"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Monday, July 29, 2013

summer... while we have it

Although this weekend felt a lot more like Fall with its 60-some degree temps and cool nights and mornings, I was determined to check more items off our summer bucket list... while we still have summer. It dawned on me this week that school will be here before we know it, and our weekends will soon be filled with football games, pumpkin patches, sweatshirt walks and crockpot soups... and I still have quite a few summer memories left to make! And since the last few days were definitely not made for swimming, our time was freed up for other possibilities. So much to do... so little time!

Like... Movies Under the Moon.

After grilled meat and corn on the cob at our house on Friday night with Cassi and Ella, we bundled the boys up in long sleeves and coats and ventured to downtown Cedar Falls to watch Finding Nemo under the stars. Brandon most of all was excited to watch a movie "with the moon!" Our town may no longer have a drive-in movie theater, but we have something just as sweet. Most Friday nights throughout summer, they put up a large movie screen at the band shell, show family-oriented movies and provide food and music entertainment until the sun goes down and the movie starts. It's amazing to me how many people show up for this... the park was full, sleeping bags were strewn all over the grass, and it's the most content my kids have ever been watching a movie. Something about the small town atmosphere, strangers curled up next to each other in blankets and the stars shining overhead... America at its finest.

We packed some snacks from home with plans to pick up some Scratch cupcakes on our way there. Unfortunately, we got to the cupcake shop just as they were locking their doors, but the sweet employee that was walking out with a few to take home for herself gave us two of hers when she saw the boys' disappointment.

To our amazement... the boys made it through the whole movie and a late bedtime of 11:00! And when the movie was over and cartoon Nemo was reunited with his dad? The whole crowd of people clapped their hands. Small town living.

And yes... Brandon picked flowers before the movie started and held on to them throughout the entire show. Evidence below...

On Saturday we ventured to Hampton, Iowa and Beeds Lake for Cody's mom's family reunion.

The kids had their first experience on a paddle boat (so did I!) and had a fun time exploring a new place. Jaden kept saying throughout the day, "we get to do so many fun things!" I'm so glad he feels that way and hope that these simple memories we're making as a family are moments that he will grow up to cherish.

Brandon was on a mission to find flowers for Mommy and enlisted his Daddy's help. We walked the banks of the lake for what felt like an hour and returned to the shelter building with a whole bundle of pretty wild flowers. The older ladies ooe'd and ahh'd over them so of course he felt the need to start picking flowers for the other little girls that were there, as well. Such a Romeo, that three-year old of mine.

One of my most favorite pictures of them...

And we had two very tuckered out little boys on the way home!

Sunday after church, we put together our first true picnic of the summer. I received this picnic basket as a Mother's Day gift, and it's taken me two months to get around to using it. But now that we have found our favorite picnic spots... Cody and I both said we're going to do this more often. It had been a long time since I'd explored George Wyth Park -- which is silly since it's just a couple of miles from our house -- but what a gorgeous little area of our town. We found our own little corner of the woods, shaded by a canopy of trees and a perfect fishing spot full of lily pads. There was one picnic table under a shade tree and a grill should we choose to go that route next time. We had the whole area to ourselves, a green field perfect for playing catch... and plenty of dandelions for Brandon to frolic about with. And he did, too. Frolic. He is so happy just wandering the outdoors, and when he's off by himself, we can hear him talking to himself happily about whatever thoughts are filling his head at that time. Cody made fun of me that I've lived here all my life and yet there are still nooks and crannies to explore that even I don't know about. I kind of like that this town of ours is a hidden little gem in a big world.

And for a Sunday evening night cap... a walk through the shaded bike trails. Not a bad weekend at all with much to look forward to.