“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” -Psalm 90:2

Relaxing. Beautiful. Unpredictable. Productive. Fun. These five words could capture my summer, but of course, like any other turning point of one season to another, it is time to write.

It seems like yesterday that my oldest son was finishing his first year of preschool and that I had finished my first year of teaching preschool. What a wonderful year it had been, but we were all ready for summer break. Most of my piano students took a break this summer also, which was nice. This summer was so fulfilling. We had so much time with family, with good friends, with spur-of the moment plans, days where we did nothing except be in nature, and slow down our already slower-paced lifestyle. Gardening, organizing, cooking, and just being together was the best. 

June was full of time with friends, girls’ nights (random ice cream and French fry nights with other pregnant friends, food and painting fingernail nights until midnight, a couple of dinner parties and movies—kind of felt like I was back in high school again), a couple of women’s workshops at church, splash pads, parks, picnics, and working on new projects. June was also the month my Grandmother’s health declined, and she went to be with Jesus at the very end. I cannot thank my family and friends who walked with us every step of the way. Saying goodbye in that way, over the course of weeks, was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. To my friends who would stop by to help out, to friends who would text/call in the middle of the night because they knew I was up, to friends who even checked in to see how my mom was doing, and to the ones who helped me prepare for the final goodbye—thank you. In June we got the baby room ready to go for the third time, worked out in our garden and yard a lot, and spent time with cousins, friends, and family. I enjoyed being outside while I could while it was still hot, but not too hot (yet). 

We kicked off July with fireworks (4th of July was Grandma’s favorite, so it was very fitting that her service was shortly before), and then everyone in our family got the dreaded virus shortly after! Family time was well worth it, and we were glad we could at least blow off our usual number of fireworks, but the sickness was a bit tough for those couple weeks! It was tough being 30+ weeks pregnant, high heat of summer, and sick, but God got us through! The very next week, I had decided (and scheduled) to potty-train our youngest, even though I was already exhausted. It was one of those, “do it now, or you really won’t want to later.” The following week, our family went on vacation to the mountains, and it was one of the most relaxing weeks that we’ve had in years. The kids did great, and we did so many fun things together as a family (and boy was I glad that I didn’t have a child in diapers at that point). Every day we were there, there was a rainstorm in the evening, and there was always a double rainbow. It was a beautiful reminder of God’s faithfulness and his promises, no matter what season of life we may be in. 

When we got home, it was nearly August, and we began preparing for the school year, the upcoming baby, and spending more time with family and friends. Fall decorations went up early again this year (since every other fall for the last 4 years I’ve had a newborn), and I prepared to start a year of teaching preschool and piano for only a couple of weeks until a newborn comes. 

This summer was good, and as usual, had changes and transitions. In June my youngest son moved into his big brother’s room into a bunk bed. In July, my youngest son potty-trained, and it was an intense several days, but worth it. It has been almost a month since he wore his last diaper, and yes, it is entirely possible to have a child that young (a boy under age two) trained with little to no accidents each week (great book that I used with my oldest son as well, but it’s not anywhere near the modern techniques and styles that are used today). Basically go ask your grandma how she potty trained her kids, and that’s probably what I did. He has had some continued medical follow-ups, however we are in a much better spot now than we were several months ago. Some lifestyle changes and natural medicine has been game-changers. God is good!

My oldest son had a big transition going from preschool to summer vacation. It wasn’t so easy for him. Like most kids his age, he loves routine, being challenged in fun ways, learning, and is an absolute sponge to whatever is modeled to him. He missed preschool and his friends a lot, but we did our best to fill our time with fulfilling and fun activities. He is a good big brother, and he is definitely excited for a tiny baby to arrive soon. He spent lots of time in the garden this year with his daddy, and loved learning how to add, start to sound out words, and do some more cooking with his mommy. He got better riding his little green bike, throwing a ball and swinging with a bat, and of course his vocabulary seemed to just climb. He loved being in the mountains, conquered a huge hike with his daddy, and constantly reminded me that he’s a boy who loves adventure, living life on the edge (literally), and who just loves being with people. 

My summer was absolutely wonderful. As we slowed down our pace even more, I found out how much more I love it. Staying at home with kids is an adventure, but not having the divided time of work and other commitments is a huge blessing. I’ve learned to say no to more, which has been so good. As a natural people pleaser, (enneagram 2), and constantly helping others, I learned to recognize some of the things that may have pulled my attention in ways that caused added stress or time away from my family. It got easier to say no. It got easier to hold on to the people and relationships that are Godly and life-giving, and to take a step back from situations that may have become unhealthy or rather toxic in ways. I was reminded how short life is, but how precious it is as well. I was reminded that goodbyes, even in death, are not always forever. I was reminded that small children can do hard things, and that parenting that way is not the norm anymore. I was reminded that going against the norm in many ways is not a bad thing (but rather more fulfilling and makes life so much easier), and I was reminded of how much God has blessed my family. I was reminded that even though I got hit with the virus and now high blood pressure again, I’ve had almost 35 weeks of an awesome pregnancy, that has allowed me to chase around two boys, two dogs, and have energy to just enjoy summer as well. I’m reminded of God’s love when I hear my almost two year old begin to pray, as I hear my almost four year old sing worship songs (he knows some modern, but I’m talking about the 80’s and 90’s songs here!), and to see how my husband works so hard for our family and is a wonderful dad to our children. He models Christ in his work ethic, his devotion to helping me teach our children, and I am so thankful for him.

Here we are, the last weekend before my oldest son’s second year of preschool begins, my second year of teaching preschool (for a few weeks) begins, and are just weeks away from welcoming a new baby into our family. Even though my body is tired, my blood pressure is wacky, and new life changes are around the corner, my heart and mind are so at peace. Summer 2022 was one of the best, and I am thankful. God is good!