Well here we are… already at the end of the summer and still smack dab in the middle of a pandemic! Remember back in February when none of this was our reality? Me either because that feels like a lifetime ago. Or remember back to March when we kept saying that if we all behaved then this would all be gone by the summer but then maybe we would have another wave come fall? Yup, we were all so naive. Life was different, but we still attempted to make the best of our summer!
Ever since Nick and I have been married, our summers have been FULL of student ministry and kids ministry events. FULL. We spent our first month married at student camp and our second month married in Cambodia on a mission trip. It’s just kind of how we roll. ENTER 2020. All of that was cancelled. Sure, we were able to do ministry in creative, small-scale ways. But there was no full program VBS, no student camp in the mountains, no mission trip to Poland (that our whole fam was going to go on this year). So it’s probably been the first summer that our whole family has just been together all summer long so we made the best of it during these strange times!
We headed to Texas in May to ‘quarantine’ there for a week. We figured we could have the cousins play while all the grown-ups worked remotely. It was a pretty good reprieve from the walls of our own home!
We added a new family member… Bronco Jones. Our first addition didn’t make it but thankfully Bronco seems to be beating the odds.
We redid our whole patio since that was our ‘vacation’ spot for 2020. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. Can’t seem to find a waiter yet to serve us here but it works!
We spent a lot of time OUTSIDE. Parks, splash pads, sprinkler time, walks, hikes, creeks, basically anything we could think of. Having two little boys equals having lots of energy that needs to be worn out.
I felt super loved on my birthday! It just so happened that our Kids Ministry had a drive thru festival type event so I ended up getting to see LOTS of faces. So good for my heart to see people I hadn’t seen in so long… and it certainly was sweet the amount of people that went above & beyond to make me feel special!
We had lots of birthday celebrations with a group of friends over the summer! June birthdays, July birthdays, August birthdays.. we love us a party!
Our big guy learned to swim this summer so we definitely tried to spend as much time at a pool as possible! And I gotta say… I can get on board with this whole reservations at a pool thing when it comes to not having to swim with a million strangers.
A lot of the big July 4th celebrations were cancelled this year but that definitely made people step up their fireworks game in basically every neighbor everywhere. We pretty much hung out and watched fireworks happen all. around. us. People weren’t playing around this year! I guess lock people up long enough and they’re willing to blow anything up.
Since our fam wasn’t able to go to Poland this year (all the tears), we have amazing friends that totally planned an entire day of camp in Poland for us. We followed the whole schedule & I’m pretty sure it was good for Nick’s heart. This was the first time in 5 years that he wasn’t going and he was definitely bummed. Caleb was a BIG fan too!
Speaking of missing out on things we love, our summer definitely was lacking from not getting to put on VBS. However, our church did a VBS TO GO and it had to have been the next best thing! A group of us did it together in our backyards and it was so sweet getting to be part of it on such a minimal scale. I love that our kids get to learn about Jesus as they grow up together so this was so fun to pour in to them this way! Silver linings of this whole COVID chaos.
By the end of the summer, we even started venturing out to ‘public’ with masks in tow. Our extroverted kid would much rather do the thing with a mask on than not do the thing at all.
Our annual family trip to Breckenridge was still able to happen too! And this year it seemed extra awesome getting out of town for a couple days. The mountains, my boys, it was a good time. We even found the troll this year! (And by found, I mean actually looked for it.)
My mom & stepdad were supposed to come visit in April so of course that trip ended up being a casualty of the lockdown. They were able to reschedule to the end of August and it was so good to see family! They hadn’t been here since Luke was born so it was so fun to have them back in Colorado.
As the summer is wrapping up, one of the best things happened and our church is starting to have outdoor services! Meeting together as a church family has been SO missed so it’s been so incredible to be back together in this creative way.
Well there you have it… the summer of 2020 according to the Jones fam! It was a different kind of summer and it may have felt hard at times, but the great definitely outweighed the negative. There’s a lot in the world right now that feels heavy and divisive but I am choosing JOY every day. God is not surprised by any of these things. It’s definitely in my own nature to want to try to control, but I am continuing to learn to trust in His faithfulness every single day.