We took a family vacation up to Steamboat Springs for a long weekend with Grandma Ruth, Uncle Luke, Aunt Sarah, and Cousin Benjamin. We rented a 5-bedroom condo with 4 different levels. The great part was, pretty much everyone got their own room (except poor Benjamin got a closet). The bad part was, we had so much stuff and it was all spread out over 4 levels that we never could find where anything was! I’ve never done so many stairs in one weekend!! But the condo was super nice, fully stocked with everything we needed, including a life-size Pistol Pete. Cole noticed him as soon as we walked in and identified him right away as Pistol Pete (the Wyoming Cowboys mascot).
One of the days we hiked to the Yampa River, where there are tons of natural hot springs. We got in and played for a bit with the kids, and Grandma was nice enough to stay with the kids during naptime the next day so the parents could tube the river. It was a little low and slow-going, but very relaxing!
The last night, we took a gondola up to the top of the mountain for a Sunset Happy Hour with dinner and music. Cole had a look of pure joy as we launched from the gondola station into the air. He had a lot of fun. I did not, thanks to the height factor, the heat inside the gondola, and my motion sickness. At first Cole didn’t like the music because it was too loud while he was trying to eat, but then he liked to dance with Grandma. We didn’t stay on top of the mountain for the sunset, but caught it coming back on the gondola, where the ride was much cooler and more enjoyable for everyone. Overall, it was a great trip, and we really enjoyed spending time with everyone. Even though we’re only an hour drive away, we don’t get to see Benjamin, Luke, and Sarah outside of chaotic holidays and family get togethers, so it was especially fun for Cole to get some good cousin bonding in!
We drove up to Rapid for our second lake trip of the summer the first week in August. This time, Cole had much more confidence in the water. He just put on his little swim vest and swam around the pool by himself. He even jumped in the freezing cold lake right away without hesitation. One of the days at the lake was only 70 degrees and too cold to go out, so we went into Hot Springs and took Cole to Evans Plunge, the indoor water park. He wanted to go down the big curvy slide with us, and after the first time, he loved it. He would go down with Matt, and climb back up to go with me. I only have the one picture of him coming out at the bottom…as you can see, Matt is completely submerged as Cole got held above water. A few times though, we weren’t able to lift him all the way up and his head went completely under. He would still pop out of the water, sputtering a little bit, asking to go again. So we still had a fun time despite the unseasonal weather.
We went fishing on the dock in the morning before going out on the lake in the afternoon. Cole’s bait wasn’t in the water more than 1.5 seconds at a time, so there was no way he was going to catch anything. He had fun with Grandpa Scott though, although both he and I felt like we were about to lose our patience or an eye from the swinging hook at any moment.
Landon didn’t care too much for the beach this time. Once he got on the boat though, he was fine with Grandma, his puffs and his water bottle.
Yep, that’s right. Landon’s crawling, and we’re all trying to keep up. Cole can’t believe how quickly Landon gets over to his toys and tries to knock his Duplo castle down (let’s just say he’s not thrilled about Landon’s newfound skill). Dad and I can’t believe how sad it is that we will never be able to leave him on the floor and know he’s not going anywhere or getting into anything he’s not supposed to. But it’s awesome, and it’s so cute how proud of himself he is. To keep everything even between documenting the boys’ accomplishments, I of course made a little video of Landon’s journey to crawling.
We had a birthday party for Cole up in Rapid since Grandma and Grandpa weren’t able to make it for the Colorado party. Aunt Emilee made the cutest cookie monster cupcakes that looked awesome and tasted delicious. Cole enjoyed being blue for awhile! Emilee and Tommy got him a Ninja Turtles playset with a mask and little swords. Dad probably enjoyed it as much as Cole did!
The day of Cole’s birthday was a Thursday, so we did the traditional “take pictures with the chalkboard sign” and stayed in for dinner. I made birthday French toast with sprinkles and candles, and he thought that was pretty exciting.
The Saturday after Cole’s birthday, we had a construction-themed party at our house with Grandma Ruth, Grandpa Neill and GG, Uncle Luke, Aunt Sarah, and Benjamin, Great-Grandpa Harold, and Amy, Will, and Nash. It was “loads of fun.” Cole had seen pictures of my birthday when I was little, and I had dirt cake in one of the pictures with GUMMY WORMS…he was sold! So I built the whole theme of the party around the dirt cake, which turned out amazing. I put it in his dump truck and found construction cone candles and little toy diggers to put in it. Even though I didn’t think I went overboard on the rest of it, Matt does, but he agreed it was worth it. Cole got all sorts of awesome gifts, including a trampoline, which we hope helps burn off some of that nonstop boy energy he has too much of. He also got a rocket launcher, which was probably more fun for Dad and Uncle Luke, but Cole really enjoyed it too. Thanks everyone for coming!
It’s that time of year again where we get to go to the LAKE!! Cole loved it this year as much as the past few years, and Landon was pretty undecided. He didn’t hate it, but he definitely enjoyed eating sand more than Cole did his first year (Cole was over a year old, Landon’s only 8 months, so I guess that’s the difference). Uncle Tommy and Aunt Emilee came up for the day along with my cousin Kacey and her husband Joe, all the way from Las Vegas. Cole made best friends with Kacey and Emilee and wouldn’t let anybody but them feed him, change him, play with him, etc. LOL, he was sad to see them go! Cole loved the water and swimming this year. We just strapped him into his life jacket and he loved to “swim” by kicking and splashing around while we held him in the water. Dad launched him in the air a few times, which he couldn’t get enough of! Cole even stayed still long enough for us to make him into a sand starfish!
Cole was all about the toad catching this year, as long as he had his net! He got a few at the trailer, but he was too busy playing in the lake this year to catch any at the beach. One of the mornings, it was a bit chilly so we were going to wait for everyone to come down in the afternoon until we hit the beach. We checked out the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, but Dad and I were more interested in the history than Cole was. He got to do some digging for fossils and see some giant Manny the Mammoth replicas, so at least it was enough to entertain him for an hour.