We are two weeks into the 2016-2017 school year and I have already ordered my #Wallsummer Chatbook and started a new blog post. Clearly, back to school suits me. What doesn’t though are the morning fights of “yes, you have to put on clean underwear” and the evening fights of “IF YOU DON’T GET IN BED THIS MINUTE I AM GOING TO LOSE MY MIND!” But I digress. I am back to tell you about our fun, busy and OVER Wall summer!

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you have seen shots of all we did, and don’t worry, this not a super long detailed post about everything that happened. That would bore me to tears too. But there are some stories I have been wanting to share, and I try to keep it short on Insta and FB. Plus I need a summary for my memory!

We started the summer by going to Galveston the Saturday of Memorial day. A bunch of my family was down with my grandpa (they had taken a 91 year old to the beach, aka they are braver than me) and the boys got to play with some cousins from DC whom they don’t really get to see. Zach staged a talent show which he promptly tried to win. Don’t know where he gets that…IMG_3775-001

We stupidly thought if we left late enough we would miss the traffic. False. It took us an hour to get off the island (it should take us an hour to get all the way home). After that hour the boys were starving so we pulled into McDonalds. Alex decided he needed a second dinner, so he got a big mac which apparently he had been craving for a while.


I was driving, so he could eat, and he started hollering about me taking the turns “too aggressively” and “accelerating too quickly”. I screeched the car to a stop in the parking lot and told him that we still had an hour to go and I was GOING to drive as fast as I can, and that is how I turn! I then threw in,  maybe he didn’t need to try to eat the messiest sandwich around while I do so. [Insert tires pealing out noise]. I didn’t get any further complaints.

Zach swam on a local swim team this year. I really thought this was going to be his sport! He loved the first week, but once the practices shifted to 8:00 am swimming lost its luster. Fair.


We missed a week of swim team to go on our family vacation early Whitefish Montana. And guys, it was COLD. Like really, really cold. I was not at all prepared. Lauren had told me to go to REI and get hiking boots and pants but I was all, gross, no.. When would I ever hike again? And pants, like with pockets? She basically told me i was the worst and would regret it. She was 100% correct.

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My yoga pants and running shoes were NOT helpful. When we made it up to the top of the glacier the last day, Alex wrapped a towel around my waist for added warmth. It totally worked and I had lost all ability to care about my appearance, which is obvious by my caveman lawyer look here.



But the constant on the trip was Alex and his bear spray. There are bears in Glacier and around Whitefish so he was not being totally crazy. He tried to buy bear bells, but the guide told us that the locals say, “how do you know when a bear has been in the area? You see bear bells in their scat.” Which the boys found hilarious. Anyway, Alex bought bear spray and wore it, on his belt, everywhere. And I do mean everywhere.


But first he insisted on testing it. You can only imagine how hard I was rolling my eyes. We were NOT going to see a bear. Our family does sneak up on anyone or anything. Someone is either loud talking, singing, crying, complaining (me) or throwing rocks. The bears are going to be well aware that we are coming.

He would not be deterred (such a good protector). So at our first stop in the park when the boys are throwing rocks into the lake and I am deciding if I really should pee behind a tree, he sprays the bear spray where he thinks there is no wind. It promptly blows back into his face. Not all of it, but enough that his eyes start watering and I have to hold my pee so we can get to a bathroom to flush out his eyes. And let me tell you, laughing at your husband only makes you have to go pee more.

The photo above is taken at a 400 foot tall dam. He went back to the car to get the bear spray. I was making fun of him (obviously) and he was all, “Kinsey you don’t think in the 30 years this dam has been here a bear has not walked across it??” totally seriously and annoyed at my annoyance. Cue more eye rolling.


In summary – no bears. We saw some chipmunks, fish and lot of deer, including this one that let Zach get pretty close.


But guess who got all sorts of vindicated when he received a photo of a black bear on the property where we stayed. Basically right where our kids were playing all the time. Alex is impossible to live with right now.

Once we were back in Houston, it was back to camps. I did pretty well this year with the boys camp schedule. I learned from the past two years and think I struck the right mix of camp choices – and friends to attend camps with.

Alex and his dad also took the boys fishing in the Gulf. It was a glorious night for me – punctuated by concern about one or both of my children being thrown overboard. But they were totally fine. James got seasick (he has his father’s stomach) and they caught nothing. But the excitement of trying to sleep on the boat made it all worth while. However, the boat AC turned off in the middle of the night so they had to stay in a random Holiday Inn somewhere off 288. Again, I was SO glad to not be there.


About a week later, Alex and I took advantage of our kids being further Catholicized at Catholic VBS out at their grandparents and we went to Canada. Why not?? Alex had been wanting to go to Montreal and Quebec City forever, and it is so close, this was the perfect time. We flew on points and going there I got my own pod for the short 45 min flight. This was my face most of the time.


I am the least cool person when it comes to having nice things. I am NOT used to it and you can’t take me anywhere.

Both cities were super cool! I will not bore you with all our photos of the old towns, the music festivals we came upon and the many French restaurants we ate in. I will just leave you with this image of me in our “rental car” in Quebec City.


This was the last vehicle they had on the lot and the WORST car for driving around a tiny French speaking town. I had just gone down the wrong way and was yelled at by a Quebecian for it.

Once we got back began our every weekend trip out of town. We went to the Guadalupe River, then Dallas, then back to the River and BACK to Dallas. My sister was super annoyed with me as her family would have liked to have gone to the river but we were either there…or in Dallas! Poor baby sister.

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I loved my #Wallsummer2016 hashtag and honestly feel lost without it. But #Kinseyisfree just does not have the same ring to it….