Yesterday, my family packed up all our summer stuff from the house and moved back to the city. Mazzy’s school starts tomorrow and Harlow’s starts next week. This summer felt quicker than any summer I’ve experienced and I imagine they only get faster from here on out.

Before I do a complete shift from our life out east to city living, I need to do a proper photo send-off.

What happened in the summer of 2016?

1) Mazzy befriended the swans


This story could also be entitled “Mazzy Talks to Animals” because by the end of the summer, Mazzy truly believed she had become legitimate friends with the swans. It started with her bringing them corn chips in the water and ended with the swans breaking our imaginary bird/human barrier and approaching us for food directly.


Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing because word on Snapchat is that swans bite and have been known to attack children before. So far we are still peacefully co-existing. Hopefully, Mazzy knows better than to pet one of her new friends.


FYI, depending on who you ask, the swans are called “Snow and Mr. Swan” or “Chester and Curtis.”

2) Harlow accessorized for the beach




3)And for the Pool


4) We went on a boat


Our house is on creek but it is too shallow to have a real boat out back. It does give us access to a boat slip at the end of our block but Mike and I are really not the boat purchasing type.

Mike’s goal, since we purchased the house, has been to convince a friend to buy a boat with the incentive that they could keep it at our slip. This summer his dream came true and we got access without ownership.

We took the kids out for a ride, docked at a local restaurant on the water for dinner and rode home at sunset. Harlow made sure to dress for the occasion.


My favorite moment was when Eagle Eye Mazzy spotted a tiny spec traveling over the bridge way above our heads as we rode underneath. “The ice cream truck!!!!” I looked closely. She was right. Only my kids would spot the ice cream truck several hundred feet up from the water.

5) The girls were Bat Girl and Cat Girl for superhero day at camp


The important thing to note about this event is that Mazzy ended up being the only person who came to camp in costume in her age group. They had the day in both July and August so I was sure that come August, Mazzy was going to opt to wear her regular clothes.

I was wrong.


Not only did Mazzy double down and wear her Bat Girl costume again, she had inspired a few of the other kids to dress up too.

6) Poppy got a vintage corvette


Why didn’t my dad ever do anything cool when I was a kids???

7) We shopped at the supermarket like regular people with a car


8)We hung out with the Little Miss Party boys


There is nothing that says #squadgoals more than those four together.


9) I got some one-on-one time with Harlow


This summer Mazzy spent a lot of time having playdates and sleep overs. At first Harlow was upset because as she described it, “Mazzy always gets to have funner” but then she realized that Mazzy being away meant she got me all to herself.

“I like when Mazzy has sleepovers, Mommy.”

“Really? Why?”

“Because I get to spend time with just you.”

Me too, Harlow.

10) We ate tons of popsicles



11) Like a TON of popsicles


12) Don’t forget Popsicle Shots


13) I went on a girl’s weekend with my friends from college.


Wecelebrated my book (I had just received my first printed copy) with no kids whatsoever.

(By the way, I know there is a spacing issue but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to fix it.)


The first morning we all woke up at the same time we would have if we were at home with the kids. But the following morning, we all slept in like we were back in college and our fist class wasn’t until noon. It was wonderful.

14) Harlow was awarded #1 Camper


“What did you do to earn that, Harlow?”


No word on how the other campers felt about it. I’m guessing because they all got one too.

15) I figured out how to get four kids to stand still for a picture


You put two kids on top of the other two kids to weight them down, obviously.

16) Harlow ate fried chicken on the beach





17) Mazzy made some cash


You can read all about our lemonade stand here.

18) Harlow learned how to spray a garden hose


Guess how many people got wet as a result of this picture?

If your answer was seven, you are correct.

19) Mazzy faced off with a blow-up swan


Mazzy became a really good swimmer this summer, which really makes the pool 1000x more relaxing. She even tried a head first dive. It was more like a belly flop but still impressive.

Harlow is making great strides too. She can paddle around with just a kick board and loves showing us how she’s not afraid to put her head underwater.

20) We saw pretty much the nicest sunset ever on our last night

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 1.24.26 PM

Itwas the night a huge storm just missed the coast and it was spectacular.

Of course, summer isn’t really over for another couple weeks and we’ll still go out to the house on the weekends, if Mazzy and Harlow’s social calendar allows for it.

So hopefully we’ll be able to get a few more beach days in.

If the swans don’t attack us first.


To follow my family in real time, follow @mommyshorts on Instagram and ilanawiles on Snapchat.