School started back up a few weeks ago. That means summer is more or less behind us and it is time to look ahead to the fall. There is still some last minute summer fun to be had, but I think we are all looking forward to some fun fall activities at this point. It has been one long, hot summer!
The weekend before starting school my Mom and I took the girls to Michigan for a few days. Olivia was looking forward to seeing her Great Nana Cleo and Uncle John. What she did not know was that her Great Aunt Sue Sue was visiting as well, and was waiting for Olivia in Michigan. Keeping Sue's visit a surprise proved to be quite difficult, as I nearly blew it multiple times. Luckily Olivia never caught on and was genuinely surprised when we walked into my Grandmother's house and her Sue Sue came around the corner. It was a wonderful moment that I was lucky enough to catch on tape.
Not sure how we managed to pull it off, but we did and Olivia was on cloud nine, knowing that she had many days ahead to spend with her Aunt Sue Sue. While in Michigan we took a trip to the old fashioned candy store, the beach at Lake Michigan, the playground, and even had a dance party on my Grandmother's patio...Olivia's idea of course!
Michigan's weather was cooler than expected, but we had to make it to the beach. Putting Cecilia's little toes in the sand for the first time was something that had to happen during our visit. We threw on our jackets and headed down to the water, despite the chilly temps.
Watching my sweet girl experience the beach for the first time was delightful. She had an incredibly difficult time trying to walk in the sand, but Aunt Sue Sue was more than happy to carry her around while she got used to this new experience. Once she got used to the sand she was happy as a clam, digging and playing. It was chilly and windy, but the sun was shining and my girls were having fun!
On Saturday we headed home. The good news...Aunt Sue Sue was coming with us and staying until Wednesday. This made Olivia very happy. We started the week with the return to school. As if having Sue in town was not exciting enough, Olivia was ready to get back to school with her teacher and all of her friends. This was the start of Olivia's 5th year at Peace Montessori. Technically this was the start of her kindergarten year, but she was returning to the same classroom she was in last year. Her classroom goes through the age of six. She completed the majority of her kindergarten work last year and will continue working on the advanced work this year. She is one smart little cookie and I am excited for what this year has in store for her.
We allowed Olivia to play hooky on her third day of school. I know, I am an extremely bad influence and setting a terrible example, right? Well it was Aunt Sue Sue's last day in Fort Wayne and Olivia wanted to spend it with her. Sue did not get to see much of Olivia during the week, since she started school the day after we came back from Michigan with Sue. We kept Cecilia home from the sitter's most of that day as well. Sue loved being able to spend time with both of her great nieces before heading back to California.
That afternoon we went to the park. The girls ran around freely and enjoyed the playground and the splash pad. We followed that up with some frozen yogurt. It was a fun day and the perfect way to cap off a fun visit. Sue said her goodbye's to Cece and the rest of us accompanied her to the airport.
I had no idea Olivia would have such a difficult time saying goodbye to Sue, but she took it very hard. The tears were flowing and her little heart was hurting as she hugged her one last time. It will be awhile before she sees her again and Olivia knows that. My Aunt summed it up perfectly. She said that although it was hard to say goodbye, Olivia not wanting her to leave it made her realize just how special their bond really is. I guess she will just have to come back for another visit sooner, rather than later! Hint, Hint!
Talking about Aunt Sue Sue's surprise visit made me realize that I never blogged about Olivia's summer trip out to California. As soon as school was finished for the summer my Mom took Olivia to visit Sue alone. It was her first trip without Mom and Dad and the first time she would be away from us for an extended period of time. She counted the days until it was time to get on the plane and could not wait to land in California and see her Sue Sue. I had tears in my eyes as I dropped my girl off at the airport and said goodbye for a full week, but knowing how much fun she was going to have made it much easier.
Her week in California was non-stop fun. The best way for me to show just how much fun Olivia had is to highlight the best parts of her trip. They kicked things off with pedicures...a tradition during our many trips to California.
She saw both of her second cousins...Justin and Ryan. Things always get silly when they come around!
There were nights at home at Sue Sue's house that included making s'mores and spending time with her Great Uncle Ron, otherwise known as "Uncle Big Ron". She loves nothing more than getting tickles and cuddling up with him.
And yes...there were trips to the wineries. The adults needed a reprieve from kid related activities and Olivia understood that. She was more than happy to tag along as the adults did a bit of wine tasting. Who knew that during a stop at one of the wineries she would become a pizza maker. The owner of this particular winery took Olivia under his wing and she became his right hand girl. She helped make and deliver wood fire oven pizzas to all of the guests. She had the time of her life.
And of course there were trips to the beach...multiple trips to the beach. Visiting the ocean is by far Olivia's favorite thing to do while in California. She could easily spend the entire day there. It's like her home away from home. She is simply happy at the beach.
During her week long visit she went to Jamba Juice...
Took everyone out for yogurt...
...went to the park, the acquarium center and out for many nice meals...
During her last night in California she went across the street to have dinner at the neighbor's and spend some time with her best pal...Peter. Peter is a dog, and one of the sweetest dogs at that. Olivia met Peter a few years ago and she looks forward to seeing him each time she visits. He is a calm, good natured dog and seems to love Olivia.
It was a week jammed packed of fun activities. She had the time of her life and hardly ever showed signs of homesickness. When the week was over she was ready to come home and after a extremely difficult journey home she made her way back to us. I was beyond happy to see my girl, but also so happy she had such a wonderful trip.
If one thing is clear it's that Olivia loves her Great Aunt Sue Sue. She has developed a very special bond with her over the years. Cecilia is getting to know Sue a little better with each visit. We just need to make sure that she is able to see her on a regular basis. California is a long ways away! Thank you, Sue for making this summer fun for my girls...especially Olivia. They both love you to pieces!
I realize that I did not spend my usual time bragging about Lady Cecilia. No worries I will have plenty to share next time around. She is growing like a weed and her little personality is blossoming more each day. Never a boring day in our lives with my two amazing girls!