Today I had a few meetings and mostly email responses for work so I took advantage of the fact that I didn’t need two computer monitors and worked from the porch.
A few weeks ago, a robin was busily making a nest in a bush right outside my porch window. Today, to my delight, I realized that a family was in it.
As I worked, I saw the parent flying back and forth feeding the little ones. My camera is not fantastic, but if you try really hard, you can see my treat.
What’s really neat is that our weather is not fantastic today. It’s raining and thundering and the wind is tossing that bush about a bit, but they are all snuggled in. Happy as not larks. Just happy as a robin singin’ its song 🙂
Are you finding your social network feeds filled with kids going back to school and off to college? I am, and I’m loving it. Recently, a friend asked how my summer was wrapping up. Laughing, I responded that life is going so fast recently I hadn’t realized it was summer. 🙂
But I see it’s true. The leaves are changing color, and the Goldenrod heralds the incoming of autumn.
It reminds me of a time when the kids were small (although that was my perception of summer in reverse), and we basically lived on the beach one summer while visiting with my in-laws. That year felt like an endless summer. I didn’t realize things were changing until they told me I had limited flavor selection at the commissary where I get ice cream.
Now that the kids are older, we don’t have to tuck our travels into certain months and weeks. Perhaps that’s how I missed summer this year (although I thoroughly enjoyed each day of it). And we had such a nice spring, beach time came in April/May so there were lots of opportunities to swim and enjoy the sand.
Yet now that the leaves are starting to change, and the calendar tells us it’s time to prepare for winter, we’re slogging around in 31-32 C/ 88-90 F temps.
I know today is Friday, but it feels like it should be last Friday. This was one of the fastest weeks of my lifetime! It was a week of amazing family-ness.
We traveled from our Massachusetts home on Thursday last week so we could be there when CJ and Lauren came to stay. They were coming from Utah to Buffalo then driving to us so CJ could participate in a wedding 18 minutes from our northern NY home. Yay for us!!! On the way from Mass. to NY, we popped in on my aunt and uncle and one of their daughters for lunch and a yak.
Yeah, they look young because they are. Linda, my aunt, is a month younger than me. My family is funky like that. My dad is his own cousin, but that’s a story for another time… 😉 It always cracks me up, though. Linda and Kevin are CJ’s godparents and he calls Hannah, Cassie and Emily his god-sisters. Love that!
We got home a few hrs. before CJ and Lauren. Mom was at camp with relatives, and Hudi and Mollie had come to pick up Star and take her to their home so the house was strangely quiet.
Before the trip, we understood that the wedding was the main event, and we couldn’t expect much time with the kiddos. It was okay. We remember being young like that. So much to do!!! And we get to spend lots of time with them when we travel west. CJ and Lauren showed up around 11 pm, and we yakked until 3:30am. Thank goodness I was afk and well-rested!!!
The next day we got up and headed to camp to see family and the children’s end-of-week program at camp. Lauren met my nephews and their wives and kids for the first time there. I love those grown-up kiddos so much. We don’t see them often, but their parents raised them right. My nephews are the best, and their spouses only make them better.
I will admit that one of my favorite parts of our time together was being able to play with play-dough with kids again. Kids are so smart. I wish you could see how amazing my little relative is!!! (What do you call the child of a nephew? A great niece?) She is 2.5 and knows a ton of animals — even a playdough octopus. Little Christoper (just over one) was napping at this point, but maybe next year he can join.
We left camp in time for CJ to get to his rehearsal dinner and bachelor party with his friends. At home we had the rare treat of spending solo time with our daughter-in-law. After a few games of Chaos, I got to splay Scrabble with her. Nobody plays that with me live (although I’m thankful for my Words With Friends buddies) so it was a super treat 🙂 We topped off the night by finding a perfect dress for Lauren to wear. My sister-in-law, Heidi, has impeccable taste and had given me a dress for her son’s wedding, and it fit Lauren perfectly. Along with a scarf we had from our time in Lisbon and some jewelry my mom had given me.
Is it just me, or is there something super special about an outfit pulled together from random threads of happy memories?
The next morning the kids slept in. According to CJ the wedding was at 4 pm, although he had to be there by 1 pm to get ready. So we had a leisurely morning. They slept in, and I had an excuse to make Norwegian pancakes (I really miss that. There is nobody left to make them for — so sad). It was delightful.
CJ left and Lauren and I got ready for some serious girl time. We were gonna do the makeup and nails — things moms and daughters do, but moms of sons rarely do. Both of us were quite excited about it. Then we got a call from CJ informing us the wedding was at 2, not 4. ACK!!!!!!! Poor Lauren had a literal 20 minutes to get ready. Thank goodness she is naturally gorgeous. She did some of the final makeup touch-ups in the car, but look how amazing she was, even before that:
Sunday was our time with CJ and Lauren. The young adult kids got in quite late so they slept in again, and we headed to the beach. Lauren is a country girl and is not very used to sand on beaches. We had a small picnic and some swim time. She and Chris have artistic eyes, so they were scavenging for cool driftwood and other natural wonders.
Chris and I were determined to get an ice cream at least once this season. We decided this was the time to do it so it wouldn’t get too late in the season. Southwick Beach has some of the best ice cream around. It comes with happy memories of camping with our kids and friends. Here is a pic of Hudi from 2011:
It’s still the same:
Thank goodness we did that! While we enjoyed the ice cream on Sunday, on Monday we were informed the season was over. Whew! In just under the wire! Let this be a lesson. Always grab the opportunity while it’s in front of you.
We topped off the day with games with Grandma, who returned from camp. She is truly the Chaos queen.
The kiddos left around 6 am Monday morning to go visit Lauren’s relatives. And Chris and I went back to work. In all honesty the week and a half AFK made me ready for work. I kind of missed talking with people about WordPress. It was a good work-week. Then before I knew it, it was my “weekend” (Thursdays and Fridays).
We were feeling good, and the magnet of knowing our progeny were in close proximity pulled hard enough we couldn’t ignore it. In short, we crashed their party. CJ and Lauren were going to spend time with Hudi and Mollie in Rochester before heading back Buffalo to fly back to Utah, and we couldn’t stay away from them all, knowing they were only two hrs away. Fortunately for us, they were okay with it, and we all gathered for pizza and chicken wings and bonding time.
It was fun seeing Star thriving in Rochester for a bit. And dang it, I love these people! We missed Zeb, but understood work and life circumstances kept him in Utah. He was in our hearts and in our text messaging, though.
3/4 of my guys
Sadly, yet beautifully, the week ended. We left so the kids could spend time together without parents invading, and in the wee hrs, CJ and Lauren headed home to Utah. Thanks to text messaging, we know they made it safely to their abode.
Today Chris and I hit the beach for relaxation time. And the beach we love so much due to fond memories of camping, winter hikes, etc., is now all the more enhanced with memories from the visit this week. Life is so amazing.
It was a great day for celebrating birthdays with 2/3 of my beautiful sisters-in-law and Mom. Today was Heidi’s b-day and Mom’s is on Saturday. We had perfect weather as we lunched on the patio by the fountain at Tin Pan Galley in Sackett’s Harbor. Can you believe the size of my Portobello salad sandwich?
So we didn’t go skydiving. But as you can see in this picture, at least it wasn’t a borderline call. It was very clear that it would be a poor choice for the day if we expected to see a tomorrow (spoiler–we all wanted to see tomorrow). So no go. Now we have something to look forward to again in future visits.
But we got the local tour instead, and it was fabulous. Ever since CJ was a baby, he was obsessed with trains so he took us to a treasure of a restaurant he found in Heber City. Trains everywhere (and yummy burgers). Even the servers had train hats.
CJ has always had a thing for trains. How could he not love this restaurant?
After lunch we went up Guardsman Pass, which had just opened after being closed all winter. The drive was a bit harrowing for those of us who have a hard time with heights (no guard rails, and lots of twists and turns with huge drop-offs), but CJ drove well, and it was breath-takingly beautiful.
Utah is amazingly beautiful. Over 80 degrees Fahrenheit and still snow on the ground.
Sagebrush – smelled so good!
Drive up a steep incline
At the top we enjoyed the views then went for a small hike further up and threw a few snowballs. Gotta love doing that in June!
Snowballs in June? Gotta love it 🙂
CJ just loves the snow.
Lauren in the wind.
Chris and Chrissie enjoying the view on a windy day.
Chris throwing a snowball at me (I dodged it).
I think the most humorous part of the day might have been seeing several snowmobiles hanging out on the side of the road. We wondered – is that in case there is a freak storm? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯