I have to admit, summer is not my favorite season for one reason….the heat. But there are a few things I love about summer. Summer has only just begun here and already has been jam-packed full of summertime fun. No wonder it always flies by so quickly. Soon enough, the air will begin to chill and the leaves begin to fall, so I guess I better savor it while it’s here. Last weekend I went to Pittsburgh to help my friends Kelly and Nate celebrate their son’s first birthday. I ended up spending the whole weekend and really enjoyed myself. Kelly and Nate don’t do parties in a small way. I estimate they had about 50-60 guests, tons of food, games and fun for the kids, and plenty of beverages for the adults. How many one-year-olds can say they had a kegger for their first birthday? I am not much of a social butterfly and I didn’t know many of the guests, so I spent a lot of time behind the lens. Here are the proud parents with baby Ethan. Congrats on surviving the first year!!

The cake and the “smash” cake

Loving it!

A faceful of cake

Yesterday we took part in a parade in our town. Well, Mike really kind of volunteered me to be in the parade with him and some of the teachers, children, and parents from the child care center. Since they planted a pretty big garden in the center’s back yard this year, they decided to make a float with a gardening theme. The kids painted cardboard cutouts of fruits and vegetables and held them on the float. Some of the little ones were even dressed up like corn, radishes, and peas. The heat was unbearable and we were pretty close to the end of the parade, so we had to do a lot of waiting in the hot sun. Most of us were pretty miserable by the time we got moving, but the kids were all incredibly well-behaved and pleasant. Mike dressed up like the farmer and strutted his way down the street carrying a watering can. I say strutted because Mike always puts his heart into everything he does. Even if he is dreading it or is worried that things won’t turn out as planned, he always puts on a big smile and give it his best. I love that about him. A friend of ours managed to snap this photo as we were walking by…

Here’s a view of the parade route.

After the parade, we went over to my sister’s house to celebrate my nephew’s birthday. All of my nephews were there and I brought along some squirt guns so that they could play with them. I should have known that the adults would want in on the action too. Mike was one of the first ones to start to battle and eventually, Chelsea and Elliot left to pick up some bigger guns at the store. Everyone had a great time chasing each other around and plotting sneak attacks. Here’s Simon just before he took a shot at me. I was surprised that the picture turned out so well because I had to quickly turn my head to avoid having my camera sprayed.

Mike and Simon working as a team.

Chelsea brings out the big guns.

Chase preferred the calm of blowing bubbles with his dad.

And finally, he got to take a big bite out of this birthday cake!

One of the things I love best about summer is that completely worn out feeling at the end of a busy day in the sun, relaxing with a cold drink after a cool shower and barely being able to keep my eyes open.

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