Life Lately | July 2021

Summertime Naps |

A couple nights ago, Ryan was gone and it was just Duke and me in my huge kingsized bed. Well, I guess that's not true. George was there too, fully spread out and taking up at least two human spaces. But anyway, like clockwork because he sleeps so wonky when Ryan's not there to anchor his right side, Duke tapped me on my forehead around 4:30am. "Mom," he said, "I'm full of energy." 


A couple nights before, he woke me up around 2 or 3am because he was thirsty and as I stumbled down the stairs to get him a glass of water, I had flashbacks. This was the second time in a week I had those flashbacks to a time that I already have rosy nostalgia about, but don't actually ever want to return to. 

Anyway, I told him it was dark out which means it's still night time and besides, I wasn't full of energy yet. I managed to keep him in bed for about 45 more minutes, but he checked in with me in 15 minute intervals. 

"Mom, can you set a timer for when it will be light outside?"

"Mama, I love you." Followed by a  kiss. I mean, can you even be mad? 

"Mama, I fink I can smell coffee."

Ding ding ding! He knows my coffee is set on a timer - he responds really well to a timer, so everything in our life is "according to timer," hence the question above about scheduling the sun's rise. That coffee maker starts at 5am and by 5:30 there was sure to be a full pot waiting for me. We got up. 

Also guys, this is my attempt to start a blog post without saying "wow, can you believe it's already August?!" because I have ridden that trope straight to its funeral. Wow, indeed. You know. I know. We all know. 


So anyway, July. One of the best months of the year, but I pretty much say that about every month between May and October, so let's just settle with right in the middle of the best pocket of the year instead. 

Guess where we've been. Oh the beach, you say? Yup. I'm nothing if not consistent. 

Elberta Beach at Sunset |

I'm really packing it in this year. Morning, nighttime, in the rain, after work, whenever, wherever, there is no time that isn't a good time to be at a lake. 

My current favorite is packing something to eat, some drinks, and watching the sun go down on E Beach in Elberta. Ideally with friends. 

The night before I turned 33, I literally watched the sun set on my 32nd year, washing it down with cups of margaritas and three servings of a bomb angel food cake that my SIL made for the occasion. I'm so lucky to have a summer birthday. Even luckier to have people who made me feel so special. 

My Birthday on E Beach |

Another favorite spot, but this is not seasonal - my love for St. Ambrose runs hot and cold (weather-wise, I mean). And two things I know well enough to give honest, somewhat educated and reasonably valuable recommendations on: books and what to order at St. Ambrose. Anything written by Emma Straub and a glass of the shimmery, glittery, Sunset Beach. Neither will fail you. 

St. Ambrose Cellars |

Speaking of book recs and Emma Straub, I just finished Modern Lovers this week. I'd label it an elevated beach read. Her writing is smart, not cheesy, and sometimes a little dry funny. But it's also not particularly deep. I read her novel, The Vacationers, a few summers ago and liked it just as much. The tone is similar. 

Modern Lovers Novel |


Let's see, other nice things this month -

Ryan's mom got a new puppy, complete with puppy breath and that cute wobbly walk that baby dogs have. His name is Henry and he's very cute. The adult dogs in our lives are justifiably jealous. George sniffs my legs and feet like I'm a traitor every time I walk in the door from a visit. Duke just likes that Henry is small enough for him to pick-up. 

Henry the Puppy |

Bob, my MIL's other dog, is a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Handsome, but that's beside the point. He's terrified of Henry and he's the second Ridgeback she's had that is scared of pretty much everything. I've heard these dogs hunt lions and frankly, I need proof because both these turkeys have been damn cowards. 

But still handsome. I don't take that back. 

Playing with the Pups |


The summertime menu. I just live for the time of year when it's so hot that nobody feels obligated to make or eat a big comforting meal. A salad prepped on Sunday to last the whole week plus some chicken thrown on the grill last minute. Done. Dinner is served. 

Summer Salad |

And also paper plates because ya girl is LAZY. 


Shopping for books, because if I can give him anything, a love of reading is at the top of my list. 

Shopping for Books |

We love the Blue Vase Book Exchange in Interlochen. Good cheap books. A nice exchange program. And carts small enough for Duke to push like the grown up man he thinks he is. 


Fourth of July

My favorite thing happened this year and that's just as simple as having a house full for the holiday. Against precedence, I just didn't take very many pictures, but we did have a really nice weekend. It was three days of loading people up to go to the beach, starting bonfires in the back yard, and trying to stay on top of cleaning up the kitchen. I learned how to infuse tequila with jalapeños which feels like a valuable life skill. And before I forget, we wound up at a mostly empty bar in Honor - with a DJ who played all of my requests for the approximately 4 people on the dance floor and my knees are still creaking from that physical exertion. I'm a cheerful stereotype, so it quickly became early 2000's pop night with some ABBA thrown in because I was certainly feeling like a dancing queen. 

But here's a picture that is about none of that. Here we are, perched up on a hill in Frankfort with the whole dang group, waiting for the fireworks. My SIL Sara and I went to freaking town on the glow stick supply.

Fourth of July |


One afternoon, somewhere in the middle of the month, Duke and I had a hankering for cake and we were restless enough to make one. No reason and Duke confirmed there was no "bortday" to celebrate, but asked if he could still put some candles on it. I saw no harm in it, so I said sure and I guess walked away. 

I came back to find every single candle in the supply from birthdays past carefully plugged into the frosting.

A Non-Birthday Cake |


Nighttime swims. 

I'll wrap this up the same way I started, on the beach. We're about to slip into the part of the summer that is 50/50 the stale dog days and frantically trying to hold on to it. Two accounts I follow on Instagram started posting their fall content this week and I know it's going to get heavier as we get closer to September. I just temporarily unfollowed because I know - and this seems stupid to let the internet drive so much of my real life feelings - it will make me anxious. 

So I'll just be here, your non-influencer friend who still overshares like one, preaching the summertime gospel from my pulpit on the beach.  Cheers to hot hot hot temperatures, late sunsets, and Lake Michigan finally being warm enough to swim in. 

Frankfort Beach After Sunset |

Happy August! And I mean that. It's another full month of summer and I'll be glad to remind you allllll month long. 

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