So far summer has delivered.
It has been the perfect blend of hot and breezy, humid and cool. It has also been an ice cream sandwich kind of summer, meaning between the moments of sadness and frustration I have found myself biting into a delicious treat of excitement and relaxation.
We have seized every single opportunity to be outside and in the water. We have endured hot days only with the companion of a sprinkler and hundreds of popsicles.
I have found myself letting go. Letting go of the 'what ifs' and the 'could be's.'
I find myself resting gently in the here and now and it is sweet. Sweet like Almond Pound Cake [which I am devouring daily.]
Between freckles and sunscreen there are big sunglasses and even bigger sun hats. There are babes in swimsuits and mommys who are scared to be in them. There are headbands and curly hair.
There are redheads and asian toddlers everywhere.
We have been turning the music up real loud everywhere we go and I find myself dancing crazy more often than not. We're spending alot of time in the van, between rides to calm Mabel's cries and 10-minute rides to the beach and back we have memorized every good summer song and so have the kids.
Mabel likes the calm summer breeze most of all. She has been crying almost constantly, sending me into total straight-jacket mode but the second we step outside she calms and lets the breeze wash over her face. Her body eases and my mind gets a moment to rest.
I breathe in the air and I breathe in my girl.
I feel incredibly blessed.
Like overly, entirely, abundantly blessed. I can't believe that I feel so alive once again. And although I feel alive I am too often reminded that this life is different and full of unexpected challenges. Most of the time I can live day to day and really embrace the moments of sweet, gentle fullness. But there are moments, and even days when it just isn't so simple.
That's why I try desperately to look at the small things and really enjoy them.
I mean eat them up and swallow them down and savor each moment in between.
For instance, who knew that a little red headed cat could bring a family so much joy?
I sure didn't. But she sure does.
Honestly, Heidi has never 'played' with anyone a day in her life and suddenly she is a puppy again. She is gentle and protective and has even been seen playing with Mabel this week. I am in awe of what this kitten has brought to our family already in just a few short days.
And the beach!
Oh the beach. Already I feel a surrender in my spirit because of our time there. The kids are free and wild. It is secluded and most of the time we are the only people in the whole area. I feel entirely overwhelmed at the kind of peace it has brought me in just the few trips we have made. I have a feeling many more summer days will be spent on our little corner of paradise.
This week it was made known to me that someone thinks we are exaggerating Mabel's medical conditions. Soon after such a hurtful thing was said I found myself decked out in total bliss smack dab between two of the cutest girls on a little beach in dirty water just thanking God for our life and all that it is.
More on that to come [because you all know I just can't stay quiet about it.]
But I sure didn't dwell too long.
I was too busy capturing memories. Moments that are gone almost before the shutter releases.
One day I'll wake up and it will all be over and people's comments or hurtful thoughts will not have changed any of it for me or for our life.
So for now, as we always try really hard to do, we are just drinking one another in. Spending time holding each other tighter, singing a little bit louder, laughing more, and hoping that God gives us the strength to make it through really hard days alongside some really mean people sometimes.
Because sometimes that's what you get.
Nasty water in the midst of your paradise.
My new motto?
Red hair; don't care.
What I care about is far greater. Far more beautiful. Deeper. Truer. More real, more honest, more lasting. What I care about are these hot days in perfectly exfoliating sand with my best friend by my side. It's long nights up late with a handsome husband and early mornings praying to just make it through.
What I care about is making an impact, using my voice, sharing our story and trusting our God.
What I care about is rooted. Sacred. Passionate.
It's red hair, and blue eyes. Brown hair and a beautiful tongue.
It's a cat's meow and a stupid wiener dog scratching at the door.
It's the ins and outs. The mundane and the atypical.
It's the here and now. The hard and simple. The good, bad and really really ugly.
I am so glad that our computer is working again. Writing is my only out and I have missed it. However, I have made memories that were unfettered this week. They were uninterrupted and focused. They were intentional and beautiful.
I am so thankful for today and for this beautiful, magical summer.