Monday, July 20, 2015

Cucumbers and Silly String.

A 98 degree Tennessee summer day is Mr. Zuill's favorite. He's in top-down-and-shades-on mode. He tells me "If you grew up in England you'd love it too!". He's probably right, but man does it get miserably hot this time of year.

This year I've found that the heat is much more tolerable because it brings lovely gifts. Over the last couple of weeks it has brought us tomatoes, a couple of (small but tasty) carrots, along with so much zuchnini that I found myself freezing it. And we've had cucumbers. Lot and lots of cucumbers. So many that I had to give myself a little crash lesson in making simple refrigerator pickles. I will say that it was a pretty proud moment.

We often eat dinner on the back porch- and while he eats, Henry keeps one ear perked for the sounds of little voices outside. If he hears anyone, especially the two next door, he hurriedly finishes his food and before he's finished chewing says "Can I go play?". I love outdoor play dates, for they make for easy bedtimes. Henry will often have barely said goodnight before he drifts off to sleep. Play dates with Olivia + Ava+ Silly String are pretty much at the top of the charts- in both joy level and exhaustion factor.

Hope you're soaking in summer too!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Another family reunion.

Six hours in a car with your four year old and your parents is not for the faint of heart. That's what I told my brother. I was kidding (mostly). Late last week my mom, my dad, Henry & I set off for Ohio to visit my brother and his family in their new abode. Mr. Zuill was sadly gone to Israel (!!) on a work trip, so we undeniably had a Brit deficiency. But having the rest of the family together for a few days was so nice. And reuniting these three kiddos- that just made my heart feel full. You never really miss something until it's gone- a saying that's so cliché but so ridiculously true.

Grove City, Ohio is a lovely, charming town. It's small, but big enough to have a great BBQ and pizza place. The neighbors are friendly. The homes are unique and well loved, the neighborhoods laced with sidewalks well utilized by biking and scootering kids. As much as I'd love for them to be back in Tennessee right this very minute, I really can't blame Nick & his family for settling in there nicely.

While we were there, we took a fantastic (albeit somewhat exhausting) trip to the Columbus zoo. It was amazing. The giraffe exhibit alone immediately put Mr. Zuill's dream of a "safari trip" on my bucket list as well. 43 acres just for the giraffes, zebras, cranes & gazelles. So great! And a day with some of my favorite people on earth. That's kind of hard to beat.

I think we lucked out completely by celebrating July 4th in Ohio instead of Tennessee. While all the folks back home were surrounded by storm clouds and rain, Grove City gifted us with a most beautiful fireworks display.

When Sunday rolled around I'm pretty sure at least a large percentage of the group were swallowing back tears while we were giving goodbye hugs. I really didn't expect it to be so hard to leave. But we had things to get to- like the six hour drive home. Which can induce serious delirium in order to entertain ones self. Clearly.

Hope your Independence Day was fantastic and thanks for checking in!