Wow. It's August. I can't even begin to describe how FAST this summer flew. I feel like I've been moving CONSTANTLY from the second week of March (when tennis season began) until now (and I'm afraid it's not going to get better). We've discovered, now that it's the first week of August, that we're booked up through the entire month ... as well as completely booked in the month of October! At present, I'm taking it one day at a time and telling myself that at this rate, I'll be into September before I know it. BUT with September comes ... the first day of pre-school, fall Bible Study at church (YEAH!!!), Wednesday night classes for the kids (Kayleigh is over the moon for that), and everything else that having a "school aged" child means. Sigh ... So, I'm trying to reflect on the things that make this busy-ness so beautiful. Here are my top 10 Looking Forward To's during this crazy month: #10 Watching Benjamin walk independently. He is great while holding my hand (and insists on holding it whenever I'm available to help him get from point A to B), but this afternoon he pushed himself up (totally unassisted) and simply stood for about a minute ... right in the middle of the room. He HAS to be getting close.
#9 Continuing to listen to the kids "talk": Ben adds to his vocabulary exponentially each day. This morning I was struck by how effectively his gibberish gets him what he wants. "Tuck" (I pull the truck out from where it is lodged behind some toys). "Dink .. .Dink ... Dink." (I grab his juice from the fridge and hand it over to be demolished). "Up Up Bear." (I take the bear out of his crib so he can snuggle it). "Ditter ... Ditter!! DITTER" I open Kayleigh's room so he can crawl in there and disrupt whatever it is she's trying to do alone. BUT beyond all that is hearing them communicate with EACH OTHER. They have whole conversations sometimes, and sometimes, Kayleigh acts as interpreter. (i.e. Today at lunch "GO GUR...GO GURR ... GO GURR!!!!!!" says Ben. "I don't know what you're saying buddy. What do you want?" I ask to no one in particular. "Mom, get him some yogurt! He really needs his yogurt." Kayleigh chimes in ... I grab a cup from the fridge and hold it in front of his face. He slams his spoon on the table and screams, "YEEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHHH!" Score: "ditter" -1, Mommy - 0)
#8: Seeing all of the "compound" friends in mid-August at Millennium Park. Words can not express how much I LOVE these girls and their babies. I'm so so so EXCITED to see them ...
#7: Meeting up with a friend from high school and watching our kids play together ... It'd be higher up the list, but we're still working on the details. :)
#6: CELEBRATING my 7th Anniversary with an incredible husband on August 7th. I can't believe where God has taken us in just 7 years. Each time I truly LOOK at the babies that fill my life with busy-ness, I am astonished that these two precious creatures were known about, thought about, meticulously crafted and LOVED by God before I even agreed to go on a single DATE with their father. The exact details of their complexions, their blonde hair, their deep sea-blue eyes, their intricate personalities ... all of that is a testament to the CREATOR who first created a spark between two crazy Hope College juniors (okay, maybe sophomores, if I'm being honest).
#5: Seeing off (from a distance, I'm not a creeper) some VERY SPECIAL high school girls as they begin their collegiate experiences. I'm praying for them as they embark upon the challenges, freedoms, and joys that await them. God has BIG plans for them ...
#4: Enjoying (and this sort of chokes me up a bit, despite the fact I KNOW I CHOSE THIS) the very last month Kayleigh will be home all day, every day. When August is over, I have to take her in, drop her off, and pick her up from the much anticipated "SPANISH SCHOOL!!!" She's so excited and so ready (and if SHE'S being honest, she's a little scared too ... as best she could she said, "What happens if I have none of my friends there? I might be sad and cry and cry.") ... And so she might ... But for August, there's none of that on the horizon.
These might be considered one, but they are separate things that will likely happen and I'm excited for each of them: #3: Spending some time (however short) letting my kids meet the "German cousins." Kayleigh has really only heard about Kaatje, Jillian and Naomi. She met them when she was approximately 9 months old, at Grandma Van Dyk's home going ceremony. BUT I KNOW she's going to love playing with them, and I can't wait to let her experience that.
#2: Watching my beautiful, mature, precious little blonde child (I can't call her a baby anymore, anyone who has seen her recently will attest to that) walk down the aisle, all by herself (LORD WILLING), as the flower girl at Maria's wedding. Her dress is adorable, her hair will be amazing, she can't WAIT to paint her fingers/toes again in preparation ... And I'm confident (well, semi-confident) that we can bribe her to do the job well. I know it'll make me cry huge buckets ... but if that doesn't, #1 will.
#1: Watching my beautiful, mature, AMAZING, sister Maria (who I've had the pleasure of meeting/getting to know/watching grow up since she was a senior in high school) walk down the aisle with her dad to the man she's chosen to spend the rest of her life with. I'm so excited for her (and for Dan ... I'm ecstatic to not be the only "in-law" now! It's been a long 7 years ...j/k) and all that lies ahead for them. We'll be praying for them, their future, and asking (very selfishly) for some "broken shower ribbons" soon :).