The triple digit temperatures that seem to be here for good do not scream “end of summer”. We still have several months until first signs of fall. But it is the start of the school year and this means “summer” is over. I want to capture the end of summer and our transition to the school mode.
I started a new job in the middle of July, so the second half of the summer was a balancing act between this adjustment and the vacation time, and getting ready to go back to school.
My work space with a couple of family pictures on my desk – to keep me sane
With me being gone every day, things still had to be taken care of. Things like dentist appointments, sport practices, birthday parties, Ethan’s driver’s license permit. Brian had to take some additional time off work to cover all this. It has been very intense but we made it.
Movie watching at the dentist. I wish my dentist had a set up like this.
So far so good.
Ethan has been playing a lot of basketball this summer. Their practices take place outdoors in a neighborhood park. In a 100 F degree heat this sounds like torture to me but the boys seem to love it. They had great record this summer.
Phoebe has been enjoying her gymnastics. She is more interested in it than she was in ballet lessons, it’s also easier logistically. So I think we’ll be doing gymnastics for awhile.
We celebrated Sonia’s 13th birthday. Somehow we ended up with not a lot of pictures – a consequence of the chaotic pace we’ve had for last few weeks, I guess. We do have a video of the cake and a “happy birthday” song. She did a great job decorating the house and coordinating her guest list.
We stocked up on school supplies well in advance. I knew that I didn’t want to wait till the last minute, so shopping early really helped, we managed to get everything in one trip – which almost never happens. So I was happy about that! We also made a trip to IKEA to buy a shelf for Ethan’s room for his school supplies. Trips to IKEA are alsways fun. We usually plan to spend some extra time there to play with different toys and stuff. We grabbed a dinner at the cafe there.
Woody apparently is a fan of IKEA Mac-n- cheese
We made a quick trip to Corpus Christi to spend a couple of days on the beach before the school starts, it was a nice trip. We stopped in Lockhart for lunch at a famous BBQ place – Smitty’s market — an”Acclaimed BBQ spot offering meats fresh from the smoker in a no-frills space with communal tables.” They sell the meat right in the smoker area, you can see the fire pit in action. It was hot there but a fun experience.
The worst picture of us but you can see the fire pit at the background.
We got some ice cream to round up the meal and then walked around the town center for a few minutes before getting back on the road. Lockhart has one of the historic courthouses of Texas built in the early days of Texas Republic: “Many of Texas’ courthouses showcase the finest elements of European architecture while also taking advantage of local materials to create something a community could be proud of. There are few better examples of this than the 1894 Caldwell County Courthouse. Limestone walls accented by red sandstone are capped by mansard-style domes and an intricate clock tower that sports a bright orange Lone Star on each side.”
The condo complex we stayed at was right on the beach, it was convenient to go back to the condo whenever we wanted to. The beach was clean and the only negative was a strong wind that was blowing for the whole time we were there but it was really a minor thing. The condo had toys, towels, and all the basic supplies that we needed. Nobody got stung by a jelly fish or sunburnt (much).
We spent an afternoon at the Texas State Aquarium. We saw a dolphin show, the sealife exhibits, and an endangered species show. It was incredibly hot and humid, I was so glad to be done. I think the kids enjoyed it – I didn’t hear anyone complain, so that was a success.
Back at home some of my favorite moments are like this:
It’s a treat to sit down and have some time to read together, especially with my work – a quiet moment is a luxury. But it’s my absolute favorite thing to do. I picked up this book during the trip to Corpus and have been enjoying it a lot. I sometimes discover a new to me author and go on a streak reading as many of their books as I can find (usually through my local library, I use my Kindle app for that).
The night before the first day of school we went to Krispy Creme for donuts. It’s been a family tradition for a few years now. We do donuts to celebrate the end of a school year, as well as the start of a new one. Krispy Creme is our favorite.
So I’d say we did a good job wrapping up the summer and transitioning into the new school year – without too much scrambling. I know it will be a very fast-paced year, and some of it not by choice. I am trying to find ways to make the most of it and focus on things that truely matter, with a varying level of success – “optimzing” my life, as the blog tag line says. It’s always work in progress.