Friday, June 30, 2017

oh, june || good things and a summertime playlist!

Two weeks ago today, our day did not start with a "good thing".  It started with a family of baby birds in our outside exhaust fan that leads to our bathroom, a tall ladder, and a twenty'ish-foot fall from my husband as he climbed up there before work to inspect exactly why our bathroom smelled like a dead fish.  I didn't see it happen, but our neighbor did, and came sprinting as fast as he could, sure he'd be finding a very injured Beau on the ground.  Thankfully, Beau got up, limped his way into the house, and laughed when Mila noticed his limp and asked, "Did that bird fight you, Daddy?"  By the time he got out of the shower, he could hardly walk and was quite sure his leg, particularly his femur, was not right.  He assured me he could drive and the three of us stayed here while he went to urgent care to get some x-rays.  

Thankfully, after calling on my prayer warriors, including some circled up prayers with Cruz and Mila (who prayed more for the birds than for Beau's leg), Beau's x-rays came up clear and even the doctor said he was one lucky dude.  Other than a very sore body and directions to use crutches, ice a lot, and take it easy for the next few days, Beau made it out of what could have been a pretty serious deal.  It was quite a dose of perspective to wake up to.

The rest of the weekend, I played nurse for Beau (he finally got his favorite recliner in the living room) and sort of floated in this alternate universe where I was overcome with thankfulness, and also reminded how quickly life can change.  Beau was quite sure he had broken his femur, and so was the doctor, and at the very least, he could have come home with a cast on his leg, or surgery and physical therapy awaiting our summer.  But instead, God was there to catch him in His arms, and we were all filled with much gratitude for answered prayers and a powerful God.  And my dad, who spent part of his Father's Day on that same ladder, cleaning out a bird's nest and a family of birds (including a dead one) from our exhaust fan, and securing some chicken wire over the front so we hopefully don't have to climb a ladder over there again.  

Two weeks later and Beau is doing much better.  The recliner has moved back to its temporary spot in the office, the crutches are in the basement, and our bathroom smells fresh again.  But not a day has went by when I haven't thought about how different our summer might have looked had Beau hurt himself more than he did.  Quick little moments like that make you sure grateful for the little things.  

We have had a magical June and are sad to say goodbye.  But this weekend, and for a lot of this upcoming month, the Jorgensens are hitting the road and ready for some adventures.  I had fun putting together a summer playlist of so many of our favorites to listen to, in the car, on the deck, or as I'm cooking dinner after the pool.  Songs that bring me back to college, summer music festivals and outdoor concerts, and songs that you just can't help but stomp your feet to.  I linked the playlist at the bottom and hope it puts you in the summer spirit, too!  

And now a few more good things from June...    

527. A pretty IF:Table around our table.  A curried chicken salad recipe from Kate, a kale salad from the garden, and fresh strawberries over ice cream for a simple, summery meal.  I threw together a quick table, decided to save money and not buy that pretty bouquet of peonies when I checked out at Hy-Vee, and then smiled when I went to check out my flower garden and had two of the most beautiful white purple delphiniums just waiting to take center stage.  You simply can't study the velvety petals on a delphinium and say our God doesn't care about the details.    

528. Quiet time reading material that included our newest Shutterfly book.  Mila's little scribbles in her notebook.  

529. Morning adventures around our cute town.  We scored our first free books for summer reading at the library, made popsicle stick harmonicas, did an emoji scavenger hunt, and checked out movies when the sky started looking rainy.  Next it was maid-rites, chocolate shakes, and cherry pie at Maid-Rite, propped up in a row at the counter with the senior lunch crowd on red vinyl seats that turned enough to keep the kids occupied.  And then a quiet afternoon at Hatchling and Hens, the sweetest little craft studio where the kids where aprons and have full access to shelves upon shelves of treasures to create with.  Mila painted a cupcake and used a lot of glitter glue, Cruz made a frame for his friend, Logan, and my house stayed clean the whole time. :)

530. An afternoon playdate with one of Cruz's best kindergarten buddies.  They dressed up in costumes and listened to music and built forts in the basement to hide from Mila.  And when we dropped off Logan at his house, he immediately went to the other room and tied a Mickey Mouse blanket around his neck like a cape and went running down the sidewalk.  Sometimes, these kids nowadays and it was refreshingly sweet to see that two little boys play the way I remember playing when I was their age.  We sure will sure miss the Meeskes as they move to the Quad Cities.  

531. Sidewalk chalk cities on the driveway on one of the prettiest nights of summer.  A cancelled appointment for Beau.  A sparkling glass of moscato.  That forgotten, satisfying feeling of a baseball hitting the sweet spot in your glove and catching pop flies under the sun.  A game of checkers for Beau and Cruz on the deck while Mila and I snuggled on the patio couch.  It was one of my favorite nights. 

532. Healthy shrubs and window box flowers and bare feet and juice barrels and little blankies on the porch.

533. Smoothie concoctions in the a.m. Green mustache contests and kale in the kids' bellies to start our morning. 

534. Kale smoothies followed by a little Cosmic Kids yoga.  It was the Frozen episode and I figured Cruz would lose interest in two minutes' time.  It turns out, Cruz may just be an aspiring yogi. :) 

535. Amber spray bottles and a few new all-natural cleaners and sprays for the house.  My glass cleaner puts Windex to shame and my kitchen spray with thieves and lemongrass makes the whole house smell good.  And I keep finding my "calming" spray on Cruz's nightstand.  He says he needs it to fall asleep!

536. A stop at Sidecar for my favorite cucumber basil lemonade and a strawberry mango smoothie for the kids.  Blankets in fields of clovers, Mila's thumbs up whenever I ask her if she likes something, and little legs that pump on the swings.

537. A new baseball uniform for our little leaguer.  Beau was sad they weren't picked to be the Cubs again, but I love how cute Cruz looks in his white Braves' t-shirt.  

538. Trampoline jumps in pajamas.  Our first outdoor movie of summer.

June, you've been so good.  

"But these are the days we dream about when the sunshine paints us gold."

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Wordless Wednesday | The UNI Botanical Garden

I've been a student and/or teacher at UNI for fourteen years and until last week, had never once stepped foot in the UNI Botanical Garden.  I've walked by it many times, but never dreamed of the treasure that was inside.  But last week, the three of us summer breakers decided to cross this bucket list item off our list and explore this little known place tucked away amidst the brick and mortar on campus.  And I tell you what, we were blown away by its beauty. 

It was warm, well-lit, and the perfect little retreat in the middle of an otherwise cooler June day.  We played the five senses game, naming neat things that we saw, felt, smelled, or heard.  I pointed out the fiddle fig tree that was over ten feet tall, Mila loved all the bright pinks and purples, and Cruz liked the slipper lily pads that sheltered the bright orange koi fish.  And then he heard something squawk and their eyes got as big as saucers...

We were not alone!  I can't remember this guy's name but he sure freaked Cruz out!  He didn't leave his tree branch, but made sure we knew who was boss.  We found out later from one of the maintenance guys that the bird has all sorts of tricks.  Soon enough, Cruz's panic turned to laughter as we heard the bird meowing like a kitty after we left.  I think he liked the attention. 

No matter how long we've lived here (or worked here), there is still so much to explore in this city of ours.  I sure love adventuring with these kids of mine.


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