It's been such a strange summer.
We left for our vacation nine days after school got out.
We came home from vacation to a deathly ill dog - which I dealt with for over three weeks.
And now we leave on Saturday for our annual trip to the beach.
We we're done at the beach, the kids will stay at my parents house.
And when they get home, they will have less than a week before school starts.
(If you give a Mouse a Muffin, anyone?)
Last Friday I piled them all into the car and took them to the lake - and I can honestly say it was the first fun thing the four of us had done together all summer (besides vacation, which was wonderful, but ended on a sour note because of the dog...)
Add to this the fact that I'm not even sure what to do with a 14 year old, a 12 year old and a 9 year old that will keep them all happy... While turning 40 had it's own share of struggles for me to wrestle with - I feel like our family is going through it's own strange identity crisis. I'm not sure what we should look like anymore... what makes us tick. What gives us those warm fuzzy feelings of contentment... seems like there are a lot more angst-y feelings than anything flying around this year. It's not always pretty. It's gangly and strange and certainly out of my comfort zone.
It's been a weird summer.
Having Gracie so sick was so stressful. For anyone who doesn't already know, she got bloated - which led to her stomach twisting, which led to a surgery to prevent a recurrence, which led to a bad reaction to her pain meds, which led to a bad reaction to her anti-nausea meds. It got pretty ugly. And then she got an infection in her incision. I can't tell you the amount of stress and worry she's caused me. And $$$. Oh brother. I never ever imagined that I would EVER spend the amount of money we've spent on her. It makes me need anti-nausea meds.
And then there's the whole fact that our trip to Sierra Leone looms less than a year away and all the money we'd saved or allotted for that has now disappeared and I've had a mini crisis of faith - wondering why God would give me this dream - and feeling that it's all but impossible to come up with the huge sums of money our trip will require. There are days I've wished I'd never heard of COTN - or prayed for Africa. I've wished I could just be a normal Mom who wanted to take her kids to Disney World.
It's been a weird summer.
Thank goodness fruit is my soul-soother of choice in the summer instead of chocolate or I'd weigh 300 pounds by now.
And can you say HOT?
We've been over 90 for what feels like forever. And we're trying to save money by not putting in our window unit air conditioner. So it's HOT. Every freaking day. And all night. So hot I can't think of a thing to do besides sit on the couch and read. Me and hot don't get along.
I don't mean to whine. Because I see all of this as more of a time of stretching and growth than something to complain about... it's just been weird. It's just unlike any summer I've ever been through.
Oh - and my mailman, who used to come no later than 11:00 am every day now comes around 4:30 or 5:00. Why does that bug me so much?
I'm looking ahead to fall with a bittersweet spirit - looking forward to cool mornings and structure and possibilities... hoping we can make the most of these next few weeks and end the summer on a good note. And eager to see how God uses this weird summer in my heart.
So that's how I've been.
Happy Monday, friends. Smooch you all.