Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What We Did This Summer

Travelers and wanderers are we, with little time to reflect. Our summer has been surprisingly busy, but I kind of like it that way. Otherwise, I might get stuck inside, trapped by a heat-induced malaise. This way was much more fun. Here's a quick rundown of some highlights from the last two months.

  • Over Memorial Day weekend, we dogsat for some friends. The boys LOVED playing with Sam, but we realized we are not quite ready for pet ownership yet. Too much maintenance required.

  • One of my good friends and fellow mom of boys, Sindhu Giedd, played a concert of some original songs at a very unique venue. I went with my friend Jessica, who originally introduced me to Sindhu, to hear her play late one Saturday evening. I was transported instantly back to my days of following indie musicians around the Southeast and going to concerts in the most random places, but this one beat them all. On the third floor of a nondescript Dunwoody office building, the owner has created an attic listening space, complete with wood-paneled ceilings, a bar area, silent "phone booths" for checking messages, and an entrance door that looks like you've stumbled upon a London underground pub. And hearing my friend pour her heart out to God through song was a great blessing. The best were her renditions of Psalms and other Scriptures set to her own original music with both classical and Indian indfluences.

    The Three Mom-keteers:

  • Jacob attended VBS for the first time at our church back at the beginning of June. He still requests to play and sing the theme song, "God is my Hero." It's funny, though, when he sings the part that spells out "H-E-R-O," because he says "Itch-E-R-O" which we find hilarious.

    He has worn this VBS shirt at least once a week since he received it:

  • The second weekend of June we traveled to Alabama for Gaines' family reunion. Every year we drive to McCalla and set up a picnic across the road from the family cemetery. I kid you not. Gaines says he and his cousins used to play games among the gravestones. This year I was especially proud because Gaines gave the message during the memorial service. Christ and the Gospel were loudly proclaimed. You can never hear too many talks about grace, I think. (There's a recording of it somewhere, I hope.) :) I was glad his sermon was short and to the point, as well, because it was HOT out there.

    See? H-O-T.

    Ethan armed himself with multiple fluids. Smart boy:

    Gaines and his parents, plus Ethan. Three generations of Redds:

  • June was also a month of birthdays! We celebrated my 30th with a night out to see Toy Story 3 and dinner at a local Cuban place. We went to at least 3 child birthday parties that I remember, just within a week: Annabel Crane, Samuel Suber, and Scarlett Vaughan (If you ask Jacob who his girlfriend is, he answers "Scarlett," though possibly only because she's the "girl" friend we play with most often. We know a lot of boys.)

    We enjoyed much cake:

  • Jacob spent an entire week away from us, first with Gaines' parents and then with mine down in Geneva. I know he had a blast and I'm thankful he had that time with them, but he was sorely missed. I don't know how to be a parent to only one anymore! Ethan and I got some quality time, though. And when we drove to Montgomery to pick up Jacob, my parents took me out for Chinese and Gaines' family surprised me with a cake! And a cookie in a skillet! Yum!

  • In between the travelling, we had playdates and picnics and mornings at various local pools. We have not been idle, though we have enjoyed our share of lazy days spent soaking our feet in a baby pool or running under a sprinkler. It's what summer should be, I think. I plan to enjoy these days as much as I can, despite the 100 degree heat indexes we've been having lately.

    Splashpad! But wait, is that a diaper leak?! This photo cracks me up.

    One of our favorite local parks:

    On a family ice cream date:

    Ethan has become adept at using a spoon:

  • For the fourth of July, we drove down to Montgomery again and watched the fireworks from this Seaside-like place out in the middle of some pasture land near Pike Road. They've created a little town with a post office and a town square and are building a school. It's surreal, set amidst these beautiful lakes. It was a peaceful, perfect evening with family. (I won't mention the experiences we had taking Jacob to go potty. Outside. In the dark.)

    Watching "firecracks" with Uncle Mike.

  • Speaking of potty-going, our one big accomplishment this summer is that Jacob is now potty-trained! Completely! (Insert potty dance!) He stays dry all day in his big-boy underwear (with the rare exception) and refuses to wear a Pull-Up at night -- and he stays dry then, too! Sometimes he gets up in the middle of the night, but usually he sleeps just fine and then goes in the morning.

    We have a big kid now!

  • The boys and I took two short trips without Daddy this past month. We missed him greatly, and look forward to vacationing with him in August. Still, it was great to visit my hometown for a few days and see some old friends. Then, last week, I drove us to Birmingham for two nights to visit with Gaines' grandmother. While there, we also got to see my friend Kami and her boys (before her third arrives!) at the McWane Center. On the way back, we stopped by the home of my college friend Mary Virginia and her adorable kids. If we ever get the chance to live in Birmingham again, I'd do it in a heartbeat. It's just the right size.

  • This summer so far has been full of celebrations, but we were sad to say goodbye to some dear friends, the Cranes, who are moving out of the big city into small-town life in the Deeper South. I have more I wish to say devoted just to them, but for now I'll wish them well in their new life in Mississippi, and if they ever want to drop off Annabel to stay with us again, we wouldn't complain. :)

  • We're looking forward to a rare weekend at home and a visit from my mom. August is full of family travels, a trip to the lake, a wedding, and a most anticipated kid-free anniversary adventure in Nashville. Life is good.

  • Friday, July 23, 2010

    World's Strongest Beer?

    The "End of History" is upon us, and it's inside a stuffed squirrel.

    Perhaps the only good use for a squirrel

    I imagine the creative process went something like this:
    110 proof beer? Check. Taxidermy? Check. Francis Fukuyama reference? Check.

    Be sure to watch this video released by the brewery.