Although summer doesn’t technically start until this Friday (June 21, 2013), it definitely feels like it has already arrived in the Chicagoland area! I’ve been enjoying the warmer weather and longer days immensely and with them the return of some early summertime traditions.
My Kind of Weather
We’ve been fortunately getting quite a bit of rain so far this year with lots of warm (but not terribly hot – yet!) days mixed in between. This is creating a very lush growing season for the annuals and perennials in my garden. It also makes for some interesting early morning climates of dew and fog, which I find particularly charming. I love running with the cool breeze of a light fog on my face! It truly has been perfect weather for me starting with pleasant, breezy morning walks with Winnie, warm and sunny afternoons that make my flowerbeds bloom in full, and the occasional quintessential thunderstorm that has kept me from turning on my sprinklers so far this year.
Other signs of summer? I had my first Starbucks frappuccino of the year and did some shopping for loose airy summer tops. These may seem like trivial summer “traditions,” but to me they mark the start of the season. Lighten up the clothing and drink something chilled and refreshing and you’ve got summer!
This past weekend kicked off the beginning of our summer travel with a quick road trip down to St. Louis to see my nieces dance in their annual recital. Don and I have made this trip for the past several years and wouldn’t miss it for anything! It’s always great to be with my brother and his family and we make it a mini family reunion of sorts with my parents coming along as well. I always have so much fun with my family!
Little weekend getaways are a breath of fresh air to me. As much as I love going away for weeklong (or more!) adventures, sometimes three or four days away is the optimal trip length, because it doesn’t require nearly as much packing (although I truly do love to pack), and there’s much less house prep work I need to complete before our departure. Don and I also happen to be complete and utter homebodies and we truly love nothing more than being in our own nest. A quick trip away to see family or refresh somewhere fun is great for a change of scenery without missing home too much. I like it when we drive places together, too, because we talk, sing, and laugh along the way.
If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you probably already know that I am somewhat of a MAJOR donut fiend. I love, love, LOVE donuts! Sadly, they don’t love me back, so I limit myself to one a week most of the time (#DonutSaturday). I’ve been saving up the last couple of months of donut points, however, in anticipation of our trip to St. Louis. Whenever we’re in town we partake in what I like to call Donut Feast. We like to get Starbucks for the family, because nothing pairs quite as well with a donut as a nice cup of joe. We’ll pick up a tasty variety of fresh, hot-off-the-belt Krispy Kreme donuts one morning (the chocolate iced with sprinkles and cinnamon bun are my favorites as well as the original glazed, of course). I ate four donuts over the course of the day on Saturday! The other morning we get a nice selection from a local St. Louis place called The Donut Stop. Their cinnamon twists are hands down the best I’ve ever tasted! I’m also a fan of the cheese tart, which you can see me zeroing in on in the photo in the middle below. O.M.G – too good!
I Love My Family
I’ve said it before many times and I will say it again until the day that I die: I am so incredibly blessed to share in the love of my spectacularly awesome family. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be so close to both sides of our family. It was great to be with my family over the weekend. We shared donuts and exchanged gifts with my Dad on Sunday morning in St. Louis and then headed over to my in-laws house yesterday evening once we arrived back home for another Father’s Day celebration. I am even more lucky that both sides of our family get along so well. Both families will come together in just a couple of weeks for our annual 4th of July party, and I am certain it will be a blast, as always. We sure know how to have a good time in this family and it involves good food, good company, and lots of laughter!
The best part of our trip was being able to see my beautiful nieces dance. I can’t believe how much they’ve grown even since March when we saw them last! I am looking forward to seeing their impromptu dance performances in our home in July as well.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend surrounded by loved ones. Here comes summer! 🙂