I've been away for a few days (miss me?). I left one rainy state and entered another rainy state but at least I was in the comfort of my parent's cottage, eating great food and having a few extra hands around, and although I wondered if bringing Luke into a situation where he might not sleep AT ALL (and didn't the first night away) would be worth the get-away after all, I was reminded by my sister-in-law that if you're away, near a lake, with other adults and can have a drink in hand by 5:00 sharp... it's worth it. And it was. I think we created some wonderful memories for Hannah and Luke (well, maybe not Luke as far as he'll remember but the pictures of him will make him THINK he'll have memories), I KNOW I created some wonderful memories for myself. (Bare with me as I list these memories absolutely for my own benefit...) Watching Luke's expression as he saw the 25 different types of frogs at the museum (that chortling laugh as he realized that the green slimy creature was REAL and looking BACK at him was priceless), learning alongside Hannah that a tiny frog the size of a quarter could actually KILL 10 people ("mommy, we need to tell all those people who live in South America to be careful"), swimming with her in the lake for the first time with NO floaty, "JUST a bathing suit", watching her do 4 breast strokes under water, and have her swim under my legs at least 30 times, listening to her laugh alongside Grampy as "things weren't going so well" in his efforts to light the fire for the marshmallow roasting (we all were trying to explain that magazine pages just don't light on fire the way newspaper does but...), watching her eat her first s'more of the season after we decided gasoline would get the fire going, witnessing Luke's first experience in his floaty in the lake and his first day pushing the trucks around and digging with a shovel in the sand, enjoying the ENORMOUS bubbles that we made with the rope bubble maker, and then hearing Luke say as one of his first words, "BU-bbles", watching Hannah and Nanny work so diligently to make a gorgeous mosaic stepping stone for the garden and then making a big deal out of her placing it in the perfect spot in the garden, knowing that Hannah had an hour of special time with Grampy down on the beach and in the kayak even though it was rainy and cool, and watching Hannah soar into the sky on the big girl swing that was hung for her absolutely was worth the 2 hour drive, pouring rain and Luke's difficult sleep situation. It gave me hope for the next three mini trips we have planned before (dare I say it) FALL arrives.