Back in May, I forgot to mention that I would be taking a hiatus from blogging this summer.  (I know…you were biting your nails, wondering where I’d gone.)  You see, last spring I took on more tutoring jobs, and in conjunction with this, my family’s schedule was bursting at the seams.  I do not consider my children overscheduled, but I’ve decided that I’m overscheduled, running them to and fro and back again while Derrick is perpetually MIA.  So between work and kids and sports and music and church and laundry and grocery shopping and cooking up said groceries, I found myself quite busy.  In other words:  my life is just like yours.  Blogging had become one more “to-do” that I couldn’t get done, so I decided to cut the fat, so to speak, no guilt required (and no fat really cut, if you must know.  I’m still jigglin’.)  In an uncharacteristically decisive move, I decided I would not touch my blog all summer.  I’d let myself miss it for awhile and then return to it with full gusto come fall.  (Amazing how decisive I can be when the decision resulting is laziness.)

The best part?  That break did me good.  I wasn’t enjoying the writing like I once did, and I was always frustrated that I couldn’t get to it before ten o’clock at night, since summertime meant that I was dealing with spending time with my dear children until all hours.  It was hard to get on the computer when one of my kiddos was either a) on the computer themselves, or b) constantly in my face needing my loving attention.   In the end, my need for sleep and peace won out.  And I’m so glad it did, because now fall is here and I am here and you are here and I feel like I’m in a place where I can finally commit to this relationship.  Are you?  I hope so.  Because I’ve missed you.  And here is what I was doing instead of blogging:

Enjoying the Kid’s Olympics at our annual family reunion in McCall, Idaho.  Each family was required to bring a homemade flag representing the country of their choice.  The red and white flag from Denmark is ours.  My mom brought some old fabric from home and I ripped the white sateen and superglued it on the red sateen the night before the Parade of Athletes.  The superglue came undone and the white cross fell off, so I resorted to safety pins at the last minute.  It was awesome.  (And you thought I wasn’t crafty.  I’m so pinning this.)  Way to pray for your team, Jul.

Passing the Holey Board championship onto my darling cousin Hilary and her husband Stu.  And yes:  it a hurt a little bit.

Hanging with my sister’s fabulous family in the pool when they came for a visit in June.  Hello, World–meet Allie.  (And yeah, she really is that cute.)

Cucumber spa by the pool, courtesy the girls’ prep work.  Yep–that’s Grandma Cindy.  She was the only adult to indulge with the girls.  And we wonder why they like her best.

Celebrating Meg’s 11th birthday.  The 44oz cup and bag of Doritos are slight photobombs, as well as they Mystery Hand presenting our tween daughter to the world.

Our annual pilgrimage to Seaside.  Derrick took several days off work and we did nothing but take walks to the beach and watch movies at night.  It was glorious.

With our cute cousins, headed to the beach through Grandma’s beautiful neighborhood.  “Call me maybe!” became Ethan’s tag line for the summer.  Should I be worried?

Rachael’s swim practice, at 6:15 a.m., every day.  The routine was to drive over to Pasco, drop her off at the pool, then run along the river while she swam for an hour.  Every single morning, we were both silent and grumpy on the drive over, and hyper and animated on the drive home.  We came home, made breakfast, and practiced piano (I tried, too) before anyone else was even up. Who knew that this would be one of our favorite things about summer?  I am proud of Rache for getting herself up every day and never missing a practice except when we were out of town.  Already looking forward to this time together next year.

Paintballing with the Short family.  The kids and I spent a week with them at their lovely new home in Salem.  They live on a huge, beautiful piece of property and offer free Saturday paintball to anyone who’s interested.  Jason (the dad) does this every other Saturday, all year long.  He provides nearly all of the paint and gear for gazillion boys and their fathers, and then leads them all into battle for hours.  Isn’t that generous of him?  Those boys must be in heaven.  Our visit fell on a weekend, so here’s Megan all geared up.  A bit terror-ista, but still pretty cute.  And, as always, our time with the Shorts was perfect.  Rachel (Short) and I took full advantage of our teenage daughters’ babysitting capacity and snuck away for lunch and shopping pretty much every day.  We worked in a trip to Lincoln City and Woodburn (outlets, natch) as well.  We watched hours of junk t.v. at night while the kids rotted their brains on video games downstairs.  We ate whatever we wanted, and justified it all with relaxing jogs through her gorgeous neighborhood in the morning.  My dreams will forever be pointed to returning, someday, to my Week With the Shorts.

Spending tons and tons of time in the pool this summer.  Lots of friends joining us.  That was my very favorite thing about this summer.

Sleeping late–and sunburned–in mom’s bed while Dad was out of town.  This happened more than once.

Could you kick kids this cute out of your bed?  Me neither.

I tried hard to keep this summer simple and relaxed, and I think we achieved that.  (It’s important to set goals.)  Glad to be back on the blog, sad that real life starts tomorrow.

Sweet Dreams, Summertime.  See you next year.

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