Sunday, August 2, 2015

Laughter Spree

I'm a simple gal.  As such, it doesn't take much to make me smile.

And though Friday was jam-packed, the grin I still carry is from quality time, not the quantity of things we did.

(However, in the eight short hours we had, we did get a lot accomplished.)

The day's mission was back to school shopping, specifically shoes for my son who is now wearing a size 15.  Although I could've done it on a Saturday, I took vacation time to spend some one on one with my towering teen.

Now, I don't know many teenage boys who willingly want to spend a day out with mom, much less shopping, but "Mom & Me" days are somewhat of a tradition in this house.  Hearing Noah's excitement this week, when he talked about our plans, brought joy before the day even began.

The only thing that would've made the outing better is if we weren't on a time limit but my hard-working boy had a 4:00 shift to clock in to.  And I got him there with minutes to spare!

We crammed a day of shopping, sushi, a matinee, and a stop for frozen yogurt in the few hours we had.  Noah asked for none of it, being so thankful and frugal our whole trip.

Well, actually he did simultaneously say "Orange Leaf" when I leaned over and said, "You know what would cap off this day?...."  And then we both laughed.

Laughter was a big part of our day.  Noah had me snickering at purchasing every color of shorts Academy Sports had, when we found a great deal.  Not one to care about labels, he gasped when comparing the savings shorts with a name brand.

"Why would anybody pay that much just for a logo?" he exclaimed, "I can get six pairs to this one!"

He was so price conscious, I had to persuade him to buy much of anything.  I'd watch his body language for things that caught his eye.  And then I'd show him how we'd go online, find a coupon, and save 20% at the register.

At Shoe Carnival, I walked in hopeful but worried we wouldn't find anything in his size that he liked.  To my surprise, we were in and out in 15 minutes.  Although I could've hand-picked the bright orange tennis shoes he wore out the store, he shocked me by buying some stylish slip-on canvas shoes.  My face must've questioned him because he shrugged and said, "I'm unique, Mom."

One of the highlights of the day was our ride home.  Running behind, because Noah had to sample every flavor of frozen yogurt before choosing, I was attempting to eat my treat and get him to point B on time.  Safely.  I'd scoop in a few bites (coconut and pistachio - yum) at every stoplight.  In the end, I drank the melted mixture.  Of course, mine went quicker because it was only a swirl or two.

Noah's was a heaping mound of weird concoctions.  Peanut butter and mango bobos.  Strawberry cheesecake and marshmallow creme.  For whatever reason, he thought it'd be funny to stuff a spoonful in my mouth just as I was yawning.  Now, there's two reasons this received an odd reaction from me.

One, it was gross.  I don't even want to recount the weird textures and flavor combinations my taste buds experienced.  Second, I have a really, really small mouth.  Although it was a "normal" size for him, I had ice cream coming out of my ears.  But it was too gross and cold to just swallow and I couldn't spit it out because I was driving down the road.

I was gagging and snorting.  He was laughing.  In the end, I was all but peeing my pants.  As we cornered his pizza parking lot on two wheels, he rolled out gasping for air.  It was a wonderful day that will always hold fond memories.

For after all, he reminded me this week..."Just three more years, Mom," as we were making plans for start of another school season.

Yes, this momma knows.  Much like he has a countdown to turning 16, I am holding tight to every precious moment, because I know one day I'll blink and he'll be full grown.  I'm already pushing in the brakes before this sophomore year even begins.

Time seems to go quicker with every passing year.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Countdown

Eek!  School starts in TWO weeks.

The calendar has been looming for us all.  We've tried being in denial but there's just no avoiding it anymore.  In 14 days, gone will be the extra glorious hour of sleep in the mornings.  Gone will be the relaxed time with hubby over a cup of coffee to start our day.  Gone will be the leisurely jaunt out the door to get to work.

In its place will be chaos and frantic dashes, forgotten folders and scarfed down breakfasts, and about a dozen, "It's time to get up....NOW!"

While I'm not looking forward to the few weeks it'll take to get used to the adjustment, there are things about the school season I have missed.  Routine, as much as I dislike the alarm clock, is good for all of us.  The ride to school, though only about 10 minutes, is great time spent with the kids.  And who can forget the scent of new school supplies?! bucket list for summer is so very empty compared to the dreams I had for it last spring.  Where does the time go?!

Having a teen with a job was a change for us and ended a bit of spontaneity that summer allows.  (Not complaining.)  We feel very blessed to have a 15 year old who already has an amazing work ethic and desire to save.  These are life skills that will serve him well.  But tossing pies means a lot of weekend work, so there haven't been many open slots to do one of my favorite summer activities.

The Drive-In.

Do you have one close to where you live?  With less than 400 left in the US, it is becoming a rarity from the past.  I've been longing to stretch out my toes in the grass under a blanket of stars, hold a giant tub of popcorn, and laugh with the family.  As Noah has an unsusal night off, that is just what we're planning this weekend.  And I don't even care what is playing!

The rain or scorching heat has hindered most boating time for us this year but seeing everyone's Florida and vacation pics has me itching to be on the water.  Hopefully we can squeeze more lake time in before summer comes to a close.

And we've only had one dinner outdoors.  Though my deck is in serious need of TLC, I miss being out there with the family.  Funny side story.  When Noah was little I told him one evening we were dining alfresco.  He looked at me curious and said, "What kind of restaurant is that?"

I've just been longing to linger outdoors.  Especially during my favorite time of day - twilight.  The past couple days I've driven home about that time and it makes me want to stop in the road, roll the windows down and breathe in deeply.

Actually, I did just that last night.  After dropping my momma home from church, I left with the windows down to hear the crickets and cicadas.  The sun had just sunk in a pink and blue wash in the sky.  Driving slow, partially because of the curves and gravel but also because I know this is the time of night for animals in the road, I spy 4 baby deer.  They bounced away too quickly for me to capture but I did catch a piece of the beautiful sky before it snuck away.

And I paused.  In the middle of the road to take it all in.  The simple peace of the moment made me hungry for more.

Don't leave just yet, sweet summertime.  I have plans for you still!  For homemade ice cream and low country boils.  Camping in a tent.  To feel the pull of a fish on my line.  Random rides down country roads.  Listening to classics so good you want to roll the windows down and turn the radio up.  Floating on the water (or in) or both.  Enjoying a picnic in the afternoon under a giant tree. Catching fireflies. Smelling the honeysuckle.  Laying on a blanket and cloud watch.  Having a water fight.

What's on your wish list for the rest summer has to offer?

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