At our start of summer at home (after skipping the last week of school to be out of the country), I made Blake clean his room. Thoroughly. His typical "clean up" routine consists of carefully arranging his LEGO creations along his sills and his dresser, as well as neatly covering every square inch of that black table you see (it's our former coffee table, but made a great flat surface for him to build on). He stacks (neatly, mind) everything else along the walls, under that black table, and along the side of his bed. Nothing is "put away" so much as it is "tidied within an inch of its life."
I forbade that method this time, brought in plastic tubs and drawers from the garage to go into his closet, and helped him discard, group, and find places for all his little treasures. At first, he cried.
"Summer vacation is supposed to be relaxing, and so far it's just work, work, work!"
To my credit, I held a straight face as I gently encouraged him. "Let's start on a clean slate, good footing. It's like spring cleaning, but it's summer cleaning! And think of how nice your room will be afterward. You're not in this alone, I promise. I'll help, and I'll help WITHOUT threatening to throw everything away."
When we were done, I had him vacuum all the nooks and crannies that were suddenly in the light of day, while I dusted. He was so stinking proud of himself that he wanted me to take a picture. For you. Dead serious: "Will you take a picture of my room to put on your blog?"
There is a Cheerio in this picture.
Can you find it?
Hint: Vesper actually has an innie.
This is what happens when you try to keep an infant's bedtime while in a single hotel room. It was actually MUCH darker than it looks over on her side of the room, and I was trying to stay out of her line of sight as much as possible. She was trying to keep me IN her line of sight as much as possible.
"Hey, there! What... Whatcha doin' down there? Are you SURE you don't want to play?"
We spent a weekend in Great Falls with some of big Blake's family, honoring his Aunt Judy's life. She was a woman of beauty, grace, faith, and fun, and she's sorely missed. This is Margie, Erin, and Vinnie (Judy's son, big Blake's cousin).
These two pretty much like to luxuriate in each other whenever they get to be together. It's pretty sweet.
The rest of the pics are from the hotel hallway, of course. Rob got a bunch of shots of the memorial service, but I don't have those yet. I didn't pull my camera out until we were saying goodbye. In the hotel hallway. So, you know, at least the lighting was terrible.
Grant, Judy's grandson, has been a bit of a hero for Blake from the very beginning. This trip further reinforced the admiration, because that young man is a model of kindness, patience, inclusion, and mischievous fun that Blake can get on board with.
As I was saying...
Grant & Reagan with Dan & Erin, who found out that their Calgary condo was flooding while we were together. They are still cleaning up... such a bummer.
And now... a goofy shot!
And now... photobombing! That's Grant & Reagan's mom, April, in the background. She's pretty.
Vesper was there, too! Blake's still in goofy mode!
Me and Reagan, whom you may remember from this post. This is the first time I've gotten to spend time with her, and I LOVE HER. She has a dear, rumbly low voice, and she would grab my arm just to tell me "I really like your baby." Vesper liked her right back.