7 and 1/2 Months

Our family and Caroline's new, very pink room.

Our family and Caroline's new, very pink room.

Yes, I agree. 7 and 1/2 months is a long time to be away. But we've been busy. I've been learning how to be a mother. Caroline's been learning how to be a daughter. And now Andy is learning how to be a father.

We had our first Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas together, bought a guinea pig, got engaged, purchased a house, planned a wedding, refurbished a house and dealt with family illnesses. Andy tore his meniscus and is awaiting surgery. Caroline started piano and was her school's "Mustang of the Month" in February. And I started a new job as the development coordinator for the Volunteer Center of Lubbock.

Just last week, we celebrated the end of school and Andy's brother's marriage.

In the next two and a half weeks, Caroline and I will move into our new home, and Andy and I will say our vows.

I'm confident this has been one of the busiest and most-detailed oriented seasons of my life. It's had it's extreme lows and it's extreme highs. There's been moments full of bursting joy and moments of overwhelming sorrow. As a family we've laughed together, cried together, stressed together and loved together.

I think we're all looking forward to a little rest after the wedding. On it's best days, it's something to look forward to with joyous anticipation. On it's worst days, it's a project we would all like to check off the to-do list.

We're nervous and ready and terrified and confidant. A family. The story none of us expected. None of us could ever have dreamed up. None of us would write or could write. But a family. A family written by a good God who sees what we don't, understands what we can't and believes in the whimsical impossible.

Yes, I agree. 7 and 1/2 months is a long time to be away.

My fingers have been itching to type. My brain has been longing for the exercise. My heart has been overflowing with words.

But those words flow out of me and into her. Into him. They hold her on the days when she misses South Africa so much, on the days she feels not enough, on the days she feels she just doesn't quite fit in. They plan and they prepare and they dream of future days.They encourage him and try to find balance and compromise. They manage confrontation. They build. They nurture. They love.

They return to me.

They comfort me on the hard days, the days when I'm not enough, the days when the details overwhelm, the days I feel myself breaking.

Now they're here, telling you, sharing with you.

7 and 1/2 months - the hardest and the best of my life.