Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Just Regular Summer Things

I'm sunburned and water logged.

I'm tired and content, too, because doing things with my kids all day will result in both.

I did a quick research of beaches last night and decided to take my kids to a surf beach we haven't explored so far. It was one of the best yet. It wasn't the easiest to get to, but so worth it. We will definitely be exchanging our local surf place for the extra half hour drive. We parked right on the beach among every imaginable surfer vehicle: VW vans, Jeeps, beat up kidnapper vans, small campers, Mercedes vans, pickup trucks and SUVs. Only people who love the waves seemed to be present, as the beach was not at all crowded, but the water was speckled with surfers everywhere. We picked our spot carefully since I know surfers can be territorial (even though I read this beach is considered more friendly to outsiders).

My kids were in the water before we'd finished setting up. I called my most impulsive kids back in and tried to apply sun screen over wet, sandy bodies. This was a fail. I'm trying to remind myself that sun exposure is actually good for the production of vitamin D as I look at their more-than-rosy faces tonight. Alas, I did what I could. I even had them reapply during our lunch break. I caught one or two of my boys in passing during the afternoon and smeared more sandy, watered-down lotion over water logged skin as they inched back toward the water. As for me, I don't think I waited long enough for the lotion to set before getting in either. And I forgot to reapply at lunch time because I was busy passing out food and lotion to others. So now I'm burned.

The older kids had surf boards, the younger ones had body boards. Shortly after arrival, I watched for a while: Michael and Olivia were doing great on the waves, but overall I was getting uncomfortable with how far out everyone was getting. Jack is little. So is Andrew. Especially when I considered the fact that they were way out with a bunch of well conditioned and experienced surfers (who were possibly the territorial types). So I grabbed the spare body board, the one with a missing leash, and began to paddle out. I paddled and paddled like never before, seriously feeling out of my league. Normally when I body board with the kids, it's the normal variety that sends us up onto the beach. Not this. I kept telling myself, "Keep going! You have to get to the kids! Keep going!" Wave after wave, I felt like I was making no progress. Or maybe my kids were just moving further out to sea? And how on earth did Jacob make it past those waves?

Finally, there they were. I could see them grinning at me past the crashing white. All was good with the world again. It actually seemed much safer out there. Enjoyable, actually. So we stayed and played until we were hungry for lunch.

'Course, I didn't relax after lunch either. I spent my time counting heads passed crashing waves. And, evidently, grilling my skin. I remember thinking about the sunscreen, but only with regards to the kids, and about wanting my kids to always be safe. I wondered how many things we as moms try to get right all the time. Try as we may, life just happens. Maybe the best of experiences in life involve a certain amount of risk. I'm not going to beat myself up about all the ways I don't get it right. I wonder if a life well lived comes to the one who always gets everything right anyway.

Once home, I just had to go swimming with the boys in the pool... just for the fun of it and also to cool my skin! Tonight, Jon brought our older two to youth group, and I sat on the roof with the little boys till it started to get dark. Jack was wearing a muscle shirt, his little dark body looking super cute. What can I say? It was a day well lived, and we will all remember it fondly.


A few recent pictures:

Jack, doing his VBS worksheet out in the lawn as he waited for me to cut his hair.

It's the season for green beetles, which means tons of entertainment for my younger boys.
I know I've shared this before, but they tie a thread to the body of the beetle. When it flies away, it is essentially on a leash. (A beetle-kite is another way to describe it.)

Getting it set to go.

It's hard to focus on a flying beetle, so here it is on just a few inches of "leash."

I love the creativity...

Jon and I celebrated our 18th anniversary on Monday with our kids. Some of my kids set up a fun little hang out place for us on the roof. After dinner, this is where we enjoyed our crêpes and ice cream drizzled with Olivia's raspberry sauce. 

These next two pictures were taken in the afternoon as some of the kids played chess in our little spot.

Dinner time was getting late and the marine layer blocked out the sun. 

Eighteen years of marriage seems crazy. Lately I've been realizing just how much God has protected and hedged me in through my husband. He has been a shield and a deliverer from people and situations many times over. It's hard to describe, really, at least in a few words on a public blog. 

I love him immensely for it. 



  1. I am so glad you capture these sweet childhood days (even though Olivia is a young woman, hardly a "child", but you know what I mean.) I think your kids will look back with gratitude at the gentle lifestyle you've purposed to have as a family. It's not so easy to live simply and contentedly in a complicated, busy world.
    And...Happy Anniversary! :-) <3
    ~ Carol

    1. Thank you. I think the "gentle lifestyle" is the only part of our life I CAN capture! The less gentle parts are surely there too; I hope the sweet parts make a more lasting impression on their childhood/teenage memories.


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