Summer So Far

This summer feels heavy and light, fun and overwhelming, easy and hard.  It’s this giant mix of living in a state of grief and constant reminiscing & looking back, feeling like we have to make up for the sucktasticness of last summer, trying to do all the things and have all the fun with Leo and just survive.  I’m feeling it in my heart, mind and body and some days it’s too much and others it’s the push and Vitamin D I need.

So far we’ve visited the Wave Pool at a minimum of twice a week.  It’s our place.  It’s our #1 favorite thing to do.  We always get to see Ms. Ashley and sometimes we throw caution to the wind and don’t pack lunches, indulging in concession stand goodness instead.  Amon has been dying to go down the bigger tube slides for his entire life and this year he still came up short…until today.  We saw my friend Anna there and she was all, “I’ll take you up there.”  And away they went.  I watched from our  towels with the other littles and Solomon.  And turns out Amon hit the mark on his tippy toes and down he went.  Anna had to give him a little pep talk, but once he went down he was a tube slide junkie and couldn’t stop.  Thank you Anna!!!!  He hasn’t stopped talking about it.

Sometimes I have members of my timeout club at the wave pool.  Yep, act like a yahoo and find yourself missing out on some serious pool fun.  It’s bothersome and sad and adorable all rolled into one.

Leo is still sleeping pretty terrible.  We’ve literally tried all the things.  ALL OF THE THINGS.  He will at least take a good nap during the day, but just needs some extra reassurance all throughout the night.  One day he will sleep.  I keep telling myself that surely he won’t go to college waking up 43 times in the night. 🙂  And maybe sleep is overrated or maybe Josh Kelley and I will perish due to sleep deprivation.  Only time will tell.

Josh’s work had a Nashville Sounds night and provided tickets and dinner for everyone.  We pretty much lived it up.  We ate all the foods and sweated it out with the best of them.  A sweet man, we did not know, bought all the kids a baseball helmet full of popcorn and their lives were complete.  Sounds games are a long time favorite of the Kelleys.  They never disappoint.

That night after all the kids were in bed, Josh and I talked about how we’d both had moments during the game where we thought about how Everett never got to go to a game.  This is seriously our lives surrounding big and little moments and everything in between…hashing out his precious little life and death with us.

We’ve still been doctor visiting it up.  Six kids at any doctor’s visit can be semi stressful…shout out to all you parents with 7+ kiddos all piled into doctor’s offices…but watching my big kids do their thing is also really sweet.  None of our kids are perfect and they can fight and annoy and bug with the best of them, but our big kids are typically really good to the littles and I love watching it.

We have regular weekly Sonic dates when our littlest goes to therapy.  While she’s working hard and being brave we all walk next door and sit outside and enjoy a treat.  There’s usually slushies, Cinnasnacks, Sonic blasts, milkshakes and the occasional plain vanilla cone and everyone is quite pleased.  Sometimes someone goes rogue and orders a small fry and we all gasp.

Throw in a whole slew of other random things like grocery shopping and slime making and skateboarding and rollerskating and going to the playground and shooting basketball and Target trips and visiting our library and swimming with friends and reading our faces off and FortNite and movies for days and doing chores and catching fireflies and drawing all the pictures and this is our summer.

It’s been so interesting to watch how the kids, Josh and myself have changed since Everett’s death.  Everyone use to love to go and do and then we became serious homebodies when Everett died.  With summer everyone has moved back into wanting to go, but for only limited amounts of time.  We used to spend hours upon hours at the wave pool and now our trips usually do not span more than 2 hours and they are ready for home.  We planned a vacation this summer, but only for 4 days because we knew even that would be pushing it.

We’re spending lots of time together and trying to soak each other up.  We’re constantly living in last summer while also in this one.  It’s exhausting and nice and painful and sweet.  We’re just doing our thing and moving at our own pace and trying to be okay with it all.


  1. You all are AMAZING! Your schedule makes me tired and it doesn’t include laundry, chores, cooking , cleaning and all the other hundreds of things that involve parenting. I think of you often daily and enjoy your updates. Enjoy the lazy summer days. Hugs from WV.

  2. I love how your boys fall asleep ANYWHERE!

  3. Gretchen says:

    Seeing all your littles together looks like such a party wherever you go. So much fun! I completely realize how hard it must be but at the same time it seems so lovely as well. Your family is awesome! Much love to you as you wrestle with all the amazing, hard, and exhausting days ahead.

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