Previous month:
July 2013
Next month:
September 2013

just like that

a week earlier than normal, they're off. the school year has begun.

i've been trying hard to not freak out that my son is an eighth grader, but then i go and do something stupid: i look up pix of him on his first day of first grade.

stupid stupid stupid. then i was all sad and sentimental the rest of the day, when i should have been rejoicing that they were back in school.

and then there's this one ...

she couldn't wait. her best friend is in her class, she was excited to get outside to the bus stop and see all the kids ... and then she came home and said her teacher made them do quiet time.

"what are we, preschoolers?" she asked me.

and i had no words.

she is in a combination classroom this year - 2nd/3rd grades mixed, she's in 3rd. and i'm on the fence. i'm not convinced that it's a good idea. my takeaway from the explanation on back to school night is how great it will be for the 2nd graders. but the 3rd graders? and then to hear they had quiet time on the first day of school?!

i'm reserving the right to demand she's reassigned if things don't convince me by conferences in october.

harp thought the first day was okay. the second day, she came home and told me it was "stressful and dumb." yesterday was deemed "a little better." we'll see how she's doing today, after a full week. and i'll probably touch base with her bbff's mom over the weekend.

things seem very "off" because they started before labor day. that's never happened before, so it still kinda feels like it isn't really the school year yet, but next week should be a bit more familiar. and it was so freaking hot here this week (heat index in the 100s ... 110 on wednesday. are you kidding me, minnesota?! we had snow three and a half months ago!), and a couple of the schools have no a/c, including one of the middle schools, that there was no normalcy. no outdoor recesses, modified class schedules, and henry is even home today because of the heat in the middle school; the district is giving the kids and teachers a break for gutting it out all week.

so weird.

but we're back at it. and the calendar reflects that. it's all gonna get crazy up in here starting on tuesday.

and i wouldn't have it any other way. summer gets too long ... even when it's over a week early.

we didn't kill each other

so, you know how harper pushes my buttons, like, all the dang time? well, last week the boys went fishing with my dad and uncle. near canada. for seven days. no cell service so i couldn't even call and let marc talk me down when harper started in on her button-pushing.

and yet ... we survived.

in fact, we actually had a really good time with each other.

other than the first day, when she was so lost without henry that she didn't quite know what to do with herself, she was happy and busy the whole week: swim lessons twice, piano lesson once, an art camp each afternoon, a sleepover, a play date. and in between, we had fun together, too ... painting at the ceramics place, swimming at the gym, antiquing, a jammies-and-movie afternoon, and so on.

and then the boys came home.

and they were all scruffy and delicious.

and henry immediately jumped on the computer because he was going through serious withdrawal after a whole week of nothing but this:

(excuse me for a second while i totally melt over his little elfy ears getting smooshed down by his hat. he is so four-years-old again in that hat.)

and as soon as he was plugged in, harper immediately got back into whiney, impatient, crabby mode, and normalcy returned.

who would have guessed that she is actually more pleasant and sweet and happy when the boys aren't around? huh.

turns out that the week i was dreading was actually one of the best of the summer. go figure.

it used to be july.

just this morning i realized i hadn't uploaded pictures from my memory card since the beginning of july. and, in that month, i took less than 100 photos altogether.

bad bad bad bad bad.

however, july was a really strange month. i've been dealing with a lot of heaviness - lots of emotions, lots of feelings being worked through, lots of learning to accept what is and let go of what will never be. lots of saying, "it is what it is," and lots of deciding that i'm done with things that make me mad and sad and frustrated and don't make me feel good or heard or happy. i've made big decisions - some are decisions people won't like. but you know what? i'm flippin' 39 years old. i'm tired of making decisions out of fear or worry that it won't make others happy with me. like me, don't, stay, leave. whatever. i no longer care.

(and this has been a running theme all summer. sorry if i keep beating a dead horse. it's been a long, hard, draining summer, emotionally-speaking.)

all that to say, i haven't downloaded a picture from my camera since july 4th.

which is too bad, because july 4th was pretty awesome.

last year, we opted to stay home for the 4th and experience fireworks from the air conditioned, non-mosquito-y bliss that is Home. and this year, when i asked the kids if they wanted to head to the casino or the lake for fireworks this year, they both said no.

so we stayed home.

and we made homemade ice cream.

and we played settlers of cattan.

we went outside to set off our small stash of fireworks.

but the mosquitos became so frenzied with blood lust that we called it and ran inside, heading upstairs to wait for real fireworks to begin.

i wandered back and forth between our bedroom and the loft. soon things started up to the south, over the lake. some were fired off by people on the lake, but others were from neighboring towns.

and then the kids yelled from the loft that multiple things were happening to the north.

in all, we saw a dozen different fireworks shows. but the best were from mystic lake ... a mile to the north, and we had front row (climate controlled, bug-free) seats.

it was super amazing, and we all agreed that nothing beats july fourth from our own home.

the rest of july flew by after that. henry finished his swim season ... which he actually participated in very little, given how busy june was. he missed the majority of the summer meets, and qualified for only three events in the long course finals. but he did a good job, and has been happy to have august off to focus on cross fit and hanging out.

harper finally got to have some time with her "best best friend," and they spent it all outside picking flowers and running around.

the native grass/wildflower part of our backyard finally took off this summer and looked beautiful. full of all sorts of frogs and butterflies and dragonflies and color.

which of course means the city didn't like it and we were told we had two weeks to mow it down and replace it with sod. so all the flowers are now gone, and we're waiting for the landscapers and irrigation guys to come scrape it down, put in new sprinkler heads, and sod, to the tune of about $4500 for something that was okayed two years ago.


it is what it is.

seriously ... that might be my next tattoo.

but that was july for you. highs and lows. glad it went quickly. hopefully august will be kind. so far the weather has been wonderful and we've been productive. though we're still waiting on the landscapers and the irrigations guys to show up.

maybe i'll have more to tell you in september. why break the "once a month blogging" streak now, right?