way too much to post about....

Arnold Family Reunion
Mt. Hood, OR
July 24-28

My older brother Jake was in charge of the family reunion this year, and he chose camping. We were a little worried about taking Tanner and Kate camping (I mean let's be realistic here, we've had sleep issues in our home for almost 2 years now, we couldn't imagine sleeping in a cold tent would make it any better). However, the kids did awesome. We were so proud of them. They traveled great on the airplanes and loved camping. Tanner was so excited to sleep in a tent and he said his favorite thing about camping was the fire. I'm not sure if it was the fire so much or the s'mores that we roasted over the fire = ). There were 21 of us in all, 14 adults and 7 kids, taking up 3 campsites. The temperatures ranged from the 40s to high 60s, so we were a bit cold, but that just added to the fun considering what a delicacy that is for us. The second day we were there, everyone decided go go swimming in the lake (at the base of Mt. Hood, a place you can snow ski year-round....so use your imagination as to how cold that water was). We told Tanner it would be really cold, but he wanted to join his cousins. We all got on our swimsuits and walked down to the lake with goosebumps. Tanner put literally one toe in the water and started bawling. Too cold for him. We walked back to our campsite while all the other cousins, aunts and uncles swam.

When Shad and I got exhausted with the kids, my incredible brother-in-laws, Greg and Clay, or sister-in-law, Lindsay, would take the kids on a walk/adventure in the forest. The kids loved it and we loved having a break. Thank you Greg, Clay and Lindsay.

Little Kate was in love with my Mom. Everyday, all day long, she'd say, "Gma, ma, ma, ma," and reach for my Mom. Tanner stuck by Shad's side almost the entire trip. He wanted nothing to do with me. When I'd talk to him, he'd pretend I didn't even exist.

Here are some pics from the big camp-out (I'm sorry family that I didn't get pictures of everyone. As you can see, I was a little obsessed with taking pictures of the kids):

New York City
July 17-21

Shad earned a trip at work to NYC. I love work trips. Great food, fun entertainment, gifts on your pillow at night and best of all....they pay for everything. We flew my Mom out to watch the kids (thank you, thank you, thank you Mom) and were kid-free for 5 whole days.

Some of the highlights of the trip:

  • The first night we arrived, his workl rented out part of Rockefeller Center for a dinner/party. You know in the movies where they have the huge Christmas tree and iceskating? That's where we it was at. It was all you could possibly eat of lobster, shrimp, filet, lamb and of course every yummy side you can imagine.
  • We went on a bike tour of Central Park. We had been to Central Park before, but it's so huge that we really only saw a small part of it. The bike tour was fun because we saw most of the park and got to hear about the history.
  • Wicked. We got to see Wicked and it was incredible. We both loved every minute of it. I had seen 2 Broadway shows before this and I was in the nosebleed section both times (because I paid for the tickets myself). This time however, with his work footing the bill, we got incredible seats in the orchestra section.
  • Ellis Island. One of the nights, his work rented out Ellis Island and they planned a huge party/dinner with a live band and dancing. It was incredible. From standing in one spot, you could see the skyline of Manhatten, the Statue of Liberty and a huge American flag. All this, while standing on the island that our ancestors came through before they got to come to America. At the end of the night they had a firework show with Patriotic music playing. It really was one of the best nights Shad and I had ever had.
  • Katz's. Shad insisted the whole trip that we just had to go to this deli that he saw on the history channel and that our friend Dave told him about. They are famous for their pastrami sandwiches. I was sort of annoyed because on previous trip I'd been on a food tour of Greenich Village and there were sooo many places I wanted to eat at. (the major problem of NYC....way too many yummy places to eat and not enough time or stomach room to fit it all in.) Well, I figured since Shad earned the trip to begin with that he could have his way. I am soo glad that Shad insisted on this place. It was the best sandwich I'd ever had in my life. It melted in your mouth. We both felt incredibly sick afterward, but it was well worth it.
  • The farewell dinner. The last dinner was at the hotel we stayed in, the Waldorf. There was a live orchestra playing while we ate and at the end of the evening they shot confetti from every direction possible. It was pretty cool.
  • Pinkberry. I am adding this for Shad. Because of a couple of our friends suggestions, we knew that we just had to eat at Pinkberry. This frozen yogurt shop where the yogurt actually tastes like real frozen yogurt instead of soft serve with yogurt flavor. We were told to get the Mochi as a topping. Shad loved the tart yogurt, but neither of us cared for the mochi (sorry to disappoint you Lillie). I thought the yogurt was really good, but as always with desserts, if I'm going to spend the calories, I want it to be something chocolate.
  • American Girl Place. There was an American Girl store right by our hotel, so we were always seeing little girls walking with their American Girl dolls. It was the cutest thing. Shad was very supportive and went in the store with me. We picked out a toddler doll that looked most similiar to Kate and bought an outfit for it.
  • Shopping. I'm not talking fancy 5th Ave stores, I'm talking about street fairs where they block off 10 blocks and set up little shops and of course Canal Street where you can buy fake rolex watches and Channel sunglasses.

**that's soda, not wine...just for those curious = )

My Mom's Visit
July 14-21

Like I said above, Mom, so willingly, came to watch the kids while we were gone in NY. She did the normal baking everyday with the kids, played in the pool and of course gave them gum, and more gum = ). Since we were gone most of the time she was here, I don't have very many pictures, but here are a few:

One last thing. Shad started working with Tanner in the pool more and Tanner has started swimming on his own, without floaties!!! Yay! He is still a 3 year old in a deep pool, so he's not an olympic swimmer, but he can pretty much hold his own in the pool (with us still watching like hawks of course), jumping in, swimming to the side, etc. We are so proud of him.