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Monday, August 26, 2013

And off to school they go...

I am officially the parent of a fifth grader and a ninth grader today. (HIGH SCHOOL!!!) And here's to hoping and praying the high school years go down a whole lot smoother than those two years of middle school because I'm not sure that one nerve I've got left over could withstand another year (or four) like that. 

It was a long summer break for us this year (a little over 3 months) but most of it was spent indoors due to the insane amounts of rainfall we endured in these parts. My deck (the one I spent hours painting and grueling over last summer) has been coated with a lovely shade of green funk and I didn't have to water the flowers once all.summer.long. Craziness, I tell you.

But today, just in time for the kids to be back in school all day long, the sun is finally shining and there is not even the hint of a cloud in the sky. Go figure.

We did, however, get lucky with the weather on our vacations to Oak Island, NC and Lake Santeetlah. So there's that.

We spent four nights at the beach in July, over the boys' birthdays...


No more single digits. 
That teeny cheesecake was Devin's choice. He's not a huge dessert lover and has never really cared for cake. How I have a biological child who does not eat cake is completely beyond me but true it is. 

You can't tell in the photo but those 14 candles (yes, I got 14 on that itty bitty thing) were gold. He picked them out at the Ingles there at the beach and it was the very last box in the store which put Dracen beside himself with envy. Oh, the candle drama that ensued! We (no joke) spent a good 20 minutes trying to find a box of suitable candles for the lemon pound cake Momaw Pat had made and sent to the beach with us. 

Luckily, the restaurant where we had their birthday dinner had plenty of crab legs for the two of them...

And the ocean and beach were still big enough to hold them both at the same time...

The first week in August we traveled (for the first time) the three hours to Lake Santeetlah in Robbinsville, North Carolina. I first heard about the lake in an article in Southern Living last summer and wondered how in the world I had lived so close to it all my life without having ever heard of it before.

It did not disappoint.

Never have I seen a more beautiful, clear, and peaceful lake. Eighty percent of the shoreline is protected national forest, hence the peacefulness...

We rented a boat for a couple of days and the boys learned to knee board... 

While we were there we visited the nearby Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, home of the biggest trees I've ever seen (or hugged), some of which were more than 400 years old...

Dracen kicked off his shoes and demonstrated his climbing and toe-gripping skills. I don't call him Monkey for nothin'...

So aside from the massive amounts of rain that fell, it was still a pretty good summer around here and I always hate to see summer end. 

I am anxious to see how the first days of fifth and ninth grades go. I think I was more nervous (and definitely more emotional) than Devin but I did manage to choke back and swallow the tears I felt welling up behind my eyes as we pulled up to that great big high school this morning.

I tried to snap a couple of first day pics on the way out the door but realize now that I had left the camera on the wrong setting (story of my life!) but ah, it is what is...

and the time keeps marching on...

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  1. Your boys are growing so much. I love the forest pics.

    I have never heard of Lake Santeetlah. I got to look that up. Maybe you can give me some hints.

  2. BTW, my youngest started middle School this year. I hope she/I survives.

  3. Hey, Diane! Sure has been awhile! I didn't blog much over the summer and now I'm playing catch-up. It's funny you mentioned Robbinsville...we visited there during our summer vacation in late-July to Bryson City, NC. We, too, went to the Joyce Kilmer National Forest, but it was kind of rainy, so we didn't get many good pictures, unfortunately. I've written all about our trip, so be sure to stop by if you get a chance...I'm finishing up today. Glad y'all had such fun on your trip!

    I know what you mean about time marching on. Brittany is now a senior in college and Abby is a junior in high school, so my empty nester days are fast approaching. Don't know if I'm ready just yet...

  4. Looks like a fun family vacation : ) We've had loads of rain here too, and a very busy calendar which has made this summer feel less summer-y. I'm looking forward to boating over Labor Day weekend. Have a good school year!

  5. Oh my heart, it's so hard to see them grow up (and fight). lol I'm glad you had some really special memories this summer, and my gosh, that lake....oh, that lake! Wow.

  6. Man! They're so big. One the spitting image of you and the other of Darin. Crazy!!! In our experience middle school is horrible!!! They chill out in high school:)

    We've been in school 3 weeks and we are starting to get into the swing of things. Two started high school and 2 are seniors. Between school, work, and sports we all crash at night. And, I'm back into an exercise so sleep is easy.