Oh, how I delight in Summer! It is my favorite season by far and would be even without all the fabulous July birthdays. This summertide has not disappointed, though it has been full of resting more than swimming, lolling more than hiking. And that has been just what we need. The kids have done just enough activities to keep things fresh, but mostly they have had lots of time to practice playing together. Bran has entered my least favorite age range, and with every day I'm remembering how 12-18months gained it's place of infamy. That said, he really is so stinking cute that the newly minted toddler fits, death wishes, and bites are all worth it (but I don't have to like them!).
The biggest highlight so far was, of course, our trip to beloved Whidbey Island. Of course we were still busy being parents, but there were lots of opportunities to stop and breathe. I felt relief, but also a wistful desire to have my daily life include more peaceful moments. Every time I would feel myself unwind a bit, I'd have to fight this shadow of "You will have to go back home in ______ days." Then, I'd think: "What is it here that makes me feel so much better? How do I bring some of the Whidbey Jessica back to Seattle?" Of course, with a home and family to run (and all the other stuff that comes with adulthood), I can't be my vacation self when not on vacation. But I can prioritize time outdoors when I'm feeling well, seek art projects to work on, go to bed early, and just generally give myself permission to relax. I've been home for a week, and I've done ok. It only took one day and one trip to get groceries to have that vacation high burn off like fog, but I also feel calmer in general. My health has been generally ok for a couple of weeks, and that always helps too!
Writing has been elusive. Sometimes, I'm just so tired, that I don't have any thoughts in my head at all outside of those required for our family's survival. Other times, I'll have some flash of insight but no free hand to even jot a note down. I decided to just let it go for a few weeks. The last thing I need is to make writing, meant to be a joy and a relief, into a burden, a chore I must complete. I have missed it though, and I'm hoping to get back into a pattern of writing regularly.
Now for some Whidbey pics :)
Every time my family takes a break together, we discover new treasures. This year's discoveries included the Inn at Langley Spa (thanks, babe!!!), Kapaws ice cream shop in Coupeville, and some beautiful, kid-friendly hiking trails at South Whidbey State Park. Aside from these, though, we also uncover new treasures in each other. I saw my kids with fresh eyes, especially my daughter this time. She is so brave and yet still little, and I feel a renewed commitment to soaking up her little years before they are gone. Though I am always aware of it, I felt overwhelmed by husband's kindness (SEE: SPA). I thank God, too, for giving us days that have cracked and softened us into a position of recognizing his pleasure and delight in us. More and more, I see God as the kind, perfect Father I've always said that he is, but the harder things get, the more tough days we go through, the more I feel him loving me.
I hope to write more soon.