But this summer, I started to feel that things were slipping away from me. Hubster's class schedule went full time until July. I spent all June and July frantically studied for my boards. We kept the Monkey and Bug in a day camp and Duck in daycare for longer than we wanted.
Now that the days are shortening and the sidewalks are starting to get their layer of fallen leaves, I'm looking back and realizing that despite the horrific busyness, despite the stress and deadlines, we still managed to have a glorious summer.
So even though the boys are back in school and the weather forecast predicts cool fall days, I'm going to be taking some time to look back and remember all the beautiful wonderful adventures of summer.
One of the best parts of summer is all the food. Farmer's markets start up, there are fruit stands in parking lots, and local farmers open their fields for picking.
There is a large strawberry farm east of us that I have been trying to get to ever since we moved here. Turns out, the strawberry season is a finicky, short season. The conditions have to be just perfect, and even then, it only last for a few weeks. The last two years, we missed it, once because our schedule didn't allow it and once because the weather made for a very limited crop.
This year, however, all the stars and planets and timetables aligned, and we found ourselves on the more pristine of Midwestern June days, picking strawberries.
(Full disclosure here: Bug only agreed to pick berries once he had been promised he didn't actually have to each them. That boy despises fruit.)
The air was saturated with berry scent, there was a soft background hum of bees, and it was beautiful.
When the farmer gave us a crate and told it that it could hold 10 pounds of strawberries, we chuckled at each other. 10 pounds of strawberries? Who could ever pick 10 pounds of strawberries? Turns out, we can. In about 30 minutes. We actually had to call off the boys from their berry picking mission, because we reached our self-set limit so quickly.
Our freezer is still filled with strawberries that I mix with lemonade or mash into syrup from Sunday waffles. Every time I pull the berries out, the boys ask if those are the berries they picked. (Even though Bug still doesn't eat them.)
Sticky, berry stained, and happy. That's how we should remember summer.