Mariana coming back from France today!

I am really enjoying having a relaxing summer with no big trips, now that Florida is over.   Last summer, we overdid the vacations, with a week in Florida, two weeks traveling to National Parks, and then a week in Canada canoeing.

So while all of that travel was really exciting, I appreciate being able to slow down and just live in the moment.   Nicolas and Raisa and I have been going on lots of walks to see the three fountains at Butler, and climb on the waterfalls, and we’ve gone to the Children’s Museum and Conner Prairie, and read books, and just enjoyed ourselves.

I have also been busy organizing our old photos, to try to make them easier to access here on the blog. I think it will be be more personal with more photos and videos.     I have enjoyed so much going through our old photos, and it really makes me appreciate just how many different things we have done, as well as how much all of  you kids have grown.

For a little while this week, I was toying with planning a big vacation for summer 2017, like going to Glacier National Park, 25 hours away, but I was imagining entertaining a toddler for so many days on the road, and I think we are just going to think smaller. Instead, we’re thinking of spending a few days in a house by Lake Michigan, and  few days visiting a nearby state park, maybe in Ohio.  That way, we can have fun experiences without all the crazy long drives.

Miguel has been super busy doing algebra. He finally, now that he took his midterm, reached the point where he doesn’t know everything he is learning, and so he is spending a lot more time studying than he used to.

I am so proud of how hard he has been working on this, and how independently he’s been working.

I also can’t wait to see Mariana. She has been gone for a week and a half–the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing her.   I love our day-to-day conversations about life, and I have missed those much!  Luckily, her plane is coming back at 9:41 p.m. today, so I’m hoping to go meet her.

Even Miguel says he misses her, which is sweet considering how often the two of them butt heads.  I really hope that, as the two of you grow up, you can learn to have more empathy for each other and give each other the benefit of the doubt, and maybe even learn to support each other.   Being family is huge, and when I’m not around, I hope you have a meaningful, loving relationship and are there to support each other.

One of the things that was sad about going through old photos this past couple weeks has been realizing that the two of you used to have such a loving relationship, and you would spontaneously hug each other and have fun together.   It’s so sad to me that that’s not how things are right now.

Raisa is also getting more and more grown up!  She is 5 months old now and continues to be just so smiley and a delight to be around.   You are in a phase of being very into objects.  It used to be that I could visit Starbucks, and you would just smile at the people.  Then, you graduated to getting a straw as a toy. And now, you want your own ice water cup to play with.

I am so grateful to have you all in my life!

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