Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What Made it Great

Summer won't officially end for another six weeks - and summer weather won't officially end until after Thanksgiving - but summer vacation wraps in less than two weeks. June, July, and August have collectively lived up to my lofty expectations, so while I'm looking forward to fall (my favorite season), fall weather (my favorite weather), and fall activities (my get it) with giddy anticipation, saying good-bye to the summer of 2013 feels bittersweet.

Saying good-bye to the weather of the summer of 2013, on the other hand, feels ah-may-zing. AMAZING.

Taken on the same day at the same time while I was in Wisconsin:

Taken on the same day at the same time while I was in Texas:

In honor of this spectacular summer, below are a few of my favorite photos from our adventures.
Tom and Hallie dancing at my cousin's wedding. Love.
Will teaching Lily how to play the piano at our family reunion. The moment -
one of the sweetest I've ever witnessed between these two - melted my heart.
Note the white on white on white living room in our rental house - this was
the only time the children set foot in the living room during our 48 hour stay.
I'm so grateful I managed to catch Will trying to figure out if
"Vegas" was male or female. He's an inquisitive boy, that one.
The simplest experiences - like just chillin' with your best friend on a pool
lounge chair, juice box in hand - are often some of the best and most memorable.
The boys. They may be six years apart, but I'm grateful they have each other
and I look forward to watching their relationship develop as they grow older.
The girls. They look nothing alike, but these two little firecrackers were cut from
the same bold, vibrant, colorful cloth and will someday team up to rule the world.
I love having a son and a daughter, but there's a part of me - the part that enjoyed
growing up with a sister of my own - that feels guilty about not giving Hallie a sister.
I'm so grateful these two have and love and hate each other just like real sisters.
To hear him tell it, Will water skied five times for 10 seconds, 15
seconds, nine seconds, 12 seconds, and on his last attempt, 90 seconds.
In reality, Will water skied once, for one second. And it was amazing.
The almost-finished lemonade stand.
The completely finished lemonade stand. Which we've yet to use.
(See the weather photos above as an explanation.)
One of the many harvests from our backyard garden.
Tom installed this vintage bottle opener on the side of one of our
kitchen cabinets. I love it, despite the fact that Blue Moon tops twist off. 
This is what happens when you allow a creative and prone-to-
excessivity four-year-old paint her own face at the children's museum. 
For this boy, all of life is a race - even when it's not.
The smile on her face and the gentleness in her touch as
she loves on this baby chicken give me hope for her future. 
There is no place that boy would rather be than in a bumper car with his grandpa.
Except maybe practicing his karate moves with sparklers.  
It only took me 12 tries to capture this silhouette shot of Will riding his horse.
Posing for this picture was effortless for Hallie. Theatrics are in her blood.
My loves at the UW Memorial Union.
And maybe my favorite pic of all...  On our road trip from Iowa to Wisconsin, Grandma
and I drove while Grandpa rode in back with the kids. Will and Gramps crashed, but the
wee one - who never, ever sleeps - stayed awake and messed with them. I love her little
photo bomb, and the fact that she took Grandpa's glasses off him and wore them herself.
If you're interested in seeing pics from the rest of our summer travels, click on the links below!

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