How we're Surviving Summer + Lessons Learned

Every once in a while I'll get scrolling through my photos and quickly realize that I have GOBS of awesome pictures to share, and rarely ever update our little blog anymore with day to day happenings!
I know that that's what Instagram is probably now for, but for those of you who don't follow along with us over there, here's a quick recap of how we've been surviving the Summer so far.

Playing with Friends
Cabin weekends, late-night movies and dance parties with some of our favorite little people.

Hiking and Exploring
Enjoying the view from higher up.

Oh, and visiting some of the best dairy farms around for ice cream too... of course.

Water, water, water, WATER!
What I love about Utah is that it usually doesn't get that warm in the Summer, but for some reason, THIS Summer has been REALLY hot! This means we've been finding lots of creative ways to keep the kids nice and cool (and entertained).

Gettin' Patriotic
This July we attended the Stadium of Fire in Provo and it was AWESOME! The girls were totally stoked because Carly Rae Jepsen and Kelly Clarkson were both performing.

If you live in Utah and haven't experienced this amazing event for yourself... you MUST! I felt like a kid again watching each of the breathtaking acts and presenters (and yes, I'm even giggling like a little pre-teen in this video. ack!).
This definitely went down on my list as one of the coolest things I've seen/done in a long time.

Spending time with Family
Cousins, Uncles, Aunts and Grandparents are our drug. We love them.
They make us the happiest.
Grandkids with Great Grandma

Summer Eats
We've been plowing through fresh fruits and veggies around here like crazy people. Cherries have been one of my favorites this Summer, and as always, tomatoes top my "gotta haves" list.
PS: Have you seen all the awesome produce that Costco is carrying this year? It rocks!
PPS: Those are Pop Chips and hummus... yuuuuummus!

Celebrating Others
As you know, the Rhonna Designs app was finally released and so a party was definitely in order. After all the hard work that her and her programmer Devin put into it, I feel like they needed more of a stress-free spa day than a crazy party, but hey, this was more fun for everyone.
If you still need help or tips and tricks on how to use the Rhonna Designs app, just look here for some awesome tutorials from Rhonna herself.

Just... Surviving (period)
Okay, here's the truth: Summertime is hard for me and Cason!
Why you ask?
Well... once the initial "AWESOME, WE'RE OUT OF SCHOOL" feeling and happy attitudes wear off, there's this weird thing that happens almost EVERY day with our kids, that looks a little something like this...

No, but really. Please tell me we're not alone here.
We have about 3 more weeks until school starts and each week that we get closer, I swear the arguing, bickering and whining between these three chicks just escalates. 

Sometimes I just have to post moments like these on our Instagram feed, because I feel like it's the only way for me to "laugh about it" later... like... much, MUCH later. Like... when they're in school and I miss them a LOT... later.

In all seriousness, I'm pretty sure my kids are actually more tired and bored of constantly hanging out with me, than I am of them. I don't know if it's just hit me THIS Summer, because my kids were in school all day last year for the first time, or what... but WOW, school is SO important, and does SO much more for kids than you think. It's a constant for them. A routine. Something they look forward to and that keeps them excited about life! Learning is awesome and Teachers ROCK. 'Nuff said.

Things I've Learned/Come to Conclusions about this Summer:
1. Having some kind of routine each day is vital to your sanity as a parent.
2. Planning at least 2 activities each week for your kids to look forward to during the Summer months is important. Not only for you, but for your kids as well. Even if it's just something small.
3. Girls/Sisters are SO emotional!!! Sometimes I catch myself wanting to say "Just HIT HER and get it over with!", instead of having to deal with all of the taaaaalking and crrrrying that goes behind each hurt feeling or stolen toy. (they don't do this with their friends, only with each other. DRIVES ME BONKERS!)
4. Find an amazing babysitter who will dedicate one night each week in the Summer to watching your kids, so you and the hubs can go on a looooong date together. Once you have said babysitter secured, make sure you pay them well, give them bonuses, stock the fridge, have awesome movies/cable on hand... whatever it takes, so that they'll never leave you!
5. All joking aside, squish, hug, wrestle, chase, clobber with love and sloppy kiss those freakin' sassy, naughty, 'bored, hungry, tired', cute, adorable, little Summer-break kiddos until they can't take it anymore!!!

It's hard to imagine right now that I'll miss them terribly, as I type over the noise of twin girls yelling about who gets to pick tonight's movie before bed, right outside of my office door... but I know that after the first month or so of school, when my house stays quiet and clean for longer than 5 minutes, there's no doubt in my mind that I'll definitely be beyond sad they're gone again, and not here at home with me.

Oh Summer... what a tangled, emotion-filled web you weave for a parent.


  1. #3...just hit her already.. that had me rolling! so funny but kinda so true with sisters.
    #4.... i still gotta find myself one of those baby sitters. good tip!

    your summer has been full, thanks for sharing your adventures!

  2. Loved this post! Looks like your family is having a great (but tiring) summer. These are my favorite kinds of posts because it helps readers take a step back and say, "hey, we are more alike than I thought!". Blogs tend to show only the glorified, perfect moments in life, so real life moments mean that much more when shared!

  3. Amen sista :) Now I only have twin girls who happened to turn ten this July and I have been able to leave them home for about an hour and a half so I can run to the gym in the mornings which I think is what has kept me sane. Love reading your blog :)

  4. I love your shirt you wore to stadium of fire- where did you get it?

  5. Oh my gosh, I TOTALLY know what you mean. We are in TN and school starts next week, I can't wait. Seriously the bickering over nothing has got to stop. I love her dearly, but she needs to get back to her routine. :) I'm so glad someone else feels this way....! (Sigh) 2 more years until the next one goes and 4 more years until the baby goes... I should just get used to this, huh?? :)

  6. Love the advice! My oldest just turned 4 but this summer was the first I felt like she was aware that friends weren't around as often. This is also my first summer as a sahm (I'm a teacher) so I had less planned than I did in previous summers when teaching and trying to cram everything into 2 months of summer! :)

  7. Nothing to say to this other than, EXACTLY!! Two daughters here and boy oh boy do they bicker and compete (ages 8 and 11). The older one is having hormones come into play and the attiTUDE is major most days. The little one just wants to hang with her sister, who now thinks she is too little to hang with. Fun time, lol. But, like you, after we are back in a school routine I will feel overwhelmed by that schedule (it gets worse each year) and miss them. That’s why breaks in fall, winter and spring are so great!! : ) And by next May, I will be SO ready for summer (though, after that we start middle school so I don’t know how I’ll feel about next year starting!)

  8. I love these posts! And girl, you are so not alone! My girls are full of drama too (although last summer was WAY worse!). ;)

  9. Amen sister! This summer has been a rough one for me! I'm super excited for school to start and I know my kids are too. I think we'll all love each other much more when we've had some time apart!

  10. I feel the same! I have twin girls and they bicker and fight all day its insane. Your post is cure and paints a real picture of summer break!

  11. I have three girls as well - 8,7, and 4 - I totally understand!!!! AFter seeing your first several instagrams I thought "I wish my girls were always so cheerful and nice!" ha ha! Thanks for sharing the realness too!

  12. Have you checked out the the Do-Dots Family System. It has changed my world. 75% easier. Not perfect, but that is a huge margin. Love you Shell.

  13. Awesome! Our family property is just across the street/roundabout on Burgi Lane. We love "camping" there and walking over to get ice cream at the big red barn! Looks like you've had a fun summer...we did too, and I am REALLY grateful that we do year round school!

  14. Love it! Thanks for keeping it real!

  15. You were in Midway! I'm lucky enough to call it home. We LOVE Cascade Springs and Heber Valley Cheese! What a fun summer you've been having. And as a former teacher, thank you for the shout out to schools! Teachers and everyone involved in your child's school put so much time and effort into other people's children! What a fun post (just like all of yours!).

  16. LOOOOOOOOOVE this post! love you! YOU ARE AWESOME! fun fun summer times!

  17. Enjoy it all now because they will be grown before you know it. Mine are a sophomore in college an a sophomore in HS. They have grown into awesome kids and have such a funny sense of humor. However, now it's so hard to plan summer vacation (we take a week and go somewhere every year) around their activities. We end up with about 3 weeks from the end of July until schools start to fit it in. Embrace each moment (the good and the bad) because you will look back on those memories in awe on how fast they grew up.


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