Summer is Here!

If you haven’t been paying attention, or are fortunate enough to live somewhere that is NOT here, you may be unaware of the intense crappiness that was our spring/summer. It snowed into May, then rained the rest of the month and the first two weeks of June. It was mid-June before our highs started hitting the 70s. Essentially, super-awful weather. Finally, finally it started warming up and though it still rains most days, it has stopped raining all day, every day.

It hasn’t felt even remotely like summer. I have hardly been able to read outside and the pool? Forget it.

Yesterday, Mindy called and asked if she could bring the boys swimming. I wasn’t remotely in the mood. It didn’t feel like summer and I didn’t think I was up for it. However, I haven’t seen Mindy and the boys in ages, and they are some of my favorite people in the world. So, I ignored my impulse, shut down the negative part of my brain and simply said yes.

I am so glad that I did!

It was a wonderful afternoon and evening. It was simply the perfect way to kick off the summer and now I truly feel like summer is here and I can enjoy it. And, for those of you keeping score at home, the pool is officially open!!!

Me and Clay, I was teaching him to dive. I LOVE to dive and it’s a tough skill to learn. I showed him and he’s a natural! He was diving like he’d been doing it for years.
Sweet little Lewie. He was catching butterflies. About the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. And then he got in the pool, which has never been his favorite thing to do. However, what a difference a year makes! He was tentative at first, just hanging in the shallow end. Then, suddenly he realized how much fun this was and BAM! he’s swimming the length of the pool. Jumping in off the edge. Jumping into the deep end, by himself, and swimming to the ladder to do it again. It was amazing. He played in the pool for 3.5 HOURS and only got out because it was time to go home. Next time, I’m teaching HIM to dive, too!

Because it is still not as warm as I’d love it to be, we headed into the sauna to warm up. It took a while to figure out how it worked, but Clay and I put our heads together and….mmm, a nice warm sauna.
Then, as always, before they left I asked for a nice photo of the boys.

 Those are a couple of handsome boys! I loved my evening with them and with their mother. It was a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon. And for future reference, bringing a pizza to the pool might just be a genius plan!
Thanks for being the perfect way to kick off the summer and open up the pool for days and days of fun to come!

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Yesterday was another scorcher. I finally had no choice but to give in and turn on my air conditioning on Saturday. After living a week with my upstairs running about 85° on average, I couldn’t take it anymore. I uncovered it (yep, I nearly made it to July before I uncovered my air conditioner for the summer) and cleaned it and turned it on.

Yesterday, Sunday, was another over-90 day (like the sixth in a row) and the humidity is up there as well. After sleeping in (hallelujah for my only day off in the week) the family came down and we headed to the pool. Somewhat surprisingly, it was NOT crowded.

We played and romped and laughed and grilled and ate and played some more, for a total of four hours. That’s a long time for little ones, they were completely wiped by the time we called it a day.

I don’t have a ton of pics, because I was in the pool for most of that time, being the one who played with the kids and toted them around.



lunch break

The view from the deck of the pool


We saw a HUGE frog (can you see him, he’s kind of camouflaged in the mud. Just at the edge of the water line, slightly right of center in the photo). Mind you, we were about 15 feet above him when taking this and this is with full zoom. This frog was ginormous. Biggest frog I’ve ever seen.


She’s gotten adept at spotting turtles and kept dragging me to the fence to point out more.

That’s Chip. Simon named him. He was the biggest one we saw that day.


Modern day turtle hunting.

Boy, three years sure does make a LOT of difference, hmm?


I think she spotted Chip…

And, my favorite photo of the day…


Those two are so sweet together. And laughing like loons as they played in the water.

It was a perfect way to spend a Sunday. All the people I love in one place, food, sunshine, and swimming. Summer at its very best.

Random Photos & Stories

For the past few weeks, I’ve taken snapshots, thinking, “oh, I’ll blog about that”. But, realistically, most of these aren’t stories, they’re snippets. And I’m busy–too busy these days to invest in lengthy stories.

Therefore, I’ve decided to do them all in one.


At my sister’s bday party, it pretty much rained all day. Whenever the rain let up, we’d trickle out into the damp yard. As it turned out, we weren’t the only ones.

4 baby ducks. Yes, it’s blurry, but you try to make four ducklings hold still for a photo.

They were sans Mama, and we were worried about them. They latched onto us like we were their mommies. It was kind of sad. We ended up putting them in the pond nearby, hoping they are okay and made it. But to get them there, we had to carry them.

There were so small!

So small I could easily encapsulate two of them in one hand. I could have probably done three, but they were wiggly.

I liked this guy. He was feisty. I would have taken him home…in a heartbeat. My mom talked me out of it. Whew. (But, wouldn’t it be kind of cool to have a pet duck?)

Last weekend, I was sitting on my patio, reading. One of my neighbors came by to check the sprinkler system. He chatted with me for a minute and introduced me to his dog, Holly. I’ve seen her around, but never met her. Holly is actually the mother of the other neighborhood dog, Chopper. George was exercising both dogs. I know Chopper well, he is Reggie’s dog and is always out and about. He loves me, he is constantly coming up to me and leaning on me so I’ll pet him. He’s a nice dog, so I do.

This day, both dogs were excited to see me.

Yep, two giant dogs on my patio. Chopper is the body-less dog.

Then, when George moved on, Chopper followed, but Holly decided to make herself at home.

You can see my toes, I’m lounging and reading and she’s laying in a pool of sunlight at my feet. After about 15 minutes, I could hear George calling for her and then he walked by and saw her and said, “I think you got a new dog”. I said it’s not happening, but she’s welcome to visit anytime.

This same weekend, my sister and Chad and Arionna, and Tarah and Layla came over for the first swim day of the season. It was fun to have them. For some reason, this year, a whole year older, and Layla is scared and Arionna is brave–complete role reversal for these girls.

That’s all she’d do by herself. And she even got scared when someone held her. And this girl is afraid of NOTHING.

Eating…and wondering….

Why it is crowded at the pool, yet somehow her dad is the ONLY person in it!

Of course, the most popular person of the day?

Auntie Livi! Over and over, these two girls would ask for “auntie Livi” (yes, Layla calls me that, too) and I’d hold them both and play with them. And, yes, Arionna’s hand is down the front of my suit. That’s where she held on to me.

The next weekend I started one of my part time jobs…as a wedding planner’s assistant. My first full day, I got to work with Lane, which made it supremely fun. I enjoyed all 18 hours of it.

Our first wedding was at the Guthrie:

The windows are tinted yellow, thus the weird color–and it makes the interior of the building that color as well. Different, that’s for sure.

This is the view we are blocking:

Gorgeous, right? Looks like a postcard.

And then last Friday, I popped by Tom and Mindy’s house to see their new patio and hang with the boys. It was a pleasant evening and reminded me how much I miss that family when I don’t see them. I brought Clay several college reference books to read. He’s very into non-fiction and I was discarding many of our old reference books. In thank you, he gifted me with the prettiest flower from his garden. Gardening is his new hobby.

How beautiful is that?

It is also the exact color of my kitchen.

See? It’s hard to tell where the petals end, they blend right in. I’ve had it in this vase for almost a week now and it is slowly dying. It darkens as it dies. He’s so sweet, that Clayton.

There you go. A quick snapshot(s) of my first few weeks of summer. I’ve been busy, but definitely still squeezing in some fun. Busy will be my constant companion for the next few months, but I’ll keep snapping away and popping in to show you what I’m up to.




Last night, my mom and I made a plan. Okay, technically, the plan was made on Sunday, but work with me here.

We decided we were going swimming. Just the two of us. No friends, no children, no one who would be screaming “Olivia” “Olivia” the entire time we’re there.

I got off work, late, and we both had planned trips to Target. Separately. I called her to move back my time table, but everything still went according to plan. We met at my house. She was there already, which was helpful for the girl who might have a broken foot, she helped me carry my packages inside.

We got to the pool at 7:00pm. We got in and just drifted, floated, and lazily swam laps, chatting non-stop the entire time. We ended up staying for 90 minutes, and I don’t think we ever stopped talking, even once. There is no one in the world I’d rather talk to than my mom and I feel like we haven’t connected much lately. And even when we have, it wasn’t just her and me. It felt so good to just talk and catch up, I actually started to feel a little normal.

So far, it is my favorite trip to the pool. Best Monday night, ever. Thanks, Mom! I love you.

Layla, You’ve Got Me on My Knees

On Sunday, my sister and husband brought my niece over for a swim. The also brought their friend Tarah, and Tarah’s daughter, Layla.

We were hanging out and having fun, then the little girls (Arionna is 16 months and Layla is 21 months) wanted to get out and walk around. I let the parents get out and chase the kiddos, I stayed in the pool. However, I was swimming along the edges, playing peek-a-boo and entertaining the girls.

Once I hit the deep end, I was playing catch with Layla and a beach ball. Suddenly, she decided she wanted to jump off the edge into the pool for the first time in her life. We were all surprised, but none more than me, the one she jumped on. I caught her, but I was in the deep end. I couldn’t stay afloat. I ended up going under and sinking down, with my arms thrust straight upward, keeping Layla from going under. I hadn’t had a chance to take a breath and I didn’t have my arms free to help me, so I was wildly kicking with my feet,trying to force myself upward.

Somehow, I drifted over to the incline, where the pool starts to get shallower. My left foot struck out, and managed to slam into the concrete, right in the spot where I broke my foot last fall. Even underwater, tears sprang to my eyes. I gritted through the pain and used the bad foot to push off and get myself out of the water.

All three adults were watching this and laughing. None of them thought to grab the little girl from me to let me get free.

When I finally got out of the pool later, I could barely walk. I’m worried that I might have rebroken my foot–cause that’s all I need right now. I’ve been elevating and icing and I had a CMA wrap me up in an ACE bandage today. I can walk on it, but it hurts…lots.

I hope it’s not broken, but there isn’t anything that can be done. Last time, it was just the air cast–which I still have. If it gets any worse, I might, but right now, we’re seriously hoping for just a bone bruise. Are you all with me? Cross your fingers, cross your toes, but start meditating on the words “bone bruise”, with any luck our collective karma will keep me from having another six weeks in my Frankenstein boot.

At least Layla thought it was fun and is no longer afraid of jumping into the pool.