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I really loved this summer. Here's why.

Hey, look! I'm back in the blogosphere! Blogging it up. Or, as AC/DC would say, Back in Blog. (Too much?)

It's been a really long time, I know. And I miss writing, probably more than you miss reading my babble. I write a lot in my head every day...but it somehow doesn't make it out of that small, confined space. Plus, it's true that writing and exercising are similar in that if you don't write every day, you eventually get rusty and stiff, and it's really intimidating to start back up. I mean, once your belly fat hangs over top of the workout shorts, it's really hard to squeeze back into them.

But it's a new school year and time for a fresh start (c'mon, everyone knows September is the new January), so I'm going back to the gym in the mornings (starting next week, I promise), even though my shorts are too tight. So I'll also try to write more frequently, even just silly short little ditties, because that's what blogging is all about, right? Exercising my word muscles, jotting down the interesting/funny/sad/annoying/mundane things that pop into my head. All right. Here we go. Time to get back to blogocizing.


Today, as I watch the temperature plummet (true story: I can actually see the air getting chillier; it was 93 yesterday, 85 today, and will be in the 60s by Saturday), I'm nursing a nasty cold that's settled into my throat and limiting my voice. It's possible that talking less is stirring a hankering for written communication...must get it out! I took a sick day, which has allowed for a little time to settle my brain down, which has allowed for a little time to think about how much I loved this summer. So I thought I'd used this time as a little warm-up stretch to writing more often. And what's a better writing warm-up than a list! 

The Bucket List...we rocked it
(1) Summer Fun Bucket List. We wrote down on poster paper all the things we could think of that we wanted to do, hung it on the wall right by the door, then checked them off one by one. An awesome way to find fun wherever we went...and to make fun whenever we could.

First beach day with besties
(2) Catching fireflies with Zippy. "Aw, mom, here's one! Uh oh...he's dead."

(3) Floating around Delaware Bay in an inner tube. I've seen a horror movie or two that start out that way, but luckily this particular day was sunny and perfect, enhanced by kids giggling in the surf and time spent sitting on a sand bar digging for snails, clams, and crabs.

One of many campfires
(4) Joining the neighborhood pool. No better way to stay in touch with friends than hanging out at the pool. And really, is there anything better than coming home from a long day at work and meeting the family for poolside pizza?

View from our lakeside campsite
(5) Camping adventures with Happy. We camped in June, July, and August...twice with our good friends, the third time just the two of us. Beach. Farm & woods. Mountain lake. Hiking. Swimming. Kayaking. Cooking on a fire. Pure fabulous.

(6) Almost-Third-Grade Summer Book Club. Combining three of my favorite things: Reading good books, hanging out with fun kids, and eating popsicles.

Phirst Phils game (that he can recall)
(7) Impromptu Phillies game... thanks to awesome friends who gave us tickets at the last minute. We left the house at 6:20 and made it to our seats in the first inning. And despite the ominous skies, it never rained a drop. This was an evening meant to be. I'll never forget the wonder on Happy's face as we took our seats and he looked out over the field and stadium. It didn't even matter that it was a terrible game, and our guys lost in the last inning.

(8) First sleepover party. Happy turned 8 this summer. The very best age. So we celebrated with his besties at the movies, then a sleepover in our family room. And they actually slept.
UNO with Auntie

(9) A roommate and her sweet kitty. My sister lived with us briefly as she transitioned from farmer girl back to city girl. I loved having her here; we hadn't lived under the same roof since she was 10. And she really saved the day when I had my first ever vertigo bout. Also, her cat is one of the most beautiful creatures I've had the pleasure of snuggling with.

A bird named "Batman"

(10) Lots and lots and LOTS of time off. I took a full week of vacation at the start of the summer. Worked from home one or two weeks so Happy could attend some half-day camps, and took almost three weeks off at the end. This is how we managed to do so many fun things. The best idea I've ever had was to take one full week with each child before school started. I could enjoy them individually, talking and laughing and sipping the summer sun. Happy and I went camping and played at the pool (I finally got to see what it's like to be a pool mom for a day!), and Zippy and I went to the zoo and wandered in local parks.

Stop and smell the sunflowers
Three trips to the aquarium. Evening concerts in the park. Full-moon hikes. Fireworks at the baseball stadium. Tubing in the creek. Petting sheep and chickens at a farm. Walking to the ice cream shop. These are all things we got to do together this summer, thanks to the oodles of vacation time I've accrued over the years. As challenging as my job can be (and it was reeeeally challenging this summer), I love it ever so much more when I consider the vacation perks. This is time with my family I'll never have again, and I'm so fortunate to have made these memories.


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"So you know I'm going away this weekend, right? To Washington, D.C. For just two sleeps. Do you know why I'm going?" I asked Zippy.
"Because you don't like Donald Trump and he's going to be the President."