Monday, September 1, 2014

summer of 2014 and the run on story of ours

The summer is coming to an end.  In fact, I sit here on Friday at 5pm, Labor Day weekend in front of me, and I cannot believe 1. The summer is over and 2. All of the awesome stuff we got to do this summer.  

We finished up baseball season and the school year on June 13th, it was both girls first year in Softball and that kept us VERY busy.  Lily had a great coach who gushed on and on about each kid, including mine at her team party, leaving me feeling so grateful for coaches and this one in particular.  A wiffle ball game of parents vs kids ended with LOTS of super fun laughs and some really good new friends.  On the first weekend after school we celebrated Father's Day, and then the kids and I headed out of town  to visit my college roommate in Spokane.  We went to Riverfront park and Silverwood amusement park, but perhaps the biggest highlight for me was just spending a week with my kiddos together with Robin spending a week with her kiddos, doing life together for a few days.  As soon as we arrived home, ran in the twilight run (girls got 1st and 2nd in their age group for the 5K), then bright and early went to the airport the next morning because Grandma & Grandpa Herman and cousin Tyler came for 2 weeks!  Bryson went to a VBS camp the first week, and the kids had an amazing time together. They went to Multnomah Falls, OMSI, berry picking, and to lots of parks in there area.  We did our best to show Tyler a fun Oregon summer experience. Addie had her "tag" Hot Wheels birthday party with some school friends and their families at Cook Park.  We got to celebrate Addie's 7th birthday together before they flew home on the red eye.  

We spend fourth of July weekend at home for the first time in years, watched fireworks at THS and went to a local small town parade.  It was fun, but nothing compared to Shake the Lake, we definitely don't want to miss the 4th at Wallowa Lake again anytime soon.  We received news of a great opportunity and made the decision to put our house on the market because a friend is selling her house in a location that would be perfect for us, she's giving us first dibs.  We did some minor stuff in the yard and around the house to get ready to go on the market, and then headed to the Blue Mountains for the Blanchet family reunion at Red Bridge state park.  The weather was perfect this year and the kids had so much fun with their cousins.  They have developed a super close relationship with my cousin Grace's boys, Colton and Caleb, and they were inseparable all weekend.  Camping keeps getting to be more fun as the kids get older.  It's still a lot of work, but nothing like it has been for the past 9 years! Four of the Herman's headed home, and Lily went to Joseph for two weeks with my mom.  Addie and Bryson had VBS camp while Lily went to Chief Joseph Summer Camp and spent a bunch of time with my friends and their kids.  I loved it for her!  I loved it for me, I went to CJSS when I was a kid and have great memories there, it was so nice to see Lily get a slice of memories of Joseph in the summer.  We had one weekend at home, while our house went on the market, so we stayed out quite a bit.  We went to see Planes 2, had a BBQ with the Ornelas Family, and rode bikes at Summerlake Park.  On Tuesday night we packed up to drive to Joseph.  This would be our kids first time at Chief Joseph Days, and of course we could not WAIT to see Lily.  As soon as we pulled up at about 11pm, she dove into the car to hug us all.  Reunited and it feels so good! 
We went to the Rodeo, played at the lake, the kids were in the Kiddie Parade (got second place as Cat in the Hat and Things 1-2 come to CJD), we had my 20 year HS reunion at Vali's, watched the grand parade, had my 20 year HS reunion at the Joseph City Park with families, and more fun at the Lake.  We drove home on Sunday tired and happy.  No rest though, the girls started soccer camp first thing on Monday morning! 

The first weekend of August Lawrence got a job offer (he had been looking since May for something with more opportunity), and this was a VERY happy way to kick off the month.  We stayed home that weekend and IT WAS SO NICE to have a weekend at home. We found time for a BBQ with our friends the Smith's, which we had been trying to schedule since school got out.  We shopped for Bryson's wedding outfit and a few school clothes, then we went to the Tualatin Crawfish festival and ran into some new good friends on accident, which was awesome.  Then Addie and Lawrence got to go to the Thorns (Portland's professional women's soccer) game, after I got my first church going in all summer!  The kids had 4 straight days of swim lessons from my friend Kim, and it did wonders for each of them.  Addie gained so much confidence and they were all putting their face in the water effortlessly (something that has been a challenge).  Enough of this relaxing stuff, Lawrence had his last day of work on August 8, took off half day, and we were off to go camping.  We were supposed to go camping with the Ornelas Family at RAAB campground, but they had a family medical emergency, so at the last minute we changed plans and went to Swift Forest campground in Washington near Mt. St. Helens with our newish friends the Schlichting Family (they have kids Addie and Bryson's ages and she was my postpartum nurse with Bryson!).  Lawrence borrowed kayaks from a friend and we LOVED this campground and the lake, it was so nice.  Lily paddle boarded on a piece of wood for a long time, it was so much fun.  Bryson and their little boy Paul got to be good friends and they just had so much fun.  On Sunday we packed up and stopped in Hood River to pick up a few forgotten items (somehow we messed up on packing for this long trip) and we got lunch at the Brewery there and then headed over Mount Hood to Central Oregon and Lake Billy Chinook at Cove Palisades State park.  It was so incredible.  The weather wasn't great, too hot, too rainy, too much lightning, but somehow we just had the time of our lives.  We met new friends at the campground across from us, and the dad was from New Jersey, so instant connection, we had a great time with them.  Wednesday we headed back to Portland so we could pick up Julia from Germany at the airport. What a beautiful reunion it was.  Time for another quick and long overdue BBQ with the Jordan family (Addie's BFF).  No rest though because it was time to head down to Mount Angel for the weekend for NannyJenny and Tim's wedding!  #burtonhanneganwedding  The girls were both flower girls and Bryson was the ring bearer and they all looked adorable and did great.  The wedding was at Vanderbeck Valley Farms and the location was to die for.  Really amazing amenities but not so fancy pants, really comfortable and great.  Jenny and Tim looked incredible and happy, such a beautiful bride and all of their wedding party were also fun and great to be around.  We all danced and sweated our pants off and it was a fun family night for all.  The next day was our anniversary and we celebrated by back to school shopping and watching the Glockenspiel.  Monday, Lawrence started a new job, and that week we juggled cars, and got used to him working 2 + hrs later than he ever has, which was an adjustment for us all, and our dinnertime/sports schedules! We all found time for the ALS challenge, and donated to after dumping big buckets of ice water on our 5 heads.  The next weekend it was time for Hood to Coast.  Thursday night we met our team and decorated our vans, and then Friday, time to run.  More stressful packing, but once we got on the road to pick up the rest of our group, all was well.  I was proud of how everyone on our team ran, including myself.  I was nervous and wasn't sure how I would do.  My longest training run was 5 miles, and my shortest of the three legs was 4.55 miles.  But I did it.  I ran at sunset, I ran in the dark, I ran 6.24 miles, then 4.55 miles, then 5.24 miles.  I supported my team, I had no sleep, I had fun doing it all with my husband.  We stayed one extra night at the beach, sort of to celebrate our 12 year anniversary the week before.  We came home to another week of work, swim lessons, and BACK TO SCHOOL night.  Labor day weekend was super relaxed, we had pancakes for dinner as a request for by Julia for her last night, an EARLY morning goodbye on Saturday, then a day of family fun.  Lawr and I went to a tailgate party hosted by friends of ours that was sold at the PSO auction to benefit the school and it was so nice getting to know/reconnecting with a bunch of parents who have kids in both our girls classes.  Josh and Shawna took our kiddos for the night and we enjoyed our first night alone at our house since the night before Addie was born!  We returned the favor and had a fun Sunday with our kids + the Powers kids at Alpenrose.  Monday we had some house showings and went to "no playground park".  You know, since there was no soccer practice on Labor day, might as well go play some soccer.  

One more ice cream sandwich and backyard water fight and we were showered and in bed.  

Back to school tomorrow.  

What was your favorite part of summer?  Everything!     


  1. Sounds like a really wonderful summer! My family and I went camping which is something I'm not a fan of but my husband ended up getting a nice cabin for us to stay in so I enjoyed it much more. lol

  2. Hi Jenny! My name is Heather and I was wondering if you would be willing to answer my question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1 AT gmail DOT com :-) I greatly appreciate it!

  3. Wow, Jenny, WOW! You packed so much in two months, it's hard to imagine a busier one! I was there for Red Bridge, Lily's visit to Joseph and Chief Joseph Days, but that was only the tip of your summer iceberg.