Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer's End (aka the longest catch-you-up-and-summarize-summer post ever known to mankind)

When last I left you, I had kicked off my summer with my very first triathlon.  That started summer off on a high note for sure, and the rest of it was a beautiful blend of both tradition and stepping outside of the box. 

Tradition: The 4H Fair and Peach Festival.  What is our summer without it?  I don't know... the same ole summer but hey, what's the point of tradition if you don't do it every year? 

Outside The Box: Swim Team. Tink and Rella "manned up" and joined our swim club's team this year.  I didn't ever think I wanted to be a "swim mom" and devote two-thirds of our summer to the intensive practice schedule and stress of the meets. When the girls started, they weren't big swimmers. In fact, Tink only learned to swim actual strokes in the Fall and Rella in April.  

Rella, at 6, barely made the "8 and Under" team on a wing and a prayer. But that kid DID it and hung with the big kids like a trooper. She swam her heart out for an hour every morning, 5 days a week and Wednesday night and Saturday morning meets. 

I was so proud of both of them. I know how hard swimming is having trained myself for that blessed quarter mile triathlon swim.  It is not easy, but these kids make it look like it is.  Well, maybe not Rella. When she swims it often looks like a hot mess, but girlfriend has got the eye of the tiger regardless. 

Swim team also means we take full advantage of that pool, which is something CB can enjoy with us as well.  That girl loves splashing in the water! I love that there are several members with young adult children who are a lot like CB and our summer community is so open and accepting of all personalities. Have I mentioned I love our pool?  I love our pool.  Seriously, love. 

Tradition: Our annual, two-week family vacation in the Pennsylvania Mountains.  Unplugged. Beautiful. Relaxing.  

There was the usual hiking, swimming, long walks, family meals...

... and there was the new of more family stopping by for an overnight visit to share the experience.

There were some daredevils this year, taking risks they wouldn't have the summer prior. climbing trees and kayaking.

And little Rella braved her first Roller coaster. 

Tink was the bravest of all staring down a wild wolf!

It was stuffed. Obviously.

Speaking of Tink, she had a very exciting summer. Her 'big girl' front teeth are all grown in and she looks... older.  This makes me sad, but proud and happy too.

She used her Holy Communion money to purchase her long-awaited Nook.

And went on her very first ever sleep over at her best friend's house. 

Pink, now a big 10 year old, went to a summer band camp and they ended it with a beautiful concert in the park.

She also went wild with the face painting kit she got for her birthday. Someone had their face painted almost daily.

CB attended her summer program as usual and spent some time with her Dad in Maryland. The rest of the summer she chilled with us at the pool...

at the playground...

and now that soccer practice has started, on the field. That kid gets dragged everywhere. She's such a trooper. 

We ended the shortest summer in the world (thanks to the 2 billion snow days that kept up in class through almost the entire month of June) with a trip to the beach to visit friends over Labor Day Weekend.

Out of the box?  Our very patient and awesome surfer-friend taught Rella and Pink the basics of surfing.

This is something I would never do, as I have a pretty big phobia of the ocean, but I'm so proud of them for jumping right in there!

School starts this Thursday. I guess summer is essentially over.  All good things have come to an end.  


Kim said...

Looks like a wonderful summer! Love all the photos. Especially the roller coaster pic--great capture!

Elizabeth said...

Girlfriend, I have MISSED you! I'm so glad that your summer was filled with so much activity, fun and relaxation. I can't wait to read more of your writing and hope you have plans to post more regularly!

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