Monday, August 18, 2014

Joy listing... as we wind down summer.

Goodness me, it's nearly school time once again. This summer has flown on wings, in my neck of the woods and I bet you'll agree- especially if the bright yellow buses are already ambling down your roads! In our area kids go back the day after labor day. We have so few rainy days in a year that I'm thankful the powers that be keep our kiddos out long enough for us to enjoy it, though September is often the most amazing month up here. We got all our new packages of socks, tennis shoes and jeans plus a few cute shirts (or handsome, if you're Joe) folded and ready to get the tags ripped off the day before. {So funny- my mama never let me take any tags off before the first day and I couldn't wear anything... and I'm just the same with my own kids. It's that first day anticipation and I can't help myself.}

 Ava and I have been doing a Downton Abbey marathon, and we're trying to get to the end of season 4 before school begins. In a way I'm totally ready for the routine, and the lunch making and carting them around to music lessons and dance and all that... and I'm ready to buckle down at 5:30 every day with homework around the kitchen table while I start thinking about dinner... but in a way I am NOT! I love letting them sleep in (and they SLEEP IN). I'm not quite ready for the chore of lunch making and the daily grind of homework every night and always carting someone around to their event while I scramble in my head over dinner plans. Ha!

I am a woman, and therefore, contradictory. I can own it.

I am however, ready for jeans, sweaters, pumpkin spice, candles and fur throw blankets.

Anyway, today I wanted to share some of our county fair photos (all taken from my phone and some showed up on Instagram, others would have if the day had been longer) along with more moments from my summer thankful list. What a treat it has been keeping track of these small moments and plugging them quickly into my phone.  I hope you enjoy reading them and they inspire you to capture a few of your own joy list thankful moments!  

Dahlias and the way they brighten any surface.

Going to my new doctor for the first time and having nurse Nicki sneak in to chat with me in the midst of her work day.

Sitting poolside with Alli and bumping into Jen and Hang.
Pre dinner lake swims and cheering joe on as he swam out to the buoy. The icy water that at first took our breath away and goggle wearing hoodlums with wide grins exclaiming "mom this is the best night!!"

A donut run that morning that turned into a wild and truly weird adventure we could only laugh about afterward- especially that part about having to rescue my bike from the bushes where we had hidden it.

Soft puppies the color of ginger that really wanted some of our tailgate party and delighted my children.

Catching up with Nate and Judy and blessing her by remembering that she prefers half and half in her coffee the next morning. Watching them love on my children in every way possible.
Summer mountain hikes that surrounded us with God's glory.

The galvanized bucket in my backyard exploding with petunias and vibrant color. 

Listening to his guitar being strummed on the front porch.

Doing jobs with Julie and Becca and laughing and laughing and deep talks in the car.

Rebecca's beet salad that made me want to sneak a third helping and then taking a plastic container home later that night at her insistence.

Ava making amazing cheeseburger pie for dinner.

Joe, winning 2nd place for his photo at the fair.

Realizing that sometimes compassion must be taught and taking the time to have that talk over dinner.

Driving beside him, struggling not to cry and having him push me gently to let my thoughts out and then marveling at how he can string broken pieces back together with his words and tenderness.

Four year old hugs.

Endings and beginnings.

 My husband's forearms when he holds my niece and watching him toss her in the air every time she gleefully says, "Again?" to him.  Then watching her kiss his cheek as a thank you. 
Being able to pay for the majority of my kids school shopping from my personal earnings and knowing that my contributions to what my man brings in are appreciated.

Polka dotted tee shirts on sale.

Sitting at my picnic table, pouring life out with my oldest friend in the world and the woman who was once my children's first babysitter.

Eating farm fresh blueberries by the handfuls.
Laughing at my son and my brother Jake, (Officer Mc Jakey) ride the zipper, then laughing again because they looked a bit green when they got off. 

Sitting at a work bbq for adrains crew and laughing at their stories.

Saving two window sills worth of heirloom tomatoes after a wind storm snapped off both plants at the bases.

Laughing about life, over the most yummy steak salads on date night, at a favorite restaurant, with cafe lights strung overhead, and wearing a pretty necklace just for him.

His hand grazing mine as we walk and how he always wraps his fingers around mine.

That night ava came out of bed way past her bedtime to talk about how she was concerned that her fish was overweight and it was all I could do not to laugh as adrain admonished her to get back into bed and discuss issues like that in daylight hours.

Joe spontaneously singing vanilla ice with Nate at the picnic table that night after dinner, and how they knew every single word and how we laughed until our bellies hurt.

Raspberries which are and always will be, my very favorite.

Watching a horrific yet compelling reptile show and rolling my eyes every time they asked for a volunteer to drape snakes all over, because my son, sitting in the front row, would shoot his hand straight up and wave wildly.  Then breathing a sigh of relief when they didn't choose him but trying not to show it.

Staying until the sunset, even though I really wanted to go home and being so grateful for my man who pushes me to be a more "fun mama" than my instincts want me to be and leaving happy and full of memories.

How about you... what's on your joylist?   

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  1. Love that fair...lots of memories of it when I was younger, as my grandparents lived up your way.
    So much to be thankful for. Hope your new set of wheels is working out good for your family. Just wished that we were able to get your other car fixed for you, oh well...not in God's plans! :)
    Have a wonderful day!

  2. So I just went searching through your archives for party ideas. My sweet daughter is about to turn one. I wish I could teleport you to Missouri and have you be the party planner. You're like Franck from Father of the Bride minus the weird and the crazy expensive budget. You are such an inspiration with the beautiful, creative way you live life! Thank you so much for sharing your great ideas and your lovely heart with us.

  3. loved reading your JOY list.
    I think my favorite picture was the sunset at the very end...seeing those majestic mountains in the background...glorious.

    The most surprising picture was the one where JJ was sitting on the bleachers next to a little....he looks so grown up and
    teenager-y all the sudden.

  4. OH my goodness! These are all so sweet. I miss the fair. They don't have one here until October I think. This year we are going! It's been too long:)