The summer is officially winding down here in the Thomas corner of the world. How do I know?
Today's weather - high of 70. It's cloudy, we went shopping for school supplies yesterday and we start our vacation this coming weekend in the Outer Banks.
We always take our vacation at the end of the summer for two reasons. #1, it's something to look forward to. I feel like if we took our vacation in July, August would be a bit of a letdown and the rest of the summer would zip by. #2, it's less expensive and most of the other vacationers have already gone home. So it's like having the place to ourselves.
This summer has been a bit of a pleasant surprise and I'm very thankful for that. We anticipated that this would be another summer at home with the kids for me - I am still in job-searching mode - and I figured we would take a few day trips to places in the area, visit friends and hang out at our townhouse community's pool. Easy-breezy.
Well, after Anabelle's first year at our public elementary school, we made quite a few family friends. Those friends told us all about the neighborhood pool, how nice it is, how great the swimming programs are and all of the activities they hold all summer long. We don't know many people in our townhouse community and most of the neighbors don't have children of the same age as ours. Joining the neighborhood pool seemed like a no-brainer, especially for Tom. He grew up belonging to his neighborhood pool and had nothing but fond memories and stories of his experiences. So it was a go.
That spun the end of June and the entire month of July into a whirlwind. We decided that Anabelle would benefit most from joining the junior swim team and WOW did she. She began the summer as she does every year - a bit timid around the water, not interested in swimming underwater at all and not going near the deep end, not to mention the diving board or water slide. She would wear a vest to do those things. Now? She's part fish. The vest is taking up space in her closet and she is trying her very best to swim to the bottom of the deep end to retrieve toys. The deep end is 9 feet deep in the corner and she's working her way to the 10 feet side. She can also swim one lap, across the length of the competitive size pool and back, with no help and no stopping. She goes up and down the water slide and would spend all afternoon on the diving board if she could. Her confidence at the pool has soared and we are so proud of her. She even won her first ribbon in a swim meet.
Aside from swim practices and meets, there have been weekend barbecues, Family Dinner Nights, a Family Campout with an outdoor showing of the original Star Wars that Tom set up, Sebastian's birthday party and we have met many more families. Our decision to join the pool was a rousing success.
Outside of the pool, we've had a lot going on as well. We've had playdates with school friends, our family friends the Rodriguez's and the Brown's, Tom and I attended the Rigo's benefit for their son in heaven, Brody Bash, and the Rigo's had their 4th child, Brayden. We also had visitors from Michigan - a friend from high school, Shawn and his lovely family. We took a trip with them to DC to see the zoo and then, after a desperate quest for ice cream on that hot day, it was fun to see Belle and Baz play in the fountain by the Metro stop. Tom's officially started his last year of his 30's with a rousing gathering to see our friends and favorite celebratory band, JunkFood, with a great group of people last weekend. Anabelle went to her first concert at the invitation of a friend (The Jonas Brothers - my ears and preteen screams will never be friends) and loved it. She is very excited to be starting first grade when we return from vacation. Baz will be starting preschool and I'm excited for him to make more friends his age. Hopefully they will also be his size.
The fall is already jam-packed with activities and commitments - I'm keeping my fingers (desperately) crossed that I will find employment soon. Aside from school, the kiddos will be playing soccer for the first time and Anabelle has joined a Girl Scouts troop, as well as keeping up with her swimming in the winter swim program. I will also be volunteering more with the PTA, as will Tom, and we have our 7th year of fantasy football to get through. Tom won the league last year and I did the year before - we need to keep this trophy in the house again. :)
I will post again after we return from the OBX. Peace and love.