95 reasons, to be exact.
Phase I: my mom. For 9 weeks. Mr. O is a saint.
During Phase I, Mr. O broke 8 ribs in three different places while on his dirt bike.
The kids started new schools (both of them).
I took my mom and the kids to see her brother, my uncle, at his river-side log heaven in Sun Valley, ID.
With my mom's help, I also completed Project: Basement Organization and Project: Craft Room Declutter. She provided motivation worth its weight in gold. GOLD, I tell you.
Phase II: my mother-in-law. I'm not a saint, she's a very easy houseguest, but crossing off every single thing on her only-found-in-the-U.S. shopping list was a challenge (new Keds? Check. Snack-sized ziploc bags? Check. Bounce dryer sheets? Check. Easy Spirit sneakers? Check. Spoon rest for the neighbor? Check. Utah themed T-shirts for her grandsons back in Zurich? Check.)
My dad is Phase III. He and his Pensacola hobo wagon, his Natty Light, his military marches on cassette, and Jeremiah's step-sister, SaVANnah descended upon us for 72 hours of entertainment. I can't make this stuff up, people.
While tripping over grandparents, we also had a visit from one of my high school classmates from Wisconsin -- one I hadn't seen since...well, probably since high school. We hiked her all over the Cottonwoods and then rewarded her with an afternoon by the mountaintop pool at Snowbird's Cliff Lodge.
I got to hang with the cool crowd...in costumes...at Mammoth for Last Day on the Mountain in mid-June (June!).
And we managed to celebrate our 10th anniversary -- on time, which is monumental in itself -- with dinner at the restaurant where he proposed.
We also spent two weekends in Bear Lake, guests of our very gracious friends who have a cabin there.
Mr. O took the kids, with The Best Man and his tribe, up to our favorite camping hole. Without me. Ahhhhhhh.
Although we're both still gainfully employed, this summer has challenged both of our employers. After surviving two rounds of layoffs, Mr. O and his co-workers had to take two weeks of forced furlough. With a bumpy ride leading into summer, my company was sold and half the workforce was let go. I say my silent thank you to the powers of the universe that I not only have a paycheck to earn, but also that I earn it by doing something creative and wonderful -- with equally wonderful people around me.
I think we're ready to do it all over again next year.
Yes, in so many ways, this summer was truly unforgettable. Adventures, grandparents, economic struggles, getting things in order, visits and visitors.