Vacation ticket.

In two weeks, we are going on vacation to the beach! I always like to think of fun ways to do things around here, so I came up with a quick scavenger hunt. Hadley just loves them, they are so easy and you can make them super short too.

First clue: Girl, does Mom and Dad have a surprise for you! Where you get wet in the house is the first clue!

Second clue: Great job! World class swimmer! Ride the waves to where you eat dinner. (Clue was in the shower door).

Third clue: Grab your goggles and dive deep. Find the next clue where you sleep. (Clue was on a kitchen table chair).

Fourth clue: Let’s build sandcastles and play in the sand! Look for the next clue where you wash your hands! (Clue was on her pillow in her bed).

Fifth clue: No resting yet, you’re almost done. A surprise is waiting where there’s movie fun. (Clue was in the bathroom).

Last clue was the ticket to the beach! I made this in Photoshop, and cut it out by hand. (Last clue was in the TV stand / movies). Hadley is super excited! She’s been to the beach when she was around two years old or so, but obviously doesn’t remember at that age. So this will be her first real trip to the beach! We can’t wait to see her have fun on the beach, build sandcastles, swim in the ocean, and to just see this vacation through her little blue eyes! And of course, to just chill, relax, and breath in that ocean air!

Front yard makeover reveal.

We have lived in our home for almost three years now. When we first moved in, the front yard was super plain and no color. The yard consisted of lots of pine trees, boxwood bushes, and a ginormous ivy like bush. Don’t get me wrong, it was super low maintenance and all we had to do was trim some of it down occasionally. My husband and I wanted lots and lots of color, flowers, etc. Well, after almost three years, we finally got the front yard we’ve always wanted!

The before photo above was taken about a year ago, look at those huge pine trees, all the shrubbery by the front porch, and the gigantic bush on the side of the garage. You can barely see the house!

The after photo above is our dream front yard! It looks amazing! No more pine trees, and all those pine needles that fall into the mulch. And all of that shrubbery that was blocking the house is gone. It opens up the house soo much!

It took a lot of work to get the yard where it is now. We dug all of the old stuff out by hand, we had some helpers which made it easier. But it took lots and lots of work digging up thirty year old roots, and trust me when I say there were so many roots it was insane!

Next on our list was to remove the pine trees! Some people ask why did we get rid of them? We were just not fans, the pine needles that fell into the mulch, and how much the trees covered our house. These guys did four trees in one day, it was very cool to watch!

My husband put in the paver wall himself. It took many trips to Lowes, because you can never really be sure how many pavers you are going to need right? It took us awhile to decide how high to make the wall, and I’m glad we went with the curvy design versus a straight wall, things like that, but we are so happy with how it turned out.

Lots and lots of work with this wall. Some pieces he had to chip off to fit right, kept calling him Jesus with his carpentry tools!

Here’s a closer view of the flowers. The only pieces we kept was the three boxwoods on the far top. Everything else was all planted by yours truly! It was a chore to plant everything, because as I dug into the ground there were roots in every hole. Soo so many roots! We weren’t expecting the hyrangeas to bloom so fast, but they are huge and so pretty!

Vinca’s are my favorite, they do very well in direct sunlight.

Here’s the front view of the flowers. The tiny tuff stuff hydrangeas are smaller than the lime ones closer to the porch. I’m glad we went with the smaller ones in front so they didn’t takeover the view from the front of the house.

We have another hydrangea lime light bush on the other side of the garage. There used to be a huge bush here that took over the entire space. Hydrangeas are so much nicer!

The front porch is a large variety!

These need to be desperately trimmed down, they are growing so fast! I love the Vinca’s, and the shade combos by the front door. They are a mixture of ferns, coleus, and I’m not sure what the pink flowers are in there.

I’m not sure what the hanging basket flowers are, I’m so bummed I didn’t save the tag! I love how the greenery cascades down from the basket, and the yellow flowers are so bright!

And three months later, it’s so awesome to say everything is still alive and well. Nothing that we planted from scratch has died. It’s all doing so great! The front yard was a labor of love, lots of hard work, and lots of hours spent sweating and working very hard. I’m glad our vision came together, and so very happy with the end result.

From the past few weekends…

Happy Monday everyone! Catching back up from the last few weeks. We’ve been busy enjoying summer, going to the lake, marking off our Summer Bucket List, and so many other things. I can’t believe July is almost over, this Summer is just flying by soo fast. Love it, but also hate it. Here are some different collages of photos from what we’ve been up to…

Part of our Summer Bucket List was to visit the Mt. Airy Forest Treehouse. We didn’t even know this place existed until I started looking up things to do this Summer. We had the whole place to ourselves, it was so cute. Hadley couldn’t believe how big it was! Afterwards, we stopped at a picnic bench and she drew the treehouse in her journal. And then we played at the playground for a little bit, it was a great day!

We went over to Kevin’s friends pool and swam with him and his family. The pool felt amazing! Afterwards we grilled out, dodging the super fast storm that rolled in. His wife made homemade ice cream, so so good! The Thursday of July 4th weekend, I went to Kroger in the morning and so glad I did. It was already crowded, and going to the store for our family for 10 days at the lake should count as a workout in itself. The cart was so full I could barely push it! We went out to dinner after work that day, and Hadley wearing Dad’s hat at dinner.

Friday of July 4th weekend, we went to a graduation pool party! The kids had a blast, and being around this pool brought back so many memories of our old house and our pool. It was great to see everyone, and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect!

July 4th weekend at the lake, started off with the cove party! The house at the end of our cove puts on a band every year, and half the lake anchors in our cove, swims, hangs out, it’s a great time. Our dock was a hot spot, we had so many kids we didn’t know jumping off our high jump!

Sunday was the golf tournament! We came in second place, it was a scramble so pretty easy and fun! It was hot hot hot though, we were sweating our butts off by the end of the tourney. Brady showing off with the winners cape / hat afterwards. Came back to the lake and swam, it felt so good to cool off.

Grandma took the girls to the Ark Encounter for the day. I drove back home for a few days for work, and then came back for the weekend. Everyone else stayed all week long. The big kids took the pontoon boat out by themselves time, and the battery died (because nobody uses it anymore!), and they had to get a tow back to the dock. The pictures the kids took on their phones were hysterical.

Bonfire night! Hadleys first time roasting s’mores. She liked it, so she says. S’mores are so delicious, yet so filling. It was a gorgeous night for a bonfire!

Thursday of last week, we went to the West Chester Clock Tower, for a concert outside. It was nice to just sit, chill, talk, and enjoy live music. Hadley loved the snow cones, people watching, looking at all the different dogs people brought, and playing hangman with Grandma.

Another Summer Bucket List item marked off the list, watch the Parent Trap movie under a fort! I printed off a few “camp” like things, taped them to the TV stand, made a fort with old sheets, and Hadley was in heaven. Super simple things like this, makes her so so happy.

Well there you have it, just a few photos of what we’ve been up too! It’s been a pretty great Summer so far. As always, thanks for reading!