Now that it's over, I can look back on the past 4 months and say, "was I completely insane?!"
The answer is probably, "yes."
As any mom can tell you, working outside the home is a second job. The first one is taking care of the family and running the household. Groceries, meals, cleaning, laundry, pet care, homework... all that stuff is also a mom's job. But I have been wonderfully busy with my Etsy store, Darla Janes's, this year, and that's a very good thing. I also started making candles to sell in stores and online, and had to find time to actually, you know, make candles.
I started getting up early in the morning to get things done, and worked every minute of every day until I crashed late at night. I didn't even have time to think about things like, "am I tired?" or "is this working for me?" I just did it, because it all needed to be done. I learned so much from those 4 months, too. Like how to maximize time to get the most out of it. (Hint, Facebook is a time waste.) (Also, I don't even remember when I watched TV last.)
Now that summer vacation is officially started, I have realized just how taxing those months were. I do not set my alarm for 5:30am, but instead just get up when I awaken on my own. The benefit of getting up at 5:30 is that it feels so decadent to sleep in until 7:00.
One of the sweet changes that has happened because of summer vacation is the fact that I get to run in the great outdoors (vs the treadmill) and have no time limits on when I need to end my workout. This is so very nice. Perhaps not as good for the health benefits what with all the stopping to look at baby ducks and flowing rivers and ferns uncurling in the woods. But this, too, is nice; this enjoying nature again. Nature is my happy place.
Today while running, Louie and I made friends with a turtle.
After my run, we took the motorcycle to Ohiopyle State Park, because the weather was gorgeous and Sam was off for the day. Being free in the daytime rocks.
From that state park, we headed to Mt. Davis, the highest point in Pennsylvania. The observation tower is a cause of much anxiety for me, so I was pretty impressed with myself that I got up a few flights of stairs before my fear of heights kicked in and I had to stop. Louie was right on my heels and would have gone right to the top had I led the way. That dog's only fear is being separated from me, I think.
This is Sam's photo from the top of the tower.
And this is Sam's photo of me waving from far below.
See that arm sticking out, way down there? Totally mine.
And then Louie almost went head over heels careening down the steps, and we laughed and laughed and laughed, because when one isn't stressed to the point of not being able to think about things, one is free to laugh about silly dogs.
Why yes, we did take Louie on the bike. You can read about his wonderful (NOT) experience on his blog. Spoiler alert: he wasn't thrilled. But it was super fun to take him with. Despite his misgivings on being forced to ride in the rumble seat, he thoroughly enjoyed spending the day with us. And I thoroughly enjoyed free time to enjoy the beauty of the Laurel Highlands around us.
I look forward to many more days of summer, stretching out before me. It's going to be a great year.