summer in a square

Texas summer is ON.

And my fancy camera has been taking a nap.

So trusty iPhone (and Instagram) have been doing all the work, capturing our Groundhog Day summer at various pools in the city,

where Clara enjoys the festivities both in and out of the water.

and our summer adventures from Texas to California, and back again.

We made a countdown chain 3 days before leaving (nice planning) so each kid got to take off two chains a day, morning and night. They loved it.

We drove out on a warm Texas sunrise and drove in to a 67-degree California coastline.

We played with sand, lived in sand, built with sand, and found some army men that other beach bums left behind.  So they guarded our castle from the high tide.

The tide won.
So we played in it instead.

We ate at all our favorite spots.

We celebrated the 4th.

We soaked up family time with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, and good friends.  Oh and I went kayaking with my sister Meredith.  Isn’t she the cutest there with Owen? (and below with her buff arms)

In the words of Tupac, California knows how to party.
And we tried to as much as possible.

(pausing briefly to recharge)

And a few weeks later we were back in TX enjoying the same sunshine….just 20 degrees warmer.

Hooray for summer! And shaved ice and pretty Toy Story clouds!

Moving away from California 4 years ago has had pluses and minuses.  So I’m thankful we still get to enjoy a little of both worlds.  Happy summer in a square!
(you can follow more daily photos on Instagram @danamadeit)

  1. awww… must be fun going home!!! love seeing the kids play with cousins. 🙂 The best times!

  2. 2) Barbara

    Hey – those army men might belong to my boys 🙂 We are still waiting for the weather to warm up!

  3. 3) Susan

    Wow, Dana. Looks like an amazing trip!! Our Spring weather is just beginning in NZ – looking forward to all the Summer adventures coming up.

  4. 4) kourtney

    Glad I’m not the only mom who doesn’t get out the fancy camera all the time (I need to quit feeling guilty about that). I get a lot more of real life in for the enjoying and for the capturing that way… looks like you and the kiddos do too! Thanks for sharing. Looks like you all are having a great summer!

  5. 5) Sarah K.

    We’ve had an amazingly warm and consistently sunny summer in Seattle. I almost feel like your pics could have been taken here. Lots of beach time…though we get to 85 and start to wilt. 😉

  6. 6) sarah

    Wow, wow, wow! makes me wish I lived with you guys!
    So, after taking myself off of Facebook (too addictive!) I now find myself checking your page to see you and your gorgeous family from here in the UK…Loving your blogs and tutorials xx

  7. 7) Marta

    Thank you for the lovely roundup 🙂

    Is that Barton Creek I’m spying up there? It must be one of my favourite places around Austin…!

    Greetings from Berlin, M.

  8. 8) Brenda

    I just love how PRETTY this post is 🙂 Makes me happy! I always love your photography.

  9. Looks like an amazing summer! So impressed by your artful stylized photos all taken with your phone! What a great eye you have.

  10. Oh! You were sooo close!! Still havent been to titos but i dont eat beef :-(… Looks like u guys had fun. That one picture in the bottom right corner (of the 4 with clara in the swimsuits), she looks exactly like Lucy! I had to zoom in haha. And your pictures look amazing. I rarely pull out my real camera. I always forget

  11. Diapered baby bum in bathing suit = priceless. =) Thanks for sharing your pictures!

  12. 13) Sharon

    What a fun summer!! Tito’s is in my neck of the woods! Glad you can enjoy!!:)

  13. Dana,
    Love every single fun@!
    I also want to ask you how do you put your pictures in a collage, do you use any program? like your tutorial collages, nine pictures or so next to the next one.
    I need to learn this because it will simplified my life big time!
    And also do have any good tutorial on mind for a baptism outfit for a 2 yeard old boy. I need like a fresh summery overalls or something cute and light.

    Thanks for any inputs

  14. Looks like you are having a fab summer. How did you have time to make all those shorts?! We call fluffy cartoon clouds a Simpsons sky.

  15. 16) Nicole

    Looks & sounds like a fabulous summer! LOVE all the cute pictures! Happy end of summer & YAY for Back to School time!!! Yes, I am just about all tapped out & ready for that first morning bell to ring in a couple weeks. How about you!?

  16. I loved seeing all these sweet moments. Your children are just adorable! Thanks so much for sharing!

  17. 18) Lizzy

    Very pretty and fun pictures!! You are having a great summer!

  18. What wonderful images, so full of fun and color! Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Lisa

  19. 20) katie

    I was just at the beach in California and found left over army me as well. Small world.

  20. So, I have seen these already in my feed but something about your writing style brings them alive and makes them interesting again. What an awesome summer!

  21. 22) Allison Hansen


  22. Love those pics. We are finishing up Winter down under so I am really inspired and looking forward to warmer weather here. Clara is so gorgeous. I love your photo’s and hurrah for Instagram.

  23. 24) Laurie S.

    Oh man, now you’ve got me craving Tito’s Tacos! Yummmmmmmm! Love their salsa!

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