So long, Summer

I went on a blogging hiatus this summer. It’s been a summer of figuring out some difficult and personal things. I’m not sure I know what I’m really doing yet, but at least I don’t want to die all the time anymore. So that’s good. Anyway, all my thoughts/reflections surrounded this thing and I couldn’t bring myself to write about anything else but (despite the cultural trend) I don’t think everything needs to be blogged about. And yet, I’m someone who believes in being transparent. I think that when we open up about our deepest hurts it frees us. Isn’t there always someone who goes, “You, too? I thought I was the only one.” So, maybe one day I will share my story on the interwebs. Maybe.

But today I will say goodbye to summer.

Goodbye Iowa State Fair. I loved the Maple Bacon Funnel Cake (and Hot Lips, Cajun Cheese Curds, Lemonade, Bacon Wrapped Rib on a Stick, Corn Dogs, Turkey Legs, etc.) and the big yellow slide NEVER gets old. I think it’s the only place where you can watch a pig or cow give birth publicly and live. I love that you can walk through a building of fine art and go next door to see a 3,500 lb bull all while eating a deep fried Oreo. God bless you, Iowa.

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 Goodbye Summer vacations. Los Angeles was a crazy dream. I saw so much art, my cup overfloweth. It was great to be with my best friend and see his whole new world. I got to take a train and see the Kretzus: Burgers on the beach at sunset and Sprinkles ice cream. They know how to treat a girl right. Hotel rooftop party. New friends. Dodgers game. Freezing ocean water. Epic fireworks. Josh Groban. Comedy shows. Hot dog trucks. Pop punk. Pretty views.

And the 4th of July Ozark Family Vacation was perfect, too. Basking in the sun. Reading in the tube. Swim up bars. Water slides. Grandma’s cooking. Birthday cake cheesecake. Sleeping in. Coffee on the dock. Family game nights. New Girl reruns. Morning boat rides. Aaaahh…

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Goodbye Summer weddings/wedding festivities. I had the privilege of being in two weddings this summer. They just so happened to be one weekend right after the other. It took me a full week to recuperate after all was said and done. Aaron & Magie’s wedding was elegant and classy, just like them. I don’t know better hosts. The ceremony was beautiful. The limo ride to Des Moines was especially memorable. The photographer became our best friend. The wedding party had way too much fun together. The reception menu was to die for (Macaroni and cheese bar!? Get out of here with that). The music was live and the party went all night long. I stood on the groom’s side, which meant I got to be one of the guys for a night. I smoked my first cigar, drank my first scotch, and made my first Barbie stripper cake.

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Then, for Hilary’s bachelorette party we got to be the Barbie strippers. Just kidding! I did not wear chocolate frosting anywhere on my body. In fact, there were lots of clothes involved and not a male in sight. Colyn & Hilary’s wedding was sweet, simple, and so full of love. They both do amazingly at making everyone feel appreciated and included. I have never met a couple more full of gratitude. They each had a brother officiate the ceremony and Hilary wore my wedding dress (I think it looked better on her! She’s stunning). Hilary works with refugees and has headed up a garden that many of them work on. I loved that so many of the people she works with had a part in her big day. There was a huge table of produce from the garden that guests could fill up a bag with and take home as a wedding favor, a whole group of refugee children came down the aisle and sprinkled flowers before Hilary made her grand entrance (cutest thing ever!!), and they had a potluck reception which featured food from all over the world. Friends gathered later that night for a post-reception backyard dance party and joined together Sunday morning for a farewell pancake breakfast. Group hug.

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Goodbye Summer job. I loved being a nanny for Patrick and Charlotte this summer! We had lemonade stands, went berry picking, visited the State Historical Museum, Science Center, Zoo, and Art Museum, did crafts, science experiments, saw Monster’s University, built a fort, played at the park, went to the fair, took a couple of day trips to Pella, had picnics, and spent a lot of time at the pool. Being a kid is full of simple pleasures and it was refreshing to revisit so many of them.

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Goodbye Summer concerts. This summer I went to three concerts. I’m going to list them and make you all confused about my music interests. I saw Josh Groban in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl, which is ridiculous. I got to experience every 50 year old woman’s dream. Andrew and I giggled through the whole thing but loved every minute of it. There were fireworks at the end to top it all off. I also scored a damn good seat at the T Swift concert and had the pleasure of dancing and belting out every lyric with my best friend (who called and texted into radio stations trying to win tickets each previous year with me. I know, I know. We’re those people). Tay puts on a good show. There’s no denying it.  Last, but not least, I saw The Lone Bellow and Brandi Carlile on the River. Outdoor concerts on perfect summer nights are one of the best things ever. Good ol’ knee slappin’, soul soothing music, blankets, and beer.

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You were good to me, summer. See you next year.