Can't say goodbye to July without looking back on all the good things this month gave us. Preparing for, enjoying, and recovering from vacation made up a lot of our month, but July also brought us some of my favorite simple and lazy days at home. As I look back at my summers, these days to be home in the morning with the kids, to make them breakfast and plan our day together, to listen to them play with their toys while I clean up one meal after another, to snuggle nose to nose with Mila as she sleeps in the afternoon, and to watch Cruz ride his ziggle and run around with the neighbor boys, these little moments are what I will remember the most. The chance to soak up the simple and mundane of our days gives me all the fuel I need to gear up for back-to-school, feeling ready and excited for fall routines and adventures.
Good Things of July...
301. How quiet the house is in the afternoon during Mila's nap.
302. That hour I read the other day, all by myself in the sunny spot on our deck, while Mila slept and Cruz and the neighbors ran through the sprinklers.
303. Mila in her pink tutu, blowing bubbles on the front steps while we wait for Daddy to get home.
304. Top knots from Paige, the only girl who can play with Mila's hair.
305. The way she sits and stretches out on her big girl bed. I catch glimpses of her and have visions of her sixteen year old self sitting there, painting her toes and thinking about boys (Lord help us all).
306. A clean house and hydrangea stems cut from our front yard.
307. Tackled to-do lists and finally finished spaces around here.
308. This new hallway art display, ready just in time for Cruz's kindergarten projects.
309. A blue and red Cubbies t-ball team, with two great daddies turned coaches.
310. Mila's recent liking to this unicorn that I bought her before she was born. She calls him "ooh-nicorn" and it makes Cruz and I laugh.
311. Picnics on the deck and conversations and prayers around our daily devotionals.
312. A day on Gabe and Gina's pontoon. We went to Clear Lake for the day, and had a sleepover with Alivia and Adison that night. Cruz (and Beau) loved the Lily Pad, Cruz went tubing for the first time all by himself, and the kids had so much fun with their sweet cousins.
313. Sweet cherries and cheerios for breakfast. Sidenote: Buy a cherry pitter and remove the pits all at once. Put them in a pretty bowl in the fridge and you'll have endless snacking for days (or minutes, depending who's around).
314. Blueberry pies baked in the afternoon. I tied on my apron, had excellent luck with this crust recipe from Pioneer Woman, and had a pie sitting proudly on my stove top in under an hour and a half total. It was the Monday after we returned from Maine, and Mom came over to catch up while Beau had lots of work to catch up on. We watched the Bachelorette after the kids went to sleep, had bowls of cold orzo pasta with garden veggies, and ended the night with two big pieces of blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream. Loved this cozy night and that fabulous pie.
315. Scratch cupcakes for dinner, and a stroll down Main Street while EVERYONE ELSE was playing Pokemon Go.
316. Fresh tomato basil pasta sauce, roasting on the stove top during a thunderstorm.
317. S'mores before bed.