Goodbye Summer, and the Sweetness of Ordinary Life

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How are you all doing?  Today I want to sit and chat a little with you about daily life. We have had such a busy and somewhat chaotic summer. I feel like we did so much, yet there were so many things I had wanted to do, but was unable to. Like making many trips to the beach! On the other hand, we went to France twice, and spent quite a bit of time in London, and made many day trips to pretty and interesting places all around us.

My sister was our first visitor, and we took her to Paris for the first time– fun!

We had three sets of visitors staying with us for a total of 1.5 months. This was the first time we really had people visiting and getting a sense of our lives here. That was nice– to know that there are a few people out there who have a picture in their mind of our market, our home, the walks we take, and more. We didn’t know how we would feel after seeing family– would we wish we lived in the States again, closer to them? Would we feel incomplete once everyone left?  Those are very real concerns, especially when you have kids…Jeff’s parents came and got to see all the places we like to go to and explore our little corner of England. And Amelia loved having grandparents here to dote on her a little bit.

We were happy to realize that our little family of three feels very complete. Being alone again felt right even though we loved being with family for a time. (We also learned something about our own limitations: I don’t think we’ll have 1.5 months of visitors next summer!)

So, now school has started again for Amelia, and that signals the end of summer and a return to the daily routines. I am elated.  I have been completely exhausted, and in need of quiet and space. Amelia has been a little bored at home, and thrives on lots of social interaction and activity all day at school. I love sending everyone off in the morning, and then having the day to do my work, get the house back into shape, and enjoy the sound of silence. I also love it when they come back, and we can eat dinner together and hear about each others’ days. I am reading A Little Princess to Amelia at bedtime, and we both love it. Soon, we’ll start reading The Chronicles of Narnia at the dinner table as a family– I haven’t read the series since I was 12, and Jeff has only ever read one of the books. I have a long list of books I want to read together! There wasn’t much time for this kind of thing in the summer, and I am so happy to have routine again.

There are a couple of other things that will make daily life sweeter for me. Jeff bought me a bike for my graduation, which means it will be easier for me to run errands and continue to explore the outer borders of Bury St. Edmunds– we only have one car, and Jeff takes that to work every day, and I have always been on foot day-to-day. And it’s cute, like this one, but with a basket. So, that’s exciting.

The other new part is a big one– we have a new family member! Jack came home to live with us last night. He is a really sweet three year old Jack Russell Terrier, snoozing next to me on the couch as I write this. We have been wanting a dog for a long time, but hadn’t found the right little companion yet. The final push to look again came when I realized that the cold, dark weather is coming and I really need the motivation to get outdoors even when the sun isn’t out. We took our first walk together this morning, and I am looking forward to many more.

What else is happening around here?… Well, every September, as things cool down, I get an intense nesting urge. The first step is always purging– so I am planning to get rid of lots of things, and then it will be time to cozify around here. I have a freezer full of elderberries, so a batch of Elderberry Wine will be underway by the end of the week. I have one more video to shoot for the online cooking class I’m teaching, and then I need to send my camera in for some repairs.

I am going to be taking a couple of weeks off soon to get the extra rest and peace I need as we head into this next season. Then I’ll be back with lots of projects and hopefully some wonderful adventures to report on, too.

How are things going at your house? Are you ready for autumn? What are you most looking forward to in the coming months?

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16 Responses to Goodbye Summer, and the Sweetness of Ordinary Life

  1. Sophie's mom September 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    Little Jack is really cute, I share your seasonal nesting urge–the clearing out has begun around here.
    Thanks for a good post, always enjoy your blog.

    • Anonymous September 12, 2013 at 2:29 am #

      Hi Ariana,
      Your little dog looks very sweet! Reading your post got me thinking how I enjoyed my same school year routine year after year…sending my two oldest children off to school. Now that my son (oldest child) is in his last year of college and my oldest daughter (middle child) has just graduated high school, I am now sending my youngest daughter off to kindergarten. Time flies! I have to admit it wasn’t easy dropping her off that first day and it brought back a lot of memories of when her older brother and sister were little. I hope your little girl has a great year back at school! Love your blog.

    • Ariana Mullins September 20, 2013 at 8:07 am #

      Thank you, Pat! Good luck with all of your projects!

    • Ariana Mullins September 20, 2013 at 8:09 am #

      Hi Julie,
      I agree that the time really does go by fast. I can’t believe this is the third year I am sending Amelia off to school here in England. I can’t help wondering how many schools she will go to through the years… Luckily, it’s thrilling for her, and she loves school. I hope your youngest loves her new school experience. Take care!

  2. Hausfrau September 12, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    I really enjoy hearing about your daily life, which mirrors mine in a number of ways. And I totally understand your longing for daily routine, and about realizing your limitations regarding having visitors for such a long time!

    Enjoy Jack! Our dog has been such a joy since we added him to our family three and a half years ago.

    The nesting urge has hit here, too. Looking forward to your autumn projects!

    • Ariana Mullins September 20, 2013 at 8:11 am #

      Thank you Hausfrau! Germany is such a wonderful place to be in the fall and winter, I hope you are enjoying the changes of season over there. Fall weather really hit us quickly– it’s gotten pretty cold and wet– but we have plenty of crisp blue skies ahead of us too, I hope.

  3. Abigail September 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    I’m glad you mentioned A Little Princess! We just finished our bedtime book last night and I was trying to think of which book to read her next, I think we will do A Little Princess as well. I love that story.

    Love reading your blog, don’t often comment though.


    • Ariana Mullins September 20, 2013 at 8:12 am #

      Hi Abigail,
      We are just finishing up that book, and it’s so fun! I read my copy ragged when I was a kid, but somehow completely forgot the story– same with The Secret Garden. I knew that I loved both books before, but had no idea how much I would love them now! Have fun!

  4. Grandma Seelye September 15, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    I always love your photos! And your writing! Loved seeing Jeff’s parents! Hope Amelia is making some new friends! Love you! Grandma

    • Ariana Mullins September 20, 2013 at 8:13 am #

      Hi Grandma!
      Amelia is adjusting well at school. We found a family to rideshare with, and it’s with a little boy who has been a good friend to her. So she is thrilled and has decided he is her new best friend. I am thankful for that. And she loves school as always, which makes all of us very happy.

  5. Joanna September 17, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Hmmm! Routine! Remind me what that is again! My summer has been chaotic too, lots of gardening, stacking hay bales, having family and two conferences, one in Florence, Italy and one in the Southern French Alps. I now have two weeks at home, punctuated by a Sunday morning conference in Hamburg before a weekly commute to Estonia for two days from my home in Latvia. I think I’m looking forward to the winter holidays already. Lol

    • Ariana Mullins September 20, 2013 at 8:14 am #

      Holy Moly Joanna– I am exhausted just hearing about your summer!! I hope you had fun, and I am sure you’re ready to hunker down a bit in these colder months. Enjoy the quiet when you get it!

  6. alexa September 24, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    How is Jack doing? I would love to hear more about that little guy!

  7. Sally October 1, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    Hi, Ariana. I just found you, and I totally relate to your meditations on missing people and things (in a good way.) Sometimes I am homesick for my former flat in London, or the Wednesday street market I frequented in Paris, or the book fair in Chicago…yet I always love where I am. When we were living in London, we (my children and I) read the Swallows and Amazon’s books aloud. If you don’t know them, you might take a look. I think you’ll love them.


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