Summer is FLYING by! We know summer days are fleeting (last Thursday marked the half way point for our summer break), so we like to pack in as much fun as possible before we head back to school and into a more
boring predictable schedule. Here’s what we did in June.
The first Friday in June, we started our summer park group by going to the kick off for the summer reading program and then heading to the park. The kids enjoyed the library festivities (bubble disco, rock painting and popsicles) and later we enjoyed free dinner at Chipotle for signing up to read.
The kids have been especially enthusiastic about the reading program this year. Cooper earned his half way prize in the first month (a free book). I had him start reading to Ellen so she could catch up.
The first Saturday in June, we went on a hike to Maxwell Falls. We decided we need to take the kids on some easier hikes so we don’t burn them out on the magnificence of hiking. The fall itself is kind of difficult to get close to (there’s a considerable amount of scrambling up and over rocks), but the kids were up for the challenge.
This hike was one we’d done with the kids a few years back. I remember it being a bit tedious. Ellen was carried and we bribed Cooper with the promise that he could use the camera to take a picture for what seemed like every 100 feet. By comparison, this time hiking was a breeze. It’s nice to watch the kids grow and become more capable.
The next week, we had a lot of visitors. Noel’s cousin, Jessie, and her husband, Colin, stayed with us while they searched for a place to live in Pueblo. (Where Colin will be doing his residency.) We also welcomed their dog, Fenway, who was much beloved by the kids (not so much by Charlie, our cat). At the same time, my friend from high school was also staying with us while she and a friend and their daughters went to an adoption summer camp. It was a full house in the mornings and evenings, but fun was had by all.
In the middle of all our hosting, Ellen was invited to a birthday party at the roller skating rink. The whole family was invited. We do not have a great track record for roller sports at our house. When Cooper was in kindergarten the school had a roller skating night. I wasn’t planning on taking him (he had much stronger reactions to over stimulation back then and struggled, still does, with tasks requiring coordination and balance), but he REALLY wanted to go. So we went. And it was awful. The kids couldn’t stay on their feet and kept dragging the adults down. The music and flashing lights were also a bit much for Cooper. When we left the roller skating rink, 30 minutes after arriving, I think 3 out of 4 of us were crying. Then of course, there was the rollerblading incident where Noel broke his arm. We were all hesitant to get back on wheels, but the kids really wanted to go. The kids did alright with the help of the skate trainers and Noel didn’t break any bones. Once again, it was nice to notice their growth.
The next weekend, we were supposed to go camping in Silverton, but due to a fire closing down the National Forest, we decided to make other plans. My nephew, Porter, was having a birthday party that weekend. He is basically our kids favorite person so they were more than happy to change plans. It was a really quick weekend trip. We drove to Utah Friday morning. We stopped to hike Hanging Lake and snagged the last parking spot in the lot. Hanging Lake is another hike that we’d taken the kids on years before. While I was again impressed with the growth of the kids, I was not so impressed with the popularity growth of the hike. It’s been a popular hike as long as we’ve lived here, but it’s become so popular the forest service will be issuing permits starting in 2019 to limit the number of people on the trail. While we were there we saw forest service employees removing scores of vandalism from signs, benches, etc. It makes me sad to see people being so disrespectful and I get why the forest service needs to moderate traffic.
After our hike, we pushed on to Utah where we stayed with my sister, Hope, and her family. Porter was so happy to hang out with our kids and Theo warmed up to us if we were willing to snuggle him.
While Noel helped the Walkers prepare for Porter’s party, I attended a writing symposium with my dad (as mentioned in my last post). It was nice to dip my toe in that world again. The party was that evening and we celebrated with a BBQ, jumping on Porter’s birthday trampoline, and taking turns on Joe’s electric bike. It was nice to spend time with family and watch the kids run around. Before heading home the next day, we were able to squeeze in a quick Father’s day breakfast with Noel’s sister, Joy, and her husband, Chris.
The next week was a little more normal and chill. The highlights were going to see the new Solo movie (Cooper’s treat for losing a tooth – we told him this one might count for a few teeth)and going for a family bike ride (no whining! In fact, Ellen kept saying “This is so fun!”).
The kids also put on this fantastic fashion show inspired by reading Fancy Nancy’s Spring Fling and Noel and I registered for a rowing clinic to learn the basics of river rafting.
On our final week in June, we hit up the local outdoor pool during their discounted Twilight hours to escape our record high temps. (Which we know aren’t as hot as other places, but it’s hot for here.)
Finally, on our last weekend we escaped to the mountains to cool off.
It was just a one night trip and we couldn’t do any dutch oven due to a fire ban (almost the whole state is under a fire ban), but it was still nice to get away. The kids had a blast playing in the creek by our campsite and we got in some good hammock lounging time. After some hiking on the Colorado trail on Saturday, we packed up and headed home. We ended June with showers and a cobbled together dinner of drumsticks and enchilada leftovers.
I feel like we’re in a really good season of life right now and I’ll admit that sometimes when things are going well I get little bit scared of what is around the corner. I’ve been reading Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly. The book is all about vulnerability. I’d say the basic thesis is that embracing vulnerability will lead us to our best, happiest selves. At one point, she talks about some of the ways we shield ourselves from vulnerability and introduces the term “Foreboding Joy.” People who employ foreboding joy are the ones who are waiting for the other shoe to drop, or the people who are scared about what is around the corner. She points out that expecting the worst does not actually prepare you for the worst and also often robs us of enjoying happiness in the present. I’m really trying to heed her advice and enjoy all the wonderful things in our life and be grateful for them.