Several posts ago, I went on the record that I'm not a big fan of summer. I'm a fall and winter girl myself. I file this under "Things I'm Not Crazy About That Most Other People Love."
But, I have loved this summer in so many ways. And not just because I haven't had to pack school lunches. A lot because of that. But not just.
In appreciation and gratitude, and to give the season its due, here are 10 of our bests from summer 2015.
Best Gooey Chocolate Mess in a Pan That You Can Make in About 10 Minutes: Inside Out S'mores Bars. So I was at our annual church picnic, surveying the dessert territory. I found a pan of chocolate gooeyness, which I felt called to sample. Then I felt called to take a second serving so I could wander around the picnic and find out who'd made it so I could get the recipe. I took my plate and randomly surveyed the first person I came to. "Did you make this?" I asked without much hope. "Yes, I did," she answered. Well. If that wasn't divine intervention, I don't know what is. A few ingredients, a few minutes, and a lot of chocolate heaven. **Late-breaking news: I just made a pan of these and used Jet-Puffed S'more Marshmallows instead of the mini version. My daughter lined them up like a fluffy marshmallowy comforter over the graham crackers, and we are very, very happy.**
Best All-in-One Quintessential Camping Experience: S'mores + sunset + campfire combo at Wilderness State Park in northern Michigan. From our campsite that was essentially on the beach, my parents, my girls and I watched an incredible, drawn-out sunset over Lake Michigan while we watched the campfire while we ate s'mores.
(In case you're wondering: my wonderful husband was home keeping the mortgage paid up while we camped. Which, actually, was just fine with him because his idea of "roughing it" is a hotel room with no ESPN. We "camp" with him as a family in a cottage on the lake of his growing-up years. That's "roughing it" to me because there is no dishwasher. There is, however, ESPN. It all works out just fine.)
Best Social Media Post from My Teenager: My 16-year-old and I spent a day going to the beach, buying blueberries, and eating ice cream while we waited to pick Daughter #2 up from a hang-out date. That night, my eldest posted this: "There's nothing better than spending the day with my momma. Got to lay on the beach, get fresh blueberries without the hassle of picking them ourselves, and finished the day off with Sherman's Ice Cream. I'm going to remember this day for a while." Me, too, sweet girl...me, too.
Best Mom-As-Helper-Child-As-Leader Experience: While our teen was pounding the practice field at band camp (summer camp on hormones), our tween was leading a dance workshop at our church's Adventure Camp (VBS on caffeine). Because my 11-year-old was not much older than her students, I hovered around as the "mom presence." Watching my baby plan, organize, teach, lead, love, and inspire ranked right up there with my all-time great mom moments.
Best High-Flying Memory-Maker: Wherein one intrepid grandma (my mom) took her granddaughter (my daughter) parasailing over Michigan's Straits of Mackinac.
Best Non-Toxic Weapon-of-Mass-Weed-Destruction: Homemade weed killer that really works. One more reason to buy vinegar in bulk.
Best Game-Winning Scrabble Move: My husband and I were playing Scrabble while were away on family vacation. (As if we would have been sitting around playing a game if we had not been on vacation.) Yore and yon were already down. And directly under yore's "o" and to the right of yon's was a triple word score. And I had an x. Double "ox" = 50 points. I'll take that (rare) victory, thank you very much.
Best Sister Moment/Photo-Op/Post: Daughter #1, about Daughter #2. "I know my sister loves me when she's willing to join me on the Ferris wheel at Michigan's Adventure, even though she's afraid of heights."
Best Party Game/Craft Revision By a Clean-Freak Mom: My younger daughter hosted 3 friends for a birthday sleepover and wanted to play the Twister/shaving cream game that apparently makes frequent appearances on Pinterest. I envisioned food-coloring stained everything and had a sudden longing for a Chuck E. Cheese's party. Thank goodness for a brainstorm at the craft store: paint that specifically promised to be "washable from hands and most machine-washable fabrics." We found a 6-pack with all the required colors that was, with my coupon, only about $3. My older daughter, bless her soul, mixed the shaving cream and the paints in disposable foil trays and loaded the Twister palette. The tweens loved it, and no one ended up with dyed digits.
Best New Ice Cream Recipe: Lemon Frozen Yogurt, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams-style. You have to know that if I put a recipe on a best-of list, and it doesn't involve chocolate, it must have other redeeming features. This does. Among them: creaminess, lemony-ness, and lick-the-ice-cream-canister-with-your-finger deliciousness.
Thank you, summer...see you next year.
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Thanks for reading this far! What's on your summer bests-of list? Nominate your favorite in a comment or on Facebook!
Gladly shared with Fellowship Fridays!