A crazy, happy, exhausting, fun, tiring summer.

This was a good summer. It was also a hard summer. As I get older, I've realized that most good things come with their share of hardship.

Most of our energy this summer has gone to painting our house. 

my children are all pretty much fearless. this makes proud and terrifies me at the same time.

we spent a lot time at Lowes 

There are a still a few things that need to be touched up (storm windows, sealing the porches, etc) but we are pretty much done! It looks amazing and has made me fall in love with our house all over again. Can't wait to tackle some more of the landscaping next summer. 

before picture


and a few more after shots

Painting took a lot out of us this summer, but we did still find time to explore local parks with friends.

tree climbers

and huggers

We also planted a small garden - our cucumbers did amazing!

making pickles

This summer, I also started babysitting a different child. V, the girl I babysat for the past five years has now started kindergarten and no longer needs our company. We've welcomed a two-year-old boy, L, into our home and he is jovial and hilarious...but he's also two. The arrangement has been a huge answer to prayer but getting use to it has required some adjustment and a bit more sleep on my part. Those two-year-olds know how to keep you on toes!

My Dad also came to visit us this summer. It was the first time since Jeremy and I have been married that he's been to our home. I have seen him a handful of times over the last ten years; he's been in the hospital a couple times so I have gone to visit him and we've made it point to try and see him whenever we were in Minnesota.

My Dad's not a bad guy. In fact most people who meet him would actually consider him a good guy: he works hard, is friendly, and is generous. He didn't stick around after my parents got divorced, though, so from four to sixteen I didn't see him; it's made things between us strained.  I know it's probably awkward and as painful for him as it is for me. I'm sure he has regrets, but my Dad isn't one to reflect on past failings or to say sorry.  This has made bonding with him a bit difficult. His route to dealing with difficult situations is to lie/exaggerate or just walk away, hence this being the first time at our home. His health is bad and we want him to have peace and to know his family. We also want our children to know their grandfather.

We did a lot of fun things and had some good times but it left me feeling weary. I want to know my Dad, and as much as I've tried to come to peace with the past events, I want my Dad to know me. At this point I feel like he's made me into a caricature in his mind. It's much easier to pretend that we are, or used to be, close but it's not real. Jeremy and I are currently struggling with how to continue this relationship. We don't want another ten years to go by where the contact is minimal, but a relationship without integrity is exhausting.

enjoying The Bean

more Bean fun

other statues are fun too

enjoying the beach during the Chicago Air and Water Show

On a less intense note, the other thing that kept me busy this summer was running. I've ran off and on since high-school, but have not done so seriously since Big Buddy was born. A friend of mine, however, has recently gotten into running. We ran a 5K trail race this spring and when she asked me to fun a 25K, I decided why not. The race was this this Saturday and I finished! My time was not what I would of liked, but I did it!

a pretty view during the run

world's cutest cheerleaders

they also make cute aid station workers


The experience has made me fall in love with running again. I had never run 25K before Saturday and there something invigorating and stress relieving about accomplishing a new goal. 

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