You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘summer’ tag.

*insert crazy freak out right here, right now.*

August is the end of summer – though really, our weather for the last week of July totally felt like September, I think Mother Nature is a bit confused. I dread the end of summer. I love these hot afternoons, long light days, sounds of nature everywhere. And I love doing everything and nothing with all of my kids. I’m never ready to send them back to school – ok, some days I feel like giving them that structure and break from home – but it’s only temporary. They’re never ready to go back to school. It’s sad that learning and discovering and socializing comes with such dread. Over the last few months, when thoughts of homeschooling have been more and more, I hope that I could be that change that removes the dread and brings in the excitement. Kids really shouldn’t dread going back to school. They really should get much more play time in their lives. They’re kids. That’s what they should do. But I do dread them going back to school as much as they do. We don’t spend our summers coming and going and doing all kinds of crazy things. We just spend time together. That’s so important to me. It makes me sad when I hear or read other moms anxious for school to start and to get rid of their kids for those hours.

Seriously, if you’re excited for your kids to go back to school for any reason, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!

We should be excited for them to learn and grown and to broaden their horizons – but you should already be doing that with them every day, no matter what time of the year it is. You should be cherishing every moment that you have with them, even when they’re overtired and cranky and pushing each other’s buttons, and grating your very last fried never. We know that happens, nobody’s life is pure bliss and nobody is perfect. But we should still be thankful for those days, because we have those days. We shouldn’t wish them away or think that going to school will take them away. School is that many more hours every single one of those days that you don’t get to spend the whole day with your child. Yes, school is necessary. But looking forward to being away from your kids, I don’t, and never will understand that.

Yes, I’m crazy. I love my kids like crazy. And when they drive me crazy! Because it does happen. But I just take it in stride – that’s life. But it doesn’t make me wish to have less time with them. I have to sacrifice that enough as is.

Embrace it. Love it. Own it. Don’t take a single day for granted. Live in the now. For me, that doesn’t mean living in the extreme every day – sometimes it’s just getting by and going through the motions of a mundane day. Mundane days are ok.

There is still summer left. I will not be sad that each day is closer to the end of summer. I’m going to try to forget that as much as I can. We have plenty of school prep to do but there is plenty more fun to have as well! I have not accomplished nearly what I thought we would, but that’s ok. We’ve spent time together, and that’s what I love.

With August and discussion of pack to school, I tend to get in ” over planning mode.” I have a whole stack of new irons to put into the fire. Some rekindling of old irons, too. As if my plate wasn’t already full… But sometimes, I thrive on the chaos and the trying of new things. I’m going to start making some goals at the beginning of each month, share them here, and hope to check them off the list one by one. Sometimes doing things “out loud” really helps.

In the meantime, the napping is over and The Littles are ready for fresh air and sunshine – so am I! We are off to the big backyard!

Advertisements

Summer is in full effect this week. It’s hot. Really hot. The kind of hot that I love, but only for part of the day. After a little while, I’ve had enough of sweaty baby heads and itchy, sweaty skin, and worrying about sunscreen (even though I love the smell of that stuff!) and water intake, and the inevitable cranky that comes after getting too much hot everything. But at the same time, I am over the moon and head over heals in love with summer! Shorts and tank tops, bare feet and sunglasses, fresh fruits and veggies, long days full of sunlight, warmth, family, and fun.

This morning, after several that were so muggy, it was so much cooler, and breathing in the fresh air was so refreshing. I turned the AC off and opened all of the windows so wide. I could feel myself relaxing almost instantly. In our jammies, The Littles, The Zoo, and this mama – with fresh coffee in hand – headed outside to play in the yard before the heat could get hot. Those two cuties headed straight for the dirt patch (oh, how they love it but I’m ready to pave it!)  and the dogs sniffed everything in sight while the cats nibbled grass and rolled in the dirt patch. I sipped my coffee, soaking it all in. This was just about as perfect as it all could get, except for the rest of my brood who are all dispersed for the day. I always soak in those moments, thinking of all my littles, wishing they were all still little and under my wing every minute of every day. And missing James while he’s gone. *breathe in, breathe out. I can’t dwell here, it makes me emotional – but you get the idea.*

Lucas asked to “call Dad” so we did. With Facetime. Seriously. How in the world did we get so lucky to have such awesome technology so that these kiddos could run around the yard, play in the dirt, jump on the trampoline, throw balls with the dogs while their dad gets to watch from halfway across the country?! Being apart is so hard. SO HARD. But it’s things like this that make it just a little bit easier and lets us not miss out on the everyday things that sometimes, we take for granted. The kids love it, they want to hold the phone and walk with Dad or show him something that they think is cool. It warms my heart, completely. My phone photography skills were clearly lacking today – but sometimes, buttons get bumped while trying to press two buttons at the same time while holding the phone all in one hand and holding a squirmy baby in the other. This mama has mad skillz!! Or not. ha!

facetime

After awhile, we went back inside, had some breakfast, I indulged in a second cup of creamy coffee, did some laundry, fed the dogs, and lazed around a bit. But it’s Friday, which in our neck of the ‘hood, is “garbage day.” And in a house full of boys, that’s a pretty big deal. It’s taken on a different feel over the past few years as it meant hauling the can to the curb, but this past winter, The Littles discovered the GARBAGE TRUCK! And since it’s summer, there is also the added bonus of the wood chipper truck and today was also recycling day, which means RECYCLING TRUCK! So we gathered up the household garbage and while holding Levi on one him, Lucas and I wheeled the can to the curb and then pushed the recycling bucket to the curb, and then neither wanted to do anything else but hang out in the front yard. So I put them to work and we pulled some weeds.

Levi weeding

But then a few minutes later, while I was slaving away, I found them wrenching on the truck wheels. These two, they crack me up.

Lucas Levi wrenching

We headed back in for some quiet time, only it wasn’t quite as quiet as I was expecting, but there were some cute moments.

iPad

After some napping and other mundane things, we snuck back outside, just in time to catch the sky doing some pretty cool things as an awesome summer storm was rolling in. I absolutely love the clouds and the sunshine and the fun things they do together. It’s stunning. And amazing. And perfect.

sky

Grandma “Fran” stopped by so the boys could play in her car. Gosh they love that so much. Keys and windows and doors and changing seats and opening compartments – they are in little boy heaven when Grandma comes over! We were outside for quiet awhile before the brisk, cool wind picked up, the skies got darker, and the sprinkles started. And just at the time that Grandma had to leave, the sky opened up and it downpoured. She later called it a “gullywasher,” a term that I’m not sure I’ve ever personally used in my adult life, but I remember hearing it used a lot when I was a kid. I don’t think we have any gullies, whatever that is, around here. Maybe I’m wrong. I’ll have to consult the online dictionary. Ok, I did. I’m wrong. There are likely gullies everywhere. Learn something new, everyday. Anyway, we went inside and after waving goodbye to “Fran” for 5 whole minutes, I realized the patio door was wide open. And the rain was pouring in. Sopped it up, closed the windows, and I caught Levi watching the rain.

Levi rain
Only a short while later, after we had filled our bellies with pizza delivery, a little spontaneous scream it out fest, and some jumping on the couch, the nighttime crankies kicked in and that cute little dude found himself sound asleep and in bed. Lucas and I got some quiet time together while Hannah vegged out with some Minecraft after work. Finally, Lucas has fallen asleep and I’ve just texted my dear friend who is in the hospital getting ready to have her first baby. She’s going to be a great mom!

I reflect on these days and always remember how lucky I am that I get to be the kind of mom that I have always wanted to be. Enjoying the wonder that’s in the little things that these little ones and big ones do and think and say and feel. Laughing so hard that we cry. Even when the days are trying and exhausting, they’re so worth it. It’s totally worth it.  There is nothing better than being a mom. I mean it.  Nothing ever can compare to all of the emotions that fill a day, that fill a heart, that fill a LIFE by being a mom. It’s a super huge responsibility, one that I don’t take lightly. It’s hard work. It’s cute and fun, but it’s hard work. But there are these kick back and mostly relax kind of days that are there to put you in your place and remind you that this is the good stuff. The really really good stuff. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Not even to never have winter again.

But I’d really love not to have winter again.

The baby is sleeping, the toddler is head over heals in the dirt patch, the deck is shaded, lightly breezy, full of cats and dogs, and it’s a beautiful morning to sit out on it and enjoy. I love these kinds of days – slow and easy and no big to-do list or agenda. Just quiet time and loving what life has given us right here at home. It’s nearly silent, at least until Levi wakes up. There are birds chirping and distant neighbor noises. There are no clouds in the sky and the sun will soon move to this side of the house, bringing summer along with it.

It’s crazy to think that school has already been out for a month. We’ve had our share of busy – playdates with friends, trips to the skatepark, house work, yard work, geocaching, park time, bocce ball, and plenty of lazy time. The weather has been perfect! We’ve had plenty of rain but it’s kept everything green and full. It’s been hot, but not scorching, which for me, is PERFECT. I sure wish that every day was summer. I could spend it just like this.

I’m such a lucky mama. I feel so fortunate and thankful to be able to enjoy these things every day!

The big kids went back to school this morning (more on that later) which means that summer has officially ended for us. I am so sad to see it end, I love summer so much – the hot sun, the long days, time with the kids, food on the grill, laughter all day long, baseball games, pool time, walks and trips to the park, hanging out with friends and family, neighborhood kids everywhere, no schedule, little routine, and a lot of R&R. So much kept us busy this summer, mostly Lucas and Levi, but busy enough that I found no time to write it all out or share the pictures. And to be honest, most of the pictures are still on the camera. A LOT of pictures! Nearly every day I formulated a post in my head or found the time to jot a few notes, but I never found or took the time to get it here, which makes me sad, but nothing can replace just spending the time with the family. And we’re growing a big family here!

I can’t wait to find the time to get these hundreds of images off my camera to share them. So much of our lives are documented on Instagram but nothing quite compares to a full size image. One of these days I’ll make the time.

I’ve been thinking for awhile and need to say it out loud so I can once again give it the good college try – I want to write more!! I gave myself the summer to just enjoy it and not feel tied to any additional responsibilities. But as my children grow so very quickly and we are so fortunate to be able to do all the things that we do, I want to have a beautiful photo and written record for them. I need to force myself to take the time, because it’s good for me too, it is my creative outlet. And in the past months with 2 babies and busy big kids, there isn’t much “ME” time to be had. My business is on hold, my responsibilities are mostly contained within the home, and I just need to do something for me. I look forward to doing that and sharing our lives. Ok, said out loud – now must follow through!

Time to push that camera card into the computer and start the days long process of sorting, editing, uploading, and posting images. Probably one big picture post. But after I share the first day of school pictures! I cannot believe how fast my children grow. I am one proud mom for sure!

 

This is one of those days that I look forward to all year long! I love that my kids enjoy school, and they thrive and they learn, and they have great fun with good friends. But I don’t love schedules and homework and papers and folders and planners and, and, and. The last day of school ends all of that! We can stay up later, sleep in longer (well, the kids can, I seem to wake up early no matter what), have big breakfasts, lounge in jammies all day, get out and enjoy SUMMER, enjoy the chaos that is neighborhood kids ringing the doorbell and jumping on the trampoline and water balloons and skate park and fun! Mostly, it’s time that I REALLY get to spend with my big kids. So much of my day/week/month is consumed by the littlest people in our family because everyone else just isn’t here. I love when we can really settle in and be a family without being pulled 50 different directions. I enjoy (in a weird and crazy kind of way) dirty, smelly kids – they’ve been playing and having fun! When the boys can manage to get along for long periods of time, there is laughter and creativity and imagination. There is a brotherhood – lately it is hard to find – but it is there. I can’t wait to see it more!

But first, they have to get through today – the day where teacher enlist the class to clean and tidy the room so it’s fresh and ready for next year, to have sack lunches, to clean out lockers, to say goodbye to friends for the summer. Hannah finds this harder every year. She watches the seniors graduate and go off to college. She’s always been sensitive about missing teachers and friends, but since starting high school, it’s different. She’s such a sweet and sensitive girl. Connor and Dillan just can’t wait. They’re excited to be done with school and in August, they won’t be excited to start again. We will absorb as much of this summer freedom as we can!

There are no big plans, no exciting vacations – not this year, we need to grow the babies some more – and no boundaries. Hannah will be quite adventurous and visit Spain in just a few weeks. We look forward to a visit from my dad next week. There is baseball every week. But all the other days will be full of play and play dates, local events, swim time, friends, picnics, playgrounds, biking, walking, the zoo, the library, sandboxes, bubbles, and sidewalk chalk. We’ll do it all! And I hope to photograph most of it!

Today, my 3rd grader becomes a 4th grader…

My 4th grader becomes a 5th grader – it will be his last year in elementary school. [please pass the Kleenex!!]…

And my first baby, my only daughter, she finishes her junior year. Next year she will be a senior, and then graduate, and then leave me forever and ever. [please pass the Kleenex factory!]

I love you so much my big kids, I’m so proud of you!

Before school this morning, I handed them each a sheet of paper. Yes, their last bit of WORK to do before summer. I was met with grumbles but I know that someday, they will like it. I only wished I had started it years ago. I gave them an “exit interview” to gather some information about their school year. Also, it samples their handwriting at the time. I can’t wait to see what changes over the years. None of their answers surprise me, I feel pretty connected with my kids. But it really tickles me that Connor’s response to “what you learned” was “too much.” Oh that kiddo! Hannah and Connor both listed art as their favorite subject and Dillan chose gym.  History, music, and math were the least favorites. And I love so much that they all chose to put their last name on their paper also. Like I wouldn’t know who they are!  Good times kiddos, thanks for the giggles!