One of my favorite things to do in the fall is head down to Nebraska City for the Applejack Festival. We've found a little farm that is just perfect for the outing we're looking for and the age of our kids. The big hit is always the little train...notice the pictures and watch how Hadley ends up. :) Happy for the ride none the less. This year they had potbelly pigs for sale-we asked Grant if he wanted one and he was not the least bit interested-good thing. The drive was beautiful, crafts were good, and root beer delicious as always.
As mentioned earlier July 23rd marked Hadley's 1st Birthday and me being horrible didn't get her in for her 1 year appointment until August 23rd. But regardless, we got her in, got her shots, and did the check. So here-for my record, more than your knowledge-are Hadley's stats: Weighing in at 21 lbs and 15 oz (65%), Height of 32 in (95%), and head circumference of 19 in (95%). So besides her stats, what else is going on with our little Hadley Girl.
She is becoming miss independent. Around 13 months Hadley started taking steps and is doing quite well getting around on her own. I always love having her little hand hold just 1 of my fingers as we stroll around...and I'm glad I enjoyed it while I did because she now wants to have nothing to do with taking a finger, but walk ALL over by herself. She is saying Mama and Dada, all done, bottle, baby, uh-oh and signing "more". She likes music and dancing, she even seems to try and sing...usually with a big proud smile across her face. She is always excited to fold her hands and saw a prayer with us at meals and usually claps when we are done. She loves to brush her teeth and if the bathroom door is left open, you are sure to find her, climbed up on the stool, toothbrush (doesn't matter whose it is) and toothpaste in hand. She climbs on everything-fireplace, beds, stairs-and is in the process of working on how to get down from all of those. She loves being outside and is always wanting to get her shoes on so we can go out...and HATES coming in. She can be a little pistol when she's not getting what she wants-crying, pulling her brother's hair-but it generally passes pretty quickly. She can now climb up the one side of our playhouse so she can get to the slide and come down on her own...and she loves it! Over and over she will do that.
But even though she's one, she continues to be adored by her dad and I, and most of the time her brother too. It's actually quite cute, in the last few weeks they are starting to play more together vs side by side. Grant generally is telling Hadley what to do and Hadley kind of just follows him around. I am sure it will only continue to get more fun to watch as they grow.
While making a quick trip through Bass Pro earlier this summer, we stumbled upon a vacation deal that was too good to pass up. So mid August we packed the Sienna and were off for some vacation time down at Tablerock Lake. Tablerock Lake was one of my favorite vacations growing up, then Nick and I went there for our 1st Anniversary, so to bring our little fam there this summer was pretty fun.
We decided to break up the drive a bit and made a stop in KC for our first night out. We stayed with our good friends the Hellbusch's, and had a relaxing afternoon letting the kids play. Headed out to dinner at the Lake Restaurant, then went out for a little evening cruise.
The next morning we were off for Roger's Arkansas to visit to stay a night with Ang and her family. The kids had a blast playing with there cousins (and Grant says the best part of his vacation was seeing Abby Jo :) Grant was also super psyched to get a sleepover with all the girls. And as always Nick and I enjoyed our QT time with all the Nachtigal family.
Then off we were again the next morning to Big Cedar Lodge at Tablerock. From Rogers this was really only about 60 or so miles, but due to all the winding, ups, and downs it takes more like an hour and half. Needless to say our drive ended with me barfing...I think we will try for a different route next time.
As expected the Lake was beautiful and we had a great afternoon out on the water. I am pretty sure Grant and Hadley love the water as much as Nick and I. Grant's big feat was riding the tube by himself and he did great! We enjoyed an afternoon on the Lazy River. Both outings Hadley snoozed on...so cute. I remember my Mom doing this with us when we were little.
One evening we decided to join in on the Hayrack ride, smore making, singing cowboy outing. Grant loved it and I must say the sarsaparilla was delicious. We did loose Woody off the hayrack while in motion. Tears were shed and lucky for us some wonderful people picked him up and chased down the hayrack to get Woody back to Grant.
It was fun to talk the whole vacation thing out with Grant...he loved that vacation means nobody works for a lot of days and that our family gets to be together doing fun stuff for all those days. Probably one or two days after we got home we both had to laugh as Grant stated he wanted to go on vacation again...who doesn't Grant. :)
One Friday afternoon our friend Jaime invited a few of my college soccer friends and our kiddos out to her family's cabin. It's pretty funny because amongst the 4 of us we have 8 kids, 2 a piece, with the 4 oldest and the 4 youngest all being within a year of eachother. So needless to say it was fun and crazy to get us all together.
Then that same weekend we were fortunate to have our other friend's the Siner's invite us out to their parent's cabin. Colette's family did a wonderful job in making this cabin kid friendly. There is about anything and everything for a kid to do-adults too-and for parents to be able to sit back and soak up a relaxing weekend at the lake. And that is exactly what we did.
My dream is to combine so much of the great things these two's family cabins offer and hopefully make a cabin home for our family to enjoy for years to come...like I said, this is a dream. :) But what a great way to spend one of our last weekend's of summer!
July 23rd Hadley turned 1. We had a birthday celebration with family all planned for the night but woke up to Nick, Grant, and I having the flu...not fun. Needless to say, I was pretty bummed for this new 1 year old and the lack of festivities on her big day. The party was cancelled, her 1 year photo session was cancelled, and we ended up not even opening a gift for her...Because we decided we were going to redo her whole day. Funny thing is at the end of the day we sat there looking at the mess from letting a 1 year old run the house for a day and decided she actually probably had a great day. She wasn't toted all over, she got a great nap, pretty much did what she wanted, and all with us sitting around watching her. We weren't busy cleaning up, making meals, or really doing anything but trying to not puke and keep our eyes open. :)
So that was Hadley's big day...
But a week later we did celebrate! We made cupcakes and Hadley was adamant about having one as soon as they were ready...can you blame the girl. She takes after her Mama and is a lover of the sweets. :)
Hadley received a baby, stroller, and pack n play from us and continues to love to push that stroller around everywhere with her baby...her brother really likes it too! The Birthday redo was a success and our little baby girl is daily growing big before our eyes!
Mid July we headed out to Mahoney State Park for a relaxing weekend with the Sutko Crew. We stayed in one large cabin that comfortably accommodated us all and a good old time was had. I think Grant's favorite part of the weekend were the multiple hikes with Grandpa. He usually ended up hitching a ride about 3/4 the way into the hikes, but loved heading out on the trails with Grandpa, Gus, and whoever else was up for the adventure. Nick and I loved the large screened in porch that faced the river. It was a hot weekend but morning coffee and evening brews were quite relaxing on this porch. We hit up the waterpark, played some catch, and sang and danced (mainly Grant and his cousins) to Uncle TJ's guitar playing. The best part was coming home feeling refreshed from a little vacation that took us less than 30 minutes to get to.
July kicked off with more fun for this Sutko fam. The 3rd was Heidi's sister and brother-in-laws annual 3rd of July celebration. So off we went to join in the festivities. And not only did we get to attend this year, but we talked Ang and her family into making Omaha a pit stop on their trip back to Kearney. Grant loved staying up past dark, sitting in lawn chairs with his cousins, and watching the fireworks. The picture that comes to mind when I think of this night is him in his mini lawn chair, neck cranked back, perma smile in place, loving every minute of the fireworks show. So between great food and drink, a ton of kids, and a relaxing evening with family and friends-we could of just ended there and said we had a fantastic 4th.
But we were off the next morning to Mausbach's to decorate bikes, trikes, and strollers to participate in Heidi and Tommy's neighborhood 4th of July Parade. The kids loved participating in the parade but even more fun were the games, prizes, firetruck, and food set up at the end. I myself absolutely loved the quaintness of this celebration for our country's Birthday. (Somehow I have misplaced all the pictures from this first 2 events :(
Another fun tid bit of this holiday is that we had been teaching God Bless America to Grant. He knew every word and loved the song-hated to perform it when asked-but was adorable to hear when he did. He still will every so often ask "Mom (or Dad) is this a God bless America day?" I think this is what he calls the 4th, but it's still makes me smile to hear him say it in this manner. :)
So after the parade we were all off to Kearney to celebrate my Grandpa's 90th Birthday. We spent a lot of time hanging out in the courtyard at St. John's, swimming and relaxing at Nick's Dad's place, and seeing aunts, uncles, and cousins we had not seen in awhile. We were able to get my Grandpa out of the home for a bit and have his actual celebration at my parents. He was one pooped man by the end of the day!