Summer Road Trip...a post almost as long as we were in the Car

I have told my kids that this is the summer of a lifetime, since our local school system has moved our calendar to start school after Labor Day.  Among the usual lazy days at the pool, beach vacations, trips to the gym, picnic lunches, swim team happenings, and the overall sense of slowing down, we planned a road trip to end our summer.  Anna Cate's swim finals were the first weekend of August...

 Her team won the division after an undefeated season.  While I'm happy Anna Cate's strokes as well as personal records time improved and her dive is beautiful, we are much more thankful for the lessons in camraderie and community she learns each summer.

After finals were over we headed out of town for Tennessee. On our itinerary was an overnight stop at my dear Aunt Anne and Glenn's home, a trip to see friends in Indiana and TN, and of course much time in my home town, Centerville and the outlying beauty of Hickman County. 

We started off our summer vacation to Tennessee with the traditional catching-of-ligtening bugs.

 For an overnight trip, I'd say we packed in quite a lot of quality time. I so enjoyed seeing my Aunt with my children.

After a few days in Centerville, we went to see Yvette and her daughters, Peighton and Sophia, and we enjoyed a few fun-filled days in their beautiful home.

 Yvette considers herself an adopted daughter of Molly and Doug Bates, so I get a super-fun sister and aunt in her.

The best part of the aunt title for Anna Cate was I thought it would be fun for her aunt Yvette to take Anna Cate to get her ears pierced. Total spontaneity in the decision.

Special memories and I love knowing that my children are creating memories and experiences with...and without me.

Both sets of girls played great together.

Then we headed out for the weekend to see our dear friends, the Mardis family. I've written about them before...These kids are third generation friends.

 We fit in fireworks, swim time and a lot of play.
The moms and grandmothers got in some good visiting as well but we weren't so interested in getting our pictures made.

Seeing how much these kids love each other is proof that the road trip is always worth it.

The road trip, the friends and family all just make up the experiences of my daughters' childhood summer memories. I want to be a part of their experiences but I love knowing that they are having experiences with and without me, like the ear piercing, so they are spending this week in Centerville, Tennessee without me.  I'm back to work and they are still playing. I'm thankful for both -- the job and their play.. along with our road trip memories. 

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” 
― Ernest Hemingway