How Can Summer Be Over Already?

Last winter was so long and cold and we had so much snow that spring came as such a relief. School ended and I was so excited about spending the whole summer with my babies! And as always, summer just flew by. The girls start school next week. Here are some highlights of our summer!

Concerts I’ve Attended

Okay, so this really was more of a recital. Lily had her first piano recital in June, and she was amazing! It always surprises me how much Lily loves to perform. She had all her pieces completely memorized, and even played one of her own compositions.

first piano recital (2)

Activities We Did

Swimming – Lily signed up for the swim team this summer, and so I drove her to swim practice every day for about six weeks. At the beginning of the summer, I knew it was going to be a big commitment. The first week was cold and really hard for Lily. She had to swim laps for two hours and didn’t know anyone else on her team. She was worn out and lonely, and wanted me to come early to watch her swim. The weather was so crummy this summer that several swim meets had to be postponed and rescheduled. Lily persevered, made friends, and by the time she had her conference meet, she was already saying that she can’t wait to be on next summer’s swim team!

swim meet 2

Emmy continued her swimming lessons this summer, and even though she is resisting, she’s ready for swim team next summer. She can swim 50 yards with no trouble at all! We’ll have to see what happens, which means I’ll probably sign her up and she’ll complain the whole time. Her favorite activity? Staying at home to play!

Not only did we go swimming at the pool, but we also went swimming at Lake Michigan AND in the Pacific Ocean.

Blueberry picking When we go to Michigan to be with family, one of our traditions is to go blueberry picking! My daughters love spending time with their second cousins, and we weren’t able to spend very much time with them this summer. But we did go blueberry picking! We picked over 7 pounds just for my family, and have a freezer full of blueberries!

blueberry gang 1

Birthdays We Celebrated

Emmy turned seven this summer! She is heading for second grade next week. Can you believe it? Because seriously, I can’t. She is growing up right before my eyes!

7 years old

Books I’ve Read

One of my favorite things about summer is sitting by the pool and reading during my daughter’s swimming lessons.

The Goldfinch – The summaries I read didn’t even come close to scratching the surface of what this 700+ page book is about. It’s a good book, but it has too much drug use and fuzziness for my taste. There were several times when I just wanted to reach in and give the main character a good shake!

Destroyer Anger – I love Anna Pigeon, Nevada Barr’s feisty Park Ranger. While this book was fairly predictable, especially if you’ve read other Anna Pigeon books, it was a great summer read.

Me Before You – Heartbreaking but also wonderful. I loved this book.

Movies We’ve Seen

We don’t go to many movies in the theater, so our pick this summer was How to Train Your Dragon Two. Even Ed liked it! (He is not a movie guy. He’d rather be outside doing something!) The girls loved this movies, and think Toothless is the cutest dragon ever!

At the movies

Places We’ve Traveled

Less than a week ago, we arrived home after a fun-filled two weeks in California! Our travels deserve their own posts, which I’m going to write soon. We went to four National Parks and visited some other great places. Not only that, but we dragged one of my sisters along for the ride!

Seriously, as I look back, I think it’s okay that summer is ending. We managed to pack a lot into a short amount of time!

Tell us what you did on your summer vacation, and feel free to link up any summer posts this week on The Spin Cycle! Be sure to visit my partner, Gretchen, to see what she’s been doing this summer!

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When Bloggers Meet

This weekend was the biggest blogging conference, BlogHer ’14, in San Jose, California. Unlike last year, I wasn’t able to go. Instead, I was at the southern end of the state meeting a blogger friend for the very first time! Gretchen from Second Blooming and I met in a little coffee shop kitty-corner from the Hollywood Tower. Not only did Gretchen meet me, but she met the rest of my family as well, and she brought Jude with her to meet Lily and Emmy.

Hollywood Tower

101 Coffee Shop

When I saw Gretchen and Jude walk into the coffee shop, it felt like I already knew them. As Ed told me later, “It was like you were two old college friends getting together after not seeing each other for a while.” It completely makes sense; when you read someone’s blog for as many years as Gretchen and I have read each others, you know a lot about them. And let me tell you: Gretchen’s son Jude is just as adorable in real life as he is on Gretchen’s blog! (I probably shouldn’t embarrass him like that, but it’s true!)

Ginny and Gretchen

Jude Lily and Emmy
See what I mean? Adorable!

As you have probably guessed by now, I’m on vacation. Gretchen and I have decided that in honor of our meeting each other for the first time, we are going to put The Spin Cycle on hold for two weeks. Yes, it’s kind of strange that after two bloggers meet we are now putting off blogging. But then, blogging is a strange business. It’s a place where you become friends with someone you’ve never even met. I’m just thrilled that Gretchen and I were able to meet in person.

I’ll still post a blog post here and there if I have wi-fi access or if I’m not too tired from all the hiking Ed is about to make me do. Will we have a relaxing vacation? Time will tell. And Gretchen will be writing about Camp Mama, so be sure to click over and go say hi! The Spin Cycle will resume its regular schedule in a couple of weeks. 🙂