This weekend marked the unofficial end to summer. Both of our boys head to school this week, the pool closed on Sunday and football kickoff is just one more weekend away. And though I'm ready for Fall and all that comes with it, this summer has been my favorite yet, and so this weekend I felt a strong desire to soak up all the sights and sounds of summer one last time, and to really appreciate all the ways in which this summer has been different from those past...
Like the fact that this was the first year I managed to keep all my plants and flowers alive and blooming all summer long. Or that my oldest son -- who used to be terrified of all things creepy and crawly -- is now willingly picking slimy, muddy worms up with his fingers, carrying them around with him and making them his new pet.
Our kids were at such perfect ages this year -- old enough to really be able to do a lot of activities and try new things -- but young enough to still find so much joy and fun in the smallest of experiences. And by the way... I don't know that we've ever had such beautiful and perfect weather in August.
I wonder what next summer will bring. Will Jaden learn to ride without training wheels? Will Brandon learn to dunk his whole head under water at the pool? There are always changes on the horizon, and so much seems to happen in a year. So for the sake of nostalgia and sending this sweet summer out with a bang -- we lived this weekend like we were experiencing it all for the first time. We grilled giant pork chops, turned on some music, the outdoor speakers and the deck lights, lit the mosquito candles and spent an entire Friday evening outside. I let the boys stay up late, soaked them extra long in a bubble bath after their slimy worm play and let them eat chocolate before bed.
We went back-to-school shopping on Saturday afternoon -- just me and the munchkins with stops at Barnes and Noble for some train table play and treats and mochas from the Starbucks at Target. After our shopping trip, we spent two hours outside playing with play-doh on the deck. This is the longest the boys have ever sat with their play-doh and it provided me the perfect opportunity to paint my nails and download a new book to my Nook.
We wandered through George Wyth Saturday night, stayed out past their bedtimes for a stop at Dairy Queen and had close encounters with the sweetest of deer...
These deer live not far from our house down near a wooded area that the boys and Cody always like to drive through. However, this is the most deer we've ever seen on this drive, and they were not afraid of us at all. As we would pull our car up to a stop right next to them, the boys would roll their windows down and say hi to them. The deer never ran, just continued to munch on grass and stare at us until we went along our way. We must have seen almost 10 of them throughout our drive, and at the very end? A big buck with horns.
After my favorite lunch of roasted garlic potato soup, we soaked our toes in the Falls pool for one last time before they close their gates for the year. Some of Jaden and Brandon's best friends showed up at the pool, and they spent an entire hour playing catch with the football in the water. And to end the weekend... a family cookout at George Wyth park.
I breathed it all in this weekend, filled my senses with all the details surrounding me and felt extra thankful for our cozy, cute home and the memories we made here over the last few months. I held on to it all, knowing I'll need these memories in the middle of January and February, knowing that our calendar is about to get very full and knowing that my boys are growing up so stinkin' fast.
We had a good weekend, and I have more updates already written -- waiting to be posted. A whole new routine starts this week, and I'm ready to tackle it all!