Monday, August 03, 2009

The summer that wasn't

It's been such a strange summer.

We left for our vacation nine days after school got out.

We came home from vacation to a deathly ill dog - which I dealt with for over three weeks.

And now we leave on Saturday for our annual trip to the beach.

We we're done at the beach, the kids will stay at my parents house.

And when they get home, they will have less than a week before school starts.

(If you give a Mouse a Muffin, anyone?)

Last Friday I piled them all into the car and took them to the lake - and I can honestly say it was the first fun thing the four of us had done together all summer (besides vacation, which was wonderful, but ended on a sour note because of the dog...)

Add to this the fact that I'm not even sure what to do with a 14 year old, a 12 year old and a 9 year old that will keep them all happy... While turning 40 had it's own share of struggles for me to wrestle with - I feel like our family is going through it's own strange identity crisis. I'm not sure what we should look like anymore... what makes us tick. What gives us those warm fuzzy feelings of contentment... seems like there are a lot more angst-y feelings than anything flying around this year. It's not always pretty. It's gangly and strange and certainly out of my comfort zone.

It's been a weird summer.

Having Gracie so sick was so stressful. For anyone who doesn't already know, she got bloated - which led to her stomach twisting, which led to a surgery to prevent a recurrence, which led to a bad reaction to her pain meds, which led to a bad reaction to her anti-nausea meds. It got pretty ugly. And then she got an infection in her incision. I can't tell you the amount of stress and worry she's caused me. And $$$. Oh brother. I never ever imagined that I would EVER spend the amount of money we've spent on her. It makes me need anti-nausea meds.

And then there's the whole fact that our trip to Sierra Leone looms less than a year away and all the money we'd saved or allotted for that has now disappeared and I've had a mini crisis of faith - wondering why God would give me this dream - and feeling that it's all but impossible to come up with the huge sums of money our trip will require. There are days I've wished I'd never heard of COTN - or prayed for Africa. I've wished I could just be a normal Mom who wanted to take her kids to Disney World.

It's been a weird summer.

Thank goodness fruit is my soul-soother of choice in the summer instead of chocolate or I'd weigh 300 pounds by now.

And can you say HOT?

We've been over 90 for what feels like forever. And we're trying to save money by not putting in our window unit air conditioner. So it's HOT. Every freaking day. And all night. So hot I can't think of a thing to do besides sit on the couch and read. Me and hot don't get along.

I don't mean to whine. Because I see all of this as more of a time of stretching and growth than something to complain about... it's just been weird. It's just unlike any summer I've ever been through.

Oh - and my mailman, who used to come no later than 11:00 am every day now comes around 4:30 or 5:00. Why does that bug me so much?

I'm looking ahead to fall with a bittersweet spirit - looking forward to cool mornings and structure and possibilities... hoping we can make the most of these next few weeks and end the summer on a good note. And eager to see how God uses this weird summer in my heart.

So that's how I've been.

Happy Monday, friends. Smooch you all.


  1. Anonymous3:59 AM

    Thanks for keeping it real Cathy. Hope your trip to the beach gives you lovely ocean breezes and a wonderful time together as a family. Blessings Leana

  2. I so get this! My Summer began with my son being sick for a month, then there's been all this wedding/moving stuff. I get married next week, and then school starts. What Summer?
    You are coming for the reception, though....that's not a question. Right?

  3. I told you , you live my life on the west coast! My dh adn I were just talking the other night, about this being the weirdest summer ever...the 14 year old and 12 year odl are hard to entertain really. No more can a box of sidewalk chalk keep us occupied for an entire afternoon. I am not sure what to do with them anymore. They don't really want to "do" anything. We are having a hard time adjusting , really. I am assuming we will find a "new normal" and be content again. Even when Chris my 12 year odl tries to get cuddly, it is all elbows and knees and size ten feet, and weird....we are leaving for teh beach in a week adn this is the first time ever, I am not sure what our days will be filled with. Will teh kids still want to boogie board? Dig in the sand? Are they going to have fun?
    For the first summer ever, I am actually looking forward to school starting....and that I hate. Thankfully I still love to spend what time I can with the kids, and they say I am not a "dorky" mom adn they still will be seen with me at the mall. Seems to be all they want to do anymore....

  4. PS Your trip will happen and you will look back and marvel at your stress...and wonder why you even bothered. :)

  5. Anonymous10:02 AM

    I bet it's hotter in Africa. And not so much AC? Just sayin'. And praying for you.

  6. Oh Cathy- my heart goes out to you for Gracie and all the stress her needs have caused. I rally do hope that the end of the summer and new school year will help bring some rhythm back into your days.

    P.S. I'd be pretty put out over the mail getting there so late, too. I mean, c'mon now, get there already!


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