A Little of This and That in July

Aug 11, 2019

In spite of the way the month ended, July was mostly a fun and busy month. For the record, we spent our time . . .

Welcoming . . . Mike's parents home from Germany. For the last four years, my in-laws have been in Europe on a Church assignment. They would come back to the US for General Conference and for a few weeks in the summer, but other than that, they were very far way. But they recently got reassigned to Salt Lake City, and on July 1st, they flew home to stay! We are all so happy and grateful to have them back. Some of my kids (Ian, Clark) can't even remember what it was like when they lived here.

Showering . . . my mom with birthday cards. My mom had a big birthday this year (sixty!), and so I organized a massive card drop from family and friends. For the week surrounding her birthday, her mailbox was flooded with birthday cards from loved ones far and near. She loved it. All told, I think she received close to one hundred cards.

Catching . . . candy at a parade. I love parades. I think it's because I grew up in a small town where our little parade every summer was a big deal. I just always think that parades should be a part of summer. Unfortunately, it has not been a tradition that I've been able to get to stick with our family. We've gone to a parade here and there over the years but not with any regularity, partly because Mike feels the opposite about parades. But this 4th of July, we weren't out of town, so I convinced everyone to go to our little community parade in the morning. And it was one of the best parade experiences we've ever had. It helped that the temperature was about twenty degrees cooler than it normally is in July, and we found a nice shady spot to to watch. But more than that, it was just so fun to see tons of people we knew, both in the parade and on the sidelines. I guess it had that same community feel as the one from my childhood, and I loved that. And of course my kids loved it because they were showered with candy, and we came home with more than on Halloween. It was a perfect way to start off the holiday.

Celebrating . . . our nation's independence with a parade (already mentioned), hamburgers and hot dogs, a water fight, the slip and slide, a pinewood derby race, a bike ride, and fireworks (which, turns out, I like less and less every year).

Riding . . . my bike with my mom. When we were at my parents' house for the 4th of July, my mom and I went on a bike ride together. She rides her bike almost every day, and I wanted to see the route that she usually goes on. Basically, I came home super jealous that she has several great bike trails so close to her house.

Spending . . . a weekend at the cabin. Soon after Mike's parents got home, we went up to the family cabin with them for a couple of days. They had two of our nephews with them, and it was one of the most enjoyable visits we've ever had. Ian stayed busy trying to throw every available rock and stone into the little stream, and the big boys roamed around looking for snakes and bugs. Aaron built a little lean-to next to a tree, with help from his cousin, Tyler. There were many rounds of Skull King and delicious doughnuts and ice cream. Mike's dad gave all of the boys a forty-minute presentation on fire arms safety (they stayed riveted for the entire duration of the lecture), and then he took them all shooting, and Mike's mom and I put Ian down for a nap and were then left with a perfectly quiet cabin, which was heavenly. We loved getting some good one-on-one time with them for a couple of days.

Saying . . . goodbye to our nephew, James, who left on a church mission to Perth, Australia. We're entering the stage in Mike's family where all of the nephews (I say nephews because it's almost all boys for the first ten years or so) are going to start leaving in droves, and I can hardly stand it. We're going to miss James, but I'm just glad he finally had a reason to cut his hair, haha.

Kicking . . . off our summer of reunions (all told, we have four) by going to the Washburn family reunion. I used to get really burned out by reunions because it was just a lot of people for a lot of time, but I've learned that if I give myself a couple of hours of quiet in the afternoon, I enjoy my time with everyone a lot more. (And luckily, since I still have a child who naps, sneaking away for a couple of hours is actually really easy.) My kids, on the other hand, don't seem to need a quiet break at all. They were all about all of the games and activities and were filthy enough by the end of the day to prove it. We came home tired but so happy that we got to spend time with so many loved ones.

Swimming . . . with my brother and his family. My brother prides himself on still being a fun uncle even though he has kids of his own, and he proved it at the pool with a rousing game of Keep Away.

Braving . . . Girls' Camp. I am currently serving in the Young Women organization in my ward, which means I had the opportunity to go to camp! And aside from lying awake for hours in the cold and dark on the first night, I had an awesome time. We made bracelets, sang camp songs, performed a ukulele number in the talent show, went on a bike ride, listened to an inspiring devotional, shared our testimonies, and gave lots of hugs. It reminded me of all the girls' camps I went to as a teenager, and I remembered things I hadn't thought of in years. Most of all, I just enjoyed being with the girls and leaders. I was so inspired by the attitude and kindness and creativity of the girls, and I am so grateful I got to hang out with them when they weren't glued to their phones. (Also, it was only two nights, which I know a lot of people had mixed feelings about, but I loved that it was shorter because a) it made it easier for me to make childcare arrangements for my kids, b) it was easier for the younger girls to be away from home, c) we ended on a high note instead of getting to the point where everyone was melting down, and d) I only had to sleep on the ground for two nights, ha!).

Wondering . . . why I have to freeze in the winter and the summer. Even though Mike claims he isn't keeping the house as cool as he would like it, I still find myself shivering and going outside just so I can thaw out a little bit. Meanwhile, anytime we go anywhere, Mike searches for the shadiest spot to park the car and even chases it around throughout the day so the car doesn't heat up too much.

Finishing . . . three, yes THREE, knitting projects: a hat, a shirt, and a pair of slippers. It felt good to finally finish some projects instead of just start them.

Taking . . . swimming lessons. Maxwell and Bradley took stroke development with Coach Tom, and they learned so much. (I still regret not taking a video of all of the swimmers' first attempts at the butterfly--it was so funny.) Towards the end of it, their teacher asked if they would consider joining the swim team. Since Aaron is already on it, it was something I was already thinking about, but I'm very conscious of over scheduling them, so we'll have to see if we can cut out something else.

Checking . . .  off family reunion #2, this one with Mike's dad's side of the family. It was just a one-day affair filled with 9-square, can jam, face painting, crafts, water bounce house, lots of visiting, and food. Sometimes I hear people talk about extended family reunions as something to be endured or an event that only the senior members of the family care about, but that is not the way I feel about these extended reunions at all. I love catching up with everyone and meeting the new babies and seeing the transformation that happens with the kids over a couple of years. Maybe it's just because these are some of the nicest people on the planet, so who wouldn't want to brush shoulders for a day?

Heading . . . to Lake Tahoe for a family vacation. My brother, Gordy, and his family came with us, and we had the best time. I'd do it again in a heartbeat . . . even with a tantrumy two-year-old. I'll share more highlights soon.

Doing . . . a little flashback. One morning, Ian was outside saying goodbye to Mike. He wasn't wearing a shirt, and it reminded me of a photo of Aaron around the same age. So I had to recreate it.

Turning . . . eleven! In spite of being excited for his birthday, Aaron couldn't think of anything he wanted to do to celebrate. So we kept the festivities to a minimum: presents, dinner with my brother's family, and pie. (A couple of weeks later, Mike took Aaron and some cousins to a space center, so we eventually did do something special.) At eleven, Aaron is still quiet and easy going and just plain nice, but he is also brave and ambitious and willing to try new things.

Ending . . . the month on a rather bad note: in the hospital, receiving the news that Aaron has a rare blood disease.

Hoping and praying for lots of good news in August!


  1. Looks like a lovely month. I hope Aaron is okay. Sending good thoughts and prayers!

  2. Another beautiful month! My family only does reunions every five years or so, but I love meeting up with all the people I haven't seen.

    And my boys stayed nice throughout their teens, so don't automatically expect Aaron to get moody! (My youngest is off to college this year)

  3. As always love your updates! :-) Have Aaron in my prayers xx


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