Can y’all believe that yesterday was officially the first day of autumn? I always think of summer as ending distinctly with the month of August despite the sweltering temps that tend to stick around here in south Louisiana. But just like that, the mercury is expected to stay below 90 today and the light seems to have shifted ever so slightly to that softer, dimmer glow reminiscent of the cooler months. Summer is my favorite time of year and I can’t help but take a moment to reminisce about all the good times we had these past few months.
May is the height of crawfish season in Louisiana and we were lucky to attend a couple of boils. The photo taken below was at the crawfish boil we had at my sister’s house to celebrate her birthday.
Also at my sister’s house–goats! Shannon and her husband Josh got Jeffrey and Oliver as babies this summer and they are so cute I could just eat them up. I’m trying to talk them into getting chickens next.
In June we took our first ever formal family photos. My friend Brandi shot them as a favor to us and I love the way they came out–I feel like this period of early parenthood is such a special time in our lives and it was so sweet to document it.
I have two best friends–I’ve known Lauren since seventh grade and even though she lives in Atlanta now we still talk and visit frequently. Cassie and I met volunteering at a crisis hotline together in college and have been thick as thieves ever since. In June Cassie and her husband Nic welcomed their first child, Olive, five weeks early. It was traumatic and stressful at the time but my goodness is that a beautiful baby. We’re lucky to get to see them often and Olive is doing just great–she even learned how to breastfeed! Sounds like no big deal but if you’ve ever known anyone who tried to breastfeed a preemie you’ll understand why it’s cause for celebration. Cassie is a PhD student and was planning on going right back to school but because of all the complications she took the fall semester off, so she and I are getting to spend lots of time together watching our sweet babies grow!
Only a week after Olive was born we celebrated Jack’s birthday! We had a simple party at our house with friends and family and afterwards everyone contracted a stomach virus–good times! Violent vomiting aside, it was a good time and a perfect way to celebrate a year of parenting under our belts.
In July we drove to Atlanta to visit my aforementioned friend Lauren and her husband Ryan. We had so much fun that I didn’t take a single photo. Lauren and I both prefer to spend our vacations sitting around the house so not much was photoworthy, but it was a great trip and in addition we got to visit our other BFF from high school, Laura, who calls Atlanta home nowadays as well.
Also in July my Pawpaw Gulley said goodbye to Amarillo, Texas after eight years to move back home to Louisiana. His new apartment wasn’t ready until August and my parents’ house has all the bedrooms upstairs so the best solution was for him to stay with us for a few weeks. My sister and I grew up spending entire weekends with him and my late Nanny so to only see him every few years when he lived in the Texas panhandle was hard. It was wonderful to get to spend this time with him and to see him and Jack (his namesake!) really get to know each other.
Unfortunately, my Pawpaw Hamrick passed away that same month. At 78 he was on the young side for a great-grandfather and we were all so sad to see him go. After a lifetime of overcoming the odds it seemed like he was invincible, but I guess it just wasn’t in the cards for him. His memorial service is something I will remember forever.
In August we made a brief trip Gulf Shores, AL so Nick could play pretend football with his friends (I’m told the proper term for the event is live fantasy football draft). It rained most of the time we were there, but on the evening before we left the sun came out and we brought Jack to the beach to experience the ocean for the first time. We didn’t even have time to change him into proper swimwear–bedtime was fast approaching and it was a now or never decision we made on the way home from dinner. I’m so glad we did! The joy on his face is priceless.
Also in August I reached a professional milestone I’ve been putting off for an entire year–I finally took the exam to be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and, happily, I passed! This opens up lots more opportunities for me to work part-time or on a contract basis so that I can still spend most of my time caring for Jack (and maintaining this blog and my etsy shop, two activities which are critical to my mental health!).
In September we took a family vacation to Austin, Texas (for–guess what–FOOTBALL! Are you noticing a theme here? My husband is obsessed). Besides the UT-Ole Miss game that Nick was so excited to attend we spent several days exploring the city, visiting the surprising number of friends we have there, and eating some seriously delicious food. I even got to hit up some area thrift stores. If I’d had more time/money to shop I could have brought home a serious haul.
And on the second-to-last day of summer we celebrated Nick’s 30th birthday. On a last minute whim I ran out and bought some candy that I hot glued to various tupperware/dishes to form a cake-looking tower–I finished it literally right as he walked in the door! And yesterday we had family over for brunch to officially celebrate. I was asking Nick last night what it’ll be like for us when Jack turns 30 and the idea just blew our minds. I always think of parents on birthdays now that I have a child of my own.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pretty bummed that summer is officially over. I love the warm weather, long days, swimming, and spending time with friends and family. I’ll be counting down the days until springtime!