Summer's simple pleasures + Weekly menu for week of August 8th

I have always loved the summer season. As a child, summer meant swimming in granny and pawpaw's pool...emerging only to eat white bread ham sandwiches on the picnic table and watermelon slices sprinkled with salt. Having your hair turn slime green from the chlorine was a badge of honor. During my college years, summer provided a time to breathe, a respite from all the papers and exams and reading. Post-college, also known as the "real world," summer morphed into a time to stay out later than normal despite the need for an early rise, grilling with friends, relaxing by the pool, and attending lots of weddings!

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Somewhere over the years, summer became more of a memory than an experience. Looking back, it seems I spent the past few summer seasons complaining about the heat and wishing my job provided a "summers off" option. The only unique memories I have of the past several summers are vivid daydreams about what my summer will be like "one day."

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This summer has reawakened my senses. I have had the treat of spending this summer at home with Jack. I feel alive to the wonders of summer again...experiencing all that the season offers with a curious and engaged child. It feels like a school break...multiple months of time off after a hard year(+) of work! I have been relishing every moment and enjoying all of those simple childhood pleasures that mean summer...

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Eating cherries on the deck together for an afternoon snack

Endless hours of playing with shovels and balls and the garden hose

Long morning walks when time is not an issue and Jack can stop and smell the roses (and almost everything else that crosses his path!)

Visiting playgrounds and meeting new people

Discovering wading pools

Chasing bees and learning why they love flowers

Dinners in the sunlight

Deliciously fresh berries that stain our hands and clothes

Playing with bugs

Leaving the door open to invite running from inside to outside and back again

Learning how to slide and how to climb

Blowing bubbles

Picnics

Sidewalk chalk

Wearing rain boots, a pajama shirt, and a diaper...just because you can

It's a wonderful gift to have the time to live through a season with a child. It brings peace, it heals, and it makes you new. I hope that a combination of these moments will form Jack's memories of summer...

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This week's menu: Tuesday: slow cooked beans...again, but this time we are making nachos! I promise to get more creative with my slow cooker soon!

Wednesday: grilled feta and pita, buttered turnips

Thursday: orzo, broccoli, and avocado salad featuring homemade pesto

Friday: pizza from Zeeks!