Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Rest of June, Last Year of Afterglow, Plus Lucia Lately (at 4 1/2 Months)

 What a summer so far! We moved a few weeks ago from Lakeview East in Chicago to Evanston (more on that in a different post) and now have internet again so I will attempt to sum up our last few months. We have been busy in a good way and this summer is flying by our very eyes leaving us to wonder how it is almost August already! It has been a very hot here in Chicago with several days reaching 100 degrees (one of those days being our moving day). Needless to say, our little window AC units have been hard at work keeping us cool up on the 3rd floor (big shout out to Jaime and the Baileys for giving us those window units!).

Meanwhile, Lucia is about 4 and 1/2 months old now. She is growing and changing but I don't know by exactly how much since we haven't been to the doctor in a while (next week). She can now sit up with help, roll over both ways and loves to play with toys and in her bumbo seat. She is on a pretty set schedule during the day now and sleeps from about 8 PM til around 6 AM most nights. I remember when she was about 2 weeks old and I was wondering, "Will I ever live a normal life again?!?" Well, I kind of feel like I am living a normal life again now that she sleeps pretty consistently through the night. My 'normal' may be a new normal now that I am a mom but it feels good.

Lucia spends most of her waking time grabbing, rolling, smiling, squealing and giggling. She likes to play by herself in her crib and when I come in the room to observe all the cute and sometimes very loud noises she is making, she gets startled and looks at me like "What are you doing in here? I was just fine in here by myself, thank you very much". We now have to clear the way for whatever is in Lucia's reach since she will grab everything in her path. Oh, and another fun development is that she can get her pacifier back in her mouth...if only she would do it more often though, it seems like she would rather throw it on the floor and cry til she gets it back. She is drooling a lot, spitting up less, making lots of funny noises including a pterodactyl-type-screeching sound and it seems like she is getting closer to eating real food (if you count rice cereal as real food). Fun times and I know it'll just keep getting more fun with this little girl!

Here are a bunch of pics of some of our activities...

 Happy first Father's Day to Matt! He has so naturally stepped into his new role and Lucia could not ask for a better dad. We celebrated father's day plus my brother Eric's college graduation with my whole family (and I mean whole, like both sides of the extended family whole) by spending the day picnicking and playing at the beach. And then Matt went golfing too.

 Debbie (Matt's mom) was in town again too to spend some more time with Lucia. It was great with lots of grandma time and many trips to Ann Sather, yum!

 Both of my grandpas on father's day.

 An inchworm riding a bike

 Austin and Ashley came for a visit! We got to celebrate Ashley's birthday together and they got to meet Lucia.

 Watching daddy's softball game

 This park is down the block from the church where I work.

We have gone to Ravinia once so far this summer. For those of you who don't know, Ravinia is one of the greatest Chicago summer activities. Its an outdoor concert venue where everyone lounges around in the grass listening to the music/show and eating food and drinking wine. We went with family and some friends to "A Prairie Home Companion", an NPR radio show hosted by Garrison Keillor. It has been a family tradition the last few years and this was the last as he is retiring this year. There are few better feelings in the world than sitting at Ravinia on a perfect summer night. We'll be going again this weekend to hear James Taylor.

                          Look up!
To the right of the tree is Garrison himself. He mingled with the crowd to see some songs.

 Lucia came too and she did great.

 Passed out

 Whoa, could her eyes be any more open?

 So then she passed out for real and we were able to stay for some music featuring pianist Philip Glass.

Lounging on a Sunday afternoon with great grandpa Ray at Linnea and Cam's.

 Lucia loves to sit in a highchair now to play with her toys.

 And she still loves to hold a sock when she's going to sleep...apparently sometimes in her mouth!

Well, it was the end of an era in the Wallgren family...the last year of Afterglow. It is a lake resort in northern Wisconsin where we have been going every year since before I was born (plus my dad used to go when he was young with his siblings, parents and other families from church). Put simply, we have outgrown our cabins and the resort is in such high demand that there are no more cabins to rent. It is a good problem really, having a family that is healthy and growing rapidly. My mom figured out that when they started it was 4 couples with 2 children and now in that same space we have four couples, their 10 kids, 8 of their spouses/significant others and 7 of their kids! Whew, we made it stretch for a while and now we will try to create the same magic at Scott's Resort next year. It won't be the same but it'll be fun!

 Playing in her bumbo seat.

 Oh my, I love this one!

Playing with Gwen

 Hanging with G G

 Sonja entertaining the breakfast club crowd.

 Swing time

Lucia is pretty neutral about water, as seen above. When she takes baths, she doesn't seem to mind it but she doesn't get too excited either. Maybe in the future that'll change.


Having some serious fun with daddy.

 Linnea and her girls

 The Baileys

 and us

Sonja and her favorite guy, our cousin Chad

 Happy 4th of July! We always go to a bigger fireworks show then sometimes do some of our own back at the cabin.

 View of the lake from the cabin

 One of the best activities on the island!

Funny Naomi face!

 It was really hot this year so it was good to get some relief in the lake. Lucia liked floating too!

Goofy girl!

 Sorry, Nolan, for having to endure Lucia's death grip!

 Addison and Caroline

Some fun with the cabin-mates

 And the big news this week was that my cousin Beth and Rob got engaged! He surprised her in the middle of the night by coming up and asking her to marry him. Here they are on the pier where it all went down the night before. We are so excited for them and Rob to officially join the family!

 Scott and John. Brothers and fellow Tye-dye wearers.

 Giggles in the morning!

 I'm trying to make it look like Lucia is jumping off the high dive.

 Our attempt to get a picture of all 6 of my parents grand kids...kind of worked

 The happy couple with Lucia and their matching Afterglow shirts

 Sonja, Gwen and Lucia

So long Afterglow, for now. I know it's not the last time going up there ever but it's sad none the less. Afterglow is something for me that has bridged the gap between childhood and adult life in a way that makes me feel more whole. It represents good to me..the kind of good that is untouchable and pure. We sat in the cabin this year thinking about the fact that we had been in the same cabin every year since we were in diapers, just like Lucia. In the end, the reason why it was such a good thing was because it was all about spending time with family. And I have a great one. It is because of this family time that I am so comfortable with my cousins that they feel more like siblings. And I am thankful to be genuinely friends with my cousins and siblings. They are in fact, some of my best friends. So if anything, being sad about Afterglow is something to be thankful for.

The picture above is from the last morning. I have this tradition of spending a few quiet moments by myself on the pier as everyone is packing up on the last morning. I just love to take in a few more moments of peace, quiet and beauty before the last bit of chaotic packing and bustling to get going. This year I took Lucia with me and we had one last moment there on the a few tears.

We'll miss it but it's not like were not doing anything next's to beginning new traditions at Scott's Resort (where we are taking over all the cabins)!


Julie said...

Lot's of good memories.........Boo hoo! What a nice tribute to Afterglow! You said it very well Elsa! Love, Aunt Julie ( your last cabin pal)

Ashley Bailey said...

Loved this! Miss you guys so much, but happy to catch up on your life by reading.

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