Tuesday, August 14, 2012

summer swimming lessons

Summertime means one thing for certain: swimming lessons.

This summer Kate participated in both of the summer swimming lesson sessions through our local parks and recreation department. Although she did not pass to the next level she has become far more comfortable in the water. She is now willing to get her whole head wet, can get herself in and out of the pool all on her own, wants to be first to try everything, and tolerates being splashed. We are so proud of all she has accomplished and her increased comfort level in the pool.

We are looking forward to more swim lessons and watching her gain all the skills needed to be a proficient swimmer!

(This was my first attempt at putting together a video using iMovie. I am pretty impressed at how well it turned out. Enjoy!)

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Sunday, August 12, 2012


Loving: My new Saltwater Sandals. I believe these will become a new summer-time staple in our house. They are comfortable, classic, and go with anything. 

Reading: I finished reading Two Kisses for Maddy by Matthew Logelin about a week ago. It is a beautiful, touching, memoir about a man who lost his wife 27 hours after she gave birth to their daughter, Maddy. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made truly think about what matters most in life. I have just started reading Bloom by Kelle Hampton this week. Bloom is another beautiful memoir about the birth of Kelle's second child, Nella. It is a story that pulls on my heartstrings and reminds me to find the everyday beauty in life. 

Watching: We have been watching the Olympics and a little pre-season football. 

Anticipating: The start of the school year. My classroom is done. The year is laid out. Now its time to plan the first days and meet my students.

Listening To:  A variety of music. I have had The Nadas, The Gaslight Anthem, and John Mayer blaring through my speakers lately. 

Planning: Still working on the start of the 2012 - 2013 school year. The ideas have moved from thoughts floating around in my head to paper. Now they to move from paper to a digital, easy-to-share, document. 

Working On: Making the most of the day. The noisy moments, the quiet moments, and the in-between moments. I am also working on finding a way to carve out time to write and edit photos. It is something I love but not something I make regular time for. 

Wishing: To make the most of the last two and half days of summer and a wonderful start to the school year. 

What are your currently loving, anticipating, wishing?

The inspiration and idea for this post came from the beautiful Danielle at Sometimes Sweet.

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

roller coaster ride

As the summer comes to an end and the school year is days away a question is frequently asked... how was your summer? Every other year I have been able to answer it was great, we did this and that, we had fun, etc. This year I have dreaded being asked that very question. How would I respond? I want to be honest but not negative. I decided to say that it had it's good moments. Not completely negative but leaving the door open to allow those who asked enough understanding that it was not all rainbows and unicorns.

This summer has been a roller coaster ride. It has had highs, lows, twists, and turns. Unexpected drops and lots of anticipation. Nothing could have prepared me for this summer except the experience of it all. I would have never expected Kate to recover the way she did, I would have never expected to be stretched so emotionally as a mom. I would have never guessed that Kate's speech and temperament would be worse, much worse, after having her tonsils removed. I was so unprepared. I felt as though weeks of fun, relaxation, easy going life had been robbed of me. I was angry and a little bitter. I was supposed be deciding what adventure we would be going on not trying to defuse a major tantrum because I asked her to get dressed.

I could have easily stayed stuck in this place of bitterness and disappointment. I could have stayed in the mindset that nothing great came out of this summer. But my perspective has changed (in large part due to this book and this book.) I need to focus on the small moments that made the summer wonderful. Kate played in the ocean, we saw sea lions in their natural habitat, Kate finally put her whole face in the water, and I have read more books than I have in years.

These small moments remind me stay focused on the positive. They remind to look for upside, the thrilling side, of life's roller coaster. For the past two mornings Kate has asked to stand on the front porch to look for constellations. These are the moments I will cherish for a lifetime. I will remember standing on the porch before dawn breaks with my sweet girl pointing at the stars. These moments are tucked away in my heart forever.

This summer was a roller coaster ride. There were moments of great joy and excitement and moments of fear and anxiousness. When someone asks I have choice. I can focus on the joy or the lows. I will share the joys, the fun moments. I will share my thankfulness that Kate's surgery was successful and her speech is slowly coming back. I cannot ignore that fact that Kate's recovery took us on an unexpected turn but I don't have to dwell on it.

This summer will end with a little girl searching for constellations, a trip to the zoo, swimming lessons, splashing in the sprinkler, and s'mores. These small moments will turn into thrilling joy that will stay in my heart for a lifetime.
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p.s. I hope to flood the blog with pictures of our summertime adventures very, very, soon.