I’m behind on pictures but there are some things I want to remember lately that aren’t photographed.

I am amazed at the human body and what it can do.  Dave competed in a half-ironman in the beginning of this month.  How people can do something like that and come out smiling is baffling to me.  So proud of that guy and his friends who did it together (ok, so that one is definitely photographed and coming soon, but it deserves to be mentioned more than once!). 

We are not good tv watchers over here. I don’t know why, it just doesn’t happen much.  Sometimes we try to remedy that because I think there’s something fun about watching and discussing a good show.  We found This is Us last year and loved it (Dave petered out on that one, but my girls and I ate it up and were able to discuss so many interesting things…it is SO good).  Dave’s family has always been really into Survivor and I have loved to hear them discuss it.  So many good things to discuss and ponder about.  So in looking for something new one of my sisters recommended “The Good Place.”  That one has been fun to watch with Lucy.  It is pretty cheesy, but there are some things in that show that I have thought long and hard about.  Dave, Grace and I have been creeped out by watching some Stranger Things this summer.  We stuck through the first few episodes that normally wouldn’t have drawn me in but it’s fun to have a “thing” with Grace.

Our family has been spread out far and wide this summer.  One weekend Max was in Provo, Dave and I were at his Ironman on the big island, Elle traveled from Jerusalem to Greece, (she is loving that study abroad so much), Claire went to girls’ camp, Grace was working and almost got to girls’ camp (long story), Lucy stayed with Nana and Papa, and Bo has had some time at her “dog-sitter.”  It is fun to reunite with everyone after we’ve all been separated.  Bo cracks us up scampering and wagging her whole body in delirious happiness back and forth from me to Dave (she really likes us 🙂 and back again, paws click, click, clicking on the wood floor to scramble as fast as she can to greet us over and over, wagging her whole body.  She thinks we are the bee’s knees and it’s so funny.

I mentioned this before, but summer goals this year have not been easy.   I feel like I’ve talked until I’m blue in the face to try to get these girls going.  There are many things I think after so many years of doing them the managing and getting going should start to happen without so much work from me.  But it doesn’t.  Maybe I’m making them too dependent by the help I give.  But also, really, there wasn’t much “calm” to figure things out for a while after school got out so I’m not sure what I was expecting.  So because those goals were hard won this year I’m extra happy to have them up.  For some reason my heart can relax if I see kids relaxing IF I know they’ve worked hard and been productive on some goals first (otherwise it drives me crazy).  Each day I love seeing them work hard all on their own, checking off their check-lists one by one, learning and being productive.

And when they’re anxiously engaged I can be too.  I have my own “summer goals” which have included lots of mundane things like self-insurance stuff.  It is so time consuming to get calls in to the right people to get all the right documentation mailed to us, and then the process for scanning and turning in all the information is another whole ballgame.  (We do this cost-sharing program called Christian Health Ministries and it’s a pretty great alternative to health insurance.  Health insurance sure has issues in our opinion!)  Right now I’m working on scheduling surgery to fix Claire’s umbilical hernia, getting her through some tests to check her kidney reflux, figuring out some of Lucy’s mysterious issues that cause her agony, still in the process of trying to figure out what to do about her scoliosis, and gathering all the documentation from elle’s scary-infected reef cut she got in Hawaii before she left on study abroad.  It is FUN.  Ha!:)

Claire has been going to volleyball practices at 5:30-7:30am every morning at the high school in prep for tryouts in the Fall.  So nice that they offer that!  It is early and she is tough.  She’s in a summer volleyball league that sadly she may not be able to finish since we have to work in this hernia surgery between sports so we are doing it this week to get it over with before Fall.  She is also babysitting as much as she possibly can to earn some summer money.

Dave (when he can come amidst Ironman training) and I have had our third “recruit” accompany us to our workouts this summer: Grace.  (Max and Elle both go with us when they’re home).  Why do I love working out with my kids so much?  I don’t know but it’s been fun…I think even Grace would agree (at least most days).  Grace is working hard at Old Navy.  She can now fold like nobody’s business.  She also started her first college class (woo hoo!) trying to get some credits in this summer and is learning so much from that.

Lucy is doing an art class this summer.  I am hoping it will help her keep some of her art skills she’s started to let go of.  As she grows older and loses more vision, I’m trying to figure out how to help her keep going on the things she loves most.  It is easier said than done. 

Our college kids are learning and growing so much.  Max started up spring semester college classes alongside work.  It’s tough work but he likes being back in the swing of things up there.  Elle had horrible Internet access in Greece so it was so fun to catch up with her when she got back to Jerusalem.  She is learning so much not only from the classes and travels but from the people she’s with and I love hearing all about it.  There is something so beautiful about switching up your “terrain” every now and again to learn and dig deeper in life. 

Holding on to this version of summer around here since we know the “terrain” will switch up again before we know it with the BBS conference and the reunion and all that comes with July on the horizon.


  1. Y’all sure are busy! Congrats to Dave on the Ironman—I’m always so impressed by people who can do that!

    Just out of curiosity, how long will Elle be in Jerusalem? Will she be able to come home before she goes back to Hawaii?

    1. This study abroad is both spring and summer terms so she gets back mid August. She'll come home for a little bit but we will have to share her with Utah too for a little bit before she heads back.

  2. I'm with you on me not being able to relax until I know my kids have done their daily summer "to-do's." I highly recommend both seasons of Just Add Magic on Amazon Prime for all your girls. Lucy will eat it up and I'm sure Claire and Grace will like watching it with her (even though they might be getting a little old for it.) My older girls are 10 and 12 now and they loved it.

  3. The Good Place sadly gets pretty vulgar at the end of season 1 and into season 2. I wouldn’t feel comfortable watching it with my kids (I didn’t feel comfortable watching it at all!). I have to wonder “whyyyyyyyyy?!?l

    1. Hmm I think you are talking about the Mindy St Claire stuff, in the Medium place? That was a little much…but I love the rest of the show!

    2. Yeah, I guess Mindy St Clair can be a bit much. But that's why she's in the Medium Place! 🙂

      Also I like how it really has spoken to my daughter and had her thinking about philosophy. A few months ago my husband was telling us both a story about a woman who had been climbing a mountain with a sherpa, they both got stuck, and she went on without him. Out of nowhere my daughter said, "but that's a terrible answer to the Trolley Problem!"

  4. This is Us is so good! Oh man. So many tears from me on season two. Best conversation with my husband:

    Husband: you sound like you’ve been crying
    Me: I have been
    Husband: what happened?!
    Me: Jack died
    Husband: Jack??
    Me: Jack, from This is Us
    Husband: oh wow. Ehh. Do I need to call back? Send flowers? I’m not sure how to approach this when a TV character dies.
    Me: ����

  5. Call the Midwife on Netflix is SO great. It is set back in 1950’s England. Each episode carries it’s own weight, has a moral to it, and makes me cry every time!! It’s about a group of midwives who work alongside a group of nursing nuns, and deals with community, poverty, and coming together for the best cause. So, so good!!

  6. I am not being negative. It is a good thing Grace is working at a job she got completely herself even when it means you can’t do other things like girls camp. My first real job and every job after you could not take off for 6 months, weekends were pretty much guaranteed to be on the schedule. It’s a good introduction to life.

  7. From one ex-Old Navy employee (okay, so it was almost 20 years ago!), I'm sure Grace will learn a lot in her new job!

    I think it behooves everyone to work at least one retail, restaurant or customer service job in life. It can teach you patience with everyone, even the people who are not so nice.

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