A great weight has been lifted from my shoulders and, literally, my basement. We are very fortunate that my mother-in-law and sister keep us stocked with lots of toys, gear, and books. While that is great, it also means a basement full of toys, clothes, and gear. Anyone who knows me personally also knows that I do not like clutter, and this great load was causing me quite a bit of frustration: There were many things that we have outgrown, all of them well cared for and used with much love. It was, in other words, time to say goodbye, to pass them on to others who will bring them into their homes, use and love them as much as we did. And so, this weekend, my in-laws rented a panel van and came down to get many of our toys and gear.

What is left I will wash, fold, and donate. Even though I may never meet those who would use our things, it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t show them that the items they are receiving were well cared for. I could never, ever, ever, ever give something that wasn’t perfectly cleaned. I remember getting baby clothes, a swing, stroller, a bassinet and much more from my sister and Evan’s aunt and uncle when we welcomed Sophia. Everything was in pristine shape, clean and tidy and that is how I will pass it on to the next hands.

So I am not just patting myself on the back for donating and recycling, I am patting myself on the back for getting my house de-cluttered! It wasn’t all hard work and no play at our house though. We were able to play and have fun and catch some of those special moments on film, too.



All that packing and cleaning and playing will make one quite hungry. With summer’s end fast approaching, we couldn’t resist a last hurrah to the bountiful harvest of the season and a nod to our travels in our previous (pre-kids) life.



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