This has been a pretty great summer. I know, I didn’t even wait for the suspense to build. I just jumped right in. And that’s kind of what we did this summer too. The moment school ended and the last soccer game was played, we jumped in the car and began our Summer of Adventure.
Maybe I should rewind a bit. At the beginning of the summer I was challenged by a post I read from MOPS. It said we should claim and name our seasons. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for something like that. I wasn’t sure if I could add one more thing to my plate. I wasn’t sure if we could be that intentional. But I have learned the power in words and claiming them as your own (you can read more story about claiming the words: Courage + Grace). So I did. I claimed this summer as our Summer of Adventure.
And it was. We adventured our hearts out. Most of our adventures were right here, in our own backyard. Most of our adventures were with our neighbors. Most of our summer was spent here, with the people we know. Deep in community. And if you know me, you know that that was perfectly perfect. Because I love community. And I also love easy. And backyard adventures are just that. Simple easy ways to find adventure and excitement right where you are. No money and no fuss needed. And always best with friends. (I created a list of my favorite backyard adventures, if you need ideas!)
Okay, now back to the beginning of our summer. While it was filled with backyard adventures with neighbors, we also had quite a few big adventures. This never happens, but somehow, this summer was the perfect storm for trips. And I loved it, though, there were moments that were downright exhausting. We began our summer with a fun filled family trip to Florida. We soaked up time at the beach, pool, and Legoland. A month later, I flew to Greece for a beautiful family reunion. It was such a wonderful time and the place of some of my most precious memories: like standing in front of and seeing each of the homes my grandmother lived in and walking the places she walked and grew up. My heart leaps at just remembering these moments. The trouble is, now I can’t wait to get back there!
A few weeks after that we took our older two on a weekend camping trip to Niagra Falls and the Adirondack Mountains. It was beautiful but short. And kind of rainy. But really, it was pretty amazing. And a few weeks ago, some very dear friends invited our entire family to spend a weekend with them at their family farm. The peaceful quiet was irreplaceable. And I am oh so very thankful for the trip and the time with them.
In between all this traveling and adventure, we just plain had fun. We ate from our garden, played in the sprinkler, enjoyed family movie afternoons, and bike parades or races (depending which child you asked). We also celebrated the birthdays of the two littlests. Baby Boy turned two and we celebrated with a family fun day at the Children’s Museum. A few weeks later, Sweet Boy Child turned four and we celebrated with a family day at the Arboretum. We celebrated 10 years of marriage with an anniversary photo shoot in Lake Michigan. We celebrated Man-Child’s decision to be baptized. We visited my in-law’s cottage and enjoyed time on the water. We rested and had special outings with each little.
Looking back, I have to say, this summer was pretty great. We didn’t practice letters as much as I would have liked. We didn’t practice math as much as I would have liked. But we did practice living in community. We did practice grace. We did practice kindness. We did practice seeking adventure: the big and the small. We did practice thankfulness. We did practice togetherness. And so I would say it was a success. Because really, it was. We enjoyed. We rested. We celebrated.