Sunday, September 05, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation.

Ah, the long summer hiatus. Think of me as a TV show returning to my regularly scheduled night and time. (Hopefully.)

I had such big plans for my late summer, but the big kitchen re-do never materialized. Todd is still in search of wood to make new doors, and we had a flood of company in August that made a torn-up kitchen undesirable anyway.

My brother and his family came down the first weekend in August and we headed to the "real" beach, the ocean beach. In previous years, we've taken them to the "river" beach in Yorktown, which is much better for small children, but the girls are big kids now and they loved the ocean.

Here Marissa pretends to be a sea turtle. She was so covered with sand she looked like a breaded cutlet:

My brother and I and the girls, waiting for the next big wave:

Todd's sister Lisa and her family also stopped by for a night/morning on their way to the Outer Banks, but it was such a quick trip I didn't get any pictures. It was fun to get to see them, though.

The second weekend in August, we made a quick trip home to Ohio for a family reunion. Here's me and my sister, she must have just said something funny:

I helped my cousin Janine's son Isaac take a little stroll. He turned one year old a couple weeks after this and I believe is walking on his own now:

Some of us were eating and dad and my cousin Alan:

Me and my mom and my aunt Carol:

...and others were kayaking and fishing in the small lake my aunt and uncle have on their property. My nephew Tanner:

My cousin-in-law Rich (Isaac's dad):

These two little cuties, Isaac and my cousin David's son Lucas, are the youngest members of the family, at one year old and two years old, respectively.

The oldest member of the family is Grandma, at 90, who was able to put in a brief appearance thanks to the terrific shuttle service her nursing home provides. Todd (my official photographer) was eating and fishing most of the time she was there, so he didn't get a good picture of her; I hope someone else did.

There are a lot of us when we all get together--and this wasn't nearly the whole family!

Missing were my cousins Jarrod and Mike (away in the Air Force and Coast Guard); my cousins Darrel and Dennis and their families; my brother and his family; my cousin Pam and her husband; and my cousins Dan and Derek, who had just gone back to college after the summer. You can imagine what a crowd it would be if we were ever all able to be together in one spot. I love my big family, they are all very special to me.

When we came home from Ohio, we brought my nine-year-old niece Kylie back with us. She stayed for five days and then flew home--her first time on a plane. We had a great week with her, going to the beach:

Todd took her crabbing several times, which she loved:

Todd also showed her how to kayak:

She and I took a dolphin cruise, too:

Then she hopped on a plane and flew away and I collapsed for a couple of days! I am not used to having a kid around full time! We had such a great time, though.

In the three weeks since Kylie left, I've been laying pretty low. I worked on a stitchery project that I'll share later...I read a bunch of not-so-great books (seriously, I'm really in a slump!)...I watched all ten episodes of Ken Burns' Jazz...I got back into my walking and diet routine that was sadly neglected during the first two weeks of August. Plus all the boring day-to-day stuff, of course.

Hurricane Earl was all set to plow into us here on the East Coast, but decided to just stroll on past and leave us mostly alone, which was just fine with me. We had a windy, rainy morning on Friday and that was it. And in his wake some slightly cooler, drier weather has come along, which is a blessing. I have the windows open tonight--I couldn't tell you the last time it's been cool and dry enough for that!

This fall we are looking forward to having some company and doing a little traveling here and there. We're also really hoping to get some exterior work done on the house. The kitchen re-do is still on the table, but won't get going until Todd finds some poplar for the doors and we get a nice big chunk of time to work on it. And I am just looking forward to (please God!) some cooler weather. This summer has been pretty bad and I am ready to wear jeans and long-sleeves again, although that won't be happening any time soon.

That's all from here!