“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” -Charles Bowden
Our move to Iowa was a slower pace of life. We would see beautiful sunsets in the country and deer wandering the yard looking for apples. Ezra was around more, either working from home or from a coworking space. And of course we now had a third parent. Grandpa Dave and Indra were quick to play and bond. Unfortunately, those first couple weeks were painful to watch Diesel slowly slip away from us. We tried everything and resisted the inevitable. In the end we said some prayers to him and drove in town to peacefully put him to sleep. We buried him in the backyard by the tree we planted for Laurie. I had Diesel in my life for 16 years. He had a good life and it was an emotional goodbye.We spent Indra’s actual birthday by being lazy and just hanging out. We went for a nice little stroll in the woods and dinner out at a brewery afterwards. Just what every one-year old dreams of on their birthday! Just hanging out dowtown Iowa City at the Ped Mall, splash padding and going to more breweries on this hot day.
So, trying to catch this final 12-month picture with her bunny was a little more difficult than in the months past. I guess this is what being one-year-old looks like!
Finally giving her a birthday gift. Just a book, because we still couldn’t decide what to get her. Parents of the year!Proof that at one point, I was actually putting some effort into potty training. Summer sweetness! Laurie and Dave would take a trip in the summer to the North Shore or more recently to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. So we decided to all go together this year. I had no idea how beautiful this area was. There was a lot of beach time, but also, never enough.
Some favorite activities of the week were spending a ridiculous amount of time in the sauna, then jumping in Lake Superior. I think I only managed the frigid waters once. But the sauna I did do.
Follow up our pretty intense activity with drinking, games and serious vacation reading. Indra modeling her new clothes from our German friend.If you ever need to find Soren, just look for him fishing by the water. Morning, noon, or night. Always. Scary Uncle Josh!
Celebrating our birthdays with a booze soaked cake made by monks. They know how to party. I’m turning into my mom. Forcing family pictures. One of the reasons we went on this vacation was to spread some of Laurie’s ashes. We wanted to take her to the places she loved. I don’t know if I should have taken this picture. I guess I was happy we were together, and wanted to remember this moment. I was sad and wanted a distraction. Either way, Laurie would have been so happy for us all to be here together. After we spread her ashes we saw the Northern Lights. Another thing that Laurie loved. Laurie would be so proud of Dave. He is such a loving Grandpa. Last morning in our beach rental.
As we were leaving town we stopped for lunch. At lunch, a couple beers were consumed. We discussed how none of us wanted to go home and what about if we got a hotel and stayed another night? The vote was taken, it was unanimous. We checked into a hotel, went back to the beach and called this our “vacation chaser.” It’s exactly something Laurie would have approved of. Back in Minneapolis, these brothers got ready to run Ragnar. Learning to smell flowers?Meeting the guys at the finish line.Ez’s birthday Back in Iowa I started getting a taste of what the toddler years would be like. In Michigan, with all the prompting and cheering from family, Indra really stepped up her walking game. Her first steps were really around the 4th of July. But she took it to a whole new level with this newfound confidence. Running away from me at the library. Running away from me at the park.I finally figured out a gift for Indra. I’m trying to get better about buying more sustainable and socially conscious gifts. I’ve got a long way to go, but I really wanted to get Indra a special doll. I found this company that trains and gives women refugees a livelihood. And the dolls are so incredible. The packaging was pretty cool as well! It came all the way from Dharamsala.Farmer’s market with Grandpa.
And that sums up our summer.