Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Summer 2013, days 95-96

Today was cloudy. I wanted to take the boys to the waterpark tonight after school, but we had clouds. Yesterday wasn't as bad, but these two days are just a reminder that summer is winding down.

I've turned my attention to fantasy football, with a draft coming up Thursday. I haven't afforded my preparations the usual attention I do every August, so I'm playing catchup.

I've also been focusing on the boys' soccer seasons. I'm coaching both teams again and am looking forward to the year.

Sunday, I took the dog on a hike and worked. Today, I worked a little bit, walked the dogs twice, bought and installed a new toilet seat, and took the boys to the JCC, where Ben resumed swim workouts and Michael and I played basketball for a while.

Yep, the wind-down is in progress. I'm mostly resigned to it. It's OK.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Summer 2013, Day 94

Today we got the kind of the summer thunderstorm I always associate with August in Utah. Michael and I had gone to the park where he plays baseball -- the league was silk-screening the kids names onto their jerseys -- and a big storm, after teasing us all week, finally downpoured. Michael, who had been catching flyballs with the other kids while I took Popcorn to the dog area, and I tried to brave it out but finally left after we got the jersey.

That was pretty much the highlight of a mostly lazy Saturday after the busy first week of school. I bought a case for my new phone; Lori went to Trader Joe's; Ben and Michael hung out with their friends. I have a lot on tap the next few days, so one lazy day was good.

Summer 2013, days 89-93

Another lull in posting, but only after another busy week.

School started for the boys Wednesday, and already, we are believing it will be a good year. Michael's teacher brings so much energy to the class, and Michael is happy to be in the same class with two of his best friends. He said that his days so far this week were just average; I'm guessing he's not exactly thrilled to be back in school. But he's had no real complaints yet. We'll see how he likes it next week when the class gets past its welcome-back-to-school phase and gets down to a routine of learning.

Ben had a fantastic week.He's a second-grader in a combined 1/2 class with a lot of new kids, and he is enthusiastically taking to his role as an older, wiser student. On his first day, he was happy because there were no mean kids in his class. I'm hoping the dynamic of his class, which was so mean last year, is different and he can continue having "awesome" days, as he told me.

Monday and Tuesday were spent preparing for school -- shopping, cleaning, resting. We didn't do anything Tuesday so that the boys could hang out with their friends who aren't classmates one last time. Michael had his first fall baseball game Friday night (he struggled, striking out twice, but his team won 14-7). I ran all over the place Friday, including getting Lori and me new phones (mine was dying a slow, painful death). We've had a lot of clouds all week but oddly not too much rain. It's like the skies know fall is coming and aren't sure how to react.

Three days of school down, 177 to go. I'm hoping they are as good as the first three.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Summer 2013, days 73-88

This blog came to a screeching halt the past two weeks.

Luckily, nothing catastrophic caused this hiatus. I got my wish: The last few weeks of summer have been jam packed.

Some of the craziness has been work. I'm getting as much freelancing as I unintentionally did during vacation. I'm not complaining -- the work has been challenging and productive, and it will be a means to achieve the other goals I've been trying to reach for a while.

But much of the hiatus is a result of cramming a lot into these last two weeks. We took a little trip to a lake in remote Utah, went to the pool and waterpark often, saw a couple concerts, and prepared for the coming school year. The boys have hung out with their friends. Before I knew it, two weeks have passed and I hadn't blogged.

Admittedly, the freelance writing has sapped some of my energy to otherwise blog. If I'm with my laptop, I feel the need to work and succeed with the contract jobs. I have deadlines I must keep, and I want to get ahead of those deadlines rather than scramble to make them. I need to find a balance with the freelancing because I only want to write more in the coming months. I shouldn't be using my writing jobs interfere with my passion for writing.

School starts for the boys Wednesday, and the routine will change. I hate to say I'm looking forward to summer ending, but I'm ready to get everything on track. And though I think this summer went way too fast, at least I know that the boys had a great time, and that we did indeed cram a lot in not just these past two weeks, but the last 10 weeks. I hope I never forget that fact, or forget this summer.

I'm going to try to catch up with the highlights of the past two weeks in some form, but for now, I'm going to talk about Day 88. We saw Michael Franti today at Red Butte Garden. Lori dropped me off to wait in line at about 1, and surprisingly, the afternoon went rather quickly. I found a decent spot on the lawn once I got inside the venue, and Lori and the boys found me and brought dinner.

The concert, just like last year, was great. Ben had a blast again, the spot we were in was just about perfect in that we didn't have to pick him up as much. Michael ... was Michael: He doesn't get into concerts like his brother does. The band played for a long time, but it still seemed too short. The concert finally ended and we went home, singing through the parking lot back to our car.

We aren't making it to Lagoon this summer, so this concert was kind of our sendoff to the season before school starts.The summer has treated us well.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer 2013, days 71-72

Today was our 16th anniversary, and we celebrated by taking the boys to The Olive Garden for dinner. So nothing too big, but a nice family meal at what might be their favorite sit-down restaurant. August 2 is not only a reminder of the day Lori and I got married, but also a reminder that summer is ticking down.

Thursday was good, though busy. We needed to take the car back to the mechanic, and Michael had a playdate in the afternoon. I felt bad for Ben, so we went to lunch at The Habit. Both boys had swim practice later in the afternoon, and one splashed while the other swam and vice versa. The water was a little cold but was a relief from the heat (despite clouds that rolled in).

Today, the boys had practice this morning, then we went to Costco and Target in the afternoon. After our anniversary dinner, we went to Barnes and Noble, then came home, where Ben beat me in Monopoly.

Only 19 days before school begins for the boys. Tick, tick, tick ...