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Last week, we were invited to a friend’s birthday dinner, usually cause for celebration, but this time it resulted in a mild panic attack. While getting ready for the evening, I started to question what to wear, something that’s been happening with increasing frequency. Somehow, when I made the decision to leave my corporate job last year, I got sucked into the mom wardrobe vortex of cords, chunky sweaters and other items that can best be described as “comfortable”. Any sense of style was promptly diverted to the unused part of my brain that’s responsible for random childhood memories and bad first dates.

So these days, instead of embracing an evening out, I look through my closet, and think….“Will this outfit look good with these shoes?”

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The answer of course being “no”. These heels were bought circa 2009 when gladiator sandals became the shoe of choice for people whom I will kindly refer to as “those who remove their clothes for a living.” Emma modeled them on Saturday morning to remind me that I’m no longer 25 with a questionable taste level. To the Salvation Army they went and I’m at least happy that the worst offending item in my closet is now deceased.

Arrest-worthy outfits aside, the dinner was fun. I sported a sizable headache on Saturday morning, my barometer of a good time. Rodney & I dusted off a family size bag of Thai chili-flavored potato chips for breakfast and hit the road, lake-bound, for what promised to be a beautiful weekend.

Warm weather meant a few firsts for the season…

First dinner outside on the deck….

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First game of Frisbee….
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First paddle…
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First dance on our newly-green, ready-for-summer lawn….

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And first nice bottle of white, saved just for the occasion…

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Sunday brought morning showers, but we hunkered down with mugs of coffee and watched the changing landscape.
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Lauren put on her new white t-shirt and was about to dive into a bowl of watermelon when she decided that she didn’t want to splatter it with red juice.

“Here” I said as I handed her an apron to cover herself. At which point she started to scream bloody murder, not because she wouldn’t wear something so matronly (my first guess), but because she was being observed by a murderous insect.

We have several kinds of bugs at the lake house. There are slow-moving wasps that are satisfyingly easy to kill with the backwards flick of a towel. There are spiders of course, tiny ones and bigger versions that I’ve only seen outside, who spin webs the size of Texas. And then there are the crickets, who mostly live in the basement, but on occasion, find their way into things like a kitchen apron.

These aren’t little crickets by the way. Known as camel crickets, their hind legs can grow up to 4 inches long, and their jumps are wildly unpredictable.

With all of the kids screaming, and me ducking for cover, screaming and blindly swatting at the offensive creature, I managed to nail him shortly after he jumped into my fridge. It was almost as scary as this incident. But nothing will ever be that scary.

By afternoon, the sun was back out. Sam, making up for a morning spent indoors, decided to play with all of his toys at once. After fastening a scuba mask and snorkel to his head, he spent the next half hour chasing his shrieking sisters with a lacrosse stick. Nobody was injured although there was more screaming when a bee flew by.

Finally, our Sunday came to a close. As the sun started to set, we walked Jackson around the neighborhood to get a final dose of nature before heading back to the city. I was a little worried that the bugs and the bees and done irreparable damage to my kids. But trees, water, sunset…. they do a body good.

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Hope everyone had a wonderful week!

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