The End of Summer


Loveys, my sister Laura tells me that as long as she can remember, she'd sit at the table with me and Sara--our noses stuck in whatever books we were reading.

It's true.

And now that I have kids, I've found that it's at breakfast and lunch that I can usually squeeze in reading time. I feed the kids, then sit down afterward to eat, and pull my book over to me. (The picture above is from breakfast this morning! I love ALL Ann Rinaldi books. Every time I'm in Lynchburg, I go to my fave bookstore Givens, up to the loft where the used books are, and look for Ann Rinaldi books. Way back when I was in college, one of my professors assigned us one of her books to read. I've read so many since then. She's wonderful at YA historical fiction.)

We manage to squeeze in what we love. It's just who we are. As the Jeffster likes to tell me, "You know it. I know it. Vegetable lasagna knows it." (Yes, he quotes Seinfeld. A lot.)

Sometimes friends ask me when I find time to write while juggling kids. It's here and there. Like everyone else, I suppose. We somehow make time for what we enjoy. I love spending time with my family. I love to read and write and edit books. Those are my things.

Lately the kids and I have been going to the post office quite a bit (not my favorite). Ash moans like it's the end of the world and asks me WHY ARE WE HERE AGAIN? And I tell her, when you have a mama who writes stories, you sometimes have to go to the post office to send those stories to people.

Loveys, I can't believe we're here at the end of summer. The end of the summer that finally brought me The Last Summer. Honestly, I always love fall so much, but I'm sad to see this summer end. I remember feeling so relieved that we got a summer pub date--because it needed to be a summertime release. The heat of summer needed to surround the book. Beaches and lakes and iced tea and shorts and flip-flops and cold soda. I always wanted a summertime launch party, with glow lights on the back deck and sangria and a space filled with my friends.

I feel so much gratitude for all of it. For every reader, for every message I've received, for every thoughtful review--for all of it. These are moments that I hold in my heart.

And speaking of special moments, for my Lynchburg friends, there's a book signing in the works for September that my sister Sara and I are SO excited about. I'll share more as we get closer to the time. I can't wait to see my Virginia family and friends!  

School starts this week, loveys. We've got the school supplies organized and ready on the kitchen table. We've cleaned out closets and clothes drawers. And just like that, summer is over. We wait for it so long, I can't help but feel sad as it ends. In many ways, this summer was different from what we'd thought. Unexpected trips to Texas. Losing my grandmother.

And like with anything else, what was planned just drifts away, and we keep moving with what is real for us. And with the unexpected are moments filled with grace too. Moments that are memories we'll treasure. Ash has wanted a daddy/daughter date all summer long. So to make sure we made that happen before school starts, she and Jeff went out together last night. Treasured memories made. Some things on our list didn't happen this summer. Other things--not on our list--did happen. In the end, there's this patchwork of experiences and shared moments that make up our family life together. It's raining today. The kids are thundering around upstairs. This morning as I was drinking my coffee and looking out at the rain, I smiled and thought of how I actually love rainy days and Mondays. I love this little family that's mine. This summer has had incredibly joyful moments. And also tears. Parties. Freelance projects. Travel. Fever. Bike riding without training wheels. Movies and popcorn. Sleepovers.

I'll hold on to the feeling of summer a little while longer. Green grass and flowers and flip-flops. And when it's time, I'll switch those for tall boots and leaves crunching and pumpkin spice lattes.

This summer--when my book, the one I began 20 years ago, was published--will forever be special to me. A reminder that sometimes things take time . . . but keep holding on to hope.

If you haven't yet grabbed a copy of The Last Summer, I hope you'll hop over to Amazon and order a book or download it to Kindle. (And if you haven't left a review yet, click over and mark that off your list! It only takes a minute!) I still hold my proof copy and can't believe it's finally here. A few more books arrived in the mail this weekend . . . and my heart still flutters when I open the box and see The Last Summer.

Hope brought to life.    

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