august is almost up!

For a while now, I’ve been a little apprehensive of August coming to an end.

It’s the inevitable mark of change ready to boot up and remind me how it likes to linger around me.

Change is not my cup of tea but I can be open to its presence.   Right?

Honestly, it’s wild how fast this summer has flown by.  I feel like I haven’t lived it – yet at the same time I know I have.  Does that make sense?

The heat waves have come along with those chillier nights.

Of course not shy of a crush and many new friendships.

Summer is such a sweet time I love and dislike at the same time.  It begs for me to slow down, whilst my mind says speed up.

It’s crazy thinking how different this summer has been from last summer.  Not just physically – with the culture and people around me but also emotionally.

In this moment I feel content.  Summer has been good.

Fall is coming (HA!  That makes me think of Game of Thrones…. where it’s Winter is Coming…. ;P) and just as the leaves are going to start turn other colors and drop to the ground, so will my life change.

And frankly, I’m a little too excited about my change in wardrobe once those cold days start appearing!

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babysitting is food for adventure

My favorite friends are little friends.

I got to babysit tonight and it was a gift.

I’m currently lounging in a semi-friendless zone –  it’s not terrible but nor is it ideal – meaning, I tend to grab for anything to extract me from lazy evenings on my computer.

So what do you do with two little girls on a hot summer day?  (I secretly wish my answer were: make a fort.  Because really, who doesn’t want to do that?)

Go outside for a walk.

Okay.  So these two little girls (Natalee and Olivia) love being outside.  It kinda always takes me by surprise how the oldest lights up when I say the word: outside?  It reminds me of my aunt and uncle’s late dog Hershey (rest her soul?) who’d start going crazy at jut the mention of the words walk and outside.

But really, Natalee’s excitement makes me want to feel the same sense of excitement about outdoors.  I’m sadly a little phony who says she loves nature, wants to go into the wild (if one day someone took her there, of course!) but fails miserably each day.

It’s way easier to stay inside anyways, isn’t it?

Anyways, so I tell Natalee to get her shoes on and I get little Olivia to tag along with me to their bedroom to find her some shoes too.  I grab the cute little pink crocks Livi wears, sit down and have her do the same on my lap.  Just as I’m about to put on crock on one foot, Natalee comes in.

“I’m going to wear my sparkly shoes!”  She says.

My response is an immediate no because who goes outside in sparkly shoes?  Am I right?

“But mommy lets me!”  She protests and I look over from my current attention – Livi’s feet – glancing at the shoes.  They look so worn, I’m instantly convince her protest is accurate.

“Okay,” I tell her and she makes a joyous sound, sitting down quickly and putting on her black sparkly shoes.  Meanwhile, I just smile to myself and get little Olivia ready for our adventure outside.

We’re gonna go see our little kitty friend, Angelina and the horsies.

I tried not to laugh when Natalee announced to me that she would be taking her purse with her.  When I asked her what she had in there, her response was: “Stuff.”

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Natalee did a great job guiding us!

Also, sad note about this picture:  I really wanted to snap a photo of her leading and running ahead of me and Olivia.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my phone with me the first trip we took outdoors during the sunny afternoon.  This one is late in the evening and it’ll suffice.  I just thought it was too cute not to document!

We had some moments outside.  Me holding little Livi’s hand and walking – while, Natalee turned around every so often and saying: “You’re right behind me!!!”  And she quickly picks up her pace and starts running a little father ahead.  Each time she turned her eyes grow wide and a smile covered her face.  So stickin’ cute!

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And here’s Olivia!

We stopped to see our kitty Angelina but couldn’t find her outside today.

That was kinda sad, but Livi didn’t give up – nope, she tried to get that door open!

 

Our time outside included:

crying for kitty Angelina (which Natalee named!) to come out and play, falling on our butts (Livi :p), yelling at the dogs to come back to us, staring at the horsies, getting sweaty, Natalee telling me it’s my birthday today and giving me leafs for presents, Livi going behind the house and staring at the chickens (they totally make her laugh!) and just plain wearing ourselves out.

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I can’t get over her carrying her bag with her.

Such a cutie pie.  By the way, this little girl has such a beautiful heart.  Natalee just has a huge smile and just loves well.  If she knows you, I have one thing to say: “You bet your belly button (Uh is that the right saying?) she’ll rush over to you and give you a big old hug.”

 

Our night ended (before I put Livi to bed), with singing along to the song Whom Shall I Fear  by Chris Tomlin.  There we sat in the toy room and Natalee starts singing, “The God of angel armies is always by my side…”

It was broken up a little bit – so I took a stab at singing the song.  After I did, I asked her it that’s the song she was singing.  She nodded and then we both sang it together.  I tried to add more lyrics of what I could remember and Natalee sang with me.

In the end, we went out to the living room, clicked on the YouTube option on the Wii Menu and found the song.  I pressed play.  Natalee and I sang along about three different runs through the song – on and off, while Olivia sat in my arms and drank her milk.

I’m turning 23 this week.  I can’t believe I’ve lived this long already, it’s kinda wild.  But here’s the thing I keep discovering – my favorite friends are my little friends.  They teach me and show me the simplicity of life that I often forget.  They remind me to be carefree and not care if people can hear us yelling for the dogs, the cats or even each other.  They get sad about their mom and dad having to leave, and excited about going outside.

And they take off running when they know you’re trying to snap a picture!

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meeting a challenge

I sat at the desk with a VBS manual open up before me and my eyes flickered to the time.

First day and I’m already impatient.

I’ll blame it on uncertainty of what comes next.  I came into work not sure of what I should expect.  I established my work time.  Do I leave on time since today isn’t really an official work day or do I stick it out.

Answer: I stick it out.

I read over the manual and remember his words: Get familiar with it – you’ll need to know it inside out.

When I started to read, I got the feeling of knowing and not knowing.  The information was recognizable but not at the same time.  I want to test how well I’ll need to know it.  Surely, just enough to get by right?

I’m here to help.  Yes.

Time strikes 1:30 pm – I’m done.  I linger, not sure if I’m allowed to leave or not.  Finally, I arise and walk to his office and give notice that I’m taking my leave.  It’s not as dramatic as I predicted, he fares me off.

I return to my office and collect my things.  Then reality dawns on me.

In seconds, I’m back speaking to him.  “I’m not leading this whole thing, am I?”

I ask.  I’m sure he can notice the clear doubt in my voice.

“Oh yes, it’s going to be your baby.”

I wrapped up the conversation fast because I needed to process his words.

Now, there was still confusion about this on my side for a couple of weeks, but soon enough it got cleared up and I became fully aware of my responsibility.

Either way, I was mortified by this revelation for a few hours.  I tried to wrap my mind around it and give myself enough credit to believe I could handle this job.  (I’m my worst critique and I know it.)

It’s two weeks after the event – about eleven weeks since I found out I would direct a VBS event this summer.

And this is what I have to say:  Sometimes a challenge isn’t as scary as it first appears to be.

a feeling of wistfulness, regret and remembrance

Today, I feel nostalgic.

A funny phenomenon because my memory is glorifying a time I struggled through.

How does this happen?

Well, being the particular person I am, I embarked on finding a new profile picture for my Facebook.  I went through old photos of last summer, hoping to find one I felt content with.  I have a tendency to want pictures of myself with an artist hint to them and therefore, struggle to find myself satisfied with simply a picture of myself.

Whatever.

(Quick note: I haven’t picked one.)

However, during all this looking, I’ve grown a sense of nostalgia for my summer of 2012.  I’ll tell you now, it wasn’t an easy summer.  In fact, I don’t think any of my summers since going to College have ever been easy, but this was a particularly hard.

I had lots of adjustment and change going on all around.

I was a recent College graduate who didn’t realize the shift of student to non-student would affect me a lot.  In late July I returned home not knowing when I would leave, exactly; at the time, my heart felt broken and my younger sister was getting married.

Even now, I look at that list and don’t think it terrible, but it was.

I was home and for better or worse, I was in a state of completely devastation.  I tried to be pleasant, but most of the time I was nasty and couldn’t figure out how to just feel content, feel happy.

Now, looking at pictures, I’m sure no one could guess of the pain behind the smile, but it was there.

Therefore, I find it funny how much I miss my summer of 2012.  Especially the good three weeks before my sister’s wedding and those after.  I enjoyed some good times with family and friends, and wish I had truly lived through those times.

I guess this is what nostalgia does to us all.

It’s a combination of wistfulness, regret and remembrance for what has come to pass.  Proving to me how no situation is as bad as my perception makes me believe it to be.