{Row, Row Your Carboard Boat}

If you're not living here...you're simply missing it!
I adore living in the Finger Lakes during the summer.
Every time we've ever off-the-cuff mentioned,
"Hey, we should move to such-and-such a place"
We always come back to: "But there isn't any other place in the world that is so beautiful"
And there is so much summer fun around here too.
Festivals and events.
We decided last year, that it would be good just to cut back on our travels during the summer months
And just enjoy what the FLX has to offer.

Last weekend that included Cruisin' Night here on our very own Main St.
Lots of fun cars...old and new to ogle and drool on.
{And no, I don't have pictures.  I was too busy with the littles}
We also got to take in the Cardboard Boat Regatta in a neighboring town.
It's been on our list of things to do for years,
And this year we made it a must do!
Especially since we knew some of the rowers.

Each boat has to be made of only cardboard, glue, ducktape or paint.
There are different "classes" for the boats
Some of them are single hull with only one rower,
Some are multi hull, etc.
Basically you're allowed to be as innovative as you'd like
And row with as many or few people as you want to take on.
There were canoes, kayaks, catamerans, pontoons, you name it.
Some were in it for the speed or for best in show,
Others were in it for the party and to get spectators wet.

  {The crowds were huge.  And by 2:00 in the afternoon, the liquor was flowing rather freely.  It was a bit like spring break in the FLX, if I was honest.  And the liquor may have inhibited more than a rower or two of some of these boats.)
 The kids had to get some dry land boat time
 The magnificent rowers of our favorite boat. 
They won fastest time in the multi hull and best boat construction.  Yay them!

 {Note the cool pick Jeep in the background.  That thing was awesome and totally sea worthy.  They just paddled back and forth by the sea wall for a while.}

There were almost 70 boats entered in the regatta.  And there were more than a few that needed to be hauled out and rescued by a Sea Doo.  Some only lasted seconds after entering the water and breaking into many pieces of soggy cardboard.  Others made it part way and sank.  The best ones made it to the finish line and then some.  
I should have shot a picture of the dumpster just off the finish line.  So much soggy cardboard.

They're entering the water!  Go Team OverSize Load!
 And they were off!  They had some fierce paddlers and they rounded to the finish line in seemingly no time at all.  Next year they'll need to remake the upper portion of the boat, but the lower pontoons were so well wrapped with duck tape, they didn't take on any water at all.
Super fun!

{A Bridal Shower}

A couple of weeks ago I had the fun privilege of hosting a bridal shower in the back yard.
I met the mother of the bride through our local Pregnancy Care Center,
When I did some training with them about a year and a half ago.
She asked me if I would consider doing a bridal shower for her daughter,
And I was all in.
This kind of thing is so fun for me.  I love to do events that others can enjoy.
I'd never met the bride before, but after scouring her wedding pinterest board 
And her mom throwing some ideas at me, I hope I came up with a shower
That suited her tastes.

{We got to put the gorgeous pergola my husband made for me, to good use}

 {Those poppies and cornflowers are the colors for her wedding.  And I am just positive her wedding is going to be super fun and beautiful}

 {The guests all signed a ceramic bowl, so that the bride can remember them every time she uses it}
 {Peonies were in abundance this week, so we used them everywhere.  The bride made the pinwheels and I think they are the cutest.}

 The menu:
 Mediterranean Chicken Wraps
{my all time favorite...ever.}
 Fruit kabobs
 Sweet and salty popcorn
 Pie pops
 Iced Coffee with almond milk
{The bride is lactose intolerant, and this was a new one for me.  But delicious}

I also set up a s'mores bar

{With lots of yummy chocolates of course}

 The afternoon was a little nippy, so the fire was not only for s'mores fun, but also practical

And just as the shower was ending the glorious sun broke through the clouds
And drenched the back yard in golden deliciousness
{It's one of my favorite things about the back yard, the way the sun and shadows play}


{When the Rain Comes}

Perhaps it's the natural fact that it has rained so much here in the last few weeks.
The ground is just sodden with water and it doesn't seem to end.
Shower upon shower.  And I've felt a little house-bound and kid-crazy.

Or maybe it's just a desperate in my spirit.
The kind of downpour that you long to see end.
My heart feels waterlogged with the onslaught and heaviness of it,
Not so much the circumstances of my own life
But in those I love and am blessed to call a friend

What do you do when the river runs high
And the banks threaten to overflow,
Spilling all of the nasty contents onto those living around the rushing tide
When the flood of all that has gone wrong
And the constant of the dark clouds brim over and continually weep.

Start looking for the green.
On these days when the literal rain has poured down relentlessly
And, if I had a bottle to measure the rainfall, it would have needed to be emptied only to refill in the night,
This rain has brought an increased measure of green.
Like the green I've seen in pictures of Ireland.
And the moss grows rich on the trees.

So it is in my spirit, when the rainfall has been relentless
I purpose to begin looking for the green.  The newest growth.
The blessing in the mud puddles, so to speak.
Because, we all know, that just because the green is showing,
Doesn't mean that the puddles have dried and firmed.
And I go looking for the rainbow.
Some people are naturally inclined to see the glass half full.
I am not one.
But I have been blessed to know some.
And God has really been working it into my heart...
{like a soft cut of steak, with a rub worked into it, so that the flavor just pops out in the heat}
{That may well be one of the weirdest analogies I've ever had come across my imagination,
but it's what I see in my mind everytime I ask God to work something into my heart.  That pounding of the tenderizer, and then the hard rub of the seasonings and the marination, and utimately a flavor bursting forth after the flame has seared it all in}
That what I speak forth, is what becomes reality.
What I call out in others and myself,
Is the fruit I harvest tomorrow.
So when I'm full of the rain
And the despair threatens to brim over.
I'll find a quiet and call out that green to come forth
 Start actively looking for the color that springs after the storm
And speak to my soul that the clouds never hang so thick
That the sun will never shine again.

I will call out those things that are not,
As if they were.
I will make a choice to speak to my own circumstances
And those of the ones I love,
And bring out the richness of the soil that can only be had
After the rain has oversoaked the barren.
I will see the overflood as the chance to allow the Holy Spirit
To have glory moments and to be seen through the power we are given
As chosen and blessed daughters and sons of the Most Mighty King.
In the Spirit's Power I will prophesy the move of God over the storm.

And then rest in the waiting.
While He moves those things on earth to align with those in Heaven.