As summer draws to a close

This summer was one I will never forget, for various reasons.

May
Summer started out amazing. We did the Broad Street Run in the beginning of May. The run was very packed but it was a gorgeous day out and I did get an awesome time :)

Broad Street Run

 

The following weekend was my cousin Jenn’s Baby Shower. I love planning events like that and I had so much fun making all the Winnie the Pooh themed things. I actually have gotten a lot of freelance jobs because of that blog post.

Winnie the Pooh and Friends Baby Shower

 

Next up was my friends Jill and Kate’s wedding in St. Louis. I had not been back to St. Louis since the first time I went a few years ago. It was an awesome trip full of fun.

St. Louis Adventure

 

Little did I know that after that trip my life would forever change. On May 31st my father passed away from a heart attack. I miss him every single day and I know my life will never be the same. It hasn’t gotten easier but I am learning to live without him being in my life and I think that is the toughest part. Father’s Day was a few weeks later and that was especially tough for us this year. Cheryl and I got a tattoo the day after so that I carry a little piece of him with me everywhere I go.

A Sad Father's Day

 

June
In June I just tried to keep myself busy. We did a lot of cleaning and had to make so many phone calls I lost track. I started going to Bar Method classes for a change of pace, I had some work conferences so I spent time in NYC and our cousin’s graduation party was a nice way to see family at a happier occasion. The end of June thankfully was full of joy. On June 28th we had our company picnic. I can always count on my girls to make me happy and I had a great time. That same day my cousin had her baby, Anthony Joseph! He’s such a cutie :)

July
In July I tried to start getting back to normal. We jumped right and and spent a few days in Philly celebrating July 4th. That was seriously such a great weekend. We went to see Annie with our family. It was a cute show. Then we went to a Phillies game. I love tailgating so that was a good time even though it was brutally hot out. My mom went to an awesome premiere for Top Chef Masters thanks to my sister. I was so glad she was able to get out and have a good time. Then we had a jam packed weekend. First was the Electric Run. We didn’t actually get to do the run because of a lightning storm, but the pre game and start to the race was a good time.

Electric Run

 

The following day I went to my first and only country concert of the summer. Definitely a change of pace since we went to about 6 last year, but if you are going to only go to one concert it should be Zach Brown Band.

Zach Brown Concert

 

The last weekend of July was my all time favorite of the whole summer. My coworker Sara lives on a lake in NJ. We have gone there once before for goldfish races but swore this summer we would go for a lake party and we finally did. Everyone there was so nice and fun. We floated in the lake all day drinking and then kept drinking and boating around all time. It was an amazing time :)

Lake Fun

 

August
August was one big blur of things going on. We went to Seaside with friends. It’s definitely sad to see it so slow and deserted down there. Don’t get me wrong there are people, but definitely not as many as in previous years.

We also made our yearly trip to Wisconsin. The best part is my mom FINALLY came! We started off the trip at State Fair. I mean where else can you get PB&J deep fried on a stick. It is my favorite and it was once again delicious.

They also had some new items. A few years ago it was deep fried beer. Honestly the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten. Imagine a ravioli filled with warm beer that pretty much “pops” when you bite into it. Gross. This year it was beer donuts. They weren’t terrible but they weren’t delicious either. It could be the fact that we waited a day before we ate them.

My mom finally got to try a cream puff as well. They are a staple at the fair and you really haven’t lived until you tried one.

The next day we rented a pontoon boat and went fishing. I love going fishing. It’s relaxing but not at the same time. My uncle is really the only one I know who fishes and he loves it. He even bought a boat! We make sure to go fishing with him every time we visit. We went to green lake again this year. The deepest lake in Wisconsin and with some of the most expensive real estate.

I won the contest for most fish caught. Mind you at one point we were settled over a school of these little fish and every time I dropped my line in I would get one. We threw all of them back though.

My mom caught a few fish as well. She had her own method of getting them onto the boat. Who needs a net right?

Cheryl was not the biggest fan of holding her fish, but she mustered the courage

My uncle caught the biggest fish (even though we told our little cousin Samara it was her) and my aunt decided holding the fish out to the camera would make it look bigger. It worked until it started trying to free itself. Her face is priceless.

I love spending time with family. If I won the lottery I would just travel around spending as much time as possible with all my family. You don’t realize how special life is until you loose someone so close to you.

After fishing we went to our cousins Justin and Tara’s house. We got to see the new little guy Jeriah and had lunch. The following day my cousin Chris came home and we headed up to the Wisconsin Dells to visit my other cousin Sara. Have to see EVERYONE when we are there! We stayed at the Kalahari. It was awesome because they had both and indoor and an outdoor waterpark. The first day we were there it was cloudy and raining so we hung out inside until later on when it got nicer out. Kind of wish we were there for more than a day but these visits are always so short we had to head back.

Before heading back though we got a chance to stop downtown where are the tourist stuff is and convinced my family to take a fun old timey photo!

The following weekend we headed down to Wildwood. Even though it is still in NJ I never consider Wildwood the Jersey shore because it is so much further away and most people that go there are from Philadelphia. We had an awesome weekend with my girls. It was gorgeous the one day so I got to sit and enjoy the beach and relax for a change.

We also decided we wanted to do an old timey photo. We have done them before but this year we wanted to do something funny. We saw kind of like a southern redneck theme and decided that was the one. We didn’t know exactly what we wanted to do but once we hit the dressing room things got out of hand. Soon you were either dressed as a man or pregnant. The end result is the most epic old timey photo ever. The place even posted it to their Facebook page!

 

Our next adventure was the Grand Canyon! I will be making a larger, more detailed post about this later today or tomorrow. It was an awesome and exhausting time and I am so glad I can say that I did it. Not many people can. We hiked down Bright Angel Trail to the Colorado River and slept there overnight. The next day we hiked out using the South Keibab Trail.

 

The next day we headed West and hiked to Havasu Falls. One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Ever

Now comes the last week of “official” summer. It was my mom’s 60th birthday! Very bittersweet this year without my dad but we tried to make it a happy day. We got her a massage gift certificate and then took her to the dine-in theatre for dinner and a movie. This time we got the theatre with the reclining seats and it was so fabulous. Service was a little poor but all in all a great night.

This summer really tested me. Not only in a physical way, but a personal one as well. It had it’s extreme ups and downs and because of that I have started to take a serious look at my life and my future.

Hope everyone had an awesome summer and I hope the warm weather sticks around for a few more weeks because I really hate the cold.

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