Thursday, September 1, 2016

End Of The Summer

As we turn the calendar over to September, it seems hard to believe that another summer has come and gone!  And this one has definitely been a busy one for us.

We went to Branson with Kyle's family, celebrated both of our nephew's first birthdays and even managed to squeeze in a few Grace fundraisers.  The last month of summer seemed to fly by with Old Settlers and a visit from Uncle Johnny and Aunt Emily, and we just wanted to share some photos and some of the fun we had.

It started with the annual Old Settlers celebration, held the first week of August in downtown Hillsboro.  Usually, Grace makes her way uptown on Sunday for the pigtail and ponytail contest, but since we got her hair cut this spring, she didn't make it up there this year.

Old Settlers wouldn't be complete without a pronto pup and a lemon shake-up!
So her Old Settlers officially started on Thursday with the Kiddie Parade.  This year's theme was "What Makes Me Smile," and Kyle and I decorated her Stingray stroller like a swimming pool.  Grace has been in the Kiddie Parade every year since she's been around, and it's always one of our favorite things.  We don't really strive to win, Kyle and I just enjoy putting on our creative hats and finding something that works for Grace.

Gracie Lou loved her swimming float!
This year, we had a ball putting together Grace's Mini Float, and then had a good time visiting with everyone getting set up for the parade.  Grace even got fifth place in her division!

Hanging out with cousin Izzy before the parade started.
Usually, we take Grace up and down Main Street for a little bit to see the art show and take a ride down the big slide, but this year, we all got kind of hot at the Kiddie Parade. So, after the ceremonial dumping of the Kiddie Parade float, Kyle and Grace went home to cool off.  And I stayed uptown to get some work done and have lunch with Johnny and Emily.

Family photo opportunity at the reception for PaPa John.
That afternoon was a special one for our family, as my dad got the Hillsboro Educational Foundation Distinguished Alumni award this year.  That was one of the reasons John and Emily came home for the week, and we were glad to see them.  We were also proud of Grandpa John for all his hard work for his community over the years.

Grace wearing her princess crown at the parade.
Grace with Little Miss Jenna, who gave her the princess crown.
Grace also enjoyed hanging out with me, Emily and Grandma Susie to watch the Big Parade that night.  She wore a special crown she got from retiring Little Miss Old Settlers Jenna Durbin, and stopped by to greet Miss Montgomery County Fair Queen. Our friend Kamryn Kiper also set up a table to sell "gracelets" she made and raise money for INAD research.

Hanging out with Queen Ailie.
Kamryn made all these awesome "gracelets" and sold them to raise money for INAD research.
Since Johnny and Emily were home for the weekend, we made the most of our time together, taking in a St. Louis Cardinals game and enjoying a family cookout.  The Cardinals had a special promotion going on, and all fans got a free red Fedora hat during the game.  Uncle John and Aunt Emily had gone early and bought Grace a St. Louis Cardinals stuffed Minnie Mouse, which brought a big smile from Grace.

All smiles with her new Minnie Mouse!
Snuggling with Grandma and Grandpa.
Matching Cardinals Fedoras!
Family photo opportunity at the Cards game!
My favorite photo of Grace at the Cards game!
We also had some special guests at the family cookout, as my cousin Todd, and his family were down from Naperville.  It was fun to catch up with the kids since we don't get to see them that often, and they brought Grace a new Build-A-Bear named Lollipop.  We also enjoyed good food and a fireworks display by dad and Johnny.

Hanging out with Johnny and Emily at the cookout.
Grace's cousins from Naperville got her a new Build-A-Bear named Lollipop.
It was so much fun to have John and Emily home for a few days, and we hated to see them go back to Alexandria.  But we will get to see them again in December.

The rest of the month of August seemed to fly by.  We spent a lot of time watching the Olympics together as a family.  Grace and I even got matching patriotic manicures and pedicures to celebrate. 

Matching red, white and blue pedicures for the Olympics!
Oh, and we also got to finish reading the newest of the Harry Potter books, thanks to our good friend, Mrs. Reeves!!  I read it out loud to Kyle and Grace, and they really liked it!  We can't wait to keep reading the rest of the series! 

Reading the newest Harry Potter book!
The end of August means the start of school, high school sports and fall weather.  Since it was so hot this summer, we didn't get the chance to take as many walks as we would have liked or swing in my new swing.  But we are definitely looking forward to some cooler fall weather.

Although the summer had to come to an end, we will cherish all the memories we made with family and friends, and look forward to the start of a new school year for Grace. 


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