It just dawned on me this morning that it's almost August already, and I haven't blogged since May! Eeeeeek! Not that anyone is surprised, of course, but sheesh, that's kinda long even for me. My only excuse is....no, wait....I don't have one. Sorry! :-)
Seriously, it's been a busy summer here. Darling daughter turned 19 in June (how did that happen? She's my baby girl!) and continues to grow into an amazing, talented, funny, smart, all-around wonderful young woman. I love spending time with her. We have a lot of the same tastes in books, art, etc. so it's always fun to go shopping and see who picks an item up first. I tease her that I'm counting on her to choose a nice retirement home for her dad and I - we don't trust her brothers!
June also saw the first cousin visit of the summer - Miss Rikki came down for a week to visit with us, and then we dropped her back off in West Virginia when we went to my family reunion. She said she had a great time while she was here, although given the amount of teasing she endured, I'm a little surprised! Still, she's learned to give as good as she gets, so everything balances out. Faith and I enjoyed having another girl around - most of the time we're severely outnumbered here. Even the dogs are all male!
After the reunion, we headed off to Gatlinburg for a few days' stay. We rented a cabin just outside of town, and oh, was it nice! Beautiful log cabin with a deck that looked out over the valley, complete with hot tub.....we didn't want to come home! It was so peaceful and quiet. While we were there we went to Ripley's Aquarium as well as some other "touristy" places. It was fun to run around, but honestly, I could have spent the entire time on the deck with a good book and some coffee or tea. Pure bliss. :-)
Once we got home, we took a week off to catch up on laundry, etc., then Miss Rikki came back for another week. A couple days after she arrived, another cousin - Nicky! - came down to visit too. They're both 16, so between them, our kids and our kids' friends, I had a LOT of teens in my house that week! It was so fun, though - they're all really good kids, and I loved having them here. In fact, when my boys left this past Saturday to take Rikki and Nicky home, I hugged them all good-bye and then went in the house and cried like a baby. Who'd'a thunk I'd actually MISS extra teenagers?
Now we're (sort of) back to normal again, although I use that term loosely. Jon's parents are stopping by tonight on their way to a family gathering up north, but other than that it's business as usual. With all the running around and extra people, house projects have been pushed to the back burner, but we're starting to change that. I spent a fair amount of time yesterday mudding, which means today I get to sand and (probably) add more mud....yay.....but it needs to be done! I've also been fighting valiantly to reclaim my kitchen countertops. I swear, clutter just breeds on horizontal surfaces. Right now they're the best they've been in a while, but that's still not saying much. :-/
So, that's what has been happening here! I hope everyone is having a fun and relaxing summer. Enjoy some sunshine!