Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our Weekend

Us this weekend (minus the horse trailer)

Caroline has this Schleich SUV that is so much fun to play with. It is sturdy, rolls smoothly, has room for passengers, and--the best part--everything is detachable. You can take off the top, both doors, all four tires, and the spare. And the windshield folds down.

I think this is also what makes real Jeeps so fun--you can take them apart. Ever since Jeff got his Jeep a year ago, he has been itching to take the doors off. This past Friday, he finally did. Caroline was ecstatic. She says she never wants the doors to go back on. I asked her why she likes them off so much and she said because she can see everything and doesn't even have to look out the window. I can understand her enthusiasm--with no doors on, her backseat view is as good as any other--no craning her neck or stretching as far out of her carseat as she possibly can to see something we point out in passing.

Caroline sitting pretty in the back seat.
She made made this dress go off the shoulder. Oh dear.

I will admit I thought it was pretty cool too. We drove around at dusk and the evening air was perfect. It was a great sensory experience--you could see, hear, smell, and feel more. The best part was when we would drive near the lake or a grove of trees lining a creek and feel the air get noticeably cooler, almost chilly, for a moment.

It may seem like an unusual pastime (especially with gas prices as high as they are), but we really enjoy just driving around. We like to look at houses and land, sometimes revisiting places we have considered buying (we're renting right now) and sometimes just dreaming (land . . . sigh) or surveying the Texas countryside (wheat and corn fields, creeks, trees, farm ponds, sunsets, wind).

This weekend we saw acres of land and some houses on the lake. For around 1 million, you could get 22 acres, a 4-bedroom log cabin, a barn, and a pool. After seeing this particular lot with fields and trees and wide open spaces, I really wished we had a million. I can get absolutely dreamy picturing our family life in a place like that.

Just as dreamy was the house on the lake--not the house itself so much, but the expanse of yard leading down to the lake and the small island about 30 yards out. If you lived there, that would be your island to row out to and build a fort on and explore . . . probably along with several other neighbor kids who have also staked their claims, but still. It makes me giddy just thinking about having a place like that as a child (or an adult, for that matter). I took a picture that doesn't quite do it justice, but you get the idea.

This was one of our best weekends as a family since moving here. I want to remember the little things that were special this weekend and incorporate those things into our weekend routines or traditions. We are rarely so purposeful as to follow a prescribed routine, but I think it would do us good. Here is what I want to remember:
  • Be together: We often run errands separately--one person goes and the other stays home with Caroline. This weekend we went almost everywhere together (Blockbuster, the donut shop, the pizza place . . .)
  • Ride in the Jeep (with the doors off, if possible)
  • Don't be in a hurry: We really had no plans, other than playing Settlers with Dan and Lisa (which was another fun thing)
  • Give each other some space with no guilt: For Jeff that meant a long nap on Sunday after church and for me extra time alone at the gym and at Target :)
  • Work on a project together: Jeff didn't necessarily do this with me, but he also didn't give me any grief* about working on this project (right in the middle of the living room floor)--sorting through papers and setting up a new filing system, which I got online (and am loving). While I was at the gym, he and Caroline even went to Best Buy to get an external hard-drive so we can back up our computer files. It feels great to be getting organized! We talked about having one goal for each weekend and working together on that. *Why might Jeff give me grief about this? Well, because it is an organizing project and I usually dive into such projects with abandon, to the neglect of other, more immediate needs like laundry or dishes or meals. And, as mentioned, I always make a huge mess in the middle of the floor.

So this isn't the typical Caroline post, but this is what's on my mind. I hope everyone is enjoying the summer! It is hard to believe it is almost August!

Caroline playing around on the Jeep as if it's a jungle gym.


  1. I love your "best weekend" memories . . . it's so good to remember that it doesn't take a lot of money or a huge amount of time and you don't have to travel to have special family times together!! Thanks for sharing, Amber!!

  2. I haven't had much time to "surf" so I enjoyed catching up on all your summer happenings. Cadence will be thrilled to know that Caroline can swim too! Cadence just swam underwater the width of the pool! Can you believe she went to K5 today??
    Love all your posts. We need to talk soon.

  3. I'm just glad the jeep could have the doors back on for a road trip to Colorado!! What fun we had with you all here!! -- Aunt k

  4. At first I thought that toy car was life size...I need an eye exam!