I've been slow and infrequent to update this blog this summer. Not only have we been incredibly busy, but there's been a bit of a writer's block going on in my mind for the last few months. Not because there isn't anything to write about - but maybe because there's so much I could write about if I could find a way to put it into words!
Here we are just a little over a week away from the start of a new school year, a new season, and the end of a summer that has been full of huge blessings and answered prayers. When I look back at our spring of selling our house and purchasing a new one... and I think about how we literally kicked off the first week of summer by making our big move... it's crazy to actually think about how much we've accomplished and how much we've packed into our days and our months.
And it feels so, so good to feel settled. Sure, we have ongoing projects and big home renovation plans in the works, but we adore this home of ours and love how perfect it feels for us. I am absolutely certain every single day that He personally hand-picked this one out, and knowing that His design and His hands were in on this whole thing... just make it feel that much more special.
We landscaped the front yard and are almost finished with a portion of the backyard. We spruced up the great room, have begun decorating and hanging things on the walls, have put together initial designs for a kitchen remodel and have all new windows on order - expecting them to be ready for installation in the next couple of weeks. We are currently stripping wallpaper in one of our main floor bathrooms and started our backyard firepit over the weekend. We've strung lights over our patio, organized SO many closets and shopping around for our furniture for our four-seasons room. And in the midst of all that, we've lived summer.
I'm so anxious for some vacation time at the end of the week, a little family getaway before school starts... and a Fall that awaits. Our first Fall in this home, our first football parties in our own living room, watching the trees in our new yard change into their vibrant colors, having bonfires in our backyard sanctuary... and even a surprise or two we have up our sleeves.
Home. We are home, and we are grateful. And I think the fact that we get to make over this house ourselves, that we get to put our own special touches on it all on our own, makes me appreciate this house so much more. We could have purchased a home with more updates in it from the start... but nothing we walked into called to us like this one did. We're where we're meant to be, and that's a powerful feeling.
But - before vacation time and the hustle and bustle of school and football starts... I still have unfinished business! Or - in other words - pictures yet to be shared. So without further adieu, snapshots of a summer that went by so darn quickly. We really did stay close to home these months... not really feeling much of a desire to venture out too far.
//A covered front deck good for bedtime stories, ice cream sandwiches, card games in the rain... and watching thunderstorms roll in. I love our little front patio, and the views I soak in while sitting here.
//Game nights around the new dining table and the boys' first Poker lesson on a Sunday night.
//Quiet mornings and our friendly breakfast visitors we so love watching. We have so many squirrels and so many birds, and a picture window perfect for viewing them all. Sometimes the morning shows and news take a backseat to our nature friends. I never knew squirrels could be so entertaining until we moved in here!
//A Sturgis Falls parade and a family birthday party that followed.
//Plenty of room to build Lego's and Lincoln Log towns.
//A new swing... and a backyard we're still swooning over. I prayed and prayed for a beautiful backyard sanctuary, and boy did He ever provide.
//Ongoing landscaping projects, pretty lights over patios and fire pit plans that have me giddy!
//An actual entryway, complete with a big ol' closet to store all the coats and shoes and winter gear. I never thought I'd be so happy to have an entryway!
//So many visitors and unplanned gatherings. It's not unusual for our doorbell to ring at 7:30 at night, for people to stop by with a case of beer or a bottle of wine... and I love how much our friends and loved ones love to be here.
//A golf tournament in the morning and a baseball championship in the evening. They keep us running non-stop, and it's only going to get crazier, but these years will be short, and there's nothing I love or enjoy more than cheering them on.
//Scooter rides and bike rides without training wheels and a neighborhood that hosts summer block parties and where neighbors knock on your door at 8:30 at night to hand-deliver invitations.
//A week of soccer/swim camp with Uncle James and how cute they look... all the time.
//Our very first movie night in our new home. We rented Jaws, popped popcorn, stretched out on blankets and pillows... and imagined what this will feel like with a fire going and a Christmas tree lit. :)
//Our annual family reunion and going fishing the old fashioned way - with sticks. Hey, it actually worked! ;)
//Nine holes on the Aplington golf course, followed by a stop at Matt's for supper in Parkersburg and a walk on the Sacred Acre at sunset. Showing the boys the special sign that survived the tornado - all beat up - that Daddy convinced Coach Thomas to keep prominently displayed over the football field. It still stands there - strong as ever. And serves as a special reminder of so many things.
//Friday nights with the driving range all to ourselves. Watching the sun set over the greens.
//A Sunday afternoon boat ride and a dip in the lake - just the four of us.