I usually consider the start of summer to be my birthday (June 1). It's a good way to kick things off. This year was my big 3-0. We spent the first part of the day at Blank Park Zoo. It was a Saturday, so typically a busy day, but the weather was pretty overcast, so we didn't have to fight any major crowds. Highlights included the carousel, the train ride, the baby monkey, and the picnic lunch. The low point was when Henry wanted a camel ride and chose the birthday girl to go along. (Or was it Dameon's idea??) Let's just say that paying $10 to ride one lap around is nuts. Especially when you are riding a camel. And did you know they make the grown up sit ON THE HUMP? That's likely the most uncomfortable spot and not nearly close enough to the two-year-old in front of me who is supposed to just hold on tight and remain calm. I'll spare you the camel ride pictures.
On June 23, we had Warren's baby dedication at my home church in Boone. Pastor Tim (who also gave the message at our wedding) did a great job making it personal and we were glad to have some of our family members and friends with us. Afterward, we all had lunch at Mom and Dad's.
The next major summer event was Dameon's birthday. The lucky guy actually got 4 days of celebrating. We started on Friday (June 28) by going to Junkin' in June which is a junk run in Boone and Story counties. Basically there were several junk stores/vendors set up around the area and you could follow the map to as many places as you could get to. We found some great stuff including a refinished cedar chest and a bench for our entryway which is made with old barn wood. That night my parents kept the boys while we ate at Hickory Park and made a trip to Lowe's (Dameon's birthday, not mine, remember?) The next day we did a little more junkin' and then called it quits around noon because we had spent more than enough $. But we both agreed we would like to do it again. It was a great time! The next day (Sunday), I had set up a golf outing for Dameon and a few friends. They golfed 18 holes at Jester Park and then headed to Zombie Burger for some food. On Monday (his actual birthday) we spent some time outside in the morning and then grilled brats and ate birthday cake for lunch. I had made a strawberry cake that I found a recipe for on Pinterest. It turned out pretty good and wasn't too much work at all! After naps, we headed to Ashby Park in Des Moines. They have a splash pad there. Dameon and Henry had a great time in the fountains, while Warren and I hung out on a blanket in the shade. We ended the day at Sam and Louie's, which is one of our favorite pizza spots. Henry asked several times, "Where's Woo-ee?" He felt pretty strongly that Louie should make an appearance at his own restaurant ;)
The most recent photos I have are from the fourth of July. On the third we went to Yankee Doodle Pops in Des Moines. We ate a picnic supper and then enjoyed the music and fireworks. On the fourth, we headed to Earlham in the morning because they do a big celebration and have a parade with lots of candy! We spent the afternoon indoors and then ate taco pizza before heading back over the Earlham to watch fireworks. We were glad to have Aunt NeNe with us and also ended up running into some friends from church. Henry had success with the little snappers that you throw on the ground, but we decided he was too young for sparklers after he repeatedly wanted to use them like a magnifying glass, nearly burning off his eyelashes and giving me a heart attack.
Another highlight of the summer has been the sweet deal of a backyard swimming pool that Dameon scored for us at Shopko! Henry loves swimming and splashing around in there and we haven't even made an appearance at the public pool yet. Backyard swimming is a double bonus for me because it means I can remain fully clothed. One of these days, I'll be brave enough to wear my suit again. But in case you're wondering, after this little incident:
my mid-section will never...and I mean NEVER...be the same.