Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Back to School: Two Day Three's

The end of summer snuck up on us in the midst of the craziness that has been 2016 and little mister is headed back to school! He was so exited to put his backpack on and head to see all of his friends and meet his new teachers.
I had big plans to start a great routine of healthy breakfasts and yummy lunches, but since we were out of town over the weekend at my grandmother's funeral breakfast consisted of a piece of bread, a handful of blackberries and a bag of Cheez-its.  Plus, half of a cookie as a bribe to get him to stop crying (he fell off his stool and into the bath tub during his morning potty break) so he wouldn't have red blotchy eyes in his back to school photos. And lunch was a mix of stale pretzels, an apple I purchased at the store last night and a Fiber One bar. But hey, we accomplished first day of school pictures and made it to school on time. So, I'm chalking it up as a win!

I also chalked up his back to school board. You may remember this from last year's first day of school. This year's additions included what he wanted to be when he grows up ... today's answer: A Fireman!

 Little man :)

 And this year he added in his little sister to his first day!
 Gah. Melt my heart.
 I mean really, sometimes pictures make me stop and literally have to catch my breath. Please stay my babies forever. And ever and ever. And ever.

 He's off ... have a great day little man! So very proud of you and cheers to another great year!

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Final Letter to My Favorite Pen Pal

We laid my sweet grandmother, Elaine, to her final resting place Monday, August 29th in her hometown of Williamsburg, OH. It was a tearful final goodbye as we said an earthly fairwell to one of the sweetest ladies I have ever known. Several months ago when I went to visit her, I wrote her a letter and wanted to leave it here today to honor her. I love you grandma.


Ever since I was a little girl, you have always held a forever special place in my heart. Your creative, loving spirit had a way of making even the most normal situations magical. You were my first pen pal and that coupled with my dad's encouragement brought forth a love of writing, that later led me to my blog. I look back at all of these posts and can't help but become emotional thinking what a great gift this will be to leave for my children one day as a small glimpse into their life as a child. And so much of this was rooted in a small seed you planted and cultivated in me as a young child by teaching me to write and share. Again, magical.

Your zest for life and fun combined with our contagious laughter and mischievous spirit are qualities I greatly admire. My mom tells me I have inherited many of them and that thoughts makes me smile bright. You have always been one of my biggest cheerleaders and I knew without a shadow of a doubt when God gifted me a beautiful daughter of my own, one of the best gifts I could give her is the legacy of your name to proudly carry on. I promise for as long as she will allow me, I will place pearl barrettes in her hair in honor of you.  I will be sure to tell her they are creative gemstones that will help her imagination thrive and colors appear more vivid, to which only a true artist like yourself can appreciate.

Moreover, pig cookies will remain a staple in our home. I am currently in the process of typing your recipes and heir looming them for the entire family.  One of my favorites is obviously your pig cookie recipe that will always be in our kitchen to remember fondly and cherish. Many of my childhood memories in the kitchen involve you and I hold them near and dear to my heart. Another love of mine I credit from you. You always made sure to let me lick the spoon and feel included. And to a young girl, that is the best of all. My love for baking and cooking began with you.

I have the fondest memories of coming to stay at your house when I was young. You would always place a cool sheet on the floor and make a special picnic while I watched whatever new Disney movie Grandpa had purchased. (I'm fairly certain I often chose The Little Mermaid or Lady and The Tramp).

I was so blessed in having you as my grandmother. You have always been a bright north star guiding my life and my love for you is immeasurable. You have impacted my life in so many ways. And namely, in being a wonderful mother to my mom. You gave her the tools to raise me and my brothers and she and my dad have done a heck of a job in my opinion! She had a fabulous role model to show her how and I am forever grateful.

You are one of the strongest and most genuine women I have ever met, and you remain always and forever in my heart. A constant reminder to laugh with the good, hell even with the bad. Simple is often better and to remember to make the most of every situation. Because a picture can still be pretty, even if you color outside the lines!

I love you,
Katie Bugg

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Mama + the Midwest ~ Part III

Good news, this is the last picture overload (from the vacation, not from life because we all know better than that) that I'll bombard you with. I"m here today with the final recap of our vacation with my mom to Chicago. If you haven't been following and want to catch up you can read Part I here and Part II here.

We woke up Thursday excited for another adventure, and headed to Navy Pier!
 The Ferris Wheel is always magical, no matter what age you are!
 GoGo was a nervous wreck, she hates heights. But Bennett kept her safe!
 And these gals were stoked!
 Such a pretty view!

 And once our feet were back on the ground we hit up the carousel.
 He was sad it was over.
 But quickly cheered up when he got to drive the boats.
And reallllyyyy cheered up when we headed inside to cool off and play in the Children's Museum.
 First stop, the Zoom Room - endless cars, endless tracks, ENDLESS fun.

 Then onto the Chicago Fire Department.

 With another stop at the building station, the water station, the trinket station, the digging for dinosaur station, the tiny station, the domino station, the camping station, ALL the stations. And a fun stop at tiny town.

 Lainey was getting restless, but Bennett was not anywhere close to being ready to leave.
 So he fished for a while.
 And I coaxed him out of the museum by bribing him with a hotdog.
 But when he realized we weren't going back, he walked with his head down the whole way back to the car. Bless his little heart. He had SO much fun.
 Both kids fell asleep in the car, so mom and I drove around the city and chatted about city life. Then we headed back to the hotel and got cleaned up for our final dinner. And look what little miss decided to do! Pulling up! Time to get ready!
 And another note on Lainey, this little one is already a shoe addict. Her daddy better be saving up to fund her shopping addiction, because if there are shoes in the room you better believe she will find them. She loves them.
 Once everyone was washed up we let momma choose our final dinner and she chose Dick's Last Resort. Always a hysterical adventure, and to hear my mother's laugh as frequently as I did never disappoints.

If you've never been to Dick's - the name is exactly what you'd imagine. It actually is terribly ironic that people pay to eat there. Because the food really isn't that good, and the whole theme of the restaurant is for the waiter to be rude to you. But it's funny and if you just get into the whole thing it's pretty fun. I ordered Bennett a special treat Sprite and our waitress brought it to him in this giant glass. She set it in front of him and said "don't spill it kid, I'm not cleaning it up" HA!
Lainey thought it was hysterical.
 We ordered some apps while we read everyone's dunce caps and laughed aloud.
 We were so busy laughing we were shocked when our's arrived! Bennett's "Today my mom taught me how to shoplift!" hahahahahaha. One point waitress.
 Mom's "Last time I got lucky, I yelled BINGO!" hahahaha two points waitress.
 Lainey's "Mommy's favorite mistake!" ohhh geese, three points waitress.
 Mine, "Instant cougar, just add liquor!" hmmm what?! Hold the phone - negative three points waitress! I am NOT NEARLY OLD ENOUGH TO BE A COUGAR!!!!!!
 Either way, we had a blast. Lots of laughs and too much fried food and apparently Lainey overate, again.
 We walked back to our hotel one last time and took in the views of the city. I snuggled with my favorite little dude and was so thankful for these memories with my mom and these kiddos.

 We woke up Friday, packed up our car and hit the road.

Until next time Chicago. Once again you stole my heart, and I promise to be back. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

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