July began with a bang - celebrating both Canada Day and Shelley & Jessica's wedding on July 1st! Neil and I really loved the wedding - so authentic, so warm and so wrapped in love!
Colin worked a bit at Ichiro in July while he was waiting to be deployed for wildfire firefighting. He also volunteered a lot with the BC Mobility Opportunities Society doing hikes, paddle boarding and kayaking. He did a short trip to Calgary and the Stampede with a group of friends (lots of fun). Adam lived out at UBC for the month of July as a resident advisor for an international student program which was something new for him and pushed him out of his comfort zone.
We made a short trip to Kelowna for our annual cousins trip.
Neil worked the beginning of July and then rode his bike to Portland over four days. I drove down and met him and we had a great couple of days together in one of our favourite cities.
I taught a few classes at UBC in July, worked on a book project with a colleague and spent a couple of days in Whistler with the Northwest Mathematics Conference committee, getting things sorted for our conference there in October.
The summer brings lots of opportunities to play in the kitchen. Colin and I had a lovely dinner out at Savio Volpe and tried to replicate the amazing gnocchi in our kitchen. We bought some fresh sockeye down at the docks and Colin masterfully filleted them for us. And of course there was lots of baking with summer fruits and berries!
The garden is bursting in the summer...
Colin finally got his call to be deployed on August 1. His gear had been ready to go for weeks. Me, not so ready. We took our family of four photo before we left for the ferry terminal where he was meeting up with the rest of his crew who were travelling from the Island. We left him there not knowing when we might hear from him which was so hard. We knew if he was in a tent camp it could be a week or two before he would be able to phone. Fortunately for us, he got sent to Prince George and then sent to Smithers where a new fire had been found. Colin spent 17 days fighting the fire - putting in 14-16 hour days. He got to fly in helicopters and be on the first line fighting the fire (not what he or we were expecting). Because they were staying in a motel, Colin was able to Colin us a few times and send us some photos. He had an amazing experience but I so happy, proud and relieved to see him at the airport!
Adam left for his Europe trip on August 3. Him and his friend Martin had planned this trip in detail and were both interested world history and politics and chose their cities and countries with that (and budget) in mind. They stayed in hostels and travelled by train and bus between countries. Adam checked in with us during each new country and sent us a few photos along the way. They visited Budapest, Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg, the Czech Republic, Bratislava, Copenhagen and London. He had a great experience and is already planning his next trip with lots of countries he wants to explore. So happy to pick him up at the airport after four weeks away!
While the boy were away and August, Neil and I walked every evening visiting different locales, except when it was particularly smoky and hazy out.
And there are lots of local festivals to go to - we visited the Powell Street Festival, Maritime Festival, Mural Fest on Main Street, the Garlic Festival. And we saw movies, Star Wars at the VSO and 42nd Street at TUTS. Neil and I had lots of time together to celebrate our 25th year of marriage!
For most of August Neil and I spent packing up the upstairs of our house and making decisions about carpets, tiles, etc as we had all our carpeting redone, new banister/railings and our ensuite (still in progress). I have too much stuff and that's all I'm going to say about that.
And our house is still in complete disarray and our summer holidays come to a close. Not the fresh start to the new year we had hoped for but we are getting close to completion. Just the ensuite left to finish and then all the boxes of things that still need to be put away. Oh, and the thick layer of construction dust that has coated everything in our house will have to be dealt with as well!
The last week of August brought back to work time for Neil and I and the boys getting themselves sorted out for the fall. Adam was offered a co-op position in downtown Vancouver so will be doing that from September to December. Colin is back at UBC in his second year of Kinesiology and working and volunteering.
The evenings have cooled down a bit, a sure sign that fall is around the corner. Summers will always be a special time of the year but this summer has taught me to go with the ebb and flow of having young adults in our lives who have their own plans and are making their own lives. I have learned to so appreciate the times we are together as a family of four, whether its for a quick dinner together or hanging out around the kitchen counter in the morning. I have also learned to be completely present when I have individual time with one of the boys - chatting in their rooms, going out for dinner, ice cream or doing an errand together - staying connected, listening, loving and supporting them.
Goodbye summer, hello fall and all the change that it brings.