Wow, we've had a busy and fun month. We ventured out for our annual Chicago Family "Vacation" the beginning of August. The trip was a success, with the exception of us missing our outbound flight. I won't get into the details, but let's just say Justin and I were negotiating on how early we should leave, and I definitely won the argument. Justin has the story down to a science for his work pitches if anyone is interested:) Anyway, we had so much fun but came back to Austin completely exhausted!
We had a blast in Chicago. The Hales were the MOST amazing hosts, and we couldn't have done it all without them. Jack Hale and Ellie Thomas (what they call each other - very formal relationship) were adorable. Piper and Fisher were cute as well but caught up in their own shenanigans for the most part.
The Hales new home is in the best neighborhood, and we basically park hopped during the week. We also ventured to the Lincoln Park Zoo twice, Farmer's Market, and Millennium Park. We also spent a couple of days in Arlington Heights with The Woods and Detricks. Lots of cousin fun! It was so special to meet Thomas for the first time… such a sweet baby with the best demeanor. Aunt Val was also the best host, and our kids loved her house, especially her backyard filled with grass (novel, right?), trees, and beautiful plants and flowers.
We also took Eleanor to the circus. We had a blast. We were taken aback by the cost of programs and concessions, but all in all, we had a great time. I honestly couldn't believe half of what I witnessed.
Eleanor started a new school last week, and we are so so excited about the year ahead. She had a great first week. Fisher is super jealous and throws a fit when we have to leave her each morning. We hope that our name on the waiting list gets him in next Fall!
|We decided to buy this animal a seat of his own, and it was WELL worth it.|
|Not seen here were the dozens of construction vehicles outside our window upon landing at O'Hare. Fisher was in heaven.|
|Tired kiddos after waking up at 4:30 am.|
|Fisher and his girl Piper.|
|Wasted no time hitting up the local park.|
|Farmer's Market Fun.|
Piper Hale, Eleanor, Fisher, Jack Hale, Eddie Lew.
|Lincoln Park Zoo with the pros - Maggie and Piper Hale|
|This may be one of my favorite pics of all time. My best friend's son with my son. Who would have thought our baby boys would only be 1 month apart. Handsome fellas!|
|Children's Museum in the suburbs.|
|Aye Aye Captain!|
|Bama and her grandsons!|
|Elizabeth and Eleanor building the three little pigs' house.|
|Buddies and cousins - the best!|
|Uncle Justin and his buddy/nephew, Thomas|
|Children's Museum presentation on how to interact with dog. Elizabeth and Eleanor were chosen as volunteers to act out how to respond when a dog aggressively approaches. Arms in/still/act like you're a rock:)|
|Horns in the bathtub|
|Aunt Val's screened in porch is the BEST!|
|El Train. Fisher had no idea what was in store.|
|We could have literally ridden the El all day. Fisher clearly didn't know "city" etiquette - he waved and said "buh bayeeeeee" to every stranger on the train.|
|So proud to hold on by herself. I was disgusted when she sucked those same fingers about 30 seconds later.|
|Millenium Park - The Bean!|
|So strong, Ellie!|
|Carousel at the Zoo|
|Jonquil Park, a blast from the past for Mommy. I lived a block away and spent so much time at this park.|
|Pumping away on the swings|
|North Avenue Beach was a hit|
|Another staple from the good ole' days. The meat market by Justin's condo. Free mustaches!|
|Thumbs up to German butchers with mustaches|
|The bounty from Paulina Meat Market|
|Dad's Day (and Clay) at the Cubs' game.|
|Parent's Night Out at Home Slice.|
|Clearly Fish loves his Bama|
|Auntie Meghan and Thomas|
|I couldn't find a favorite from this montage - love this Bama/grandkid love.|
|Fish loved Auntie Val's backyard|
|Belly up at Casa Hale|
|Lunch date with one of my favorite monkeys. Newfound love of ketchup and dipping.|
|Stroll through the zoo.|
|Storytime with Dylan. Eleanor bunked up on a trundle bed in Jack's room.|
|Since I had custody of Fisher on the trip to Chicago, Justin was in charge on the way home. We had a pretty hefty bet on Fisher falling asleep en route. I lost the said bet.|
|The Johnson Crew stopped by for a playmate, swim time, and dinner. Our kids were in love withe the Johnson Girls!|
|Movie time pre bedtime.|
|These two love their buddy, Grant!|
|No one in our family is addicted to Starbucks.|
**No toddlers were harmed in the activities captured in this photo**
|Happy Birthday, Aunt Sally! Fun visit to Sun City to see Great Great Aunt Sally and Great Great Uncle Jim|
|Golf cart lover|
|Painting with Aunt Sally, one of the best!|
|Hose down after donuts and sprinkles mess|
|Circus as a back-to-school treat. Sister had an amazing time.|
|Jaw dropping $11 snow cone. Really!?!|
|First day at Athena Montessori Academy. We are super excited about E's first year here!|
|Fisher has finally taken to Daddy Time. These two are buds - bike rides, trail runs, and snuggle time. It only took 18 months for this to happen. Fish is still overly obsessed with me, but the fact that he's opening up to Daddy is heart melting.|
The performers were doing unimaginable things. Justin and I were blown away. THIS is what Eleanor was most obsessed with - the "princess" riding the horse.
We deemed it appropriate to bring Aunt Sally a "1" as her birthday candle...