Category Archives: yankton

So long, summer

September 22, 2014

Summer 2014-70Summer, my favorite season, is now coming to an end.

I love summer for many reasons, the bright sunshine, the scorching heat, the exhilarating outdoor activities, the smell of freshly cut grass, the vegetables and flowers at the farmer’s markets, the juicy burgers on the grill, and mostly, the cheerful moods everyone is in. I love summer. I even turned 30 this summer, and still loved it.

Fall, on the other hand, is a gorgeous season. I love sweater weather, boots, fires on the patio, and the changing colors of the leaves and trees. But, it’s the calm before the storm of winter with what’s looming ahead. The bitter cold of South Dakota winters and, ugh, I’m actually going to stop right there because I am NOT ready to think or talk about winter. I want to talk about summer and live it up until 9:29pm, when fall specifically starts (or so says the almanac).  So here. Here was our summer, little tidbits of random that didn’t make it in an earlier post. This was our spectacular summer. (Siiiiiigh).


Summer Memory – PLAYDATES

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Ivy and Natalie

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  Ivy, Natalie, and James

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Spending the warm summer hours at McKennan Park. Favorite.

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Summer Memory – BOATING

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Summer Memory – FAMILY

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Grandma Betsy would meet us at McKennan Park for Children’s Theatre

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Grandma high fives at Lake Madison!

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Cousins Anna and Nora reading to Ivy. SWOON

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 A visit from Grandpa Bill!

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Hanging with Auntie Jillian

Summer Memory – Just. Plain. Fun.

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Spent lots of time on our patio

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LOVED visits to the Great Plains Zoo – I hadn’t been there in YEARS! So I think I enjoyed it as much as Ivy :) And Erin and Natalie were regulars with us too

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STUD at her walker

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Loved the cool hottub

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Jazz Fest

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Like a good teacher’s baby, loves books :)

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Lots of time at the pool

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Backyard Shenanigans

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Loves to swing

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Became obsessed with her blankie

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Enjoyed mornings in bed watching the news with Mama

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 And she STOOD on her OWN this summer! WOO HOO. (Don’t mind the tampons in the pic : / )

Overall, summer was damn good.

So long, summer. So long.

I’ll begin my countdown to next summer now.

Labor (or lack thereof) Day

September 2, 2014

Labor Day was gonna be a good one this year. Weather looked nice, we had some days off of work, and we were headed to our our cabin, Cedar Ridge Hideaway, in Yankton. I was quite anxious to spend the weekend with the fam and enjoy the last few rays of summer sunshine until fall rolls around (sigh).

The weekend was full of boating, friends, the great outdoors, and a random helicopter ride. Yep. Ivy rode in a heli. This girl, I’m tellin ya, she is all over the place! But, that’s what kind of parents we want to be, expose our kids to just about everything. And if she can go in the heli, by golly, she’s goin in the heli. Although she was more into trying to grab the throttle and the door handle (freaking out at both of those), I tried to hold her hands down and take in the beautiful scenery. The Lewis and Clark Lake and Missouri River are just amazing. It looked so much bigger up there! The cliffs were shining and the water was gleaming as the sun was setting amongst us. It was extraordinary!

So here it is, our Labor Day weekend.

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Anchored off and taking a playtime break

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Favorite thing about the river, are the bright cliffs. Perfect photo op.

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John’s brother Jeff and his lady Amy

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Justin and Emily

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Pretty much obsessed with this photo

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Helicopter ride!

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Check out THAT view!

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Here is a sky view of our cabin!

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We even had the pilot drop us off at our cabin! John said it best, “Only a $120 cab ride!” Ha

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We ended the night with a bonfire. I LOVE BONFIRES.

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4th of July

July 7, 2014

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4th of July is a holiday of celebration! The sparkling fireworks, waves and boating, bright sunshine, hot weather, sizzling grilling, juicy burgers, and cold beers. Summer at its best. This year, my sister Jillian and her husband Brian made the trip from Indianapolis to visit and have some family time. Also, my aunt Teresa from California made it and my friend Shannon came down for the weekend! We headed down to Yankton and Cedar Ridge Hideaway (our cabin) for the festivities. Like my man Zac Brown sang, “I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand, not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand, life is good today, life is good today.”

Our 4th of July in photos


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Brian and Jillian

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The hubs and I

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Stuffed after smoked ribs on the patio


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We made it to Yankton in the Jeep! Maui Mat is on and we are ready for the lake!

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Lewis and Clark Beach in Yankton

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I must have told her something she didn’t want to hear. Oops. How many times will I be getting THAT glare in my lifetime? ;)

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Uncle Joe just LOVES Ivy. He took her for a walk to show her the beach, sand, and waves

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Daddy took her for a swim in the lake

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Lifeguard on duty

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Toes in the water, ass in the sand

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Epitome of vacation

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Delicious ribeye dinner!

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Bloody Mary’s. Bada-bing!

Friday: 4th of July!!!!

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Gettin’ cray cray

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Aye aye, captain Ivy

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America, you’ve been good to me. xxoo


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My little sailor

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Ivy loved crawling all over the Maui Mat

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Deciding which boat she can commandeer

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Thank Jillian and Brian for making the trip! Sure was fun – love you guys!

“Summer Summer Summertime”

June 24, 2014

“Summer summer summertime, time to sit back and rewind.” You all know the song, come on! Oh Will Smith, you sure sang it right with that hit. Summer… my FAVORITE season.

Summer has officially begun, and what a spectacular weekend it was. John, Ivy, and I cruised down to Yankton for the weekend and we were SO anxious to go boating! Saturday was set to be a #10 day, so we started up the boat, grabbed a koozie and some beers, and headed to the lake. Some of my friends were at Lewis and Clark camping so we met up with them, add 4 more kids, and we had ourselves a party!

We even got to use our Maui Mat for the first time and the kids LOVED it. Ivy had impressive balance as the waves were constantly moving it. She just crawled all over the place on it! Fearless little girl.

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Makin’ waves and catchin’ rays

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Weasels Maui Mat-11Aidan, Adelyn, Juliet, and Ivy
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Erin, Kerri, and Juliet

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The DeGraff’s :)

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Kerri bravin’ the mat with Adelyn!

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Ivy keepin’ it F A N C Y away with her Babiators

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                                                             ZONKED OUT.                                                                           And glad that her precious white skin makes me look tan ;)

Memorial Day Weekend

May 27, 2014

I always look forward to Memorial Day. It’s the kickoff to summer with a weekend full of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the country’s armed forces, while soaking up some sunshine, boating, grilling, drinks, and friends… the perfect combo to start the summer off right. We always head down to our cabin in Yankton, Cedar Ridge Hideaway, to enjoy the best of Yankton, the Lewis and Clark lake. This time, we got to take the new Jeep! I sat in back with Ivy, the wind blowing through our hair (her little baby hair wispies were so funny), the sun shining through the spider shade cover, and the all-around sensational feeling of ahhhh, summer’s here :) We even had the hot weather to top it off! FINALLY.

We spent the holiday weekend with friends and were quite busy enjoying the sunshine! John completed some maintenance to the cabin and Ivy and I and our friends took walks to sit at the beach to soak in some rays. The best part of all, we got to take the boat out! Ivy LOVED her first boat ride! She just staaaared at the waves! I am anxious for the water to heat up so we can go swimming. And babies in swimsuits, come on… :)  I anticipate a lot of fun and happy memories with her on the boat and at the beaches around the lake. What a lucky girl.

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Enjoying our Friday night boat cruise together


Justin and Emily tagged along while Ivy is helping Daddy captain the boat. Aye aye, mate


Shannon and Ivy


 John finally got his Yeti cooler! Grab a bev, Shannon. Livin’ la vida chillaxin’

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Smooches for Daddy. Thighs <3

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Breakfast on the deck


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Embracing our inner Miley


Toesies in the sand