Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Camping with family.

"Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply."
-Jane Austen

















If a full house equals a full heart, then the same must apply to a full camper. A few weekends ago, our little travel trailer--named Ted--was filled to full capacity for the first time ever. Each bed was filled with snoring family, an experience we're excited to repeat. 

We set up camp in a place very dear to my childhood, and my sister, nieces and mom accompanied us. The boys were excited with their cousins as playmates, and Dave and I enjoyed adult conversation. We played, we BBQ'd, we roasted marshmallows, and then we passed out in the camper.....only to be awakened twice to a big thump and the subsequent cries from Ashton as his body hit the ground. He's slept in the top bunk many times now without incident, but the next night we jimmied up a makeshift gate in the bunk with a cushion. 























28 weeks.


Saturday, after the lot of us were showered and bellies filled with pancakes, we headed to a small amusement park. Of course, in the true fashion of my family, we didn't check park times and we arrived a whole hour before it opened. We wasted time staring through the fence at the rides we'd soon ride and walking the length of the docks behind the park. Finally, the gates opened, and we spent the better part of the day riding rides. Spencer, for the first time ever in his short life, was tall enough for most of the big rides. Except, of course, the big wooden rollercoaster. He had to watch his aunt and cousins whee around the curves, the tear stains on his cheeks drying on the breeze.

The weather up until this point was more reminiscent of late Minnesota spring: 50s in the morning, hitting 70s by mid-afternoon. But this particular weekend summer exploded in the most horrific fashion: highs in the 90s with humidity so high that it took the very breath out of you and your clothes clung to you with uncomfortable dampness. Upon returning to the campground, we shed our clothes and traded them for swim suits, cooling down in the pool. The rest of the night was spent sitting at the campsite, wishing the stagnant air would produce even the slightest breeze, a little reprieve for our heat-weary bodies. We lit a fire merely to keep the hungry mosquitoes at bay. Needless to say, our night ended a bit early, retiring to the air conditioned camper.
























Sunday we rendezvous'd at a park for our annual family reunion, but after a weekend in the heat, we left early, eager to take refuge in our cool house. Despite the unfavorable weather, we enjoyed spending one of our favorite summer past-times with our family, and the boys are already asking when we can do it again.











Monday, July 13, 2015

Sweet land of liberty.


“My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing"

-Samuel Francis Smith





The 4th of July always marks some arbitrary line in my mind. Once the holiday passes, then summer quickly follows suit. Time speeds up, weekends fill up, and days tick off at warp speed. This year is proving to be no different so far. The holiday already seems a distant memory.

We crammed a lot into that extended weekend. Painting, organizing, rearranging and decorating kids' rooms kickstarted it. Then once the items on the list were checked off, we traded our paint-crusted clothes for festive tie dye shirts and let loose.








We spent the evening at my mother-in-law's house with family and friends. BBQ, birthday cake, sparklers, fireworks and a blazing fire.









27 weeks.

Then we ended the weekend with a much needed day of rest at home. Pool, BBQ, Fanta in "beer bottles" and relaxing.

Now that we've crossed that arbitrary line, I'm hoping to somehow pause time, or at least play it in slow motion, in order to fully enjoy the remainder of the summer.