I’m having a wonderful time up here in the Mitten. The weather has been amazing, with warm days and cool nights. My family is doing well—everyone seems pretty happy and healthy. My niece has been busy finishing up her last days of first grade, while my nephew has learned how to let himself out, so now he plays in the backyard while we keep an eye on him from the house. I feel like I’ve had just the right amount of busy-ness this time: enough plans to keep things interesting, with plenty of downtime and Arrested Development to stay relaxed.
I liked Chrissy’s “Disappearance and Three Lists” post, so I thought I’d borrow her template to tell you about the happenings around here.
List One: What We’ve Been Doing and Eating
* Amanda, Devin, and I met up with some friends at the Detroit Zoo for a few hours of animal-admiring. All the kids were so patient with each other! We had a lovely picnic lunch, too.
* My sister Theresa and I went wedding-dress shopping in Plymouth, where she found three beautiful options. Then we grabbed frozen yogurt and enjoyed the sunshine and pretty downtown Plymouth.
* I had lunch with my parents at their place. We shopped for ingredients to make pizza and salad; for dessert we had buttery shortbread cookies and fresh strawberries. I went walking with both of them, then I chased the cat around the yard. She tolerated me and my camera, but just barely!
* On Father’s Day, I ran a 10K with my friend JD. Then his family had me over for brunch (yum!). In the afternoon, my family had a potluck at my brother John’s place. His roommate Gary fired up the grill for veggie kebabs and fresh pineapple, and we nibbled on deviled eggs, fruit salad, potato salad, ribs (no ribs for me, though), and cheesecake. It was a relaxed, chatty day.
* We’ve been spending lots of time outside. The kids frolic in the backyard, the grown-ups snip things out of the garden, and we’ve been eating dinner on the deck. My nephew is hilarious here: he’ll take a bite or two of dinner, run around a little bit, then come back for another bite. Outside dinners are perfect for him.
List Two: What We’ve Been Reading and Watching
* Magic Schoolbus! As a scientist, I’ve been pretty impressed with this show. I love the fact-checking segment at the end of the show.
* Anything with Thomas the Tank Engine. Both the kids love Thomas.
* Arrested Development. “Here, take my business card...” (Hee hee!)
* Selective Potential. I love Tieka’s color combinations and have been pinning my favorites. I think her style is a bit on the young side for me, but her photos are stunning and who doesn’t love pretty dresses? Plus: Michigan.
* Unf*ck Your Habitat. I’m a pretty neat person at home, so I’m not quite sure how to explain my fascination with this site. But I love order! I love neat spaces!
List Three: What I’m Learning
* When it comes to raising kids, every child and every family is different. My brother and sister-in-law practice attachment parenting, and it works well for them. But for other families, a different approach is better. Can we all agree that there is more than one way to raise a child?
* Helpful kitchen tip from Amanda: use an ice cream scoop for batters of all kinds! I want to try this the next time I make pancakes. And I’ve been meaning to try it with cookie dough…
* I just love the way the air smells here in summertime. It smells like grass and gardens and sunshine. So lovely!
How are things with you, dear reader? Happy almost-solstice! (It’s tomorrow!)