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Friday, September 11, 2015

summer in the rear view

It has been a crazy, fun summer.  It has also been a crazy fun summer.  Regardless of the punctuation,  this summer has flown by in a blur of high energy sunny days spent near water (partnered with all the insidious packing and unpacking that goes along with such fun), playing with the people we love and squeezing every last drop of the brevity and splendor that is summer in Maine. 

(Warning: you about to be inundated with photos.  I apologize and have no valid excuse except that I didn't keep up with blogging at all this summer and I should get some credit for whittling it down from the nearly 1300 photos that were taken.) 

We spent a lot of time at camp this summer.  Sandi's mom built an amazing second camp (dubbed the "bunkhouse" even though it feels more like an actual house) which means there are more creature comforts and space for everyone.

The kids struggled to enjoy it. 

One of the massive thunderstorms we love at camp.

My family made the trip a couple of times this summer as well and it is really such a blessing how well our families get along.

Maya was her usual serious self this summer.

Ella adores her Grampie. 
My beautiful wife. 

Maya also adores her Grampie. 

It turns out our family likes to do a lot of jumping. 

Turns out jumping isn't just for kids.

This is a baby snapping turtle Ella found in a nearby swamp.  After being told she could not take it home as a pet she reluctantly set it free into the lake where now I have to worry about it getting big and biting my toes off.

Even with all that fun, there is work to be done.  (For the record, I think Ella might me the most fashionable fisherman going.)

My family loves to get on Dwight's lobster boat.

Braeden's first fish ever!

Our girl at work on the sea.

Our ever increasingly handsome nephew in his element. 
I never, ever tire of this view.

My favorite picture of the summer of the blondie cousins who look like sisters. 

The girls and I made it up to Lake Moxie to Ange and Matt's family's camp for an overnight while Sandi was working.  It was so chill and relaxed with happy kids, campfire, sweatshirts and games of cribbage.  

I am proud to say I overcame a few of my fears this summer.  I took some more daring tube rides that put my bravery to the test.  I swam in unknown lake water (I am slightly neurotic about what lies beneath murky lake water) because I don't want to be a sissy,  I went skinny dipping IN THE DARK (see above fear for while this was a huge deal), and I jumped off a highish rock near a freezing cold waterfall.

(Thank you Tom for taking these great pictures!)

Brady and I share the same nose-plugging form when we jump from up high.  Although I think he looks much cooler than me. 

Both of the girls were rather daring too!

Ella has really come into herself this summer and before we knew it she said, "I want to try to waterski."  And just like that, she did. 

She said once she got up, she was like, "Now what do I do?!" (This was a total, bubbling up, proud mom moment.)

Then, before you know it the first day of school is mere days away and you are soaking every last drop out of summer.

I said to the kids, "Who is happy that school is starting?!" They gave me this.  (MAYA.)

The last weekend before school starts means the American Folk Festival.  This means too much kettle corn, Ella's favorite pizza of all time, running into practically everyone you know on the Bangor waterfront, a bucket brigade volunteer shift and lots of amazing music.

 (I wrote this blog post for the AFF website as in infomercial about why you should volunteer.  There is always next year!)
Ella and Skyler looking adorable. 

Ella and Maya with Isabella and a giant sleeve of popcorn.

This year, the festival treated us to the amazing Red Trouser show.  These guys are street performers on steroids with a high-energy, comical show with some astounding acrobats.  Our kids, especially Maya, were riveted.  We had to watch it 3 times plus I recorded it and Maya has watched it at home.  I think she is studying for her future.

Here they are doing a head to head balance.  CRAZY.

Henna tatoos for school. 

It is always hard when summer ends.  I get very sentimental about our girls entering a new grade and the fact that they are growing up so fast.  

 I feeling incredibly grateful to be able to play so much with my girls during the summer and to have so many opportunies afforded us for fun and family time.  I ran into a mom at the grocery store who has to work full time in the summer and pack all their family summer fun in on the weekends.  It gave me pause to appreciate that I get to be with the kids all summer, even if it means inordinate amounts of planning and creativity to see two massage clients in a morning, falling behind on all the pedestrian parts of life that need doing and drinking more ice coffee than I have business drinking.

I also feel like I need a giant nap.  Going from a year of homeschool to a packed summer has left me rather exhausted and not knowing which end it up.  I find myself craving some schedule and routine and (shockingly) a day that doesn't involve ice cream.

Which brings me to my next big thing:  Ella is very happily going back to school for fifth grade!

I have a second grader who seems to be growing like Jack's beanstalk and a fifth grader who has nearly the same size foot as me and is within 8 inches of me.  Sigh. 

There.  I have done it.  I have finished my summer blog posts, I have mostly caught up on the neglected household stuff and I have made up for lost time on my bike.  Now my plan is to make a writing schedule and stick with it so I can write the book that I need to write.  Feel free to hold me to it. 
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