Summer Love

Right out of the gate, I’m going to say that summer is NOT my jam. The idea of three solid months between school years scares me. The heat is so oppressive that it makes me feel trapped and I just spend all of May freaking out that I can’t possibly mom myself through the three months ahead.

This summer started out with a work weekend out at camp. We had a blast and then it got real on Monday. Like very real. And then we quickly joined the Y thereafter the “real” hit the Williams world, which has been our saving grace for several reasons.

Today, we are one month and two days into summer. I don’t want to get too confident, but I’m going to say that this has been my favorite summer so far. Sure, right out of the gate we had several 100 degree and above days, but that only drove us to the pool. And back. And back, wherein my children are simultaneously improving their swimming skills, cooling off and having a blast, plus they get worn the heck out (win!). Brooks has not only blown me away in the pool, but he straight killed his first 9-4 day camp at Mad Science. He’s never been gone the whole day and I was giving it until Tuesday or Wednesday before we called the whole thing off, but low and behold homeboy freakin’ LOVED every second. Not only was I encouraged that he went all day for an entire week without knowing a soul and LIKED it, but he actually wanted to go. He was pumped up every morning to get back to his experiments. This settled so many fears I have for kindergarten coming up in two (gulp) months.

He also spent a week away at Camp Gigi and loved the VBS at her church. I did not talk to him once! And he was great! Spoiled, to be sure, but just dandy without me.

Back to the Y, I have been able to take Sabra to the downtown Y a few times and walk Town Lake. I’ve scheduled a few coordinating walking dates with friends and enjoyed it so much. I love my city. I love that there are so many beautiful places free and open to the public. I love that I can enjoy the river every single day if I choose. And I love that, at least this year, all the flowers are so vibrant.

The first time I ever saw the agave was in Big Bend National Park in my 20’s. It was immediately my favorite bloom, but I’d never seen one outside of that region. But this summer, they are somehow all over town. I am seeing the agave left and right. The nerd video at Big Bend informed us that this beauty blooms only once and then it dies. This is it. One shot and then goner! And I think about that every single time I pass one. It’s a little sad because they are so beautiful, but also a reminder that we all only really get one shot. This beauty is fleeting. We may bloom now, but it’s short, so wake up. Smell the roses. Or agave!

I simply cannot get over the vibrant colors and lush greens all over town. I usually think of summer as hot and desperate, but the gorgeous blooms along the trail and the shade-providing canopy of trees that covers most of the trail during the summer simply remind me that God’s got it. God has me when life is good and when it’s hard. And right now, it’s good. It’s also 82 degrees outside because it’s been raining. So there’s that too, which may help.

Camp Mommy

Last week I was a mother-of-one. Brooks got the royal treatment at Camp Gigi in San Antonio, so Sabra and I were just two girls on the town. And we had a blast! We swam, ate out and read nearly every children’s book under our roof. I love this girl and I love her age. I love that she remembers every fact she’s ever heard and that her eyes are as blue as the Frio River. She is brave and fun to be around. She does her own thing and makes me want to live more in the moment. I have this 4-year-old for another four months. I will cringe when she turns five because it means my baby is really growing up, but I am beyond thrilled to have two full days with her each week next year before she goes off to kinder. I love this girl something fierce. And I thank God daily that I get to be her mommy.

My Little Wonder Girl!

Life in Death Valley

We’ve been married almost 12 years and I have never once gotten to tag along on a work trip. I always thought it would be dreamy to visit places with Spence and explore a city all day while he was at an important meeting. It never happened though. Until it did! Just a few months ago, I got to wife work freeload for the first time! Spence had a conference in Las Vegas and I got come. I have never wanted to go to LV in my life, but I was all over a week-long break from mom life and totally up for some one-on-one time with my main squeeze.

This was our maiden voyage on a plane and leaving the state since we’ve had children, so it was a pretty big deal. We hit Hoover Dam the first day we flew in and geeked out at the scale and man-power behind this wonder. Finally descending upon The Strip in Las Vegas, we settled into our hotel and I adjusted to the odd beast that is Sin City. I have to admit that I spent the first few days just chillaxing and soaking up the feeling of only having to feed and care for myself. I explored the city some in the morning before it got too hot and witnessed the sad leftovers from the night before. I was offered drugs at 9am and saw actual prostitutes for the first time in my life. If there ever was a city that is the antithesis of what I’m about, it’s LV. By day I lounged and spa’d and read, but by night we got dressed up and ate some of the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten. Did you know $10 truffle butter exists as a steak topper? It does. And I ate it. And it was scrumptious as all get out!

As fun as luxurious hotels and fancy restaurants can be, natural beauty is more my speed. After the conference was over, we drove out to Death Valley National Park in California. We rented a Jeep and spent the day exploring this place that has the vibe of another planet.

I never would have pictured huge snow-capped mountains in the distance or vibrant colors blooming in the desert, but we saw it all. And it was breathtaking. The vivid colors against this bland backdrop woke up my senses and made me go inward. I thought about how hard parenting is and how often we can feel like teammates or ships passing in the night, but then we take these adventures together and I realize there is no one else I’d rather drive around in a Jeep that plays no music with than this guy. He really is my favorite. And sometimes you have to be in the middle of nowhere to see that. Spencer is my bloom. Life isn’t always easy and a lot of times it’s just downright hard, but I love walking through this world sitting in Spencer’s passenger seat. He’s a control freak and HAS to drive, which is fine with me because I LOVE being a passenger. We laughed and explored and shared this life we started together, almost 12 years ago, in Death Valley. Till death do us part.