What I’ll remember about summer 2023

8 September 2023

Summer 2023 kept us on our toes, and so though I haven’t written one of these posts each year, it felt like a worthwhile effort this year! Capturing the little pleasures and particulars to look back on is a lovely way to wrap up the season. Here’s some of what we’ll remember from summer 2023…

Listening: The Night Train kept us going on many long road trips! The kids seriously loved this podcast-that-feels-like-an-audio-book, and with 20+ episodes at 30-ish minutes each, it kept us humming along for quite some time. The synopsis: It’s 1879! Edith and Paul Mallard climb aboard the Night Train as it races the Midnight Express across America. But as accidents delay their journey, a mysterious plot of sabotage begins to emerge. Will Edith and Paul Mallard solve the mystery of the Night Train? Or is their journey doomed to disaster?

Perfecting: I do believe we’ve gotten the North Carolina coast long weekend trip down to a science. Our three-day June stay in Beaufort was pretty near perfect (and by perfect, I mean the young family version of perfect, which for this particular trip included a very sandy (and now infamous) meltdown). We paddle boarded, we swam, we visited a barrier island and lighthouse, we ate yummy food, and we enjoyed sensational weather.

Moving: June officially shifted her clothes, pajamas, and shower stuff to the second floor, and though this is a natural and normal progression, it also felt a bit like we were shipping her off to college after having one hub for our family for so long. But it’s been sweet to see her enjoy her own space up there!

Visiting: Our niece and nephew came to stay for the week and we had what we hope will be the first of many cousin camps! From learning to ride a bike sans training wheels to cabin inspections and the Best Friends Snack Shack, it was a full but very fun week.

Wearing: I replaced my fauxm Birks, which were showing their age, with this pair from Reef. They are cuter than though not quiiiiiite as comfortable as the Birks.

Enjoying: A tiny little moment from our trip to Maine: June needed to practice piano, so while the two youngers were resting or napping each afternoon, the three of us would walk down to the community building and she’d play on the baby grand while we’d play ping pong across the room. Just a sweet little slice with our big girl :)

Learning: We navigated the ins and outs of neighborhood swim team life! I’m proud to say we did it our way (which mainly meant going to practice when it suited our family’s schedule), and found it to be quite fun. June’s favorite part was without a doubt learning every line dance known to seven-year-old-kind, and John’s was writing up his appointment notes poolside most evenings.

Shep’s swimming, too, improved leaps and bounds. With a few lessons at the beginning of summer, he went from screeching when splashed to diving underwater and swimming like a fish, no floatie in sight.

Itching: Another not-so-sweet memory from the island that must be mentioned for posterity: we all got a rash from the mysterious browntail moth for the first time. An invasive species found only on the coast of Maine and Cape Cod, its caterpillars’ hairs (even airborne!) can cause an itchy rash on skin. Annie had it something awful, but thankfully it seemed to look much worse than it felt.

Attending: The book swap! Well, hosting, I suppose, but it was certainly a highlight, and the coziest morning with good friends chatting good books.

Watching: It was a fun summer for movies! John and I saw Mission Impossible on a date night and I saw the Barbie movie with some Articles Club friends.

Reading: The road trip saga The Lincoln Highway felt like an especially summery read, and is definitely in my top five for the year thus far. June and I have also really loved reading several installments of The Vanderbeekers and The Penderwicks series either together or in parallel.

…And truly, so much more: our first trip to John’s parents’ new home, biking the full American Tobacco Trail with a friend on a blue-sky day, going into the harbor on the boat for fireworks on the Fourth, walking the monuments in DC, our train trip to Greensboro, an afternoon on the lake with friends… we’re looking toward fall, but taking many sweet memories from summer with us.

What will you remember from summer 2023? I’d love to hear!

Affiliate links are used in this post!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Megan Nelson
September 8, 2023 8:57 am

So funny that you had a Beaufort meltdown memory! We did a trip to Beaufort, SC and did a horse and buggy tour through the historic town (ambitious with an 18 month and 3 year old). Well, my youngest had been feeling under the weather and was doooone being a functioning human. About halfway through the (fully occupied) horse and buggy tour, she lost it. Temper tantrum. The icing on the cake was when she angrily threw her pacifier out of the buggy into the beautifully maintained landscape as I tried to console her. Then screamed much harder. ???? fortunately everyone on the tour was very kind. But we’d never felt so trapped in our life. To this day she will occasionally say “throw pacis at horsey. Not very nice of me.”

September 11, 2023 3:10 pm

Always LOVE your seasonal recaps! Your photography is beautiful – you capture the beauty of every day moments so well. I have a random question – do you guys have a sandbox in your backyard? bottom left photo. if so, is it one you recommend? I am wanting to invest in one for my 1 and 3 year old for our backyard.

September 26, 2023 5:04 pm

I try to do something similar to this each year and here are two of my entries! Enjoying: Our pool! We had many family pool parties and were in the pool 4-5 times per week. Our son (6) learned to jump in from the side and had a great time in the water. We also did a staycation at a local resort with a water park and had so much fun on his first water slide.
Watching: Classic kids movies with our son like The Sandlot, Mighty Ducks, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and others. It has been so fun to revisit these great movies.