I fell asleep last night with all of the kids all piled in my bed, watching the deliciously terrible tween movie, Aquamarine. For the record, I am a sucker for deliciously terrible tween flicks and will be shamelessly stuffing my summer with the likes of Lindsay Lohan (Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen) and Anne Hathaway (The Princess Diaries). I pretend to suffer through them “for the kids,” but everyone knows there’s only one person standing by the time the credits roll, and it’s me. Brett must have found us all asleep and decided not to disturb us because he slept in Nella’s room.
All that to say, I had a dream last night that the kids were really little again–with details so vivid, I had a hard time shaking it when I woke up in the middle of the night. My mom tells us that sometimes she dreams we are little again–that we’re sitting in her lap or coloring at her table–and that when she wakes up and realizes we are grown and gone, the weight of that truth is crushing. She says sometimes after these dreams, she feels like she can’t breathe, missing that time so much. I’ve thought about this dream so many times–relatable now that I have kids–and then last night, there I was, picking up little Dash from preschool. His teacher was holding him, his blond curls pressed against her shoulder. He reached for me when he saw me, and I scooped him up and hoisted him on my hip. His old crocodile tennis shoes were in the dream, his baby fat, his tiny little voice. And then I woke up, and little Dash was bigger Dash, stretched across the end of the bed, feet hanging off the end. The jolt to reality was just as my mom described–breathtaking. And for a moment, lying there in the dark, missing those days felt crushing. But I know the inverse of missing something, and it’s overwhelming gratitude for having something. So I took the antidote–gratitude. I drank in every detail of what I have–three kids who all still fit in my bed. I listened to the rhythm of their breathing and traced the memory of lanky legs tangled together, their summer tans, the way their hair smells like pool water. I thought about how wonderful it was to fall asleep with them, entranced by a tween movie they all agreed to watch. I whispered thankful prayers for their health, their comforts, their growth, their arrival to milestones I’ve wanted them to make. And I fell back asleep in a peaceful place of abundance.
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these.
The way having them home together for even just one week has already strengthened their connection to each other. The funny little games they play together with all this time…I love it.
She didn’t want a party this year but rather a night on the beach celebrating with family and a fun weekend at a local resort with her friend Ace who flew in from Texas.
Our friend Ace also has siblings with Down syndrome. We took the girls shopping, and they both chose these shirts because they are the Down Syndrome Awareness colors.
Local Tourist Slowdown.
The vibe in Naples changes so much in the summer. So many residents go up north for the season, and the tourism slows down so that everything feels a little quieter. We love the perks of tourism, but we definitely appreciate this time of year when the beaches aren’t so packed.
The water in the gulf is warmer (it will feel like bath water by August) as well, and summer is usually when we find our best beach treasures. The sea stars and sand dollars are easy to find.
Nella’s current wand string is this piece of thick specialty yarn which we have named “The Intestine.”
You know those photos with inspirational quotes written across them, framed in offices all around the country? TEAMWORK. DEDICATION. We’d like to submit this photo for “MOTIVATION.”
The real Aquamarine.
More pics of the two of us.
I made a point at the beginning of the year to try and capture more photos of me and Brett together. We’re doing pretty good.
And finally, summer anticipation.
I love looking forward to our summer adventures–crossing off all the simple delights on our bucket list.
Did you see our summer bucket list on the Today Show this week? If you missed it, you can watch it here! And if you’re looking for a little help in making the most of your summer, check out the Once Upon a Summer PDF–a complete summer guide filled with ideas, illustrated printables, recipes, crafts and more, including this year’s printable summer bucket list and a label printable with over 60 bucket list items to create your own summer adventure passport.
Here’s to your own enjoying this summer. Happy Weekending, friends!