strawberry season is upon us!

Oh this is such a thing I so love to do! All the fresh fruits all the summer long! I have it down to a science at this point, what fruit I can pick what month. I was so surprised when my local farm put up on their Facebook page that they were open for picking before Memorial Day... that hasn't happened in forever! I waited not so patiently for the kids to get off the bus before I whisked them off to pick up some fruit! Six quarts worth, to be exact. The boys were in to it for about five minutes before they moved on to more important things, like rocks. And staring at the watering pipe. Letty though is quite the helper and prides herself on finding the very reddest and bestest of berries.

a weekend of pool days

We just about had the best pool weekend two weekends ago! The weather was finally on board with us want to be Floridians! It was hot, the sun was shining (mostly) and we just had a wide open weekend to be filled up with all things pool! We invited over my siblings, Beth and her family making it on Saturday and Ash and the girls coming too on Sunday. My parents joined in on our shenanigans as well. Matt spent all of Saturday morning blowing up pool floaties from their winter hibernation and that just means, it's summer time people! It was just two solid days of squeals and splashing. With a lot of eating, oh all the foods! Oh and meet the newest float: Unikitty.

preschool: a year completed

It's a bit funny (or maybe the right word is ironic?) how the first child starting school is near earth-shattering... and then the second is like okay we know this drill and it's sad but I have a Dominator to contend with so I'll be okay and then the third comes along. I was sad when he started of course, marginally less sad than with David, but sad. I recovered faster though, I mean, two and a half hours twice a week is really like next to nothing... I know everyone and their mother is discussing this time warp thing but goodness. His first day was like yesterday! And then here we are his last day and I didn't even go to pick him up from school! Matt went because my van was in the shop. So I missed his last last day of his first year of school! Follow that logic? And it's okay. We are all okay.

the deck is ready for summer!

It is Memorial Day and for a whole lot of the country that means being outside... Doing that outside thang. BBQs and pools and family and friends, oh my! We spend so much time during the summer out on our deck and in our pool that getting it juuuust right is so important to us.

It took us a little bit this year to get her all gussied up for summer but we got it done just in time for a glorious weekend of sun a few weeks back! More on that later of course. It may or may not surprise you that I loathe our deck. I hate the color of it. It needs a few new boards here and there, and well, it could be a whole lot larger. Some day! So with that future goal in mind of enlarging and replacing said deck we decided we wouldn't stain it this year and instead opted for a new rug. As big as we could get rug. I also had to spray paint each and every chair as they rusted during their first and only summer. Don't trust the reviews people, those chairs are not outdoor friendly! We also got some new palm trees that are just so nice and big! I changed out what I put in the flower pots this year as well.... and my mama got me the most glorious succulent centerpiece that ever was!! I am obsessed with it and it is my precious.

You can see the deck last summer here. I always say final and that's always a joke right?

some bits of life from my camera roll...

The in between.... you know as in like, real life, everyday life. So to document!

The insane amount of laundry that I folded after twelve days away.//The first day back to Bodypump was.... ouch!//Our first weekend back from vacation our neighborhood had a yard sale... I didn't really sell but my friend came and set up shop along with a bunch of girls who wanted a lemonade stand. Matt made it and everyone brought something to sell and the girls made like $15 each! Lemonade stands are not what they used to be.//We mulched and decided to add another garden bed when we discovered we had far too much mulch.//Spent literally the entire day on day with these two beautiful women. It needed to be documented. From Race to lunch to setting  up for the yard sale to dinner to drinks to some of their kids staying for a sleepover I mean. It was a day of days.//Cinco de Cycle! Spin followed by drinks! We so festive.//The Food Truck Frenzy that started with rain and ended with an early bedtime for all.//Coffee date with a friend.//Playing with Olsen cousins in the mud and rain. And no ticks were found!//Aunt Beth took Dom out for some ice cream and an impromptu Happy Meal, the lucky duck!//The end of another hockey camp, love me those second graders! Almost third graders (staaaahp!)//The bigger kids had their end of year Carnival at school. With a side of friends and chaos!//Our first fire pit of the year with more friends! And s'mores!//Letty and I went to see her second cousin in High School Musical, the brainiac.//

spring blossom photo session

I know these photos were taken a little bit ago and you may or may not have seen them here or there  on the internets but it is my blog and this shoot must be documented. Not to mention I just love them so much and they turned out awesome!

Everyone should have a photographer in the family, in my opinion. Also of note would be an electrician, maybe a hairdresser, a mechanic, a pediatrician, a plumber.... The list goes on. We are very lucky to have my sister-in-law who is always up for a photo shoot with me and my five! She had some extra slots during one of her mini sessions before we left for Florida and I just snatched that right up! 

kicking off summer right!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!!! This is it! The start of it all! While school isn’t over, yet, I’m all things summer in my mind. The kids have a half day today and we are just chock full booked of fun all weekend long! You know me and the summer, the Summer of Yes! The Sandlot summer of your childhood! These are the things I want for my kids! I don’t know if I succeed, but I sure try! Dirty feet, chlorinated hair, late nights.... ahh what a dream, summer is!

Here is our summer bucket list (because one cannot have a Summer of Yes without a list that one can check off, now can one? Yes, I’m a Monica), which is pretty much just like other years. Meaning, all the things!! I also thought I’d throw some photos up here of the patriotic decor I’ve added around the house for summer just for fun!

And just think! Only eight and a half days of school left! Only eight more lunches!! Mama is doing a dance!

gretna glen field trip! again!

Wasn't I just here? How has year gone by already? These moments I've been having lately like wait... We just did this. But sadly we didn't just do anything... It has been a year. Twelve months have gone by and we are just doing it all over again, a year older. This field trip I was really dreading. Which I know, who am I? But I hate the dirt. And I knew David would be all about said dirt. I tried to get Matt to tag in for this one and he was like oh hell no so... It was me! I put David in clothes I cared nothing about and crossed my fingers! 

the first swim of the summer!

The water doesn't need to be warm in order to get my kids in their bathing suits and in the pool! We miss this pool all the winter long and my children are three little water bugs so it's all very wonderful and exciting when the pool is open for business. Even if it's cold. Which it was last week when they first got in there. Dom originally said he would wait for his siblings to get off the bus but he gave up on that and enjoyed some alone time in the pool... the slide all to himself.

race for education

I'm sad I am out of Disney things to write about.... I mean I really just dragged out the entire Florida vacation as long as I could am I right? But le sigh. It is done. One must move on.... To our first Friday back at school and back in the cold, dreary, icky, north.

If you've been around here for the past three years (wow!) you know that this is quite the beast of an event. The sheer amount of work that goes into this thing is just well... beastly. I do what little I can... but it's still like next to nothing. I think the kids raised something like $27,000 for their PTO and all those PTO sponsored events so.... well done!

One thing I do make sure to do is well, be there. I like to be a lap marker. I had to pick between K-1 and 2-4 so since I am pretty weighted on the Letty side with involvement I chose David this time. She was most put out by this but I am going for fairness here. The grass was wet and it was chilly. Not ideal conditions. The kids came out... the kids went back... the moms shivered and drank spiced chai... and then the kids came back out! Drizzle or not they were running!

a morning swim + floridian friend!

You may be wondering... hey Laur? Where is your Floridian Friend, Kerri? Unfortunately our final morning in Disney was the only time that I knew where I'd be and for enough time for her to come and join me. As you have seen these past few weeks we went from sun up to sun down and everywhere in between... Hopping parks and back again. It was a bummer that I couldn't meet up with her sooner! Truly! But she came over bright and early to spend as much time with us as she could before we headed north, tears in my eyes. The kids swam and we just chatted and I soaked up more of that Floridian sun whilst I could.... Eventually we got lunch and all knew what that meant... departure....

final epcot + infamous photo shoot + hollywood studios

I figured let's start this post off with a bang. If any of you readers are friends with any of the people on this trip on the Facebook then you may have seen the video.... Let's just say in my notes from this day I wrote (pardon my French) "shit show" next to "got a photo of kids with Nonna and Pop." How hard can it be? There are only seven of them. Their grandparents gave them this wonderful trip! They had snacks! Promises of snacks! It. Was. Awful. But you'd never know it from this photo would you?

final epcot day + princesses

My sister and I had a plan with this day. Early breakfast in Epcot before the park opens in the hopes that after we eat we can ride Frozen and Test Track, since we didn't get Fastpasses for them. It's back to that whole you can only pick one of these three and well, Soarin was the one we picked. Anyways that was the logic behind a breakfast buffet meal. With princesses! Lots of them! We ate at Akershus (gesundheit) Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavilion. I was a tad nervous about the food because well, Norway. But I was pleasantly surprised. Lots of options for us all! We met Belle right at the door in her pretty  yellow dress, as well as Snow White, Cinderella and Ariel! They also had a princess parade type thing and the kids all got up and joined in on that. It was such a magical breakfast for the kids! Well worth it! Today was also the day the kiddos wore their matching shirts that my parents got for them all! Love matching!

magic kingdom again + fireworks

Wild horses can't keep us away. We had dinner reservations at The Crystal Palace, which is a character dining experience plus also a buffet. My kids never really watched Winnie the Pooh which is a travesty in and of itself but they have however seen Christopher Robin. Which is just such a cute movie! So they were more excited this time around. Even if Letty was like ahem mom, the gray guy who is sad all the time should be on all fours and the pig is much much smaller than that. This is why I know they are humans in costumes. Yet she still lit up with each and every meet and greet so fine if she knows the truth.

magic kingdom + epcot

We got to Magic Kingdom a little bit earlier than we did earlier in the week in hopes to get some of the little kid rides taken care of before the crowds arrived. Tinkerbell claimed to have a 15 minute wait that may or may not have been longer... but we wanted to meet her so we waited just the same. She asked Dom about his Slug Slime that he uses for his hair, as she does the same. So now we call his hair gel Slug Slime. They also told her that their daddy has a Tinker Talent. But first are the sunrise run photos getting old? No, right?

epcot + mickey and friends

My sister was just on a mission this day. My kind of Beth! She saw the lines weren't so bad over at Epcot and well since we can just mosey on over there we should just go do that. This was Rob and Ashley's wedding anniversary so they wanted to do their own thing after dinner and my parents helped by watching the girls for them. So it was just the Sauders and Olsens. On. A. Mission!

hollywood studios + some pool time

Hollywood Studios has some of my favorite thrill rides! Tower of Terror and the Rock n' Rollercoaster are just where it's at! With the opening of Toy Story Land we were really hoping to get Fastpasses for one of those new rides but alas, it was not in the cards for us. Even if I gave up one of those aforementioned thrill rides, they were just that booked out. So. My sister was like, let's do this! Let's take the kids at rope drop and make a mad dash and do our best to get those triplets on the one ride they really just wanted, Slinky Dog Dash. And news flash: we made it. The line was completely out of the regular like line area and wrapped around the outside... it did not look good. But I think we only waited like 40 minutes maybe? Maybe even a half hour. The line behind us got up to over two hours so so fast so... We figured we were so lucky. Such a fun ride too! Definitely worth that wait I'd say. The line area is themed so fun and the kids just ate it all up!

epcot + fireworks

Hard to believe that we are still on the same day as yesterday but that is just how we rolled in Disney. Pack it all in and get it all done and all of it. All of the time. As I said after our early dinner we had some calories and time to burn so we Monorailed ourselves over to Epcot. Where there were flowers! Naturally. It being spring and all. All the flowers!

magic kingdom + o'hana

My dad gets us the Park Hopper passes and I mean, we've used them sure, going into two parks in a day here and there but this trip? Oh did we get the money's worth out that option. This day was the first example of such madness. We started our day at Magic Kingdom. But not before going out for a quick run and mailing postcards to the kid's classes and also homework. Journal it all kids! 

off to disney we go! first up: animal kingdom!

What's that saying about the rolling stone and moss? Well however it goes we are sure that rolling stone. We got up bright and early and loaded into the most packed MV I have ever seen and started our two plus hour trip to the great Walt Disney World!

our easter at the beach

This was our last day in West Palm Beach and as I'm sure you can imagine the day started with a run. My brother joined my sister and I for a sunrise run along the beach... with about a thousand other people in their Easter finest... .listening to a worship service. We saw the sun rise and then headed north for a quick run....

easter eve take two

I might just be over here reminiscing of our Floridian trip until school gets out. Would that be so bad? No I think not...

Once the epic egg hunt and all other festivities wrapped up we all got changed and headed to the club pool. I could just move in there if I'm being honest. Well that and if I won the lottery. The pineapple vodka drinks were flowing and there was family everywhere and the sun was out in full force! It was amazing. I'm pretty sure I only left the pool to get Chapstick and then back I went. We spent the entire afternoon hanging out and laughing and maybe some of us getting a little too much sun... 

As we were walking out to get ready for dinner my cousin Nick threw his mother in the pool which oh so gave me flashbacks of his own father and our other uncles chucking my grandma into her pool when I was a kid... That's a thing Trovato men do I guess... throw their mothers in the pool.

an easter egg hunt!

My aunt had quite the itinerary planned for our visit and first things first on our Saturday morning, an egg hunt! And not just an egg hunt, but a magic show and then and egg hunt! Plus much much more! The magician was a tad hokey but my kids were absolutely eating it up, the cornier the better! I'm pretty sure the joy and admiration on their faces never left. 

our good friday

I started my Good Friday off with a sunrise run with my sister.. which is the best way to start any day if you ask me. Coffee, cardio, and the sky. It wasn't the best sky I've ever seen but it still so pretty. Once everyone was up for the day we had breakfast at the hotel and then let the kids swim. It was overcast and it eventually started to rain but that doesn't stop these kiddos!

as we arrive in west palm beach

Now the reason for this destination is: family. My uncle has a house down there and his wife and their four kids and their people Easter there every year. We did this once before, but as tax season rarely falls before Easter (and my CPA sister is needed as are my mom and I and our childcare services) we haven't been there in quite some time. Since Dom was on the inside as a matter of fact.

There were a few bumps along the road for some of my extended family that left us down an uncle as well as later flights than they originally planned. So. The day we arrived we just relaxed by the pool because my kids are fishes and it was hot and there was sun and palm trees. Yes, West Palm Beach has palm trees! The pool also had a shelf that my kids found to be absolutely fantastic. I also got a quick run in as I tend to do. It's not our gym at home but it's something. Right?