The Summer of Friends and Family

I wasn’t sure how this summer was going to go. The only thing I could see ahead of me for two months was home construction chaos. My entire house has, in fact, been in an upheaval due to the kitchen, dining, and family room remodel I’ve wanted and waited eight years for. And while I’m grateful for progress, it’s true that my house has been in a total upheaval since the remodel started.

My family room is in my living room. I still can’t file my childrens’ schoolwork from the last school year because my filing cabinets are buried in boxes of dishes and surrounded by end tables and large framed pictures and art. Our pantry was minimized and rendered down to three industrial shelves in the basement. For anyone who has anxiety and OCD (like me), you can only imagine what this has been like to live with the past two months.

However…I do always try to look at the positives, and as far as this summer goes, there have been many. More than ever, actually. For one thing, because there was nothing to clean in my house, I didn’t have to clean. This made me feel free to take off and leave town whenever we had the chance. We went to Florida, to Long Beach, and even down the road to Whidbey Island. The kids took karate, swimming, and diving lessons. Vincent, George, and I all had birthdays.

Something that we didn’t exactly plan for, but happened anyway, was meeting up with family and friends the entire summer! In Florida, we met up with family from George’s clan as well as mine. Back in Bellingham, we got together with more Karuza cousins. In Whidbey Island, we met up for a day of singing and play with family on my mom’s side. We helped celebrate the birthdays of friends–adults and little ones alike–all summer long. We checked out the water slides, the fair, the go karts, went on morning bike rides, and enjoyed lazy afternoons at the pool.

When I look back at this summer, I feel frustrated about my physical house. However, I feel satisfied and happy about my house of friends and family. I feel lucky to be part of a community that is fun and loving and considerate. I’m not looking forward to the start of school, in which alarm clocks must again be set and schedules must be adhered to, but knowing we are all doing it together makes it so much better.


Some Schile and Karuza fam in Florida.


Schile Fam in Florida.


Karuza Cousins in Birch Bay.


Some Karuzas at an undisclosed location ;)


George and me at my 40th birthday cruise.


George family (mom’s side, not my G) camping on Whidbey Island.


Music, family, and more music.


  1. Aw, thank you!! I do love to do it. It’s nice to hear the feedback because one never knows. We had the best time with you, Bob, and the whole fam from Florida to Bellingham to Birch Bay. I will never forget this summer. We need to make it all a regular summer event!

  2. 1 agree. Let’s do a whole family get together. It was so much fun at the last one, I’m ready for one sooner. What ya think? Nanc

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