Real Life with Rita: MAY the Madness begin

Summer is a crazy time of life–for everyone. May is the springboard month for that craziness. It was great to start getting out more in April, but this past month, the pace definitely picked up–and I don’t even have the wild aspect of the “end of school” in m life right now!

Every weekend in May has had activity (as will this coming Memorial Day weekend) and with the exception of a chilly week of 50-60 degree days (What was that all about??), we were out and about and it was for the better. It was complete with many of the to-do’s that make up many people’s summers: holidays, road trips, swimming, picnics, and weddings.

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Road Trip: We took our first summer road trip the first weekend of the month, traveling to North Carolina to visit family and see my cousin graduate from UNC Chapel Hill with her Masters in Accounting. What could have been an 8-hour drive with my Mom was, of course, closer to 10-11, thanks to two kiddos. I definitely took advantage of all toddler road-trip knowledge I have at this point in my motherhood ‘career’ and the kids did AMAZINGLY well for 15 months and 2 1/2 years. It actually gives me a lot of hope for our trip to Myrtle Beach later this summer (and some ideas on how to make it go even smoother.)

If you missed it before, here is a quick vlog I put together of the NC trip.

Mother’s Day: We made it home in time to celebrate Mother’s Day in the best place I can imagine–our home! It was a beautiful and perfect day and this mom could ask for nothing more than time outside with the kids and seeing them spend time with their Pop. (Who, by the way, added awesome flower beds to the front of the house while we were gone on our trip.) We had our first supper on the porch–a Mingus special: fried chicken. (And believe me when I tell you WISH you could be treated to his homemade fried chicken!)

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Baby Shower: The following weekend was our most low-key and the dreary, cooler weather also made it more uneventful. Dot and I attended the baby shower of a close friend right here in our county. She’s the mom of four beautiful boys–the youngest being Jacob’s age–and she is expecting her first daughter any time now! I am beyond excited for her! So while Lou and I had our mommy-daughter time, Hubs took Jake-O to do some “man” things and picked up some plant starters for the garden.

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Wedding: The third weekend we were fortunate to have some of our favorite visitors stay with us: Mingus’s parents. We are so blessed that, despite being four hours away, they are more than willing to regularly make the drive to visit us and the kids. While the weeks’ cool weather wasn’t quite gone, it was a little dryer, so ‘Mamaw’ got the kids outside with her and later on Saturday, Mingus and I took off for Louisville for our first wedding of 2016. Primarily a friend of mine, BK graduated from Bellarmine with me and then spent the next year being a part of almost all of my great memories in Louisville. He then took a job to teach English in South Korea and, believe it or not, has been there pretty much since. He moved back a little less than a year ago and just married the love of his life whom he met during his South Korean adventures.

Holly Jo & Rita (@beautyitbluegrass) • Instagram photos and videos 2016-05-27 13-21-43

The wedding itself was such a joy for me. I always appreciate seeing the little details a couple uses to create what is their perfect day, but to top it off, this was the first sans-kids getaway with Hubs since December, AND I got to see nearly all of the people I spent my post-college days in Louisville with. Some of them I see and catch up with regularly  (like my younger brother Deutsch who was in attendance), while others I have not see since Deutsch’s wedding last May. It’s incredible to see the paths all our lives are on, now that we’re ending the “20’s era” and on to our 30’s. Mingus and I enjoyed hashing memories of them all (as these are all friends of his too) on our 2-hour drive to and from the event, laughing at the little details we know and love about our friends. I am beyond blessed to have such an array of people in my life that I can call TRUE friends. It is actually how different we are that makes our circle special. We can love and admire the passions that drive each individual couple’s journeys and live vicariously through each other.

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Gardening: I have to give all of the credit to Mingus on our garden’s status. Everything is planted and seems to be growing, if not thriving. We’ve divided up crops with my parents since we are sharing the garden plot and will share what each produces. I’m thrilled over the fact I have actually gotten to spend some time in the garden already. Weeding was always a chore assigned to my brothers and I growing up, but now I find it relaxing and therapeutic and am grateful I’ve been able to contribute in this way. Our lettuce greens are ready for the picking and we enjoyed our first garden-fresh salads last weekend. Dot even helped her Pop with the picking.

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Swimming: We had our first visit to a pool; although it was a bit of a fail, depending on how you look at it. We visited HJ and the Johnson house for the first time in MONTHS. Lou could hardly contain her excitement. We were really looking forward to a dip in the pool, as the day before was 80-degrees and sunny, but the day of the trip was very overcast (although still warm). We would have skipped going out to the pool all together, would it not have left Lou so disappointed. The worst of it was the fact the heater had not kicked on properly so the water was FREEZING! Fortunately, for me, my kids were content on the steps, meaning I didn’t get more than my feet in. Jo was not so lucky, but she was a good mom and didn’t little little SJ down and embraced the frigidness. I truly am looking forward to pool trips with these kiddos this summer, knowing the fun Dot had last summer. Sure, they are at an age where I have to be on high alert constantly, but experiencing their joy is priceless.

Holly Jo & Rita (@beautyitbluegrass) • Instagram photos and videos 2016-05-27 15-09-28

Also sprinkled throughout the month were doctor appointments for both myself and the kids, park and library visits, and numerous walks and picnics. I already know summer is going to fly by and I have to do all I can to cherish every moment. There will never be another summer like it, and I am realizing more and more how quickly this era with my kids will pass. I definitely have days where I want to pull my hair out, but sometimes I stop and think about how these will be memories one day and the adorable things they say and do right now will feel like a blip on the radar and I’ll miss it so much.

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For some insider looks at the month of May… Enjoy my vlog (below) and you can tune into HJ’s beach vacation and more here.

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