August was a full month for our family! Summer sports came to an end, we started homeschool, the kids went camping with Ritch, and I took a special trip with two of the kids to visit my sister and her new baby!
"I can't remember all the times I tried to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass."
Welcome to “Moments” here on JoyFoodSunshine. At the end of every month I share a recap of our family's favorite moments! Here's a snapshot of our life from August 2021!
August was a full month for our family! Summer sports came to an end, we started school, the kids went camping with Ritch, and I took a special trip with two of the kids to visit my sister and her new baby!
Baby Zach (7 months)
Z is still as sweet and delicious as ever. He really has the hang of baby food and has now eaten pears, apples, green beans, peas, sweet potato, peaches and carrots!
He has many nicknames, mostly involving the word bear. Baby bear, boo boo bear, chubby bear, etc.
This month we tried to teach him how to sit up - he's getting there but seriously he never gets put down long enough to practice. Recently we saw a baby who was born a few days after Z. He was eating a full granola bar, sitting up, and exhibiting many more skills than Zach.
Bethany noticed and was a bit concerned about Z's progress (or lack thereof) and I explained to her that it's ok and every baby is different. I'm not in a rush for him to reach any milestones, and I want him to stay my baby for as long as possible.
We use the bumbo when we feed him and when we need him to sit up! He loves it!
Z also has learned how to sit in a high chair! We've only done it when we're out and about but he's getting the hang of it.
Last Swim Meet
The kids had their last swim meet in the beginning of the month. They all did amazing! I am so proud of their hard work and the progress they made this summer.
Date with Gabe
We have a schedule we try to follow to take the kids on dates. This month it was my turn to take G out! He is such a sweet boy and I love spending time with him.
He chose to get coffee and then go mini golfing. Those two activities took less time than we anticipated, so we went to Scheels (a sporting store) and walked around together. It was so great getting to have quality time with my oldest boy!
Every year Ritch takes the potty trained kids camping. This year he took Bethany down to Mara and our good friends joined them. The kids had an absolute blast and it was their first time sleeping over with friends which made it even more special.
Apparently Mara had some tummy troubles on the trip but still had lots of fun. I love this capture of M - it shows her personality so well.
I enjoyed quiet time with Keilah and Zach. We went to the park a few times, snuggled, had friends over for dinner and I painted her nails.
A big milestone for K this month was ditching the bottle once and for all. I know she's 2 and a half, and I don't care. She loved getting a bottle and I loved snuggling with her while she drank it! The last couple months I literally just put water in it but she asked for it at nap and bedtime. Well, while I was in Chicago Ritch cut her off cold turkey. I know it's probably for the best but I miss it!
Our school year kicked off the third week of August! We started with Math and our classical memory work. Co-op started the next week and it felt really great to be back together with all of our friends.
This year I have a child in every single class at co-op, plus the nursery plus Zach sleeps on me in the morning. It is a lot to manage but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.
Mara loved her first time in a real class (not the nursery) and I can't wait to see how she blossoms and grows in this environment.
The highlight of my month was getting to go to Chicago with Bethany and Zach. My sister had her first baby in the spring, and so we booked a trip to go out to visit them and meet him!
As a family we decided it'd be best for just the three of us to go for many reasons, one of the most prominent being that I really needed some quality time with my sweet girl. She has been such an amazing helper and wonderful big sister since Zach was born, and Ritch and I felt like a fun and special trip would be really great for us.
We stayed at a hotel downtown right in the heart of everything. We walked the Magnificent Mile and she got to experience all the sights and sounds of a really big city. We went into a giant Zara and Bethany was in heaven!
The big event was taking her to the American Girl Store to get both her and her doll's ears pierced. She had been asking for a long time and I felt like this was a great opportunity. She was so brave even when she was nervous.
She loved exploring the American Girl store and we also ate in the cafe. It was such a great day where I just got to watch her experience so much joy.
My sister lives just outside of downtown so we got to go visit with her too (she also joined us at the American girl store)! I enjoyed getting to see her be a mommy (and my brother-in-law be a daddy) in her own home with my sweet nephew.
I am so grateful we got to experience their life as parents, see the little nest she has created for her baby and snuggle with that little bundle of love. I hate living so far away from her so I treasure the moments we get to spend together.
As you can see Z and S really hit it off. From holding hands to grabbing each other's faces, I'm pretty sure they're going to be buddies and enjoy playing together as they grow.
I also took advantage of this trip as an opportunity to show Bethany around the city. She has never seen a big city before (SLC is so small comparatively), and it was such a special experience to watch her soak in her surroundings, ask questions, etc. All the elementary school field trips and unit studies on Chicago really paid off because I remembered way more about the city than I thought I would! 😉
We saw the bean, of course!
Then we walked to Buckingham Fountain which Bethany thought was very cool. We did a lot of walking on this trip and she handled it like a total champ.
Overall she was just amazing. Even when I got us lost or the rain changed our plans or our pizza took an hour to come to our table, etc. she took it all in stride and was the most fun travel companion.
My sister lives near the lake, so one afternoon the 5 of us had a picnic lunch near the lake and then B waded in a little bit (we also put Z's feet in the water which he loved). She could've spent all day here. Boy do I miss lake Michigan!
Z was also an amazing travel companion. He was such a good baby on this trip and was my little snuggle buddy. Seeing the city with him in tow was my favorite.
The view from our hotel room during a storm - so cool.
Multiple people stopped us to tell Bethany what a great big sister she was. Whether they observed her helping me feed Zach or saw her talk to him in a cute way, etc. they would come up and tell her she was amazing and it made my heart so happy - because she is! She loves Z so much. She even helped me bathe him in the sink in our hotel room and he LOVED it (clearly)!
We had so many great mommy daughter moments. At night we watched Pride and Prejudice while I nursed Z and then after he was asleep. We went out to breakfast one morning and another we had room service (which she thought was awesome). I enjoyed getting to spoil her a little because I really do believe she deserves it!
The last night she went on a date with my sister to see blue man group. They have a very special bond and I was so glad that they got to go have this experience together. Honestly it was hard for me to leave her that night because we had so much fun at night together I was going to miss her!
But I knew they would have the best time and B was glowing when she returned to the hotel and explained every part of the show to me in detail. It was the perfect end to our trip.
One of my most favorite moments was when we arrived home. Ritch brought the kids to the airport to pick us up and when they saw us they piled out of the van yelling "MOMMY!" It's a moment I will not forget - even without photos or videos.
Recipes I'm Making on Repeat
This month was so busy I didn't take a single picture of food. Here are a few recipes I made this month!
- Cashew chicken stir fry - a go-to weeknight meal for me.
- Made this puppy chow a few times!
- And a few people I knew had babies so I made this chicken chili a lot!
Things I'm loving
This instagram post I wrote really made a splash on the web.
Here are some snapshots of our life in August!
Z being cute.
It was uncharacteristically rainy in Utah this month and we spent a lot of evenings outside playing in the storms.
Z sucking his fingers - I think this self-soothe method is here to stay (sorry thumb).
B and Z had never experienced humidity really - Z woke up with bed head and we thought it was hilarious. Bethany also learned about pony tail creases - which are not a thing in Utah! 😉
We've been trying to teach Z to sit up - the girls created this pillow fortress for him so he wouldn't get hurt.
On a date with Ritch and Zach for our 14th wedding anniversary!
Have to toss in on Sunday selfie every month!
This is how Z lives during co-op - not sure how long this will be a good choice but for now it works!
Enjoying the last weeks of the pool being open.
I still snuggle this little nugget to sleep every day at nap time. I missed her so much when we were in chicago.
N playing at a festival in our neighborhood.
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