways camping is how relaxing and non-stressful it is. just being able to sit outside, hang out with our friends and family, and enjoy the fresh air. and after being cooped up inside for the past few months, it was even more enjoyable.

all three nights that we were there we did some fishing around the lake. the fish were biting, and even though they were all on the small size and just catch and release, it was fun. the guys caught a fair amount, me on the other hand? one. and it doesn’t even really count because i told the guys that i wasn’t leaving without catching a fish and my father being the patient man he is when he is ready to go, he is ready to go. so he hooked one and let me real it in. so, there’s that. but thanks pops!

if you’re from the midwest, you know what “bags” is and you play it. often. and it’s an essential when camping. you gotta. so being the illinoains that we are, the bag sets were out and lots of lots of rounds were played.

the families that we went camping with were ones that we grew up with. people that we’ve known for many, many years and after growing up and having kids of my own, i don’t get to see them as often as i would love to. it was so nice to see them all again and reminisce about all the camping trips we took as kids and laugh at how old we all are now.

as always, our mini vacation went by way too fast. the weather wasn’t too bad while were there, the company was great, and just being able to get out of the house was something we all needed. i’m forever thankful that we get times like this and have the opportunity to do so. we’re already looking forward to the next one!

a recap of our year – 2019.

2019 started off challenging, but has ended being one of the very best years. i’m taking this year as something that i will look back to, and be grateful for where it took me.

and in 2020, i’m ready for more, more of this happy life.

i took a few minutes to look through my year in photographs, and wanted to share some of my favorite moments with you.

little miss mahkena turned 7; it’s so hard to believe she’s already that old. we celebrated with a disneyland-themed birthday with some of our friends and family, and that girl sure got spoiled.

the girls and i moved into our own little place in town. we knew it was only temporary so we weren’t too picky when looking for a place to rent, but it sure turned into quite the perfect little home for us three, and mazi girl.

i had a work conference in austin, texas that i had the opportunity to attend. john was able to join; we went down a few days early and made a vacation out of it. it was so nice to get away together and enjoy some texas sunshine.

welp, it was inevitable. this was the year i turned 30. and as much as i dreaded it, it turned out to be the best birthday ever. we spent it in chicago and attended a cubbies game.

every five years, my family has our family reunion and this june it was held near st. louis. we drove up the wednesday before to spend a bit more time with family. we rented this little cabin and spent our days swimming, at the zoo, and just catching up with everyone. we’re already looking forward to the next one.

and just like that kaylei turned 11. before we know it we’re going to have a teenager and i’m so not ready! we rented the community room in town and had an art-themed birthday party. i loved that some of her friends from school were able to join us.

the girls and i moved up to roscoe, in with john and the kids. we were super exited about the move and as a little nervous as they were, i think the girls were excited to start new schools.

i got to attend my first nfl game, and even though it wasn’t the chicago bears, i thorougly enjoyed watching the vikings play. i’m already looking forward to going to another one, and hopefully soon!

we were excited about trick-or-treating this year. with 6 of us and everyone being a good sport about the entire family dressing up, we had some fun. we went as minions for trick-or-treating at the campground and went with grinch, dr. suess, and winnie the pooh characters for the night of halloween.

with the holidays coming up and needing photos for our christmas card and wanting new canvases to hang up within our home, we had leigh photography take our family photos this fall. she did such an amazing job at capturing us all.

we spent thanksgiving together with our families and made sure to continue with our tradition of shopping with all the crazies on black friday. needing anything or not, i love that we still continue to go every year and enjoy all the people watching.

we ended the year with lots of family time for christmas. we made sure to take part of all the holiday festivities from cookie-baking to wearing matching pajamas. there is nothing better as a parent than watching the joy on your kids faces on christmas morning. having us all together is my favorite.

2020, this is our year.

a photo journal – summer 19

the summer of 2019 is officially over for me as my girls have started back up with school. this summer had its lows, it’s highs. and everything in between. but looking back at all the pictures that i’ll be sharing in this post, it was the best summer of my life.

so many life changes occurred, so many new adventures, but i smiled more than i ever have before. this summer is one i’m definitely going to miss.

throughout this post i’m going to be sharing lots of photos from this summer and telling you all about the things i did.

that being said, this was my summer of 2019.

i brought in the very beginning of summer by turning 30. i struggled with the idea of turning thirty so much, but it truly has been the best year of my life thus far. being thirty, i see a woman who has grown and changed so significantly. i can see a shift in my confidence, my purpose, my passions. most importantly i see a woman who has learned the importance of patience, kindness, an open heart, and love. i love this chapter of thirty so much.

i got to celebrate my thirtieth at one of my favorite places with one of my favorite people. cubbies, beer, and dancing; truly my best birthday yet.

my girls got to come to my work for “bring your child to work day”. they got to see a day in the life of what i do and enjoyed it so much. i love working for a company that offers so much to their employees and their families.

i got the opportunity to travel to austin for work and made a little getaway out of it. the whole experience was amazing and if you haven’t been to austin, i’d highly recommend it. i can’t wait to go back!

i’ve never been kayak fishing and jumped at the chance to go one day this summer with my dad. we didn’t catch anything, but it surely was relaxing and memories that i’ll have forever with him.

our family reunion took place this summer in missouri. we only get together for it every five years, so it was something we were all really looking forward to. i’m already looking forward to the next one and seeing everyone together again.

we celebrated kaylei turning 11 with our closest friends and family. she enjoyed her ‘art’ party and sure got spoiled.

we spent a weekend up in minneapolis to catch a preseason game of the vikings. if you’ve never been to an nfl game, go! the whole experience was so surreal and something i already want to do again. and to set the record straight…i’m still a bear’s fan.

and lastly, i moved. new town, new adventures. and boy, am i sure excited to write this chapter.

a photo journal – wahl family reunion

our second wahl family reunion took place this month; we’re trying to keep the tradition of organizing one for every 5 years. this years took place at a koa campground near st. louis, missouri.

the location was perfect; you could rent a site to tent or park your camper at or they also offered little cabins available to rent. we decided on a camping cabin that had the cutest front porch. the best part was mazi girl was also allowed to stay there as well.

the actual reunion took place friday through sunday, but we made a little vacation out of it and drove up a few days early to spend the extra time with family.

one day we made a trip to the st. louis zoo. it was perfect because it had free admission and wasn’t too far of a drive from camp.

i love being able to watch my girls grow up with my cousin’s kids. it reminds me so much of the summer vacations we would go on to see the wahls growing up.

we spent a lot of time visiting with everyone, playing bags and basketball, and just sitting around the fire roasting marshmallows and chatting.

we couldn’t let the weekend go by without grabbing a few photos of our giant family in our matching shirts.

our shirts turned out so great this year…thank you ben for organizing it all!

“we put the WAHL in grizWAHLds”

the campground we stayed at was awesome and offered so many amenities for the kids…wagon rides, a jumping pillow, and a swimming pool were some of our favorites. and we definitely had to take advantage of the snow cone truck on our last day there.

see you all again in 2024, wahls!