The saying, "in like a lion, out like a lamb" has never been more fitting than this spring. After a brutal winter and a cold start to spring, we're finally starting to taste those first signs of a new season and they've never tasted sweeter. Just a week ago, I remember telling Beau that I wasn't much a fan for spring - everything looked dirty, the grass was wet, cold, and brown, and the wind seemed to blow right through the house, calling for thick socks instead of the strappy sandals I so desired. But lately, I've learned to appreciate the anticipation that exists right now. As an educator, spring is always a busy time; however, there's nothing more satisfying than the outlook that summer and a much-needed break is on its way. There is evidence of this anticipation all around me - our Maple tree is full of buds, buds that will soon turn to thick leaves, creating the perfect spot for books and picnics and summer afternoons. There is anticipation in the colorful, warm-weather clothes hanging in Cruz and Mila's closet. There is the anticipation in time spent outside, that first night where coats weren't needed and it was warm enough to lay Mila on a quilt in our backyard. This is what I appreciate about springtime - anticipation and hope of new beauty, new growth, and so much good to come.
I love Friday nights for many of the same reasons. After a long (sometimes brutal) work week, Friday nights are the perfect transition to all the good things of a weekend. There's renewal, rest, and the anticipation of a slower pace and time spent with family. And since last Friday night was not only the end of a work week but a perfect spring night, we had a double whammy of good. Beau came home early and we played in the backyard for hours, going from toy to toy as if it was Christmas morning. We threw pitches, kicked the soccer ball, and pushed Cruz in his swing, all while Mila stretched out beside us. She loved it outside and I think we all felt a little like caged birds who had just been freed to spread our wings and explore the open world. We packed the stroller and headed to Main Street, pushing the kiddos up and down the parkade until Mila fell asleep. Then, we pushed the stroller into the back corner of Toads and shared french fries and toasted glasses to summer while Mila slept next to us.
Friday was only the start to a wonderful weekend of all the good things. Lazy Saturday mornings and a stocked fridge of groceries for a week of healthy meals. A vase of pink tulips and an afternoon of baking spring treats with my three year old. Family books before bed, a little baby girl who seems all too aware that she is cool enough to lay next to her brother and be part of such a routine. She turns her head from book to her brother, her eyes lit up as she proudly listens and kicks her feet in response. And Sunday, a little Cruz proclaiming, "Hosana, Hosana, Yay Jesus!" as he exited his Sunday School classroom waving a palm branch, followed by a packed house and an annual Easter egg dying party, this time with little cousins that showed a bit more interest in the egg dying thing.
I tried the Kool-Aid dye this year and loved the results. I used Berry Blue, Lemon Lime, Black Cherry, Orange, and Strawberry. Just mixed 2/3 cup water with an entire packet of kool-aid for the most vibrant hues. My favorite part - our kitchen smelled like fruit instead of eggs!
I've always been very thankful to live in the Midwest because of the seasons. Each season creates reflection, forces change, and leads to anticipation of good things to come. Looking forward to this weekend - the perfect start to spring. Easter eggs and Easter dresses, the story of an empty tomb and a risen Savior, and the hope of a new season at our fingertips.
It's Good Friday. Celebrate the good.