First of all, one of the big things that sticks out in my mind is money. Zachary has been trying to understand the almighty dollar...and the coins too. He was curious about the people on the bills and we explained who they were and I guess George Washington made an impression on him because I gave him a few dollars, told him about the first president and then told him he needed to put one of those dollars in the offering at church. He sat quiet for a few moments and then said "But mommy, why do I need to give George Washington to Jesus?"
I think the highlight of our summer was spending more than two weeks with family in Oklahoma. We stayed a few days at MawMaw's house in Mustang and then drove to Stillwater to stay with my sister and her kiddos. It was so nice to watch the kids play together and see how much they've grown. My nephew has grown into an amazing young man with many talents. He started guitar lessons while we were there and incessantly practiced his baseball skills...it paid off too...he tried out for and made the AA traveling team!
My niece Sarah was attached to my Z. Those two were pretty inseparable and they were really good at catching frogs, avoiding copperhead snakes and generally chasing each other through the trees. I loved sitting in the kitchen and looking out the huge picture window, just watching them run and laugh and get filthy dirty. Yes, that's right - Z got dirty willingly and many times over. One day when my Nanny, Aunt Debbie and cousins came up from Texas, Z changed clothes at least 5 times. We were all joking about it because, he'd run in and go to Clay's room and come back out with a different outfit because either got the other one wet or dirty. At least he was doing it all by himself..but the laundry wow, never had to do so much in such a short time!!!
My mom came up the same day as the Texas clan and it was good to see her see Nanny for the first time in almost 30 years. It truly was a special day. The next day, we ALL went to Mexico Joe's for lunch...I don't think they knew what was coming haha. So much fun. I got to photograph my cousins' children in my sister's field...it was just zen for me really. Z loved playing with all the second cousins...and yes, they all caught frogs.
My friend Kim and her family came up to get pictures of little Zander, who's grown so much since we saw them at Thanksgiving! They also introduced us to the most heavenly grilled peaches EVER. Basically you half and pit peaches, put in a ziploc bag with LOTS of honey, cinnamon, and I can't remember what else....then grill them peel side up until the peels get wrinkly...they slide right off. Plate the halved, grilled peaches, fill the pitted area with strawberry preserves, top with vanilla ice cream and drizzle the marinade over the top....OH MY GOSH!
So eventually we did have to get on the road back to Kentucky. I was doing so well not getting emotional while I was getting ready that morning, until my niece came in and said she thought I was staying one more day and then she cried...then Zach started crying about leaving and my stupid eyes welled up. Just seeing their little hearts hurting made me hurt too. I SO wish we lived closer!!
So yes, back to life, back to reality (that's a song lol) and when we got back it was like the whole summer had slipped away...and I guess it has for sure by now. It's been so hot this year for so long, I'm actually REALLY looking forward to September! Cooler temperatures...at least 3 newborns to photograph that I know about so far! Definitely going to be a good fall.
Tomorrow I'll write about life after the Ashgrove Pike incident :)