So yes, it's nearly October, and though I did sort of intentionally plan on taking the summer off from blogging, I didn't mean to take quite this long. However, I absolutely love autumn, and have been waiting for its arrival - pretty much since July - and am excited to get back into the swing of this whole blogging thing now that I will have the excuse to sit down with a cup of hot tea while doing it.
This past weekend, I overhead James telling several of our neighbors that we had a very quiet summer, and other than a family vacation, we didn't do too much. My eyes practically bugged out of my head as I thought, "Quiet summer? What were you doing these past three months?"
Alas, I suppose that is the life of a stay-at-home mom. For what feels like the first time ever (since those carefree childhood summer days back when I was too young to work), I feel like I truly enjoyed and embraced every single day of summer. I wasn't stressed over some ridiculous work project, I wasn't scheming ways to depart the office by 3 on a Friday, I wasn't counting down the seconds to every weekend, I wasn't lamenting over my lack of a tan in July. Oh, and I also didn't spend half the summer feeling like a sweaty whale, and the remainder of the summer in a post-baby minimal-sleep-induced haze.
It was perhaps one of the best summers of my life.
So what did we do? (Now is where you prepare yourself for a ridiculous amount of photos of Sammy. Or at least all that I have the patience to upload right now, which, at 6 a.m. and with only a half a cup of coffee in me, is probably not too many.)
We spent a ton of time outside this summer. I know most parents say that life becomes much harder once children begin walking, but for me, it became so much easier - and so much more fun. All of a sudden we had so many more activity options! Between the splash pad, trips to the park, and Sammy's newfound love of walking up and down our driveway, I loved every second of it.
We celebrated Sammy's first birthday. I still can hardly believe that I have a one-year-old. A toddler. I'd eventually like to do a separate post that includes more photos from his birthday party, but for now, I'll just say that I had a great time putting his party together. We've been to several first birthday parties this year, and I love that our party had some personal touches, but was not too over-the-top with themes, bounce houses, spray-on tattoo artists (seriously, we went to a one-year-old's party this past weekend where there was one present), and passed hors d'oeuvres (yup, same party). We did have a color scheme, but my whole family helped out with the food, the guest list included many of our favorite people (though not all), but wasn't too overwhelming, and I know James and I had a great time. (And I always figure that so long as we have a good time, everyone else is having a good time as well. Is that bad?)
We beached it! Between a couple weekends in Rhode Island and an entire week at the Jersey Shore (no, not that Jersey Shore) with James' entire family, Sammy is set on sand consumption for life, and I got my wave riding fulfillment for the year.
We spent one gorgeous (but hot) day at Lyman Orchards, navigating a sunflower maze and picking blueberries. As to be expected, we walked out with about a half ounce of blueberries once my blueberry-loving boy was done eating my hard-earned crop.
Oh, and we spent more time in Rhode Island and spent more time outside. (I'm clearly uploading these pictures in chronological order out of pure laziness. And the nearing of 7 a.m., Sammy's wake-up time.)
One of the most special moments of the summer was meeting Sammy's new bff, Clark. Clark's mom and I can not wait until we get these boys out on the golf course and ski slopes. Is he not the most adorable newborn ever? (Eh hem - at least since one that was born in July 2011.)
So yes, maybe it was one of our quieter summers, and perhaps our travels did not take us more than three hours away. But, it will always be one of my favorites.