Thursday, July 31, 2014

No Second Chances

That was the shortest summer vacation I have ever experienced--with a child OR when I was a kid.  My daughter got out of school June 5th.  Today was her first day of 2nd grade. I am serious. July 31st. It is still technically July and I sent my daughter off to school today. Every first day of school is tough, especially this year for two reasons.
First reason? New school.  My daughter started at this school the first week of May so, really, it is still new to her. I could see it on her face this morning- no big smiles. I could tell from the hug she gave me last night- I had to pry her off of me. However, my daughter being the independent, brave little girl that she is, holds it all in and goes at it with all she's got. I hope she holds on to that bravery for the rest of her life, but I also hope she finds a way to release stress.
She also never wants to show how scared she is in front of me. The only words of her true feelings were said to her father, not me. My feelings are not hurt. I know at this stage in life it is all about daddy. Yeah, I read that in a book, "Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters", which my husband has read--all the way through! (insert sarcasm).  She is growing up way to fast. Every time I buy her new clothes or shoes I pretend to yell at her and say, "I told you to stop growing! You didn't listen!".  Then we both laugh together and she says, "But I can't help it. I have to get big and strong!".  Love. that. girl.

Second reason- This is my last shot (pretty darn sure). A lot of parents get a second shot at moments. You know...."oops, forgot to get pictures of Timmy's first steps. Oh well, we'll plan better for the second kid."  We probably will not get that second chance. God must have other plans for us and our tiny little family. I take a ton of pictures, spoil my daughter a little, make moments extra special, etc.  That is what you do when you have one shot at parenting.  There is no "we will do that with the 2nd" kid. Not saying other parents don't make moments special for all their kids, but...well, it is just different with one kid.  All the big moments are firsts and probably lasts.  Know what though? I am becoming content with that concept.  It has taken me about three years to make that transition, but acceptance is most of the battle.

So here's to an excellent first day of school!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The 4th of July tradition continues...

I can't believe my daughter starts second grade in three weeks. This summer is just too short.  After spending five days with my parents, we met up with my mom at the lake house and spent a gorgeous Fourth of July weekend fishing and enjoying the water. We have spent the last 4 or 5 Fourth of July's here and it has certainly become a tradition. Now that we live closer we hope to get up their several times a year now instead of once or twice.
Our daughter caught three fish this holiday weekend and that doesn't include one that almost pulled her off the dock and then snapped her line and swam off because it was so big.  We also enjoyed a beautiful fireworks display over the lake and watching many houses all around the lake set off fireworks as well.

Our daughter is home for a week and then off she goes again to South Carolina. She is a traveling girl! We are grateful to the wonderful grandparents she gets to spend time with this summer. I never had grandmother's to spend time with when I was a kid so I am more than happy to turn half her summer over to them.

She's in love with this dress grandma got her

My annual photo of my husband and my daughter on the dock 

So glad my dad put this bench out on the dock this year. So peaceful to sit out there.

Quite scary! This hot air balloon came so close to crashing into the water. 

Sitting on the dock watching the fireworks.

Her first time in a paddle boat and she loved it!

Her second fish that she has ever caught all by herself.

Sunrise over the lake.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Settled, Summer, and Smiles

We have made it through the first two months in our new city.  We are settled in and enjoying a peaceful summer. Our first summer in almost three years that we can enjoy without constantly keeping the house clean for showings. I cannot describe the joyous feeling of having dirty floors for a few days.  Seriously, when you clean like a freak constantly for two years it feels damn good to take a break and enjoy life.

Although, this summer I will be finding myself alone quite a bit.  My daughter is gone this week visiting my parents. In a couple of weeks she leaves me again to go with her aunt and other grandma to visit her cousins in South Carolina.  She will be gone for 9 days. I have never been away from her for that long so this should be interesting and make me a nervous wreck.  Maybe I should be more concerned for the sanity of my mother-in-law and sister-in-law for having to be in a car with her for 11 way.

This is also the shortest summer vacation ever.  Her last day was June 5th and she starts second grade July 31st. Squeezing in summer activities and lots of pool time is keeping us very busy.

Bubble fun at grandma and grandpa's

Posing for me at grandma and grandpa's
Love spending time with friends in the pool

Days spent at the neighborhood pool behind our house

Beautiful day spent in Chicago

Top of the ferris wheel in Chicago! What a view! 

Come into Chicago at least once a year and finally ride the ferris wheel. All smiles!
Weather in Chicago could not have been more gorgeous
Exhausted on the train after a fun filled day at Navy Pier and shopping in Chicago