It's August 1st.
Though technically it is not the last day of summer, for me it might as well be. Today is the day I finally check my work email to find out back-to-school info for both myself and Eleanor. I refuse to check before then. My summers belong to Eleanor and work will not get in the way of our time together.
And what a summer we had!
I had all kinds of big plans for the blog: getting reviews done (especially ARCs and author/publisher gifts), new layout, new banners, etc.
None of that happened.
Instead, Eleanor and I had our best summer yet - two months' worth of concerts, road trips, VBS, two visits home, exploring ghost towns and abandoned places, library escape rooms, museum trips, summer dance intensive (dance is year-round, the season never ends!), sleepovers with BFFs, trips to the pool, and my baby girl turning ten. TEN! It was her golden birthday and we had a blast celebrating twice with her most favorite people.
We kicked off summer a little early with Lizzo in May - Eleanor's Mother's Day gift to me. No other words except PHENOMENAL. We sang and danced the whole time and loved every second.
Up next was VBS, which is always one of our favorite summer activities. Eleanor and her BFF danced all afternoon at Intensive, then we headed straight to church for some Bible Adventures, fellowship, worship, water games, and snacks.
In early June we got swiftly to work on friendship bracelets we would need for an upcoming concert.
But we also found time to explore our state in both June and July. We found a fun living history-type museum a few hours away in between our travels to find ghost towns and abandoned homes/farms and churches, as well as old cemeteries from the 1800s.
Throughout the summer Eleanor and her BFFs also participated in escape rooms offered by our library. They had a ton of fun and both times their groups were able to escape before time ran out.
Eleanor also did one on her own. A Titanic-themed event had been offered for teens when Eleanor was 8. Two years later she was still salty about it because the teens didn't solve it in time, and she didn't even get to be part of it. I tried to explain that a bunch of teenagers probably did not want to get upstaged by an eight year old. This summer our librarian let Eleanor try it on her own and she solved it in 34 minutes with minimal help. Not too shabby. Yes, she is wearing a Heart of the Ocean necklace.
June was a good month for concerts - three in the span of eight days. We saw Louis Tomlinson twice, then Taylor Swift. Definitely lost my voice all three nights. There's nothing quite like scream-singing your favorite songs with your mini-me.
The big event of the summer however, was my baby girl's birthday bash. The theme this year was Glamorous Golden Hollywood, so everyone came in their fanciest clothes - but also brought swimsuits for the giant slip and slide we always set up outside. By the end of the afternoon everyone was muddy and wet and soapy and exhausted.
Something extra special about this year is we got to go home and celebrate with family as well. That doesn't usually happen, for a variety of annoying reasons that I won't bother explaining here. But this year we made it work and Eleanor was surrounded by family to help usher in the double digits!
I am so lucky to have a job that allows me this time with Eleanor. For two months I get to pretend I am a stay-at-home mom and we do what we want, when we want. We go to the library four times a week. We eat too many popsicles and stay up late and have sleepovers during the week. I would not trade these summers with her for anything.
So long, summer!