One Week in Summer, Redux

Keeping with last year's tradition, I give you once week in summer.

 It is our last day watching over the baby kittens whose human family is away on vacation. These eight babies were born to two sister mamas within the span of 24 hours. Both beautiful and sweet little mamas take turns nursing all the babies, who are corralled within a wire enclosure in the garage with the little door open so the mamas can come in and out. The mamas are outdoor cats, so the garage door is also open the whole time, and I experience a gripping fear that a predator will get in and devour these precious ones, or that they will somehow get out (even though they're just learning to shakily walk about!) Every time we pull up to the house, I run into the garage to make sure all is well with eight spunky mewing kittens before helping the girls out and bringing them in. 

Needless to say, we are utterly in love with these babes. And now I'm hoping to adopt one (or two? Darin?) of them in the next couple weeks once they are old enough to leave their mothers.

 Ryann is in town, wearing her amazing Bernie shirt that was created by her friend. She swims with the girls and tells us stories. We drink beers and talk about boys.
She and I stay up late chatting on the couch. After I finally tuck her in with extra blankets cause she sleeps cold, and then go to bed myself, my head swims with her tales of boating down the Grand Canyon for almost a month at Christmastime, getting miserably sick for two days as the watery life went on around her, river mishaps and how her boyfriend at the time had to pretty much take charge of the whole party, what it was like to fall out of the boat in one crazy mixed up flying through the air moment, and what it was like to later navigate and row down the wildest rapids herself. 

It was the day before the primaries.

Toot in Ryann's hat

Of course, Polly had to try too!

 Darin and I vote in the morning, and the girls each get a little paper ballot to "vote" too. Their categories are things like "favorite sport" and "favorite season." They take this very seriously (Polly colors in every single square) and each wears her "I Voted" sticker proudly. Our polling is at a retirement village, and all the old folks ooh and ahh over the girls, which makes me absurdly proud.  

All afternoon, we play in the pool at home with Doniella, Amanda, Addie, and the kids. Chloe is such a social, friendly, sing-songy little girl. She and my girls play "Ring around the Rosies" countless times during the visit, and she sings with perfect pitch. Utah and Chloe are both super brave in the water,  which is very inspiring to my girls too. Us mamas sip wine spritzers and gab. Perfect June day.

Addie sporting her new favorite bathing suit: a retro style high waisted bikini.

Next day, Darin is off work, so we make it a lake day. Only it almost doesn't happen because the girls are so difficult on a grocery store trip we make first. I am so frustrated I resort to, "Fine! We won't go to the lake!" But then I'm like, wait, I want to go to the lake. I backpedal. "If you don't shape up and be nice RIGHT NOW we aren't going to the lake." It's a close call, but of course we go.

And luckily, getting to the lake makes everything perfect, including their behavior. (Aside from the little mischievous things Lucy does, like tossing oranges down the hill, giggling all the while, so a grown up would have to go with her to get them. That's never gonna stop.) 

"Come in, Polly, the water's fine!" (And oddly, there's no beach this year because for once the water is TOO HIGH!)

baby turtle

campsites just up the hillside are filled with our snacks GALORE

Lucy is bringing this bucket around to everyone and gleefully offering them "horsetail tea"

Polly and Arlo keep wandering off together and showing each other stuff. They have their own little secret language I think.


a marshmallow roasting show down of sorts commences.

With lots of taste testers

 Zack emerges as the champion.

is a quiet stay-at-home day,

but Friday:
After dressing in twirly dresses and making sand castles at home, we are off to Totem's taco night. Jacob created these amazing veggie street tacos that you get with a beer of your choice for $6 if you come in between 4-6 pm. It's our favorite Friday evening activity. We meet up with the gals there. The plaza is the perfect place for kids to play...until it's not. Here's the thing, there's a fountain with a wide ledge they can climb up and walk around, there are flowers everywhere just begging to be mishandled, and there is a huge steep staircase with an alley at the top that has occasional car traffic and is not safe. So...there's a lot of running after kids. That's kind of more okay when all your friends' kids are doing the same thing, though. And when you have a beer in hand.

watermelon brigade

pure Elan love

Friday night is a rare night out for this mama. I meet up with Em and Ryann and Nick and Addie at Powells for karaoke like the old days. We even sing "Cowboy Take me Away" together, joined by Rachel, just like the old days. Also, hearts are a little bit broken, then soar again, like the old days. Em belts out "Nothing Compares 2 U" with customary fire and aplomb, and Ryann sweetly sings  "Bette Davis Eyes" in her most delicate doleful whisper. It's perfect. Unlike the old days, I only have two beers, then ask Bonny to pour me ice water in my jar instead, and I also remember to close out my tab well ahead of time, then tuck my card safely back in my wallet. 

Ryann spends the night and Lucy and I get up just in time for one story and some quick hugs good-bye, after which we already miss her sorely. 
only viable snapshot of the night, flash-lit and dramatic.

The next day is Suzanne's engagement party at Jack Russell Brewery. First, though, i spend the morning at Gold Country Run and Sport getting myself fitted for some real running shoes. I'm thinking this will solve the problem I've started feeling in my feet (metarsalgia?) and boy, does it not. But anyway, I do now own wonderful black New Balance running shoes that are perfect for my feet but that I can't wear. I also stop at Target and get myself a dress I've had my eye on for a few months, which garners me plenty of compliments later. Sometimes you just gotta trust your hunch. I knew that dress would treat me well!

Suzanne and Nate are social butterflies, flitting about charming all their guests and playing with the kids. Their parents are too. This is a coming together of two great houses. Suzanne and Nate have created this get together with seemingly effortless magic: everything is pretty, colorful, and welcoming, yet totally casual. Friends come with more treats, and cake is served. The kids make much ado about a big blue ball that I have just bought earlier in the day at Target. More "Ring around the Rosies," including with the grown ups. Lucy gets ahold of my camera and takes portraits of all her beloveds. We stay till the bitter end.

Future bride Suzanne with Chloe, an adoring fan. 

portrait by Lucy #1

portrait by Lucy #2
Polly and Chloe, by Lucy

portrait by Lucy #3

the bride-to-be and me!

little tiny girls singing in a ring

the children cluster round.

After the party, we just barely miss Placerville's Wagon Train Parade, but we randomly catch up with Addie and Utah wandering downtown. Hungry and tired, we all decide on a quick meal at Mel's, where I discover Tootie likes to butter her scrambled eggs. And she eats every last bite. I think she's in a growth spurt because the girl polishes off bigger dinners than me these days and she also has legs for days. An outdoor party, a greasy meal with friends, topped off with gumball machines and sticky hands and balloons. Success. 

The End.


Heidi Ann said…
Loved reading about your summer week!
LOVED all of the photos!
Rachel Weaver said…
I loved this idea last year. I love it again this year. I really hope I get around to copycatting it.
Your summer looks great, as does that Target dress. Hope all is well with you and your beautiful brood.

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