Per usual, summer is flying by which typically means calendars are full. Here's a quick update on what we've been up to this month:
End of June we took a break from reality on our Eastern European trip with friends Josh and Emily covering Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary. We had a blast and I promise to round out the travel blog entries in the next week or so and share about the rest of the ground we covered during the trip. For now, check out the Krakow and Prague entries now linked on Our Travel page.
Back from vacation, we hit the ground running with a quick 3-day work week followed by a weekend of celebrating the 4th of July at the lake with family. Lake Bella Vista does Independence Day right with an impressive fireworks show on Saturday evening and tons of water and boat activity all day long. There's even a boat parade which I find hilarious. The Kladder family relaxed, grilled, played games, and watched as our 5 girls all played with one another on the beach. Natalie started walking while we were on vacation which completely changed the game at the lake for us as parents - in a good way. She had a blast playing in the sand and the kiddie pool with all her cousins.
Speaking of Miss Natalie, she gets more and more fun each day. It's the truth. One minute she has no clue and the next she's an expert; it's incredible. Like I said, she started walking while we were on vacation which was a hoot to come back to! A few short weeks later and she's practically running. Lately, I've realized more and more how important it is to set a good example for her because she mimics EVERYTHING. This week on more than one occasion I found her rifling through my makeup bag to find both my powder brush and powder (how does she know those two things go together?!) and pretend to brush on foundation. She's also become quite fond of eating peanut butter from a spoon - something I'm guilty of on the daily. She's sleeping great (even without air conditioning on these last couple hot nights!), has a great appetite and thankfully hasn't become a picky eater quite yet. And our pediatrician Dr. Ron told us it's important for her to be able to have tantrums because it shows she's got her own voice - whatever you say Doc! I'll take it.
More on the baby home front, we celebrated our dear friend Hannah Innis and their soon to arrive baby boy at her shower on Monday. Between this little nugget and a handful of other friends pregnancy announcements, it won't be too long before we are outnumbered! Bring on those babies!
Last weekend we attended the Ben Folds concert showing at Fredrick Meijer Gardens and it was awesome. If you haven't been to a concert during the summer in their outdoor theatre there before, we highly recommend you try it. It's a small venue which means there isn't a bad seat in the house. Ben put on a really great show - I'd consider him less of a vocalist and more of an entertainer. And 'entertain' he did including a 5 minute riff on 'rock this bitch' Grand Rapids which was a fun surprise. To me, there's nothing more 'Grand Rapids summer' than sitting outdoors at FMG with a chilled drink in hand. Life is good.
This weekend we celebrate more wedding fun for my sister-in-law Stephanie at her Bachelorette Party followed by their wedding next weekend which has been a year and a half in the making. And so I think it goes without saying that the entire family is looking forward to finally kicking this party off on Thursday evening.
Get outside and enjoy the weekend everyone! Hug your people and smell those roses.