The summer of 2013. I don't know where to begin. I will always think of it as a hard summer. The realization that we would lose Hubbell before summer's end overshadowed everything else. I can't help it ~ that's just how I roll. Because we'd paid for two surgeries for our furry guy earlier in the year, I decided to keep both girls at home for the bulk of the summer to save funds that we would've used to pay for summer camps. Yeah. Not easy. There were days I was sure I'd lose my mind before summer ended. But, as with most things in life, when I look back at photos afterward, I see all the amazingly beautiful moments. Even today, after uploading all the summer photos from my phone, I see only fun, smiles, giggles, happiness and love. I tried my very best to make summer memorable for my girls even though I was sad and lost inside. After looking at these, I'm overwhelmed and sentimental. I did good, I think.
For Sophie's first day of summer, Clara was still finishing up her last week of school. I was so happy to have some time alone with my Goose. I'd missed her during her first year of Kindergarten. I dubbed that first week "Butterfly Week" (more to come on that) so, for her first day of summer, we went to Discovery Place. One of the things we did there was watch two 3D films. Soph looked so adorable in her 3D glasses!
When Clara finished school, we celebrated the first full day of summer by having breakfast together at one of our favorite restaurants.
And I realized how good it would be for my two girls to get to spend some real time together again!
I did my best to keep them outside as much as possible, and away from the screens, and often this was accomplished by just throwing pebbles/rocks into the creek at one of our favorite parks.
Oh and there was ART. Lots and lots of art. Sometimes we even invited friends over to join us. My favorite thing about Soph's age now is that I don't hesitate EVER to bring out the art supplies.
I was finally able to take Sophie to the SK8 Park which was so much fun. A highlight for both of us, I think. And it's one of my top ten blog post favorites.
Mom joined Sophie in the art projects most days. It was nice to tap into my own creative energy too!
We spent a lot of time with Soph's closest friend, Aiden. They are so sweet together!
We went to story time here and there.
And, once, this guy made an appearance!!!!
Sometimes Aiden's little sister, Alyssa, joined us too.
When Daddy returned home after a week in Switzerland, we made a Welcome Home sign to give to him when we picked him up from the airport.
We had lunch at Mac's, Mommy's favorite lunch spot, a couple of times.
And there was more art.
We went through some paint.
Even though I tried to avoid it, sometimes this happened.....
We checked out a few parts of town that aren't frequent haunts of ours. And it was in one of those places that I took what is probably my favorite picture of the summer.
We made our own star-shaped crayons.
We gardened and ate tomatoes until they came out of our ears.
Sophie finished the reading program at Barnes & Noble and got to pick out a free book.
We lingered in places longer than normal.
And Mom may have had a few of these here and there when the going got rough.
I took the girls to Discovery Place KIDS for the first time. A big, big hit.
Sophie stayed in the restaurant play area for over an hour......
....while Clara played in the pretend grocery store.
They had a blast while I wore a path in the carpet between both areas.
Clara also enjoyed the tractor there.
Sometimes, the big one fell asleep too.
Clara went for her two year doctor's appointment. During the hour wait (!!!), Clara tried to entertain me with games of Peek-A-Boo.
I took Sophie and her friend, Addie, to the movies to see Smurfs 2.
And our friends, Ethan & Jacob, came to visit from Florida!!!
The highlight for me personally was our trip to Big Meadows. I still can't get over the nature and the beauty and the wildness of the place.
In my Big Meadows post, I mentioned we didn't see any bears. Somehow I TOTALLY forgot about this one. So cute.
Before I knew it, it was time for this.....
.....and school supply shopping.
Oh, these girls. On the last day of summer, we hung out in the driveway for our last afternoon together. I was so happy I took this picture. We had some hard moments but I wouldn't trade the three months of the Summer of 2013 for ANYTHING. Not one moment.
Life was good.