I always consider my birthday “the beginning of the end of the summer” and despite the fact that it seemed like time dragged itself on allll winter long, we are already at the beginning of the end. May is gone, June is gone, July is going. We’ve going to North Carolina twice, the pool a million times, and half of our cherished “Sunday Fundays” are already in the past. This weekend was yet another much anticipated summer moment that, unfortunately for me, is not going to happen thanks to a very angry uterus and a body that is apparently saying “Screw you Lindsay!” Instead of being in VA reuniting with my college roommates and enjoying a 4 day break from my kiddos, I’m laying on a couch writhing in pain. On the bright side, I guess I will have time to do things like write in my blog and catch up on Netflix although this is not even remotely how I anticipated my birthday weekend to begin….
So, the summer started with two trips to the OBX. One in May, our girls trip with Mom, Sue and the kiddos over Mother’s Day. It was decidedly unremarkable, which (if you know my kids) is pretty awesome. Our second trip occurred in the end of June…my parents, my kids, and me. It was first compounded by my lovely woman problems (we should call this summer The Summer Lindsay’s Uterus Tried to Kill Her) and then further complicated by some very, very willful and difficult children.
Could also be known as the The Summer Stella Ruined all the Pictures. Or The Summer Mom Snapped So Many Times and the Kids Learned All the Different Ways Swear Words Can Be Used. Ok, our trip was not horrible, not by any means. And I won’t lie and say that my feeling terrible physically doesn’t impact my mood or patience. BUT. The kids were bad. Stella adopted the role of “middle child” so well I had to stop and think about whether I had a 3rd kid I was forgetting about. Gabey was his ornery self. The kids fought a lot. My parents and I had disagreements over things like food and grocery shopping and bedrooms. Kellie had panic attacks about the fact that she had to leave Nola with someone besides Shawn for the first time (me!! And it was AWESOME!) There were shark attacks happening while we were there. I just read a fantastic article that talked about how, when kids come along, it is not a vacation. Its nowhere near the definition of vacation. Its simply “a journey to a place”. A trip. A “work trip near water”.
The main highlight of the trip, of course, was Miss Nola’s 2nd birthday. A reminder to all that life is certainly miraculous and not to be taken for granted…even in the midst of siblings punching one another and 7 year olds crying in the bathroom telling you “I wish I had a new life!” because you would not tolerate him punching his sister in the back in front of a crowd of 30 people.
Speaking of Gabey, he’s had a rough summer. I mean, he’s had a pretty freaking awesome summer thanks to his MOM who took him on multiple vacations, signed him up for Lego camp, and makes sure to hit the pool a few times a week. Along with making sure he reads books, taking him to the library, and driving his butt to karate. Still…he has so far spent a grand total of 2 weeks of summer being grounded. He has – at one point – lost every single electronic and toy he owns. He lost all of his money to pay to replace the family’s Kindle that he broke in a moment of frustration by throwing it on the floor. He has been punished multiple times for telling lies about stupid things, such as “Did you take a shower?” I know that maybe he is just testing boundaries and my harsh punishments of slave labor (see above photo) and the cessation of all fun things are just as torturous to Gabe and I, but sometimes I just want to smack him and say, Come on, Kid!!! Stop ruining the summer for everyone!!!!!!
Ok not totally ruined.
What else? Well we also had our annual trip to Dunwoody, which came at a much needed time of a break from people and things and electronics. It was peaceful and easy, and proof of my theory that no matter how many adults are on a trip, kids are easier to manage when both of their parents are present. Our weather was lovely, we got to spend some time with cousins Nate and Abbey and their kids, and Miss Stella caught a fish!
We also celebrated Gabey’s birthday. His EIGHTH birthday, which is hard for me to contemplate. 8 just seems so…old. I can very clearly remember myself being 8 years old. As usual, the poor kid’s birthday got sandwiched between our 4th of July festivities, our Dunwoody trip, and a bazillion other things that all happened in one week such as Lego Camp and the Pavuk visit. This was the 3rd year Aubrey and kids spent the night with us on the eve of Gabe’s birthday, and it panned out much as it has in the past with chaos, crazy kids, a campfire and some pool time. And, following the trend, Stella’s refusal to smile for any pictures….
And I guess the final detail of the summer so far is the adult fun that has been occurring. Its so, so easy to push aside responsibilities and the need to go to bed at a reasonable hour in light of late summernights, moonlight, fires, wine, and just in general, good friendship. We’ve spent a lot of nights on our patio together, or with friends, and I must admit that its my favorite part of summer….summer nights outside. Our patio has really evolved in the past few years with the addition of the pavilion…twinkle lights…furniture….fans to blow the heat when needed, fire to warm it up when not. It’s truly a little oasis that I adore.
And so as we hover closer to August, we have lots to look forward to, provided my body issues don’t ruin everything as they have this weekend. Peach Festival with friends to celebrate our 10th (yikes!) wedding anniversary. Another camp for Gabey (solar powered kids). More pool. More Sunday Fundays. A family reunion of sorts. More long nights. More fun times with the girls.
And as much as I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoy all the “journeys to places” that we take, I am happy to be spending August at a slightly slower speed, not leading up to any more
vacations trips, and just enjoying what I can of the best season ever.