Monday, August 26, 2013

Kiawah...Our Happy, Happy, Happy Place

Tick, tick, tick, you hear that? The summer is suddenly ticking away. We had an especially long summer this year because of a change in the school calendar. The kids had 88 days of summer this year. Our summer was jammed packed from the moment it started. The Nealons visited a total of eight states, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York and South that order. The kids attended basketball camps, farm camp, and dance camp. We did things that were new and exciting, and we did things that have turned into family traditions. 

This week is our last week before school starts. September sometimes feel more like the new year than January does because all of my kids get a fresh start. There are new teachers and new classrooms and every year there seems to be one of my kids starting a new school, this year that would be Ryan starting middle school. I always get my new planner/family organizer in September. It probably goes back to my teaching years of having everything fresh and new getting ready for my next group of students. I love freshly sharpen pencils and brand new crayon boxes. I get excited about office supplies and finding new ways to keep organized. 

I love Erin Condren planners. You can find them here.

But as much as I love the beginning of the new school year, I love summer with my kids and having adventures with them. Our last adventure was our trip to Kiawah Island, South Carolina. This has turned into an annual trip. We discovered it a few years ago and we have just fallen in love with it. All of us. This year, our week was perfect.

 It wasn't too hot, and August in South Carolina can get hot. If it rained, it was at night, and it was just a bit overcast in the morning to keep us cool on our morning bike rides. This year, I was really trying to pinpoint what it is about Kiawah that I love so much and I came to the conclusion that Kiawah makes you younger, it is, if you will, a fountain of youth. Now, I can still see my wrinkles around my eyes, and my back still aches if I move the wrong way, and I still need my contacts in order to see, but something happens to me when I am on this island. I turn into a kid. I ride my bike as if I was ten years old. When we are in Kiawah, we ride through the puddles from the rain the night before instead of riding around the puddles. We have contests to see who can ride the longest with no hands. We ride until we are hot and tired and then we reward ourselves with cool, refreshing ice cream and we call it lunch.

 We don't wear a watch because we don't need to be anywhere. The mom that lives in Virginia that has to check emails and schedules and chauffeur kids and check homework and tell kids to clean their rooms and cooks and cleans and does laundry doesn't exist in Kiawah. In Kiawah, I am ten years old. The water in Kiawah is warm, it is never too cold to go in and so I go in the water with my kids...sometimes we are in the water for hours and we find sand dollars and starfish and hermit crabs and shells. In Kiawah, we stop at the nature center and we can stop and play a game of checkers because we can, there is no schedule, there is no place we have to be except wherever we want to be.

The only thing that was on our schedule was our fishing trip.

This girl will live by the sea one day.


Calamari anyone? Actually, we threw him back.

If you ever find yourself in Kiawah, I recommend Captain Brad if you want to go fishing. You can find him on Facebook under Sonny Boy Charters. You may even recognize the girl in his cover picture.

So there you have it, there are no bad days in Kiawah.

 This week we are back to reality, today I was back on the soccer field sidelines cheering on Shannon's team and dropped off both boys at basketball. Last minute summer homework assignments are being completed this week, middle school orientations will be attended, elementary meet your teacher, and picking up a high school schedule. School supply lists will be double checked and maybe some last minute clothes shopping and some new sneakers. I will even start filling in our fall schedule of soccer and basketball games and practices, dance carpool schedules and back to school meetings into my new planner. But for one week in Kiawah, I got to be a kid, I got to forget the schedules and the to-do lists.

Shannon's hat says it all...when we are in Kiawah...we are happy, happy, happy! 

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