~ Summer Summer Summertime ~

School is out and there's a sort of a buzz

but back then I didn't really know what it was
every moment frontin and maxin
chillin in the car they spent all day waxin
leanin to the side but you can't spead through
Two miles an hour so everybody sees you
there's an air of love and of happiness
and this is the Fresh Prince's new defintion of summer madness

Summer, Summer, Summertime

I dig Summer.  I dig everything about it.  I dig that at least twice a week I get to claim that swimming counted as a bath for the kids, and we go to bed smelling like chlorine and coconut sunblock.
 I dig that I wake up every morning and shuffle around to find munchies strewn about the kitchen, little bodies are sprawled along couches looking like passed out drunks at a frat house.   Except we're not drunk on beer but instead just drunk on life, and tired from the dancing show the girls decided to put on at 11pm for their audience of friends.

As much as I thrive in an organized setting, with schedules and itineraries, I need summer.  We need summer.  Every day has so much potential...for example:  park or pool?  Real clothes or jammies?  Scouring local calendars...loading up on cheap dollar store toys that will break tomorrow...picking our clean clothes out of laundry baskets because we've been too busy playing to put them into drawers...brown little shoulders and sun-kissed little cheeks that just beg to be smooched.
 I love that Luci is only 3, but has already mastered the shriek "Get outta my room!" to her brother...at the top of her lungs in a squealed pitch that I swear only dogs can hear.  Rocky looks at me like I should do something and I say "Well, you heard the woman, get out of her room" :)
I dig Friday night beer-league softball games where my kids dig in the dirt, roll in the grass like piggies, and stay out way past their bedtime.
We are are holding up the number 7 because we came in 7th place.  That is, 7th place out of 7 teams.  (Note - Libby Lu mid Sh*t-fit in front row)
I love that Rocky hit a baseball over the freaking fence at one of his little league games this year...in the Kindergarten league y'all.  BOTH teams game him a round of applause.  Over the fence, bounce-hopped and rolled into a car dealership's parking lot.  Pardon my french, but that's pretty badass.
Rocky also attended an awesome baseball camp with Adam Wainwright and Kyle McClellan from the Cardinals.  This is his...I'm trying not to bust into a full out grin because I want to look cool in front of the Cardinals, smile.
I cringed just a bit when I saw his hand raised to ask the Big Leaguers a question...but my sweet, thoughtful boy just wanted to ask Waino how his arm was feeling from his Tommy John surgery.
I love that my kids naturally parent Libby Lu, they love taking care of her.  I hear 30 times a day "No, No Libby Lu",  "This way Libby Lu", "You'll get a boo boo Libby Lu".

 I love that she has no clue she is the little one.  Shhh...don't tell her.
I love that Luci looks like we plucked her out of the jungle at the end of the day.  She may start the day with perfect curls and lipgloss, but she ends like this.  My husband says at least once a week "This has got to be the dirtiest our kids have ever been," and then we always top ourselves the next week.

I love that she is as free as a little bird and spends at least half her day in imagination, and usually in costume.

And I am going to end this blog post from my "Preacher's Pulpit" with something I try to relay to my kids every single day. I think there are so many lessons we learn and follow as kids, and then forget to apply to our adult life.

 Each morning when you wake up, you have a choice to decide what kind of day you are going to have.  You also have a choice about how you are going to treat others: If you're going to say please and thank you, and hold open the door for a stranger.  If you're going to put your phone down while the person at Taco Bell hands you your food instead of ignoring them as if they don't have feelings.  If you're going to pick up that piece of litter or step over it on your way into Walgreen's.  As I tell Rocky when I send him off to school in the mornings, "Choose to have good day!"

It is up to you to be a positive influence to other people in your life.

I love positivity, hell, I ride unicorns all day.  But you can't do it if there are people in your life dragging you down.  As I tell my kids, "Mommy doesn't like everybody, and not everybody likes Mommy," you don't have to be friends with everyone, but you don't have to have enemies either.

If there is someone in your life that constantly impacts you in a negative way, you just have to take a big step back from them.  Whether it is a boyfriend, or girlfriend, a friend or a co-worker or the annoying facebook friend who has more drama than your mama, and her mama, and her mama's mama combined.

Everyday we should truly strive to surround ourselves with people who love us, lift us up, and make us better people, and shed yourself of those that don't.

In my world you're either on "Team Manno" or you're not, and your life should be the exact same way.  For the record, "Team Manno" is a ton of fun :)

** Stepping down from the Pulpit ***

I didn't have anything happen to me that made me talk about this today, it's actually quite the opposite.   I've been basking in the love of friends and family lately, thinking about how many awesome uplifting people are in my life, and I just wanted to share.  I just had a feeling that someone out there in blog-land needed to hear that today ;)  I don't know who you are, but you're welcome.

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