Wednesday, August 6, 2014

An All-American July…An All-Exasperated August

As I sorted through the hundreds of pictures I took while in Wisconsin, I couldn't help but notice how idyllic our summer vacation would appear to an outside observer. If you flipped through our virtual photo album - the highlights of which are below - you would see sunshine, blue sky, and rainbows. Amusement parks, baseball games, and parades. Water skiing, tubing, and fishing. Books, movies, and live music. Sparklers, tire swings, and dirt*. Ice cream cones and popsicles. Grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
This was actually a double rainbow, but the second arch
(above the visible arch) didn't show up in my photos.
Summer doesn't feel complete until I've seen a rainbow.
Will and me on "our" wheel.
Will on the tilt-a-whirl. I used to LOVE the the tilt-a-whirl,
but if I ride it now I feel sick for the remainder of the day.
Thankfully Will was tall enough to ride on his own.
Grandma and her girls on the merry-go-round. This is
perhaps my favorite picture of the three of them EVER.
Grandma and Lily on the miniature roller coaster. I love every
aspect of this picture: their faces, of course, but also the vibrant
colors, glorious sky, and picturesque barn in the background.
Grandma and Carter on the merry-go-round.
All smiles all the time, that boy.
You can't see him, but Will's up there in that car, happy as can be,
which makes me love this brilliantly-colored representation of summer.
Tailgating outside Miller Park in Milwaukee.
The kids' first Milwaukee Brewers game.
The Minocqua 4th of July Parade.
He did it!
Few 64-year-olds can water ski like my dad.
No hands!
Will's catch of the trip.
Walking back from the Little Library
and already reading his find of the day.
Ok, so there were a few video games as well.
(Notice how sweet Clemmy is watching over him.)
Sitting on the lawn of the Wisconsin State Capitol
and listening to live music at Concerts on the Square.
She certainly lit up my 4th of July.
Grandma and Grandpa hung a tire swing from a
huge oak tree in their backyard; to say it was a
hit would be the understatement of the summer.
One morning (immediately following breakfast) Will
spun himself around in circles for 30 minutes straight.
Soon after we left to run an errand…and soon after that we
pulled over so Will could throw up by the side of the road.

This video was taken on day two of our three-week stay 
in Madison; as time went on, they only grew gutsier.

She came to me like this not once...
…but twice. She's drawn to dirt like a moth to a flame.
So. Much. Ice Cream. 
Just a couple of sets of twins, enjoying their afternoon snacks.
This kid. Oh, my heart.
Cousin love.
(Plus a 5th child who wouldn't get off the chair.)
We were lucky to spend a third of our summer vacation experiencing so much of what Wisconsin has to offer alongside our parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. And I'm lucky to have captured so many of these experiences on my camera. 

I plan to revisit these photos regularly throughout the next few weeks, because as I trudge through the eternity that is the month of August, I expect to need frequent reminders that not every moment of my summer was spent breaking up fights over who gets to choose the afternoon cartoon, settling arguments about whether the song lyrics are "let it go" or "let is snow", or picking up the aftermath of yet another Ninja Warrior course. 

July rocked. August…not so much.

At least not yet. The month is young though, so we're all working on turning it around. 
Carter gets how I feel about August.
*While I don't necessarily consider dirt an "idyllic" plaything, my children certainly do.

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