Scenes from Saturday + Pubs & Puzzles

I was resistant for a long time but I have to admit I’ve finally taken the plunge on pickleball. I probably don’t need another hobby but I might have found one.

I believe hobbies are important. The weirder and sillier the better. One of my favorite self-help-y books Four Thousand weeks advises, ”In order to be a source of true fulfillment, a good hobby probably should feel a little embarrassing; that’s a sign you’re doing it for its own sake.”

It’s been a stressful few days and just going out and having something to do made me feel immediately better. I was not very good but I learned something new and I had fun. Not a bad way to spend some time. That’s a good definition of a hobby.

Ally has recently been spending a lot of time dribbling a basketball in the driveway or asking to throw the football. I am happy to be her partner but also wary of offering too much feedback or even too much encouragement. Demanding excellence can often undermine the reason we picked up the ball in the first place. I don’t want to steal from her the simple pleasure of doing something she merely, but truly, enjoys.

Good, bad, or embarrassing.

The day started with a very humid and sweaty run even at 6:30 in the morning on dead flat ground without the sun. I have a 10k race next Sunday and, if the weather is similar, I’m considering seeing if the girl’s old kiddie pool would fit in the back of the new car with a twenty or thirty pounds of ice.

It took a solid two hours to stop sweating. No pictures.

I returned to find Ally, not on the couch, but the kitchen floor?

Sometimes parenting is just about accepting, not questioning.

Street tacos have become her new favorite food. Something about the mini tortilla delivery system makes everything more palatable for her.

Again, just accepting, not questioning.

It would not be a Saturday morning without a construction project.

Congrats to Michelle for finishing her second floor shade replacement project. Over the past few months she’s been buying one new shade per pay period and updating a room. Yesterday she installed the final one.

She got to be pretty adept at her technique. By the end, she was like an F1 pit crew.

Ally has actually been to Hawaii but she was too little to remember. She is on a quest to return to the island.

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I have not broken the news to her that she might need a few more collection jars that size to make it.

This was about as much as we saw Cecilia in the morning. You can see the hint of a smile, so that was a good sign.

Of course, we worry that she is spending all her time in her room on her phone (god knows what I would have been like with a smart phone at her age) and I’m sure she does spend a lot of it on her phone but then she (eventually) came downstairs yesterday she was full of facts about state quarters and mistakes in the Mint’s molds for Delaware.

So….just trying to be accepting?

While I was off pickleballing, the girls were getting some things done.

A new Taylor Swift piano book has helped boost piano practice rates for both Michelle and Cecilia and Ally continues to belt out some quality Bill Withers.

I continue to be impressed by her ability to both play and sing. That appears to be almost a wholly separate talent to just playing. I cannot do it with the ukulele.

They both got some reading done.

If I had a personal manifesto, not just for summer, it might go something like this:

Read recklessly. Read promiscuously. Read on a whim. Read in the sand. Read in the water. Read stuff you don’t think you’re supposed to! Go to the library and take a chance on stuff you’ve never heard of. Just read.

In the afternoon, we decided on some indoor, air chilled entertainment at an escape room and games place. The kids still managed to get sweaty, but much less sweaty than they would have outside.

It just so happens that the escape room was just a few miles from a local brewery and beer hall. Imagine that.

The best thing served in a cup might have been their beer cheese. Very underrated dipping sauce and now that I looked up the recipe, very dangerous, indeed. So simple, so good.

And, of course, no summer day is ever quite complete without some ice cream. And some sprinkles.

If Ally had a personal manifesto, that might be it.

Happy Sunday. Go out and do something embarrassing today.

MIKE'S WINDOW

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