Wednesday, July 27, 2016


This is honestly a really hard blog for me to get started with.  We had a significant tragedy on my side just two days before leaving.  One of those things that stops you in your tracks and kind of makes you look at everything a little bit differently.  Although I couldn't swing it to be with my family during that time, my heart and mind were frequently with them. 

Despite our heavy hearts, it was good to be surrounded by people we loved, and man, we couldn't have been in a more beautiful place.  Ryan's family had spent time in Juneau when he was in high school, and I'm pretty sure he professed his love for Alaska on our very first date.  Let me tell you, it sure didn't disappoint.  The beauty was surreal, and the only word that keeps coming to mind is majestic.  Which is such a cheesy word normally, but seriously.  It was majestic.

We went with Ryan's entire family, and it was so good to have everyone together.  The excursions were once-in-a-lifetime kind of things, but the best part was just being together.  There's nothing in this world that's more important than loved ones, and getting the chance to have all of that undivided attention with Grandma and Pop and Dad.  No work, no emails, no distractions.  It was amazing, and not one of us will ever forget that time.

I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say we have a million pictures from the trip, so I'll be separating into a few different posts.  :)

Thanks, Grandma and Pop for a fabulous trip!  xoxo

- K

The view from our house.  Gorgeous.

Lyla was obsessed with her baby cousin, Brailyn.

Brailyn was mostly skeptical of us.  ;)  I got this face a lot for about 24 hours, but I managed to butter her up.

We brought a new lego set, which all the girls loved.  Even just hanging out home was a good time.  The girls love getting all the extra time with their dad.

"um, she's touching me."

The girls were obsessed with all the binoculars laying around.  :)

So many granddaughters, so little time.

One of my favorite outings was this hike.  Lyla kept insisting that we hike, and there happened to be a great trail right behind our house.  She rocked it, hiking the entire time without a complaint.

Sis got exhausted from being held the entire time.  ;)  It's hard work being 2.

We went to this gorgeous park a couple of times, right on the water.  It was so pretty!

Love this family of mine.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

4th of July

Last 4th of July Uncle Jeff, (basically Ryan's brother from another mother), came to visit.  It was such a good time that we decided to make it a tradition and even throw in an extra Jeff!  Ryan's high school friend, Jeff, and his wife, Tessa, came out to join the festivities and we couldn't have had any more fun. 

Tessa was the best thing since sliced bread to my little girls.  It took approximately 2 seconds for Lyla to crawl in her lap and profess her love for Tessa over and over.  Which sort of became the trend for the remainder of the weekend.  Even Sis couldn't get enough of "Tia".

The last time we all hung out for any decent amount of time was really in our mid twenties, and back then these guys were all just a little rough around the edges.  Like a little bit crazy, a lot bit unfiltered, and probably just typical mid twenties guys.  I'm pretty sure they all have a lot of that left in them, but 7+ years added other things, like fancy cheese trays, and fancy liquor tastes, and fair trade coffee conversations and saying things like "ugh, finally the brie is softening up" and "I prefer espresso with steamed milk to drip coffee".  I think you can say that they've all managed to out high-maintenance the girls in the group.  And that's hard to do when Princess Anna is always amongst you. ;)

All joking aside, it was such a good weekend.  These guys are just exceling in so many ways, and it was so fun to see them all together again.  I think the 4th is officially a tradition, and I can't wait to see everyone again!

- K

Ryan with the latest Jeff to join the 4th festivities.

Immediately attached at the hip :)

The whole crew.

Couple of cuties :)

At some point Sis grabbed the camera and things got a little weird.

And then Lyla had the camera.

I don't even know what's happening here.

Sis got the camera back.

The Chapman "Freedom Wagon" got lots of use over the weekend.  Lyla got to take a slow spin with the boys around the neighborhood.

Shortly after this we all (as in 5 adults, 2 children and the dog) piled in the back and drove a few blocks to our friends' house to see if they happened to be out.  Not seeing them out front wasn't enough, so Ryan went around the side to check their backyard and honked incessantly...not invasive at all.  They happened to be out there and yelled for us to come in.  Mind you we had Kevin, and most of us had no shoes.  Also they had friends with them that literally flew in from Finland an hour before, and their kids didn't speak any English.  Luckily they were all completely wonderful, and I'll never stop laughing about the dad from Finland saying "we were hoping for something like that!"  So I'm glad we could meet their crazy American expectations right off the bat, and for awesome friends that welcome a bunch of crazies in their home at the drop of a hat.  ;)

And then it turned into the "Meat Mobile" and they ran to the store together.  So cute.

They may or may not have made a run to Wisconsin to pick up illegal, huge, fireworks.  I asked Sis if she wanted to go to bed or stay up and she eagerly said "Wake UP!" with her eyes all huge.  So she stayed up, and she did great...until the next day where we were all severely punished by her 'tude.  All's fair in fireworks and s'mores though, and I'd say the memories were totally worth it.

The next day we all headed to the Farmer's Market for breakfast.

Sis found a chicken.  It might have PTSD.

If they ever start a boy band I think this will be the album cover.

I can't complain about the boys and their meat and cheese selections.  :)

Illegal fireworks and s'mores - Take Two

Sis was not invited to the second night of firework fun.

By 10 we had a visit from the cops, so the fireworks came to an end.  Lyla was somewhat traumatized by the whole ordeal, but to her joy the night quickly became a Disney music karaoke / dance party.

Tessa and Lyla making up moves to The Little Mermaid songs.

Uncle Jeff's glasses got broken shortly after this picture.

Sadly Jeff and Tessa had to leave us on the 4th, but the rest of us went to the same festival we went to last year.  Ryan and Jeff hit up a gyro food truck, and this little girl's parents ran it.  She quickly pulled up a chair for Lyla to sit in, directed her at one point to "sit like a normal person" (I have to confess that I've probably said that myself once or 100 times!) and then grabbed her and started ball room dancing with her.  Kids are the freakin best.

Never ceases to amaze me how they can just be instant best friends.

The best part about kids is they do everything for you.  I pretty much just sit on the couch eating bon bons these days.

Sis followed her big sister right up the ladder for this slide jump house.  We weren't sure what to expect once she got to the top but she owned it.  No hesitations, just straight down that thing.  Everyone around us started clapping and cheering.  She was pretty proud.  :)

Ride tickets!


I don't even know...

Her favorite game is acting as sour as possible.  She stands with her arms crossed and pouts, and throws major shade at the camera.  She laughs a little when you laugh, but then straight back to a scowl.

Lyla couldn't wait to get her face painted again.

Sis loved every second of this.  At the end of the night when I wiped it off she made it pretty clear that I'd ruined her entire life.  She might need counseling at some point.

Such a fun night!  What a great weekend celebrating our great country.