Monday, September 18, 2017

2017 Summer Bucket List | Part 2

Did you know that summer officially ends on September 22nd, which is also the fall equinox? I don’t know how I never put those two things together, but it’s in just a few days, you guys! This summer has been unbearably hot and so busy and while I’m more than ready for fall, I need more time to blog about summer! I have this installment of our 2017 Summer Bucket List and then a third, so basically, I’ll be wrapping our summer up in October when the leaves are falling off the trees… But meh, that’s fine, I guess. ;)

Go Swimming | Brother’s 1st Pool Parties

If there’s one thing we’ve done a ton of this summer, it’s swim. Swimming at the lake, swimming in the river. Swimming birthday parties and swim days with the kids’ fab Guncles. We’ve been total water babies, including Will! This is just another example of how different parenting has been with our little dude and how, while I’ve always heard that things are different with baby #2 – I’m now experiencing that it truly is. I remember insisting we wait until Grace was several months old and had received her first two series of shots before letting one single baby toe touch water and with brother bear we’ve been totally okay with it! It helped that Nani bought Will the most adorable NB water suit when he was still in G’s belly and it’s not like we were going to just let him grow out of it before trying it out! How could we let that happen with an outfit so stinkin’ cute?! Will’s first swimming experience was at uncle A and uncle B’s house and we let him get in up to his waist, the first time. Uncle A is always freezing, so the pool was a warm 90-something degrees and we didn’t get so much as a noise from our little guy when he first felt the warm water. He just closed his eyes and relaxed. It was adorable!

Our swim day with the Guncles was a full evening of swimming, grilling and patio lounging in their beautiful backyard and it was a day of relaxation that we were more than ready for! Since then, our guy has gone swimming (aka, held by his moms in the water) at a few parties and out on some of our adventures in the great outdoors. My hope is that he’ll be just as much of a water baby as his sister bear because her and I have a blast together anytime there’s water involved! Right now, Will’s next on the waiting lists that he’s been on since birth to get into Gracie’s Swim School, so I can’t wait for that call to come in. Mama loves her little fish!

Go Bowling | Another Fun Family Night!

The bean has asked to go bowling more times than I can count these past couple of months, so adding a family bowling night to our summer bucket list was a no-brainer! With G and I being on maternity leave April through July, Nani making her own work hours and grandparents who are retired, we had all the time in the world to spend the day knocking down some pins. The GIANT Main Event Center that finally opened in town was the perfect place and since none of us had visited yet, that’s where we decided to go.

Main Event was awesome! They have a ridiculously huge multi-level laser tag course, gravity ropes adventure courses, billiards, video games, bowling and even a brewery; which made my wife who was dying for a cold beer, very happy! They had dino-ramps for the kids to used when bowling and we just happened to go on galactic night, so everything including us glowed in the florescent lights. Grace was obsessed and declared before we left that she just has to have her next birthday party at Main Event, which sounds like a perfect plan to her mamas!

Stay in a Cabin | Road Trip to Show Low, AZ

Any friendship that stands the test of time, does so because the people involved balance each other. This is most certainly the case for my bestie Sara and I, of these past 3 decades. I lead the way in some aspect of our friendship, but when it comes to planning, she is far more talented than me. In early March, she called to tell me that we would be staying with her family in a beautiful cabin in their home state of Arizona during our mat leave and she then proceeded to plan every detail from the cabin itself, to our family style meals. I so appreciate that Sara did this as we were soon home with a new baby and I would have forgotten to pay the deposit on the cabin, or something else equally important with my preoccupied baby brain!

The cabin was amazing and just so beautiful. It looked like something straight out of the movies with big wooden beds, bears carved out of wood all over the property and décor covered in fish and other woodland creatures. There was an actual bear carved into the toilet seat, you guys! LOL! The drive wasn’t bad at all and with Will being so little and sleepy and Grace fully stocked with snacks and electronic devises, we were there in no time, having dealt with literally no fuss from the kiddos. Even I was shocked!

Sara and Vince also have a son and a daughter. The girls are just a month apart, so they both lose their minds with excitement anytime they get to hang out and they had an absolute blast together! We cooked out, we hiked, we had water fights and bubble parties in the big jacuzzi tub. The kiddos slept in sleeping bags in the loft, watched movies and hunted for bugs. Us grownups loved the big balcony on the second level of the cabin and had our own fun each night when the little ones went to bed. It was 3 days of fun that flew by and I can’t wait to do it again when our little guy is bigger and can really play with sister and her friends!

Soccer Camp | Becoming the next Abby Wambach or Mia Hamm

Soccer is something else that’s been fairly new for the bean this summer and she’s LOVING it! As I’ve written before, we put Grace in soccer when she was just 18 months but she didn’t take to it at first. Fast-forward a few years and she’s loving it again. Putting her in a summer soccer camp was the best idea ever as it allowed her to give the sport another try without the pressure of having games and practice. It was just a week of soccer fun, learning new skills while also working on fun art projects and enjoying yummy snacks.

Grace ended up enjoying it so much that we put her back in regular soccer and just got her signed up for her elementary school’s soccer program, which starts in a few weeks! She’ll take a break from her soccer league once school soccer starts and already she’s so excited about it! I would love for her to kick-butt at soccer in high school and oh I don’t know, maybe get a full soccer scholarship to college down the road! It all starts here, guys! This is when legends get their start! ;)

Visit the Botanical Gardens | …and get eaten alive by mosquitos!

I may be bias, but I think that we have one of the most beautiful Botanical Gardens in the US. In fact, this past year the Travel Channel ranked our BioPark Botanical Gardens as one of the top 12 in the country! How awesome is that?! New Mexico is unique in that we really do have 4 separate seasons, each lasting roughly 3 months and no one season is more extreme than the other. What does this mean, you ask? Well, it means we can grow some really amazing and unique plants all in one place and we are able to do this year-round! The Gardens are a super popular place to visit and one of the most popular venues for weddings. And as I discovered earlier this summer, they do evening tours of the grounds too.

I came across this on Groupon when I was mapping out our summer, this past April and with the tickets practically being given away for free, I signed us up. We all arrived at the BioPark with our sun screen and hats on and proceeded to be covered in bug spray again by our tour guides. I tried explaining to them that I had applied bug spray on all of us before leaving the house, but still they insisted on drenching us a second time and THANK GOD they did! Even with the extra application we were eaten alive and covered in bites for nearly two weeks, following the event. I wasn’t worried about the Zika Virus or any other mosquito spread virus as we live in the dessert and have zero issues with those kinds of things that are a huge danger in more moist, tropical, places with bodies of water. Mostly I just didn’t want the kids covered in annoying bites. Thankfully for them, we did an awesome job of spraying down their little bodies and just sucked at covering our own exposed parts, haha! Better us than them, right!

Our guides took us through every square inch of the grounds and we toured places that we had never seen before in all our previous visits! The BioPark has 36 acres of gardens and together we explored nearly 2 miles of paths through formal and whimsical gardens with amazing designs! The areas that stood out the most to us were the Japanese Garden, which was designed by a famous landscape architect named Toru Tanaka and the Children’s Garden, which is Gracie’s favorite and is guarded by a 14-foot topiary dragon! We were able to see waterfalls, different kinds of animals and lakes with huge Koi fish that Gracie got to feed. It was so much fun!

Here’s a little video montage of the day. :)

Order Room Service | Brother’s 1st Resort Experience!

I seriously hit the jackpot in the brother-in-law category! Both my bro-in-law and his partner of 6 years are the most amazing guys, uncles and friends that anyone could ask for! They make it a point to stay closely in touch with us, even though they live in California and always fly in for special occasions and not just the big ones. Of Gracie’s birthdays, years 1-5, they’ve only missed celebrating one with our gal! See – best uncles ever! They facetime with the kids and are always spoiling their niece and nephew to the point that we have to tell them when our kiddies have enough of all the things!

They surprised my MIL in June, not only flying in for the weekend but getting us all suites at the new resort in town! The resort just opened two months before and it was even more beautiful then I was told! It’s covered in modern art with totally odd but very awesome art installations all over the place and gourmet food that was ridiculously good! We had a spa day, swam and had drinks at the pool; had dinner at the beautiful roof-top restaurant and enjoyed sleeping in what can only be described as the most comfortable Sleep Number beds that have ever been in existence! And while I know that Will won’t remember a thing about his first stay in a hotel, it was seriously the best weekend ever!
Thanks uncle Chris & uncle Dean! We heart you!

There have been a few other special little boxes we’ve checked off our list, and while they didn’t involve days of adventure or staying in spectacular places, they were great summer memories all the same! Here’s a few favorites.

{Have a Movie Date with Mama }

{ Sleep in a Tent }

{ Plant Our Summer Garden | FINALLY, Watermelon! }

{ Have a Family BBQ}

{ Brother’s 1st Visit to the Movies }

** For part 1 of our 2017 Summer Bucket List, click here! **

22 adventures down. 8 to go!

Have a Family Bowling Day
Stay in a cabin
Have a Sleepover
Cook Out with Friends
Go Swimming 
Have a Family BBQ
Start Soccer Camp
Visit the Botanical Gardens
Order Room Service
Grow a Butterfly Garden
Eclipse Watching
Brother’s 1st Visit to the Movies!
Ride the Train
Plant a Summer Garden
Visit the Natural History Museum
Go to the Zoo
Visit the Aquarium
Will’s 1st LGBT Pride
Sleep in a Tent
Go to a Baseball Game
Movie Date with Mama
Take a Ton of Pictures


  1. It looks like an amazing summer. Yep, you are definitely more relaxed with your second. We were just at our 6 month old's doctor appointment and she said, "You can tell you have 4 kids because you have zero questions/concerns." lol

    We had the opposite summer--rainy and cold. We are having a warm, summer-like fall though.

    The garden looks amazing.

    1. Totally more relaxed and I think you just have to be! That's a bummer that you've had a lot of rain, but honestly I would have traded you! This was the hottest summer we've had on record in 31 years and being hot makes me so grumpy, lol! Super excited for fall!

  2. Yep, we are doing all the things different with kid happens, lol.

    Love love love Will's swim outfit and the neck ring float. 😂

    1. Thanks! I'm so sad it doesn't fit any longer!Thankfully, he was able to swim with it a few times before we had to retire it. :)


Thanks so much for keeping up with our little family! We love reading your comments and will get back to you as soon as we can.

K+G+g+w ♥

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