Epic East Coast Trip

Even though it breaks our hearts to not have the Herways closer to us, it is kinda fun to have this East Coast connection.  We love traveling to see them whenever we can.  Our trip this summer was awesome.  The kids could not get enough of their time with the cousins.  And the adults went on 3 dates & left all the kids behind.  It was glorious.  This is going to be a long post.  But enjoy

We made it!  Stupid Delta split us up and the best they could do was put Dan and Luke 2 rows in front of the rest of us.  So Dan wasn’t able to help with Annie at all.  But she did pretty good, took about an hour long nap and Sophie was able to hold her a little bit to give my arms a break.

First item of business…catching fireflies.  To me, there is nothing more magical than fireflies and I loved sharing it with my kids.  Luke was in heaven and I loved hearing him run back saying “I got one.”  It was so fun.  They were out every night of our trip and it never got old.  I loved it.

Saturday and Sunday we spent hanging out around the house and playing.  It was good to give Annie some days of good naps to rejuvenate her for our longer days.  We went to Doylestown which is a charming little town in PA where we enjoyed a BBQ dinner and some Belgian waffles. Yum.

Monday we made the 2 hour drive to Hershey.  Annie was not too happy about the long drive right in the middle of her naptime.  She got over that fast on this trip!  We met up with our best Draper friends, the Megehees, who now live in Virginia.  It was so fun to be reunited!  We loved exploring chocolate world.  We were able to watch a fun 3D movie, ride a little train ride to see how chocolate is made and the highlight was making our own candy bar.  We were able to pick out our own chocolate, toppings and wrapping for our chocolate.  And then we watched it all through the production line.  How cute are those baby hairnets!?

After Hershey we drove a little further in Amish Country.  It was so beautiful there.  So many trees and green fields.  We saw a few horse and buggies, lots of laundry drying on the line, and the cutest pair of Amish kids working in their yard.  We stopped in Lititz and made pretzels at one of the oldest pretzel factories in the US.  Then we drove to Intercourse, PA to sample Amish jams an jellies, salsas and sauces.  It was yummy and fun.  And I loved seeing my friend Alicia so much!

Tuesday we went to a local farm and picked blueberries.  It was hot!  But we still got 6 pounds or more which was awesome.  After our hard work we enjoyed apple cider slushes and donuts.  I think Annie drank a whole cup of cider herself.  We went to see some of the animals.  I had never seen an albino peacock before.  Pretty cool.

On Wednesday we took it easy.  We did venture into Princeton, NJ for ice cream at the Bent Spoon.  They have some of the most delicious sorbets.  Annie got more treats on this trip than ever before.  That night the boys headed to Baltimore to an Orioles game at Camden Yards.  Before the game they visited Babe Ruth’s childhood home.  Tommy and Jack made it on the Jumbotron at the game with their awesome dance moves!

Thursday was our New York day!   We drove into the city which was crazy!  I was so sure that we were going to be a car accident at any second.  People drive like maniacs there!  Our first stop was Rockefeller center where we went to the top of the building.  It was such an awesome view.  Luke was terrified cause he thought we would fall off the building.  Ha!  He was relieved to see that it was all enclosed.  I love looking at this amazing city from 80 stories up!  After that we walked around into the Lego store and the Nintendo store.  Luke said it was the best day of his life!  He ran around with all the different Mario stuffed toys and pretended like he was in the game.  It was just about the best thing ever.  After looking through some shops we walked up Fifth Avenue and into Central Park.  We went straight to all the play equipment.  The kids spent forever playing at the splash park.  It was such a beautiful day in the city.  On our way out, the GPS took us straight down the middle of Times Square at about 9 pm.  It was crazy and pretty fun at the same time!  I love NY!

On Friday we went to the Jersey Shore.  It was fun but a little stressful for me.  My older kids were braver than ever and sometimes got a little further out in the ocean than I liked!  The lifeguards went after Jack one time.  He said he was completely fine but still!  But they really did have the time of their lives jumping over the waves and playing in the sand.  That night the adults went out to the Black Bass Hotel for dinner.  It was yummy and right on the Delaware River.  So so pretty.  It was a fun way to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary.

Saturday and Sunday we did more relaxing at home.  Annie took her first sink bath.  She loved it.  We went back into Princeton on Saturday night for more Bent Spoon ice cream.  Yum.  On Sunday night we did smores and told stories around the campfire.  And we definitely had to catch more fireflies!

On Monday we went into Downtown Philadelphia to the Franklin Institute.  It was such a neat science museum for the kids.  They had the best time.  We spent a ton of time at the video game exhibit of course.  I thought it was awesome that there was a view of the Philadelphia Temple from the museum.  And then on our way home we drove right by it.  It is so beautiful and right on the heart of the city!

Tuesday morning we hired another babysitter and all the adults travelled back into the city so that we could go to Reading Terminal Market.  It was fun to walk through the city and enjoy a cheesesteak.  I loved the City Hall building.  It as so beautiful and so big.  About 2 pm a huge storm came through which delayed our 5 pm flight by 3 hours.  It made for a long flight home.  Annie fought sleeping until the brink of disaster almost.  She finally knocked out for about 2 hours which was a lifesaver.  Sophie and Jack both slept for about 45 minutes on the flight and Luke never closed his eyes!!  What!?  After all was said and done I climbed into my bed at home at 1240 am mountain time so 240 am out East.  So sleepy!  But it was worth every second.  It was the most magical trip.  When we entered the airport right after Melanie dropped us off, Luke started sobbing.  And then we all started crying.  There is something so special about spending time with family.  I will be forever thankful that we are fortunate enough to be able to make these trips every so often.  They mean so much to all of us.  We love the Herways!

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Happy Fourth of July

Love this holiday so much.  Morning parade, BBQ & carnival at Grandma Pett’s, and fireworks and cotton candy that night at the Trujillos!  Perfect!

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We finally did it!  We cut Sophie’s hair by about 12 inches!  She has wanted to do this for about 2 years and we have just kept putting it off.  I promised her that when dance was over this year we would do it.  So we did!  She loves it and looks so much older.  She also was able to donate her hair to Locks of Love which is pretty awesome.

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June Wrap Up

Here are just a few more pictures from June that I wanted to document

Sophie lost her second tooth a few weeks after her first.  She is looking more and more grown up!

The kids got in trouble one day.  I can’t even remember what it was about.  Probably cleaning the basement because that always causes strife around here!  But anyway…we had a group chat & solved the crisis.  I just had to document all their faces.

Luke and Sophie did a round of swim lessons.  Luke improved so much and will know jump in the water independently with his floatie on.  He moves freely around the pool with the puddle jumper on.  Sophie is becoming an expert swimmer in the deep end!  Annie got in the pool for the first time and loved it!

Luke worked hard on his Kindergarten workbook.  He will do it all by himself for hours.

We celebrated Dan’s birthday with sushi at Tsunami.  When we came out all of the kids wanted their picture on the pig at the BBQ restaurant next door!


Our new couch and chair finally came after waiting 7 weeks.  And guess what??  They built our couch in the wrong direction!  So we got to wait another 8 weeks for the right one to be delivered.  At least they let us keep the wrong one while they fixed the problem.  I do love the colors!

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6 months old

How did we make it to half a year with this girl??  I still look at her and think “Do I really have another baby?  Did I actually grow her and push her out & now she’s here?”  It’s all kind of a blur.  But she is the light of our house.  The kids rush to her as soon as they hear she is awake.  They surround her on all sides, talking to her, trying to get her attention or make her smile.  I think she must feel slightly overwhelmed all the time!  Over the last couple months she has become and expert eater of solid foods.  She loves all fruits and vegetables.  She started grabbing on to things like crazy.  She found her feet which is so adorable.  She is a pretty serious baby.  It is hard to get her to smile or laugh.  Luke is, of course, the best at it which is pretty sweet.  She became a rockstar sleeper.  Sleeping 12 hours at night by 4.5 months old…my earliest night time sleeper by 4 months!  She broke free from the swaddle at about 5.5 months and immediately started rolling onto her tummy to sleep.  I love making it to new milestones!  She completely gave up breastfeeding right at her 6 month mark.  I guess we’ll never know why it didn’t completely work with her but in the end, its kinda nice to not be so tied down!   She has a loud squeal when she’s playing on the floor which makes us all laugh.  She loves blowing raspberries too.  We love our Annie girl!  6 month stats: 15.10 lbs (40%), 27 inches (90%), 17.5 in head (95%).  Per Grossen baby tradition, she had her first graham cracker on her 6 month birthday!

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Cherry Picking

In June we went cherry picking with my friend Kari and her kids.  Her parents have a huge cherry tree.  We did not even make a dent in how many cherries there actually were and we came home with 3.5 freezer bags full.  Cherries are one of my favorite summer fruits.  Such a fun summer adventure!  Also while we were there Annie just decided that she would sit up on her own.  It was so crazy.  I think she much have just been in the perfect spot on the grass to keep her propped upright.  But it was such a big moment!

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May days

Finally getting back to the blog after a busy summer.  I have to goal to get caught up by the end of the month.  It will be a lot.  But I’m determined.

May was filled with soccer games, dance pictures, dress rehearsal and recital, piano, Cub Scouts, cuteness overload from the Annie girl, Sophie’s first lost tooth!, the end of school with all of its activities, and lots of times with our friends.  Every year I think May is crazy.  But when I look at the pictures it sure is a fun time of year.  On the last day of school I always take a picture of the kids with their teacher.  And every time I get a little misty.  It like closing the door on a chapter of their lives and it makes me a little sad and also grateful to these teachers who have loved and helped my kids during the year.

Each of the kids had a round of soccer throughout April and May.  Jack’s team struggled quite a bit and that made for a long season.  But he pushed through.  Sophie had a rock star team.  They were super fun to watch.  Sophie is such a good soccer player.  Luke played his first season of soccer.  It was just a neighborhood league that someone organized.  He loved it and is actually very smart about the rules and things.  But his poor little legs just can’t carry him as fast as the other kids no matter how hard he tried!  It was the cutest.

Cub Scout adventures.  Bless Jack’s Bear Scout leaders!

This one is growing like a weed.  She was trying so hard to roll over.  She started eating veggies this month and loved them all.  She had her first little stomach bug and woke up 2 nights in a row throwing up.  It was scary!  And it took me back to Lukie so I started to get a little nervous about allergies and EoE.  Thankfully it didn’t turn into anything more.  She started loving the stroller and even took a few naps in there while we went to the park in the afternoon.  It gave me hope that we could survive our East Coast trip this summer.  She is the light of our lives and I cannot get enough of her squishy cheeks.

We had to do a practice round on the dance makeup because I am not really good at anything artistic so I needed to warm up to it.

Dance picture day.

She did it!!  She lost her first tooth.  At 7.8 months of age!  She was the last one in her class and she was dying for it to happen.  Her dreams came true and she lost it at school so she could get the tooth treasure chest.

Harry Potter sisters.

Dance Recital Day!  Sophie girl is so talented.  She knew the whole thing spot on.  She totally rocked it and was awesome.  We thought it was fun to be able to watch our little friend Olivia do her dance too.  So cute!

Random Luke pictures.  He loves that Livi girl.  We told Porter and Luke to act like the babies in the car seat and they both started screaming!  Not too far off.   Ha!

Second cousins at Kirsten and Riley’s reception.  So sweet.

Our first attempt to swim at Kerri’s pool!  A thunderstorm rolled through which landed us in the clubhouse for a little while.  Annie was not a fan!  It cleared up and we were able to have a fun first swim of the season!

Luke’s last day of school.  I sure loved teaching this little group this last year.   They were so fun and sweet.  And they all grew up so much!  Luke will miss seeing them so much!

Last day of school!  We made it!  Thank you Ms. Turner and Mrs. Webb!



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