Thursday, June 8, 2017
Hello, Summer | Good Things
We are on the other side of what is the last week of school - Cruz officially finished his first year of elementary, his backpack cleaned out and put away until August. We celebrated our ten-year anniversary on Friday, Beau's 36th birthday on Sunday, and enjoyed a quiet stay-at-home date night with drinks on the deck, a seafood boil with friends to kick off summer, and lots of family fun that included ice cream cakes and Dollar Store gifts and one super fun day at the water park.
And now, summer. After a string of rainy days a couple weeks ago, I decided to enjoy the sunshine by taking my devotionals and my avocado toast to the front porch. Beau was at work, the kids were at school, and I had set aside some time to read my Bible and journal. I couldn't believe how loud the birds were in our little neighborhood with hardly any trees. Expecting to hear the construction trucks, those little birds out sang them all. I was reminded of Psalm 19, one of my favorites:
(1-4) The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
Life is loud, but God's creation is louder. I pray for open ears to hear those birds all summer long.
475. Spring cleaning, May style. I nest like I'm nine month's pregnant every year in May when my semester ends a bit before the kids are done. I open windows, put Edward Sharpe on the house audio, diffuse lemon oil, change bedding, clean closets, and make a few trips to Goodwill. And then I enjoy a sparkly clean house for ten minutes before it's time to get the kids. ;)
476. The satisfaction of discovering the table throw I've been eyeing for months, finally on clearance.
477. Our trampoline. Best kid purchase we've made. And the best part - the kids paid for it. I love that we can sit on the deck and watch their little heads pop up and down. It's our new favorite backyard picnic spot, and we have spent many nights as a family, Beau perfecting his front flip and me just trying to perfect a butt drop. We have laughed until we've cried, or peed, which isn't hard to do on this thing after you've had a couple of babies!
478. Slow mornings and simple routines around the house, like made beds, watered flowers, and freshly wiped counter tops.
479. New books, fresh mint and cucumber in my water, and baby lilacs in a blue mason jar, cut from the yard.
480. Cruz and Mila and the neighbor boys playing "Dead Man" on the trampoline while I make dinner. Hearing Miss Damsel in Distress fake cry and one of the boys say, "Don't worry, Mila, I'll protect you."
481. A new candle and cake plate on the kitchen island, and brown bananas turned into an after school treat for Cruz.
482. This watermelon feta salad and a table full of girls who continue to teach me about friendship and discipleship and the tension that sometimes lies in between.
483. Afternoon hangs around the table. A milk glass of watercolor paints, a book of crossword puzzles, and a bowl of watermelon to munch on.
484. Good friends who send texts like this on a Friday afternoon: "I know this is not the traditional way to get together with friends, but..." and invite themselves over, bringing all the fixings for a laid back barbecue to kick off Memorial Day weekend.
485. String lights and stars and patio fires and Beau's guitar. A late night walk around the house, followed by a twilight jump on the trampoline. A night that can only be compared to summer nights when I was sixteen. I felt free.
486. Starting a foggy Saturday on the front porch. Bed head and flannel blankies, and a little girl on my lap.
487. A magical fairy garden that came to life and the soft, warm rain that fell around us. Mila shopping for fairies with me at Hobby Lobby and squealing, "Oh, that will be so beautiful!" in the aisle.
488. Fresh summery vegetables and grilled goodness from the Big Green Egg.
489. A movie night of Moana. Moving the ottoman out of the way to make room for sleeping bags and bowls of popcorn. The music, the strong girl, and the funny one-liners the kids repeated all night long: "A blow dart...in my butt."
490. Beau calling it a family sleepover night shortly after Moana. We all retreated to our bed and had a lengthy discussion about the best Disney movies of all time. Beau calls Lion King, Mila and I say Frozen, Cruz loves Moana.
491. When I catch him reading her the Bible and she recognizes stories she learned about in church.
492. Leotards sans tights once again.
493. Reading Oh the Places You'll Go to Cruz, along with the note from his precious preschool teachers. His whole face lit up and his big eyes got all misty.
494. Picking up Charly from school and having some time with just the big kids. Graham crackers and chocolate frosting at the kitchen island before soccer practice.
495. BLTs on a Sunday night
496. Christmas socks and Sunday afternoon crafting
497. When the kids tell Alexa to play Moana and build bed forts in the bedroom while Daddy and I work on the basement project.
498. Dance picture night and our beautiful dance studio in downtown Waterloo. I took Mila up to the second floor of Fusion last week for rehearsal and felt as if I had stepped into a movie set. One week 'til recital!