and then Griffin turned FOUR.

Well, it happened. My baby is FOUR today. I know, technically he isn't the baby...but he still kinda is and I love it that way!
Griffin has always been my special middle kid & is a total mama's boy. For whatever reason, his babyhood days are the most vivid in my memory.  I think that is why I always have a hard time believing another year has flown by. I can remember sitting on our old couch, watching Parenthood on Netflix, and propping Griffin up on my legs and just watching him sleep. That was his favorite place to nap. He always wanted to be attached to his mama!
And now here we are...flash forward many years and my big blue-eyed boy is 4 years old. At four years old, Griffin loves all things dinosaur related. He even asked for a real life dinosaur for his birthday. We read dino books and watch Dinotrux on tv. He also LOVES snakes. ick! His dream is to have his very own pet snake. I always have to break his little heart when I tell him that will only happen after he moves out of our house.
This age has been a great combo of having all the confidence in the world but still needing reassurance from mama and daddy. Griffin will leave the house wearing his cape & IronMan mask just like he would any other outfit. I love that about him and hope that confidence stays with him. He is my biggest snuggler and would watch movies on a pallet in the bonus room all day, every day. Griff also loves Peppa Pig and always wants to jump in muddy puddles...even says it in a little British accent! ha!
This next year will be a big year of change for our Griffy. His best bud and constant companion is heading off to kindergarten. I know it will be hard but I am excited to have some more one on one time with him during the day! I am also excited to watch his relationship with Cheney grow. They adore one another (and can fight like no other) and I think they will love being together more. Griffin has already grown up so much this summer. Making his own bed, getting dressed (correctly) all by himself, brushing his own teeth, helping out more around the house....we lost all that was left of his toddler self and gained another big boy!
I love watching this boy grow up. His personality is SO BIG and he makes us laugh all the time. I can't imagine life without our Griffy! His joy is contagious, he has the biggest heart, and quite the imagination. We love you, Griffin! HAPPY 4TH BIRTHDAY!


summer recap

I have slacked majorly on this blog.  I am not good at keeping up with baby books & I haven't made a Shutterfly picture book since Cheney was a newborn. I figure, this is the best way to keep up with our life & give our kids a way to eventually look back at memories if they want! I am really working on my time management skills (it's tough, y'all) so maybe I will get better this year!
Here is a little rewind & recap of our summer! So, sorry about the picture overload. Warning you in advance!
Summer officially started for us when Grayson graduated from pre-k! He spent four wonderful years at Clearview and he finished it off with a great year. He said his memory verse on the stage or everyone to hear & didn't even flinch! I am so proud of him. Grayson is ready for kindergarten (in less than 2 weeks!)!
We spent the first week of June in Hilton Head with my family! It was the first time I had been back since high school & we had such a great time. We even booked our trip for next summer that same week!
This was such a fun age to be at the beach. Griffin and Cheney LOVED the tide pools. They would float around on the boogie board and walk in the shallow areas. Griffin could dig in the sand all day long. Cheney thought HHI was wonderful because there dogs on the beach...pretty much her favorite combination!
It was a big week for Grayson, too! We had just finished swim lessons a few days before our trip & I was hopeful that Grayson would truly learn how to be an independent swimmer.  It was definitely his week! He really learned how to swim AND he learned how to boogie board in the ocean! He is a little fish now & it has been so fun watching him get better throughout the summer. Also, having a kid who can swim? total game changer!
I'm also going give a little shout out to this guy of mine--he started Crossfit in April and has lost 25lbs and looks great. We have made a lifestyle change and I am so proud of him!
The kids all got to do Playcation at our church for 3 days after our trip. It is like VBS for the preschool age group. They had a petting zoo day & water day. The kids had so much fun with their friends & it was nice for me to have 3 days to myself. I got to clean, organize, & even lunched with my friends!
Mimi and Pops surprised the kids with this amazing playset in June! Pops and Ben took a whole weekend to set it up (and it was about 1000 degress. bless them) but they finished & the kids love it! We love, love, love our huge backyard and the kids have been begging for a playset. We are so thankful for this and it has gotten tons of use. Grayson has been practicing his Ninja Warrior moves on the monkey bars & Cheney wants to swing all day!
We went to Wagner Berry Farm with our friends one morning & picked lots of strawberries, blueberries, & raspberries. We love these friends! Grayson and Molly Cate have been buddies since birth...it's fun watching them grow up together!
I've got to brag on my Griff for a second. We started off at swim lessons by screaming and refusing to get in the water. We had a scary pool accident late last summer & he was terrified at the beginning of the summer. My goal for him was to be able to swim with his floaties & not be afraid. Griffin has gotten braver each time we go swimming and is doing so well! He is swimming with his floaties, isn't crying when he goes under, & is even jumping off the side!
Cheney enjoyed our pool days too:)
Nana and Poppy came up around my birthday & we took the kids to Cheekwood for the first time! They have a really cool tree house exhibit that I wanted to check out. It was super hot but fun!
This summer Grayson turned into my workout buddy. He doesn't always like go to the gym so we compromised about half the time & went walking on the trails instead. He rides his scooter & I push the littles in the stroller. It is a tough workout because he is hard to keep up with!
Our zoo membership is one of our most used things. We made zoo trips a couple times this summer!
and we FINALLY got to hang out with a kangaroo while we were there!
This was definitely the summer of Super Griff. He has worn his cape ALL over Franklin & Brentwood. There is no shame in his superhero game!
We helped host a Backyard Kids Club (neighborhood VBS) at our neighbor/friends' house! We did it for 3 nights & had a lot of fun. I did the music and got to show off my stellar dance moves. Our boys are still asking when the next BKC is...they loved it!
This girl grew up a lot over the summer. She has lost most of her baby-ness and is acting like such a big girl. Cheney talks nonstop & keeps us laughing!
The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. I love that Ben now has a job where he can enjoy it, too! We went to Franklin on the Fourth & walked around downtown for a little bit. I love our little historical downtown all the time, but it looks especially charming lined with American flags!
we had some of our favorites (hey Spradlins!) over for dinner that night and attempted the Crockpett Park fireworks. We trekked it over there, got all set up, and then BOOM. A storm rolled in. ha! We had to post-pone our fireworks until the next night. Cheney girl missed out but the boys loved it!
My mom and I took the kids to Baton Rouge for a week in July. We don't get to see our Louisiana family as often as we would like but spending time with them was so fun!
"working" with Papa Bruce is always the highlight of Grayson's trip and even Griffin joined in this time! They love the big tractor!
This is almost the whole cousin gang. We were missing our New Mexico cousins...maybe one day we will all be there at the same time!!
The day after we got back in town, he headed down to Alabama for the day! We saw the UNA lions (Cheney was intrigued) and spent the day swimming and playing.
Our days have been spent playing, having fun, swimming with friends, & just enjoying our time off of school! Like I said yesterday, this is such a fun age. I think this has been my favorite summer yet!
and now? Well summer is almost over and our lives are about to change forever. Grayson starts kindergarten in less than 2 weeks and he is so excited. I know it will be a big adjustment (for all of us!) but we are welcoming the change. I am so excited to watch him learn this year & make new friends. Summer, we sure will miss you!


a sweet spot

I took the kids to our favorite park this week. We met some of our friends (she has a 5 year old son, 2 year old daughter, & 4 month old baby boy) there & played for a couple hours. While we were there, the most AMAZING thing happened: my friend and I were able to HAVE UNINTERRUPTED CONVERSATIONS.
 Friends, I have arrived. This may be no big deal to some, but to me this is huge! I have been in the baby trenches for a long time--not complaining about that--just being honest. but now?  I have children old enough to play and run around with other kids. They aren't clinging to my leg. They aren't asking to go home. They aren't asking me to watch every single thing they are doing. They are playing with other children and being independent.  I feel like this is the part where all the mamas say AMEN!
I love having a baby. I really do. But the ages of our kids right now (almost 2,4, & 6) is such a sweet spot! I am truly enjoying them. I am really loving watching them all grow up. We are about to enter in to a whole new phase of life with Grayson starting kindergarten & I am just so excited.  This big kid thing is pretty cool.