My Happy Place

Sometimes, when I attempt to complete a blog post after a busy weekend, I'm tired, overwhelmed with pictures, and unable to find the words to describe what it is I want to say.  We fill our days with as much activity as we can squeeze in them, and at night, after Cruz is asleep and the toys are picked up, I sink in a chair and wonder if I can capture the right words to accurately describe the day, my thoughts, and perhaps the most difficult - the emotions I feel at this point in time.  

Tonight, after a long weekend and the 'un'official kick-off to summertime, I don't need flowery language and extensive vocabulary to describe how I'm feeling.  No, sometimes the simple is the most profound.  Tonight, my word is happy.  Just happy.   

I'm in my happy place.  My house is clean, my laundry is almost caught up, and my skin radiates a bronze glow I haven't seen in months.  Cruz is fast asleep after a warm sudsy bath, and I'm sipping a Cream Soda and thinking about cutting me a 'small' piece of scotcheroo from the pan in the kitchen.  We had such a fun weekend, complete with lots of summertime Americana - family and barbecue, swimming and bike rides, picnics and popsicles.  And while last summer was all about exploration for Cruz Man, this summer, he's diving headfirst into all that is summer (including the water :).  It's going to be so fun now that he can really participate and appreciate some of our favorite summertime rituals, and I hope to soak them up as much as we can.

So years from now, when I read this blog and attempt to remember these days, I hope I remember the happy I felt this weekend.   

Happy in planning a summertime barbecue, complete with smoked ribs, shrimp salad, loaded baked beans, mac 'n cheese, and scotcheroos.  Beau and I were both on the kitchen floor, going through recipe books, and here comes Cruz, Pottery Barn magazine in hand, ready to 'study' with us.  Most of the time, the magazine was upside down, but he didn't seem to mind. 

Happy in Saturday morning cartoons while Mom got her kitchen cleaned...

Happy in a breakfast for Cruz...

...and breakfast for Mom and Dad...

Happy in an afternoon family shopping trip.  Tomato cages from Home Depot, a tree swing from Target, new swimming trunks for Dad, and a new summer dress for Mom.  
Happy in a Christmas present we've packed away until now.  I have a feeling this pirate water table is going to keep our water baby happy all summer long...   

(flip flops - Target, cotton shorts, shades, hat - Baby Gap)

While Beau reads directions for the first time since I've known him, Cruz decides to take matters into his own hands.

The finished product, complete with a battery powered water fountain and water canon that shoots water halfway across the driveway!  

Happy in watching Cruz waste no time getting in the water.  This kid has no fear, which only proves that Cruz is his father's son.  I was scared to death of getting water in my eyes for the first several years of my life, and used to scream in the car before swimming lessons.  Cruz?  Part fish.

Happy in watching babies sleep.  Cruz took two long naps in his crib this weekend, but decided to top one of 'em off on our bed.  I love that his hair is already starting to bleach out!

Happy in sleepy, sweaty babies in the shade while little people play in the water and big people instigate a splash fight. 

Happy in trying out my Zoku for the first time.  We went easy this time around with a simple, but refreshingly yummy mixture of apple, pear, and orange juice, and I couldn't believe how easy it was to figure out.  Just freeze the Zoku maker, pop in the plastic sticks, pour in the juice, sit tight for 7 minutes, and voila! 

I think Cruz was definitely in his happy place after trying his first ever popsicle! 

He knew just what to do!

Happy in watching Daddy and Cruz in the sprinkler.  The water was icy cold, but he didn't seem to mind...  

Grabbing a drink with Uncle Taylor...

Happy in watching the two of them together.  Little people have such big personalities, don't they?

Happy in living room time.  Looking at books and sharing scotcheroos, kissing babies, and watching (and rewatching) Jennifer Holiday's performance on American Idol.  

Happy in bringing out the ol' boppy pillow again.  It felt kind of good to see it on the living room floor :)

Happy in a Monday morning jog - just me, a beautiful morning, and my iPod.  It felt good to run outside, and even better when I was all done!

Happy in a Zoku pop for brekke.  Because it's summer and all...

Happy in taking that Zoku pop outside by the water table...

Happy in a messy nursery.  Because although I do pick up this toy compartment about fifteen times a day, it's exactly what it should be.  A barefoot boy, content in his space, playing and exploring his world of color and fun.  This picture represents our very 'lived in' life, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Happy in our inaugural bike ride of summer, complete with a picnic, of course ;)

Happy in packing for our adventure.  It may take double the time it used to when Beau and I would spontaneously decide to go on a bike ride, but I love to put time and thought into planning and packing for our day.  Like making sure Cruz has a blanket, a pillow, a sippy, and some crackers in his trailer with him, and making sure to pack plenty of wet wipes and picnic-friendly snacks for our picnic.

Cruz Man loved his bike trailer.  There he sat, propped up against his Cubbie Bear Pillow Pet, taking in the scenery and lounging with his juice cup while Beau nearly died pulling him in 25 mph wind on Greenhill Rd.  He even fell asleep in that thing, backwards cap and all, like a little prince in his chariot.   

Happy in a pit-stop at Mulligans for a Summer Shandy.  Our bike ride was hot and windy, and by the time we made our way across University and down through the dog park, a cold one was calling our name! 

Happy in a new park to explore...

...and yummy picnic food.

Happy in a tan baby in a tunnel. 

Does anyone remember the television series, The Wonder Years?  Heck, who am I kidding?  Everyone remembers this show.  Well, all weekend, I kept thinking my life looked a lot like the opening credits of The Wonder YearsYou know, the old film reel playing home videos of classic americana - grilled burgers, red and white checked napkins, football in the backyard ... And while modern day technology and blogging has now replaced the old film reels, some things never change.

So years from now, when I look at this blog and laugh at how much technology has changed ('you mean we didn't have holigrams back then?!), I'm confident I'll always be able to rewind to my happy place.