Thursday, August 6, 2015

Midweek Musings

Feeling:  All sorts of in-between right now.  With just two weeks until we start up again, in many ways I'm feeling ready to go back, looking forward to establishing routines, packing backpacks, and feeling a little more productive at the end of each day.  Signs of back-to-school are all around us - school supplies in the Target aisles, cute fall clothes on the cover of my favorite catalogs, and dwindling numbers of afternoon pool goers, and it's hard to not feel excited about the changing of seasons.  All that said, however, it's never easy to say goodbye to a good thing and this summer has been so good.  I've loved our afternoon trips to the pool, watching Cruz grow so much in the water and watching Mila eat sno-cone after sno-cone at the snack bar.  I've loved our slow walks to the car, cranking the AC and driving until I watch their eyes grow heavy from the rearview mirror.  I've loved carrying their dark, sunscreen smelling bodies to their beds, stopping by the mirror to soak in how big they look in my arms before tucking them in their beds for a long, post-pool snooze.  I've loved that sweet time for myself every day, quiet time to tidy up the house, prepare dinner, and sip sun tea on our deck, soaking in the quiet and dreaming up plans for this house.  I've loved t-ball practice and bike rides, sunsets and neighborhood walks, farmers market mornings and grilled pizza nights.  All in all, I am in a really good place, so thankful for a profession that allows me to have the best of both worlds.

Pictures from an afternoon at Lookout Park, testing out handmade kites, and eating PB and Js, and chasing each other down our favorite metal slide.  


Proud of: Cruz!  We are nearing the end of his swimming lessons with Jacob and it's been one of the highlights of our summer days.  I can't say enough about this guy - he gets Cruz to do things he would never do for us, he adjusts his goggles at least fifteen times a lesson, and he even wipes his boogies out of his nose!  But most of all, he's able to get that natural, genuine smile to fill my boy's face and melt his mama's heart.  

Eating:  Aside from Five Dollar Pizza for what seems like every other night now that t-ball games are in full swing, we've been finding our groove in the kitchen lately and finally taking advantage of all the amenities we built into our space.  I spent Sunday afternoon canning twelve jars of peaches, an annual tradition that's getting easier every year.  I loved chopping the eighty tiny peaches on the island, sharing bites with the kids who sat on the stools across from me, and taking full advantage of my pasta arm when it came to filling my canner.  Beau took some fun pictures of our big mess and I'm proud to say all twelve cans sealed up like a dream.

Last Friday night, we hosted our friends, Aram and Katy, for a grilled pizza night, one of Beau and I's favorite dinner themes.  Instead of making dough myself, I bought dough balls from Villa Italian, and spent my prep on a simple homemade tomato sauce and lots of delicious toppings.  I caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms in a garlic butter sauce, cooked bacon, grilled pineapple slices, and chopped little bowls of fresh basil, rosemary, roma tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella.  I love this idea for hosting because it's so interactive.  First, while we poured wine and ate cheese, the kiddos got to personalize their own pizzas.  We had contests to see whose pizza looked and tasted the best.  Then, while the kids celebrated their pizza success with blood orange gelato, we gathered around the island to create our own masterpiece.  We shared the best night and I think I've made a cheese tray every night since. :) 

And who can forget popsicles!  It took us awhile to get in our groove when I couldn't locate our Zoku sticks, but all have been recovered and our afternoon post-nap popsicle adventures are in full swing.  Every other day it seems, we fill our Zoku molds with whatever concoction I can whip up in our kitchen, and the kids LOVE THEM.  Our favorites this summer have been these strawberry watermelon pops from Magnolia Farms' blog and these amazing vanilla pudding pops from Martha Stewart.  I licked the bowl when these puppies were gone!  I love our little routine after nap time - we turn on some music, work up some popsicle creation, then retreat to our little retreat outside, doing our best to keep the popsicles from running down our fingers.  Okay, they always run down Mila's fingers. :)     

I LOVE these pictures of Mila.  What a wild woman she is right now!

Listening to: We are looking forward to a couple more concerts yet this year, two little fall getaways to see The Avett Brothers in September and Of Monsters and Men in October.  In the meantime, though, we're still reliving our GOTR weekend with lots of Dawes, The Maccabees, and Rubblebucket.  Dawes' When My Time Comes is a frequent favorite lately and I'm loving their station on Pandora. 

Looking forward to: A day away with the kids on Friday, some flea market treasure hunting Saturday morning, and a night out with friends Saturday night.  My last full week at home with my babes next week, a final week of swim lessons, and my 31st birthday next Thursday.  I want a special night with my little family, a date night with my hubby, and my big family over for some sort of feast.  And after all that - fall.  Big cozy sweaters, mugs of hot coffee and soups on the stovetop, apple picking, pumpkin hunting, and crispy fall nights curled up with my people.  There's always much to look forward to.  

Some moments captured lately... 

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