It had been a while since I sat down for a good editing session of personal photos, so last night when I finally carved out some time to go through the past few weeks worth of memories, it took me a minute to get over the itch to get up and do something else instead. I can definitely feel the poisonous effects of this instant gratification, get-it-done-quick culture when I attempt to sit down and focus for a while–even if it’s something I love to do–and editing our family memories is something I’ve always loved to do. But after I was sitting for a while and clicking through photos on my screen, I remembered why I love this so much–such gratitude for all these simple moments we’ve lived together the past few weeks and how suddenly the magic shines above the “Groundhog Day” cloud I was feeling just moments earlier from getting backpacks ready for another school week.
Sorting beach shell finds a few weeks go, on our garage floor.
There’s no rhyme or reason to these photos, and I’m not even going to attempt to weave them together with feigned transitions.
Some moments of note lately…
Lainey is playing the trumpet this year. I was overjoyed, of course, because I too played the trumpet when I was a kid, even landing a (poorly performed) solo–Scherzo by Shelukov–at the fifth grade band concert. After half a semester though, Lainey decided that she “hates that stupid thing” and has no interest in pursuing further middle school band dreams. Being that she has to lug a large ugly suitcase to and from school every day in addition to the already ridiculously oversized backpack with the largest binder known to mankind, and the fact that trumpet spit must be drained during practice, Brett and I fully support her trumpet career retirement. Also, in case you were wondering, whipping out your middle school daughter’s trumpet and saying “Hey, want to see if I still got it?” when her friends are over is the fastest way to elicit a facial reaction that clearly says “STFU, Mom.” This will be the one and only photo we captured of her playing the trumpet. We will pull this out at family reunions someday.
On Quality Parent Moments
I’d like to submit this evidence–my kid, barefoot on a train track (we never did find her flip-flops that day), holding a grape Fanta. You’re welcome.
“I’m taking these training wheels off if you want to come get pictures,” Brett yelled into the house from the garage. So I scrambled for my camera and met them outside. We knew it was time, and we suspected exactly what happened…that with one guided push, he’d confidently take off on his own and never look back. There’s something about watching your husband let go of your last baby as he pedals down the sidewalk, squealing with laughter, bursting with pride.
On Last Minute Plans To Book It With Your Best Friend
We are very good at spontaneous adventures–we’ve been having them for eleven years now. The rule is always low expectations and go with the flow. The result is always some kind of “What were we thinking?” story as proven this time, on our 3-day Tampa trip, by the numerous times we threatened to turn around and go home. But the greater result is memories–hilarious, bonding, wouldn’t-want-it-any-other-way memories.
We brought scooters for the kids (the best!) and spent most of our days walking beside them through Hyde Park, along the bay, up and down streets with ivy-covered homes with big front porches and friendly dogs who greeted us.
We stopped at parks…
Spent an afternoon at the museum…
Sat on hot pavement while we watched the kids cool off in the splash pad…
…and made long relaxed visits to Tampa’s family-friendly hangouts. Armature Works…
…Hyde Park Village, Sparkman Wharf and Oxford Exchange.
Dash asked if he could take a few pictures at Oxford Exchange. This is one of the clearer ones:
When we weren’t scootering around the city, we cozied up in our Airbnb which didn’t exactly turn out as it was advertised, but it did have an outdoor fireplace and beautiful morning light in the kitchen.
My Fair Family
Spring wouldn’t be spring without our annual tradition of hitting the Collier County Fair. Everything there has been the same for all the years we’ve been coming–same rides, same funnel cake stands, same taco truck where we order the same thing every year and ask diners at another picnic table if we can steal the taco sauce bottle because there’s always only one.
Even the the sweet lady who attends the women’s bathroom is the same every year (Yes! Our fairgrounds bathroom has a bathroom attendant!). The only thing that changes is us. This year, Brett’s sister joined our fair crew (she moved here from Chicago late last year, and it’s so nice having more family here!).
It rained, and I complained–and legit held a grudge against Brett for a good half hour because he swore it wouldn’t rain, and predicting the weather is his specialty. His response: “Kelle, I’m not God.” I got over it.
Dash was unstoppable this year, attempting every single ride he could–full throttle.
Lainey nervously watched him on a questionable stomach-drop, has-this-thing-been-inspected-lately?! ride…
…while I tried to flag down my dad, mouthing “Get him off.” But he loved it and everyone lived to tell.
Our little family has stamped so many memories on these grounds. And somewhere, buried under this dirt, is Lainey’s first tooth she ever lost.
And now here we are–it’s April!
…and everything seems to start speeding up double time come April so that summer will be here before we know it.
When the world speeds up, we push back by slowing down a bit. More afternoon tea, driveway sidewalk chalk therapy, family walks, weekend Farmer’s markets, brunches with friends, sunsets at the beach, shell sorting sessions in the garage, books read out loud and favorite playlists on repeat in the kitchen as we clean and cook and carry on…making our own little celebrations every day.
Happy April! There are good things to come.