As I fell into the couch just after 8:00 last night, the screen door still cracked open in the kitchen letting a chilled, crisp air fill our dimly lit home, I had to remind myself for the twentieth time that it was indeed only February. I opened up my gratitude journal and filled two entire pages of notes from this little gift of a February weekend, with temperatures that we haven't seen since 1930. It seemed the world, or at least the Midwest, crawled out of hibernation this weekend, for the playgrounds, sidewalks, campus, and Four Queens were full of people out to get a taste of this unexpected heat wave. I laughed at how especially dead everything looked, reminding me that the grass is not quite ready to start turning green and that the weather forecast for next weekend looks to be about half of where we were Saturday, but it was enough hope to remind us of all the good things to come. I encouraged Cruz to feel that hope on his cheeks as we leaned back on the swings and felt the sunshine on our face. I reminded them of how light that hope felt as we hopped in the car for church with no coats on. And we savored every bite of that hope as we shared strawberry cheesecake and cookie dough ice cream as we explored our pretty campus Sunday afternoon. Cruz asked me if the groundhog got it wrong, and I told him I sure hope so!
A few good things from our warm and sunny February weekend...
453. The neighborhood boy gang. Reunited! I love this picture so much. Cruz played sunup to sundown on Saturday, and I asked Beau if he thought Cruz had any idea how blessed he is to live in a cul de sac with so many boys to play with. It was pretty sweet to have Braydon's nose up against our office window several times this weekend, although ask me how I feel about this in July...I may have a different reaction! :)
454. Walks with my girl. Cassie gave Mila the prettiest braid at daycare Friday afternoon and I couldn't get enough of her golden her locks looked in the sunshine. We walked down to get the mail and Mila had to stop several times to scold the baby in her stroller.
455. Brats on the grill and Jack Johnson playing on the deck. The deck may need a good spring cleaning, but we didn't care.
456. Orchard Hill's Family Dance Party. Cruz ran around with Claire and Mila ate four bags of popcorn. Typically we have a hard time keeping track of her, but this year, we could always bet she was near the concession stand! I love how many families show up for this event, love that Brad Myers stands on stage and shreds Vacation Bible School songs for the kids, and love how they immediately crash when we get home. Can we do family dance parties every Friday in the wintertime?!
457. Saturday dinner parties. We fit twelve people around our table, ate grilled steaks, garlic potatoes, green beans and cherry tomatoes, sipped cucumber mojitos, and savored individual chocolate mousse cakes with honey mint berries and topped with gold leaf flakes for dessert. When Katy offers to bring dessert, we aren't surprised when it garnished with gold. And the guys cleaned up the entire kitchen while the ladies drank wine!
458. A Dave Bartlett church service. I am so grateful for this leader of our church. His sermon was simple but so very powerful. Love God, love others. As long as those big rocks are front and center in our lives, all the little rocks just fall into place.
459. A true Sabbath. I declared it to be when we got home from church. It was simply too nice to finish that load of laundry or attempt to get ahead for the week. I sat on the porch and finished Chip and Joanna's Magnolia Story, while the rest of the family napped. It was glorious!
460. An afternoon at the park. Beau and I talked on the balance beam while the kids chased each other around. Cruz showed us that he can pump his legs high on the swings. We raced each other up the pair of bright blue curly slides, and screamed as Daddy tried to grab our feet and pull us down. We stopped to feel the sunshine on our face, the wind in our hair, and the dirt on our hands.
461. Spontaneous stops at Sidecar for coffee and Insomnia Cookies for ice cream. Running into college girls studying for midterms. Holding both kids' hands as we ran across the street.
462. Exploring through the old East Gym. The kids loved the see-through elevator that went up past the rooftop, Beau loved the old wood beams and exposed piping, and I loved the natural light pouring in through my favorite hidden window on the west side.
463. Mila in her romper and the way her blond curls fell down her back just so.
464. The kids starting a pickup game of hide-and-seek amidst the sea the college kids having their own fun outside. Mila's loud count to twenty, their request to "make a sound" when they can't find each other, and the sound of church music playing from the Campanile. And then Beau and I joined in and played girls vs. boys.
465. The sunroof down on the way home. Quick detours through old and new neighborhoods.
466. A movie night before bed. That ended like this...