Tuesday, September 01, 2015

A Peaceful and Happy Summer

Friends, Romans, country ladies, lend me your ears......

I am coming to you today from my backyard. Purchasing new outdoor pillows to replace our old, moldy, chipmunk-eaten outdoor pillows was the best decision I have ever made. Today marks day one of the new school year and I hope to spend a lot more time here, on this wicker love-seat, underneath the wisteria-vine covered pergola. With Josie, trying to type for a few, but also involved in an intense game of soggy tennis ball toss. 

(This is where I'm typing from)!

This morning I have already exercised, gotten cleaned up and ready for the day, helped a brand new FIFTH GRADER and his Dad get out the door, folded laundry, cleaned the kitchen, AND went out for a few groceries, toiletries and gym shoes for school. WOOT! Give it up for Mom! Apparently on her game today! (I hope I can keep this productivity up).

So while that was all awesome and great, now the lure of scrambled eggs for lunch is almost too much for me, so I'll be a woman of few(er) words than usual today. Here's an abridged wrap-up of the second half of our summer. It was truly a nice one, but I am looking forward more than I can say for fall and cooler temperatures. Here, this week, we'll be hovering around 90 degrees each day. And Noah's excited for fall too! It made me incredibly happy to see him so happy when he smiled and gladly went back to school today. Noah told me that he couldn't wait to hug his teachers and friends.

This summer, in a nut shell, was pretty quiet. That's a good thing! Noah took a ceramics class and did some day camp. We swam and relaxed and went to the park and visited with friends. It was peaceful and nice.

It was a very dog-dominated summer in a way. We were either walking with the dog, letting the dog out, telling her to stop barking or snuggling. She's extra good at snuggling. 

The largest bit of commotion came in the form of our deck being ripped off and then re-built! When Jon and I bought our house, it was in need of much TLC, inside and out. We needed to gut the inside, and re-side and paint and roof the outside. One of the only projects that we didn't do was replace our  rotting deck. It was a good, old deck, but weather and wear eventually made it time. Well, when our feet started going through a few rotted out boards, it was really time!

We'd been saving up and planning to do this for a while. We decided to do the deck and the backyard all in one sweep. This is the new cedar deck, it smells SO GOOD! 

We had to replace our retractable awing and patio umbrella as well. I have to tell you, for those of you who have sunlight that really streams in and heats up your house in the summertime, these retractable awnings are really amazing at keeping the temperature down when you want it. At first I was unsure of the awning that came with our house, but I quickly understood how helpful it can be!

Also, I found outdoor pillows for the deck furniture, the chaise lounges and the seating area underneath the pergola, all about 1/2-off on Amazon! 

Jon and I spent two, full, long days out in the yard, trying to weed and prune, wash and paint. Basically, attempting to fix the back up! We washed all of our furniture with scrub brushes and soap. Jon painted our patio set and a little bench that I've had and stained the chaise lounges.

(I need to do something with this corner...)

(Come sit and read!)

My favorite part was weeding and clearing our little pebble path and trimming the dead branches off all of the trees and bushes. That was fun! Now our "secret garden" is looking a little bit tidier, but there's always more to do.

We took part in a deal to join a local swim club for the month of August. We belonged when I was a kid, and this very same cement dolphin was there! And I was in love with him!

Each time we went, I'd have these grand plans to relax poolside with a magazine or book and my crochet. And each time, I'd last about ten minutes before the heat got to me and I would jump in.

Speaking of crochet, I whipped up the world's easiest little cardigan and the pattern was FREE!!! I made mine a cropped cardigan and I chose not to make the sleeves long. I need to get a picture, but in the end, I sewed on an acorn and some oak leaf appliques. You can watch the video with free patter from Wooly Wonders Crochet HERE!

For my September window decorations, I went with a school and apples theme.

I put them up today! They came out nicely if I say so myself! I'll put up some pictures of them in the fall decorations post I'd like to write. The jug of cider and donuts is from a much beloved, little cider mill around here. 

This summer I got glasses!!! I began wearing glasses at age three. Over time my eyesight became stronger until I had 20/20 vision in my 20's. Now though, I'm getting a little far-sighted again. I was hesitant about wearing glasses, but I'm glad that I got my eyes checked, and just like gray hair, glasses can be something fun and expressive about yourself too!

Another thing that happened is that we went up north! "Up north" is what we Michiganders call northern Michigan, a place where many of us vacation on the great lakes or various inland waters. There are sandy beaches and lots of pine trees. My father lives quite far up north on a bay of Lake Michigan. My Mother vacations at a nice lake in the woods, about three and a half hours north of where we live.

In August, Jon and I packed up the car, the Noah and the Josie, and we headed up north. The cats stayed home with our new cat sitter. (It was hard to leave them, but I'm glad we actually got away). Noah was very prepared for vacation in his Hawaiian shirt and ukulele.....?
Josie was strapped into her doggy car seat and she did so well all the way there and back. She just slept!

Our bedroom opened onto this screened in porch, that opens up onto a deck with the lake below. It was extra pretty in the morning and we even heard the calls of the Loons! It's just like On Golden Pond.

There were bonfires and boating, a walk around the lake, cooking, reading, spending time with friends and skipping rocks. It was such a nice time and such a nice summer!

Until next time, enjoy these warm end of summer days!!!
Lauren :)

Friday, July 31, 2015

A Little Hair Accessory Tip for You!

It's pretty warm here in Michigan, we're getting into the dog days of summer. So I braided my hair in hopes of getting it off my face. I wanted to accent it with a clip. But...I didn't have any turquoise colored bobby pins or barrettes that I was hoping for. That's when it dawned on me, I could use my earrings!!! And you know what? Not only do these dangly earrings WITH A SECURE CLASP work perfectly, I think they look pretty too! And hey, if you can dare to grow your hair gray, why can't we also just wear earrings in our hair, right!? smile emoticon xoxo