The light is shifting, hitting the front door at a new angle in the morning, washing across the porch from a more southern place. I can tell things are changing. We've crossed over to the last days of summer.
Running the trail last week, I hugged the mountain side for shade and noticed the thistles, all dead and bent. The sun has scorched the hillsides, left them brown. And on the wind I can catch the faintest smell of Autumn.
ice cream @ sunset
It's been a glorious summer. Packed with adventures, outings, learning, and building (I'll report on our summer plan in another post). My favorite perk has been waking the children late, letting them sleep in because we had nowhere to hustle off to in the morning.
I enjoyed having them all home - so I could read with them, teach them, cook side by side with them. We had no constraints, no schedule to hurry us along. We dropped all activities for the summer besides swimming lessons and piano practice.
swim lessons week 2
liz - do I get a prize for practicing this summer too?
oh, some days were brutal.
The kids rarely asked for a play date. They had each other and that seemed to be enough.
"Pile on Liza!" yells Eliza.
In retrospect, I think it might have been wise to give them some distance from each other on occasion. I refereed a number of significant battles and some days the infighting cooked me to a crisp. But all in all, they were pleasant with each other. And seeing them race around the driveway on their bikes or line up on the couch for a movie together gave me a feeling of deep contentment.
one of our rare play dates. a tea party with katherine and parker.
While I can sense we're ready for a change, I am sad to say goodbye to summer. I'll miss the tingly warmth of sun on my skin, the brassy evening skies, the monthly full moon rising over the mountain, and those after-dinner hours when the light is soft, the grass is cool, and we can swing, chase, laugh.
Here are a few of my favorite images from the last few months. (Thank you iPhone. And Instagram? You have been so much fun).
bless you kenny and susie for making all those balloon hats!
water slide @ grandma's
eliza finally finding her rhythm, last week of lessons
we adore tommy. all the girls had him for a session.
he works swimming miracles - truly. i wrote about him last summer.
i was still trying to meter my camera when i took this shot,
but for some reason i like it over-exposed.
laughing with my dad
alpine slide - eliza goes solo!
ali gets a sour one
first successful errand without a stroller! old navy for flip flops
It's been a happy summer. I wouldn't change much. But I must admit, there were moments when I briefly lost my way. I got derailed by the constant mess (did I mention I cleaned craft paint off the carpet today, the boys ate an entire package of cookies behind the couch, and tonight they pulled out all my pink vincas!). I felt frustrated that it took us until 5PM to finish the kids' jobs some days. And occasionally Eliza lost all her privileges in a matter of hours. Throughout the summer I had little time to regenerate, write, or even think quietly.
So I loved this reminder from Ann Voskamp: 10 Ways to be a Happier Mom. She keeps my eyes turned heavenward, reminds me that children aren't commonplace, patience always wins, and laughter really is good medicine. It is worth reading.
eliza's first time off the high dive - our last day at the pool.
Many of you have already sent your kids back to school. But for those of you haven't, enjoy these last, sweet days.
Oh summer, we're going to miss you.