Like a patchwork quilt, my summer is expanding before me one small block at a time. Each has a new pattern and looks different than the last, but when stitched together they seem to be forming one cohesive fabric of summer.
Last Saturday my husband and I traveled to the wedding of two students who had been in our campus ministry. This one-day block was exceptional on so many levels: the relaxed two and a half hour drive when we talked, uninterrupted, about whatever we wanted, the beautiful ceremony when bride and groom exchanged personalized vows, the joyful flurry of hugs that reunited us with former and current students who've been away for the summer, and some amazing food. I hardly ever take a picture of what I eat, but I did this day.
There were milkshakes at this wedding, my friends. Real-deal milkshakes in chilled Mason jars.
It's this simple: more weddings need to do this.
And then there was the dancing. Let me tell you: when we go to a wedding, we dance. No holding back, no dignity type of dancing. It's an unskilled, exuberant form of movement that a wedding photographer just might capture for posterity. The type of dancing that comes from you slipping the DJ a list of songs. The type of dancing when you're surrounded by some of the best people for a joyous occasion, and you think to yourself, I am unequivocally happy at this moment.
Hot on the heels of the wedding, we took our children to visit my parents at my childhood home in Pittsburgh, a flurry of two days when we ate pizza, and spent a rainy morning at an amusement park before they shut the park down, and, once the weather cleared, visited a local playground where I had wiled away my summer afternoons as a kid.
Then, there were a few normal days at home, the everyday thread stitching the bigger pieces together. Mornings running errands, or visiting the library, or taking the girls to the doctors for their well-child visits so they're cleared for the next school year. Afternoons playing with neighbors in the back yard or spatting with sisters in the family room. Dinners of grilled barbecue chicken and vegetables. Evenings when the kids -- the same kids who were so full that they couldn't eat one more bite of grilled zucchini picked from the garden -- ask for ice cream because they're still hungry.
Now, one Saturday morning later, I find myself lounging in my dear friend's guest bedroom three hours from home, the glorious makings of a brief girl-weekend where we'll talk for hours, and eat, and take walks as she shows me her area of the world. Tomorrow, I'll return home.
Another patch added to this beautiful, eclectic quilt.