lazy summer days in the pnw

There’s something to be said for the beautiful combination of sun, fresh air, and water-filled weekends – all elements of the ultimate lazy summer days in the PNW. When we arrived last summer, we had to hit the ground running. Ryan was TDY within a matter of weeks, we were in a house that didn’t feel like home (to say the least) and, though beautiful, the magic of the PNW eluded me. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the PNW since we arrived. We’re surrounded by some of the most stunning scenery in the entire country, but the sheer volume of people here makes my head spin, and I’ll be honest. Sometimes, I let that get to me.

But if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times. Deployments are what you make of them. If you choose to get out there and do things, your days will go faster, the hours will be sweeter and, though busy, you’ll find yourself with no shortage of happiness. Such was our weekend, packed to the brim with the epitome of lazy summer days in the PNW. With a new baby, it’s undeniably harder to get out of the house and do things, but I’ve learned through the years that a surefire way to make a weekend unenjoyable is to sit at home and do nothing.

So we don’t. We move. We get outside. We explore. We get things done.

I’ve been consistently signing the boys up for swim lessons at our local YMCA for almost a year now, and a new session recently started. I’m seeing Spencer grow more comfortable in the water, and Porter is slowly but surely getting the hang of it, as well. So, what better way to celebrate their efforts than to head from a chlorinated pool to a beautiful freshwater lake just minutes from home?

American Lake is hailed by residents of JBLM as a little slice of heaven on post – and deservedly so. Russel Landing Marina and Summer Cove are a mere five minute drive from our home and plays host to a boatyard, a giant playground, a splash pad, and a small cove just begging you to take a dip. I’ll be honest. We went for the splash pad, but it was broken. We stayed for the lake.

As a solo mama to three little ones right now, doing these things is far less than convenient, but goodness, I wouldn’t trade the hardships for the world. In fact, we had so much fun on Saturday that we went back on Sunday and even ran into great friends. This lifestyle doesn’t come without sacrifice, but the people make it that much sweeter, so long as you’re willing to put yourself out there. Running into my boys’ teachers – wonderful women who’ve become dear friends – was the icing on the cake.

There’s magic in these lazy summer days in the PNW. There are memories just waiting to be made. The absolute best part? My boys went to sleep without a peep at 6:30 each evening, completely tuckered out from days well-spent. If that’s not a sign of a successful weekend, I don’t know what is.