Summer

Saturday, July 23, 2016

It’s overcast with a chance of storms and rain this morning when we wake up. Justin brews coffee and I head to the fridge: gasp! We’re out of milk and cream. Eventually we realize we WILL continue to function. We spend the morning in jammies doing chores and drinking coffee, black. Turns out to be one of those tiny moments that reminds you, “Hey, I can shake it up. I can have new experiences.”

I miss the chance to get out for a walk before it rains. I wanted to take Brynn to the library and the park. (She needs some new books and to burn off some energy! It’s been hot all week – like 90s and low 100s. She’s been cooped up at school because of the heat index.) So instead we truck to Target (at the Quarry) for groceries and birthday gifts: one for Ellie who turned three, and the other for Owen, due next week. Brynn says, “We go to the store, mommy?” and is a trooper the whole trip. She quite respectfully puts shampoos, lotions, and toys, in and out of our shopping cart like a serious shopper.

Home, Brynn naps. About an hour later, we open her bedroom door a crack which is our sneak move to subtly  wake her up. It’s time to head to Plymouth to the Holmay’s. It’s Ellie’s birthday party. They rented a huge inflatable water slide for the the kids and set it up in the backyard. It’s drizzling or raining hard most of the party. Then clouds part around 6:00. Grown ups sit in the garage and under a tent over the driveway; kids ride the slide and play in kiddie pools in the rain. A few parents  stand on the sidelines under umbrellas, trying to balance cold beverages and paper plates topped with brats and hot dogs. There are about 15 kids running around at any given time. Stemigs and Liz and Matt are here.

The Holmays have three kids, each of whom is so sweet.  They routinely do these fun, big parties that’ve included a bouncy house, live ponies, and – rumor has it – even a clutch of cuddly bunnies that I guess were jumping in and out of people’s laps and hopping all around. Day care families, soccer teammates, college friends, relatives, neighbors–we’re all invited. That chance for kids in summer to let loose, and for grown-ups to hang out (and drink beer!)

Now it’s evening, we’re home, and I just put Brynn to bed. I’m either going to 1.) read a book from the deck (or bed…) or 2.) watch a movie. I’m reading “The Smartest Kids in the World” by Amanda Ripley. And just finished “The Happiness Equation” by Neil Pasricha. I also just started following Nora McInerny Purmort. These are what I’m thinking about!!


Ok, the funniest thing just happened. Another Brynn first. I stepped away from the computer to double check the title of my book. I passed the kitchen and a little critter caught my eye. (Almost gave me a damn heart attack , really.) It was Brynn, crouched on the floor. She was spying on me. About a week ago we moved her into her big kid bed. It was her first time sneaking out. When I locked eyes with her she started to grin like, “Oh, busted! Is this ok, mom?!”


 

Brynn
Brynn, watching for cupcakes
Ellie and slide
Sweet Ellie, birthday girl!
kids and grown ups
Kiddie pool scene
Watering can
Watering can shenanigans
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Untitled

No picture this time. Just an open window beside my desk. Listening to the wind in the trees. It’s been a strange week. Got some of the best news in the world about my sister, but know many folks on hard times.

My sister got engaged which is absolutely amazing. She and Kyle were on a long weekend to South Dakota where they visited the Wall Drug, the Badlands, and Mount Rushmore. Kyle took her up for a helicopter ride above the monument and popped the question. “Love is in the air,” said Meg. They had both been playing the dating game for a number of years. Each had serious relationships with other folks that didn’t work out. But they met each other a year ago. Instantly, they were a match. The match. Rachel is a psych major working for an auto shop; Kyle is an electrician turn realtor specializing in recreational properties up north. The sad part for me personally is they’ll be moving up north for Kyle’s work. But it is so exciting to see Rachel, and them together, embarking on their adventure. Life is full of surprises. They’ve been such a wonderful part of our lives, and Brynn’s.  We’ll just have to visit a lot. I can’t wait to wedding plan with her, and for the family to come together around this. I did not know just how much joy it would bring me personally. It is a wonderful thing!

Juxtaposed against that news, many shitty things are happening in the lives of my friends and family. There’s a brain tumor, a baby with collapsed lungs, a marriage ending, numbing out, dimentia, cheating, physical and emotional pain, and profound disappointment. It sucks. I don’t know exactly what to do or how to feel. Many people facing shit situations. It feels like a new, fragile frontier at 35.

Today, though, is a gorgeous June Sunday. Brynn’s napping. I’m contemplating chores. Trying to make peace with routine life. I’ve got WomenWinning’s fundraiser tomorrow, racial justice facilitator training Wednesday, volunteer lead meeting for the Women’s Tri Thursday, and then headed to Johnson Family Reunion (second annual, “Johnson Family Fun Weekend”) Saturday. Just gathered a hashbrown casserole recipe. Laying out plans to tackle the week.

Justin’s golfing. Dishwasher humming. Plans for ice cream with P.H. later this afternoon. Rachel is coming over tomorrow to celebrate. I want to pick up some wedding magazines and a gift for the bride.