1. I am now 40. 40 and 12 days. IN MY FORTIES.
2. We survived America. Our waistlines did not.
3. Dublin is home. We sensed this for awhile, but the extended time away only confirmed the rootedness in our hearts. We love KC, love Wisconsin, but we are where we are meant to be, and we are so very thankful.
4. People are great. Like, everywhere.
5. My sisters and best friend treated me to a weekend in Chicago, wherein I learned I am secretly a daredevil because I walk on grates. Self-confidence boosted significantly. We highly recommend Eataly, the Chicago Cultural Center (pictured above) and the architectural boat tour at sunset.
6. Babies are way more fun when they are not yours.
7. We now carry an adrenaline auto-injector for Ella's random allergies. She's pretty chuffed by this and enjoys bragging on how she can "stab herself in the leg" really well.
8. I used to hate the long drive across Kansas. Perhaps it was the mild carsickness in the backseat of my mom's chevy nova or the impending doom of podding peas on a western Colorado homestead. Either way, as an adult and under the blue sky of midsummer, it's all beauty to me. The wheat, the barns, the one rain storm on the horizon. What a gift to see with new eyes.
9. "Sometimes I colour so hard." These words, spoken to me by my early-30s cousin with two master's degrees and a penchant for anarchy. So we put his baby boy down for a nap and coloured side by side and talked out some good hard things. Family friendships are where it's at.
10. I register for grad school on Wednesday...
11. This space will be dormant for awhile, I think. Not that it's been all that lively around here.
12. Yes, I'm excited.
13. But mostly anxious.
14. The sweetest surprise of the summer: so many long lost friends to hug and laugh with in real life. I marvelled at their lives and children and work and dreams and it was all so familiar, so strange. Aren't we all just making it up as we go along? Haven't we all seen a dark day or two(-hundred)? I'm keeping all these snapshots, these microcosms of culture and charity and faith, and holding them close till next time.
15. There's never enough time.