As a young mother, I have heard the mantra meant to keep us trucking during these little years of growing our family, "The days are long, but the years are short."
On top of that, I'd like to add, "The summer is short as well, but when the heat and humidity kicks it up to a eyeball-scorching 148 degrees, it makes the days feel like you're living in eternity--and not the good kind we all hope to live in."
So we have to fill the days with fun things--like Piedmont Park, our favorite spot in Atlanta.
EVERY time we go, I envision flying a kite in the beautiful blue sky, but when it comes down to it, I just can't spend more than $4.99 on a kite.
Thus, Shiloh and I end up laughing as Tim and Canaan run amok trying to keep it afloat.
Just another memory we log away for the years ahead when we look back thinking, "Those little years just flew by..."
And to create memories for our kids during these little years, we indulge them (sometimes.) With giant lollipops and Braves games.
And "Treasure Hunting" (also known as Geo Caching.)
Also known as "How Far Will You Reach Into the Dark and Ominous Underbrush To Retrieve The Elusive Box" game.
A favorite summer memory of mine was spending three months every year at the lake in Minnesota--one which we've begun to recreate for our kids.
Minnesota's mantra was, "The Days are Long, but the Nights When the Mosquitoes Are Swarming In Your Ear Are Even Longer."
We love the Minnesota Cousins. A true Girl Posse.
And the Fourth of July--another family favorite to make memories for our kids.
Including the Boat Parade, where our family and friends think of a theme to decorate the boat and float around the lake for hours, shooting water balloons at unsuspecting passer-bys.
Some may think of themes like, "The Stars and Stripes Forever" or "Freedom from Al Qaida"
But my Aunt Beth and Uncle Roy think bigger.
They think, "Red Solo Cup"--with actual solo cups floating in the breeze and matching shirts for all 30 of us to wear on the Big Day of Freedom.
We realized that the memories we are building for our kids now will become a part of their story later.
So why not let them smash cupcakes in each other's faces every now and then?
Or ruin their brand new white shirts while wrangling their Aunt Cindy's horses at the farm?
We've only got a few years to create a home that they'd want to return to when they're grown.
So we live it up with friends like Uncle Michael and Aunt Amy.
Running in the mud with bare feet and getting buried in the dirt.
And when your kids cash out in the middle of the floor, I take it as a sign that some good memories have been made for the day.
While those "short years" quickly add up to the "expensive years," Dave Ramsey has helped us learn to live life with an open hand, freely giving, freely receiving (and freely paying off the rest of our student loans as well as the monthly gymnastics fee.)
We love the days we're living now, but honestly, we look forward to the years ahead when we own land.
So we go to the Art Barn and pretend that we have goats...
and baby chicks, naming one Shiloh since it was born on her birthday.
And pretending to drive the tractor and harvest the fields. Looking fabulously cute the whole time.
So we go home, reminded to keep pressing forward in our goals so we can get there one day.
For now, we fill those "long days" with naked Barbies and one-armed Ken dolls.
Zoe, the cat, wishes the long days weren't filled with so many "snuggles" and tiny girls disturbing her sleep by "tucking her in with this blanket" and constant barraging by "her best friend Shiloh."
Long days don't seem that long when you have your closest friends to play Robin and Merliah, the Super Princess Mermaid with.
Or when you have your sister to sit on the curb and enjoy the evening with.
Or when you have your best friend who happens to be your hubs with you every day of these memorable years.
Or when you are awaiting the arrival of your third baby, a surprise due in November.
That makes those long days seem a little shorter, in the hopes that these little years will last a bit longer.