Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Top Ten Things of Summer 2013

In chronological order...

1. I got this little guy to warm up to me (a little). 

This is my cute nephew, Shane. He's my sister Elizabeth's second son. One of my summer goals was to get Shane to like me. I wanted to be able to hold him and play with him without him crying or running away or giving me the stink-eye (he was especially good at the stink-eye). But he was having none of it, and he kept rejecting my advances. (Kids who don't want to play with me are one of those "fun" challenges in life that I feel compelled to fix--especially when they're related to me!). I'm happy to report that I experienced a small but very significant victory when after spending some time together one day Shane came over to me all on his own and fed me some food with a little smile on his face. Success!! (And I will mention again here that the hardest thing about living in Iowa is being so far away from family!)

2. I took the boys to the movies, all by myself. 
I was brave on a super-hot day in July in Massachusetts and took the boys to see Monsters University. The reasons this makes the top ten list are: 1) I'm not usually good about doing things like that on my own, and 2) it was Sam's first time going to a movie in the theater. And he liked it! And it was actually fun! I had to hold him on my lap to prevent him from running down the aisle and playing on the chairs during the slower parts of the movie, but still, he did well, and the three of us had a good time together. 

3. We bought a house on Cape Cod. 
This was the highlight of the summer! Not only was it fun to house-hunt and find "the one," but it was also the achievement of a big goal of ours: to own our own place on the Cape, a place that's become very special to us as we have vacationed there each summer for nine years in a row. I'll be writing more about the house in a few weeks once we close on it and it's officially ours. For now I'll just say that it's adorable and in great condition, it came fully furnished and stocked, it's a half-mile walk to the ocean, it's in a town and area that is one of my favorites, and the price was right. Sold!

4. I had a birthday.
(Shout hooray! Sorry, that Primary song is stuck in my head.)
My birthday was full of good things. I was staying at one of my favorite places (Cape Cod). Peter and I took the boys for a morning canoe ride on the lake near the house we were renting (a lake that we've stayed by for four years and one that we really like). I got to go back to the house we're buying and really explore it because the sellers accepted our offer the night before. We ate dinner at one of my favorite restaurants on the Cape, Yarmouth House, where I got one of my favorite meals, Lazy Man's Lobster. And the next night Peter and I went to a delicious dinner at an historic old inn by ourselves. A birthday full of good things, indeed!

5. I flew a kite with my family at my favorite kite-flying spot, right near the beach on (where else?) Cape Cod. 
We hadn't done this in a few years and it's something I always enjoy. I'll do a separate post about it soon with some cool pictures, but for now, I'll just post this one of me gripping the kite handle (those ocean breezes can be strong!).

6. I joined Instagram. 
And I really like it! I resisted joining for a long time because I didn't want yet another time-sucking, attention-grabbing distraction, this one right on my phone. But it's really fun and it's not that distracting or time-consuming, at least not after the first week or so once the fascination dies down a little. It's fun because it's like a mini-blog, simple and cute, and it's neat to see other people's pictures. Now if only some of my family members would join it! Look at the cute things you're missing, you guys. 

7. The University of Iowa was rated the #1 party school in the country. 
The irony of this is so funny to me. We moved to the conservative, family values-centered Midwest from the liberal, worldly Northeast, and yet the college town we moved to is home to the #1 party school in the U.S.
We just can't seem to escape it! Ha ha.

8. We went to the Iowa State Fair.
It was our second time going in the three years that we've now lived here. We spent almost all of our time there on the rides, because that's what fun-loving boys like to do most! 

9. I ate a deep-fried Milky Way for the first (and hopefully not last) time in my life. 
It was at the Iowa State Fair, and it tasted much better than I expected it to. Sweet, gooey, chocolatey, and yummy without being too much of any of them, except for the yummy! I definitely want to eat one of those again. It's a good thing state fairs are only held once a year.

10. John started third grade. 
I can't believe he's old enough to be in third grade. Third grade is when I had my first real crush on a boy (his name was Robert Zelch and he was the handsomest boy in my class!). My son can't be old enough for all that!

There are better pictures than this where he's holding a "3rd grade" sign but I wrote his school and teacher's name on the sign so I can't post it here because I don't want to give any possible stalkers out there that kind of information. One of the precautions one must take when one's blog is public!

And ever since school started about a month ago, it has let out two hours early seven times due to a high heat index (because a few of the schools in the district don't have air-conditioning). Reason #275 why school should start after Labor Day. (Although, admittedly, two of those early-release days were AFTER Labor Day...crazy hot Iowa weather!)

There was a lot more to summer than these things, but these are the top ten. I'll be blogging more about them and everything else in the weeks to come!