Life Lately

Hey there! I’m back and I’ve missed you guys! Things have been pretty hectic around here with the relaunch of The Blissfully Made Shop, then Brynlee and I got horrible colds and Brynlee has been randomly deciding she doesnt need naps certain days (those are rough), so we really haven’t had time for much else. Hopefully things will start calming down a bit and we can get back into our normal routine, but with the holidays coming now who knows!

Since pretty much every weekend from here until New Years is packed full of holiday festivities, we decided that this weekend needed to be spent getting some stuff done around the house.

I finally got around to doing some much needed canning! We picked over 30 pounds of tomatoes from our garden throughout the summer!

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I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve made it a habit to blanch, peel, dice and freeze our tomatoes each time we pick a batch. This way I can just do one big batch of canning at the end of the season instead of a bunch of little ones and having everything already prepped it goes a lot quicker!

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I used this recipe for pasta sauce and it is delicious!! We definitely popped open a jar for dinner that night and it did not disappoint.  Pretty sure I will be making this recipe every year with our tomatoes.

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I also went ahead and made some strawberry jam using Ree’s recipe. I’ve made this recipe multiple times, its super easy and the jam is so yummy!

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We don’t grow our own strawberries, although I’d like to try sometime. So anytime the store runs a sale on organic strawberries, I buy 5-10 clam-shells and immediately come home to hull, dice, mash and freeze them so they are all prepped for canning day.

Do you see a pattern developing here? While I have canned food from start to finish before, I much prefer the method of prepping and freezing everything ahead of time, then planning one canning day or weekend and getting through everything. To me it seems like much less work and is really the only way I can make sure to get it done now that I have Brynlee constantly vying for my attention.

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We also did some work in our backyard and picked all of our lemons. Our poor tree was so full and looking pretty droopy from all the weight so we also trimmed up a few of the especially droopy branches and it now looks much happier!

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This little girl loved picking the lemons! She’s been trying to pick them all year and was so excited to finally being told she could!

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She was actually a really big help! I love being able to include her in things like this now, she has a lot of fun and so do we!

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Oh and my roses are blooming like crazy right now! I cut them way down a couple of months ago and now they have come back much fuller and I can’t wait until they all start opening up!

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And I finally hung (and by I, I mean my hubby) my scale/clock that I got at Junk in the Trunk a few months ago. I love it! As you can see I’m using it as my fruit bowl and I love being able to open up some counter space by having it raised. Brynlee thinks its a swing and is constantly asking for us to put her up there. I’m so thankful she can’t climb up on the counters herself yet or I might be in trouble!

We’ve also been working our way through our Christmas shopping list, every year I say I will start early so that in the last few weeks before Christmas I’m not completely stressed out and for the first time, I’ve actually managed to do it! I still have a few things to get and I’m making a few top secret presents that I will share the DIY’s to once they’ve been opened, but I feel much better about where I am on my list than I usually do! I’m hoping to get a few wrapped this week so that when we put up our tree after Thanksgiving I will actually have something to put under it! It usually sits bare until the weekend before Christmas and I always hate that!

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Life Lately- Pumpkin Patch

Hello there! Is everyone enjoying their Fall? It’s finally starting to feel a little Fall-ish around here now and I couldn’t be happier!

The weather is cooling down so we can actually spend our days outside now and I’m hoping to start up our weekly zoo trips next week.

I’m also enjoying the plethora of all things pumpkin! I LOVE pumpkin!!!

And so, Fall just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the pumpkin patch and that is exactly what we did over the weekend.

Brynlee and I headed up north to spend Saturday at Mortimer Farms with my family. I love Mortimer Farms’ Pumpkin Festival! It’s at the same place, although under different ownership now, as the pumpkin patch that I used to go to as a kid and I just love being able to share that with Brynlee. We’ve taken Brynlee every year and have always had the best time! If you are looking for a great pumpkin festival and live close by or are willing to travel (plenty of people do) I would highly recommend it!

And so, here are a few snippets of our trip. I took close to 500 photos (WHOA!!! even for me) so you’re welcome for me not completely going overboard on the sharing.

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The petting zoo was a favorite, as always, of Brynlee’s.

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And the corn pit was another repeat favorite from last year. I’m pretty sure she would happily have spent all day in there.

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Although then she would have missed the pony ride, she was a little unsure at first, but once they started moving she was all smiles!

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And the only reason I was able to get her off of the real pony was because of this tire pony, which ended up being her favorite thing of the day and she continually asked to go on it again and again.

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This year she was finally big enough to go into the bounce house and she was thrilled!

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Perhaps my favorite part of the festival was that my oldest childhood friend came with her family and I loved that our kids got to spend time together. We don’t get to see them much and I would really love if our kids were close friends too!

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As much fun as we were having, Brynlee had absolutely zero interest in photo ops. I was really hoping for a cute, frame worthy one here, but instead… well… hmmm…

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She did really enjoy the band while we were eating lunch and loved dancing and clapping along.

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We also did the corn maze. My cousin and sister kept hiding in the maze and jumping out to scare the kids, Brynlee thought it was hilarious and so she started trying to do it too.

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And finally, we made it to the pumpkin patch.

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I’m pretty sure Brynlee was in pumpkin heaven (she might have gotten that from me) and quickly found the tiniest of pumpkins to add to her collection.

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Last, but not least, I just had to make a sand bird with Brynlee. I loved making them as a child and I knew Brynlee would have so much fun picking out the colors and pouring them in. The only problem now is that she wants to play with it and I’m terrified we’re going to end up with broken glass and sand everywhere!!!

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Happy Fall, y’all!

Life Lately

Hello there!! Remember me? I know, its been a while and man, have I missed blogging!! But unfortunately when life starts to get a little too busy, this little hobby of mine is the first to get put on the back burner, there just aren’t enough hours in some days, are there?

Anyway, I’m back and will hopefully be getting back into a regular blogging schedule because I truly do love doing this and definitely feel something missing when I don’t get a chance to blog.

So, whats been keeping me so busy??? All good things!!

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First up, I took a custom job making some outdoor cushions. I made 4 sets of these bad boys and love how they turned out! If we ever pull the trigger on a patio set you can bet I will be making a nice plush set of cushions (those seat cushions are 6″ thick and those pillows are 25″x25″) like these instead of buying those thin ones that only last for a season.

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However, they were time consuming and I did have some what of a learning curve as I’ve never sewn cushions like these before or with outdoor fabric for that matter. PSA- do not, I repeat, DO NOT try ironing your outdoor fabric, if you do not only will you ruin your fabric you will have a very real chance of ruining your iron. Luckily I didn’t ruin mine. I really don’t know what I was thinking when I went to iron that first seam open, I knew better, but I guess old habits die hard… Anyway, if you ever sew with outdoor fabric finger pressing is your best friend, you’re welcome!

And so, in addition to sewing these being extremely time consuming, my darling two year old decided it would be a good idea for her to stop taking naps…

My toddler needs her naps! I need her naps! But really, when Brynlee does not get enough sleep everybody feels it and I feel so bad for her because I know that if she would just sleep she would feel so much better! If only I could get that point across to her.

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Which led me to purchase, at the recommendation of my BFF, this book. Have you heard the term “spirited” in reference to kids before? I’ve used it to describe Brynlee, but I honestly had no idea it was a real thing. Well, it is and Mary Sheedy Kurcinka came up with it and has done a ton of research and worked with multiple families of spirited children and I have to tell you, just reading the first paragraph had me sold! It described Brynlee to a tee and while I am only about a quarter of the way through it, it has cleared up so many things and reaffirmed some of the things that Landon and I have already implemented to be correct. I’ve always said that Brynlee has A LOT of feelings and whether she is happy or sad or anything else, you and anyone around you are going to know about it and that is exactly what this book confirms, “spirited” kids are just “more”.

Anyway, I would highly recommend this book to anyone, parents of “spirited” kids or not, as well as, family members. It is a huge eye opener into the way children function and how one behavior that might be perceived as a negative is actually a positive so long as we, the parents, family members and friends, can be there to teach them to understand themselves and how those characteristics make each one of them so special.

Also, fortunately for my sanity, Brynlee is back to her normal nap taking schedule, crisis averted!

Twice a year, Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market is held in Scottsdale and it full of vintage and handmade goodness!! If that is at all your jam, I would highly suggest hitting the next one up, it’s scheduled in May, check it out!

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We went the other weekend and had so much fun!!! These are all the treasure I came home with, but if there was no limitation of funds, you can be sure I would have came home with a lot more! I even have a few things on my list for next time.

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First up, this amazing hanging scale! I have been looking for one of these for a very long time, they are NOT easy to find, especially here in AZ. Anyway, I realize this is a reproduction, but I still really love it’s chippy goodness and the fact that they made it into a working clock is bonus points in my book. My plan is to hang it in my kitchen (obviously) and use it as our fruit “basket”.

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Next up, this cute little heart made out of one of the rings from a wine barrel. I just love that they added glitter to the inside and can’t wait to get my gallery wall finished and add this to it.

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And of course I had to get this sign for Brynlee, fits her perfectly!

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This dough bowl, oh how I love dough bowls, but unfortunately all the ones I’ve seen have been on the pricier side, so you know when I found this one for around $30, I just had to snatch it up! I can’t wait to fill it with pumpkins and gourds and use it as a fall centerpiece. Maybe I’ll even throw in a few fake spiders and such to make it a little more Halloween-y during October.

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Speaking of Fall decorations, how cute are these pumpkins and Jack-o-lanterns I made the other weekend. I found this tutorial from the girls at Lolly Jane and initially planned to make them for a girls craft night, unfortunately that fell through, but hopefully we will still manage to get together to make those cute signs they shared too!

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And last, but certainly not least (at least for me) this beauty arrived in the mail last Friday and I can hardly contain my excitement over it!

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While I realize that you probably don’t care about my new phone I still had to share because my old phone could barely even be called a phone anymore. I pretty much has problems with it from day one and even had to get my first one replaced because it was a lemon. But it also always dropped calls, no matter where I was, 50% of the time people on the other end couldn’t hear me because of static, it had the slowest camera known to man and on the off chance I could actually get a picture to load via text was a pure miracle. Oh, and it would crash ALL. THE. TIME. And so and I absolutely thrilled to have gotten my hands on this beauty.

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I mean,seriously, all the heart eyes for the rose gold! Is it acceptable for me to claim it as my favorite color?? This is the case I got for it and it matches the rose gold perfectly! Not to mention I love the extra large screen for blog reading and Instagram scrolling. Oh and the camera on it is AHHHH-mazing!!!

And so, here’s to better picture quality and better blogging!

I hope you all had wonderful weekends!

Life Lately

Hello there!

Sorry I haven’t been around much this past week. I’ve been spending every spare moment (so pretty much whenever Brynlee is sleeping) working on this giant project!

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I’ve had it in my head to make a denim quilt for a few years now, but never really had the motivation, or enough jeans to get it done. But recently I had the idea to make this as a gift for someone and begged every member of my family to donate their old jeans to me and WHO-HOO! I finally got it done! It definitely helped having a time crunch, it needed to be done by this Thursday and I just got all the jeans on our camping trip the other weekend so I really had to buckle down and get it done! This is by far the largest patchwork quilt I’ve made, I usually stick to baby sized quilts since they don’t take up so much time, but I have to admit, I’m a little hooked and am looking forward to making more quilts in the future.

Aside from that, we had a pretty low key weekend, Saturday was spent just relaxing and spending time together. Brynlee loves it when her Daddy is home and really soaks up every moment getting to be with him.

On Sunday we got some much needed yard work done, even though it was like a million degrees outside we really needed to rip out all of our old dead plants from our garden to prepare for fall/winter planting this week. And our front yard was looking mighty sad with all the remains of my poor burned up flowers from early this summer. I have yet to find a plant that can take the July/August heat in our from yard. It get nearly full sun and not even succulents stand a chance…

B1Oh and I have a little proud mama moment, Brynlee drew her first Mickey this weekend! She was so excited and so was I! She’s been practicing and practicing her circles and finally put them all together. Now it’s nonstop Mickey drawing in this house.

So anyway, onto the week and the beginning of Fall. I am really looking forward to some cooler weather over hear and of course for the PSL. I’m really excited to try it now that they’ve changed the recipe to include real pumpkin, I’ve heard it’s so much better.

I hope you all had fantastic weekends too!

Happy Fall Friends!!!

Life Lately

You know when you are really looking forward to something and are so excited and just can’t wait for that something to get here and how sometimes when you are that excited about it you build up all these awesome expectations of how perfect everything is going to be and you are going to have the most fun time ever?

And then not only does it turn out to be a complete flop, but in a moment of pure desperation you completely loose your sanity and end the day in a pile of tears and telling your husband to pack everything up because we are leaving RIGHT. NOW. even though it is already dark, but you don’t think of that because, remember, you have lost your sanity and so all rational thought has gone completely out the window regardless of what anyone says?

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I have been looking forward to our annual August camping trip all summer long! It is always such a treat to escape the heat for a few days and get back to nature without all the distractions of everyday life. Or at least it normally is anyway.

This was Brynlee’s 3rd time camping (here’s the 1st and here’s the 2nd) and because Brynlee did so well when we went in May, I really thought she would do even better on this trip!

Oh, how wrong I was!!!

Brynlee absolutely refused to sleep! And while I really didn’t expect to get much of a nap out of her during the day, I thought she’d be so exhausted from playing all day that she would get a good night’s sleep.

Well, she was exhausted alright, just a little too exhausted, the first (and only) night we were there she only slept about 3.5-4 inconsistent hours, which made for a very tired toddler and a very tired mama the next day.

Don’t get me wrong, we did have fun times, of course spending time with our family was amazing, but a lot of that time was broken by a very tired, very cranky Brynlee. Oh and did I mention she wouldn’t eat either? For the 2 days we were there she barely ate a thing, not even the dutch oven mac and cheese that I was sure she would love!

And it was at that point that I broke.

Saturday evening, Dutch oven dinner night (which I didn’t even get to eat), while Brynlee was vehemently rejecting dinner, the tears just started streaming down my face with no end in sight. Landon offered that we could just go home then and after thinking about trying to survive another sleepless night with Brynlee I said “I want to go home!”

I must admit that on the drive home I started second guessing myself, it was not very fun! Brynlee was not happy, the road we had to take isn’t a pleasant one during the day, let alone at night, it’s very twisty, and there was a ton of traffic. Far more than we’ve ever had before, even during the day.

But when we finally got home, Brynlee was so excited! We walked her upstairs to her crib and she immediately wanted in and when I laid her pillow down on the mattress she went “oooohhhhh!!!”, laid her head down on it, yawned and was asleep before we even left the room. And then I knew, it was right for us to come home. My poor, over tired baby just needed her own bed and she was finally able to sleep.

It wasn’t all bad, we did have fun times and Brynlee had A LOT of fun, and since I’ve already rambled on far too long, I’m going to let the pictures do (most of) the talking.

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*Our home for the weekend.

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*Oh hello, Mickey, of course you went everywhere with Brynlee and was a dirty mess by the time we got home.

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*Grandma brought a hammock and I’m sure she would have really like to use it, these two, however, decided to take it over.

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*Oh look, some dirt!

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*Oh, and there’s some more dirt over there!

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*”What??”

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*Ummm, yeah, Brynlee thought this was a slide and it provided a good 30 minutes of entertainment!

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*My little explorer

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*This really is the only way to hike…

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*Oh, wait, maybe I will walk for a minute…

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*Or not… when Brynlee saw this view she said “WHOA!!!!”

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*Hey look! I actually made it in a picture!

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*And again with the dirt…

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*I am so sad that I missed this dinner!!! I hear it was amazing…

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*Lola had a lot of fun too and has since spent the last 2 days sleeping, trying to recuperate from all the fun!

And that, my friends, was our weekend. I hope yours was better than mine and you didn’t loose your head quite as spectacularly as I did.

And I hope you enjoyed the multitude of run-on sentences…

Life Lately

This weekend was HOT!!! We spent as much time as possible at my SIL’s pool and other than that we tried to stay cool indoors.

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And part of that included lots of dress up and wearing 4 tutu’s at once.

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Brynlee has been boycotting veggies for the past couple of months, but just recently she’s  gotten even pickier. The only foods I can always count on her eating are granola, pickles, yogurt, pasta, cheese and luckily (for me) smoothies, anything else is a hit or a miss and its usually a miss. It’s extremely frustrating, I’m always worried about her being hungry! But at least she still loves smoothies, so I just try to jam pack them full of fruits and vegetables and so some nights that means pickles and smoothies are on the menu for dinner.

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Friday night I thought it would be fun to make homemade white pizza. Brynlee loves pizza (hello cheese!) and I loved that I was able to throw some some chicken on it and Brynlee actually gobbled it all up!

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Did I mention it was HOT this weekend, this is basically all my car said Saturday and Sunday, really, I was beginning to think it was broken!

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And so we took refuge in the pool!

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Brynlee loves to swim and she is getting so good at it!

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I love that it exhausts some of that endless toddler energy and almost guarantees a good nights sleep and great nap!

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Swimming is actually the only time she will eat any veggies, whenever we have a pool day she loves taking a little veggie tray break and will devour the broccoli and carrots!

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I hope you all had wonderful weekends and managed to stay cool too!

Life Lately

First, I have to update you on Brynlee’s dance class. After attending for a month now, I can finally report that Brynlee is finally loving her dance class. She still has a little bit of trouble when I first leave the room, but once class starts she has a lot of fun and after class all I here is “dance, dance, dance” for the rest of the day while she’s constantly pulling me around where she wants me to go and we have dance parties almost every single night before bedtime. I can’t tell you what a relief this is! I was really starting to worry that she was never going to give dance a chance and now I am absolutely thrilled to see her having fun and making new friends!

Other than that, we had a fairly uneventful week, this weekend though, we had a lot of fun!!

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We woke up bright and early Saturday morning to meet my family at the lake. We wanted to try to get there before it got too busy and I’m so glad we did! By the time we left at 1:30 the lake was packed!! It took us forever to load the boat back on the trailer because so many people were unloading at the ramp. I really don’t like being at the lake when there are that many boats on the water, especially now that we have Brynlee on board.

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Brynlee of course loves being on the lake and her favorite spot on the boat is right up front. She always has the biggest smile when she’s up there and laughs and squeals as we go over the waves.

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Although she did find another seat this trip that might be a top contender for her favorite. Every time the driver stood up, she would hop right in and pretend to be driving. Of course the motor was off any time she did this.

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Another benefit of getting there early is you have the best water to wakeboard on! I haven’t really had the chance to wakeboard much since Brynlee was born so I was ecstatic that I was still able to get up on my first try and I have to say, I’ve really missed it!!!

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And here I have to brag on my mom a bit, that’s her the wakeboard! Go Mom!!!

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Once the water started getting too choppy for wakeboarding, I switched to ski’s, I honestly can’t remember the last time I skied but I had a lot of fun and can’t wait to start Brynlee on ski’s next summer!

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Until then, Brynlee had a blast swimming in the lake.

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And of course having fun with her cousin Karen!

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Karen is so wonderful with Brynlee! She always loves playing with her and even taught Brynlee to float around on her back. She usually hates when I try to lay her flat in the water, but of course she would do it with Karen.

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We ended the day with a delicious lunch at the floating restaurant at Scorpion Bay Marina. That was the first time I had been there and it was a lot of fun!

We had so much fun at the lake, but I definitely paid for it on Sunday! I was super sore in my back, arms and shoulders from wakeboarding and skiing! I am out of shape, my friends, and I really need to do something about it!! Luckily, I was able to turn to my new favorite thing, Young Living EO’s, I had Landon rub some Pan Away diluted in coconut oil all over my back and shoulders and that helped A LOT!!! I am so glad to have these essential oils now and only wish that I would have tried them out sooner!!!