Wow! What a Summer! We completed our Summer adventures by spending a few weeks with family. The boys and I loved visiting with my parents, meeting my baby niece, fishing, playing baseball, going for runs, bowling, going to the river/lake, eating at a LOT of fabulous restaurants and sitting in their backyard while the hummingbirds flew about. You name it, we probably did it...including playing putt putt golf in 100 degree temps, getting autographs from a MLB player and getting finned by a catfish! It was so, so, so refreshing to be able to travel, to visit family, to create priceless memories. Something I doubt I'll ever take for granted again after not seeing them last year (other than when I flew there for a quick weekend in January).
One of my Top 5 favorite memories from our trip was when we visited my brother and his family. Everyone was napping so I told the boys we'd find a place for one of them to go snorkeling. Well, I misunderstood my brother's directions on how to get to the stairs that led to the snorkeling area. So the boys and I ended up rock climbing down to the beach (by holding onto a rope that was held with a cinder block), rock hopping once we found the stairs, finding lots of crabs running around, getting stuck about 5 yards away from the stairs due to the waves coming in and backtracking quickly before the tide overcame the area where we were. Both boys were paralyzed with fear at one point or another but we conquered our fears (me included) and made it back safely to where my dad was waiting for us. We then walked to where the stairs were only to find, once we went down them, that the water was too high, hence drenching one of the boys. So no snorkeling that time but some priceless, shall I say fun (???), memoires.
While we were visiting my family, I got a chance to go for a couple runs with my SIL. While we ran we talked and tried to solve the world's problems. One thing we talked about was the different seasons of life. Mainly the seasons of raising kids. Everyone has seasons like they like better than others. For me, I didn't really enjoy the baby/toddler phase. I don't know if it was because there was such a lack of sleep or lack of true conversation or that it required more patience than I possess. Whatever it was, I can say that without a doubt, THIS is my favorite phase. The boys are starting to really blossom. They have their own interests. One loves fishing, baseball, social media, fishing, cross country, playing the guitar, fishing, trapping and youth group. The other loves baseball, hunting, playing the piano and riding his dirtbike. They both ask questions that lead to deeper conversation, a real learning experience. It's fun to watch them interact with their friends. One went fishing with his buddy last night. They were teasing each other all the way to the pond and I just sat there, enjoying the banter. The other boy plays with his best friend on a daily basis. They constantly play and/or talk about baseball. They're both competitive so sometimes that gets in the way of their fun, but they've had to learn how to work through it.
Don't get me wrong. This season has its challenges, but they're different. Our oldest is starting to get quite a teenage attitude. He can get angry over the smallest things, at the drop of a hat, and usually (in my opinion) overreacts. Sometimes it's like walking on eggshells around him. But I have learned that saying my peace and then giving him time to think about my words usually pulls him out of his mood fairly quick. Am I always good at doing that? Sadly, no. I react sometimes to his anger, which only makes it worse. But it's a dance and we're learning the steps together. (As you can see, I am speaking from my point of view, not Rob's. He can write his own thoughts if that's what he chooses.)
To close, we are now back to the real world. We hit the ground running once our adventures came to an end. Back to the gym, prepping for the new school year, doctor appts, baseball tryouts, music lessons and a broken house which requires outside help to get fixed. I have a love/hate with it all. I love, love, LOVE watching the boys do what they love. I LOVE supporting them 110%. But there are days I get worn out. I run all day long so by the time evening rolls around I'm done. All that to say, I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. I will take tired. I will take the long days. Because, when the boys are grown, I want to look back knowing we gave them the best childhood we could possibly give.
Here are a few pics from our final adventure. Hopefully it'll hold you over until I can get around to blogging again since it may be awhile before I have time to blog again.