Sunday, July 3, 2016


"Here Spring just grows and greens and warms, spreading life, wrapping us in her arms, until suddenly we realize that she's not a girl anymore. She's a woman. A woman named Summer."
-N.D. Wilson

One month of summer vacation has been logged and numerous items on our June bucket list were crossed off. A weekend sleepover at Grandma's for the boys. Strawberry picking. Parades. A carnival. A night on the river. Swimming lessons. Loads of picnics and park dates. Our first ever attempt at chocolate meringue pie and a chocolate cake topped with heaping scoops of ice cream. Backyard pool parties. Camping. Family reunion. And much more. New items have been added onto a bucket list for July, with only one unchecked activity carrying over from June. A day at the beach.

Summer is now in full swing. With it comes incessant bickering between brothers, constant whining and tattling and He Did Its, and plenty of time spent in bedrooms practicing how to handle big emotions. The newest practicing we've been doing this summer vacation is how to ride in a car without making your mom want to jump out and roll into the ditch just to escape the chaos. So if you ever come upon a van sitting idle in a parking lot for an extended amount of time with three kids and a stressed mom, don't mind us. My sons are just practicing how to ride nicely in the car.

With the hair-pulling madness, also comes plenty of joy. A baby laughing at a high octave as we wiggle, jiggle and belt out Uptown Funk on a repetitive loop. Boys fashioning up a faux diving board out of a trampoline and plummeting into the kiddie pool until their skin resemble prunes. Brothers huddled on the ground cheering their baby sister on as she wobbles across the room to them, an awkward crawl of a knee and a leg scoot, the same crawl-scoot variation her biggest brother perfected six years prior. A family squealing like hyenas when the baby finally pounds her tiny fists together after days of prompting her to clap. Scrawny legs stretched out next to long ones atop a bed, the voice of a new reader sounding out words. The rush of feet across the floor and bodies flinging into a dad after a long day at work. A family sitting at the same table each night, detailing their favorite and least favorite parts of the day.

This is summer. The highs and lows are heightened while were glued to each other in this pause of life before the next school year begins. This land of in between is my very favorite. Even if I've mentally rehearsed my rolling-out-the-van-while-it's-still-cruising-down-the-highway-exit approximately 300 million times already. We may be spotted practicing said car-riding in a parking lot near you while en route to checking off the latest item on our July bucket list. But, hey, we're making memories one painful van ride at a time.

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