comments: 44


















I'm having a lazy day. Andy and Amelia are at the zoo with friends and the house here is quiet and calm. The sky is overcast, the air cool. All of this, every single thing, is so different from how it's been around here lately, how it's been around here usually (hot, loud, chaotic, bright, messy, frantic). I'm looking outside and there's not even a breeze to ruffle the leaves. That's how quiet it is, and how still.

We finished swimming lessons for the summer yesterday. I get very, very nostalgic as each thing finishes lately. Last year swimming lessons seemed to go on forever. This year, July flew. Is that how everything's going to be now? Fraught with flight? Swimming lessons, by their nature, go too fast. There's so much preparation: getting the kid to stop doing whatever she's doing to go potty/put on bathing suit/put on sunscreen/fill up water bottle, then hustling out to car with swim basket in tow (clothes, underpants, towels, goggles, sunscreen, etc.), then driving twenty minutes up to the lesson. Then going to the half-hour lesson. Sitting on the lawn chair, watching, I remark to anyone within earshot that I wish the lesson lasted three hours. I would like to sit there on the lawn chair with my feet up in the shade, listening to the pool sounds, watching people play in the water, watching people play with my child, for three full hours. That would be a good start. But before I know it, it's over. Amelia, dripping, beaming, comes toward me. I hold the towel open and gather her into it and she climbs on top of me and lays her wet head on my chest. We lay like that for as long as I can get her to stay, just resting. But then she wants to take her shower so it's up and to the locker room where the girls stand there, trance-like under the running water. We try to get them to share the space, to rinse off, to wash their hair, to rinse out the shampoo, but they're zombified by the warmth and the spray. We moms fuss, wringing out wet suits, collecting goggles, looking for brushes in bags, encouraging our daughters to make room for incomers, and perhaps even move along. The girls stand and stare into space. Finally, one of us: "Okey dokey, let's go, ladies." Reluctantly they come, shuffling out. Again, towels. Peeling off suits, dropping dry clothes onto the sopping floor, picking them up, stuffing damp arms into dry sleeves, all in slow motion. Getting dressed literally takes a forty-five minutes. The half-hour swim lesson, which goes by at lightning-speed, winds up actually taking half a day, when all is said and done.

Nevertheless, I will miss it all. But it's August, already and finally August, and now we get to be lazy. There's nowhere to be every morning at 10:40 a.m. anymore. I couldn't care less what time it is. I let Amelia take an entire bag of tortillas into the studio and eat four of them along with half a bag of frozen blueberries in front of the computer, watching Tumble Leaf for three hours. The weather last week was so relentlessly scorching hot that I literally felt cooked. Deep fried. One night the air conditioner stop working and I bleated in panic, and thought about dumping a glass of freshly poured ice water straight over my head. July was just so busy, and so hot. I feel like I'm in recovery from it, somehow, and just want to lay in front of the open windows, drinking iced tea straight from the pitcher while surfing pictures of unicorn cakes on Pinterest. That feels like plenty to do now. A good day's work. 


So descriptive, I can smell the splash of pool water on sunbaked concrete... and before we know it, it will be September.

Christine says: August 03, 2018 at 03:52 PM

I love all the photos and reading about your summer. Do you want to know what is really cool? I am working on Summer Storm right now (except for a quick break to check your blog) and we are having a giant summer storm. Thank Goodness because today was a hot one.

Ah, I remember those days. ALL that work for a 30 min lesson. I was always harried, stressed. Next summer the swim lessons will be different for you both!! My 6 year old boy now gets his suit on himself, and afterwards goes to the boys locker room himself and showers (tho I’m working on getting him to use SOAP). Them he gets dressed, all while I sit in peace. Part of me misses being needed. Part of me is relieved. Part of me is excited about this level of self sufficiency, and that I have to worry a little less than before. And, he can now actually swim, so I don’t have to worry about him drowning constantly when we go to the pool. He can get in with friends, while I watch and cheer on the skde. And then join him when he wants me to play too. It’s fantastic. Some sadness that the younger days are over already, but it’s mostly fantastic!

I just finished knitting a pair of mittens today and I'm ready for a new project. What is that you're working on? I love the pattern!

Sorry, the one that looks like a mitten! Love the sweater too. So airy and lush looking.

ok so there are many many many reasons why my husband and I decided to stop with one child - and I'm telling you - the thought did occur to me as I was pondering whether or not to have more...oh my oh my if we had more THEY WOULD ALL NEED TO LEARN TO SWIM. Um. cough. Swim lessons over the years took....A LOT OF TIME lol lol lol. I do not miss swim lesson to-and-fro-ing!

How blonde Mimi's hair has become over summer!

Stay cool!

We eventually developed an unwritten rule that we would take the kids to the pool when it was dusk and sunscreen wasn’t necessary. And to be honest, only the oldest two took formal swim lessons. Our third kiddo was just taught by us, and the baby of the family is going to be taught by us the same way. :) Hashtag third and fourth kids. :)

I love the sweater! I can't find it anywhere in English! Where did you find the pattern and/or kit? Thanks!

We love Tumble Leaf around here, too! Such a good show.

I think August is a wonderful month to rest before everything turns towards September and then deeper into the fall and winter months. God be with you!

We came back from vacation last week and I blew the fuse on the AC trying to turn it back on at 7 pm when I was trying to put my 3 yo and baby to bed. Yikes. Thank goodness my husband fixed it, it was 80 in the house.

Janie Mones says: August 04, 2018 at 02:29 AM

Oh. My. Goodness. I absolutely love (and relate to) your description of swimming lessons. It made me laugh because we just finished and had a very similar experience! Oh, those girls!

I almost sprayed my computer with tea because I had a fit of giggles when I read that you wished the swimming lessons could last 3 hours and you could just sit there with your feet up on a lawn chair watching people play with your child. I think every mother can understand that sentiment. Hope you have a stress free August.

Oh, you describe it all so well!! Yes it has been a busy summer. For me it’s not been swim lessons but driving lessons. The second one just passed her test yesterday and now onto the third child. I think I’d rather go back to swim lessons 🤪. And school — growing up we began after Labor Day. Now it’s just in two weeks. We homeschool our children & I use to set the date for after Labor Day but as they’ve entered the older grades we participate in what’s called a homeschool co-op and it begins August 13th. They only go on Mondays and then comlplete the work at home the rest of the week - but oh I don’t feel ready for that!!! So I totally understand enjoying that day of relaxing and just breathing. Enjoy! And all too soon you’ll be taking photos of delicious fall soups and desserts that always look incredibly scrumptious. 🙂

Susan Roberts says: August 04, 2018 at 05:32 AM

Unbearable heat in Northern California and our sky is smokey even though we are not that close to the fires - at least it's not like last year when we were close to being evacuated in our area. One thing is we do NOT have muggy weather and I'm grateful for that! I went to London and Turkey this summer and it was terrible with the heat and humidity. Today, the air conditioner is coming on and I can't help but feel a little guilty thinking of the many people that are fighting fires or assisting in other ways (like my son and his company working 16 hour days in 100+ temps. in the Redding fire). I can't wait for the fall - my favorite time of year. Summer rushed by to quickly and I go back to teaching in about a week :( - I gotta get some projects off my to-do list so I can make one of your cute wool/felt animal dolls for my grandaughters. Love your pics/blog - as usual!

Lynn Marie says: August 04, 2018 at 05:58 AM

Loved reading about the tedium of details of packing and unpacking for the swim lessons--these are things you forget about as your children become self sufficient but I remembered them well as I read your post.☺ That yarn you had drying with the shades of purple is beautiful! I also loved the goggle picture of Amelia and the picture of Clover---taking over the pillow pile. That is what my Corgi whom is a clone of Clover would do in a heartbeat.

Michelle K says: August 04, 2018 at 08:30 AM

That sweet face with summer freckles across her nose!

When my daughter was in elementary school, we lived in Western Michigan were swimming lessons were mandatory for counties beside Lake Michigan.

I still get nostalgic when I smell poolside aromas. Those were happy days. I am thankful for the lovely woman my daughter grew up to be and the good mom she is to her kids but there are still times I miss the little girl. :)

Rena Guth says: August 04, 2018 at 10:30 AM

I just headed over to your ravelry account to see if I could find the pattern you are using for the Mitts ( we think that is what they are), and I didn't find them...but I loved looking back at your projects and watching little Amelia grow!

I'm getting to do this swimming lesson lark all over again with my grand daughter. No nice outdoor pool though. I laughed when I got to the bit where the dry clothes land on the wet floor, compounded in our case by the cramped changing cubicle where nowhere seems to be dry. Also recognised the shower induced coma!

I know exactly what you mean about the swimming lessons, and missing them. My youngest (10) had a cricket festival in the first week of the summer holidays. Five days of me sitting in a deckchair watching him play cricket. Sitting on the grass in the sun, sometimes under a parasol, with a book, my writing, my lunch, a cold drink. Oh it was bliss. I was quite down when it ended, I would have been happy to do it every day for the whole summer. A week later and I am still sad about it not lasting longer. CJ xx

It seems like it took years getting eight children through swimming lessons. And it did, but I loved it. There were always moms to chat with at the pool and new friends too. I felt it important that the kids be good swimmers. This post brought back some precious summertime memories for me. My children are now grown with little ones of their own, and the swimming lessons have begun once again, but this time for the grands.

Such a lovely way you describe things, really makes me feel like I'm there. And wow, Amelia's turned in to a little blondie, what a cute little girl xx

Joan Lesmeister says: August 05, 2018 at 09:38 AM

Wonderful words, pics and such a darling, precious daughter you have! Thank you for sharing with us! Hearty hugs!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.