Family Night

On a random Friday in July, my mom called me and invited me out to dinner. My sister and her kids were going and Simon was here and it would be a terrific night. Unfortunately, she called me at 3pm and dinner was at 5pm. Normally, that would be fine, but I had plans. However, I hadn’t seen my family in a while, so I canceled my plans and made myself available. We went to…The Pirate Bar. That is not what it is called, but I can’t remember what it actually is called. My brother Nick works there. It’s a BBQ joint, which was a little worrisome, because I don’t like BBQ. The food was okay, not spectacular, but fine.

What was best about the evening was hanging out with the kids.

Between this silly girl
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(and we were majorly backlit where we were sitting so none of these are terrific, but it is the spirit that I like)
these two darling boys:
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The overall cuteness of this baby:
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Or randomly getting a shot with my three favorite kids:
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(yes, it’s really too bad it is so backlit, because it would have been frameable, otherwise.)
But it was a really nice dinner, it was great to have some quality time with my family, especially quiet time that wasn’t an event or something to DO, just the group of us having dinner.
After dinner, we went down to walk along the river. Auntie Emmy tried to be super cool by lifting the kids over the barrier and letting them climb on the rocks.
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But we quickly learned that there is a HUGE difference between six and three when someone couldn’t last.
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Mommy to the rescue.
But, don’t worry, as in all things, Auntie Livi is the coolest supreme. We walked to where the sidewalks are cut off due to the river being so high. Simon wondered if it was warm water and I led him down to find out. We hit the edge and he touched it with his fingers. I said he could take of his shoes and wade in if he wanted. That, apparently, equaled FULL ON SWIM, to him.
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She is wading, he is completely drenched. It was a warm summer night and we all kind of figured what-the-heck. They are little and were having fun.
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He is trying to entice her to come in and swim with him. She was WAY more hesitant. She eventually gave and was soaked through, but it took some tempting on his part. He set out to show her how much fun it could be….
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Full on swimming, in about 18″ of water. He was having the time of his life. And the river water, while smelly and dirty, was warm as bathwater, so it was pleasant…for children. You’ll notice no adults are likewise engaged.
I took a few photos and then went to cuddle on this guy.
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He just was enjoying being outside.
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We had a little moment where I am holding my hair down, he has yet to master that manual dexterity. Poor old man hair.
Then I decided to do a mini photo shoot of him.
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I got some truly great shots of him, but I was truly surprised when we managed to coax wet and wetter out of the water to join in. Granted, I would have preferred non-dripping children in my pictures, but at 6, 3, and 5 months, you take what you can get.
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Simon wanted to sit with Camden and Arionna, not the tallest girl in the world, decided she would kneel behind Simon. As you can see, even though he is sitting, she is still barely tall enough to be seen.
So I made them do it again.
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Much better. Cam was evidently done giving out smiles at that point, but he is looking, so I’m pretty pleased.
These three, they are the light of my life, I tell you. And though it may not seem like it, the adult members of my family were present as well. Overall, it was pretty much the perfect summer evening.
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Summertime Busy

I know I’ve been a terrible blogger lately. I’ve honestly got so very much to blog about, stories and photos and updates and other fun stuff, but I just haven’t had the time. I’ve been working hard and playing hard.

One fun story, while I sit here, lamenting the end of summer, and secretly looking forward to fall and perhaps being a bit less busy, Kelly just called. She wanted help with her Christmas card. Bless her. No one else I know is planning their Christmas card in August (okay, so mine is already conceived and prepped…maybe THAT’S why we’re friends?!?!).

It made me smile.

And her card is going to rock this year. And, yes, I’m taking all the credit.

 

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!!!
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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.
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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!
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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.
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 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!

Summer Lovin’

In light of the fact that I saw the first flakes of the season, I’m going to use this opportunity to post some of my favorite summer photos.

I didn’t get a chance to blog about most of the summer things I did, I was just too busy. But I still took photos. If something strikes your fancy and you want to know more, mention it in the comments and I’ll do a little write up. Without further ado, here are my favorite photos of Summer, 2012.

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There it is, my down-and-dirty recap of the Summer of 2012. A visual representation of memory.

Back of My Neck Gettin’ Dirty and Gritty

You know how Minnesotans spend all winter bitching about the cold?

Those very same people are the first ones to gripe when it gets steamy outside.

I’m not one of them. I don’t mind heat. I’m less of a fan of humidity. It’s like cold and snow. At any rate, while I’ll readily admit I’m more of a “moderate weather” girl, I really don’t mind when it is blisteringly hot.

I am not a fan of air conditioning in general, so for me, being stuck in an office with cold, recycled air is akin to torture. I love leaving for the day and stepping out into the sweltering air and just letting it soak in. I can feel that heat melt away the stupid annoyances of the day. It’s blissful.

Now, I may be waxing a bit poetic, but can you blame me? I have a pool. If YOU had a pool, you’d be thrilled beyond belief at this heat as well.

Case in point. Yesterday. Now, I know well that it was warm out. But I was stuck inside, listening to students complain about how hot it is. Really? You were just bitching a week ago that it was crappy out. Try meditation. Or medication.

I was deliberately avoiding the weather online, because I didn’t want to know. Knowing meant my mind might drift and I might start dreaming of my pool and then my devious mind might start to think of reasons why I couldn’t stay at work all day and the next thing you know, I’m inventing a migraine so I can go swimming. Bad plan. (Actually, it sounds like a pretty good plan, but I’m striving for responsibility here).

Once the interminable day ended, I waltzed out the door. My feet hit the concrete and my shoes melted into the ground. Okay, I guess it is pretty hot. Gus and I jammed home with every window down and the tunes cranked up, belting along to our Summer Mix.

I adore driving in the heat. Love it absolutely. Summer driving is the best. Once I’m not perennially broke and driving an ancient car, I’m going to start taking a summer road trip. Every year. See if I don’t. (Did I just make a resolution? How unlike me…)

Well, that was an interesting side trip. The point is, I drove home. I arrived, did the usual, then grabbed my book and a beer and went out to the patio. I sat in a chair and propped up my feet. Full disclosure, I was wearing the minimal amount of clothing necessary to appear mildly proper in public. And then I just sat still. Reading.

Wasn’t but five minutes and sweat was beading on my brow. In the back of my brain, I knew something strange was a-happenin’ but what could I do? I was reading.

Another few minutes trickled by and a drop of sweat Mission: Impossibled its way onto the pages of my book. Splat. I blinked, hard. Then again, as the blink encouraged a river of sweat to detour through my eye sockets.

I set my book aside and pondered how sitting still could produce such copious quantities of sweat. This, as I watched rivulets stream down my arm, causing whorls in my arm hair. What was going on?

Well, folks, it was darn hot out.

I moved out of the sun. It helped, but not much. I finished beer #1 and cracked open number 2. The cool lager seemed to help-or it addled my brain into thinking it helped. Who can be sure?

About 1/2 way through the book, the lawn sprinklers kicked on. I didn’t even know I had lawn sprinklers, until that very moment. Turns out, my new perch was directly in the path. It was okay, though, the sprinklers felt like blessed relief against my parched skin.

Eventually, I finished my book. I went in and ate dinner, then I glanced at the clock. It was about 8:25. It was hot outside and I didn’t want to lay on my bed watching tv. I wanted to be outside. So, I went swimming. Yep, at 8:30 on a random Monday night. On a work night. Aaaaaaah. I love having a pool.

I walked over and a woman was there with her two kids. Good for them. The kids were playing together and barely noticed me as I kept diving in and swimming laps. Then, suddenly, the girl (about 11) was beside me. Diving, swimming, laps. It was cute. She was copying me. I remember being that age and thinking that “grown up” looked so cool. It actually is pretty cool. Wanna know why? 15 minutes after I got there, mom made them go home to go to bed. But I got to stay.

When I arrived, about 8:40, the pool area looked like this.

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The sun was setting, the trees were shading the little alcove and no water has ever looked so inviting.
 
Once the kids and the mom had left, I climbed out of the water and pulled out my portable iPod player. I cranked up my summer mix and snapped a picture of the pool at dusk.
 
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Then I got back in and swam and swam and swam. Sometimes laps, sometimes I invented games to play and then played them by myself. (That sounds sad, it wasn’t. It was fun. Don’t feel sorry for me, I have a pool).
 
On Memorial Day, when my family was over, swimming, Emily asked me, “can you swim at night?” I told her the posted rules say I can swim 24/7. She wondered what the pool would look like at night, how it would be lit.
 
Last night, I found out.
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Amazing how inviting it STILL looks. And, by golly, it was so warm out, I didn’t want to leave. When I got to the point that it was too hard to swim and I was just drifting (realizing that I really had to pee), I figured it was time to get out and go home. I peeked at the clock. It was 10:00 pm. I’d been swimming for about 90 minutes. It. Was. Glorious.
 
I got home, showered, and went outside again. It was so warm it was like stepping into a blanket. I sat outside until about 11:15 when I knew I had to get to bed. My biggest disappointment was in knowing I had to work at Hamline today, right after Globe and there would be no moonlight swim. Still, there is always tomorrow, right?
 
Welcome to summer!