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August 2015

Every Once in a While.....I Get Out!

2015-07-29 10.03.19


The proof is in the pictures, folks!  Every great once in a while, I manage to break away from my routine of full time work and full time mama.  This particular time I met up with some dear friends to spend an evening downtown right in the midst of the All-Star game preparations.

It is surprisingly difficult for me to say Yes a night out.  For one thing, I am usually just beat by the time the weekend gets here.  Family movie night on the couch is just about my speed. The other reason, which might be a single mom thing or a working mom thing or maybe both, is the guilt attached with leaving behind the kiddos any moment that I don't absolutely have to. 

My life is currently defined by very certain parameters.  Wake up, work, drive home, see kids, start dinner, eat, drive to/from kids' activities, showers, bedtime for kids, clean-up house, do laundry, bedtime for me.  This is a fairly realistic assessment, albeit the order may be changed up bit from night to night.  As routine as this schedule may sound, there is comfort in the predictableness of our life and I am glad for that.  

But I think a night out with the girls every so often is the perfect way to break up the way we normally roll!  It usually takes me about an hour to relax and realize I am having a great time.  It takes me about two hours to feel like I am 23 again without a care in the world. I do believe I'll take that.

I am always glad to return home to my loves and get back into our groove.  But I am learning that every once in a while, getting out does me good and reminds me that there is still a "me" buried deep under the day in and day out.


2015-07-29 10.03.40

Swimming - It's What They Love













My kids are the kind of kids that could spend every waking moment of summer in the water, wearing wet bathing suits for days on end and not being the slightest bit bothered by it!  They have always been fish - all four of them.  Maybe it's because we had them in water when they were each very young, and abided by the theory that getting water splashed in one's face early on makes one comfortable in water for the long haul.  Or maybe they were just born with a love of water like I was and it's a generational thing.

No matter, swimming is their Number One when it comes to fun in the summer sun.  (OK, when I wrote this sentence I seriously did not mean for it to rhyme so perfectly.....HA! :)

Other than a mini swim team Rylen tried several years ago, we had not ventured into competitive swimming until this summer.  Rylen decided she wanted to be a part of the local summer swim team at the neighborhood pool.  My other kids were also interested, but juggling the different practice times that corresponded with their various age levels was going to be too complicated with my work schedule.  (I really am going to try and work it out for them all next year!)

So each morning this summer at 6:45 a.m., this oldest girl of mine rides her bike to the next neighborhood pool over to swim team practice.  It has not been easy every day, and  I permit the occasional "skip" day because after all, it's summer!  I must say, I have been impressed by her hard work and dedication to this little team and surprised by how much she is enjoying it.  Not because she doesn't love to swim, but because at the ripe old age of 13, most of her peers on the team have been swimming for years and are far faster than she.  She was bothered by her slower times for the first couple of meets and who can blame her?  Don't you remember when you were 13 and it felt like the whole world was watching every move you made?

Then it clicked for her that although she was not beating her teammates' times she was beating her own times, and it all came together in her mind.  She then learned to compete against herself and set her own personal goals. She felt the sweet rewards of her own private victories stroke by stoke and race by race.

She did this for herself.  She saw her hard work pay off.  She overcame caring too much about what others around her thought.  Yet she still heard her teammates cheer for her while she swam her little heart out all the way to the finish line!

That's my girl.  I am so proud of her!

More Snippets From the Garden and Back From Camp












It is impossible for me to post any other photos right now than the ones from our garden.  We just love it so much!  To date, we have an overabundance of cherry tomatoes, green peppers and banana peppers,  (If anyone local needs any of these fine veges, please ask...we are happy to share!)

We picked another crop of onions tonight and harvested our very first batch of broccoli!  This is the first year I have ever tried broccoli and I am not quite sure what I am doing.  We have a small army of bunny friends who like the broccoli just as much as we do, so that has been a mild setback.  But tonight we cut what was left.  So there, you bunnies you!  

The squash plant is doing surprisingly well for being in an area that doesn't get as much sun as it probably should, but I'm a little worried about the pumpkin vines.  They look a bit yellow and sickly to

We have had SO much rain around here this summer.  I guess it's good for the garden, but I do believe even our poor plants are tired of it.  A big storm that came through pulled our basil right out of the ground.  We replanted it and it should be OK, but still!   I love a good rainy day or even two now and then, but enough is enough.

The girls got back from camp on Saturday and had a wonderful time.  No broken bones and only one shirt came back with mildew on it.  Success, I say!  I love that for the the past 2 days, they have both spoken a mile a minute about the games, inside jokes, how gross the showers were, free-time activities, the songs, cabin clean-up, skits, blah, blah, and BLAH!

 Do you remember coming home from camp and trying to put a week's worth of words into the first five minutes of the car ride home?  I do.  I'm pretty sure that camp memories are forever memories, folks.

I think my favorite quote was from Marianne -

 "Mama, it was the BEST!  One night, I had a Klondike Bar in one hand and a Nutty Buddy in the other!!!!"


(You Go Girl!)

Growing Things










Every season....every garden....every first harvest...every tomato, squash, pepper......

...they remind us that there will always be beautiful new life and vibrant color, 

...that there will always be goodness that comes up out of  dirt...out of nowhere,

...that every day there is something to look forward to when you can go pick a crunchy cucumber right off the vine and chop it up in the very next minute, 

...growing things = finding hope in your own backyard.


Happy, peaceful Friday to you all!

Hello Mother...









It's church camp week!  For my two big girls, that is.  For me, it's a work week (sigh) and the littles are hanging out during the day with grandma.

I realized that with just Hans and Lena here with me this week (and no big sisters who are too "big" for kid's meals) we can take advantage of some various "Kids Eat Free" nights at some local restaurants!  Nice.  (You see?  It's clearly the little things for me these days, folks.)

I do miss my girls already and I am not the only one.  If you look closely at the picture of the goodbye hug between brother and sister, there are real live crocodile tears in the boy's eyes.  Imagine that!

Oh, and back in my day at this very same church, we as campers rode in hot, sweaty old church vans all the way to camp, which was about four hours away.  We were lucky if the vans made it the whole way without breaking down.  Nowadays the kids go to a camp that is only about 2 1/2 hours away....and they take a luxury charter bus?  What's up with that???  

Hope you are all enjoying this post-Fourth week!