Man’s Best Friend

If our dog is supposed to be my best friend, I think Sam missed the memo. Don’t misunderstand me, he likes me, but he loves the kids. The silliness that those three get into is too comical for words.

He is very patient with Ben, even when Ben plops down on him. I’m not sure which one taught the other how to dig, but they both have made their fair share of holes in our backyard. They are two peas in a pod.

His relationship with Gracie is a little different. He likes to be close to her. He sneaks into Gracie’s room every night to sleep. He lays underneath her when she is on the couch.

I guess he feeds off of their personalities. He has been a great addition to our family.

Summer Shenanigans

Sometimes all you need is a water hose to create a memory. Our plants were taking a beating with the dry 90º plus temperatures we’ve been having. We gave our 5-year old the water hose to throw some water on our flowers and shrubs. What started as a chore turned into an opportunity for me and the kids to have a little fun.

From the moment Ben turned the hose on to his sister, the game was on. I originally planned to remain on the sideline until I got sprayed. Sarah came out to see what all the commotion was about and snapped a few pictures. It didn’t take long before we were all dripping wet. It was a lot of fun and something that the kids won’t soon forget.

My Little Helper

Little Ben is a planner. He is always thinking of his next project. We have had a trampoline for several years now, and it is starting to show it’s age. I told Ben that pretty soon we will need to retire the trampoline. His response was, “can we build a swing set?”

He also stipulated that the swing set had to have two swings so “His Gracie” could swing with him. I fired up my computer and started researching how we were going to build this swing set. After getting Ben’s approval, we made the purchase and the parts we on there way to our house.

They arrived on a Monday. As soon as I got home, from work, Ben greeted me at the door. “Come on Daddy… let’s build the swing set.” So off we went to the back yard, box in tow.

I love that he is so hands-on and loves to help build things. It is one of his favorite father and son activities, and of course, one of mine too.

Summer Traditions

Like most families during the summer season, we love going to the beach. Whether it is catching a cruise or spend a week at the Gulf, we always take some time to put our toes in the sand. There is something therapeutic about listening to the ocean and walking the beach.

The summer before Ben was born we, somewhat accidentally, started a summer family tradition. We took Gracie on a cruise and purchased a Christmas ornament. It was a flamingo sitting on a lounge chair. Since then we have purchased ornaments to commemorate our trips.

Does your family have any summer traditions?

My Gracie

Ben loves his big sister. They have been great playmates this summer building forts, reading, cuddling and watching tv and much more. Whenever Ben talks about Gracie he affectionately refers to her as “my Gracie.” She likes it and thinks it’s cute.

My wife and I feel truly blessed that our daughter is so willing to spend time with her little brother, even with their 9 year age gap. It warms my heart to know that they get along so well… most of the time. I often break out my ninja skills and sneak a few pictures as they play. Ben isn’t fond of having his picture taken, so I have to be strategic about it.

Gracie reading Ben a book in their fort.

Play Time

One of the sweetest sounds to hear is my little Ben saying “Daddy, will you play with me?” I can’t say no to his sweet litte face. My beautiful wife grabbed this photo of us as we played trains this past weekend. It means so much to me because I am usually the one behind the camera, so naturally, there aren’t too many photos of me with the kids. Does that happen with your family? Are you the parent that is missing from most of your families photos?

Together Again

It isn’t very often that we have all three kids together these days. The oldest, Will, is going into his Sophomore year of college. Gracie is about to tackle her 8th grade year, while Ben is dipping his toes in the waters of his education at pre-k.

Before the kids start another year (or their first year) of school, I treated them to some donuts at Zombie Coffee & Donuts and a stroll through downtown Athens. As I sat there and watched the kids devour their sweet treats I thought how great it was having them enjoy their time together. I truly feel blessed with our group of kiddos.

Moab

I traveled to Moab, UT with work for Easter Jeep Safari. It was the first time being out to Utah. I have to admit, I really didn’t think much of Utah before the trip. It isn’t a state that registers with most people as being an interesting state to check out. For those who what Utah has to offer though, it is a real treat to visit. Though I was there for work, I still managed to steal some time to take some shots from my little Fuji X-T20.