Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer break is over... least until August.

Tomorrow I begin my last summer of commuting to MSU for my Masters program.

I've got the ipod ready with an audio book from the library.

My stomach is feeling jittery, and my brain is panicking a little. I'm going to miss my girls this week. And I'm going to miss my Ryan too.

So here I am, typing when I should be sleeping or packing or reading for my class...but sometimes blogging just helps me clear the chaos and focus.

I must finish packing, so that sleep can follow soon.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

cabin weekend in pictures

It seemed more formidable in the middle of the night, blocking the road to the cabin in the thickness of the dark woods.

In the daylight, Ryan saw that he could move it with just a hand saw and his bare hands. Well, gloved hands. It only took a few minutes.Watching him move the giant obstacle out of the cabin road reminded me of our first cabin trip alone together almost eight years ago. When we arrived on our honeymoon to a very similar sight, he didn't hesitate at all to move the tree with his bare hands! (But this time, our desperation for sleep, the midnight darkness, and the two sleeping children in the car made the hotel decision pretty easy to make.)
The girls were excited to wake up in a hotel, though Maya was confused when she first looked around, "how do we get out of here, Daddy?"
Just sleeping in their own big bed together was enough to satisfy their hunger for adventure...but when they found out about the continental breakfast and the POOL they were really impressed.
After a quick swim in a very cold pool, we were all ready to finally head to the cabin.
The first breath of cabin air was more refreshing, healing, and comforting than I ever remember. I have seldom arrived at the cabin in the morning. Usually, the long drive north brings us to the cabin by the late afternoon, or sunset, or most darkness. The first glimpse of the sparkling water through the cedar trees, the rhythm of our feet hitting the stone path to the dock, the creaking of the hinges on the wooden screen door and that wonderful slap of the wood when it closes...all seemed even better this time. I think my pleasure was made richer by the wonder (that I've always felt) shining on the faces of my girls too. Maya remembered so much from last year, but she seemed to soak it in with more awareness and love this time.
Sophia was wide-eyed and eager for every new surprise. The cozy little lamp on the top bunk in the 'kid' bedroom was her first delight.

But the attic, where we all slept was the place the girls loved most. Maya loved the fact that she could see the stone chimney going up through the roof. They could have played in the attic pretending they were Laura and Mary in their "Little House" all weekend if we hadn't forced them to find other cabin adventures...

(a friendly dog named "Sophie" at the Creekside Gallery)

Sophie was a big fan of s'mores. She only had one...of the half cracker size...but I think that chocolate was to blame (in part) for the terrible bedtime we had later. They did NOT want to fall asleep.

One morning, I even woke to sunlight streaming in the open window above my head, birds calling, the bubbling sound of coffee brewing and a crackling cedar wood fire.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

suppressed excitement

Today I stood at my classroom door giving hugs and wishes for a great summer. I turned in my grades and organized my cart. I still have some work to do in the building before I am officially done for the summer, but today was my last day with students.

I am very aware of my 'in-between-ness' tonight. Almost...done with school for the year, almost on summer "break", almost ready to start my last summer of grad school.

I have big dreams for summer days at the pool, the beach, the library, gardening, reading, sewing, walks, ice cream, play dates, the zoo, the Fredrick Meijer Gardens, a whole week spent at the cabin. But the reality may not be as 'dreamy' as my aspirations (though I am determined to cram ALL of those things into our days somehow). In one week, I will begin the commute to MSU. First, for a 2-week workshop that meets all day every day. It will be wildly fun, incredibly challenging, inspiring...and exhausting. And as soon as that class ends, the next 6-week session begins: Research. Only one class this summer...and I think...I like research. I certainly like the fact that this will be my very last class for this degree. But my excitement to be done (soon!!) is quite restrained. There is much to do before I sigh with relief or celebrate.

This weekend however, will be filled with busy fun. A mass of graduation open houses, a wedding, a graduation, and somehow in the midst of the busy-ness...I am mostly excited about family time. Kelly, Sean, and Chloe arrived tonight from Massachusetts! And on Saturday, Andrew, Lynn, Jaelyn, and Addison are coming from Ohio for a quick visit too. ALL my siblings and nieces and nephews in the same town. Too good for words. I'm trying to suppress my expectations about how much time I will get to spend enjoying their company...but I'm really hoping for a quite a lot.