"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."

Friday, July 24, 2015

happy things // summer edition #2

We've slowed down a bit this month. Summer always rushes in with so much excitement and so many plans and June is usually full of celebrations and little road trips and all sorts of gatherings and excursions to kick off the season. Iowans do June well. We wait through a long winter and a wet spring and fully embrace the start of a season that brings so much warmth - literally and figuratively.

And then July hits and we're caught in this in between state. The 4th comes and goes way too quickly, the stores start putting out school supplies, August looms ahead with its return of routine and homework and sports schedules and - the dreaded closing of the swimming pool for another nine months. August also brings weddings and family reunions and back to school nights and baseball games and the start of another year of flag football. So these past couple of weeks, we've done our best to schedule nothing and fly wherever the summer breeze takes us. We've had a couple of weekends with nothing on the agenda but time. I think we've used our time well.

Happy things of late...

//kinetic sand on a Sunday afternoon. (Since we received both of these as gifts last year, just a tip if you're making Christmas lists already. Kinetic sand > Crazy Sand). :)

//as many pool days and nights as we can handle. This past weekend Brandon finally ventured under the big dumping bucket for the first time. And then stood there for about a hundred more bucket dumps after that. :) Hazy pictures due to HOT weather. Hello, Texas. You're in Iowa.


//when your kids have ONE request at the end of daycare and that's ice cream before bed. Why not?

//watching Jaden hit balls with Daddy on the same baseball diamond I used to play P.E. kickball on, while watching Brandon climb the same yellow slide I climbed as a kindergartner.

More hazy pictures from the hottest week of summer thus far.

//when my husband goes to the store for kitty litter at 9:00 at night and comes home with a single pink rose for me.

//a Friday night at the splash pad followed by sprinkler play in our own backyard. It was so hot, there was nothing to do but stay wet.

This series of pictures makes me smile. As the rotating sprinkler got closer, their expressions say it all...

And every good sprinkler play session should of course be followed with a freezy pop.

//staying up late to catch lightning bugs. We took baths, put on pajamas and told them they didn't have to go to bed just yet. We entertained ourselves with a game of War out on the deck... until we saw that first glow of a bug. And then the sky turned pink above us while we ran around our yard catching what must have been a dozen by the time we were done. I told the boys one of my favorite quotes as a child - that God loves them so much, He lit the rear end of a bug just to see them smile. :) And I'm convinced it's these simple nights we'll remember most.

//$5.00 tents from the neighbors' garage sale. This tent provided loads of basement entertainment on a steamy Saturday afternoon, and my three boys have big plans for a movie night sleepover in it this weekend...

//paper airplanes. Sometimes it's that easy. Jaden drew targets with chalk on the garage doors, and they made up their own point system if their plane hit a bull's-eye. An hour of entertainment while I sat on the deck with a book in my hand.

//a new tree swing. It's been well documented that Brandon loves to swing. It's his happy place, and everyone who loves our boy knows that about him. We have a huge tree in our yard that's loved for many reasons - fantastic shade over our deck in the summer, plenty of leaves that drop in the yard for play in the Fall, and a perfect, albeit very high, branch for swinging all the days. We used to have a baby swing hanging from it for a couple of years until Brandon outgrew the weight limit early last summer. I'm not really sure who missed it more - Brandon - or me. Watching him in that swing will always be one of the standout memories I have of him as a baby and a toddler. I decided after church this past weekend that it was time he had a new one. I think in a way it's probably my way of forgetting about the fact that he also starts school in a month. ;) Little did I know that my seemingly small request would turn into a much bigger task.

Measuring to see how long of a chain we would need...

Shown here in a picture taken with my phone is Cody's work truck pulled on to our grass in order to hold the ladder fully extended up to the very tall tree branch that my husband was only about 50% sure he was not going to fall from in his attempt to drill the chain into the branch. By the time he got that swing hung, we were all sweating bullets. Seriously.

The end result was totally worth it.

Waiting ever so patiently...

And there she blows.

This magical swing has already provided hours of use and countless adorable views through the kitchen window, and it's less than a week old.

One of my favorite pictures taken this summer from my phone. We had just wrapped up supper, killing time before Jaden's first baseball practice, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous this summer night. "Push me, Mommy!" I'll never say no.
Final moments captured in our final month before our next chapter begins with this one...
 //a Sunday night roast dinner at Nana and Papa's. Games of Battleship beforehand and scooter rides around the cul-de-sac after dessert.

//a Polly Pocket-sized fire pit made by our five-year old. It looked like the real deal, extremely scaled down, and Daddy couldn't resist starting a real fire. There my three boys sat for 20 minutes trying to light this thing, and when they finally got it started, they sat around it long enough to smell like they had just come from a real camp fire by the time we got them in for baths!
//other happy things...
...a Saturday night at the Brown Bottle followed by a stop on Main St. and Luna's back patio.
...a quiet and cool movie theater for a showing of Inside Out followed by a late family Chinese dinner stop.
...watching Jaden in his first week of baseball practice. The kid's got something, and we think the coach favors him a bit. He's the only kid on the team that he comes over to after every play and rubs the top of his head. It's been fun having Jaden's best friend Jack on the team with us, and Brandon spends the entire hour of practice over on the playground swinging to his heart's content. When my parents showed up at practice one night, Brandon told my dad he was going to "swing here forever."
...little boys who prefer going to bed on hot nights in nothing but their underwear. There's something so cute about boys in superhero undies, and though they keep growing up on me, on these nights and in these moments, they still look like my little boys.
...extended family in town for Ragbrai and spaghetti dinners on paper plates in Uncle Bud and Rita's new CF digs and plans for August vacation time and Flag Football teams and another season of change up ahead. Life keeps on moving forward.
So we freeze time when we can.