Summer Update

Hello, friends!

My, how the summer is flying by! I can hardly believe we’re midway through July and already dreaming of fall and cooler weather.

Bounce Health

It seems that just as soon as the days warm up, they warm up just a little too much. We’ve already had enough of too-high temperatures, although I suspect a day at the lake might quiet some of those laments.

We’ve been busy this summer. We took a break this past weekend to do nothing, and still it felt busier than we would have liked. I think it’s just the routine of things, even on a Saturday. Breakfast, some family activity, garden work, shopping, or the like, then lunch, nap, errands, dinner, bath, and bedtime. Even when all the fill-in activities are good, we’re finding ourselves more worn out than we’d like.

I think it’s the summer heat. No matter how full and beautiful the day, it just kind of takes it out of you.

A few of the fun things that have been filling our days…

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Berry picking, and jam-making. (This guide for pectin-free jam is rocking my world.)

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Play dates and slumber parties with little friends.

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A visit from Rick and Linda and Riaya. We had so much fun!

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Caring for our growing garden, and preserving as much of that produce as possible for winter meal planning.

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Continuing projects around the house and yard. We painted the kitchen and finished a few updates in there. Chris built a porch swing. We started landscaping the front of the house a little bit, and our garden layout is evolving and growing.

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We also enrolled Mackenzie in a wonderful Montessori school for the fall, and that is bringing lots of changes our way. We are thrilled with the school and so excited for Mackenzie to be in a place where she can plant her roots and really thrive.

What have you been up to this summer? Any fun plans before school starts back up next month?

Little Hero

This lady.

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She was such a helper tonight, my little sidekick. She’s got my back.

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We escaped to the new porch swing after dinner when it was clear we (she) had some energy to work out.

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It’s amazing what a different person she becomes when we step outside.

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Soothed, calmed, like she can exhale.

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Her eyes are like the sea, clear and calm as can be.

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She is so full of ideas and opinions and plans. I can feel four just around the corner.

So we took turns picking the music for our evening soundtrack, and she got herself and her baby doll tucked in.

Then, she wanted to push me on the swing, and we decided we (I) should clear out any spider webs that maybe hanging around.

I was brushing the corners around the swing with a branch when I suddenly screamed and jumped back and flipped the swing, somehow (thankfully) not injuring Mackenzie, who was standing right next to me. I saw a wasp fly up and realized I’d been stung. The wasp was mad by then, so I rushed us both inside.

I haven’t been stung by a wasp since I was a kid, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. My wrist started to swell quickly, but Mackenzie was right there, getting utensils and pouring on baking soda. She even helped me make tea for a poultice. We found my mom’s bee sting remedy, and she rubbed it all over my arm.

Little girl was my hero.

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An Evening at the The Bridge Bar

Tonight I had the privilege of attending a special VIP food blogger event at the Bridge Bar in the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Nashville. The event was held to celebrate the hotel’s National Day of Discovery and coincided with their Heroes behind the Music series. Grammy-winning songwriter Gordon Kennedy performed some of his favorite songs. The venue, food, and music combined to create a truly Nashville experience.

On top of all that, my sister Lea was able to join me for a little girls night out, so that was extra fun.

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The menu consisted of six appetizers, accompanied by a curated cocktail and wine menu, including local favorites by Arribgton Vineyards, Black Abbey Brewing, and American Born Moonshine.

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The scallops were perfectly tender, and so was the kale salad. It was what kale salad should be. The dressing was rich, but it didn’t weigh down the greens.

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The deviled eggs were a special treat. I haven’t had them in an age, and Lea and I joked about the “proper” way to serve them (with a soup spoon??). They we’re topped with a special smokey “comeback” sauce and Benton’s bacon crumbles. So good.

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I was also really impressed with the hot chicken. I normally don’t do hot chicken – I’m a total wimp when it comes to heat – but Chris has been coaching me on the fine art of enjoying hot chicken. The chicken was tender and packed with flavor underneath it’s crisp outer layer, and the touch of drizzled honey was perfectly Nashville. I can’t say the house-made pickles lessened the heat any, but they were a nice touch.

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The food was deliciously and perfectly Nashville. The only exception might have been the scallops, because let’s be honest – Nashville is about as landlocked as you can get. They were amazing, though. Perfectly cooked. Can’t fault them for that.

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I could tell that the chefs had taken special care in preparing the menu, and the staff serving at our event was incredibly helpful.

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And then there was Gordon Kennedy. He’s an incredibly talented songwriter, probably most famous for co-writing “If I Could Change the World.” We first saw him perform last year at the Bluebird.

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Lea and I actually got to talk with him tonight. It was great hearing him talk about creativity and inspiration, but I most enjoyed hearing him share about his involvement with the I am Second project. His humility and desire for his audience to see Jesus and not him was… Refreshing. And true to the heart of the project. And made the music and the entire experience just that much more

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The venue was small but beautiful, especially for looking out over downtown. It makes you feel like you’re in the middle of everything.

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Thanks to the Renaissance Hotel for inviting us out. We had a great time! Whether you’re visiting Nashville or just meeting a friend before attending a show downtown, I highly recommend the Bridge Bar as a great place to meet. The view is gorgeous, the good was amazing, and you can tell that they strive to be in tune with the heartbeat of Nashville. I hope you’ll check them out.