Summer Recap: Week 12

I work with several companies and links to any products within posts are affiliate.

This is Kye’s and Britt’s last weekly summer recap…Tess lucked out and didn’t start until an entire week after they did! This post covers from Saturday July 29th through Friday August 4th!

Saturday was alllll about Tess’s birthday party! You can see the decor here and party fun here! 

Back in the beginning of July while we were in St Augustine I had the idea of going to the beach with some girl friends for a day trip. I haven’t done that since college and haven’t done it with ANY of my current friends! It was a great idea…that just wasn’t meant to be haha. 

First we’d planned to go the weekend Casey had Cam so we moved it and decided to go the day after Tess’s party. Like literally 6 people were at some point invited or planned to come but then morning of I wasn’t sure if it was going to be another Disney Solo Day for me or not haha!

Luckily Keeli was able to still go and we decided it’d still be fun just the two of us and it was quite an adventure! We hit the road and had planned to go to Jacksonville. We figured relax at the beach then do some shopping and grab something yummy for dinner! 

But as soon as we hit the road it started DOWNPOUR raining. I was driving Zach’s car and I didn’t know that you’re not supposed to have the cruise control set in the rain. Well I will never, ever make that mistake again. It was possibly the most terrifying moment of my life. We hydroplaned. I completely lost control of the car. We served across all three lanes. I am super proud at how calm I was. I kept thinking I wished we’d had my van b/c I just got new tires. And I just kept thinking that I didn’t need to slam on breaks or jerk the wheel b/c it’d only make things worse. I just eased on the break slowly and tried my best to regain control of the car by easing it away from the side rail of the highway. I’m SO thankful there were no cars in the lanes when we crossed over them. I kept saying “We’re okay. It’s okay.” And I was just really calm. I’m sure it was really only a few seconds but WHEW it felt like a million years. 

It was raining so bad we could barely see in front of us. Once I got back control of the car I was shaking and my legs were very locked up feeling.As soon as we were back in the SLOW lane I got off at the next exit because I had to get out of the car and cool off and get the shakes out. We decided right then that Jacksonville was NOT in the cards. The whole thing happened just a couple exits before I-10 so we opted to just keep going straight and go to Gainesville. Sure enough the rains cleared as soon as we got passed I-10 so we felt like that was a sign! 

Yeah. Def notttt a day for the beach.

It was still pretty early in the morning when we got to Gainesville and we didn’t even have any sort of game plan so we decided to do what any mothers would do with free time: hit up Target. 

And omg all y’all with nice Targets are SO SPOILED. We felt like we were some FANCY ladies up in there!!!

What are with these trends though?!?! It’s like the 90s were not cute guys let’s not bring this stuff back. 

It was super fun to just BROWSE Target. Because who ever has the time for that?!?!

Of course we bought all the essentials…like plates

and slushee syrup hahaha

We spent a good couple of hours just enjoying Target! Anywhere is fun when you’re with a fun friend πŸ™‚ 

We hit up McAlister’s for some lunch: YUM

I’ve never ordered a Spud and haven’t ever seen anyone order one either so I’m glad Keeli got one! Super yummy!

After we ate we decided to act like we were teenagers again and just walk around the mall browsing πŸ˜‰ We ended up not doing any actual shopping because as soon as we walked into the mall we got “kidnapped” by a hair tool sales guy. At first when we grabbed me I figured it’d be a fun joke to play along but then it got REAL and the tool he was selling was LEGIT. Keeli and I were laughing so hard our faces hurt and our hair looked so good that we caved and BOTH bought one hahaha

Notice Keeli’s before hair…

…and after!

We are THE biggest suckers BUT we did talk him into a good deal and I’ve legit used mine every single day since I got it! 

And it was funny b/c the dude asked where we were from and when we said Valdosta he asked if I knew Brandi and it turned out I DO know her! When does that ever happen? So Brandi if you end up being single at some point…this guy would love to get together with you!

We had THE best time just walking around together and laughing. The combo of almost dying on the way down and the hilarity of the hair sale experience made us very silly πŸ˜‰ 

We Facetimed with Daryl (her husband) and he didn’t seem super impressed with our new hair. I waited to tell Zach until I got home and HE thought I’d paid the $100 just to have my hair fixed hahaha so he was actually super happy that I got a legit styling tool out of it AND that it’s the only thing I bought all day (well aside from the slushee syrup which was technically for him!) 

I can’t remember what fancy brand all this is but it’s it super cute? You change out the little knobs for different seasons! 

We shopped around for a few hours and then headed to dinner (Mexican duh) before driving home. I also got Keeli to do her first IG Storyand then her second πŸ˜‰ 

Twin hair tools for lifffffffe (because they have a lifetime guarantee!)

It was seriously SUCH a fun day! It was great timing for us both as we had a lot of crazy stuff going on in our lives. It was wonderful just to getaway and laugh a whole lot and the quality time together allowed us to deepen our bond. Now that she’s my new neighbor she’s STUCK with me πŸ˜‰ 

I mean in the mall when the guy was demonstrating the hair tool I felt super awesome about it butttttt then I got home and couldn’t for the life of me get it right!

Sidepony for the win. 

I practiced. A LOT. Heck a month later and I’m still practicing πŸ˜‰ 

Finally getting it!!!

Monday we celebrated Tess’s birthday, you can read about that here!

Tuesday was a CRAZY busy day! 

I’m always hardcore during kids sale seasons. I sell at two sales every season but this season I couldn’t sell at one of them because the pre-sale was the night of Tess’s actual birthday. Lame. So instead I waited and shopped the morning the sale opened to the public. And had all the kids with me haha. It was pretty hilarious b/c their tastes are SUPER questionable. It was so cute as the older kids kept bringing me things that they liked for each other and they were so super ugly. I did gave and ended up buying more than I would normally buy because I felt bad hurting their feelings and saying “no” to everything they were finding! I also let Kye get a video game because it was a great deal. The girls didn’t have luck with any toys that were all that good of deals. Britt really really wanted a Doc McStuffins scooter but it was crazy overpriced. I’m sorry $15 for a USED scooter? Nope. I pulled up my friend Google and found her one on Walmart brand new for $25 so it’s officially on her “from Santa” wishlist for Christmas πŸ˜‰

We ended up having to leave our items at the sale because we had to be at church and the wait was too long for us to stay. The young ladies of our congregation were asked to speak at the ladies luncheon that morning. I was very excited and nervous for Britt! She was sharing her favorite verse and telling why it was her favorite. The theme of the day was pineapples and, as always, Mrs Liz did a fabulous job and everything was adorable

She was READY! 

She picked out her own outfit and asked me to curl her hair πŸ™‚ 

I had forgotten the whole “ladies luncheon” part of it. I hadn’t even thought about Kye!!! Duh, he’s not a lady! He was the only boy there and he turned to me and said “since I’m the only boy, I should probably say a prayer or something.” So sweet. He volunteered to help set up and to open the luncheon with a prayer. Here’s a video of that! 

Watching everyone present

Britt has never been really comfortable in front of large groups so I was nervous about this for her. But y’all she DID GREAT!!! I was so so proud and, most importantly, SHE was so proud!!! 

Here’s her video of sharing her verse

And the q and a with Mrs Liz after!

(sidenote: but can you tell I bribed Tess to stay quite by telling her she could have a candy after? ha!)

It was also Ms Ruth’s 99th birthday!!! We all sang and celebrated with her!

We are SO blessed to attend Central and are so incredibly excited that Mr John is now our new preacher! We adore both he and Mrs Liz and couldn’t be more excited for the future! 

We always have a crew to support our babies! 

Little Mama

Aunt Karen


And you know I’m never gonna miss a thing if I can help it πŸ˜‰ 

Mrs Liz put together goodie bags for all the girls πŸ™‚ 

Britt really faced her fears by speaking that day and it made me SO proud of her! I’m always proud when Kye speaks too (and stepping up to say that prayer was so sweet) but it’s something he enjoys and is naturally good at. Britt was nervous and a tad uncomfortable with the idea of speaking in public but she did it and she did awesome!!! She inspired me to step out of my comfort zone more often! 

Going back to the kids sale to pay for everything…I have the sweetest babies!

Probably the best kids sale find: $5 Nike cleats for Kye!

Although he’d say this costume was the best (even if it’s on backwards)

On Tess’s real birthday she asked to get to see Carter and William. We went and saw Carter the day of her birthday but William got to come over to play the day after! I let Tess skip naps so she could play with him πŸ™‚ They are so cute together and are such good buddies! Be sure to continue to keep Sara and her family in your prayers. 

William was cracking me up because he LOVED our robot vacuum and kept laying on the floor trying to get the robot to come over to him!

That afternoon (told ya it was a BUSY day) Robyn’s crew came over to swim and play!

And we got to stay up late…with summer almost over we had to soak up the freedom while we could πŸ˜‰

On Wednesday we FINALLY could go school supply shopping. I had the older kids’ lists like early on in summer but Tess’s took FOREVER to arrive and I wasn’t about to deal with back to school shopping twice! 


School supplies cost me over $250. I’m not kidding. I’m also not complaining b/c I know the supplies are needed but I’ve also talked to many teachers who say that it’s frustrating that a few parents get stuck providing supplies for majority of the class because so many parents simply don’t do it. While I’m happy to help for kids who are in need of help…it’s annoying to know that a lot of the times it’s simply refusal on the parents part rather than actual financial need. 

We deserved a reward after surviving the school supply chaos (like all their lists had things in different order so I swear I went all over Target with them like 3 or 4 times!). We met up at the park with a sweet friend Ashley! Kye and her daughter, Emma, were in preschool together and Kye was shocked that I still kept in touch haha He was like “EMMA? Like preschool Emma?” when I told him about the playdate plans! It was great getting to catch up and she offered so much encouragement to me during my rough week. It was also hard to catch up because watching three kids on the playground is no joke haha. There were SO MANY shady looking men there by themselves too that really bugged me? I kept getting nervous and anxious that one of them would snatch one of my babies up so I was like a hawk. 

Tess is such a stinking daredevil with the climbing! 

Sweet friends…fun morning!

Britt kicked off her first meeting in her intermediate level gymnastics class! Now she goes for 85 minutes each week and she’s LOVING the challenge!

While Britt was at gymnastics I let the other two kids decide what we’d do to pass the time as I didn’t feel like running anymore errands after the Target trip that morning. They wanted to go to ToysRUs to browse for Christmas list ideas and Tessie got to exchange a dvd she got at her party that we already owned! 

Here are things Kye would like for Christmas…

A fidget counter. I mean don’t we all need one?

A plug in Star Wars game

A drone. Yeah. Right. 

Tess is happy with literally ANYTHING

She did specially say she wants headphones. No clue what for?

Kye knows we won’t let him get a handheld video game system so he asked for this $15 one that’s preloaded with super old school games. haha

I did tell him I’m okay with adding games to our Wii collection!

Zaxby’s jam before church! 

I LOVE that they wanted to share a mini-booth together. Sweet, sweet sisters! 

I actually sat with adults from church at a nearby table and it was SO nice to be able to fully trust my children to sit by themselves. They were in my line of sight the entire time but they enjoyed that freedom and it’s such a blessing to be able to trust them on that level. And it made me proud to hear so many compliments from others about their behavior πŸ™‚ 

After church that night we had a surprise party for Ms Ruth and Britt made me so proud! Right away she said “I gotta go tell her Happy Birthday!” and was one of the first people to do so. Precious, thoughtful girl!

Thursday was my rough, rough day with all our adoption news that week.  It also happened to big Open House for the older two kids so I couldn’t spend too much time sulking. We also had plans for a chill, yet productive, morning. Britt really wanted to practice new hairstyle options for her to wear to school and Kye wanted my help setting up a new blog for him. Recently he came to me in tears upset over his inability to have a true career (yes I’m for real) so we talked a lot and he just deeply wants to be some sort of entrepreneur. He really wants to do app design but I know NOTHING about that world (I did find a summer camp he can do next summer if still interested) but I DO know a bit about blogging. So I told him he’s allowed to make a PUBLIC blog as long as it remains non-personal and we turn off all comments. He is waiting until December to go live because he will be busy during school with football πŸ˜‰ But he wanted my help setting it up and learning how to create images and content.  So through my tears I practiced hair and created a blog πŸ˜‰ 

After Open House I just NEEDED some time and space to MYSELF. Hello Target run πŸ™‚ 

The last official day of our summer was Friday!!! Tess actually slept in until almost 8 which was HEAVENLY!!!

We had a super, super chill morning (a must have before the craziness of back to school, right?). I got my kids sale stuff organized and tagged. 

We played outside

And we worked on Disney books! We had hoped to work on them a lot this summer but ended up never even doing anything with them until the very end. Oops!

A summer tradition we have is making homemade ice cream in a bag. It’s a good work out for Zach haha it involves a LOT of shaking a bag but it makes super tasty ice cream! 

We ended the week on a fun family note by watching Rapunzel the Series! 


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Emily Parker

Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Today Parenting and Babywise.Life. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

You can read more about our family on my About Me page. Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, FacebookΒ and Pinterest!

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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Summer Recap: Week 12

I work with several companies and links to any products within posts are affiliate.

This is the LAST of the summer recap posts! This post covers from Saturday August 1st – Friday August 7th. It was a BUSY week including Kye’s Open House and First Day of School, Britt’s Open House, and Zach’s Birthday!

We started off the week with a pretty awesome Saturday. I was SO PUMPED to get an offer from Carter’s to do a sponsored post. They sent me a gift card and I thought it was the PERFECT chance for Britt and I to go shopping for the first time just the two of us! I really had wanted to take a girls trip with the fam to Tally or somewhere with Britt and Payton but it didn’t work out this summer and I’m thankful that she and I were able to have that awesome together time thanks to Carters πŸ™‚ 

We left really early and were there well before they opened (I had to drop off somethings at a kids sale so we had to leave earlier than planned). We just hung out waiting and asked a random guy to take a picture of us together πŸ™‚

I didn’t have super high expectations of our shopping trip together. She’s 3. I figured she’d be more interested in the lego play table in the store than actually shopping with me. But I was wrong! Girl LOVED it. She kept saying “stop it. so cute!” at everything and she picked out her entire first day of school outfit (including shoes, jewelry and headband) all on her own. She’s a GREAT shopping partner! I did have quite a few things to get and she did end up playing some with the legos but still spent a lot of time with me helping make decisions!

Notice the shorts over her leggings…she fell in LOVE with these shorts and wore them around the store haha

Only spent $28 of my own money πŸ™‚ SCORE!

You can see most of the goodies we picked up from Carter’s here!

I never, ever, ever let my kids buy random crap but we were at Carter’s for almost 2 hours. And Britt had found this elephant stuff animal that was on clearance and carried it around with her the entire time and fell in love with it. So I figured why not? πŸ˜‰ 

After our shopping fun we hit up Zaxby’s for lunch for some more girl time! We talked and laughed and did a lot of Disney anticipation discussing. I love that she’s getting old enough to truly ENJOY time together like this! It was a PERFECT morning!

That afternoon we had a wedding to attend for Zach’s first cousin, Cole. Thankfully the timing of the wedding was PERFECT for our family as the kids were able to nap before we headed to Kinderlou for the ceremony! I was a little nervous having Tess there as babies and weddings are often a tough mix. I think Casey and I held our breaths the whole ceremony πŸ˜‰ Thankfully both she and Carter did AMAZING! It was a BEAUTIFUL ceremony and reception. It was the first wedding at the new Kinderlou chapel and it went off without a hitch. It was also a 100% chance of rain and ended up being beautiful out!!! Not a single rain drop! We are all so thankful to get to add Gabi to our family! 

Zero planning yet we are all coordinated! I think I’m wearing off on everyone πŸ˜‰

I got some sweet Tess cuddles!

Unlimited lemonade? My kids were SO PUMPED!

Two special parts of their wedding day for our family were both at the reception. Gabi’s dad is a soldier and took the time to kneel down with Kye and show him all of his medals and talked to him for a long time about the different ways he’s served our country. To be so busy at his daughter’s wedding yet take the time to talk to our son was really, really special. Kye was beyond thrilled and we are so thankful for those who serve our country and give us our freedoms!

Another special moment was during the first dance. The kids were so precious watching and they just really enjoyed it. Britt was cracking me up because she kept “taking notes” about everything. I think she’s probably already starting her wedding day board on Pinterest πŸ˜‰

Tess did great at the ceremony and reception! We did end up leaving before the bride and groom did simply because she got to that point where it was time. Y’all all know how that is with little ones! They reach that limit! 

The whole crew!

The new Mr. and Mrs. Parker!

Britt had such a great time and drew this when we got home. She said it was the “princess” and “prince” doing their dance. It was the first wedding she’s attended at an age old enough to really enjoy it and she was just in awe of how beautiful Gabi was and truly thought she was a princess!

Casey and I rode together from the wedding as we went straight to a kid’s sale. On our way we saw a beautiful rainbow and had to take pics (Casey took these while I drove). Cole’s older brother is Austin who passed away a couple years ago. For our family a rainbow has been a significant thing since his passing (you can read more about why here). How awesome to see a rainbow as we left Cole’s wedding! It was a special moment πŸ™‚ 

The kids sale was the perfect way to end what was an awesome day! Yes, kids sale are great for getting deals for the kids…but I also just LOVE the fun times with my friends! We have a great tradition of going through everything together and giving input on all of each other’s purchases…it can be pretty cut throat and hilarious πŸ˜‰ 

You know Casey HAD to buy this! SCORE!

On Sunday we headed to Mema’s after church to celebrate Trey’s birthday. It was a great opportunity to wear our shirts for Ashleigh and get a family photo together. I LOVE our shirts and the positive message they carry as they provide a chance to think of Ashleigh and the impact she made on so many. 

Being the last few days of summer we had already completely pretty much ALL of our summer goals! Yippie!!! We had a few crafts left to finish up as well as plenty of swimming to do πŸ™‚

Painting boxes

Coloring little paddle games

I also wanted to squeeze in another great lunch box recipe! You can view a great recipe for some Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins here!

My sweet husband has been on a homemade pizza kick…YUM!

Couldn’t go the last week without a movie morning πŸ™‚ 

Earlier this summer we hit up the Peach Shed for the first time. While the kids weren’t in the best moods…we still LOVED the ice cream and I was really eager for Zach to get to try it. Since we were all together to go to Kye’s Open House we decided to hit up the Peach Shed after. It was the perfect afternoon treat and didn’t disappoint. The kids agree: best ice cream EVER! And everyone was in happier moods this time too…double win!

I LOVE how adventurous Kye has gotten with food…he was the only one who tried the peach ice cream πŸ™‚

On the very last day of summer I got the kids up and headed to Chick Fil A for breakfast. Usually we do donuts before school starts but since we had just had donuts for Tess’s birthday we decided to do CFA breakfast instead! It was great and SO FUN!

Tess LOVES water from a straw!

We sat by the playground so she could point and wave to her siblings while she ate her breakfast

I love, love, love that our CFA has a toddler play area. It was a perfect morning for Tess to play and explore because there weren’t other kids there πŸ™‚

He is seriously THE BEST big brother! It’s such a blessing that I can totally trust him with her πŸ™‚

Kye loves experiencing things with Tess, especially for the first time. I love the way he’s watching her as she goes down the slide for her first time ever. It made my heart sad to think about all that he’d be missing with school starting. How would we survive without our Kye every day at home with us?!?!

Britt was also super sad about Kye going to school all day and asked specifically if she could play with him alone in his room with his toys. He was sweet enough to let her πŸ˜‰

Swimming was a MUST DO on our last day together for summer!

Swimming quickly became an animal rescue adventure as we kept finding frogs in the pool πŸ™‚

The afternoon of Kye’s last day of summer Zach was home early enough for us to do the LAST thing on our “must do” list: make home made ice cream. If you’ve never done ice cream in a bag (recipe here) then you should! It’s simple, quick and YUMMY!

We had SUCH an amazing summer! I truly savored each day with my babies and was very, very sad to see it come to an end. I was a tad worried at the start of summer about how it would go. Would the big kids be bored with Tess napping each morning? Would Britt and Kye spend all their time arguing? I think I did a good job of incorporating fun things at home to keep the kids happy and entertained as well as enough fun things outside of home to keep them from getting bored. We had a great mix and they all go along very well, for the most part, all summer long. Lots of memories made and we’re counting down for next summer πŸ™‚

Emily Parker

Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Today Parenting and Babywise.Life. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

You can read more about our family on my About Me page. Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram, FacebookΒ and Pinterest!

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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