If I’m to be totally honest, summer is kind of kicking our butts. That’s what happens when one person quits her job and the other person has a variable income based on commissions. Sometimes, the commissions aren’t there. Sometimes, despite grueling hours that don’t stop when he comes home or when he eats dinner or even when he crawls into bed at night, sometimes the commissions remain stubbornly just out of reach. For months. And months. And then a few months more just to make sure you’re really getting the point. Sometimes the boys don’t get hair cuts even though ears are covered and bangs are over eyes in unintentional ’70s shags. Sometimes fans are shut off even on the hottest days to save a bit of electricity. Sometimes day trips get cancelled because there’s not enough gas in the car and even if there was, the ferry would be too expensive. Sometimes dress shirts have to stay an extra couple weeks at the cleaners and staid business casual is forced to get more creative. Sometimes all the groceries go on credit.

Sometimes. Not always. But sometimes. And this summer has been one of those times.

It’s not dire, mind you. Our bills are being paid. No one is going hungry (thanks, MasterCard!).

This is not the kind of post where I’m feeling down or sorry for myself. This is not the kind of post where I’m trying to convince myself that things don’t totally suck, the kind of post where I’m trying to talk the way I want to feel even though I don’t really believe a word I’m saying. This is the kind of post where I’m announcing to the world that I’m broke and things aren’t working out the way I’d planned and life is still utterly amazing. The birds are chirping. My kids are giggling. I am in love with a man who loves me back; who, after nine years of pseudo-relationship followed by long-distance relationship followed by actual relationship, still kissed me for real when he left for work this morning.

But things are tight.

Which brings me to my point. My modest list of Summer Staycation to-dos? Uh, yeah. Not playing out quite the way I’d hoped. Aquarium? Zoo? Great Wheel? Ferry rides? Too rich for our summertime blood. Train to Portland? Ha!

But. BUT. There is always a bright side, isn’t there? And right now, the (literal) bright side is the incredibly sunshiney weather. The rain has dried up right along with the commissions, and we have spent a glorious broke-ass summer enjoying Seattle’s outside parts.

This is what I did yesterday:

LifesABeach

while the kids were doing this:

LifesABeachKids

We have gone skinny dipping in a sled:

SledPool

Danced barefoot ballets at the park:

Ballet

Gotten water in our eyes at the spray park:

SprayPark

Held high-stakes slide races:

SlideRaces

Thrown rocks at sticks:

ThrowRocks

Emerged intact from a salmon’s butt:

SalmonButt

Built wildly unstable sand castles:

SandCastles

People, we have even pooped in big boy potties. (More on that on my blog later, because what is a personal blog for if not talking about poop.)

And we jumped in puddles that one day it rained:

Rain

Because we are having fun no matter what the weather does. No matter what the finances do. No matter what plans need to be rearranged or forgotten altogether. I am spending the entire summer playing with my kids. And a summer full of these kids with this man is good. No matter what.