It’s springing?!

I double-checked my calendar today, just to be sure. Yep, it’s still February. But today was 79 degrees and sunny, and all over town, flowers are bursting into full bloom. Lina desperately wanted to play outside, and I was happy to oblige. Temperatures are supposed to drop more than 30 degrees by tomorrow, so I figured we’d better soak it in while it lasted.

img_9233

img_9235

img_9241

img_9243

img_9246

img_9247

img_9255

“Catch!”

The case for dried sweat

I’m pretty sure the people at my daughter’s school believe I spend my days as a stinky, frizzy-haired mess in exercise pants. I know this because it’s how I pick her up from preschool every day. I come straight from the gym, and I look like it.

I still remember the “oohs” and “aaahs” when I showed up to Lina’s first parent-teacher conference last year. That’s when it dawned on me that a lot of these people had never before seen me in makeup.

I look around at pick-up, and there are plenty of other moms in workout clothes. But not one of them looks like she’s coated in dried sweat and wearing a ponytail that endured an actual workout. This leads me to wonder, do these women actually work out? Do they wear those clothes to hang out at the coffee shop? Or do they know something I don’t about post-exercise grooming? (I’d certainly welcome suggestions for the fly-away hair halo.) Maybe they just don’t sweat like I do.

Also, let’s talk about women who wear makeup to the gym. Look, I’m not criticizing. If you can look that put together while hoisting a 39-pound bar for squats, more power to you. If I try to do it, I wake up the next morning to pores that look like the foothills of the Rockies.

I’ve always been in the “less is more” camp when it comes to makeup, anyway, I suppose, though I find myself using a few more products in my 30s than I did in my 20s. I like looking put-together. I like using cosmetics to give that bit of extra polish, in the same vein as the perfect pair of shoes.

But please, someone tell me it’s okay to look a little rough coming from the place I go to sweat, huff and occasionally grunt through the last set of bench presses. Not that it matters, I suppose. I’m unlikely to change my routine any time soon, which means, I suppose, that it’s time to own my dried sweat look.

‘Til next time

I have just a few pictures from our last day at the beach, and then it’s time to get back into full-swing daily life. Our last day was spent at Grayton Beach State Park, a lovely and relatively quiet spot a few miles west of Rosemary Beach on 30A. It was nice to enjoy the beach with a backdrop of natural sand dunes rather than the usual beachside development. The biting flies were our least favorite feature, but those seemed to be present pretty much everywhere.

The kids were more than ready for an early bedtime. They slept soundly under Mimi and Grandpa’s care while we closed out our vacation grown-up style. We hung with Justin and Katie on the moonlit beach, watching distant fireworks displays at Panama City Beach and Destin, and indulged in late-night dessert at the local tapas and chocolate restaurant. That night, with my toes dug deep into cool sand, watching a shooting star as the waves lapped the shore, I wondered why we don’t live closer to the beach. (Then I remembered all those Florida summers of my childhood and was immediately cured.)

Now we’re back to everyday life, but a little richer with memories. The leaves are starting to turn here at home, and there is much to look forward to about fall in Tennessee. It might just be time to bake something with pumpkin.

That golden light, though

Day two at the beach was magnificent: perfect weather, fantastic home-prepared meals, pool swimming in the morning, a bike ride with my favorite budding cyclist after lunch, a lovely late afternoon and sunset at the beach, and priceless time with family throughout. Memory-making doesn’t get much better.

img_8170

img_8167

img_8169

img_8187

img_8190

Making friends, as she did everywhere she went today

img_8195

img_8234

img_8249

img_8251

img_8262

img_8309

img_8301

img_8278

img_8288

img_8290

img_8291

img_8321

img_8317

img_8324

img_8329

img_8348

img_8357

img_8370

BFF

Bear with me, folks: it’s one more summer catch-up post.

You may remember that over spring break earlier this year, the kids and I made the trip to Florida to visit my dear friend Lila and her family, only to arrive just as The Plague (i.e. a nasty bout of the flu) descended on the household. This summer, Lila stopped by for several days with her kiddos for a visit that, in an obvious win, entailed no vomit. The expected chaos of five children ensued to great delight, and we finished as we do every time, wishing we lived closer to each other. I always think during these visits about what it will be like when we are old ladies, reminiscing about those crazy years when our children were young. I am lucky to have friends in my life who are part of the way-back stories and are still here to help write new ones. Thanks for the newest memories, Lila. Let’s keep them coming.

IMG_7623

IMG_7634

IMG_7636

IMG_7639

IMG_7649

IMG_7675

IMG_7685  IMG_7686

IMG_7687  IMG_7688

IMG_7696  IMG_7698

IMG_7700

IMG_7705

IMG_7708

IMG_7712

IMG_7722

IMG_7732

IMG_7733

IMG_7735

The best we could do at a group shot of kids who really wanted to be sliding down the hill

IMG_7738

Ready, set, slide!

13882425_10154424019518385_6875267874823811900_n-1 (2)