Lake Charlevoix


Summer Recap

August 23, 2018

Summer has come and gone (though technically it’s still here).  It literally flew by.  Well, some of the days were endless…especially the two weeks before school started.  But mostly, it was gone in an instant, which can be said for practically all of time these days.

Elena’s birthday was the best one yet.  Her party, her summer, her spirit.  They’re all just YES!  I can’t really explain it, but it’s so refreshing to have a stride, to just enjoy and not be worked up about the never-ending somethings that are always lurking.  And I felt that’s how this summer was.  We all relaxed, enjoyed, celebrated, rested and were just at peace.  (By “we” I mean Elena and me, no one else really relaxed!)  Settled.  Life is by no means smooth sailing, but I just feel settled.  And that’s a really nice place to visit awhile.

Elena started first grade a couple weeks ago.  She, of course, loves it.  There’s always some ironing out to do, some advocating to happen, but mostly, she’s in a wonderful place where she’s loved, appreciated and believed in.  Her peers are wonderful, fighting to be the one to push her swing at recess or talking to her in the hallway.  She lives for this kind of attention and it makes my heart leap to see her in this environment. 

School can bring a lot of grief bubbles to the surface for me, and per usual, it has already this year.  There are a lot of places where being “different” doesn’t affect me, but school is always a tough one.  It’s a place where our differences follow us around with flashing neon lights.  These are MY insecurities though, not Elena’s.  School is her happy place and that makes ME happy. 

The boys are growing like crazy.  Calvin is in Pre-K, loves following all the rules and living in the delight of a regimented routine.  He’s mostly helpful, though some days when I ask him to do something for me, he tells me his legs are broken.  Oh well, I mean I can’t be mad at that response.  Currently, he practices for his future career as a rock star every day.  Concerts usually begin after dinner and conclude whenever Chad and I can take it no longer.  When he’s not belting out Tom Petty or Bruce “Stingsting” (as he calls him), he’s practicing for his future on the PGA Tour.  I, personally, feel more comfortable with him being the next Jordan Speith than I do the next Justin Bieber.  Just last week he successfully made the jump from his balance bike to our neighbors pink Hello Kitty big kid bike, sans training wheels.  He was pretty darn proud of himself (as were we!) and had no qualms about achieving his success on a girls’ bike.  My kind of guy!

Turner is the complete opposite.  He hates school, cries at every drop off, doesn’t comprehend rules, despises not being given a snack every 10 minutes and is the antithesis of helpful.  But he is so darling sometimes I forget how frustrating he can be for that 30 seconds of darlingness.  He just celebrated his 2nd birthday last week.  And honestly, it feels like he should be at least three!  Bubba and Daddy are his favorite people and he only likes to do what Calvin is doing.  Recently, he has also began his efforts towards being a child golf prodigy, which I, again, much prefer to his other interests like jumping head first into things and playing with knives.  He refuses to wear a helmet when stealing Calvin’s scooter and is desperate now to ride a bike.  Poor T is always a few steps behind and suffers severely from FOMO (fear of missing out).  The little guy is definitely as crazy as I make him sound, but equally so, he is such a lovebug. 

Every day is an adventure and I’m so thankful for school and busy summers that go by quickly.  Props to you summer bucket list Moms, I ain’t one of ’em.  My summer bucket list is to survive and celebrate August.  I did both, so life is good.  Even though there’s still a few weeks left before the seasons begin their change, I always anticipate the next.  It’s such a metaphor for life.  Change is good, sometimes hard.  I hate to say goodbye to swimming, sunshine, sleeping in and warmer weather, but there’s still so much goodness left ahead. Time marches on, and so will we!

Summer boating

So much swinging, thank God Calvin learned to swing himself and Turner.

Big girl’s first day of school


They loved each other here.

Didn’t quite understand what he was doing.

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This is Elena. Our Light. You can see all the goodness and joy that shines from those deep blue eyes. She loves sneezes, yawns, industrial toilet flushes, automatic paper towel dispensers and The Star Spangled Banner. Music is her everything, specifically Moana, Frozen (really all Disney), Queen & Taylor Swift. Nothing makes her squeal quite like swimming, fast boat rides and her two brothers in trouble. In addition to her megawatt smile, Elena reminds us to cherish the smallest of victories, to live in the present, and to daily dwell in a posture of gratitude for every breath and every blessing.  

More About Our Story

I’m Emmalee, an ordinary gal born and raised in the Heartland. Wife to Chad, and Mom to Elena, Calvin & Turner, I spend most my days ridin’ dirty (literally so much trash) in my minivan carting kids to and fro. When I’m not being a Momager, I excel at self-care, cooking gourmet meals my kids won’t eat and deep-diving all the feelings. Most days, my attitude is gratitude, just taking life one step at a time.

Emmalee & Elena

Meet The Gals