Friday, July 29, 2016

11 Things I Learned in July

Oh, July, you’ve been too quick. But you’ve been fun. I’ve driven more new-to-me roads than even before and been on some more familiar ones, but I’ve also learned more deeply to appreciate the journey. This month the journey has included road trips, boat rides on the lake, and afternoons at the pool.

People ask if we’re settled in our new house and I usually say, “Pretty much.” And that’s the short-answer truth. But the long answer: We’re as settled as much as we can be while there are still guys working on the enormous garage we’re renovating. That garage will house the piles of outdoor toys on our side porch that also serves as our everyday entrance. That garage will also house all my husband’s tools and camo attire and hunting accessories that are stored in various other places.

I’ve hung some pictures but there are stacks of others elsewhere, sitting out of our walking paths through the house but in plain sight. And we have this beautiful 10-foot long, floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelf that is still missing cabinets on the bottom cabinets where the board games still in boxes in another corner.

So, you know, we’re pretty much settled. Sort of.

I figure there will be more time for all of that when the kids start Aug. 10.

There you have it, July. You’re making me mourn the end of summer but look forward with great anticipation to a schedule. But, before you go, how about some things you’ve taught me …

1. The last several episodes of season 11 of “Grey’s Anatomy” we’re really good.

I burnt out on this show years ago but occasionally binge watch episodes I haven’t seen. Yes, Derek dies, which I knew before I even watched, but that storyline leads to some great TV.

And the last quote of the season? Perfection, nearly.

“You can build a house out of anything, make it as strong as you want, but a home, a home is more fragile than that. A home is made of the people you fill it with. And people can be broken, sure, but any surgeon knows what’s broken can be mended, what’s hurt can be healed, that no matter how dark it gets, the sun’s gonna rise again.”
– Meredith Gray in season 11 finale

Yes, then I kept watching into the 12th season. I know. So. Many. Seasons.

2. Elin Hilderbrand is a great new-to-me author. 

I saw her name when her endorsement was on the front of another book I was reading. I randomly chose “Summerland” from the library and then moved on to “The Rumor.”

{I’ve been on a bit of a fiction binge lately, as you can tell from my list of books I’ve read so far this year. And it seems Hilderbrand has many books, so that’ll keep me going!}

3. The Canadian side of Niagara Falls is prettier than the U.S. side. Of course, it’s also busy when it’s a double holiday weekend with U.S. folks celebrating Independence Day and Canadians having their own Canada Day. But, hey, it’s pretty!

We went to Buffalo, NY for a long weekend at the beginning of the month for the baptisms of my twin niece and nephew. It was a fun trip and we’re looking forward to being with my siblings and their families again next week ... at the beach!

4. Hand, foot and mouth disease is no joke. That’s what Rachel brought home from Buffalo. Thankfully, turns out the case she had wasn’t even that bad, but there were still a few rough days.

5. Sometimes driving 180 miles one way with one friend for lunch with another friend is worth it. 

Of course, her van may break down and kids end up playing in the sprinkles at the park in their clothes. Road trips and friendships are always adventures worth having. {Here’s a little more on that.}

6. My kids and husband don’t have the same love of Krispy Kreme doughnuts that I do – even when the doughnuts are hot and fresh. Yeah, I can’t explain it either. But they do like watching them be made.

7. New Needtobreathe music is my happy place. Okay, this isn’t something I learned, but I love the new album so I needed to include it. My favorite songs are “Happiness, “Hard Love,” and “Testify.”

8. Detours keep us focused on the journey, giving us opportunities to see new places and appreciate the details around us. 

The most direct route to our new house in the country has been closed for three weeks – the majority of the time we’ve lived here. I've discovered various routes home, and I have my favorite that includes a beautiful field of sunflowers.

9. Even when a friendship spans decades, new traditions can be made. 

We went to St. Louis for the third year in late July {hello, hotness …} so we could go to Six Flags with our best friends. We spent three nights there and also went to a Cardinals game, Soulard Market, the {free!} science center, and the {free!} zoo.

And, really, I know the attractions aren’t actually totally free because local property owners pay for the science center and zoo, but it’s such a nice treat to tourists like us!

10. And when in STL in July, don’t buy right field bleacher seats for an evening game at Busch Stadium. With a 6:15 p.m. start time, we were in the sun until the sixth inning – and the last section to feel shade. Trust me, it makes a difference.

11. An old-fashioned DiscMan provides my son hours of entertainment. Hours, really. {And he’s cute!}

Tell me about your July.

I'm linking with Emily Freeman like I do at the end of every month

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