Herd of Turtles

As a family, we are getting pretty good at getting out of Dodge.

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Off like a herd of turtles!

This weekend was no exception. This 4th of July we packed up the 1963 Holiday Rambler we stumbled upon on Craigslist and headed to the Whispering Waters Campground in Hastings.

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Even the coolest cats have to get that booger sometimes.

While Paul spent time troubleshooting leaks and figuring out how to use the camper, we relaxed poolside. All of the manuals are from the 60s and therefore they mostly recommend you figure it out your damn self.

To each his own. Paul prefers tools and tinkering. I prefer sunshine and bad tan lines.

But seriously, aren’t all tan lines good?

The boys spent hours in the pool this weekend perfecting my panic response to their underwater swimming.

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Of course, Isaac continued his exploration of Michigan’s insect population with the help of Momma’s Google.

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The Leaf-legged Beetle

We also went hiking on the Paul Henry Thornapple trail. My boys encouraged my hopes for a future of sibling best friendship with their hand holding and walking way ahead of us deeply involved in their own conversation. I knew that they were creating their own personal memories of each other just out of earshot.

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Levi found and named a little frog, ‘Crickety’. He also discovered the happiness that comes with finding wild berries growing right were you happen to be in need of a sweet snack.

We also removed Levi’s training wheels right before we biked nearly 8 miles over the course of two and a half hours.

Truth be told, he’s been biking for awhile with them teetering just off the ground. I’ve even had a few bikers comment on it and I was all…

YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF US!

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It was NOT easy for him. It involved mosquitos and falling again and again. He even rolled off the trail and into some brambles one time. After a few squeezes and tons of encouragement from his whole family – well, look at that photo – he was our hero for finishing stronger than he started.

The weekend included a few of my favorite, most beautiful purple sparklers in the hands of some happy little boys.

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And other kid friendly explosives.

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I also settled into that space in my head that I find in the woods. I didn’t write much but I did take notice. Mindfulness is so much easier to find in the woods.

It reminds me of my smallness in comparison to the universe.

I set an intention to give my boys and amazing last summer before they are all in school fulltime this fall. I’ve done my best to work less, spend more time creating good memories and focusing on important lessons.

It’s been as delightful as you can imagine.

It’s also been hella frustrating because I love my work. I’ve had to say no more often and it’s causing my inner over achiever some serious anxiety.

That’s the truth. It’s hard for me to slow down. I wish it came more naturally but it doesn’t.

I’m like Isaac in that way. I have two speeds: sprinting and sitting.

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This isn’t really a stop. It’s more of a change in direction. A tuning in to a different, more playful channel where the house is cleaner, the meals are healthier and the children are better behaved.

Hopefully.

I could definitely have worse intentions.

I love this family.

I love watching my husband working to make our newish camper a home away from home. I love seeing my oldest gain independence and test it in stepping outside of our little circle. I love seeing Isaac wonder at the science of the woods in cocoons, insects and water. I love watching Levi learn to be more lionhearted as he tests his own strength.

Time is frail and we only get one chance to give our children all we can before they’re ready to leave us for the world.

I’m so deeply grateful for this time

Sincerely,

Tashmica

PS – Speaking of a herd of turtles, I found one. About 26 of them on a log, to be exact.

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