Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Late July Day of Play at Coney

Although we didn't make it to Coney this year for the Fourth of July, Lou & I took the girls over the summer on a day when we totally had the place to ourselves.  Everything about Coney Island screams instant nostalgia, and there's just no way to deny the pang of time-gone-by when we go there.  (The image of little Josie on those turtles all those years ago is just something forever etched into our memories as parents, and every time we go back to that spot we both tear up.)  So, Coney has a little magic for the Schneiders. Here are some photos from this year's trip - which was super special since Baby Bea can now get in on the action.

We had to start with the iconic turtles. Bea was instantly hooked!  She had the time of her life, and big sister Josie held her snugly to reassure her. As the rides ended, Bea signed "more, more" and around Coney we went, asking each time "Do you think Bea can..." and as long as she was tall enough (errr, as long as she was almost tall enough) she did!

Lou's photo of Josie and I on the frogs (ha.)

Bea wasn't the only brave one on this trip. Josie was ready to hit the big kid rides! She was "super pumped" that she was tall enough to hit the coasters. 

Here she is after she rode "The Python" - her first coaster! YES!

This one will go down as one of my favorite pictures. I took it of us heading up the hill of The Python together. At the end of the ride, as we pulled back into the station, I asked Josie what she was thinking as we screamed all the way down the big hill. Her instant-classic response: "Mama, I was thinking Um, maybe I should have waited until I was six to ride this thing."

Here we are on the ship, or canoe, or whatever it is - the swinging boat thingy! (This one kinda scared her, but she was a trooper!)

A little downtime on the carousel is always appreciated.

The giant slide was all kinds of good clean fun!

And the swings were sweet (even if Bea was a few inches too short and we snuck her right on.)

 Some playground time.

Those "flying bobs" felt a little too Greene County Fair for my comfort (being that she's my first born and all), but Josie had a blast despite my worries! She came bouncing off of it and demanded I ride it with her - backwards!  (No Led Zepplin blaring. Color me disappointed.)

She wanted to pose in front of it, before we rode it again.

 Turtle time, flying solo. (When.Did.She.Get.This.Big?!)

We left Coney Island that late-July day feeling absolutely giddy. We knew August (with all its craziness) was coming soon but this day was one to forget it all and just PLAY! Good, good times!

Postscript: We actually just went to Coney again over Labor Day weekend. Threats of hurricane-rain kept everyone else in Cincinnati away and it was the perfect afternoon making more Coney Island memories with the whole Schneider/Austin/Johnson clan. 

Looking Back on Summer 2012

Funny thing really, it's sort of like summer vanished over night. I'm not sure exactly what the impetus was for the seasonal switch in my mind - maybe school starting, maybe the move to our new home, maybe Labor Day, or maybe just the new rhythm of drop-offs and pick-ups and overall hustle and bustle.  Whatever it was, those photos up there in the Summer Blog Header seem like a hazy memory.  The swimsuits are outgrown. And that yard in the pictures belong to someone else now. I don't have a clue where we'd even find our sprinkler, should we decide we needed it. (Ack, did we even pack the sprinkler?!)  And, well, summer just feels gone.

I can tell you all one thing - a whole lot changed in the summer of 2012. And while all those things were changing, only a teeny tiny sliver of life showed up on the blog. Some of it was a little too private to go global, but the vast majority of summer details were just lost in the shuffle of it all. But  I learned that I really do miss blogging when I don't have time for it. Not only do I start to feel this weird brand of guilt when I fail to document something, but I also just sort of need to write to process things sometimes.  So, maybe there's a longer, more detailed and more pensive post in me somewhere about the summer now-gone but for now I'm just going to go full steam ahead into catch-up mode.  (Here we go with catching up again.)   

So, on to some highlights from the summer of 2012.  The summer when we sold the home we thought we'd be in for a long time and bought the one we thought was way out of our reach. The summer that any remaining sliver of little Josie gave way to five-year-old, kindergarten Josie and all the independence/interdependence struggles that come along with it. The summer that Beatrice bloomed into full toddler-hood, complete with all the adorable chaos that she creates.  The summer that both of our careers took on new demands. And the summer that we talked a whole lot about re-prioritizing and re-inventing what life looks like for the Four Schneiders.

I'm hoping to spend much of this week posting summer highlights, so buckle up!

Summer Beauties

Couldn't resist sharing these two sweet snaps that my cousin Evelyn sent. Both of these images pretty much sum up our little rays of Schneider girl sunshine. 

A Summer Wedding in Indiana

This summer my Aunt Pat got married to the very sweet now-Uncle Max in Indiana - just outside of the town of Kokomo where my sister and I spent many-a-summer with our Nana (in all her biscuit-cooking, Eagles-dancing , jelly-making, piano-playing, just-a-swinging glory).  It was the first time that the whole Johnson side of the family has been together since we lost Nana when Josie was just an infant.    It was a beautiful wedding and really incredible for all of us to be together again for such a joyous occasion. In all, it was a reminder that our family tree and all of its branches are pretty far-reaching. And there's so much love there, even though we don't see each other nearly enough!  My sister took the photos (and my camera stayed in the car) so I'll just share this quick family photo that my cousin Evelyn sent over. I'm sure my sis will do a full post soon.