1) Good Teenage Role Models are the Best
It's true that Robbie taught my boys to swim this summer, but more importantly he taught them the importance of being kind and patient, of being cheerful and gentle and respectful. He showed them one example of what a great teenage boy can look like and act like, and he is one of my favorite teenagers ever. I totally got a deal with all of the lessons going on here.
2) Friends who Mustache Together Stay Together
It's true. Also true is that friends who figure out how to be adults together share an extra special bond that can withstand the tests of time and distance. The Aldriches and Birdnos came to visit and it filled my heart so completely. Those years in North Carolina were so precious to me, and the friendships that came from it belong in a small handful of Very Greatest Blessings.
When we first met, our three families together would have needed 10 chairs around the dinner table to hold us all. Today we need 21. And housing 21 people for a few days generates lots, and lots of dirty cups. So naming (and reusing) all the cups was essential.
After I spent a small chunk of time writing all the names, I placed the last one on the counter and my heart filled with happy that all of the people that belonged to all the names were there in my house.
When Cami and Katie left I woke up early to see them off and forgot to tame the bed-head. But I wanted a picture anyway, and looking at it today my poofy hair and makeup-less face somehow make the picture all the more beautiful. These women know me better than almost anyone. They know my ugliest pieces, they know my beautiful, and they love me.
3) Ever Had a Day when Bonnie Tyler's voice belted out Total Eclipse of the Heart in Your Mind All. Day. Long?
I kept the boys home from school on the day of the solar eclipse. And, as luck would have it, the clouds rolled into the desert sky and prevented us from seeing most of it. But near the end the clouds parted just enough so we threw on our protective glasses and watched the moon travel in front of the sun.
It was close to a total eclipse... we could have hopped in the car and driven a few hours to see it in totality, but we decided to watch it on the internet instead.
Totally the same thing, right?
4) Let the Wild Rumpus Start!
It's fitting, you know, because she creates a bit of a rumpus in the home, being a baby and all. Also, big siblings are fun.
5) We're All Stocked up and Ready for the School Year.
Yes, yes, we bought all the paper and pencils and erasers and glue and binders and folders and spiral bound notebooks. But we also bought a pile of spare tubes for the kids' bikes because they're kids, and they love to ride through the old empty piece of land just north of our neighborhoods. They call it 'The Desert', and The Desert has prickles and glass and sticks that aren't so friendly to tires.
6) I Wonder If a Stick of Deodorant has a 'Keep Out Of Reach Of Children' Label Somewhere...
If it doesn't, you run the risk of the 4 year old washing his hands with it and walking around delighted that they smell like 'Daddy's armpit singy'.
7) Getting Ready In The Morning Feels So Good Sometimes
Especially with Leonardo watching you creepily from the top drawer handle. Every morning, Timothy sits up on my bathroom counter playing make believe games with all of my hair products while I get my face ready for the day. All sorts of delightful 4-year-old noises come from him as he creates his stories. Giggles, crashes, sirens, screams, clicks... he's my favorite.
And speaking of creating stories...
8) Dress It Up, Guys.
They play like this all the time. I can't decide what my favorite part of this particular photo is. Timothy donned in a fluffy pink princess dress with a football helmet and a weapon set to 'stun'? Miles working his best ninja pose?
These are the days. I see it. I feel it. And since I can't stop it, I'll love it all as much as I can in the moments.