The beginning of school is an obvious sign of fall. No more carefree days of summer, or swimming, or day trips to the zoo. Our days are quickly filling up with activities and meetings and sports and rush, rush, rush.
Labor Day puts one more nail in summer's coffin. Not only has the weather taken a drastic dip to the 60's but one of our favorite end of summer activities is also done. The County Fair.
Each year the kids look forward to the fair as one of their very favorite memories. Of course we knew we would be making the trek to the fair this weekend, but we didn't know when we would be able to squeeze it into our already jam packed weekend. We were up to our elbows in fall cleaning, meaning we cleaned out the entire garage and basement and then the rest of the house too. We filled up an entire dumpster full of garbage that we amassed during our addition project plus a ton of stuff that we hung onto from the move that we have never or will never use. We also donated a whole truck full of baby items and household goods too. Then I cleaned up my gardens, dug up 80 bulbs that I planted in spring and moved them to the backyard. Add to that a neighborhood ice cream social, Todd's dad's birthday, a visit to Todd's sister's new house, a million trips to the store, a couple of runs, and playing with the kids, and it was a busy weekend. Still, we managed to find some time to hit the fair on Sunday evening.
The skies were ominous. As we drove the 25 minutes to get to the fairgrounds it began to downpour. Still we pressed on and the skies cleared by the time we got there. We did get rained on a little bit later in the evening but we hung out in one of the barns and waited as the rain quickly passed.
Even with the rain it was a trip we were definitely glad we had made.
Each year we make it to the fair we can't help but comment over and over again how much our little ones have grown as we watch them go on bigger and bigger rides, walk farther and farther, and get more and more adventurous.
When I saw the pony rides I knew that was something all of our kiddos could do. Todd was nervous and kept saying, "I think Grace is too small! Are you gonna walk next to her? Should I hold her? She's gonna be scared!" But the girl did beautifully.
After that the boys were ready to try more daring rides. I asked Joey if he thought he was big enough to go on The Zipper with me and he happily obliged. It was so surreal sitting in The Zipper with my oldest boy. I flashed back to 12 years ago when Todd and I sat on the very same ride on one of our first dates, and now here I was with our son on the ride with me.
It was a moment I will never forget. We laughed so hard together that we couldn't even make a sound. The ride seemed to go on forever, first backward, and then forward. My stomach was lurching and twisting, more from all the laughing than the hundreds of flips in the air. Finally, Joey stopped laughing long enough to look at me and say, "When is this nightmare gonna end?" And then we were laughing again. It was great.
After that it was time for some food and then on to the animal barns.
Ferris wheel aside, it was a great night. And even though it was 55 degrees by the time we left we got ice cream on the way out. And it was delicious.
The ride home was filled with excited chatter and the heater on full blast. I urged Grace to sleep a little but she refused, insisting that she wasn't tired. A few minutes later I turned around and saw Grace asleep so I whispered to the boys, "Quiet now boys, Grace is sleeping." And from her sleep, with her eyes still closed, Gracie said, "I NOT seepin'!"
We love our fair. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall.
This next week is proving to be especially busy with Grace's 2 year doctor check up, Ben's first day of school, Joey starting football, Tommy and Ben starting soccer, swimming lessons, work meetings at night for Todd, a meeting with a couple from church for their premarital counseling, and the start of homework projects. Yep. Sounds like fall is here.