It hardly seems possible, but summer has finally come to an end. Cole's been a first grader for a full week, Malachi has gone back to Florida (temporarily) and I'm spending my final days snuggling with my soon-to-be two-year-old. Monday, I embark on my senior year at Northern Illinois University. I've learned a lot this summer and I've grown a lot. I've made some mistakes and I've accomplished some things. Three months ago, I didn't know if I'd survive a whole summer with three boys, but somehow we made it out on the other end in one piece. We're better for it. We've laughed and cried. We've cooked and cleaned and made messes. We've made memories. We've learned the value of making a memory. We lived. We learned.
In summation, here's a (probably very condensed) list of what I've learned this summer:
1. Taking an 18 hour road trip with three small children is never as good an idea as it seems. Never.
2. Babysitters are not housekeepers. Having that expectation will lead to extreme disappointment.
3. If you need a new bra, when you have three boys with you is not the time to shop for one. You'd be better off going without one than experiencing this. Trust me.
4. When you have spent the entire day alone with three boys, the "birth control reminder alarm" on your phone is completely unnecessary.
5. My toddler needs a job in child safety product development. Clearly the designers of said products underestimate the determination and ability of toddlers. Said underestimation has led me to mopping my kitchen more in one week than has been done in the past year.
6. Telling people you'd love to have another child is best done when your current children are sleeping. Such a statement is not well received when said children are climbing on counters, yelling and eating live minnows. Yes, eating live minnows.
7. Laugh. Find something to laugh at every single day and make your children laugh. The laughter that has filled my home this summer is more Grammy-worthy than any song I've ever heard.
8. Be young. There is nothing more freeing than immaturely texting your friends. #trustmeimadoctor
9. Pray a lot. In the moments it seems like no one is listening to you, pray, because God is.
10. If you are upset with someone, tell them. If they don't know, they can't try to fix it. If they do know, and they don't try to fix it, they're not worth your anger.
11. Don't count on tomorrow, but make sure you take something out of the freezer. We aren't promised tomorrow and our family has learned that, but if God decides to give us tomorrow, everyone's going to want dinner.
That pretty much sums up the summer of 2012. Sure there was a lot more. There were week long text conversations that consisted of nothing but ecards, there was the formation of the emoticon game and the great toy fast of 2012. There were sleepless nights and days we slept in. There were countless "no's" and trillions of kisses. There were endings and beginnings. Some things I've learned and keep close to my heart, not on the internet. But, we made it. And we'll continue to make it, because that's what we do.
"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."