Swimmin. Lemonade. Life.

Man it is amazing how the day gets away from me sometimes. I so appreciate your patience with me.

We went swimming at Lifetime today. The summer sun beat down, and heat came up in waves from the pavement whenever we were outside (which, I’ll be honest, wasn’t that long, except for the pool). We splashed and played in the water, and Rowen loved it so much she “read” this from her fortune cookie when we went out to Chinese tonight:

“I went swimming. I had fun. I put on a life jacket so I wouldn’t sink. Then daddy came home.” I’d say that pretty much sums up the highlights of the day right there.

But that reminds me, she won the funny today.

Tonight at dinner, the waitress said, “Can I get you something to drink?” And before Jared or I could answer, Rowen (perched in her booster seat) said, in a voice loud and clear, “I will have a… lemonade,” complete with that very adult pause in the middle where you glance at the menu to make sure you have the order right. The waitress then said, without missing a beat, “Is pink lemonade alright?” And Rowen said, “Yes!”

Our dinner tonight was one of those ones where you step back for a minute and realize hey, we’ve rounded a corner here and we’re on to something different than we were just a bit ago. Elliott ate most of his dinner with a spoon. More made it in his mouth than on the floor. Nobody spilled anything or screamed or carried on too loudly. We were a Family, enjoying dinner together, rather than Parents bringing Kids along while they eat. It was very, very cool. I’m cautiously optimistic that Toddlerville won’t be such a bad place after all.

I got home from the airport at about 7 p.m. yesterday, and Jared and the kids were out on the front lawn. They had written “Welcome Home Mama” in large letters on the driveway with two colors of sidewalk chalk. As I drove up, I could see Rowen start toward me, mouthing “Mama!” as she ran. My family. I think it’s actually a privilege and blessing to be away for a bit - it lets me step back, so that when I see them again it’s with fresh eyes and a more grateful heart. I want to protect and shelter this time I have with them - my little kids are getting big before my eyes! It makes my heart catch in my throat just to think about it. That’s what today was about. More celebration. More hugs. More lemonade. More life.

Photoshop Friday (ahem.. Tuesday) will go up tomorrow. This has been one crazy week of travel, sickness, teaching, and trying-to-and-almost-but-not-quite-totally-yet-catching-up.