Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Around These Parts

The summer is zipping on by. It has felt mostly like a foggy blur, but when I take a moment to breathe and reflect, we've actually achieved a lot during this season.

Our proudest family achievement: Silas graduating to underwear. ;) I am so proud of him, and there may have been a few happy/relieved tears on my end. (I hate toilet training and always hit that point of: "oh no, this one will never get it" before the big breakthrough happens.)

We've managed a few picnics, and more than a couple of made-by-scratch cakes have been made. This one and this one = MAJOR winners that you should try immediately.

Most of the time these three fight like cats and dogs. OCCASIONALLY, we get these brilliant moments of love, harmony and kumbayah. Like the morning last week when they put together their own "Sweet Shop" and sold $60 cupcakes to Matt. These are the moments I LIVE FOR.

We've had a lovely, welcome heat wave the last couple of weeks, which has meant lots of time playing in the yard with friends and water.

If I could have just one wish granted, it would be for more frequent date nights/mornings/afternoons with my husband. Dates have been few and far between, but I'm thankful for the evening we spent in Grand Rapids watching Josh Garrels at The Intersection, and for our almost-all-day jaunt to Detroit to pick up kitchen odds and ends at IKEA. Romance = holding hands, sipping hot coffees in a totally quiet minivan without anyone shrieking at us that they need to pee or "are we there YET?"

Michigan is so darn ugly in summer, you guys.

But seriously, I soak up every sunset I get to see - it never gets old. A favorite memory this summer was hiking Laketown Beach's dunes to watch a sunset with Grace. There's an exhilarating freedom in being able to drive to places like this on any given week night. We're spoiled rotten.

Freedom - I've felt more free this summer in several ways than I've ever felt in my adult life, and I'm grateful. I've done things that would have used to frighten me to even think about (like a paddleboarding class on Lake Macatawa, and barre classes at the gym!) For the first time as an adult, I've worn sleeveless shirts and dresses all season and didn't worry about what anyone else was thinking, (including my noisy inner critic.) I've put in countless miles with the kids walking all over town without ever feeling afraid. I've learned to love drinking my coffee black. I said "no" to things that I knew weren't going to be good for my family and I, and shoved the guilt out of my brain.

It hasn't been the easiest or most fun summer, but I think it's one that I will remember proudly.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Olive Says...

"Mom, don't you want to have another baby?"
"Not really..."
"But Mom, don't you miss pumping?!"

"Mom, were you born during the time of slavery?"

Overheard fighting over a toy...
"You give me that back or I'll see you HANGED!"
(Thanks Disney's "Pocohontas" for that new phrase.)

"Dad, can we tell the manager that it's Mom's birthday tomorrow?"
"What manager?"
"You KNOW - the big bald manager at church!"
(The fact that our 6 year old apparently doesn't know the word "pastor" reflects awesomely on Matt and I, we know we know...)

Speaking of birthdays, this was my most favorite gift this year...

"Do we have to put peckins in the frosting?"
"The what?!"
(She meant pecans. We will forever call them "peckins" now in this household.)

Go On, You'll Like It

"Go jump in that water, Mom. Go on! You'll like it!"

"Go hop in that boat Dad. Go on, you'll like it!"

We caught the debut of a new side of Silas (that we're not sure we like) while visiting Grand Haven a couple of weeks ago. We don't know where or how he came up with it, but we could not stop laughing about it. I'm picturing him (cringingly) as the future smart-aleck teenage boy, taunting his friends to do stunts that they know they shouldn't. Oh, Silas.

Sometimes you just need to get out of town, even if you LOVE your neighborhood and city. We spontaneously ran up to Grand Haven one night recently for tacos and beach time, and it was good for all of us. It's not easy taking the kids out any where these days, but we find that we all feel refreshed afterwards when we make the effort. Grand Haven is such a great place to spend a summer evening. We need to make the drive up there more often.