Ending Summer with a bang

We’re back from our whirlwind vacation.


We hit very little traffic on our way (glorious) and arrived in just over the 3 hours google told us the trip would take. It probably would have been exact, but I’m a terrible traveler & always have to stop. My husband has a bladder of steal & never needs to pull over. Needless to say, he is generally displeased with the kids and my inability to ‘just hold it’.

We arrived at the amazing home we were staying in, unloaded the car, & immediately went swimming. The weather was 30 degrees cooler than we’re used to & the pool was heated. It felt perfect!



Then, we went for a picnic. There was a lovely redwood area with a park. We got to relax, eat, and enjoy wandering around.




We went back & the boys played basketball while the girls swam. The house had an amazing basketball court & hoop. My boys were impressed!



We finished the night with dinner, more swimming & Mama had some margaritas. 😊


The rest of the weekend we hung out with various friends, laid by the pool, ate more than we should, played cards, and just relaxed!



We did take a quick trip to the beach. It was a little too cool for most of us to get in, but we still had fun.

This was the first vacation that we have been on where I didn’t try to fill every waking moment with something to do. I am a doer. I want to be doing something all the time. Something about doing things calms & relaxes me. My daughter is the same. She loves a good plan just like her mom. But, my husband and sons are not doers. They like to pause & just be. This trip was the first we had time to just be. It turned out wonderful. And, truth be told I feel pretty relaxed from just hanging out too.



Now, all three kids leave for a few days with my mother in law. They arrive back in time to go to my company picnic. Then, two days later Cora & I have a trip to the neurologist we are doing our best to make into a girlie trip. Our exchange student arrives soon after that. I’m so very thankful we got to spend just a few days relaxing before we end this summer with a bang!







Into the wild blue yonder

My children love to go camping.  It’s interesting that they love it so much because their mother really is not a fan of being outside.  I remember liking camping as a kid.  I’m not sure if it’s the constant junk food we got to eat the whole time, the friends and family we went with or just that it was something different than the usual day in and day out.  I grew up camping in an RV.  My kids don’t have that.  Instead they really truly camp – tents, sleeping on the ground, etc.  It’s a lot for me to get myself out there because there is just so much NATURE involved.  But, I do go because it’s fun to have family outings they love.

Just yesterday the twins were asking how many days until school was out.  I told them six.  They immediately wanted to know when our first camp trip was going to happen.  I told them it was scheduled for the middle of June.  They started talking about their favorite camp sites and what they liked about each one.

Our first camping trip is always to Patrick’s Point.  It’s a company sponsored trip.  A bunch of my co-workers and their families go.  We hang out at the beach, we sit around the campfire, and really it’s just a beautiful and relaxing time.  I really can’t complain too much (aside from the usual dirty feet, bugs, and filthy clothes that general camping brings).   Thankfully, Patrick’s Point has bathrooms. (Praise the LORD!)  My kids adore that their friends are there and it’s just a great weekend for the whole family.

Another place we go every year is Tamarac.  It’s way up in the mountains, difficult to get to, and very secluded.  The camp site is great.  It has a little fresh water creek running through it and overlooks a lake.  The husband and kids go down and swim in the lake (I heard there were water snakes and I will never ever get in the water there).  I generally get to spend a lot of time reading and tanning while they all hike.  It’s lovely.

And, our third favorite camp place is Siskiyou.  It is, of course, my most favorite because it’s the least like camping.  There is a store, showers, a place the kids can watch movies, and yet we still camp and go to the lake, go fishing etc.

I have to admit hearing the kids discuss it makes me a little excited to go.  It’s really just great to get away from everything – out of cell range – and spend some real time with my little family.

A few of my favorite things

Here it is Spring.  The sun is shining (for now) and the pollen is freely blowing around the area.  As long as there is mostly sun I don’t even mind the occasional Spring showers.  I just don’t want it to get all crazy.  When I can tell it’s Spring I start thinking about Summer.  Summer is my favorite time of year.  There is generally all the sunshine I could ever want, my husband BBQs nearly every night, and I get to see my kids so much more than during the school year.  Spring means Summer plans.  So,  I’m trying to pick out cheap fun things to do this summer.  It just occurred to me recently that I only have a couple of summers left that my oldest will even want/be available to hang out with the family.  That’s really sad.  But, on to planning summer:

–        Camping:  Of course we have camping.  We go multiple times every year.  My kids really enjoy camping.  We don’t have a trailer and we don’t do ‘fancy’ camping.  We have a tent and a cook stove and some chairs.  We spend lots of time wandering around looking at all the cool things in nature.  (I shouldn’t really say ‘we’ wander around.  The kids and TJ wander around while I read a book and lay in the sun).  Camping is one of my favorite vacations because TJ takes responsibility for cooking and cleaning because he knows I’m not a big fan of dirt, trees, bugs, or animals.  Okay, I hate nature.  But, I enjoy being with my family so it really balances out the whole camping experience.

–        Swimming: My parents own a pool and my kids spend hours in it.  I used to swim even when it was so cold it made my lips turn blue.  Of course, now I realize that sitting in the air conditioned house really is the best option for getting cool and saves all those around from seeing me in a swimming suit.   But, swimming is still fun.  I even get in the pool (despite the nature it involves – bugs, leaves, lizards, pee etc) when no one but my immediate family are around.

–        Outdoor BBQ parties:  This generally involves just us (and whatever neighbor kids wander over).  We BBQ (we = TJ when it comes to BBQing), hang out on the porch with the tiki torches lit (it keeps most of the bugs away), and just enjoy the long evenings.  It’s pretty glorious.

–        Swinging on the front porch: Sure, our swing is really more of a glider.  But, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s one of my favorite summer activities.  Once we get all the kids in bed TJ and I often sit on the porch and talk.  Yes, weird I know.  We get caught up on all that’s happening in our crazy lives, we talk about whatever comes to mind really.  (We= mostly me when it comes to talking )

–        Gardening: I shouldn’t really call it gardening.  I should call it harvesting.  The truth is I don’t actually enjoy gardening.  But, I enjoy having something to harvest which simply means I have to garden first.  I didn’t plant anything last year and it made me sad that I didn’t have anything to harvest.  Gardening wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t involve dirt, snakes and bugs, but it does.  So, I have to get through that part this year and then I will have tomatoes (fresh tomatoes off the vine are so yum), squash (yummy when I actually cook them – I wouldn’t eat one raw, not even for money), and maybe a couple other things (I planted corn one year and it was delish, but if I remember correctly it wasn’t as easy to do as tomatoes and squash which I can’t seem to kill).

–        Rafting:  I adore our annual rafting trip.  Heading down the Sacramento river with zero plans and no way for anyone to contact me or distract me from relaxing is the best!  It is only improved by the fact that we go with people we adore.

–        Baseball: Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t really like baseball.  But, I like watching my kids play sports.  And, my youngest son adores baseball.  He gets so into it that it truly makes it fun for me to watch.  I also love sitting by the other moms chatting about our kids and the fun they are having on the team.  The worst part of summer is not seeing my friends (aka: other school parents)

I’m sure there is more summer fun I’m missing.  Keep me updated on what you have planned that I should try.