Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sending off Summer with a Smile

It's finally time to admit that summer is over. I've been hanging on by the skin of my teeth but, when I had to dig the fuzzy slippers out of the recesses of my deep, dark closet; I knew it was time. 

For over a decade now Dave and I have annually closed the chapter on summer with a trip to the shore. We have continued the tradition with the kids and this year was the most memorable yet. 
The house where we stay each year is smaller than our first NYC studio apartment and provides the perfect spot for letting toddlers run around with no worries. 
(It's so small in fact that it only warrants 1/2 an address.)
Sissy and I went down to start the week with girls-only time and it was precious. 
Each day we were at the beach she would find something to quietly occupy her time as if she knew I needed some downtime because morning sickness makes it tough to be fully playful.
 We enjoyed shopping trips and meals out together.
 (Sissy threw a temper tantrum to wear these shoes right now so we rocked the
Cousin Minnie Pearl look since we had no scissors to remove the tags.)
and, of course, more trips to the beach.
(I taught Emerson how to bury her feet which kept her occupied for almost an hour.)
One of the highlights of being just the girls is one of us called it a night around 8:00 which meant I had no choice but to dim the lights, eat my single serving of Haagen Dazs peanut-butter-and-chocolate ice cream, catch up on magazines and watch Suits on my new ipad. 
Once Daddy and Hunter arrived, the trip was filled with more activity, walks on the boardwalk, flying kites and exploring new dining spots. 
 (Ipad + Gabba gang = a quiet meal for Mommy and Daddy.)
As the week progressed it brought on chillier temperatures which meant layering up.
(Reading "Pinkalicious", a family favorite.)
Cooler weather meant we had a good excuse to wear our warm, fleecy pajamas to breakfast and the playground.
 (Sissy loved walking the suspension bridge over and over again.)
(You know he's playing hard when the tongue comes out.)
The playground took it to a whole new level when Hunter discovered he could practice his jumping.
(Boo ya!)
 And Sissy's favorite spot was the swing.
On the ride home I asked Hunter what he liked most about our trip to which he answered, "ice cream, vanilla, chocolate, ice cream and milkshake." 

I smiled because I know that he'll always have fond memories of this place just as we do.
 Goodbye Kerr until next year!

We'll send you off with some of our final summer memories all of which I'd gladly do all over again.
(Copy/paste this link into a new window and listen while you look...

1) Rhode Island with good, good friends.
 2) Always having an excuse for gelato and ice cream.
 ....and getting nude.
 3) Getting to spend time with my favorite non-British-British girl.
 4) Dressing her up....
 ....just because.
 5) Homemade popsicles laced with vegetables.
 6) Having a beach right outside out back door.
 7) Celebrating Mommies I love.
 8) Coloring inside when it's too hot outside.
 9) Finally finding an alternative to paper that Mommy will allow us to draw on.
 10) Fresh fruit sangria Mommy's-night-in celebrations.
 while laughing and talking on the glider and under a full moon.
 11) Discovering more of me and learning to stay true to her.
 12) Turning crayon stubs into beautiful crayon pizazz.

(Emerson wearing the outfit my Gamma made me.)
 13) Trips into the city followed by introductions to the world's best cupcakes.
 Even health-conscious Daddy can't say no to these bad boys.
 Here Dad....
 14) Football shaped pancakes made by Daddy....
....and not being too old to have initial shaped pancakes made by my own Daddy.
15) Using things made by our own hands versus buying them. 
 15) Beautiful blue sky beach days.
 (Our uber-amazing sitter Kathleen.)
16) Glitter crusted beaches perfect for practicing our words and letters.
 (I know we'll never be poor here because, I am a grown woman still carrying a bit of that 
9 year old girl inside and, I truly believe that these are really diamonds.)
 (Carrying our word cards into the water because we can't bear to part with them.)
 17) Last trips to our favorite ice cream parlor for blue cotton candy yumminess.
 18) Beautiful sunsets that take your breath away.
 19) Hoping bonnet-wearing goes as well next year.
 20) Growing and learning right before our eyes and knowing it will be over all too soon.
Tonight Hunter wanted to say the blessing before dinner. His prayer was, "Dear Jesus, thank you for colors, numbers, phonics, sun, playroom, puppy, Happy Birthdays. Help us to use gentle hands, kind words. We love you. Amen."

I couldn't help but smile. He is a happy boy who recognizes he has much to be grateful for and also knows, as his parents do, that he's still growing and learning.

Immediately after opening his eyes, Hunter looked outside and pointed saying, "look Mommy, yucky poopy trees!" Ah, the potty talk has begun.

I'm anxious for what else Fall will teach us..... 

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."  ~Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie