School starts in less than a week, so time to recap this year's summer. It bore a passing resemblance to summers of the past, but in many ways was its own unique beast.
1. Utah living, for the win!
We saw SO MUCH family this summer! It has been awesome! My family had a reunion up in Idaho, with every sibling there and almost all the spouses too. Most of the grandkids.
The kids and I have taken several 2-4 day trips to see grandparents on both sides. We have all gotten very quick and efficient at packing our overnight bags. It has been so fun to be able to just take off for a couple of days! In fact, we're squeezing in one more at the end of this week. Good times!
We've had several family members visit us at our house, too, and there have been many day trips both ways (them coming and us going) for special events or just because. This continues to be, by far, the best thing about living here.
From mountain canyons to dinosaur trackways, we have done a lot of fun hikes this summer. Our most recent hike, we ran into 3 bikers. When they saw my little one in her shaded, cushioned ride in the hiking backpack, they said, "Well, one of you has it made." Yep, she's the baby princess and gets to ride along, enjoy the scenery, and dribble snacks down her Daddy's neck. I have been proud of the rest of us making it on our own leg power!
3. Mini Vacations
I guess this goes along with #2, but we have done a couple of fun mini vacays this summer. Most notably, to Vernal and Dinosaur land, but also more recently the "Use up all the gift cards" vacation to places close to home. We saw "Christopher Robin" in the theater and realized it was the first time my 6 year old has ever been to a movie theater. Wow.
4. Flower, flowers, flowers!
With my business going, I have spent more time working on and playing with flowers than any summer ever before! It has been really good for me to practice putting together bouquets, and so fun to have dedicated garden space just for cutting flowers. Much more I could say about this--maybe the next post!
5. Mix it up.
I felt like we had a really good mix this summer of going out and about, then staying home and getting stuff done/recouping. We've had some fun outings, plenty of time to read and do arts and crafts, and more or less kept to a routine of chores and music practicing. It has been a good mix. At least for this introvert. I usually enjoy the time and whirl of social interactions and big activities, but then I always need to recharge in a quieter, less busy place.
6. Baby hugs.
My sweet baby turned 1! She is so cute and huggable and just so fun. She keeps us all laughing. She's the one we all hug when we're feeling bad and then we feel better.
1. Bickering makes me insane.
For real. With all the fun and good days, we had some of those days where my little darlings just couldn't stop bothering each other. FOR THE LOVE! JUST STOP IT! At the end of the worst one I told my husband that I wanted to run away from home. I meant it. I would have come back after a day or two. I just couldn't take one more second of it. It's like being pecked to death by chickens. No one big incident, but just a thousand nonstop small things and everyone unhappy and making everyone else unhappy. Ug. The worst.
2. Balance is tricky.
With this business I've been getting off the ground, there have been too many days when I've been working outside or on the computer, while the kids do their own thing. I usually have them do chores and practicing while I'm working on stuff, but still. Sometimes not.
In summers past, I have been better about planning regular fun activities to do together. While we have done some things, I haven't done nearly as well at that.
Related: there is always more work to be done in every sector. When I spend time on my business, the rest of life still goes on. So meanwhile, my housework is neglected and other areas of my life take a backseat. Or I do really well at home stuff, but have that nagging in the back of my mind of all that still needs to be done outside. It can lead do me feeling stressed and like I'm failing at everything. I'm working on that.
I am hopeful that adding a little more structure/schedule into our summer next year will help with that. Maybe that will look like setting aside certain afternoons for certain types of activities, or maybe having certain days blocked out for business/flowers, then making a conscious effort to do more with the kids on the other times. We'll see. More work and thought needed here.
3. Where have all the friends gone?
While we did see tons of family this summer, getting together with friends has been a struggle! We've tried multiple times with different friends and really only had success with a couple of my daughter's friends. Everyone has been super busy, I guess. Or maybe most people we know also have a lot of family around? I don't know, but either way, we had a hard time finding kids at home for our kids to play with!
It's totally opposite of our summers in Washington. There, we would take our usual trip down to see family for about a week, then the whole rest of the summer was playtime with friends! (That was all we had out there, after all.) I'm hoping that will change next year, as we continue to make friends and get to know people better.
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So really, only 3 challenging categories. The good has outweighed the bad, for sure.
I am always happy for school to start. I loved school growing up, and I'm happy for the opportunities for learning, growth, and fun, that my kids will have.
This year I'll only have my baby at home during the days, which will be very different. It should be good, though. She'll probably be super bored without all her playmates! I'm really hoping to be able to power up during her naptimes, especially, and get a bunch of stuff done.
We got down the box of fall decorations today, but I'm not letting the kids put them up until next month, at least. I've got to say goodbye to summer before I dive into fall. It's coming quickly, though!
Do you have traditions that help you transition from one season to the next? Do tell!