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And, just like that, summer is on the way out. Never mind that the humidity will still rage for a few more weeks. And we will endure a few *surprise!* days of temperatures over 85. Nonetheless, the calendar dictates that the formal conclusion of summer has found us once again.
I felt strongly that we needed to wrap up the final weekend of summer with some seriously fun activities. Our first stop was to Harper’s Table in Suffolk for a delicious dinner on Friday evening. There is something about a quality meal in a quiet space that puts you at ease. And the fact that the mess is left to someone else is extremely appealing for a woman worn from the week. A dollop of fire-engine red lipstick helped solidify the evening. (That Bradley Lowe is a lucky man.) The rest of the evening offered an opportunity to rest and relax with one another before we opened our home to friends the following day.
Flowers have the ability to transform a room.
To formally send the summer off – and to have humans over before our home is bursting with puppies – we decided to have a few people over for a little warm weather fun on Saturday. I was up early on Saturday morning so that I could snag some flowers and baked goods before I flew around the house like a crazy witch in a cleaning frenzy. My house parties demand two things: fresh flowers on the table and a good pre-people cleaning. The past two weeks have been busy for us so I have not given the house a good scrubbing in a while. Saturday morning saw me fiercely scrubbing the things people were most likely to see, barely scrubbing those things most likely to be missed, and shoving a ton of stuff in the guest rooms before closing the doors. No house tours this trip, folks. I’m still recovering from wedding presents and a never ending stash of stationary. Needless to say, I was able to suck up the dog hair, light a candle, and arrange the flowers before the first guests arrived. (Someone should invite themselves over to a group of 20 or 30 southern women’s homes and then take pictures of that one room in the house where company isn’t allowed because it is a tornado of dust, clothes, odds and ends, and all the other things we chuck in there when we are cleaning on a deadline. I think a picture book of said rooms would be hilariously perfect while also giving us the confirmation we need that even the most perfect southern woman has a mess of a room/closet/drawer somewhere in her home.) My cleaning frenzy would take an ironic turn when we realized that Bradley was preheating the oven while leftover food from his fish fry burned to a crisp on the inside. The house smelt deliciously fishy and charred. It was too funny not to laugh and brush it off. It didn’t hurt when Bradley exclaimed “That’s where that cookie sheet was!”
Despite the work and maintenance, a large backyard is worth it just for the space to have a little fun.
While this gathering was smaller than some of our larger shindigs in the past, I was grateful for a more intimate crowd. We huddled our chairs together in the shade from the house and chatted while the kids played on the swing set. Bradley grilled hot dogs and pork burgers and there were sides for days. I purchased some M&M and Oatmeal Raisin cookies alongside a Lemon Blueberry bread from the new bakery in town, Yummaries. The kids played outside until they were red faced and sweaty. People stayed until it was time to cheer on their favorite football team, and Bradley and I found ourselves exhausted and happy on the couch by the end of the evening.
Food is amazing. Put it on a table and people immediately seem at ease. There was much more food than this – I got distracted by the good times and forgot to take more pictures. What a blessing.
Part of me is a little sad that this will be our last house party of the year. A swarm of people and puppies doesn’t seem to be a good idea considering my aforementioned obsession with a clean house prior to company. The holidays are quickly approaching and, with them, the craze of travel, family, and food. So our next gathering will have to wait until 2018. I imagine that we will still have a few people over once the puppies make an appearance. (Good Lordy, y’all. Most of our local friends have children. Which means there will be children and puppies in my house. At the same time. And I have a camera. THE CUTENESS WILL BE UNENDING!) But the house parties will have to be put on halt for a bit. I am already envisioning an epic game night around the dining room table since the new year’s weather will be too cold for tailgating chairs.
In just a few days, our sweet baby girl will be a mother of “at least eight”.
We had originally thought of going to the county fair on Saturday evening but were too wiped out. Being thirty demands that you limit your social activities. It outright demands it. We didn’t feel at a loss. We simply enjoyed the quiet of our home which was still fresh with memories of those that just left.
I love putting this album out and seeing people flip through it. This book holds my happiest memories.
Sunday morning was my favorite part of the whole weekend. I woke up early and couldn’t fall back asleep. So, I went downstairs and started a movie on Netflix with a fresh cup of coffee and Reese to keep me company. Bradley eventually realized that the bed was empty and he stumbled downstairs with a grumble before crawling on the couch with me and falling asleep on my shoulder. Honey eventually curled up with us and Reese settled on the floor (bless her but she is just too big to cram on the couch with us). Everyone was together and lazy and there was no immediate need to go anywhere. It is a rare occurrence. I slowly sipped the remainder of my coffee while my husband’s head was heavy on my shoulder.
Once we finally left the couch and cleaned up, Bradley set to work getting the whelping pen together for our sweet Reese. We took a short break to do an escape room. Llong story short: we need a break before we do the next one. No outright fighting but I wouldn’t classify it as enjoyable either. Upon reflection I can see how we were both too socialized and too tired for group work. Despite that realization, I am now pumped to try the room where they blind-fold and handcuff you! We set to work finishing Reese’s birthing pen before Bradley went to work in his shop and I worked on this blog with old-school Grey’s Anatomy on the screen (think back to McDreamy before McSteamy). I contemplated cleaning but didn’t. My soul is at ease with that decision. The dirt will stay put. The dog hair won’t abandon me. The laundry waits patiently for me. So, I’ll leave it for another day. This week is bound to have plenty of excitement. The mundane housework might be just the trick to keeping me sane.