At the end of August, we headed to Pittsburgh to see family and friends. We were thrilled that Tom, Julie, Ellis, and Sadie Grey were able to join for a good portion of the visit so Dottie was in absolute heaven running around with her cousins! This was the first time visiting my parents new house (which was built on the same property as the house I moved to when I was 10) and it was for sure as perfect for my parents as they had said it was! The kids swam, ran around in the sprinkler, created a big piece of art for the "kids room" in the new house, took lots of visit to town, and just had fun being together. We did lots of catching up and I was happy to be able to attend one of my oldest and dearest friend Sarah's baby shower and met several babies for the first time (twins Georgia and Mack, Grant, and Collins). It was a great visit and even the flight home solo with the 2 kids didn't end up being so bad! (Tom was also kind enough to take some pictures of the family in my parents yard similar to ones we took last year but Esther wasn't in them!)
We have been struggling getting pictures up recently because it takes so long to weed through all of the photos taken on any given trip or outing. These pictures were taken at the end of July/early August on our week long trip to the midwest, starting in Detroit, Michigan for Grandma Clara's 90th birthday celebration and ending in Milwaukee at Grandma Cam and Grandpa Bill's house. This trip was especially great because we got to see many people along the way...aunts, uncles, cousins, best friends, ... best of all, Aunt Stephanie and Eli were able to come out the same week we were there and we were also able to see the Linden's again for a day!! Chuck and I also got to sneak away for a day and left the kiddies in Muskego to venture to Madison. We checked out old haunting grounds, got to see some old friends who all happened to be meeting up that same weekend, and see Jeff and Danna who live there. It was a perfectly perfect visit and we can't wait to go back next year!
To see even more pictures of our trip, CLICK HERE.
Aunt MaryAnn, Grandma Clara, and Bill at the birthday luau
The fan getting in the sprit of the luau. I had to get this up just for the sake of wanting people to check out that shirt on Chuck... :-)
Dottie (cute truck skirt made by Grandma Cam and the red shoes were mine as a 3 year old)
Eli doing a little climbing
On the Amtrak from Detroit to Milwaukee (with a stop in Chicago)
Cousins! (Eli and Esther)
Cream puffs at the State Fair in Milwaukee
With the Lindens, Aunt Stephanie, and Eli at Chuck's parents house
Dottie's first day at her new preschool, Sweet Peas! She attended on Tuesday and Thursday of this week and so far she absolutely LOVES it! She came home the first day and said that she, "got to see a real live caterpillar!".
3 days a week for the past 2 years, Dottie has been attending school/daycare at a little place that is about 7 blocks away from our house called Kelly's Family Daycare. It has honestly been the best experience with daycare we could have ever asked for. Dottie has loved every minute of it since she started, not even once having tears we leave her. The teachers, Kelly, Dee, tara, Lindsey, and Tracey are all fantastic and provided lots of love and support for the kids and the space is perfect. They even have chickens in the backyard! Every day of the year, rain or shine, they get the kids out and go on an expedition. This might mean a walk to the park or a bus ride to the library. Upon leaving, they gave her a board book filled with pictures from the beginning and a heart filled letter about her growth. Chuck and I both got teary when we read it. She made so many friends (Boone, Maisie, Sam, Sydney, Nola, Lucy, Cooper, Claire, ...) and learned so much that we have had no worries about her starting at her new school, Sweet Peas, this past week.
Lucky for us, they take the kids to the park down the street from us fairly often so we have already run in to them twice!
A quirky tidbit from her time at Kelly's is that the teachers are mostly from other countries specifically South Africa, Ireland, and Australia, ... Dottie has been there for 2 years and I've been asked by many people what her accent is so funny enough, we think she might have picked something up from one of them!!!
A child has to be 18 months or older to attend at at KFD so perhaps sometime after March of next year, Esther will be following in her sisters footsteps...
These pictures are from her last day. Missing from the pictures is Tara who is one of her absolute favorites! Dottie and Kelly