Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hamilton Pool

Our final fun day of family summer was a visit to Hamilton Pool.  We had never been, and I'm so glad we did.  It was awesome and beautiful!  There is a 1/4 mile hike to the pool that makes the experience even greater.  Jake was really excited on the way there and definitely had a good time.  Here's some memories from our day...
Jake on the hike down to the pool

Jake and Daddy pose on the scenic hike

Swimming fun begins!

A wider view from the rocky shore

A wide view from the trail going around the pool

Our summer cutie
One attraction of the pool are the waterfalls.  I was pretty certain we wouldn't get to see any falls due to the lack of rain, but we were lucky and there was still a little flow.  Next time, I'd like to come back earlier in the summer before things dry out. 
Look closely to see the falls
 We even were able to get some cute family pics...

 And lastly, our water boy enjoying every minute...

The Beginning of the End of...

 summer.  This last week was Kevin's last week of summer, so we wanted to do some special things together.  We started off on Tuesday at Round Rock's Rock'n River Aquatic Center.  I had good intentions of taking lots of pictures of our fun swimming day, but realized I had my camera with no memory card---whoops!  We'll just have to save those pictures in our memory bank.  Wednesday, we beat the heat for a fun indoor activity, bowling.  Jake's been just once, at a birthday party, so it was a lot of fun to bowl as a family.  Here's our little bowler...

Here he is waiting the outcome...
 Everyday I look at Jake and am in awe of how big he is.  Bowling day was no different.  He bowled all on his own, and had quite the technique.  He would pick up his ball and hoist it up on his left shoulder, then once he got closer to the lane, bring it down with both hands along his right side and let it rip!
 Family picture after our two rounds...
Bowling is hard work and left us with quite the appetite, so it was only appropriate to head to Chick-fil-a for a yummy lunch and ice cream!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sports, Sports, Sports!

I think it's safe to say Jake loves sports.  We've known this for some time now, but it's fun to see Jake get even more involved and interested as he gets older.  For Jake, sports isn't always about the game, it's also about the uniform.  Here's Jake before playing soccer in our front yard...

Regardless if it's playing, watching live, or watching on TV, Jake usually wants to gear up like the players.  He's always a cutie either way.  Here he is at our most recent Express game...

Spikey Hair

One unexpected result of our Houston visit was bringing home a little boy who was suddenly interested in wearing his hair spikey.  The day after we came home, we were getting ready in the morning and Jake came to me and said, "Mommy, can I have spikey hair?"  Even though Jake won't directly say this, we're pretty sure this comes from the influence of our super cool friend, Mr. Wade.  Jake really liked Wade's hair when we were in Houston, so now I think he wants to be just as cool.  Here's Jake's latest spikey do:

Monday, August 20, 2012


One of our weekend trips this July was to Houston to visit our good friends Wade and Wendi Holmes.  We rarely get to see them, but we have a special type of friendship that easily picks up where it left off.  We're able to laugh and joke with each other, and also genuinely share our hearts and minds.  We're truly blessed to have them as friends and we had a wonderful weekend together.  This visit was really special because we both have little boys now, both named Jake!  We had a great time and the boys were fast friends.  To lessen confusion, we used the names "Big Jake" and "Little Jake."  Little Jake made sure to show Big Jake all his favorite toys.  This car is one of the best and Big Jake was happy to help push him around...
 Friday night we headed out to watch Wade play in a softball game.  We got some cute pictures of the boys.  Here, Little Jake is trying to hold Big Jake's hand...
 So then, in return, Big Jake reaches in to hold his hand.  How cute!
 On Saturday, we headed downtown to the Children's Museum of Houston.  On the outside of the building there was a sign that said something like "Country's Best Children's Museum."  I actually think they might have been telling the truth.  This was the biggest, most incredible children's museum I have ever seen.  There was so much to see and do.  In fact, there was so much to see, we didn't end up eating lunch till around 1:30 because it was so hard to leave.  Our Jake's were troopers, though and had a blast!
Wendi, Big Jake, Wade, and Little Jake enjoying an exhibit
 Here's Jake working hard to get himself up a pulley...
 The museum was three stories and had a cool climbing structure down the middle of the entire museum.  Jake enjoyed climbing all around...
 They also had their own city named Kidtropolis, USA.  It was an awesome place where kids could get jobs, earn money, shop and eat, all with special money from an ATM.  Jake especially like the grocery store in Kidtropolis.  He has a long history of enjoying museum grocery stores, so this was no surprise.  Here are his purchases...

And here he is in the check-out line...

 Here's a great shot of Kevin and Little Jake as they're waiting on Big Jake to cook up a meal for Mommy and Ms Wendi at the local restaurant...
 Finally, a group shot compliments of Wendi.  What a great Saturday activity!

Saturday night we talked, played games, enjoyed excellent grilled steaks from Wade, and rediscovered once again how wonderful it is to be blessed with true friendships!  Sunday morning was church, then off to lunch for some really yummy fajitas.  Here's one last pic of the boys at the restaurant!
Thanks for a wonderful weekend, Wade, Wendi and Jake!  We look forward to many more visits and fun times as our families' grow not only bigger, but also closer together.

More fun

Our family has had the best summer.  I love having a 3-year-old!  Jake is so much fun to spend time with, and we love to do fun things as a family.  One fun day, we took our first visit to Williamson County Regional Park's Quarry Splash pad.  It's $1/person to go to the splash pad, but lots of fun and a beautiful setting.  They also have a sandpit across from the splash pad, which Jake might have enjoyed the most.  Here's Jake buried alive...

We didn't get any family pictures although all three of us were there, but I did get some cute shots of Jake at the pad...

Just another great way to beat the summer heat!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Urban Folk

I am not embarrased to admit that I am definitely a suburban girl.  I live in Cedar Park and can find 95% of everything I need within 10 minutes and without ever touching a highway.  I get completely stressed at the thought of driving and parking downtown.  Despite knowing there's so much to do in Austin, I very rarely take part.  Although that may make me lame, I'm pretty OK with it because I feel comfortable in my suburban bubble free of traffic, parallel parking, and one-way streets.  A few weeks back, Jake and I had the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone into the urban world.  It was really great and went well enough that I might actually try it again!  We took our first ever ride on the MetroRail.  We were joined by some friends (of course, do you actually think I would try this alone?!?), and had a great time!  I didn't forget my suburban roots, though, so I took pictures along the way.  Here's a look into our day as urban folk:
Jake proudly holding his ticket as we wait for the train

Jake's look of concern as he's afraid we'll miss the train because
Mommy is taking pictures. 
The train was nice and clean and it was a definitely a more relaxing way to travel downtown.
Jake and his seat buddy, Will enjoying every minute
Our goal destination downtown was Austin Children's Museum, so after walking a few blocks in the big city (as all urban folk do), we arrived and had a great time at the museum.
Jake's preparing some food in the restaurant

Jake's geting ready for the big downtown job!

After the museum we ate lunch downtown, then headed back to the station to catch our train home.  It was a great urban day in the life of a suburban mom.  I also want to give a shout out to my good friend, Amy Davis, who had her two girls and two nieces with her for our urban day.  We met at the station, boarded the train together and spent the bulk of the day together--thanks for your help, Amy!!

Little Rock

Summer 2012 has been a summer of travel for our family.  We were out of town every weekend in July except one.  It's been a little crazy, but well worth it.  No really big trips, but a mix of small ones to visit family and friends.  One of our trips was to Little Rock, Arkansas, home to one of my best friends from Baylor, Mindy and her husband, Jon.  It was the first time our family has really gotten to spend time with both Mindy and Jon, so it was a treat to get to know and love Jon just like we love Mindy.  Our deepening friendship made it a little sad to realize we live so far away, but even that more determined to make a commitment to have visits like this one.  They treated us to a great day at the Museum of Discovery in downtown LR.  Jake loved it!  We all loved it!  They had a really good mix of educational activities, physical activities, mixed in with animals and reptiles too.
Here's a big silly grin from Jake as we first got started

Jake and Daddy going out to sea to catch fish
These next pics show some of the physical activities for kids, of which Jake is always a fan!

Of course, there were also some great interactive learning exhibits.  Here's Mindy, Jake and Jon looking amazed.  Unfortunately, I was more of a conversationalist on our trip than photographer, so this is the one and only picture of Mindy and Jon.  At least there's one piece of proof  we actually did go to visit them!
And finally, Jake on a bed of nails.  Each one of us had to try this one out.  Pretty crazy!

The 4th

We had an absolutely wonderful 4th of July this year!  We all had so much fun, and I couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate the holiday.  Our family of 3 competed in the first ever Lawson Family Fun 4th of July Tournament.  The events were: bean bag toss, remote control car race, stomp rocket accuracy, sprinkler fun, soccer, baseball, ring toss, and frisbee. We started off the morning with the bean bag toss.  It was a close competition, but Jake ultimately came out on top!

 Next, was a little racing.  Our engines were ready and we were ready to race!  Surprisingly, Mommy took the top finish in this competition.
Next was stomp rocket launch.  This very easily was the toughest of all evens.  I got lucky and took the prize in this one.
Jake's stomping away

Figuring out the perfect position
Next, it was time to cool off a little for spinkler fun.  We all had fun in the spinklers and all agreed that we tied for this competition...

Our day wouldn't have been complete without a little team sports.  Jake is our ultimate soccer star and he took the prize in soccer.
Our baseball game was really close, and once again we decided that we all earn a victory!
After a heated game of ring toss where Daddy came out the victor, it was time for the tie-breaker frisbee throw.  Jake was AMAZING and hit our target tree dead on!  He won the overall competition which won him the grand prize of a new Spiderman plate and book.  Just in case you're suspicous of scores, here's the official score sheet from Lawson July 4th Family Fun Day...

After a much deserved nap and great dinner, we headed to Milburn Park for the Cedar Park festivities and fireworks.  We met the Davises there and had a wonderful time enjoying the celebration.  The fireworks were incredible and a great conclusion to the perfect day!
Chloe, Sophia, and Jake set and ready for the show to begin!

Our All-American cutie!