Around the Corner and the End of Summer

Loveys, how are you? Can you believe school is around the corner? I mean literally around the corner, as in Monday? Lord help. We haven't even bought ONE school supply over here. My little Lily came down with a very serious viral infection (we've been to the doctor twice in three days). She had a fever nearly reaching 104 for three days in a row, which terrifies this mama. I'm so glad we had all our summer fun early! Because dealing with my bronchitis and then Lily's infection has knocked us down over here. It's been a very rough two weeks. Not how I would have planned the last two weeks of summer vacay, but it is what it is and we roll with it. I'm really hoping no one else at our house catches what Lily had. And I'm thankful for the grace and prayers from my family and so many of our friends.

Rough weeks like this always give me fresh perspective. First, health is such a blessing. Second, always remember to give grace to people who are dealing with sick kids (or parents for that matter!which is all of us at some time or another) because those are long, hard days. I was reaching meltdown status yesterday, where you can't really think about another night of no sleep. Where you have zero patience when it comes to lack of empathy from other people. Where it's all coming to a head and you're trying to manage three kids in the bathroom at the doctor's office by yourself. Then, when you're ready to cry, finally the fever comes down and your baby sleeps and you feel so, so grateful.

Now, we've got school starting. And while I'm desperately sad to see summer end, maybe it will be okay. I think my kiddos are ready for friends and learning and all that good stuff. Linc will start kindergarten on Monday (prepare for a blog post where I'm weeping all over the computer). You guys know we have birthdays close together in August. But this year we're not doing big parties and I feel so free because of it. I LOVE making birthdays special for my kids. But I've come to believe that a party every other year is enough, and doing something small the other years (you know, a friend or two at the movies, a baseball game with one buddy, a zoo trip with just family, a playdate with one or two friends, dinner out with just family, etc.) helps my sanity. So we're going low-key this year and we're all on board and it's going to be great. And maybe next year we'll do bigger celebrations.

Loveys, some days we're weaker than others. Jeff and I were like ships passing each other this morning as he left for work. Both bleary eyed and tired, a quick kiss and a "see you later." The days have been long. But I'm so thankful we have each other. We signed up for all this and we're in it. Taking turns and picking up the slack for one another. He's my partner and my best friend and I'm so thankful for him. And by the way, speaking of birthdays, Jeff's turning 40 in September. It's a big deal, loveys. I keep thinking about the fact that he was 22 when I met him. Crazy how long ago that was and how much life we've lived together. Marriage. It's so many things. But we're still this:

And that makes my heart thankful. And while some people drift in and out of our lives, he's my constant. And I'm his. It's not a small thing, lovey. It's hard work and reaching for each other and choosing each other, over and over.

So his birthday is on the horizon and this is a big one. :) For real. I've got ideas. (I mean, Pinterest has ideas and I will be borrowing them.)

But for today, I'm very tired. I'm sitting here with a blanket around my shoulders. I felt cold in my room this morning so I slipped on socks. Then Ash came in and we needed to go downstairs, so, along with crazy hair and circles under my eyes, I put on my flip flops. Ash just stops and looks me over. She looks down at my socks and sandals, and says, "Um...are you really supposed to wear them like that?" I about died laughing. No, darling. You're not supposed to wear them like that. But Mommy is 36 and tired and needs a shower--and she'll wear them however the heck she wants to.

Loveys. I love this family. I've got beef stew in the crockpot to avoid cooking later when the little energy I have has vanished. This means that my house will smell like red wine all day. Yes. Thank you. I've got kids eating Jell-O and sweating from playing outside. I've got Lily napping and finally feeling less like a roasted tomato and more like the tiny peanut she is. I've got Jeff texting me that he loves me. I need to somehow get school supplies, but traveling with three kids to the doctor yesterday nearly killed me, so it's unlikely I will be going anywhere. Also....I'm wearing socks and sandals. So there's that.

Summer vacation is just about over. The kids and I were talking yesterday about our favorite things about fall. I truly believe that seasons were one of God's best ideas. It's hard saying goodbye (unless it's winter, then I'm always very ready to say goodbye) but there's fun and beauty ahead. This summer has been amazing for us. Our time with family and friends in Texas continues to be in my mind and heart. Last summer was amazing--I think about Disney World and Laura's graduation and engagement. My mother-in-law coming out to visit. Every year there are memories and moments that I want to tattoo on my heart. Even if school is starting, I'm thankful to hold on to warm weather for a while longer. When it goes, there will be pumpkins and costumes and apple cider to comfort us.

We've been sick here at the tail-end of summer. That's okay. These things happen. Not every day is just what we hope. People get sick. There are accidents. People lose jobs. Feelings are hurt. You can lose friends (election season can be rough on friendships btw). Some days your heart just hurts--even when the weather is gorgeous and you want to feel perfectly happy. But even when sickness is running through your house and you're tired--it gives me perspective that I've been lacking and it reminds me to be thankful--and to not worry about small things. It's okay to say no to things. It's okay to hunker down with your family and just concentrate on caring for each other when no one feels 100 percent. It's okay even to cry when you need to. The people who love you will still be there when you resurface.

Summer has been beautiful. (Thank you, Jesus.) I've loved it. Now it's time for backpacks and classrooms and schedules again. I'll be finishing up a freelance project this month that I've enjoyed so much, and I'm again grateful for the freedom in my schedule. Mornings with just Miss Lily are in my future. Poldark is returning to PBS, which means watching TV with Jeff and holding hands.

Loveys, I hope summer has been amazing for you. Slow and packed and grace-filled--all at the same time. We can hold on a little longer before fall sweeps us away.

You'll be hearing from me soon on the devastation of Linc going to kindergarten and more planning on Jeff turning forty. (There will be 90s music. I know that.)


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