Labor Day Weekend

A bit late but better late than never, right?
As usual, Tylee and I headed to the lake for Labor Day this year. I cannot believe summer is basically over and I've only been down 3 times. I usually go when my Dad goes and he hasn't been down much either - maybe that is why. Lindsey's three big kids joined us, which makes things a lot easier on me. (Free babysitting!) All kidding aside, this time with all of Tylee's cousins are truly priceless.
Have you ever seen a happier dog?
We swung by Serenity Point to get some gas and let the kids play on their water toys. All the kids (and me!) have agreed to give up their Christmas presents if Papa will buy us a water mat. They loved it and I think it would be a great addition to the beach. (Hint, hint Papa!)
The best part of the weekend (for all involved) was that Bubby, Erin, and Lowen came down early Sunday morning. Lowen loved the lake and the kids loved having him there. I mean really, what's not to love?
By Monday morning everone was pooped, including Merle! 2 full days on the water always takes a lot out of ya but that is what I love about long weekends. Not to mention, 4 out of 5 of the kids were sick at some point during the weekend. We still made the most of it and although I'm sad to see summer go, I'm always ready for fall.
Bring on the football, sweatshirts, and soups! I can't wait.


Kansas City Zoo

The next stop on our mini family vacay (after a full day of shopping and eating on Sunday) was the Kansas City Zoo. Tylee just turned 5 and this is the 4th zoo that she has been too. We've been to the Tulsa Zoo a couple different times but I think it is safe to say that Kansas City has been our favorite thus far. It is so hard to judge because I think it depends on the crowd and the animal activity but this has been our best experience to date. We got there, paid, and walked 10 foot to see the Sea Otters, both of which were out and started "playing" with Tylee. That was the first sign of a good day.
(Who can believe I let her wear those socks in to the zoo?)
A few steps later, was the Polar Bear Passage and that bear was in prime form!  
He kept doing circles and coming right up to the window doing trick-after-trick. It was nothing like I'd ever seen before.
I think the reason we had such a great day was because all of the animals seemed to be out and where you could see them. I'll let the pictures do the talking from here!  
This could probably be a whole different post but I'm still not loving this age. I'm hoping that Kindergarten will up Tylee's independence/maturity/spoiledness and we will come out of this year with a different kid. She is very moody and we rarely get through an entire day without a fit/mood swing of some sort. I just thought by 5 years old that she would be a happy-go-lucky-kid that was running around playing and enjoying our day at the zoo. Not the case.
I have no idea why she even got mad but usually once she gets in a funk, it ruins the rest of our day and she cannot recover. Thankfully, on this day, she was able to come out of it...
...after the elephants.
We were lucky enough to see the Elephant Training session, which wasn't overly neat but meant that they had all the elephants lined up in one spot and we got to see them up close and personal.
 (At least in this one I know she was mad because I was sneaking a picture of her.)
We saw the Gorilla (kinda, he was the only animal that was hiding and is my favorite, dangit!) and the Zebras and Giraffes, who were just grazing in a large field and I didn't have my zoom lense. We got lucky again and caught the Hippo feeding/show on the way out.  
It is a pretty spread out zoo but what zoo isn't, really? We were all 3 exhausted by the time we were finished but it was the perfect ending to a fabulous weekend with my family!


Last Hoorah

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen that our summer has included a whirlwind of activities. That is one of the things that I love about Instagram, you can look back through several months worth of memories in just a couple of swipes. Unfortunately, the reason Tylee and I have been running wild the past couple months is because Daddy has been away at work. Since summer was coming to an end, we decided we better fit in a little family vacay before school started. And since Tylee doesn't want to fly, go to Disney World (see #1), go to Sea World (sharks!), or swim in the ocean (see #3), Kansas City it was!
Our first stop was Deanna Rose Farmstead. We've been there before and I've been trying to squeeze in another trip ever since. I loved it but TJ was worried Tylee may be a little too big now. It is basically free, so we decided to check it out one last time.  
She wasn't too old but possibly at the upper-end of the age range for optimum enjoyment. The goats were probably her favorite part and those fish were right up her alley! It ended up being a beautiful day and we were so happy we went. Hopefully we can go back with the little cousins sometime again before Tylee completely outgrows it, because I will definitely be sad to see our Farm days come to an end.