1. Though it is plainly summer in Connecticut, it is not 105 degrees. This makes me happy, because I am an angry person when I’m uncomfortable. Being sweaty immediately upon exiting the shower? Uncomfortable, therefore angry. Sitting outside in 80ish degrees with a breeze? Lovely, and not angry.
2. I was unreasonably afraid that our house would be hot all summer. It is pleasantly, surprisingly cool, and I am thankful!
3. There are 4 huge old trees in our front yard… lots of shade, low branches for climbing, and stunning shadows and light coming through the leaves. I love the quiet rush of the wind coming through the limbs. I love watching my children gain confidence as they scramble to new heights and overcome their fear as they climb back down.
4. Matt and I hung twinkle lights across the front yard… they make me happy.
5. Julia doesn’t hate fireworks and sparklers anymore- she enjoys the crashing and crackling, the flashes of color, the heavy smoke spreading across the lawn. There’s more growth and development in just that sentence than I can describe, so you have to believe me. It’s a big deal.
6. We visited New York City briefly this month, and of all the fun we had visiting Uncle Alex, Aunt Jessie, Cousin Hadley, Mimi, and Auggie Dog (not to mention the views of the Hudson, the WTC, the Statue of Liberty, and a trip to the Museum of Natural History), my favorite part of the weekend is this: Jessie miraculously and unknowingly got our children to eat the same kind of chicken. Not two separate meals- just one. This is also a big deal. You are winning all the things right now, Jessie.
7. Actually, I really enjoyed NYC, what little we were able to cover in 28ish hours! The little pocket parks between buildings and the huge numbers of families playing out on the lawn by the river create such a different kind of community within the larger city… fascinating to this suburban girl. I look forward to staying a bit longer, seeing more of the city, maybe babysitting that cute baby so her parents can go out. Yes, the miracle of the chicken has merited babysitting. It’s that huge.
8. I got the laundry clean and the airplane snacks made before midnight the night before we leave town… you might not think this is noteworthy, but I manage to procrastinate prepping and packing for travel until the wee hours. I’m so far ahead of my usual self I may pour a drink… sit down… ignore the fact that nothing is actually in suitcases yet.
9. We have church outdoors in the summer. While not everything about this is perfect, I am enjoying these aspects: dewy grass, friends on picnic blankets and folding chairs, rustling leaves, laughing children chasing each other across the yard, voices carried off by the wind as we sing and pray together.
10. There are blackberries growing across the yard- planted by someone else I’m not sure how long ago. Watching the branches flower, push through into tiny green clusters, and now deepen from green to red to black has been so sweet this summer. They will probably fully ripen while we are away, and I like to imagine our friends getting to enjoy them with their families. Why do blackberries mean gathering together to me? They just don’t seem like a solitary fruit- certainly not meant to be consumed hurriedly or privately.
11. I have decided to read more about blackberry cultivation. There will be more of these next year, mark my words.
12. We have several more weeks of summer vacation, and many of our planned adventures and hoped for projects still to fulfill.