Summer Love. That’s what it’s all about. It’s about camping and bonfires and s’mores. It’s about late nights, corn on the cob, star-gazing and sunburns. It’s about swimming, watermelon, sandals and being in nature. But most importantly, summer is about loved ones, laughter and memories made. Ross and I have worked really hard to be intentional with the time we dedicate to our family. It is often hard for him to get away from his farm, to leave any task undone. However, I make him. I was abundantly blessed as a child to be raised by two people who only put God above our family unit. My parents taught me time was far more valuable than “stuff.” I was raised knowing how deeply I was loved. I knew this because of the time and energy my parents put directly into me. I hope that I am able to instill those same values into my children.
So back to it. Making memories and building deep relationships. We try to be thrifty in our vacations so that we can do more. This year we made a quick trip to Madison, Wisconsin. We had a few snags along the way. I booked a campsite that didn’t have running water, which meant no flush toilets. Charlotte was having none of that, and I can’t say I blamed her. So we risked some extra drive time and went to another campground. They had a site for us, but no electricity. We decided to take it and hope the weather cooperated. It probably would have been fine, except Mother Nature chose that weekend to be the HOTTEST of the summer! and the BUGS, oh my, the mosquitoes. We couldn’t be inside and we couldn’t be out. We went home a day early because we were all done. But we did enjoy some good times.
We were able to also go camping for our annual family reunion on father’s day weekend. It is always one of my favorite weekends of the year. My dad has 7 siblings. I have 30 first cousins and many of them have kids now too. There are a BUNCH of people! And it’s just super fun. We also had a reunion with my mom’s side of the family, something that we haven’t been able to do in about 25 years!! I have a cousin who lives in Austrilia and was able to visit with her family. We made some extra special memories with them! I don’t have many pictures, because I tried to be intentional in setting my phone down and being present.
We spent a few days at my Aunt and Uncle’s lake home. It is a place I have held near and dear since I was young and getting to share this special place and extra special people with my children is magical. I grew up with the nickname “Tadpole” because I was always the first one in the water and last one out, no matter how cold it was. My children have inherited my love of swimming and this summer they really grew in their love of water.
We ended our summer with a tradition we started last year when my son started school. We call it “Back-to-school weekend.” The idea is that the weekend before school starts we dedicate to family. Just the five of us. This year’s plans got a little bit wonky due to other commitments, but we still made the best of it. We chose to do and go to several places we haven’t been before. But there will be more on this in a future post!
Other favorites of the summer include going to the annual Allamakee County Fair, having the circus come to town, having sleep overs with cousins including swimming and ice cream, raising calves and kittens, movie days, day dates, swim team and celebrating my 31st rotation of the sun.
I love to spoil my children, but more importantly, I love to love them. As so many parents understand, the days are long and the years are short. As two of my kiddos are in school this year, and a new season of life begins, I am thankful for the investment I am able to make into my children’s lives. Never once has that been time, energy or effort wasted.