Saturday, July 2, 2016

Summer Bucket List - Check!

Has this week's weather been unbelievable or what?!  This mid-seventy, blue sky with puffy white clouds, no wind, and cool enough nights for a sweatshirt, fire, or blanket on your lap has been absolute perfection.  I sat outside with girlfriends for a lunch date on the parkade yesterday and I'm not sure the weather has ever felt so pleasant.  And there's something about turning off the air, opening the windows, and making dinner to the sounds of the kids playing outside that feels just as it should right now.  Summer is just one big breath of fresh air and I'm attempting to inhale as much of it as I can before it passes us by all too soon.  

We've been crossing off lots of things on our big summer bucket list, including a few of my favorite days and nights of our summer thus far.  Pictures and a few captions to prove it...

1.  Movies Under the Moon // There are few things that really highlight our family-centered, adorable little town than it's summertime Movies Under the Moon at Overman Park.  As acoustic music fills the air, families and couples of all ages fill in the green space with blankets, sleeping bags, and chairs.  Popcorn and fresh pie are served, kids in pajamas burn off energy as parents mingle and pour wine in coffee mugs, and the anticipation is palpable.  And then at dark, piles of families form and all gets quiet except the feature film on a screen that sits taller than the band shell.

After one of our favorites, Big Hero Six, was rained out earlier this month, we made a plan to see Ice Age a few weeks earlier.  It was just us, and we began the night with burgers and ice cold beers at Toads before unloading a backseat full of blankets and pillows and setting up camp in a perfect location just right of the screen.  Cruz and I played three games of UNO while Mila tackled Daddy, I surprised the kids with boxes of movie theater candy to share during the movie, and all four of us got cozy as we awaited the movie.  Beau and I were pretty confident we'd be sneaking out early with Mila, but she did great and made it through the entire thing.  It was the perfect night, just chilly enough for lots of snuggling, and a jewel of our city.           

2.  We built a fire pitOkay, let me take that back.  Beau built a fire pit while the kids and I were at VBS one night.  We've had three fires so far and they have been bliss.  There's something about a fire in front of you - the warmth, the crackle of the wood, the smells, the stars in the sky - that just force you to stay up way longer than you should and talk about lots of deep things like dreams and parenting and Game of Thrones' prophesies and who in the world we're going to vote for in this upcoming election.  We've had a special date night under a blanket of bright stars, had wine and cheese and laughs with Chris and Julie, and hopefully introduce the kids to a good backyard fire this weekend with gooey s'mores and snuggles on my new patio sofa - earned from garage sale proceeds thank you very much.  From our very first little driveway fire pit at our first place to this guy...lots of dreams have happened under the stars and in front of a summer fire.  

Why hello, beautiful cheese plate.  I'm on a first name basis with the charcuterie guys at Hy-Vee, aka, a win in my book.

3.  A Nature Hunt // We love our afternoons at the pool, but also welcomed a cooler week to partake in some adventures that don't involve water (at least the chlorine kind).  On this day, we headed out to Big Woods to do some exploring and collect some treasures.  We found lots of types of flowers, the tiniest toad we've ever seen, a mulberry tree, and the same sandbar we discovered during our fishing adventure a few weekends ago.  Back to familiar territory, the kids shed their shoes and were in the water in no time, washing their hands and attempting to see how wet they could get in three minutes. 

Their signature pose, down pat. :)

4.  Finding Dory in the luxury seats // When I discovered the same $5 Tuesday deal applied to the UltraScreen DLX theater with their dream lounger seats, I reserved a row of seats for the whole gang to see a 9:00 showing last week.  If you have yet to experience this type of theater, DO IT!!!  The screen is huge, the reclining seats are heaven, and the aisles are wide enough to accommodate a two year old laying down (trust me, Mila tried this several times).  The only problem is I may not ever be able to watch a movie in a normal theater again.  And Finding Dory?  Loved. it. Cruz cried when Dory reunited with her parents, which made my floodgates open and want to protect my sensitive boy's heart forever.  That octopus named Hank and those seashells at the end stole my heart in the all the right ways.


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