The Best Summer Ever!
Everyone is already up in arms about all pumpkin everything, while I'm just over here hanging onto my watermelon and pool floats like it's all good. For one thing, we live in Miami, where there's no such thing as fall and it's in the 90s well into November and December. However, I will admit there's a little denial in the Kool-Aid I'm drinking, on this last day of summer, before we officially usher in fall.
This teaching mama is officially back to school, and as excited as I am for the arrival of the holiday season (lookin' at you, Thanks-eating Day), I definitely will always look on the days of summer longingly, this past one in particular. Last summer, I was sporting a basketball belly, rubbing & scratching it avidly and bringing my little bun in the oven everywhere I went. This year, I had a beautiful, bouncing 6-9 month old baby boy toddling around the house, and it was, without a doubt, the best summer ever.
My heart has found permanent residence outside of my body in a little boy, and it's a pretty amazing thing. To see the object of all my mother's heart's affections learn to sit up and crawl and pull himself up to stand and just about ready to walk was an indescribable joy. To have the privilege to be home with him to experience every minute and every new skill was an insurmountable blessing. But now the school year's begun, I'm back to work, and I'll start to miss new things he learns and the old things I could spend all day watching him do. Rather than dwell on that though, I wanted to share about our amazing summer. It was long and well enjoyed, full of love, lazy days, snuggles, and new adventures, so let's embark together on this little recap, shall we?
First up, we started summer on a super high. This mama is a Disney fanatic, obsessed with all things Pixar and princesses, so I couldn't have asked for a better kick-off to summer than at the magical world of Disney, with an awesome day laid out at Magic Kingdom for Noah's first trip to Disney!
Disney is really the Happiest Place on Earth for me. I feel like an entirely different version of myself when I visit, or watch their movies. There's a tinge of wistfulness, nostalgia and just overall joy added to any and everything Disney. Seeing and experiencing it through the eyes of my baby was far more magical (and emotional) than I had expected it to be. I could not stop crying at the end of our fabulous day, seeing the awe on Noah's face as he watched the closing fireworks celebration. He laughed and bobbed his head during the parades. He hugged Stitch and stared amazed at Mickey. He was brave all throughout his first haircut at Harmony Barbershop and smiled in the mirror when he saw his new Mickey ears. He clapped on the Dumbo ride, and cackled on the Mad Hatter Tea Party. Before becoming a mom, I swore up and down that I'd never be caught dead in a Disney park with an infant, but taking Noah was honestly one of the most exciting and memorable things we've done this first year as parents. No ragrets, not even one letter.
Upon returning from our magical weekend, we laid low a few weeks and did some discovering of our own city, cooking of yummy new baby food recipes, and soon were packing for our next summer adventure. But before we headed off, our little guy started crawling just shy of turning 7 months old! It was such a thrill to see him start to scoot around on his hands & knees. And just like that, we were off to Marco Island, FL for Noah's first beach trip!
I was worried my baby would be one of the types who hates sand, as so many tend to be, but thankfully Noah loved it just as much as he loves water, and didn't mind when he ended up covered in it one bit. My husband was also able to dig up this freaking adorable set of sand toys at a candy counter that was perfect for chubby little hands, and I honestly could hardly stand it. Major brownie points. It was so great to get away and relax for a few lazy days by the pool and ocean, just the three of us, at a super ritzy resort. We also got to enjoy quite a bit of the delicious local fare of Marco Island, as we are major seafood lovers and the area abounds with spots to get fresh, local catch. My husband’s work schedule this summer was insane, and it felt at times like we barely saw him, so it was a much needed retreat.
We returned to Miami just in time to catch an awesome fireworks show for the Fourth of July with our best friends, and even though Noah had gotten to see fireworks for the first time at Disney, we managed to score amazing, front row seats to the annual show at the historic Biltmore Hotel. We were super close to the light display, Noah was totally amazed, and of course, we were as well, just watching him. If you’re ever in Miami for the Fourth, I can’t recommend this spot enough to check out some great fireworks.
*Portrait by Fernando Garcia (@luminiphotography)
The month quickly flew by, and our little guy had plenty more firsts of pointing, dancing, offering his binky to share, and self-feeding. At the end of July, just when he turned 8 months old, he had his first weekend at Abuelo & Abuela’s when we left him for our first trip away on our church’s annual marriage retreat. We missed him more than we’d expected, but time away from baby was also better for us and healthier than we’d thought it would be, and turns out he somehow managed to miraculously do just fine without us!
We ended our summer with a bang! We flew up to Wilmington, NC to stay with our best friends and meet their precious little love, Olivia, on our last trip which is becoming somewhat of an annual summer tradition. Noah had a really precious first on the trip- first time blowing kisses! He had been working on this one a while, but saved it up special for his godmother. He also went on his first aquarium visit, and hung out with non-relative babysitters for the first time, as well- the latter didn’t go so hot, but, he survived and Mama & Papa got to have a great time with their friends at John Mayer’s Search for Everything tour, so it was all good by us!
After our sad return home to prepare for my sad return to work, my baby boy gave me two parting gifts: he started “singing” back when sung to, and sprouted his first two pearly white teeth! I was sad to send him back to Abo & Aba Daycare, but it’s our reality and the Circle of Life.
So, yeah, I am that crazy lady that is still clinging onto summer as we waltz our way through September, because I had the best summer of my life with my silly little guy and handsome big daddy, and our awesome friends & family, and honestly, I wouldn’t change a second of it… except to make it last longer! Thankfully, there are exciting things to look forward to in the fall, like picking out Noah’s first Halloween costume, and that’s kinda what’s getting me through at the moment! I’m grateful to have the blessing of having my parents and my husband be able to watch my son while I’m at work; I know it’s a privilege that many don’t have, and I know I also have a shorter work day than lots of mamas out there. But, it doesn’t change the fact that I wish it were me who could share the snuggles and laughs all day long! So I will take the fond memories of the last three months to get me through and ride this struggle bus all the way to Thanksgiving break and my baby’s first birthday party! I’m not crying… you’re crying.
Happy fall, y'all!