goodbye, summer!

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Oh the sky will be blue
And you guys’ll be there too
When I finally do what frozen things do
In summer!
– Olaf

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When the girls and summer leave right about the same time, always a bitter sweet time. We spent our days lounging, watching lots of Frozen, painting, cooking, swimming, playing, and baby watching.

One thing that warms my heart so much as an aunt and a mama to be is how loved our little people are by their cousins. Aliya and Ari are so excited about their new cousins coming. They loved to watch them on ultrasounds and talked about them so much! Aliya is so protective – telling her sister “No, you can’t have any of Alaina’s food… She needs to eat! She’s pregnant!” when her sister is asking for bites of whatever I’m eating. Ari loves to give them hugs and tells them “Hi, babies!” all the time. If I was lying down, she would lie next to me with her head near/on my belly!

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Summer days and nights with these girls house the best memories, the deepest laughs, and the best hugs and snuggles.
I definitely learn to manage my time a bit better, let the less important tasks and to do’s wait a bit until the games are over, bellies are fed, hands are washed, and snuggles are done.
Even though the help with vacuuming and dusting was fun time spent together, it was important to be to also spend time doing things they enjoyed even if I thought it was boring. I want them to know that what they wanted to do was just as important as the cleaning. I listened to their stories, their jokes, their songs, and watched their dance moves because I want them to know that they’re worth listening to and watching. That they’re worth my attention.
I performed the same yoga sequences over and over again because I knew that they wanted to do the same things I was doing. And, I wanted them to see that they can do what seems hard with practice.

Every summer they teach me more and more and more.
More about patience. More about myself and the heart of what what I long for deep within myself.
Love. Acceptance. Patience. Time. Faith. Encouragement.
And, the confidence that comes with knowing you’ve got people on your side.

Every summer gets better….. When we do things that families do in summer!
Holler.

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… little grasshopper

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You know what I find hilarious (besides the fact that I’m accepting that I cannot scroll up or down on Thomas’ Mac mousepad? … I’ve tried consistently, I can’t do it. :()

…. all of the things you think you will or won’t do when you have kids.

Example:
I do NOT like matching the girls. I feel that they should wear their own outfits, be their own persons, and communicate their own style. Complimenting in terms of pictures – yes. Matching – no. We’re shooting our Give1Save1 video tomorrow and I fought the temptation to style them in matching colors/concepts. SMH. Now, I’m considering what I should wear and if Thomas and I should compliment them.

I think that’s too much and that we should just be “us” without forcing anything but man is the temptation to look “perfect” a struggle.

As you can see, Aliya and I wore matching jeans today.
Her request.
And, I balanced a line today. My auto response was “Absolutely!” Then, I thought, “… But, we’ll be matching…” (Again, I hate matchy, matchy.)

But, there we are, pictured above, in all of our matchy jeans glory. And, I enjoyed it. Very much like how I enjoy her trying to style her hair like mine.
(Makes my heart go pity pat!)

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When I have the girls my focus is very much what they look like. I would hate, hate, hate for them to look disheveled or unkept while they’re with me. So, naturally, I semi-panicked (on the inside) about the fact that they had one SPOT of polish on their hands and that Ari’s curls didn’t fall exactly how I wanted them to and I may have felt some sort of way when she looked in the mirror and said her bow made her look like a clown.

Me: A clown? mmmmmmmmmm-kay. Not really but do you like your hair?
ARIANA: “YES”.
Me: ??? Oh.. okay! *** CONFUSED!!!!****

But really…….
Who cares if we match, or don’t match. Who cares if they have perfectly polished nails and toes. Who cares if they’ve lost a bow or aren’t wearing their nicest outfits to church every Sunday.

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As much as I am a believer and an advocate of presenting yourself well, I also want to teach that what you look like isn’t nearly as important as who you are.
And, that they aren’t synonymous. And, that the value placed on both of these entities are communicated in the most suttle ways.

I hope I remember that later on.

That walking out of the house and into the world looking picture perfect with my perfectly matched and accessorized baby isn’t nearly as important as how I treat others around me.

I hope I remember that a peaceful, patient mama is more valuable than a well put together, irritable mama ….

I hope I remember how easily these things are forgotten in the exhaustion and hubbub of the day. I’m sure I’ll put pressure on myself to “get it”…..  to do everything right….. to feel and be capable and efficient….. to look the part of a “successful” mama in whatever ways successful means to me, that I could lose sight of what ought to be my goal and end up being a cantankerous, drippy faucet type wife and mama. And, I will end up sending my husband to the corner of the roof. (Proverbs 25:24; 27:15 )

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I try to remember that my responses aren’t ever about me…. that I am an example of my Father to the world – unbelievers of all ages and believers in various stages of their journey.

That we effect each other. We can encourage and inspire or we can derail and offend.

 We aren’t perfect in any sense of the word, we all can have behavior outbursts (remember my most recent “expression” here?) but the most important thing is:

what do we do when we’re done?

photo 5What I have learned is that our moments aren’t ours alone but that we are just extensions of each other. We affect each other in ways that we may never see or can imagine.

We are here to help, encourage, support, guide, lean on, depend, entertain, uplift, and care for each other. With our words and actions. No matter how we’re feeling.

That is what I’m finding is most important and the most challenging.
Treating others with kindness no matter how I feel.

… here’s to beginning our days with prayer and devotion. to set our minds on the only One whose power and grace we depend on to become more and more like Him. 🙂

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