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 :)


karelia garcia said...

Visiting your page is like a dream; Read and look at pictures is absolutely wonderful, yes like living in a magic place. Please, keep giving us that happiness from the best of life:family and love.

Lauren said...

Awww, Karelia, what a sweet comment! Thank you so so much from my <3.
Ok, I will keep posting, but thank you very very much for reading!!! :)

Loulou said...

Sounds like you had an excellent summer! Your yard is absolutely gorgeous. We got new cushions for the outdoor furniture this year too and it's made such a difference. And now I'm coveting a cedar deck too! xo

Lori said...

Sounds like a great summer! Your backyard looks so peaceful and pretty :-) And I love the little schoolhouse and such you made...that's adorable!

Just a little update, because you inspired me so much in the first place - I passed the one year mark growing out my hair in May :-) I am thinking by December of 2015, all of the old will be gone! No regrets!! :-)

Lauren said...

Hi Lori!!! \('-')/ Oh that makes me SO happy for you!!!! :)
Congrats on your one year anniversary in May, that's awesome. Thanks for the update, you're so encouraging to others, especially with no regrets! :)
Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by.

Loridh said...

Lauren, love reading about your summer and seeing your beautiful pictures! Your son is so cute! You look fabulous in your new glasses! I am now done growing out my grey hair! Cheated and got a pixie! Since I am saving money on salon costs now I have purchased several pairs of eyeglasses to change up my look! I love them!

Francis Dayana & Scott James said...

Hi I'm new here and am in love readjng your blogs! I too am growing out my greys and am 27 :) it's been tough but worthwhile. I wanted to ask you, if you don't mind, where did you get those glasses, their super cute and have been wanting to purchase a new pair soon! I love how yours look rubberized and charcoal matte looking, very unique! :) I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Lauren said...

Awww, hi there!!! It's nice to meet you. :) That can't be easy at 27, but I totally agree on the worthwhile part. You sound so strong and brave! Thank you for the nice words about my glasses. Sure, I'm happy to share. They're from SEE Eyewear. They have stores all over the country. Here's a link to the frames, hope it helps! http://www.seeeyewear.com/product-item/see-3323

Thanks for stopping by to read and for leaving a sweet comment. <3

You have a wonderful weekend too!!!

Francis Dayana & Scott James said...

Thank you so much! :) I will check it out. Yes it was tough. At first I was going to wait until I turn 30 but we had a baby boy a year ago who was born premature. We expected it but there were some issues since he was born premature, whim he was unable to breathe on his own, so my whole world was just turned upside down. Not something I expected. But its been a tough, strong and a beautiful journey. But during his stay in the nicu which he had stayed for 6 months had me down, busy, tired, stressed etc so I didn't cared for my apperance much. One day I realized I got sick having to color my hair every 3-4 weeks. So I went for it! It's been tough and awkward! My mom even told me I was crazy and how I should just color my hair. I told her I've gone this far and I'm not giving up. Now it's finally getting along. Its been 7-8 months since I quit dying it. All I need to do is cut my old dyed hair which I may after January/ Feb comes. My natural hair has grown a lot and it's probably right under my ears a long with layers I have so it's long and short. Once its long enough i'll get it toned, brightened, etc not a dull/ grainy look. I too got my premature white gray hair from my dad. My brother on the other hand does not have a single white hair in his head! Lol.
Thank you again for your fun blogs! I'm still trying to figure out how blogs work. I wish I could share my photos of my white gray hair journey with you!

Have a wonderful weekend! Keep warm!