this year's fall decor

I decorated a little later this year... just getting back into the routine of things took me a minute. But I did it eventually and the house is all things pumpkin and cozy!  

a fall craft with nonna

Nonna is all about the festive things! She got the kids these wreath kits to put together one Sunday... The result was of course a whole lot of noise and giggles and sticky fingers. But seeing all the cousins together making memories is seriously the very best!! This is David's finished product. He went slightly overboard...

so... what are ya'll doin?

How have we all been? Are we recovering from getting back to some normal life-type things? It was hard, wasn't it? Going from nothing to everything within a few weeks was a shock to my system. Who am I kidding, I haven't recovered yet! I feel tired body and soul most nights... and naturally I still have my anxiety waking hours from 2-4 am so that is fun. 

Lately..... we have been wishing we could have more pool days like the beginning of the month... I'm missing getting into the school like we were able to do the first two weeks of school to help with kindergarten lunches... Getting photos of my kids from a friend always made my day! Field hockey and baseball started for the bigger kids and thank the powers that be that they have the same practice schedule! At the same location. Woohoo! One perk of it getting darker earlier is that I get to see some good fall sunsets! I also decorated for fall, inside and out... More on that later as one does. I have finally gone through my list of things I wanted to do once the kids go back to school... All the cleaning. Finding hand written gems in the kid's rooms was definitely a highlight... I'm not able to swim but I'll still hang out by the pool and my chef provides the eats... David's games overlap Letty's but as I am Coach Olsen for hockey I may miss half of them, at least... I had a lovely lunch with some lovely ladies that I'm pretty sure should become a monthly thing.... Saturdays are hockey games and baseball games... thankfully we have friends all around! Annnd in between all that there are niece cuddles and more sunsets and moon views!

a city mini

My sister-in-law, at Wishbone Photography, makes magic happen when she photographs my kids let me tell you! I have been having the worst time lately getting Letty to smile nicely or for David to stop throwing peace signs or for Dom to just look. at. the. camera. But Ash? Oh no. She takes a twenty minute session and I am hard-pressed to figure out which ones I want to print. All of them! Every! Time!

We chose to do a different location for us, the city! Which was so fun! I haven't been down there in oh... seven months so that was a little surreal... but it was good! Here are just a few of my favorites:

a day of days... all for ice cream!

Oh I have missed days like this Sunday a few weeks ago! A day where we just do all the things. In all the land. Which naturally means that we were most likely with my friend Toniel (which we were) who is just as (if not more) crazier than I am with filling up a schedule! We had been planning on visiting our friend's ice cream shop, Twisted Sisters, all summer and could not put it off a single day more! So that was the main point of this day. To support our friend.

But first. Cabelas. The ice cream shop is a little over an hour away so it made sense to just plan other things around it to make more out of the drive. I would make the drive just for their ice cream mind you...  But since Cabelas is right there and it has animals and fish in there we thought we would pop in real quick. Dom has really been missing the zoo let me tell you that kid did not stop talking about all the animals he was seeing. Poor kid! Get that child to a zoo, stat!

harrison is three!

Oh this not-so-baby-anymore boy! My nephew, Harrison, has turned three! He just doesn't love me like I love him... But someday he will come around I am sure of it! I was holding out hope for his sudden jealousy of the loss of my affections when his baby sister was born but sadly, he could care less that my attentions are diverted. But sometimes he lets me tickle him and I'll take it. And on the kid's first day of school he ran right over to me and gave me a hug, because he knew that Aunt Lolo would need it. So he pretty much has my heart. Even if he won't have my hugs.

A few weeks ago my sister had a shark themed dinner party for family to celebrate this bright light of my life's birthday! He got to open his presents and have cake and we all had some yummy eats! 

Oh Harrison. You are at my most favorite age! You are so so so loved! You are smart and funny, sweet and good, you take such good care of your baby sister and you are the most handsomest Harrison Charles there ever was! Happy birthday to you!

my belated post about labor day

Yeah, I'm still here! If you have watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix then you probably understand my sudden urge to just get rid of all social media platforms... Except Instagram. You can't quit me Instagram! I recently went to 'private' on that account because of an inappropriate comment made about one of the kids that just made me skeeve a bit... but then there is this thing that I have worked on for seven (?!) years and I'm just over thinking sometimes you know? What is the right thing to do and is it worth it and hey, maybe I'll just make this private, that's a thing right? So I'm not sure what I'm doing with this place at this current time but until I figure it out I'll do a little catch up...

Sound good? Ok!

Labor Day weekend. Oh back to a time when it was warm enough to swim... It has been feeling like fall for a few days now and even though we all know I love fall I'm just not ready! We have a pool! I want to float in it in silence while the kids are at school and I have yet to do that! 

I barely took any photos on Labor Day because I'm not quite brave enough to test the whole waterproof feature of my iPhone yet... but on the last unofficial day of summer we swam. My family, those that could make it anyways. And we ate all the foods with patriotic napkins and we called it good. Now I'll take some more days like this please!

the moments in between

During the last few moments of summer we...
Got to do an outdoor movie night with friends, Jumanji, because: 2020... Nera terrorized any and all guests... a lunch out with some mom friends... niece cuddles... a candy store visit.... followed immediately by an ice cream run.... a sleepover with a friend.... moon gazing and night swims and fire pits and s'mores... cuddles with a different niece... shopping with my nephew... the older two kid's well visits... farm flowers... nail appointment... celebrated my brother's milestone birthday and more. niece. cuddles. a last minute girl sleepover including dolls.... two very tired boys... oola bowls and the biggest slip and slide.... 
Sensing a theme as these summer moments come to an end? I'll give you a hint. Cuddles.

the first day of school

I have survived five school days... on the sixth! The days are quiet... I had a ringing in my ears the first day or two. I have been trying to keep myself as busy as I can and it is working out okay for me. I’ve been whittling away at the list of stuff I wanted to do around the house item by item.... and before you know it 2:30 rolls around and within four minutes they are all screaming at each other. But I digress. 

The first day of fourth, third, and kindergarten. They were so excited to go to school! The boys in particular. David was practically bouncing with excitement! After such a break my goodness to see their excitement made sending them off into the void so much easier. I know the school day will look a little different for them but it’s not that different. Yes they wear masks and they don’t interact with other classes within their grade.... and lunch is more spread out. But they love it! The masks are a non-issue. They are just happy and excited and that makes me happy and excited. 

Dom’s first day of kindergarten is different than the other kid’s first days. I kept him with me at drop off and returned at an allotted time to meet teacher and do a classroom tour. After that was done I took him out for a final Janelle lunch. He’s been our date for so many years we will miss him! He emphatically informed me that he doesn’t like wearing a shirt all day...transitioning from swimwear to real clothes is going to be rough! Forget the masks! Real pants?! Ew. 

And then before you know it the bigger kids got off the bus and into my arms! And then you know, I had to take them for their traditional Post First Day Rita’s! Keeping whatever traditions alive that I can!

The next day I made sure my sister was in the car behind us to drop her daughter off with my kids so they could all walk in together and it just made me so happy. I couldn't picture Lena walking in solo when she didn't have to! And I also got really lucky and was able to go into the school and  help out a few times! Those kindergarteners need a lot of corralling... Getting in there and seeing their smiling faces (eyes) just makes my day!


the final day of summer vacation

Having survived the first week back to school I finally am allowing myself to relive the last day of summer vacation. Or the last day of whatever you want to call the past six months cation. The final days of summer always have me feeling so forlorn. It's not just my babies leaving me but it is also the freedom of the summer leaving me. And these past months have been kinda nice, not having to be here or go there... lots of things I normally self inflict on our schedules we just couldn't do... and getting back to schedules and packed lunches and sports just seems super... overwhelming. Can't we just stay home all day in our swimsuits?