half way.


we are half way through 2017, and i only just realized it as i was thinking of what to call this post. these little monthly recaps, a thing i always somehow end up doing, started by accident this year, when i wrote a post at the end of january, only one month in, called "this year, so far."

i wrote that post because while everyone seemed to be starting out the year hustling, my life had been calm and restful and i felt like i had nothing to offer, except to say that "nothing" felt so refreshing. i had things i was looking forward to this year, of course. things unseen that, in spite of me not knowing when or how or even what, made me so excited i could hardly sit still. but each one of them came with a little tag: not yet. be still.

rest up.

i snapped this photo of my feet in the midst of taking a bunch of the boy i nanny as he piled rocks onto the concrete and, one by one, put them back. my life in 2017 feels like it has reached a turning point. the first half of the year was full of rest and daydreaming, practicing and playing. but now, things are shifting.

june felt like a small step toward clarity. things that once seemed impossible, solid as concrete, are now taking shape and becoming more tangible.

june happenings.

looking at andrew belle's website. because, y'all, that is my handwriting.

listening to jaymes young's debut album, feel something.

studying the book of romans, via she reads truth.

planning for exciting things.

remembering to enjoy summer.

praying for nathan and eilee. again and again.

so far this year

january | february | march | april | may

charlotte | father's day weekend.

these guys.

these guys.

on thursday, i received a text from T letting me know she told luca i'd be there to wake him up on saturday morning and his response was, "yay! because she's my best girl in the whole world!"

he has now referred to me as "my favorite her" and "my best girl" and, oh my heart. obviously, i am honored to hold these titles, even for a moment. (because, let's be honest, there are other moments when he finds it offensive if i so much as glance in his direction.) being an auntie has been my favorite role to date, and one i try my best at. at almost four years in, seeing my nephews every four to six weeks has become a non-negotiable. i say "become," because it hasn't always been. there has been a lot of trying and practicing, and i don't talk much about the sacrifice it takes because i don't think it's worth mentioning (as i would, and do, make the trips anyway), but make no mistake, it's no small thing. hearing these comments from luca feel less like a badge of honor and more like a nod in my direction. i see you.

this is charlotte, june 2017.

luca is three years; jack is nine months

on saturday morning, T texted that luca was awake and as i walked down the hallway toward his bedroom, i could hear him whisper-yelling from inside, "auntie!"

when i opened the door, i was greeted with a goofy, excited smile and a tight squeeze.

that would've been enough. if i drove seven hours for only that moment, it would've been worth it. especially because there have been many times when i've gotten luca out of bed the morning after i arrive, only to be greeted by him asking "where's daddy?"

real life with toddlers, y'all.

we spent saturday morning at the pool, where luca swam with only one floatie (as opposed to his preferred double floatie situation) in the deep end and jack slept in the stroller and peed out of him swim diaper. because, apparently, they aren't supposed to catch pee? (ew.)

on the way there, i realized T was piled with stuff while pushing the stroller. she's a mom. she packs all the things and walks to the pool with her two kids by herself on the average day, and having me there didn't change her routine. as i followed behind, carrying only my phone, i laughed and asked if i could carry something.

"you can carry me!" luca said, at the same time T said no.

at one point while swimming in the deep end, luca kept trying to get out to get his diving rockets. i kept telling him he couldn't use those in the deep end and he kept telling me i could dive for them. "you can take off your sunglasses!" he said.

i did carry him on the way to the pool, but i didn't take my sunglasses off or dive for the rockets.

(these last couple photos of jack remind me of this one i took of luca.)

the rest of our day (and the trip, in general) was spent casually, just the way we like it. my parents came over. we played with the boys. we ate. we took photos.

luca is almost four. in fact, the next time i see him in person, he will be four. it's always been crazy to think about, when you put a number to it. but i can get on board with it because almost-four means he's conversational and funny. he has good ideas and is incredibly thoughtful. he is intentional about his words and his actions, but you don't have to wonder what he's thinking. he'll tell you, and it'll surprise you. he always thinking and remembering and making connections.

he and my parents and i were all sitting on the couch and laughing about how we all fit when my mom pointed out how cold i must be. "look, the hairs on auntie sarah's arms are sticking straight up." she said it, probably, because it looked funny. but luca hopped down off the couch and crossed the room saying, "i'll turn the fan off for you!"

when jack is upset, luca tries to distract him or make him laugh. he's aware of what jack can't do or have (like climb the stairs or play with small toys), and steps in when he notices. he has his moments, of course. sharing is hard, at almost-four.

jack, at nine months, still loves luca, but he's also really into his dad. when he notices lee walk in the room, forget whatever else was going on; lee is who he wants. lee, or any object that isn't actually a toy. kitchen items, water bottles, luca's empty apple sauce pouches. if he's sitting in his stroller or high chair, these are the things that will keep him entertained, but sitting still is not what he'd prefer. he wants to crawl and explore and pull himself up and practice walking by holding your hands.

unlike luca at nine months, you really need to keep an eye on jack and follow him around at all times. however, exactly like luca (at nine months and almost-four), jack also isn't really interested in solid food.

connecticut | for leah's wedding.

i remember the night leah and i were catching up over the phone when she told me about this guy she met. maybe it was the story of how they met, or the details she gave, or the way her voice sounded as she talked about him, but something about it made me think, well that's it.

it's funny how you can be going along, living your life, and then you meet a guy at a coffee shop one night and the whole rest of your life is changed.

i met him a few weeks later when i flew to california to visit leah for the first time after she moved. i had booked my flights months before they met, not knowing that when i finally got to hug my friend again, i'd also get to shake hands with her future husband. when i met him, it had only been about a month into their relationship, but i kept forgetting that. they just seemed to fit so well already.

these are the things i keep thinking about. we used to sit in starbucks together, when we both still lived in connecticut, and talk about the future. where we'd live, what marriage might look like for us (and who our husbands might be), how excited we were to find out. and now, on this weekend of her wedding, i kept thinking about how we had no idea. our college-aged selves, who regularly closed down our local starbucks with all our daydreaming, could never have imagined how incredible life would turn out to be.

the thing that gets me is knowing that in another five years, i'll look back and think the same thing about these days: i had no idea good it would get.

i didn't take many photos, and even forgot to take one of me and the bride herself (why am i the worst). in fact, that adorable photo at the top is one of the three i snapped. i got lucky. i wanted to enjoy the day, to soak it all in, to watch my friend walk down the aisle through my own watery eyes instead of through a screen.

as guests, though, J and abs, her brother matt, and i found ourselves with some extra time on our hands.

later, we hung out with H and her bf and ate randy's wooster street pizza, because i specifically requested it. when in connecticut!

on sunday, we started the day together again, eating waffles with strawberries and chocolate chips. and decided to spend our few remaining hours on a hike.

oh may.

may felt full, like making progress but in a direction i'm still just guessing about.

i spent so many of my waking hours nannying, babysitting, and helping with kids at church, marveling at the way i somehow wake up every day with fresh excitement about hanging out with toddlers. i went to the park and read. i checked out three (always three) books from the library, even though a stack of books "to read" sits on my desk at home. i adventured in chattanooga. i visited my family in charlotte. i hosted my parents in nashville. i spent time painting, with acrylic paints on mixed media paper. i started writing, really writing, a book.

i made the most of my time in may. it wasn't accidental, but it wasn't intentional. (is this what it means to be a grown up?) (because, i did all these things in addition to cleaning and grocery shopping and meal prepping and waking up extra early to have me-time in the morning.)

"rescue bots," by luca michael goodin, age 3.

"rescue bots," by luca michael goodin, age 3.

other may things.

THE ENNEAGRAM. in caps because, well, if you know it then you know why. (if you don't know it, i'd recommend reading the road back to you, which i recently read.) if you know it, then you're probably nodding along as i say i'm a nine. so, so much a nine. if this post about learning who i am and this post about not watching tv doesn't give it away, i don't know what does.

(related: sleeping at last is writing songs for the enneagram. so far, he's released intelligence, and is also working on a song for each number. you can get early access to these by subscribing here.)

the BOOK. more caps because it's my book. and i just wanted to say, to document here, that may is the month when i stopped writing things that could or could not possibly be potential material for a book and started writing for the purpose of publishing those words in a book.

so far, it's been like 10% writing things i didn't know were inside me, 90% staring at my computer wondering if it's too late to find another calling, and 100% asking myself "who even cares about this?" but also, knowing the words are flowing through me and not from me takes the pressure off. i am writing it, but it's not really mine.

this mostly feels insignificant, because i could've been serious about writing a book this whole time and you never would've known. but i wasn't.

the "that sounds fun" podcast, hosted by annie f downs. i have recently discovered that i hate driving a little bit less when i am listening to podcasts, so i've been trying out a bunch and this one is like, how have i not been listening to it already? annie is a writer who is a seven on the enneagram (i love sevens). i don't know that i need to say any more for you to understand why this podcast sounds fun to me. (see what i did there?)

the "there is a cloud" series from elevation church. hello, who is even surprised by this one. but! i couldn't leave it out, especially after week two, "barriers to blessings," after which i called up T to discuss.

the history of love, by nicole krauss. do you know it? honestly, i think i first heard of this book from tumblr, with the line, "once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering." and it's just that i needed to read more from the person who put the words together to form that sentence, and i finally got around to it. it reminds me a lot of extremely loud and incredibly close (the book, not the movie).

so far this year

january | february | march | april