{reallife} hobbies and holidays

Summer is flying by, of course. What else would it do?

I sure do love the sound of those lazy, iced-tea and fiction under a shade tree kind of summer afternoons. But I also love fabric shopping and finishing quilts and swimming with my boys and processing photos and writing and planning trips and making movies. I just love too many things. Simple complicated as that. I love mountain biking and lake swimming and the idea of trail running too. [So happy my husband and I got to do that together yesterday *big grin*. Thanks mom and dad.]

I remember the days, a few years ago, when I literally didn't know what I loved. I was feeding a baby every three hours, trying to figure out how to keep the house impossibly clean, and then wilting into a chair to veg out with The Bachelor. I was depressed, frustrated, continually overwhelmed and didn't know what to do with myself when I DID get a break from it all. I tried to do some scrapbooking, but in general, I didn't know what I really wanted to do -- for ME.

So it almost makes me laugh when I realize now that I have probably five too many hobbies for a normal human being. And some days I dream about doing even more cool stuff.

There are definitely times when it is way too much. And I have to give myself a little pep talk about relationships being more important than accomplishments. And I slow down, settling into the grass with a good book, listening to the laughter of children playing tag. Which is wonderful too. As long as I put that on my to do list. Which I sometimes do.
Ever tried this game? Blowing pom poms with a straw? I tried to organize it {of course}, but it ended up being a free-for-all.
He's getting so comfortable with piano compositions by ear. Using both hands now and a semi-correct finger placement!
He's a cheese. And yes, he still helps me sew sometimes. He knows just when to let up on the pedal.
We celebrated Canada Day with trifle -- red and white, see?
Can you hear the contagious belly laughter? Yep, it's my favorite too. I'm so proud of my boys for learning to play happily together. They are both communicating better and working together to compromise without my help. Also my favorite.
I may have possibly done this as a child too.
He's still not the neatest cherry eater. But he isn't swallowing the pits and that's what counts, right?
A little Canada Day sparkler warm-up.
Peter is swimming and jumping and floating like a little fish these days. Coming up for air and a smile and back in he goes. He loves to tell people that he "can swim underwater all by himself now".
And then, just like that, it was the fourth of July. And there were shish kebobs and best friends and homemade smoke bombs and sparklers and noisy whistling things that no one liked and cookies and pop its and more sparklers. And by the end of the past-bedtime evening, Ezra was asking for his bed and Peter was rambling and repeating himself more than usual. "Wow, this was the best party ever. Wow, we had a BBQ and sparklers and cool fireworks! Wow. I loved it. WOW." Go to bed, son.

And I, being the aspiring photographer that I am -- took too many pictures {hence the Lightroom marathon this morning fraught with difficulties and frustration}. It was me trying to figure out fast shutter speed for colorful in the sky fireworks vs slow shutter speed for writing-name-in-the-air sparklers. Back and forth. And ooooops, I missed the mortars again! Finally, on the very last fireworks of the evening, I caught a decent shot. Woopeee!
Oh, and did you notice that Ezra's cast came off? He's all healed up and lacking that heavy, hard weapon of an arm. A big thank you from the rest of the family to the cast-removing doctor!

Now whenever Ezra hurts himself and cries a bit, we say "is it broken?" which usually produces laughs. No...it's not broken mommy. Just a little cut. :)

I reckon it's time for a shower {or a water fight with the kids}. And another popsicle.
And probably a good book in the grass.

How relaxing has your summer been so far? Have you been counting your blessings?
::one thousand gifts::
a visit from a friend I hadn't seen in over a year
thrift store finds
pandora+sewing marathons
the way he says "Peter" and "OK mommy"
gradually making progress learning new software
our favorite weekend of the year, coming soon
strong, healed bones
homemade popsicles
mini-triathlons with my honey
two hours of free time at the fabric store
yummy gluten
playing "we're going to the beach" with Peter
quotes like this -- "everything is OK in the end, if it's not okay, then it's not the end."
reading about GHNI in Ethiopia, wishing I was there
new silly books to read together
key lime pie with graham cracker crust {thanks Liz!}
cherry pie with mmmm...cherries {thanks Shana!}
freshly mown grass
making time to write in my journal
crazy, fire-loving boys
fresh fiction coming from paperbackswap.com
diapers arriving just in time {maybe the last box we'll ever need????}