Summer's 8th Birthday

I'm a little late on sharing Summer's birthday party. This past year was pretty low key because we didn't want a "big" party. We just invited a few close friends and it was perfect. The last couple of years Summer has wanted to do a "campout" and sleep in the back yard. I haven't been able to commit to that level of a sleepover just yet so we did a camp-themed party instead. 

It was basic and easy and the kids had fun! 

We decided to do a fun little painting project, painting these little birdhouses that I found at Michaels. They were only .99! And thanks to DecoArt as they provided all of the paint that we used. 

The girls (And poor Tyler, always the only boy!) picked out their paint colors, just adding a small amount to a paper plate. Then using foam brushed they got to paint their birdhouse however they liked. 

After their birdhouses were painted they played a few games outside then came back for campfire cupcakes. Summer found a picture on pinterest that she wanted to recreate so that's just what we did! She was super happy with how they turned out! 

It was a super fun party and Summer had a great time! 
On her actual birthday, she picked to have this strawberry pretzel dessert. I love that she chose this because none of us are big cake eaters! And this is a family favorite! So this is 8 and it looks pretty good! 

Gifts for Girls from SmitCo

I received this product free for review, however, all opinions are my own. 

If you have a younger girl, you know how much they love journals, fun pens and stickers! At least mine does! Summer is such a fun mix between a girly girl and a tomboy, she really loves activities of all sorts. But she's like her mama, and especially loves to journal. That's why I loved being able to give her this Diary set from SmitCo. 

How cute is this? It came with a Journal, stickers, pen and even a little book light.

These 5-star products include Gifts for Girls ages 4 to 14 plus Body Exfoliating Products and Wooden Wine Glass Racks for mom! All are made in the USA.

Head to SMITCO to order! Use code Q4202020, Or check them out on Amazon and use code AZ202020 to get 20% off. 

How cute are these? I love this little light! 

Summer loves everything emoji so this was perfect for her! 

I love that the lines are close together, but not small, because as Summer perfects her handwriting, sometimes it's still a little bit on the larger size of letters. 

This is such a cute set from SmitCo, make sure you check them out on Amazon or their website and use the coupon code I shared above. 

You can see Summer wasted no time using her stickers! 

Love yourself with Manscaped

I was provided a product free for review, however, all opinions are my own. 

Valentine's Day is right around the corner. And if you are thinking about what to get your husband, this might just be the perfect gift. 

Manscaped sent me their bestseller, The Lawnmower 3.0! It is an ultra-premium trimmer designed for groin and body trimming.

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Challenger Sports Soccer Camp

Last Winter I had a really fun opportunity presented to me for a soccer camp during the summertime. Summer is 7 and she loves soccer! I knew this would be perfect for her and I jumped at the chance to do this for her! She loves being active and being around other people and the hot weather. I knew everything about this experience would put her in her element!

Originally scheduled the June session, for 1 week and chose half days. I wasn't sure if a full day would be too long for my 7 year old and just decided to stick with a three-hour session. Obviously, this darn pandemic had different plans for all of us and I didn't know how this would impact soccer camp, but a short time later we got an update that the first session was cancelled and we got switched to the August session. Luckily that worked for us as far as our schedule, because our schedule was pretty empty, other than going to the lake!

Before our session, Challenger Sports sent Summer this super cool jersey and she was excited to wear it the first day of camp! She also got a t-shirt and a ball on the first day when she met her coaches, Callie and Elise.

Challenger Sports, the largest soccer camp company in North America is coming to a community near you and bringing over 30 years of coaching experience. Their international staff will work with your players to teach a fun, technical and tactical curriculum that's filled with training sessions from five of the world's leading soccer nations.

Challenger's International Soccer Camp offers instructional camp programs for all age and ability levels! The TinyTykes program, ages 2-5, provides fundamental soccer activities, games, and stories; designed to enhance technical skills along with physical and social development.

The Half-Day Camp, ages 5-16, is the most popular program and will provide 3 hours of skill development, games, challenges and competitions each day. The Full-Day Camp, ages 8-18, is a 6-hour program filled with developmental practices, games, competitions and challenges.

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They started the day by exercising, doing drills, games and had so much fun! It was a super hot week! They gave time for tons of water breaks to make sure the kids were well hydrated!

Because of the pandemic they had markers on the ground so the kids knew which area was theirs. That way they keep their distance from one another. They wore masks when they were in a closer range group. But mostly they were distanced and playing soccer and just having fun!

My girl loved her time with Challenger Internation soccer camp and will definitely do it again! She learned so much while having fun, which is the most important thing when you are 7!

And her coach, Elise, was awesome! She was so nice, knowledgable, and so easy for the kids to get along with! Summer just adored her! Elise had tons for drills and games for the kids to do to work on their soccer skills!

If you are in need of a soccer camp for your kiddos, check out Challenger International Soccer camps. I am so happy with how they managed everything and would definitely use them again!

The Graduate

I feel like just yesterday I was sharing your birth story. But now, here we are.  You've been preparing for this for the past 12 years. It's finally your year. So many fun things to come such as senior sunrise, homecoming, senior sunset, Prom, end of year bbq, signing the rock, the senior all-nighter, your Navy swear-in at MEPS, your 18th birthday and graduation. This is for you. You're the graduate.

We should have probably known that something was up last fall when you crawled out of bed at 5 am to go watch the sunrise with the rest of the class of 2020 and the clouds didn't let it happen. No senior sunrise? Bummer, but that's okay. So many more events to come.

I will never forget the day the governor announced that classes were cancelled. I was helping in Tyler's class, doing an art project, and his teacher pulled the press conference up on his laptop.  We listened as we were told that after Monday there would be no classes. I remember him and I looking at each other, and saying, What does this mean for all these kids? He also had a senior at the rivalry high school, and what will happen with graduation? What will happen with the Navy swear in? So many unanswered questions.

That next week we navigated into new unchartered waters. Thankfully you had a pretty laid back schedule your senior year, but if I never have to smell the smell of clay in your bedroom again, that will be okay with me. Watching you build your clay statue in your bedroom is something I never thought would happen. But here I am watching Freddy Kreuger come to life.

The day you left for MEPS was one of the longest days of my life. Not hearing from you for over 24 hours had happened before. You've stayed with friends and family plenty of times. But this time was different. Today a life-altering plan was being made and I was not there to see or hear what was happening.  When you came through the door it was such a relief and the moment you told me you got the rate you wanted made me so incredibly proud of you. I really don't know if I have had a prouder moment than that.

Two weeks after MEPS you turned 18. Of course, we had plans for a party that had already been long ago shot down, but that doesn't mean we aren't celebrating! It was just a little bit of a smaller celebration with Bailey and Grandpa.

Now we are down to the last month of the school year. What is going to happen with Graduation? Do we send out announcements? Do we plan a graduation party? Will we be able to celebrate at all? Thankfully we live in the school district that we do because they did everything they could to make sure you and your classmates felt celebrated. Which honestly, isn't easy with 400 students!

A sign was added to our front yard and you waited for 5 hours in line to get free Krispy Kreme donuts:

All the senior's names were added to the field:

You still got to sign the rock:

And have your senior alumni breakfast, sort of....

They made sure that not only did you have an in-person graduation: 

And your friends got to ride along as you did for theirs: 

But one that was broadcasted for friends and family to see as well: 

And if you'd like to watch graduation over again, find it HERE

Finally, after things hadn't really settled down, we decided to just do a graduation party. Because you need to be celebrated. Sure, fewer people came and it wasn't spent hugging and standing in close quarters. But we are thankful for those that came to show you they care and are proud of you.

After all, you are The Graduate.

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