As we face the transition into the school year and fall this week, I felt like, for my own sake, it would be fun to review what this summer of 2011 was all about. I went back to my blog posts and pulled out some of my favorite memories and pictures that represented them. There were a few that I found myself passing over - while the idea was exceptional, the experience was less than - often due to not feeling well (i.e. Bullwinkles). And, for sure, Camp Harlow would be in the mix for the kids' sake, but that can go in their blog countdown, right?! =)
#1: Kick off the summer, "Green Lantern" date with Brayden. SO MUCH FUN!!! I was GIDDY by the time we left the theater, not only about the movie, but for all of the summer to come!
#2: S'mores, bbq's, and dining al fresco on our side patio. Kind of a broad definition, but between "Tuesday Night Ladies" visits, Fathers/Mothers Day celebrations, "Third of July", our birthday dinner with Mom and Dad, and the Impact Team dinner - we really made use of this space this summer.
#3: Movies and Meals with the "Schitelys". This picture represents us all at PF Changs, honoring Travis, Michele, and I's birthday after having watched "Transformers 3". I love how much we enjoy each other - from restaurants, movies, on the boat, on vacation, or just hangin' in any of our houses. Priceless....
#4: Celebrating the Fourth of July. This has now become one of my favorite holidays - especially when you throw in our annual pre-celebration at our house on the third. Florence was a hit again too, especially when we kept warm this year.
#5: American Idol Concert with Stephanie and Michele. It was fun from start to finish - the roadtrip up and back, and especially staying in a hotel room with other "grown-ups" that can get their own selves ready and even clean up after themselves! (Not to mention laugh at each other and eat all sorts of bad stuff for us....)
#6: Our trip to Sunriver. Between the wildlife, the outdoor setting (and scent!), the hot tub, the great books that I read, and all of the bike riding - this place was a taste of paradise for me.
#7: Michele and I celebrating our birthday together. While it's a bummer to not have the whole family around (the boys were at Sons of Thunder...which would definitely make their lists for best-of-summer). A trip to Bello, Red Robin with the girls, and having them be so thoughtful to light up this KFC "bonus" cake to honor our birthday - it was low-key, but very special.
#8: Camping with the girls on the Metolius. Honestly, this dirty, out-house using, outdoor-tent sleeping experience is really my summer highlight. At my core, this all brings me tremendous amounts of happiness - especially when a good book and a campfire is included!
#9: Time spent with these ladies. From the beginning of the summer goof-off time on the trampoline, to taking them out on the lake, to watching Kimmie shine at Harlow, and finally to the magical culmination of Christi's romance at her wedding, it's been a treasure indeed to be a part of these young womens' lives.
#10: The Boat. Outside of that one fateful trip that included my migraine, Traig's broken arm, Andrew's hyper-extended knee, and Brayden's punctured lip - the rest of the experiences were so great this year. We took lots of folks out, got lots of first-timers up, and yes, I even caught a little "air"! And, oh yeah, at the end of each trip it amounted to way too many DQ Blizzards.... =)
#11: Packard Creek Camping with the crew. This was probably my favorite trip ever. Everyone in relaxed, silly moods, the kids ADORING their time with Mom and Dad, and TREMENDOUS water on the lake. Definitely a tradition that will keep going...
(Some honorable mentions include "Cars 2" at the Dallas Drive-In, the trip to Larison Cove, Safari Sam's, the hiking at Proxy Falls and riding Merlin with Mom and Mikayla.... =) )