I had planning all last week so I was at work. The kids arrive in my class on Monday and my girly goes back to school as well. We have both cried about that a little bit, me because summer is over, her because she isn’t allowed to go to school yet. But what a summer it was! I seriously had the best summer in perhaps my entire life. Two amazing Christian experiences, a trip to the lake, a visit from a dear friend who I had never met before. It was so incredible. I am hoping to keep some of that magic as I head into this school year. We did a LOT of awesome things this summer, but in hopes that this blog post is less than 7000 words I will just give you the highlights.
Weddings: We attended three beautiful weddings this summer. As we get older and the weddings become more reflective of people’s personalitites. I really enjoyed all three weddings, the state park wedding with the beautiful views, the wedding on a boat and the tour of the Detroit river, and the July 4 wedding where we all danced our hinies off. Bonus points to the Detroit wedding for being kid free and close to my sister who then took the girls to church with her kids (She got 6 children ready for church. Do you know how many hair bows that is?) and let us sleep in.
The Collegeville Institute: On a whim because my friend suggested it I applied for a writing retreat in Minnesota. Then I promptly forgot about it and went about my business. Then I got the YOU ARE IN email and had to tell my hsuband he was solo parenting for a week, over Father’s day. I really had no idea even what Collegeville Institute even was. I didn’t know that it was on the same campus as a monastery, that it has an incredible long history of writers who I deeply respect learning and writing there. I spent an entire week having to only think about writing. I didn’t even have to think about my meals or anyone elses for that matter. As someone who didn’t start writing until I had a baby, this was like an out of body experience. The people I met were incredible, the things I learned and the ways I was poured into is a gift I still don’t have words for. Then on top of all of that, the last night I saw the most spectacular showing of the Northern Lights. It was amazing, just an embarassingly lavish gift I will treasure forever. The people, the place, the history, the learning, everything was incredible.
The Wooden House: 24 hours after I came home we re-packed and headed to my family’s cabin in upstate New York. The girls call it the wooden house, and even though there is a beach, and a motor boat, and swimming and tubing, the most important thing to them is that their cousins are there. Every day with thier cousins, what could be better? We had a great time as usual, going to get icecream at Stewarts and trying out knee-boaridng (Juliet) and wakeboarding for ten seconds just to make sure I can still get up (me). I am very close to my cousins so it is awesome to see Juliet and Priscilla forming similar relationships.
The Wild Goose Festival: 24 hours after we came home from the wooden house, I picked Esther Emery up from the airport. This is a big deal y’all. We had been friends and writing partners for a couple of years, and told each other pretty much all of our secrets.so it was really really exciting to meet in person. We are exactly the same in person as we are on the internet and that is amazing. I loved having her sit at my table and tell my girls about herr chickens and ducks and kids. It was so great. We started our togethereness by sitting in a car for four hours and heading to the Wild Goose Festival, a festival about Jesus and Art and Justice. Sometimes I feel like my charismatic side and my progressive politics side cannot be together or inter-connect. There I found my people. It was really amazing and the experience will likely leak out for a couple of months in my writing. If you have the chance, you should absolutely go next year. I will be there. Hair: I dyed my hair purple for the festival. I like it so much I am keeping it. Sorry mom.
ABD!: Christian, while watching the kids for weeks at a time while I ran off here and there also managed to complete his perspectus and become officially ABD! He just needs to finish his dissertation to become Dr. Norman. This means we have one more year of graduate school in Atlanta, and then who knows where we will be. Prayers appreciated as we discern our next steps and prayers especialy for an early job placement so there is plenty of time for the next dominoes to fall. Summer
Hanging out: We hit the pool a lot. A lot. So, both girls know how to swim and Juliet can swim across the pool with zero problems. There has been some, but not enough back yard grilling, and we went down the slide into the pool at Aunt Jill’s house, and also the slip and slide. We went to cheer camp for three days and had an awesome time even if we didn’t quite know the moves at the end of the week. We went to Sonic a lot. We celebrated national hot dog day. We hit the splash pad and the hippo hop. The girls thought that a day where they did not get to do anything fun was a totally wasted day. I quite agreed.
Stained Glass: I found out that you could fake stain glass and finally had a thing that I wanted to do with the windows I pulled off the street a couple of years ago. I really really love the way they look and have NO place to hang them. What the heck do I do with these gorgeous things? I did have a truly amazing and remarkable summer that I am deeply grateful for. This next year is likely to be a year of major transition (more on that Monday) and I am hoping to cling to the summer magic to get me through.
What did you do this summer? Is your summer still going strong? I am too late to be linking up with Leigh but I do love this idea, and wouldn’t do it without her invitation!