August 1st – Playing piano for church without the perspiring palms or misplayed notes that usually plague me.
August 2nd – Giving Natalie my pink pen and encouraging her to go to town on letters; this teaching process is making my English-nerdy heart so happy.
August 3rd – Compensating for the lack in stores by making bread and butter pickles from scratch (with coriander picked from our balcony, no less!).
August 4th – Spending a family evening at the park to breathe fresh air and recharge.
August 5th – Catching a mesmerizing sunrise mere seconds before the day turned overcast.
August 6th – Chilling with my brother-in-law over lunch, grateful for family who are also friends.
August 7th – Deciding on the spur of the moment to pack our lunch and go camping near Pitigliano.
August 8th – Spending the most delightfully lazy Sunday swimming in the pond, picking fruit, and relaxing as a family in the great outdoors.
August 9th – Indulging the compulsion to write despite a jillion-long to-do list.
August 10th – Appreciating and clinging to my dear husband all the more in light of a friend’s divorce.
August 11th – Cracking up over the girls’ lyrical interpretation of a light saber fight.
August 12th – Waking up to the first morning of Dan’s unexpected mini-vacation.
August 13th – Getting a free jazz dance performance by Natalie in front of the Duomo in Orvieto.
August 14th – Introducing our house guests to the magical, laughter-producing power of the Wii.
August 15th –Slurping up homemade Nutella malt milkshakes—with cherries and chocolate sprinkles, of course—in four-part harmony.
August 16th – Spending the last day of Dan’s work vacation doing nothing, glorious nothing.
August 17th – Finding a wiggly tooth in my five-year-old’s mouth and cheering together for the fantastic process of growing up.
August 18th – Watching my husband step up and offer unconditional love and support to friends in need.
August 19th – Hiding safely inside while Dan and his brother played a hilarious version of tennis with the bees infesting our balcony.
August 20th – Baking cherry chocolate cupcakes with Sophie, who kept smiling up with a chocolate-smeared face to exclaim, “We are the best bakers!”
August 21st – Giving some family TLC to our balcony garden; home improvement projects always make me happy.
August 22nd – Unexpectedly not having to play piano for church, performance pressure dissolved instantly.
August 23rd – Taking myself out to shop for clothes in luxurious solitude.
August 24th – Enjoying our typical summer evening of freshly-baked baguette slathered in stracchino and a side of ripe, red watermelon, eaten together on our balcony while the sun melts out of sight.
August 25th – Journaling through some tangles in my brain and gaining perspective in the process.
August 26th – Scanning approximately 50,000 pages of the girls’ artwork from the last month, like taking a vacation in their funny, colorful worlds.
August 27th – Rising above a heavy rejection letter to work on a story and finding I still have the capacity to enjoy writing after all.
August 28th – Taking a spontaneous trip with friends to Isola Polvese for a day of ferrying, picnicking, and playing on the beach.
August 29th – Watching and trying out circus acts with the girls at the children’s festival in the park below our house.
August 30th – Being blown away once again by the brilliant, saturated colors in the evening sky.
August 31st – Falling even more in love with my creative Miss Natalie upon reading her color chart.