Sunday, August 18, 2013

My Happy Place.

Summer is coming to an abrupt end.  This does not please me in the least.  I am so not ready for school to begin.  I am not ready to trade our care-free days for schedules, lunches and homework.  I am not one of those moms who begins to count the days until school starts with eager anticipation to be rid of the kids all day.  I will miss them.  We have had such a lovely summer.  Even the days we were doing things at home or running errands, I have loved having my girls around.  It is such a bummer it has to come to an end.  But, alas it does.  I've been trying really hard to not be to bummed about it and instead soak up these last bits of what we have.  I would say we have done a pretty good job of it this past week.  Beginning with a mid-week trip to the river with my mom, sisters and the kiddos.  None of us were working, kids are not in school...why not go spend a random night at the river?  In fact, why have we not done this before??

Kids played hard, splashed in the water and enjoyed their last few days of no school worries.  My mom, sisters and I relaxed and laughed a lot.  That good, makes your stomach hurt laughter.  The kind that we always joke will age us because of the laugh lines, but are good for the soul.  It was really great.  There are often times I wish to live someplace else...someplace warmer, near the beach, someplace new.  But, then there are times I know I am right where I belong.  My girls being a part of their cousin and aunts lives.  Growing up together.  Family.  Memories.  These things tend to trump to other things.  

Things like searching for fish off the dock...

Gathered around the kitchen searching for scraps as dinner is being prepared...

Happy togetherness...

And, pregnant sista trying her hand at paddle boarding, much to our mothers dismay... 


Yes, it was a very nice couple days indeed.  Time with women and kids I love very much. The scenery didn't hurt either.  

After being back for a couple days, we packed the Subaru back up, this time with Matt and Sadi and headed to the mountains for what will probably be our final camping trip of the season.  Camping is one of my favorite activities for the pure simplicity of it.  There are no pressures when camping...nothing that you should be doing.  Everything we need for the weekend is packed in our little car.  There is nothing to do but enjoy the mountains around you, the sound of the stream and gettin caught up in the imagination of little girls free in their own little world.  

They explore the woods and the creek.  Digging a hole with the shovel makes for hours of entertainment.  Searching for berries and moss to add to the fairy houses they make for the "camping fairies".  Playing in the stream.  Making a dam...

And, I am thankful to say my husband refrained from his usual "take all the dam pictures you want" line.  

It really is glorious up there in the middle of nowhere.  Everything we eat is cooked on the fire.  We all sleep snuggled in the tent to stay warm.  Kids play, Matt naps, I read...everyone together, but happily doing their thing.  It was a good final camping trip.  
Ava stole my camera for a few shots...


Chocolate-less s'mores because I left it at home...

Card games and beers around the fire after little girls crashed out...

 Happy Campers indeed...

I really love this place.  It brings me a sense of calm.  I feel very present when I'm here.  

Today when we packed up and left I didn't feel sad about it being the last time we'd be there for awhile like I usually do.  I felt fortunate to have been able to be there.  I've gotten a lot better about that this summer.  Instead of thinking about something ending or not getting to enjoy it anymore, I've been trying to really soak it up while in the middle of the experience.  I have found by doing this when something comes to an end, such as summer, I feel content with how I spent my time.  Like I really lived it up and have no regrets.  The next step can have its turn.  It's about living life in the moment...not the before or after.  I like this.

Other bits of summer moments-

Bike rides.  The girls ask on almost a daily basis to go on one...

Ice cream at the Farmer's Market...

Cooking Love...

This was a garden veggie spiral.  I sliced potatoes, zucchini, beets and some other sort of summer squash we got.  (I call it spaceship squash because it looks like a UFO).  Then I sauteed onions and garlic in butter and oil for around 10 minutes.  I put that on the bottom of a round baking dish and then spiraled the veggies.  I drizzled it with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, fresh rosemary and thyme.  Cover with foil and bake at 350-degrees for around 30 minutes.  Uncover, sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese and bake for another 25 minutes.  I love vegetables so knew I'd like it, but you know it's good when Matt said numerous times during dinner "This is really good".  He said it in a surprised way, like he hadn't really expected to enjoy it that much.  Further proof of it's yumminess...my nephew stopped by later and we gave him the leftovers.  This kid is not the biggest veggie fan but also commented how good it was.  It goes to show you fresh veggies topped with Parmesan cheese is always good.  

A week and a half left until my babes begin school.  Enough time to squeeze a little more of summer out.  I know warm weather will continue for awhile still.  It's not like school begins and it's winter.  But, things will change.  Staying up late, leaving for weekends and picnics at the park will be replaced with schedules, homework and weekends at home because kids are wiped from the week.  This kinda sucks.  But, it is also okay.  We took full advantage of summer vacation.  This should hold us over for the school year.  

I end with a throwback photo.  It's from our camping spot where we were this past weekend.  Four summers ago...

Little Layla toddling along.  Where does the time go?
And now...
Ava, running ahead...exploring, full of questions and such a very big kid.  

I feel very content, lucky and happy this evening.

Happy week.  



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