Now that I work in a school system, I have a deep appreciation for summer breaks like I never had before. This was the shortest summer ever since our last day of school was mid-June, but no one asked my opinion when putting together the 2022-23 school calendar so here I am, mere hours before I have to go back to work, trying my darnedest not to take a nap and remind myself that I lived my break with the motto "no ragrets!"
"No ragrets" for any nap taken, glass of wine drank, workout skipped, snack eaten, or trip we took over these last few weeks! "NO RAGRETS!"
I started my break off with a hike (the best way to start anything if you ask me)! A group of women from the gym I workout at met up one morning to hike Sharp Top Trail - a 3.3 mile out-and-back trail on Sharp Top Mountain in Virginia. It was a steep trail with a 1,250ft gain in elevation and I had a hard time because of it. This was my first hike since 2020 and I needed a lot of breaks. But the women I went with were loving and encouraging and never once judged my struggling, and because of them, I made it!
A week after kissing the sky, Eric and I took a road trip up to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where I discovered a little slice of Heaven.... that doesn't exist to us yet, but I know it's there.
I would like to think that me, Eric, and Isabelle have traveled quite a bit. I'd like to think we've seen a lot of what the world has to offer, not all of it, but a lot. There are always more places to see, more things to experience, more people to meet, but so far, I feel like we've given this world a fair shake. So when I say this next part, know that I'm saying it with confidence: I fell in LOVE with south central Pennsylvania.
My love for it goes beyond explanation, I don't care what anyone says or thinks, I felt something for this part of the world.
I like and appreciate history, and I'm married to a Solider, so touring battlefields is a part of my life. Sometimes I'd rather be on a beach or somewhere exotic, but I can get excited about the historical importance of a battlefield as much as the next guy. I just had no idea that a quick weekend getaway to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania would have me obsessing over Zillow for possible future forever homes for months and months, and I'm certain I won't stop obsessing until I find the most perfect spot because I KNOW it's there it's just that someone else is living in it right now.
My husband swears that the place I'm thinking of is in the Black Hills of South Dakota, but Eric and I promised each other way back when that we'd never have mad faces at each other at the same time, so I have a feeling we'll be juggling that
argument conversation for as long as it takes to find our true slice of Heaven.
....in Pennsylvania. ;)
Not just this summer, but ever since Eric and I became empty nesters, we have taken every opportunity to date each other again. For our anniversary last year I bought us a '100 Dates Idea' scratch off poster and we've had so much fun interpreting each date in our own way after almost 13 years of marriage (and 16 total years together). I think all of the dates and our interpretation of them might make for a fun blog post, but we aren't even half way through our poster yet so it's probably a ways away before I'll get around to that one.
These opportunities have really given us the chance to explore Richmond, especially this summer when I forgot that Eric doesn't have a summer break the same way that I do and I just had us doing all kinds of things all throughout the city regardless of his schedule.
And y'all, Richmond has become one of my most favorite cities ever!
I have three younger sisters, our parents cut and copied four times to create four girls who look alike and text almost constantly, but have very different lives. Two of us live close to home and our parents, two of us moved as far away as possible (do not confuse that with how close we are to each other and our families).
Whether the birthday boys were fully aware of all of the details of our trip or not I can't be sure. It all happened so fast. I think I mentioned it to Eric... I think... but whatever, we got them to South Carolina and got them to wear birthday hats so I feel like that's as good an indicator as any that we married good dudes who let us sisters do what we needed to be able to see each other again.
Fun fact: Beaufort, South Carolina is where a lot of major movies were filmed! Forest Gump, The Big Chill, Forces of Nature, and The Prince of Tides just to name a few!
But our summer didn't end there!Visiting home is a complex thing for me. I love home. But I don't feel like I need to go there.
The young girl who grew up in Vermillion, South Dakota is not the same one writing this blog post right now, and I don't know how to reconcile that, so mostly I'd rather just stay as far away as possible.
Overwhelming anxiety, 13 days, 4,000 miles driven through 8 different States, 4 families visited, a bajillion squishes given to every single niece and nephew (plus one great-nephew), too many tipsy sister conversations to count, not a single second spent apart from our girl from the second she stepped off the airplane, and zero seizures made for one unforgettable trip home!
Believe it or not, Eric and I didn't do as much as I thought we would these last few months, but lately we've really prioritized whatever feels easy and relaxing for us in the moment, and a lot of times that's meant staying at home in our RV. But we recently had a conversation about how much time we have left on the East Coast and it's put things into perspective (i.e lit a fire under our asses). So hopefully y'all will get more than two blogs per year. For now though, NO RAGRETS!