Sunday, June 26, 2016

Saturday 7 {aka vacation recap}

1. We're freshly home from 10 days in Missouri... I know I say this frequently after these get-togethers, but I am so incredibly grateful for the family I married into. There is so much grace and love and hard and good all rolled together, and I feel so privileged to have a front row seat to seeing how this family makes it work so beautifully. Not perfectly, but truly, beautifully.

2. We arrived in STL on Friday and spent the weekend on the farm with Pop & Mima and various aunts, uncles & cousins. The weekend was perfect: full of pond swimming, creek walking, and bonfires; the front porch was home to early morning devotions, many family meals, coffee & adult conversations while the kids caught fireflies and played catch or bounced on the trampoline. The MO heat stayed pleasant and the humidity cooperated and the breezes blew... and all this loveliness was made even more poignant and memorable by the fact that it was our family's last time at the farm-- Dan's parents are retiring & downsizing, moving across the state to Kansas City at the end of next month.

3. Monday I drove the kids to KC and Dan stayed behind an extra day to help his dad with some projects. It was another perfect few days of time with family... Will went to Springfield to spend time with my older nephews, and the younger kids and I chilled with our KC fam. Weds night we all got a sitter and went on a double date with Dan's sister Miriam and her husband Corey. It was such a fun night, full of great food, laughs and mishaps (including fitting us 4 plus a kneeboard and water skis into a small 4-door sedan) but ...what is vacation for, if not for making memories that will make for hilarious retellings?

4. Thursday morning we headed to the lake or our family reunion which included 5/6 of the siblings and 15/17 of the grandkids. I can't even describe how much I loved our time there. Corey's family owns a boat & 2 jet-skis, and all the fun lake equipment, which totally made the day. We spent hours on the water, water-skiing, jet-skiing, tubing, swimming, fishing... when I was spotting for the kids (facing backward on the boat, watching them on the tube) I would find myself laughing out loud at their hilarious grimaces and antics. The wind whipping my hair, the sun on my face, happy kids, happy life... seriously, I was so full of soul-joy on the lake, I never wanted to leave. Pretty sure I want to live on a boat. ;) There is something so simultaneously calming & exciting, and so deeply satisfying about being on the water. It's my heart's home for sure.

5. Besides being on the water, we also did a super fun & adventurous ropes course as a family, played cards, sat around and talked, and generally enjoyed each other's company. For such a large crowd and for so many kids, it was generally peaceful and amiable, with the kids mostly getting along famously.

6. We left camp Sat morning at 6:30am... we had to miss the last day and a half at the lake because Will was leaving for a week of scout camp this morning (Sunday) at 10:45 and we needed to get him home to pack and do laundry Saturday night. I was personally VERY BUMMED to leave... family/lake time are basically my two very favorite things IN THE WORLD rolled into one and although outwardly I acted like a mature adult and didn't throw a it about leaving vacation early, I was certainly throwing a fit inwardly... "SO UNFAIR! WHY DO WE HAVE TO LEAVE! I DON'T WANNA GO!" haha.

7. tl;dr: Vacation was awesome, I wish we could've stayed longer. Back to real life now (which is also awesome, don't get me wrong...) I just really, really loved that week... it was easily the top week of 2016 in my book.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Saturday 7 (x2)

I know everyone missed me so much last week... so here I am with a double edition of TSS. ;)

1. We have a baby!!!!! Emily's due date came and went last Sunday and then Friday night around 2:30pm I got a text from my sister Anna that Emily had been having steady contractions all day and to pray that they kicked in and didn't quit... well they did kick in, and Ethan Nelson Mugisha was born at 11:57 Friday night! I got to the birthing center about 20 min. before birth so I got be with Emily for all the painful postpartum stuff... so hard, but I'm so glad I was able to be with her. Ethan is perfection! All babies are precious (of course) but this is my first nephew/niece that my own sister has had... and it's pretty special!

2. So Friday night, after pulling an all-nighter at the hospital with Emily, I headed home around 5:30am. I made it about an hour before I had to stop at a rest stop. When I awoke an hour later, extremely groggy, I grabbed a double-shot latte, and arrived home about 7:15am. I crashed and slept for another couple hours, then Dan and I and the kids headed off to a family adventure race -- three hours in the woods to complete 20 obstacles. Dan teamed up with the middle kids, and Will and I were a team (Olivia is a little too young/small to participate.) In the family division, Will and I finished 5 out of 17 teams, and completed 19 obstacles. Dan & Co. completed 17 challenges and placed 8/17! So much fun and so exhausting. I haven't pulled a crazy stunt like that one in years!

3. Last Friday was our last day of school! Which means HURRAY, SUMMER IS HERE!!! My friend Bekah and I left on Tuesday and took the kids to the beach in Ocean City NJ for 4 days. It was fabulous. Our hotel was right on the boardwalk, and we went from the pool to the boardwalk to the beach to the pool all day long. Bekah makes an amazing sangria and overnight after the kids were in bed we would sit out on the balcony and laugh and talk. It was the perfect way to kick off summer!

4. So yesterday I drove 4 hrs. home from Ocean City (with a halfway 30 min. pitstop for a bathroom break/Ethan photo sesh thrown in there) ... got home around 4pm, pulled everything out of the car, changed and headed back down to Philly at 5 for a family thing that evening! It was such a fun time-- I always love seeing extended family! And to top it off, we met up with Shami's parents, Peter and Jane, who had flown in from CA to see Shami & Emily (but let's face it, mostly the new grand baby ;)) after the event. It was fantastic to see them-- they are amazing people and I love spending time with them! We then drive home ... got home around midnight and crashed. When Olivia showed up in bed with us at 7:30 this morning, I was convinced it was 4am haha.

5. I just started reading Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. It's been said to be the standout WWII novel of the year, and been compared to All the Light We Cannot See (which was stellar) ...so I'm excited. The lady at the library told me I was lucky-- apparently I just beat out the tidal wave of requests for it... I got it right away and now there's a six-month waitlist! Go me. ;)

6. Tomorrow afternoon we are all going on a rafting trip down the Lehigh river with 2 neighbor/friend families, and I'm so excited! I love being on the river. Whitewater rafting is just enough excitement and adrenaline for me without being scary... I love it!

7. The week ahead is crazy busy with everything that I thought would be a good idea to cram in before we leave on Friday for 9 days in MO... dentist/ped appts, homeschool evals, haircuts, eye exams... really, what was I thinking? Then Friday we pull out for a weeklong visit to our St. Louis and Kansas City fam, and a family reunion at the Lake of the Ozarks. When we get home, we jump right into a week of overnight scout and basketball camp, and our fresh air fund girl arrives! I just know the next weeks will fly by. Right now we are finished with 1/11 of summer vacation... by the time I check in next we will have finished two more weeks and will only have 8 weeks left. WAAAHHHH! BOO, HISS! Let's have summer vacation forever. <3 p="">