Thursday, September 7, 2017

Summer 2016: Day 107, the last day of summer

And that's a wrap!

I wish I had written more this summer, something I need to figure out for the fall. And I wish I had not gained 10 pounds in the last month, but I'm taking steps there too (tracking calories again; it always helps). Although I'll miss summer, as I always do, I'm not annoyed that it went so fast this year.

Make no mistake -- it did go fast. The past few summers have settled into this routine:
  1. School ends
  2. A couple weeks with nothing big, maybe a basketball camp and a swim meet
  3. Two basketball tournaments here in town
  4. Fourth of July
  5. A week or two of just summer
  6. Michael's Vegas tourney
  7. The state swim meet
  8. Vacation
  9. School begins
  10. Labor Day

All these mini steps go fast -- so fast that before you know it, summer is over.

The heat was back today, and even hazier skies. I hear the crickets chirping from my front porch. This summer was good, bordering on great. I wish I hiked more and didn't get chunky (vacation kills me ...), and I don't think I saw a single movie all summer, but I was never bored, got to spend time with the boys, and took in all the sun and water that I could. Work was smooth.

So basically, there isn't much for me to complain about. These summers don't last long, and I know the number of summers with the boys is finite and winding down, but I thankfully never felt like this summer was wasted. Until 2018 -- and really, there is no rush -- my summer blogging takes a break.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 106

The first two weeks of school are just preludes for the rest of the year. The fun really begins after Labor Day.

Today was the day after Labor Day.

The heat is still suffocating Salt Lake, but I got to enjoy another day of work by the pool. Haze from fires all over the West (including one up in Weber County) is settling into the valley. Ben began swim practice again after about five weeks off. Michael had another basketball tryout and did quite well at it.

And though it was hot today and I got to lounge in a refreshing pool, it definitely felt like summer has concluded. Nothing gold can stay, or in case, blaze orange due the smoky skies.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Summer 2017: Days 91-105

This stretch of summer started with the first day of the school year and an eclipse. It ended with a triathlon, a holiday, and a greenish swimming pool.

The first day of school was the eclipse, 91 percent here in Salt Lake City. We dropped the boys off at school and came home, working a little before enjoying the sky show. Ben was super excited to start sixth grade. Michael was less enthused to be back, though his friends were happy to see him.

The first weeks of school passed quickly. The boys got used to their routines. Michael did some extra basketball training sessions in advance of tryouts. We went to the pool a few times. I even worked twice at a friend's house who has a backyard pool -- I couldn't believe how ridiculously productive I was.

The second soccer game of the season was played, with us winning 5-4. We're starting to look a little better.

A few fantasy football drafts are already in the books. The season is coming soon.

Ben and I enjoyed a Friday night just us while Michael and Lori saw "Dunkirk." We went to The Habit for dinner and to Game Night Games, where we tried Splendor for the first time.

I'm tracking calories again. Eek, I'm chunky again. I ate way too much on vacation.

Friday night, I took the boys to the Judge Memorial football game. Both had fun. Michael wants to figure out how football works; Ben just loves to root for the home team.

Saturday, Ben and I hit a few yard sales, and Michael had his first tryout of eighth grade. We went to Barbacoa for lunch afterward. Lori and I went out for dinner and drinks with some friends in the evening.

Sunday was kind of a lazy Sunday. I ran a couple errands and sat in the yard reading It and self-dunking with a bucket of water any time I got too warm in the 97-degree heat.

This morning, Labor Day, Ben and Lori competed in a triathlon. I came along for technical and moral support. Both had a lot of fun. Ben zoomed through the swim and run, was a little slower on the bike and transitions. Lori was simply pleased to finish. We went to Steak 'n' Shake for lunch.

In the afternoon, I took the boys to the JCC. Michael and I shot around while Ben and his friend swam. The pool was a little green -- something with the chlorine and oxygen levels. It was darker on the deep end, but I jumped off the diving board one last time nonetheless.

The routine really gets going tomorrow with Ben resuming swim practice, Michael doing another tryout (and hoop practice for him will ramp up quickly), and me returning to the friend's pool to work. Summer is just about over, but fall should be great.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Summer 2017: Days 83-90

The week after vacation. The week before school starts. The week I try to re-establish a routine, only to re-establish it again when the boys' summer break ends.

We didn't do a heck of a lot these past eight days. I worked. Lori worked hard to get herself back into a groove. Ben played with his friend Ethan a lot. Michael was a lazy teenager but did get some work done. Soccer started this week, and we had two practices and our first game in the new league (lost 6-3). Michael had a basketball training session today and has two weeks to get back into a rhythm before tryouts.

I walked Popcorn almost every day this week -- long walks. I feel like I gained 10 pounds on vacation. Lori, Ben and I played board games this week, including Settlers of Catan and Patrician.

Today we spent a few hours by our friends with a pool. Then we, as a family walked to the H Rock.

Michael isn't too thrilled to be starting school tomorrow. Ben is happy to get back but sad that summer vacation ended. He said he loved this summer, and remembered how I once told him my summer after fifth grade was my favorite growing up. I hope he's not sad that he thinks they are downhill from here, but he (really, both boys) created many incredible memories on this summer break. I tried to cheer him up that sixth grade is going to be great for him. He nonetheless was having trouble falling asleep.

Oh, Ben and I bought the last of our school supplies today at Walmart. If that isn't a sure sign that summer is winding down, I don't know what is.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 82, Vacation Day 14

Home. Whew.

We finished off Nebraska and Wyoming, finally making it home about 9 p.m. Lori drove most of the way, though I handled Rawlins to SLC. Dinner was at McDonald's in Rawlins. Ran into some thunderstorms. We finished listening to Jurassic Park and moved on to Tex. Such a fun trip, but so happy to finally be back.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 81, Vacation Day 13

The long road home began today. We took a little time in the morning before leaving, and of course, Ben was sad to go. We stopped in Iowa City for lunch at Stake and Shake, then had dinner at CiCis in Lincoln near our hotel. We listened to the audiobook of Jurassic Park along the way today. Even though it wasn't the longest day of driving, the boys didn't feel like swimming when we got back to the room. We watched a James Taylor/Carole King concert on PBS and then an old Bee Gees concert, then turned in.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Summer 2017: Day 80, Vacation Day 12

Our last day in Chicago. We leave for home in the morning.

Today turned out to be another mellower day, which, after such a jam-packed trip, was acceptable. The highlight for me was taking the boys on a bike ride, on the trail up to Golf Road past Chick Evans Golf Course. We rode about 14 miles, and the stunning part for me was that Dad still has my old Schwinn from the 1980s. Michael rode it, and I swear, I thought I was watching myself from 30 years ago. Ben rode well too, and we went to the McDonald's on Oakton for McFlurries.

Lori hadn't had SuperDawg yet this trip, so we ordered from the carhop for dinner. We came home and played Pandemic with Kate and Exploding Kittens with the family. I also watched an SNL Weekend Update special with the fam before turning in for the night.