This summer break is on the calendar as one of the longest we’ve ever had– three long months; yet, it seems to be slipping away from me.  I find myself already lamenting its end.  Summer is all the things I love so much– unlimited time with my children, being outside, digging in the dirt, following our own rhythm.  Like always, this summer will turn to fall and time will move ahead.  Even now, during our lazy days, things are growing and changing, moving forward with or without my help.  All I can do is stand by, ready to pick a random weed here or there and enjoy the beauty and bounty of all I’ve planted.

My crazy cottage garden– really more of a snake garden than a fairy garden at this point.

My vegetable garden– which at this posting has exploded far beyond this picture and has grown almost as wild as the flowers.

Thank goodness for good help.  I love the idea of canning, but I’m pretty tired of the reality.

One of our finds during our annual summer Girls’ Trip.  This year we went hiking… in a downpour.  We saw this guy, a bobcat, an injured lunar moth, and deer.  Even as I mourn her baby days, I find that she becomes a more fascinating and hilarious companion with every passing day.  I hope she always wants to make these trips with me.

Always curious…

And always daring…

I joined her in the creek.  We were already soaked to the skin, and besides, being with her just makes me want to splash and play and dance in the rain.

Harper isn’t the only one who’s growing and changing at warp speed.  Isaac entered his first triathlon.  He was just a little bit excited as you can see.

Last minute coaching advice…

Pumped up!

The pump didn’t last too long after he hit the water.  It was a little overwhelming, and he didn’t swim as well as he had expected, but he kept at it and didn’t give up.  He was the last kid out of the pool but quickly made it to the transition area, jumped on his bike, made up a lot of time and pulled some folks in on the bike and run. 
And he didn’t crash.  Some kids weren’t as lucky. 

We are super proud of him for the courage it took to try something new.

And there was free Italian ice for all the finishers.  Totally worth the price of admission.

Isaac and Daddy

Afterwards, we ended up in the basement of the church where we were married– nearly 18 years ago.  This time we had two more in tow. 

Me and my Daddy

We were there to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday– all of us together.

90 years seems like such a long, long time, but I bet if I asked Grandmama, she would think on the past as the passing of only a few days.  There are times when 11 years or 8 years sounds like an eternity, as if the time might never come, yet here I am, watching these wild tender things that seemed to have sprouted only yesterday grow and change with fierce abandon.  Like some beautiful flowering vine that is slipping between the fence posts before my very eyes.